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SWARAJ – Swaraj Mazda and Punjab Tractors Limited – India’s original pioneer!

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The Swaraj Brand, Mazda and Punjab Tractors Ltd have been around since the beginning of the Indian Automobile scene; selling Tractors and vehicles such as Ambulances, Police carriers, Water Tankers, Buses, Trucks, and special vehicles such as Harvesters, Orchard Tractors, Tourist Buses, Rail Track Inspection Vehicles, Fork Lifts and Crane Vehicles.

Video of Swaraj Tractors

As for Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd they have a rich history:

Punjab Tractors limited was promoted by the Indian Government’s department for Industries and Commerce – PSIDC (Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation)  as one of its projects in 1970 for the manufacturing of agricultural tractors, its objective was to promote new industrial projects in the State of Punjab. Swaraj tractors conceived in 1965 by a team of dedicated engineers and scientists working at Central Mechanical Research Institute.

(http://vedyadhara.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/c/cd/MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf)

“The Unit went into production in 1974. The tractor was based on completely indigenous design and was the result of six years of design, development and field proving effort at the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), a national laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Government of India. The group of design engineers, who had developed the first model at CMERI, were later transferred to Punjab Tractors Limited to commercialise the product.”

In 1983 the Swaraj design along with its promoter Punjab Tractors Ltd who now owned Swaraj (since 1970), went into a financial collaboration with Toyokogyo Ltd, a company from Japan which was now working with PTL to manufacture light commercial vehicles; the name Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was formed.

A year on (1984) was a time for a Joint Venture (JV) which occured between Punjab Tractor Ltd, Mazda Motor Corporation (Japan) & Sumitomo Corporation (Japan). Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was renamed Swaraj Mazda  Ltd. This JV’s commercial operations began in 1986 and by 1987 the JV produced and introduced an indigenously developed bus. Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd had forged an alliance with Mazda in particular and this saw them working together in an alliance which has seen much success until 2009.

Between the years 2004 and 2009 there was a drift between Mazda and Swaraj as both companies had their own agendas – for example Swaraj were focusing on Swaraj tractors, Swaraj engines, Swaraj Automotives and Swaraj scooters, whereas Mazda were looking to focus on passenger cars.

In 2004 Mazda withdrew from its partnership with Swaraj and since then this has seen Swaraj have a couple of name changes from Swaraj Mazda to – Swaraj Buses and Trucks Ltd, this indicated an end to working with Mazda (who ceased to be a shareholder in 2005). Mazda however gave the go – ahead initially to Swaraj to continue using their name without any royalty fees till 2007.

The Mazda Motor Corporation later in 2007 also notified Swaraj to not use their name in alliance with Swaraj Enterprise and thus the company name that used to be Swaraj Mazda was now going to be called Swaraj Vehicles Ltd as agreed by the board of directors this however was contested by the other shareholders such as PTL and did not go through. Swaraj no longer used the name of Mazda in their title.

Punjab Tractors Ltd were now without their main partner and a lot of speculation surrounded the Swaraj brand, with links to a TATA take-over, this didn’t happen instead Mahindra Tractors had made a smart investment in 2008 which saw them buy all of PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj.

This investment by Mahindra saw conflict over the use of the Swaraj name with Sumitomo who had purchased a 41% controlling stake in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) from Mazda in 2005, the Sumitomo Corporation purchased PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) in 2009; Mahindra and Mahindra along with PTL took the case to court whereby Sumitomo were ordered to continue using the name for a further two years only – in 2006 Sumitomo hooked up with Isuzu motors and in 2010 Swaraj (Swaraj Mazda) became SML Isuzu Ltd this was one year before the Sumitomo Corporation were ordered to stop using the Swaraj Brand name.

Today there is speculation that TATA are looking to buy a 50% or more stake in SML Isuzu.

