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Saturday, 27 May 2006 06:09

Dell to make Google PCs in India

ImageDell is to make PCs integrated with Google desktop and internet features in a new manufacturing plant in India. Dell’s Indian manufacturing plant, will be operational by the end of 2006 according to Paul-Henri Ferrand, Vice-President and General Manager South Asia, Dell Asia. The location for the new manufacturing plant is expected to be announced in a few weeks.

The facility would be Dell's fourth in the Asia-Pacific region, after two in China and one in Penang, Malaysia.

A source close to the company, said that he expects PCs from the plant to incorporate the recently announced features from Google that will be included in Dell PCs under a $1 billion, three-year deal between the two companies. "Whenever Dell makes any products it always integrates the latest icons/features and it will be the same when it manufactures here," the source said.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Dell had agreed to pre-install Google desktop on its PCs, which would also ship with a default browser home page sponsored by both companies. The agreement is widely viewed as an aggressive nove by Google that threatens to put a crack in Microsoft's desktop dominance.

Dell's Ferrand said that Dell aims to become the top ranking computer brand in India and increasing its revenue growth in the country. He said that its full fledged manufacturing plant would enable it to pass on any cost benefits to consumers.

“Discussions are on with various States representatives and many have expressed interest in having Dell's manufacturing facility in their states," said Ferrand.

"The new plant, which would initially focus on desktops, would allow us to provide better delivery time and facilitate better customer experience. Currently, delivery time is about 12 days and that could get reduced to 3-5 days once we start manufacturing here," Ferrand said.

Apart from this, there would also be a cost reduction due to logistics and tax incentives. The manufacturing plant in India would be a key element in the company's strategy to become the number one brand in India in the next few years, he added.

The company is currently ranked number four in India with an overall market share of five per cent. "In the last four quarters our revenues in India grew 40% to $270 million," Ferrand said.

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