Tata Motors, India's largest auto maker, has put on hold plans to set up a greenfield plant in the south east Asian region for lack of a sizeable demand, according to reports.
Last year the Mumbai-based company said that is was considering a new assembly plant worth about THB 10 billion (Rs 1,800 crore) in either Thailand or Indonesia. This plant could have had a capacity to produce 50,000-60,000 units per annum.
Karl Slym, managing director, Tata Motors, said, "Our sales should amount to at least 20,000 units per year to be worth investment in the new assembly plant's construction". Slym was speaking to reporters at a conference held in Thailand.
During last financial year ended March 31, Tata Motors (Thailand) reported sales of 4,597 units, a minor increase from 4,586 sold in the year previous to last. The company majorly sells the pick-up range in the Thai market.
Tata Motors also has a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive in Thailand and would now focus on the export plans from this plant.
"The company now says it would rather focus on kicking off its export plan out of its Samut Prakan assembly plant, which is a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Co. The Thai unit expects sales growth of 10% this year, boosted by the healthy Thai economy and a plan to kick off exports to Malaysia in the second half", said a report in Bangkok Post.
Tata Motors also plans to expand annual production capacity to 9,000 vehicles from 8,000 adding 250 employees to its current 450, the report added.
The company also intends to add Thailand to the list of international markets for the Nano after Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Nano could be launched in the Thai market in the third quarter this year with changed specifications suited for the Thai market, stated the report.