Tata Motors said on Wednesday that it would set up a greenfield plant in Uttaranchal to manufacture its highly popular new mini-truck, Ace, amid growing demand for the new vehicle which is expected to touch sales target of 100,000 in the current fiscal.
"Ace was launched in May 2005 and had achieved a sales of 30,000 vehicles in 10 months last fiscal amid highly positive response from the market and now we have a sales target of 100,000 vehicles in the current year," Prem Verma, head of sales and marketing of Tata Motors said.
He said that the company has already decided to set up a new plant for manufacturing Ace in view of its growing demand and the Uttaranchal government has decided to allot required land to Tata Motors for the purpose.
To a query that since the new plant would take some time to be set up how the company was going to achieve sales target with its existing production capacity he said that they could stretch the capacity of the pune plant for Ace.
"We can stretch the capacity at Pune to 7000 - 7,500 vehicles per month to meet the demand from the market," Varma, who was here to launch Ace in eastern region, said.
Tata Motors has initially launched the Ace with a 30,000 per annum capacity production line at Pune but seeing the tremendous demand from the market the company has already doubled the capacity to 60,000 per annum.
This is the second greenfield project announced by Tata Motors in the last three months. In May the company chairman Ratan Tata had announced that a new plant would be set up in West Bengal to manufacture the ambitious Rs one lakh "people's car" which would start production by 2008.
Verma said that Ace, which is the only sub-1 tonne four-wheeled mini-truck, has received tremendous response in the southern and western parts of the country which has since now been dominated by the large three-wheeled vehicles.
"Ace has actually created a totally new market for itself which would make dent into the 1.75 lakh vehicles per annum market of large three-wheeler good cariers," he said.
He further said that the indigenously-developed vehicle has been specially designed to meet the last-mile delivery problems in the changing economic scenario.
Tata Motors has already developed several applications of Ace, such as water tanker, delivery van, box-type, garbage tipper, d'siltman (for desilting underground drainage and dumper placer).
The company also has plans for develop a new variant of Ace to work as passenger vehicle in near future, he said.
In a bid to test the export potential of Ace, the company has just started exporting it to Sri Lanka and, "if the response is good then it would be marketed to other countries as well," he said.