Intl Tractors Ties Up With Rover To Produce MUVs

New Delhi, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
International Tractors Ltd, makers of Sonalika tractors, entered into technical alliances with British automaker MG Rover and engine manufacturer Powertrain to produce multi-utility vehicles (MUVs) and diesel engine components, respectively, in a green-field facility in Himachal Pradesh.

The proposed MUV would hit the market next year and would be manufactured with MG Rover contributing to its design and finish, besides engineering capabilities, the companys corporate-head, product development, Michael J Booth told newspersons here on Monday.

The MUVs will be manufactured under the banner of a newly formed company, International Cars and Motors Ltd, while the badging will be decided in consultation with Rover. The MG Rover group is UKs seventh largest company by turnover and markets cars that carry the MG and Rover brands.

Our multi-utility/sports utility vehicle will hit the road by next year. We will also start making diesel engine components under licence from Powertrain and make components for its CRDi (common rail direct injection) engines, International Cars and Motors Ltd (ICML) chairman LD Mittal said.

Powertrain Ltd, which manufactures a range of petrol engines from 1.1 to 2.5 litre, and 2-litre diesel engines, plans to manufacture 50,000 CRDi engines in the first full year (2006). These engines would meet the Euro 4 requirements. The 2-litre CRDi engines developed by the UK company will also be used in the MUV.

Both MG Rover and Powertrain are part of Phoenix Venture Holdings of UK.

ICML will manufacture 24,000 units of MUVs in the first phase on an initial investment of Rs 200 crore at Una which also includes manufacturing engine components and a six speed gear box.

While declining to divulge the price of the vehicle, Mr Mittal said the HP government has provided a number of tax incentives, including exemption of 24 per cent duty on SUVs, the benefit of which would be passed on to the customer. He also said that the MUV may be exported to UK and Europe under a tie-up with Rover, and that the alliance may develop further.