Mitsui OSK Lines has chosen an uncertain Indian market to establish a new finished vehicles logistics company in response to what it perceives as an overall increase in car production in the country.
Called MOL Auto Logistics (India), the new service, which is based at the Port of Chennai, will provide road-based inland transport and export-related port services.
“Utilising know-how of inland transport of completed cars accumulated in Thailand, China and Indonesia, the new company will provide a range of safe and reliable transport services,” stated the company.
However, the announcement comes at a tentative time for carmakers in the region. While Hyundai Motor India, the country’s second largest carmaker and main exporter, is slowing production following November’s 23 per cent drop in vehicle sales, BMW India Private is reporting 100 per cent sales growth. Based on this performance the company is planning to strengthen its dealer network in 2009 by moving into markets including Bhubaneshwar further north along the west coast, Ludhiana in Punjab, and Jaipur in Rajasthan. But the company has no plans to export its vehicles, concentrating instead on building a secure base in the indigenous market.
Currently, state-owned Chennai and Mumbai are the only ports in India handling vehicle exports. The Port of Mundra has recently signed an agreement with Japan's NYK Line and WWL to develop a dedicated automobile terminal at the west coast hub.