Atul Auto Ltd, one of the leading three-wheeler makers in the country, is in the final stages of acquiring 50 acres of land near Bawla — on the road between Ahmedabad and Rajkot — for a new Rs 300 crore manufacturing unit.
“The land acquisition will be over in the next 10-15 days and we plan to begin construction of the plant in this (July-September) quarter,” said Nipul Mehta, AGM, Retail Finance (Marketing) of the Rajkot-based company that manufacturers Gem and Shakti brands of three-wheelers (both passenger and commercial) at their maiden unit in Rajkot.
The new unit near Ahmedabad will have a annual capacity to churn out 60,000 units that will help the country’s fourth largest three-wheeler maker compete with bigger rivals like Bajaj Auto and Piaggio Vehicles India Pvt Ltd.
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The company is acquiring the land directly from the farmers at Bavla which is located about 30 kilometers from Ahmedabad and 17 kilometers from the auto-hub of Sanand.
“We will be investing between Rs 250-300 crore in this plant and it will mostly manufacture petrol, CNG and LPG variants of three-wheelers,” Mehta told The Indian Express on the sidelines of an event where it inked a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Corporation Bank for financing commercial vehicles of the company across the country.
Stressing that Atul Auto was a “debt-free organisation”, the official said that company was also in talks with possible foreign partners for the project. The company that exported about 1600 units in the 2013-14 fiscal will be looking to use the upcoming plant near Ahmedabad for exports.
“At a time when auto companies have registered a de-growth that is as high as 36 percent, we have been able to grow at 12 percent selling over 37,000 units in 2013-14. We have targetted to sell 45,000 units in the current fiscal,” Mehta added.