October 27, 2005

Toyota and Infy say Bangalore.out

Eyes other states for 2nd plant
By Byas Anand/TNN

Tokyo: You saw the infrastructure woes. Now see this: Karnataka’s showpiece auto investor, Toyota, is seriously thinking beyond Bangalore for its second plant for the small-car project. If Toyota walks out, Karnataka will lose a whopping investment of Rs 800 crore and the multiplier effect in the local economy.
   “The infrastructure in the state has not developed the way we had expected it to. We have expressed our concern to the state government,’’ Toyota executives said.
   The carmaker is in talks with several states to work out the sops and other modalities for this second plant. “We are very close to finalising our decision. Though we do have the option of expanding the current facility in Bidadi (near Bangalore) to set up the small car production lines, we are also actively looking at setting up a new venture altogether in a different state,” Toyota Motor Corp officials involved with the India project told The Times of India.
   Toyota Motor Corp president Katsuaki Watanabe, when contacted, said the new project — which will mark Toyota’s third model roll-out in India — is still under development and a decision on the matter will be taken shortly. The firm will be involving its compact car making arm Daihatsu in the new venture. “The equity sharing details are yet to be worked out and we are planning to use one of the existing platform from our stables to develop this new model specially for India,” an official said.
   “I cannot fix a timeframe on the third model project but this venture will surely mark our entry into the volume car business in India,” Watanabe said.
   (The correspondent was in Tokyo at the invitation of Toyota)
Andhra opens door for Infy
By K V Ramana/TNN
Hyderabad: With the row between N R Narayana Murthy and Deve Gowda escalating, the Andhra government has moved into top gear to woo Infosys to Hyderabad. The IT major already has a campus in Hyderabad’s hi-tech district Cyberabad, but the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government is offering it land for a second. “Hyderabad is willing to host a larger Infosys facility,’’ a senior AP government official said.
   IT minister Sabita Indra Reddy said an Infosys team has already met Rajasekhara Reddy and sought about 100 acres of land. “We have agreed,” the minister confirmed. An announcement is expected within “ten days,” sources said.
   This possibility comes barely two days after Wipro signed a deal with the AP government to set up its second software development centre in Hyderabad “within 12 months”. Wipro has been allotted 100 acres of land at below-market prices.
   An AP government team is likely to be active in Bangalore’s annual four-day IT event, BangaloreIT.in, this week to win Infosys and other companies fed up with the collapsing infrastructure in the Garden City. “We (AP) are hosting a dinner at the BangaloreIT.in on October 26. We will definitely have something to celebrate after that,” a senior official confided.
   The land will be offered to Infosys at Maheswaram in the new 2,500-acre IT park-cum-special economic zone proposed near the being-built Shamshabad airport. In fact, Infosys would be offered ‘an anchor client’ status around which the IT ecosystem would be developed in the Shamshabad park.

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