Toyota's second plant in Bidadi near Bangalore

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Bangalore, Jul 31: Automobile major Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) began the construction of its second plant at its sprawling Bidadi premises near here, where its ambitious Compact Car would be rolled out by the year 2010. Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa laid the foundation stone for the second plant this morning.

The new plant, adjacent to the 10-year-old first plant, would produce one lakh cars per annum. This includes the compact car, which was, however, still in the design stage. Once the second plant is complete, TKM would be expanding its capacity to 1.6 lakh cars per annum with its existing plant having a capacity of 60,000 units. Last year the company had produced 52,000 cars in the plant.

TKM Senior Managing Director Arika Okabe said the Indo-Japanese company would invest Rs 1400 crore in plant and machinery for the plant that would begin production in 2010. The investment would be doubled in four years to increase the production step by step.

''The new plant would generate an employment of 2400 people", he said.

Mr Okabe said the new plant would be eco friendly with lower level of carbon dioxide emission and uses renewable energy sources such as bio mass, solar and Wind power, using recycled water. TKM Vice Chairman Vikram S Kirloskar said for the Rs 3500-crore company financials was not important. The focus was to provide India the models of car based on best technology and very high value for money.

Asked whether the company had missed the bus by not capitalising on the market, he said market capitalisation was not the company's prime concern but technical execellence was.

He said the second plant would be a multi-use plant where all the models of TKM like Toyota's mid segment Carolla and popular MUV Innova would be produced along with the small car. However, he refused to divulge how many small cars would be produced in the first year.

Toyota is also marketing its luxury car 'Camry' which is imported.

''Actually the small car is still on the drawing board. It is going to be a brand new product and not any of Toyota's compact cars which is already in the world market", he said adding it was expected to be manufactured in both diesel and petrol models.

UNI

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