The Times of India: January 24, 2014
Kochi: Japanese carmaker Isuzu intends to develop India as a production hub for premium sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-up trucks to cater to domestic as well as international markets, said Takashi Kikuchi, managing director and president of Isuzu Motors India Pvt Ltd.
The company on Thursday opened its first Kerala showroom in Kochi.
Kikuchi said Isuzu India will start production from its own facility at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, by 2016. Currently, the company has a production capacity of 5,000 units at the contract manufacturing facility of Hindustan Motors (HML) in Chennai.
The company is importing the CKD (completely knocked down) kits of its SUV, MU-7 from Thailand and assembling them at HML.
"In the first stage, our production capacity at Sri City will be 50,000 units per year, which will go beyond 100,000 units by 2020," said Kikuchi. "India is cheapest in manufacturing among south-east Asian countries," he noted and added that the SUVs produced in India will be exported to the Middle East.
Isuzu also has plans for higher localization of vehicle parts. "By 2016, our vehicles will be having 70% of the parts produced in India, and we will then achieve 100%," said Kikuchi.
The company also plans to open showrooms in Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Madurai, Theni and Tirupathi in six months' time.
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