Here is a quote from Swaraj and Mahindra and Mahindra :

(http://www.mahindra.com/What-We-Do/Farm-Equipment/Products/Swaraj)

“The combination of Swaraj’s longstanding reputation with our cutting edge design and manufacturing has made the name Swaraj synonymous with power, reliability, and expertise.  We enjoy a market share of nearly 12 percent and a community of more than 700,000 satisfied owners in India alone.  We bring our customers excellent tractors and product support at 600 dealerships across India.  We are 2,100 dedicated, highly trained, and customer-centric employees working to bring you the best in farming equipment and customer support.

In addition to our strong presence in India, Swaraj tractors are used across the world in the US, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana.  In each region we enter, we seek to provide farmers with tractors and implements precisely suited to their agricultural conditions, helping them maximize their prosperity.”

Ravinder the CEO of M & M Ltd Swaraj Division says:

http://www.indianexporters.com/M-and-M-Ltd-Swaraj-Division-com-555662764.html

“We feel honored to get an opportunity to introduce our brand SWARAJ to you. SWARAJ was India’s first indigenously designed, developed & commercialized tractor manufactured by erstwhile Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL), a company promoted by Punjab Government. In 2007, PTL was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the world’s largest tractor manufacturers. Mahindra & Mahindra is a leading Indian business conglomerate with group revenues of $ 6.7 billion. Mahindra & Mahindra, Farm Equipment Sector, of which Swaraj brand is now the part, has the distinction of being the only Tractor Company in the world at present to have received two of the world’s top most quality prizes i.e. Japan Quality Medal and Deming prize. We have a tractor portfolio of 9 models with more than 100 variants in the range of 22 HP to 75 HP. We have a strong domestic presence with more than 0.7 million satisfied customers. Swaraj tractors, ruling the rural hinterlands for more than three decades, are synonymous with power, ruggedness & reliability. We have also expanded our presence in the overseas markets including select African and SAARC nations.”

As you can see – the Swaraj brand has a long-standing history with many companies trying their utmost to keep this brand to themselves – however Swaraj has withstood the test of time and is still continuing to operate as an Indian brand name and company which exports world-wide and to many developing countries and also America.

“In Hindi, the word “SWARAJ” means freedom from bondage – and self – rule. Since P.T.L. was the only first largest tractor project in India, moreover fully based upon Indian technology. So SWARAJ was appropriately chosen as its brand name. SWARAJ group sells its products under this same brand.

(http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fseminarprojects.com%2Fattachment.php%3Faid%3D3359&ei=Y3LFT4SCNay20QXjvJDqBQ&usg=AFQjCNHqxzY10FgMCVpZoK7l6vFSCswGKA&sig2=-fSq8w8c73kx3DKawjsQ0A)

“With more than 2 lacs of tractors and harvesters combines operating in Indians farms, SWARAJ are now well-established brand name in the country.”

(Same source as above)

The Original factory where the tractors were built by Swaraj and PTL is at S.A.S Nagar – Punjab in the City of Mohali. The factory was one of its kind in the industrial town which is 5km away from Chandigarh. The Tractor factory was the beginning of this town.

“A Tractor is a self-propelled vehicle capable of pulling a load. It is usually powered by an internal combustion engine, and is used on highways and in factories; but its greatest use is on agricultural land. Tractors can be classified according to their main functions such as farm tractors, industrial tractors and highway tractors. The farm tractor has revolutionised the mode of farming wherever it has been used. It has relieved farmers of arduous work and made great increases in production possible. Through the use of the tractor, farmers can control power that is equivalent to many horses and men. The average man is rated at 1/10HP, but when he drives a 20HP tractor across his fields – he is doing the work of 200 men. Tractors are used for a variety of purposes such as ploughing, harrowing, sowing, harvesting, pumping and transporting.”

http://vedyadhara.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/c/cd/MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf

“These tractors have contributed significantly to the green revolutions in India. Tractors are also being exported to a number of developing countries.”

It is the farmers that are the most important to the country and the alliance between Swaraj and Mahindra has seen the farmer benefit not only through the use of the tractor they purchase but also in the way they make the purchase; Mahindra Finance has been providing customized loans to farmers and as a result this has helped India; in 2004 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Syndicate Bank and Punjab Tractors Ltd (Swaraj) to provide finance to farmers who purchased Swaraj Tractors – where the bank would finance 95% of the farmers costs and the farmer would have to finance 5% themselves. This is just an example of how banks and Swaraj have been operating – there are other similar agreements between banks and Swaraj too depending on the state and banks of India.

