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HM sales of CBU Montero to begin from Aug

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First quarter loss at Rs 20.5 cr

Revving up
Initiative taken to develop forge, foundry and press shop at Uttarpara plant into an auto component business.
Negotiations under way for contracts with OEMs in India and abroad.
Tie-ups for long-term contracts with four OEMs firmed up.

Kolkata , July 28

Hindustan Motors (HM) will commence sales of the CBU Montero - a high-end luxury sports utility vehicle - from the second week of August 2006.

To begin with, the company hopes to sell 20 units of the CBU Montero every month, Mr C.K. Birla, Chairman of Hindustan Motors Ltd, told newspersons after the conclusion of the company's 64th annual general meeting held here on Friday.Mr Birla said the Montero had been priced at Rs 29.70 lakh ex-showroom Delhi and sales of the vehicle were expected to pick up with time. "Last year, we were selling 15 units of the Pajero every month. Now we sell about 70 units a month. We hope sales of the Montero will follow a similar trend," he said.

Uttarpara plant

According to him, a strategic initiative has been taken to develop forge, foundry and press shop at the company's Uttarpara plant into an auto component business. Negotiations were under way for sizeable long-term contracts with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in India and abroad.

In fact, tie-ups for long-term contracts with four such OEMs had been firmed up, he said, but declined to divulge the names. It was hoped that, in the years ahead, the auto components business would emerge as a source of both revenue and profits.

He said the company was awaiting the West Bengal Government's permission for alternative use of 314 acres of land at Uttarpara. The company proposes to develop the 314 acres into infrastructure for auto components manufacturers and IT companies. The proposed integrated complex would also have a residential section. HDFC has been asked to prepare a blueprint in this regard.

During the nine-month accounting period ended March 31, 2006, HM generated a total income of Rs 441 crore and loss after taxation of Rs 43.69 crore. In the previous 15-month accounting period, the company recorded a turnover of Rs 1,255.41 crore and a profit after tax of Rs 61.19 crore. During the first quarter of the current fiscal, HM generated a turnover of Rs 141.47 crore against Rs 211.34 crore during the corresponding period of last year. During April-June 2006, HM posted a net loss of Rs 20.50 crore.

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