After Tata Motors, West Bengal is on track to housing two other leading automobile manufacturers—Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland. While talks with M&M are at an advanced stage, Ashok Leyland is also learnt to be keen to set up shop here, according to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Bhattacharjee, who on Saturday unveiled the first two-wheeler manufactured by the home-grown Xenitis Group, said that M&M has already partnered with a local company to enter into a joint venture agreement. The new outfit has conducted a market survey, which has been encouraging. However, Bhattacharjee did not mention the name of the local firm or the kind of vehicles M&M plans to roll out in the state.
On the other hand, Bhattacharjee said that Ashok Leyland was also keen to set up an unit here. “Their finance head met me recently and the Hindujas (promoters of Ashok Leyland) have talked to me on the issue,” Bhattacharjee said.
He added that the units will come up at Haldia for which identification of land was currently on. “Only passenger cars won’t do. We need bigger vehicles as well. We will ensure that a new horizon in automobile manufacturing opens up in the state,” he said.