The Swaraj tractors have certainly been effective in India and World-wide and the company will only look to grow further in the tractor and automotive industries. Swaraj has been doing much for India and its development and its operations in developing countries is helping to raise the standards of World development. To conclude Swaraj has survived through a lot and many evolutions along the way and has always adapted and evolved – it is truly one of India’s pioneers and has shown this through many decades – they will want to continue doing this throughout the future too.

I’ll leave you with the quote from one of Swaraj’s adverts : “Swaraj Tractors – Kissan Ka Power, Desh Ka Bharosa!” – Which translates to Swaraj Tractors the Farmer’s Power and the Countries’ Trust!

(http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm)

Additional Information:

“In 1974 it went into commercial production with SWARAJ 724, 26.5 bhp as its first model. During its 38 years of production, it has not only expanded its manufacturing capacity to more than 24000 tractors per annum but added more products into its manufacturing range.”

Its product range includes the following (FE – Is the vehicle specification given to denote it is a tractor/truck/lorry (tractors are under the heavy vehicle category and could also denote Fuel Economy):

Tractors:-

Swaraj 722 super                                                                  Swaraj 724 FE

Swaraj 733 FE                                                                        Swaraj 735 FE

Swaraj 744                                                                             Swaraj 834 FE                                Swaraj 855

Here’s a timeline of the key dates and what happened at these times in Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd history.

The major manufacturers of tractors in India are:

  • Escorts Ltd.
  • Mahindra and Mahindra
  • Ashok Leyland
  • Swaraj Enterprise
  • Force Motors

Special Features of Swaraj Tractors at the time of writing include:

  • Higher capacity 60 liters diesel tank
  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Ammeter
  • Lockable battery

You can visit: http://business.mapsofindia.com/automobile/heavy-vehicle/tractors.html for a full specification/features list of other non-Swaraj tractors.

You can also visit: http://www.indianmirror.com/indian-industries/tractor.html for an insight into India’s Tractor Industry.

There are still some serious issues being looked at, and to be resolved for farmers such as how to economise on fuel (through the effective way of changing gears at the right time), research has shown that many farmers spend a lot on the cost of fuel for their tractors and there is a need for support for the farmers with the help of efficiently economising their fuel consumption – research is ongoing as how best to support farmers, such as through the use of digital technology to inform the tractor driver as when to change gear. Another issue which is ongoing research at the time of writing is the dangerous vibrations being sent from the tractor to the driver and the threat it poses to the drivers head. Lastly it is important to stress the importance of farmers, tractors and agriculture, here’s a quote from the above website: “India is an agrarian economy and so mainly depends on agricultural produce. As a result, tractors play an important role in the growth of the economy itself. Tractors help farmers increase the output and in turn help the economy to grow further.”

PTL HISTORY

 

1965            Govt. of  India‘s  research institute(CMERI) at Durgapur initiates design &     development of SWARAJ tractor based  on indigenous know how.

 

1970

 

Punjab Govt. through PSIDC acquires SWARAJ tractor’s design from CMERI and establishesPunjab Tractors Ltd. (PTL) for its commercialization.

 

1971-73

 

PTL sets up SWARAJ Project for 5,000 tractors per annum at a capital outlay of Rs. 37.0 million with an equity base of Rs 11.0 million.

 

1974

 

Swaraj 724 (26.5 HP) tractor commercially introduced.

 

1975

 

2nd tractor model SWARAJ 735(39 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1978

 

3rd Tractor model SWARAJ 720 (19.5 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced. 

 

Maiden equity divided declared.

 

1980

 

Guided by social concerns and responsibility, PTL takes over PSIDC’s sick scooters unit –Punjab Scooters Ltd. (subsequently renamed as SWARAJ Automotives Ltd.)

India’s first Self propelled Harvester Combine – SWARAJ 8100 developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

SWARAJ Foundry Division set up in Backward area.

