Tata kick-starts export plan

Tata kick-starts export plan

Tata Motors Ltd, India's biggest car maker, expects sales growth of 10% this year, boosted by the healthy Thai economy and the company's plans to kick off exports this year.

Sanjay Mishra, the new chief executive, said the firm plans its first shipment to Malaysia in the second half.

Tata Motors is also studying shipping vehicles from its Samut Prakan assembly plant, which is a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co, to neighbouring countries, he said.

Mr Mishra replaced Ajit Venkataraman, who had been in Thailand since 2008. The appointment took effect this month.

Mr Mishra has 21 years of experience with Tata Motors, recently as head of sales and marketing in southern India, which recorded annual sales of 150,000 units.

For fiscal 2012 ended March 31, Tata Motors (Thailand) reported sales of 4,597 units, a slight increase from 4,586 units in 2011.

The company's accumulated sales totalled about 20,000 units.

To accommodate exports, Tata Motors plans to expand annual production capacity to 9,000 units from 8,000, while adding 250 employees to its current 450 workers.

The company will build 12 more showrooms and service centres for a total of 60 nationwide by next March 2014 to support domestic sales.

Six Tata models are available in Thailand, with both diesel and compressed natural gas engines.

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