TELCO's Indica will soon rollout to Malta in Southern Europe. This will be Indica's first export order.
TELCO is India's largest medium/heavy commercial vehicles (M/HCV) (65% market share in September 1999) and light commercial vehicles (LCV) (63% market share) manufacturer. It also manufactures utility vehicles (28% market share) and passenger cars (7% market share).
According to a report in a leading financial daily, TELCO has contracted to supply 500 units of Indica's diesel version model to Malta at a price of US$ 5,500. This is at a 25% discount to the domestic market. This is the first instance of a private sector Indian auto company exporting to Europe. According to sources, Indica received positive response from U.K. and Malta, the two countries where the company had sent its cars for trials.
Indica's export order to a European location implies that there is demand for an Indian car in the European market. However, this would imply that the Indica that was sent on trial was of superior quality than the ones being driven on Indian roads. The Indicas plying on Indian roads were rated poorly by the J D Powers auto survey. Even TELCO had acknowledged the issues raised in the survey.
Nevertheless, it is a positive development for the company. Domestic Indica sales have shown an upswing in November 1999 posting the highest ever monthly sales at 5,214 units, a 10% rise over October 1999.
Apart from the Indica, Matiz (Daewoo) is currently being exported to Egypt and Europe. Other auto companies like Fiat, Honda and Suzuki have also chalked out ambitious plans to use India as a base for exports.
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