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Tata-Fiat JV to make pick-up trucks

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Vehicle maker Tata Motors today said it had formed a new joint venture with Italy's Fiat to make pick-up trucks in Argentina with an investment of about $80 million.
The new vehicle will be based on the new-generation Tata pick-up but sold under the Fiat brand. It will be made at Fiat's plant in Cordoba in Argentina.
Production will begin in 2008 with an initial annual capacity of around 20,000 units.
The trucks would be sold in South and Central America and select European markets through Fiat's networks.
"Tata Motors considers Latin America as an important market and we hope this would augur well for a truly global partnership across markets and business segments," Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata said.
Tata Motors also signed a memorandum of understanding with Fiat's commercial vehicle arm, Iveco, to examine the feasibility of cooperating across markets in areas such as engineering, manufacturing, sourcing, distribution and component manufacture for commercial vehicles.
The two may look at markets such as Latin America, South Africa, India and China.
"In principle, we would look at both, the Iveco and Tata brands ... all options are on the table," said Paolo Monferino, chief executive of Iveco, adding that the two will take a decision after three months.
Iveco had earlier partnered Chennai-based commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland, but the partnership fell apart.
"We wanted to be more than just a financial partner in the venture," Monferino said.
The Tata Motors stock today fell 1.6 per cent to Rs 851.90 in a weak Mumbai market.
Tata and Fiat already have a deal to make more than 100,000 cars and 200,000 engines and transmissions in India from 2008 onwards with an investment of more than $877 million.
Fiat is also cooperating with Tata Motors on the Indian firm's cheap small car, which is slated for launch in 2008.
"It is their car, their project ... our cooperation is limited to advice on engineering and development," said Alfredo Altavilla, a senior vice president of Fiat.


First Published: Thu, February 15 2007. 00:00 IST