 

1981

 

Issue of maiden Bonus Shares (2:5), paid-up equity moves to Rs 15.4 million. 

 

1983

 

4th Tractor Model – SWARAJ 855 (55 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

Expansion of annual capacity to 12,000 tractors per annum at Plant 1.

 

1984

 

SWARAJ MAZDA Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Mazda Motor Corpn. & Sumitomo Corpn. Japan for manufacture of Light Commercial Vehicles. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 30.4 million (29%) and that of Mazda and Sumitomo’s Rs. 27.0 million (26%).

 

1985

 

SWARAJ Industrial Forklift Trucks developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1986

 

SWARAJ ENGINES Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd.(KOEL) for manufacture of diesel engines. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 6.9 million (33%) and that of KOEL’s Rs 3.6 million (17%). 

 

1989

 

1st Right Issue (1:1) at a premium of Rs 50/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid up equity moves to Rs 31.6 million.

 

1990

 

2nd Right Issues (1:2) at a premium of Rs 60/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid-up equity moves to Rs 50.6 million.

 

1992

 

2nd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up capital moves to Rs. 101.2 million.

 

1993

 

Annual tractor capacity expanded to 24,000 per annum at Plant 1. 

 

1995

 

Setup of tractor Plant II at Village Chappercheri with annual capacity of 12,000 per annum.

 

1996

 

3rd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up equity moves to Rs. 202.5 million.

 

1998

 

Commencement of expansion to 60,000 tractors(30,000 at each plant). Capital outlay of Rs 1000 million, funded mainly through internal accruals. 

 

1999

 

5th and 6th tractor models – SWARAJ 733 (34 HP) & SWARAJ 744 (48 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

FY 1999’s divided @ 250% was corporate India’s highest.

 

2000

 

Expansion of annual tractor capacity to 60,000 completed.

4th issue of Bonus Shares (2:1), paid up equity moves to Rs 607.6 million.

 

2001

 

PTL won National Championship trophy in competition organized by All India Management Association (AIMA) for young managers.

Economic times and Boston Consulting Group selects PTL as one of the India’s finest 10 companies out of Economic times top 500 Companies.

 

2002

 

Cumulative tractor sales crosses 5,00,000.

 

2003

 

PSIDC’s disinvestment of its entire Equity holding (23.49%) in PTL in favour of CDC Financial Services (Mauritius) Ltd. With this, total holding of CDC & its associates in PTL stands at 28.48%.

 

2004

 

7th & 8th tractor models – Swaraj 939 (41 HP) & Swarj 834 (34 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

2005

 

PTL disinvested 15,73,000 euity shares of Rs. 10/- each of Swaraj Mazda Ltd. (constituting approx. 15% of SML’s paid up capital) in favour of Sumitomo Corporation, Japan, a joint venture partner in Swaraj Mazda Ltd. at a total consideration of Rs. 629.2 million

 

2007

 

CDC/Actis Group and Burman Family’s disinvestment of their Equity holding in PTL (43.3%) in favour of Mahindra Group (M&M).

M&M made open offer to shareholders for another 20% equity of the Company.

Mahindra Group’s equity holding in the Company stands at 64.6%

Cumulative Tractor Sales cross 600,000.

Swaraj Track Type Combine designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

 

2008

 

Swaraj 3 Tonne Battery forklift, designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm

7 Responses

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  1. great informative article! thanks.

    Anonymous

    May 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm

  2. Really informative article thanks.

    Joy

    May 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    • Thanks, its really great article about PTL.

      Anonymous

      August 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm

  3. This is a great achivement by swaraj in b/w 1970-2014…

    Vishal Rana

    March 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm

  4. I own mazda swaraj T3500 4WD I wish to get information how to get spares in Kenya

    Henry Otieno

    July 30, 2014 at 7:53 am

  5. I am actually grateful to the holder of this web site who
    has shared this impressive piece of writing at at this place.

    Robert domanko

    December 19, 2015 at 8:51 am

  6. Raj

    January 7, 2016 at 12:14 am


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