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HMT in talks with Japanese co for rural multi-utility vehicle

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The Minister of State for Heavy Industries, Mr Santosh Mohan Dev, with Mr M.S. Zahed, CMD, HMT Ltd (left), at the launch of `Yuva' tractor in the Capital on Friday.— Ramesh Sharma

New Delhi , July 29

HMT Ltd is in talks with a Japanese automobile manufacturer for technology to manufacture rural multi-utility vehicle.

The vehicle will combine the features of a tractor for ploughing the land as well as a family transport vehicle with covered top to enable the farmer to travel by road with his acquaintances, the Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Mr Santosh Mohan Dev, said here on Friday while launching the latest tractor model from the HMT stable, Yuva.

The Minister as well as the Chairman and Managing Director of HMT, Mr M.S. Zahed, however, declined to name the Japanese company with which discussions are going on.

The Yuva tractors are developed indigenously with powers varying between 25 HP to 75 HP.

"The 75 HP model also has a turbo charge engine that the company has developed indigenously," Mr Zahed said.

He said, "we had a plan to price the tractor at Rs 1.6 lakh. But solely because of the spurt in steel prices, we have to price it at Rs 1.85 lakh," Mr Zahed said.

He said currently the company is investing around three per cent of its total turnover into research and development works.

"We are undertaking a lot of R&D activities. We are trying to develop a high-speed five-axis mechanisation centre," he said.

Mr Zahed said the introduction of new products and technology is an ongoing process in a business and the company would now focus on machine tools, bearings, watches and tractors.

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