NEW DELHI - Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co., India's biggest truckmaker, reported a net loss of 544.7 million rupees, or about $13 million at current exchange rates, in its fiscal first half, which ended Sept. 30.
Revenue slid 29.5 percent to $646 million.
Telco said the net loss, which compared with a profit of
$53 million a year earlier, reflected the slowing of India's economy, which has curtailed demand for commercial vehicles sharply.
Domestic sales fell 37 percent from a year earlier to 48,572 units, while exports dropped 35 percent to 4,652. Production was slashed 42.5 percent to 52,390 units.
Telco's long-awaited small car, the Indica, is scheduled to go on sale this month, and many analysts here expect it to prop up the company's earnings performance. But in a research report, investment firm Morgan Stanley cautions that Telco 'will not be able to escape the specter of low returns (on small cars) that are an industrywide phenomenon.'
NEW DELHI - General Motors has launched a turbodiesel Opel Astra here to compete with diesel versions of the Ford Escort and the Mitsubishi Lancer.
GM priced the diesel version at 867,000 rupees, or about $20,640 at current exchange rates. That is a premium of about $2,000 over the gasoline version.
Diesel fuel is the fuel of choice in India because government subsidies make it as much as $3 a gallon cheaper than gasoline, yet no foreign carmaker offered a diesel option until Ford introduced one on the Escort earlier this year.
More than 80 percent of Escort sales are now diesel.
NEW DELHI - Mando Machinery Corp. of South Korea has joined with the Anand Group to set up a joint venture, Mando Brake Systems India Ltd. Each company has a 50 percent interest in the new company. The venture, located near Chennai, will supply its entire production of 120,000 brake systems a year to Hyundai Motor Co.'s Chennai assembly plant, which produces the Santro small car.
NEW DELHI - Mercedes Benz India Ltd. has introduced a 15-seat passenger coach with a price tag of $38,000. Built by its Korean partner, SsangYong Motor Co., the Mercedes van is aimed at corporate fleets, tour operators, hotels and affluent individuals. It is powered by a 2.9-liter, five-cylinder diesel engine.