Hindustan Motors (HM) may manufacture electric two-wheelers by 2023, a senior official said, as it hopes to set up a new joint venture with a European partner. She said that she may consider making an electric four wheeler later. The financial due diligence of both the companies will start in July, which will take two months.
Hindustan Motors director Uttam Bose said after that the technical aspects of the joint venture will be looked into and it will take another month. “Only then, the structuring of investment (will be decided) and formation of the new company, and it is expected to be completed by February 15,” he said.
Bose said that after the formation of the new entity, two more quarters would be required to start the pilot run of the project, adding that the final product is likely to be launched by the end of the next financial year. “After two years of commercialization of the two-wheeler project, a decision on manufacturing of four-wheeler EVs will be taken,” a top company official said.
Bose also said that its Uttarpara plant will have to be retro-fitted, as some control systems need to be replaced with electronic hardware and software. He said HM was the only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the country to have its own forging, foundry and paint shop as well as assembly and welding shop, making the Uttarpara facility a fully integrated automobile plant.
However, the company closed the plant in 2014 due to lack of demand for ‘Ambassador’ cars, and later sold the coveted brand to French auto maker Peugeot for a recovery of Rs 80 crore. It has also sold its luxury car brand ‘Contessa’ to SG Mobility.
The West Bengal government had allowed HM to sell around 314 acres of land at the Uttarpara plant for alternative use, following which the parcel was sold to a real estate developer. “Hindustan Motors is now profitable and completely debt free company,” Bose said.
With the current strength of around 300 employees, Bose said people would be selected for the new project as per suitability. He said that when commercial production starts, about 400 people will get employment in this project.
(with inputs from PTI)