Glass maker Asahi India will set up its third plant in the southern city of Madras at a cost of over 500 million rupees ($US11 million) to sell to vehicle firms in the region and the export market, according to a Reuters news agency report.

Reuters, citing an Asahi statement, said the new plant will have an initial capacity to make over 500,000 laminated windscreens a year and push up its automotive glass capacity to over 1.7 million when it is commissioned in October 2004.

The project, funded through internal accruals, will supply to south India-based vehicle firms, Hyundai, Ford, Hindustan Motors' [Mitsubishi] Lancer project, Toyota Kirloskar, Volvo and the export market, the report added.

Reuters noted that Asahi India Glass Ltd is 24% owned by Japan's Asahi Glass and is [India's] biggest maker of automotive safety glass.

Asahi India has an existing automotive windscreen plant in Rewari in Haryana and a plant to make floatglass, used by the construction industry, in Maharashtra, the report said.

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