HM plans software entry

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Friday, 22 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Hindustan Motors, the C K Birla flagship, has embarked upon a slew of initiatives like introduction of new variants, supply arrangements with other car makers and a foray into the software business to return to the dividend list.

Addressing shareholders at the 61st annual general meeting, Birla said new variants of Ambassador and Lancer were expected to be introduced towards the end of the current financial year. The new Lancer model would have 1.8 litre petrol engine. The company has launched “Ambassador Grand” this week.

The company’s sale of passenger cars came down to 21050 units last year from the previous year’s 23396.

Of this, nearly 3,000 Lancer cars were sold. A major portion of the demand for Ambassador continued to be from taxi and fleet operators while Lancer catered to the mid-sized premium segment.

Birla did not comment on what extent the new variants would push up sales. “It is difficult to predict numbers at the moment,” he said.

He said the company has started supply of engines and transmissions to Ford India and has entered into a similar agreement with General Motors India for its range of utility vehicles.

He expected the company would generate business of around Rs 150 crore from supply of assemblies to other companies in the next financial year.

Commenting on the software business, he said the company was in dialogue with several auto makers in USA and Europe for digitizing engineering drawings and management of design changes.

Hindustan Motors has recently set up a new division for remote services and registered it as a software technology park. The unit has 30 engineers which would be expanded once orders started flowing in.

“Since the company has adequate expertise in this areas, we are confident that this line of business will result in growth opportunities,” Birla said.

The company incurred a net loss of Rs 26.74 crore last year on sales of Rs 1074 crore. Birla presided over the meeting which was attended by all directors.

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