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|24th March 2004, 16:20||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2004
New Delhi: Britain’s MG Rover group on Tuesday said it is in talks with Tata Motors and other global carmakers for a replacement for City Rover, which is sold in India as Indica, by 2007-08.
“We are looking at a replacement for the City Rover by 2007-08. It may take about 12-18 months,” Michael J Booth, head of programme (product development), MG Rover, told Business Standard at the sidelines of a press conference called to announce the signing of a technical alliance between the North-based Sonalika group and Rover.
Booth also indicated that MG Rover will soon ink a technical alliance with Malaysia’s Proton to make a new platform for passenger vehicles.
MG Rover launched the City Rover car in 400 dealerships across the UK four months back and sales have since reached about 3,000 units. The car will also be launched in other countries of western Europe in the next few weeks.
As per the deal with Tata Motors, MG Rover will source 100,000 cars from the Pune-based automaker over five years and sell it in the UK and Europe.
Booth said the car has received good response in the competitive mini-car market in UK, which comprises 6 out of every 10 cars sold. He said the outsourcing figure of 100,000 cars was “fairly conservative” but he did not say whether or not the company will revise upwards the order.
Booth said Rover has dropped plans to launch its luxury cars in India. He said the company had conducted a study of the domestic market for either assembling cars or importing fully-built units, but later dropped the plans owing to high import duties.
Apart from the Indica, Tata Motors also makes the Indigo in the country, which is based on the Indica platform. It will also launch a stationwagon version of the car later this year
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