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'We expect 15-20% of mkt in 5 years'

Q&A: 'Dee' Kapur, President, Navistar Truck Group

Swaraj Baggonkar  |  Mumbai 


Mahindra & Mahindra today showcased its 25-tonne and 31-tonne trucks for the Indian market, which it jointly built with its American partner, Navistar Truck Group. M&M is targeting to be the leader in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment, currently dominated by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. DEEPAK T (‘DEE’) KAPUR, president, Navistar Truck Group, USA, spoke to Swaraj Baggonkar. Edited excerpts:

What market share are you targeting, considering that Navistar is an unknown name here?
The Indian CV market is dominated by just two manufacturers. Between them (Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland), in the medium and heavy sector, they control 90 per cent of the market. We are in this for the long haul. If we don’t get 15-20 per cent of the market in three to five years, when we will have our full range into it, then we would be disappointed.

What would be the size of the M&HCV market in India then?
It should be anywhere north of more than 300,000 units per annum. (It was 183,000 in the last financial year for the segment, down from 274,000 in the previous year to that).

Are you bullish about the Indian CV market?

India is building more than seven km of roads every day. When that is the kind of growth in development of good roads, then demand for CVs is going to be strong. If the government continues to focus on infrastructure, then demand for large CVs will continue to rise, too.

Your component sourcing plans from India will be done only for your US operation or other plants also?
So long as design meets the requirements, we will look anywhere for the supply. So, not only North America but also Brazil, South Africa, as well as China, can be looked at. We have added a new range of suppliers to our list and are not restricted to vendors who only supply to Mahindra.

When are you launching buses in India?
We are building a new line of buses. The buses we have currently are inter-city and there is a new range we will look at which will address intra-city luxury travel. We will launch the next range (of buses) after a year.

How many variants of trucks are you launching?
These are different load specifications, with functional distinctions from 16-49 tonne. We will launch seven variants over the course of 12 months. We will also bring new engines from our line-up, based on market requirements, to India.

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First Published: Tue, January 05 2010. 00:20 IST