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Isuzu has commissioned its SriCity plant with an initial capacity of 50,000 units per annum.

Story by:

Anirudh Raheja

Isuzu entered the Indian market in 2013 with the launch of the D-Max pick-up truck and the MU-7 SUV. Both shared a common platform and aimed at the commercial and pleasure end of the market respectively. For the assembly of vehicles, the company entered into an agreement with Hindustan Motors. The agreement to assemble the D-Max and MU-7 at Hindustan Motors’ Tiruvallur plant near Chennai was based on Isuzu’s earlier connection to manufacture the Trooper general utility vehicle under technical collaboration perhaps.

The commissioning of the SriCity Greenfield plant, 55 km from Chennai, marks a new chapter in Isuzu’s India journey. Built with an initial capacity to manufacture 50,000 vehicles per annum, the plant is part of a phased investment of Rs.3,000 crores. Spread across 107 acres, the plant is designed to support a hike in production to 1.2 lakh units as per the demand. Expecting to cross the 50,000 vehicles per annum target in the next three years, Isuzu aims to tap the sub-five tonne light commercial vehicle market with two key variants of the D-Max, the D-Max single cab and D-Max Crew Cab. A chassis version of the D-Max will also be on offer. The recently unveiled V-Cross double cab pick-up for pleasure use will also roll out of the new plant. Stress would be on localisation. Products rolling out of SriCity are expected to have 70 per cent local content. Isuzu India is working with 120 suppliers. For Just-In-Time (JIT) supply, some of the key suppliers are expected to set up a facility close by. Aiming at 100 per cent localisation in the next three years, Isuzu Motors, in latter 2015 set up an Isuzu Engineering Business Centre India (IEBCI). Responsible for sourcing parts for both domestic and global operations, IEBCI will also host research and development activities to enhance the quality and efficiency of products made in India. Exports are on the

cards too.

With the prime focus of safety and quality, the company would continue to assemble the MU-7 at the Hindustan Motors facility at Tiruvallur. Said Hiroyasu Miura, Chairman, Isuzu Motors India Pvt. Ltd., “High localisation strategy for our manufacturing operations in India is boosted by the Indian suppliers which we have found capable of meeting our global quality standards.” Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu expressed that his government is thinking of exempting road tax for every vehicle that rolls out of this facility and is sold in the state. Hoping to expand the dealership count to 60 from the current 26, Isuzu Motors India is looking at grabbing a share of the pie in the two-lakh unit strong pick-up market. The market is expected to surpass eight lakh units by 2023. The company has till date sold 3,000 units.

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