After Tata Motors, West Bengal is on track to house two other leading automobile manufacturers — Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland. While talks with M&M is at an advanced stage, Ashok Leyland is learnt to be keen to set up shop in Kolkata, 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 nor what kind of vehicles M&M will roll out in the state.
On the other hand, Bhattacharjee said that Ashok Leyland is also keen to set up an unit in Kolkata. "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 is 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.