Tata Motors to invest Rs. 1,500 crore on new trucks, buses in FY15

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Tata Motors plans to invest up to Rs. 1,500 crore in the next financial year to develop new products and technologies for its commercial vehicle segment, which has faced a prolonged slowdown in sales.

The auto major, which saw its domestic commercial vehicle sales drop 49 per cent to 23,990 units last month, plans to use the funds to strengthen its product portfolio.

“Our capex during a year generally ranges between Rs. 1,200-1,500 crore. We plan to spend around the same amount during the next fiscal as well,” Tata Motors executive director commercial vehicles Ravi Pisharody told.

The money would be spent on developing new products, designs and technology, he added.

Mr. Pisharody ruled out investments on capacity expansion during 2014-15.

“We have enough capacity for the next five years, so there won’t be any additional investments. By investing into development of new products and technology, we want to be ready for the market when it bounces back,” he said.

As part of its plan to be future-ready with a range of products, the company had launched low-priced truck models under the ‘Prima’ brand earlier this month to tap the high-volume, multi-axle segment in the country.

The new Prima LX is about 20 per cent cheaper than the Prima range of trucks, which was launched by Tata Motors in 2009. The Prima LX range is priced between Rs. 18.5 lakh and Rs. 32.5 lakh.

The company sells this range of trucks for Rs. 23-65 lakh.

Besides, the company is looking to develop a new range of buses to cater to Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) requirements.

“We are developing new buses to cater to JNNURM demand next year. There will be requirement for new buses under the scheme so we would require new buses,” Mr. Pisharody said.

The company is also looking to launch new variants of its light commercial vehicle (LCV) Ultra during 2014-15.

“We have already launched one variant of the Ultra. We will be launching 4-5 variants of the vehicle in the next fiscal,” he said.