18 December, 2006
Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, and Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. (Thonburi), the Thailand-based independent assembler of automobiles, today announced formation of a joint venture company in Thailand to manufacture, assemble and market pickup trucks.
The joint venture agreement was signed today by the Managing Director of Tata Motors, Mr. Ravi Kant, and the Managing Director of Thonburi, Mr. Robru Viriyaphant.
The joint venture, in which Tata Motors will hold 70% of the equity and Thonburi 30%, will get vehicles manufactured in Thonburi’s manufacturing facility. It will go on stream in a year’s time.
The joint venture will facilitate Tata Motors address the Thailand market, the second largest pickup market in the world after the US. Both partners will jointly manage the operation. The pickup trucks will conform to international standards in quality and safety, and will be marketed in Thailand and exported to other potential markets in the region.
The Chairman of Tata Motors, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, said, – Introduction of Tata Motors pickup vehicles and a manufacturing facility in Thailand provide a unique opportunity to the company. We believe the joint venture will make meaningful impact in this most competitive market for pickup vehicles.
The Managing Director of Thonburi, Mr. Robru Viriyaphant, said, – The cooperation with Tata Motors offers Thonburi the opportunity to expand our business portfolio. Tata vehicles have dominated the Indian commercial vehicle market for decades and the company is now aiming for a stronger presence internationally. We are proud to be a part of this expansion strategy because of our great confidence in Tata products and technology. The new pickup truck will be the right product for both domestic and export markets.
About Tata Motors
Tata Motors is India’s largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion in 2005-06. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world’s fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and in Australia. Tata Motors and Fiat Auto have formed an industrial joint venture in India to manufacture passenger cars, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets. Tata Motors already distributes Fiat-branded cars in India. The company’s international footprint include Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. in South Korea; Hispano Carrocera, the reputed bus and coach manufacturer of Spain in which the company has a 21% stake; and a joint venture with Marcopolo, the Brazil-based body-builder of buses and coaches. Tata Motors has research centres in India, the UK, and in its subsidiary and associate companies in South Korea and Spain.
About Thonburi Group
Thonburi established its first automotive operation in 1941. Thonburi is one of the largest independent assemblers in Thailand, and currently assembles passenger cars for Mercedes Benz. They produced 4,150 passenger cars and 250 buses in 2005 with net revenues of US$208 million. The group has over 2,000 employees. The Thonburi Group has served the Thai automotive market as importer, distributor, retailer, assembler, body builder, mass transportation service provider and supplier and contractor for military vehicles. The group also has businesses in insurance, vehicle leasing and financial services. Thonburi is dedicated to build and maintain cultural heritage projects for the preservation of Thai culture, traditions and architecture.