Automotive assembler Tata Motors South Africa (TMSA) plans to start exporting its vehicles to neighbouring countries in Africa.
Addressing an African media delegation, in India, Tata Motors commercial vehicles executive director Ravi Pisharody said TMSA’s Rosslyn truck plant, in Pretoria, currently only used about 55% to 60% of its capacity.
“[Therefore], there is room to start exporting,” he said, explaining, however, that the company would look at expanding the facility, which was opened in 2011, only when it was operating at full capacity.
This was not expected to occur within the next two to three years.
In the meantime, the company would add new vehicles to those currently being assembled at the plant.
The Rosslyn plant currently produces trucks of 3.5 t gross vehicle mass and above, which translates into participation in the medium, heavy and extra-heavy commercial vehicle segments.
Pisharody said the assembly of the new Tata Prima range of heavy-duty trucks would start within the next 12 months.
The company would also look to start the manufacture of commercial vehicles in the 7 t to 11 t category in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Pisharody told the delegation that Tata Motors had plans to open an assembly plant in Nigeria within the third quarter of this year.
Tata would partner with a local company that already had a facility near Lagos. The Nigerian company was also considering opening an additional facility.
“A few years from now, our biggest business will be in Nigeria,” he said.