Hino plans to set up India manufacturing base
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Global automakers are finding the 20% plus growth in the Indian commercial vehicle market irresistible. After Volvo, Daimler, Man Truck & Buses and Scania, next big global CV brand to be seen on the Indian highways will be the Hino brand from Toyota. This will be second coming for the company after their joint venture, DCM Toyota, ended in India almost two decades ago. Hino is the largest manufacturer of heavy- and medium-duty trucks in Japan and sells over one lakh units of Hino-brand trucks and buses a year in overseas markets.
The 102-year-old Hino Motors, a Toyota Group company, is firming up plans for setting up a manufacturing base in India. Hino is into medium-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks and buses. The company did make an entry into India in 2008. Hino Motors Sales India, a 65:35 joint venture between Hino Motors Japan and Marubeni Corporation of Japan, has set up its corporate office in Mumbai. Hino imports completely-built units into India from Hino Thailand. Hino Motors has put 300 trucks on Indian roads but the Indian operations was hit because of supply constraints, first because of the Tsunami in Japan, which affected Hino's supplies globally, and yet again with the floods in Thailand in 2011, too affected imports of trucks to India. The aggregates for the CV now come from Japan and is assembled in Thailand and then exported as CBU to India, making best use of the FTA between Japan-Thailand and Thailand-India.
But, now with supplies restored, Hino Motors India is now gathering momentum and preparing for scaling up operations in India. There has been a change in the leadership at the India operations with Minoru Fujiwara taking over as managing director of Hino Motors India, about a month ago.
According to Shirish Kulkarni, dealer principal & director of DSK Toyota, the recently appointed dealer for Hino for the entire state of Maharashtra, the Hino India MD, Fujiwara has said that they will be setting up a manufacturing base in India by 2015, and they were identifying the right location to house their manufacturing operations, and were also talking to potential partners for the same. Kulkarni said his company, the R4,000-crore DSK Group, was keen on partnering with Hino with a minority stake just like the Kirloskars have in the Toyota Kirloskar JV. "We have a land bank of around 800 acres in and around Pune and we can offer land. We have expressed our interest to Hino and are awaiting their response," Kulkarni said. He reckons the investments to start off would have to be in the region of R300 crore to R500 crore for bringing in CKD units and then later start full assembly with the engine, gear box and transmission system coming from Japan.
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