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Isuzu, India's Hero in talks for venture

From yahoo.reuters| April 19,2007

Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors Ltd.is in talks with India's Hero group for a venture in India, the Economic Times said on Tuesday, citing industry sources.

Isuzu, which supplies engines to several Indian auto makers, has a technical alliance with commercial vehicle maker Swaraj Mazda Ltd. for making Isuzu vehicles in India.

Japan's Sumitomo Corp. owns 41 percent in Swaraj Mazda Ltd.

The Hero group has a joint venture with Japan's Honda Motor Co. or top Indian motorcycle maker Hero Honda Motors Ltd., and is also the world's top bicycle maker. The Munjal family, which controls the Hero group, has said it was studying a four-wheeler foray in the fast-growing Indian market.

"At any given time there are 10-15 opportunities that we are looking at," Hero Corporate Services Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal told the paper.

"On the four-wheeler project we are nowhere near taking a decision," he was quoted as saying.

Annual sales of passenger vehicles are forecast to nearly double to 2 million units by 2010.

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