Tata Launches Locally Made Pick Up Truck in Thailand

The new one-ton model is called Xenon.

India's biggest automaker Tata Motors unveiled Feb. 28 the first pick ups made from its new Thai plant, vowing to claim a toehold in the world's biggest producer of light trucks.

The one-ton model is called Xenon. The company says the trucks' engines consume less fuel and produce fewer carbon emissions that rival pick ups. "Tata used the latest technology to develop and produce Xenon to answer the need of Thai customers and the Thai market. It is strong in structure, safety and stability," Kant said.

Tata invested 1.3 billion baht (US $40.26 million) to make the Xenon in Thailand under a new local subsidiary that plans to manufacture 12,500 units a year. Tata's managing director Ravi Kant said that Thailand is an ideal hub for automakers because the kingdom offers strong support to the auto industry and already churns out 900,000 one-ton trucks every year -- about three-fourths of global output.

"Our product is not made from India. It is created for Thailand, produced in Thailand and for Thai customers. We are going to stay here," he pledged.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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