India's Force Motors will set up a joint venture with the truck division of German industrial group MAN to make heavy trucks for sale in Asia.

Production for the Indian market will begin in 2006, it said, according to Reuters.

The joint venture aims at producing 24,000 vehicles a year in the medium term, Force said in a statement cited by the news agency. No exports to Europe were planned.

"We will make a truck which is optimised for the Asian markets - produced completely from local components and at the same time will be based on proven MAN-technology," Anton Weinmann, head of the truck division MAN Nutzfahrzeuge reported;y said in the statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Reuters added.