Tata Motors to make Thailand regional manufacturing base

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Bangkok, Dec 7 (UNI) Tata Motors today said it will launch its pickup truck in Thailand in March 2008, a market dominated by Japanese and American companies, and use its local manufacturing facility as a regional automobile export hub.

Tata Motors (Thailand), a joint venture with Thailand's Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co, also has plans to manufacture an environment-friendly car, top company officials said.

Thailand is the world's second largest pickup market and Tata's one-tonne model will take on established Japanese and American brands in the Thai market.

Japan's Isuzu and Toyota account for almost 90 per cent of the pickup truck sales in Thailand, the rest being American companies, mainly Ford.

Tata Motors (Thailand) has an annual production capacity of 35,000 pickup trucks and is aiming for a five per cent market share over a five-year period, company Chief Executive Officer Ajit Venkataraman told reporters.

UNI

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