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Malaysia's Naza Automotive may set up plant in TN

V Keshavdev & Kausik Datta  |  Mumbai 

Malaysia's leading car company, Naza Automotive Manufacturing Sdn BHd, is all set to hit Indian shores.
Top representatives of the automobile company, which manufactures the Sutera brand of mini-car, and is also into assembly of other makes and models of vehicles, will meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in Chennai tomorrow. The company plans to set up an assembly unit in Tamil Nadu.
Sutera, which competes with Proton in the Malaysian market, is a 5-door hatchback about the same size as the Proton Savvy. The car retails around RM 35,998 (Rs 4.5 lakh) in Malaysia.
If launched in India, the Sutera is likely to be pitted against the likes of Santro and Wagon-R in the B segment.
Sources close to the development said the Malaysian company would discuss the possibility of getting land from the state government for an assembly unit.
Malaysian Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu will be a part of the delegation, which would include Naza group of Chairman SM Nasimuddin.
Samy Vellu will also deliver a paper tomorrow on "Sharing Experience Among Smart Partners: India and Malaysia" at the Infratech 2006 Conference organised by the Indian Institute of Technology and Madras-Chennai All India Manufacturers' Organisation and co-sponsored by IJM Corporation Bhd.
The minister's delegation will include senior ministry officials. The foreign minister will also discuss other investment projects such as in the construction sector with Karunanidhi.
Naza has plans to assemble about 30,000 Suteras a year, with plans to sell them everywhere from Malaysia to Malta, Cyprus, India, Brunei, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, and interestingly, the United Kingdom. Naza also assembles re-badged Kia Carens and Carnival models.
Naza was also looking to sign agreements with some importers from the UK, India, Pakistan and some Asean countries to export the Naza NX-01 to their countries.

First Published: Thu, August 17 2006. 00:00 IST