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Tata Motors developing vehicles for defence sector

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The Armoured Personnel Carrier (MPV) developed by Tata Motors.

JAMSHEDPUR (PTI): Leading auto manufacturer Tata Motors is in the process of developing vehicles for the defence sector, which are capable of carrying weapons.

"We have successfully tested the vehicles meant for defence sector. We only need some time to complete more tests required for standard and quality," A B Lall, plant head of the Jamshedpur unit of Tata Motors, said Wednesday.

"We are in the process of producing different variants of the vehicle, capable of carrying weapons and travelling in deserts," he claimed.

Asked whether the company had bagged any orders from the defence sector for such vehicles, Lall told reporters that some orders were in the pipeline.

He said Tata Motors has been supplying vehicles to the defence sector for long, but the models were mainly troop carriers and that the company has bagged an order for around 585 units of its 'Minusma' vehicle from the United Nations as part of its support mission in East and North Africa.

"We have already delivered some units and the process of delivering the rest is on," Lall said.

Tata Motors was celebrating 60 years of truck manufacturing at its first manufacturing and engineering facility in Jamshedpur, set up in 1945. The company began with manufacturing steam locomotives, later foraying into trucks.

Currently, the facility assembles over 200 Medium and Heavy Commercial (M&HCV) models for varied movement of equipment, raw materials, goods and services.

Referring to the scenario in the auto segment, Lall admitted there was improvement in market sentiments and demand for commercial vehicles had enhanced, but not to the company's expectations.

"We have witnessed 40 per cent improvement compared to the market scenario in November last year," he said, expressing hope that the market would revive in the current fiscal.

"We are producing 270 to 280 vehicle units (different variants) in our capacity of 480 vehicles per day," he said.

Hailing the performance of the Prima series, which were in good demand in overseas market including Russia, ASEAN and middle east countries, the Tata Motors executive said the company plans to launch 20 new variants of the Prima truck series in the current fiscal.

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