Atul Auto Ltd, one of the leading three-wheeler makers in the country, is in the final stages of acquiring 50 acres of land near Bawla --- on the road between Ahmedabad and Rajkot --- for a new Rs 300 crore manufacturing unit.
"The land acquisition will be over in the next 10-15 days and we plan to begin construction of the plant in this (July-September) quarter," said Nipul Mehta, AGM, Retail Finance (Marketing) of the Rajkot-based company that manufacturers Gem and Shakti brands of three-wheelers (both passenger and commercial) at their maiden unit in Rajkot.
The new unit near Ahmedabad will have a annual capacity to churn out 60,000 units that will help the country's fourth largest three-wheeler maker compete with bigger rivals like Bajaj Auto and Piaggio Vehicles India Pvt Ltd.
The company is acquiring the land directly from the farmers at Bavla which is located about 30 kilometers from Ahmedabad and 17 kilometers from the auto-hub of Sanand.
"We will be investing between Rs 250-300 crore in this plant and it will mostly manufacture petrol, CNG and LPG variants of three-wheelers," Mehta told The Indian Express on the sidelines of an event where it inked a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Corporation Bank for financing commercial vehicles of the company across the country.
Stressing that Atul Auto was a "debt-free organisation", the official said that company was also in talks with possible foreign partners for the project. The company that exported about 1600 units in the 2013-14 fiscal will be looking to use the upcoming plant near Ahmedabad for exports.
"At a time when auto companies have registered a de-growth that is as high as 36 percent, we have been able to grow at 12 percent selling over 37,000 units in 2013-14. We have targetted to sell 45,000 units in the current fiscal," Mehta added.