By APA Bureau:
The Ahmedabad and Sanand regions in Gujarat are converging into a major automotive hub in India. Car manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Ford India, and two-wheeler companies Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India have big production facilities in Gujarat. Still the region lacks component suppliers, adequate logistics and supply chain ecosystem to match the planned production capacities and rate of automotive industrial development.
In a bid to create a robust supply chain and an independent ecosystem in Gujarat, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) organised recently a `Value Chain Summit’ in Ahmedabad. The main objective of the two-day event was to connect the OEMs and suppliers who are already present in the state and also those who want to come to Gujarat.
About 200 suppliers from across India and top leaders of OEMs in Gujarat participated in the event which also served as a platform for the new Tier-1 suppliers from outside Gujarat
From the value chain perspective, the event attempted to bring the Tier-2 suppliers who are present and those not present in Gujarat to understand the opportunities. Accordingly, the exhibition was classified in to five zones: Tier-1 companies present in Gujarat; Tier-1 companies that are willing to set up shop in the State; Tier-2 companies present there; Tier-2 companies that are looking for creating manufacturing facilities; and a special zone for service providers of land, labour etc. The event also addressed issues like lack of logistics and skilled labour.
Nirmal Minda, President ACMA, told AutoParts Asia, “The first of its kind, the ACMA Value Chain Summit concluded on a promising note for the future of automotive industry in Gujarat. The summit witnessed top leaders from OEMs, component manufacturers and government officials, committing to build a robust automotive ecosystem in the state. The participants showcased latest products and technologies, projecting great potential of the Indian auto component industry.”
Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, said, “The ACMA Value Chain Summit in Gandhinagar was a big success. Many evinced interest in setting up manufacturing plants in Gujarat to supply components to the major automotive manufacturers with some of them exporting to international markets. ACMA Value Chain Summit could create business opportunities for the auto component manufacturers and help build a forum for dialogue between the government and industry.”
Minda said vehicle sales in India have grown more than 15 percent from 25.3 million to 29 million units last year. Growth has been in all segments of the industry; therefore, the component industry cannot lag behind with a growth of 17 percent. While Gujarat has been successful in attracting investments from leading vehicle manufacturers, the auto component base in the state is still wanting. “We are far behind in investments for Tier-2 component manufacturers. In this context and because of the request of some of our major OEMs we are bringing to you for the first time this unique joint event between the OEM and the auto component industry – ‘The ACMA Value Chain Summit.’ This summit is to create a forum which will enable auto component investment pull in the state and create a robust automotive ecosystem that will include Tier-2 and, most importantly, connect Tier-1 with Tier-2.” A robust ecosystem cannot be put in place without the presence of support services. He requested the Chief Minister, who inaugurated the event, to create a joint forum of vehicle manufacturers in the state and ACMA, together with the related government departments, which could periodically review the state of the industry and resolve issues that crop up.
Minoru Kato, president and CEO, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, said the Indian auto sector has come of age as both OEMs and component manufacturers have played an effective role in contributing to this growth. However, in this era of personalised customer expectations, “we shoulder a greater responsibility to sustain this growth momentum. To meet Indian industry’s expanding demands, OEMs are coming up with modernised factories near to their customers. Gujarat has set an example by creating a business-conducive environment to match with its investor-friendly policies, fast-track approvals and excellent infrastructure coupled with power availability.”
Anurag Mehrotra, President and Managing Director, Ford India, said the company started the journey in Chennai and then set up a world-class facility in Sanand. “Today, we have 18 suppliers on site in Sanand to support first-rate manufacturing. Ford procures over 45 percent of auto parts from within the state. It is with pride I say that we are delivering products from here to 50 markets including mature markets like Europe. The Sanand engine plant is the lead global manufacturer for a new family of engines.”
Thomas Flack, chief procurement officer, Tata Motors, said, “Gujarat has been very good to the Tata Group and now we are starting to be good to Gujarat. Tata Motors has the largest supply base in India, by the number of suppliers. But that’s not a strategy, so we decided to change. We looked at how to change our manufacturing and product development processes. Everything we do now is really on-boarding of suppliers, strategic partnerships and bringing those who have full service capabilities into our fold to help us design what is right for our customers. We changed our marketing, sales and dealer strategies; changed everything in the company. Now the company has completely turned around, creating products and volume. Our Gujarat plant is full; now we need more capacity, more people, and stable labour. We want to make this one of our benchmark plants. We are very proud of what we have done here and the products we have created. But a new problem has cropped up. We have an entire range of brand new products coming in, with not enough plants to put them in. However, Tata is always there to solve such issues. We expect the same sort of inspiration from our suppliers. These are very exciting times for this industry. India will not just become the number three market in the world but will go beyond that. So, if you want to do something, act now but do it in tiers; don’t be afraid of being Tier-2.”
Kenichi Ayukawa, CEO, Maruti Suzuki, said, “Gujarat has good infrastructure, ease of doing business environment and proximity to the ports. We had commenced production at our Gujarat plant from last year. The plant, which has a capacity of 250,000 units a year, is now running to full capacity. We are adding two new production lines to expand our capacity to 750,000 units by 2020.” Suzuki Motor Corp is also setting up a plant to manufacture lithium ion batteries for automotive applications in collaboration with Toshiba and Denso. The component suppliers are gradually coming to Gujarat. This will lead to the development of complete automotive ecosystem. However, there are several issues to be addressed, including the next level of infrastructural challenges that they are going to face. “We need a large pool of skilled manpower to support the industry growth momentum. We need to develop settlements with facilities to make them liveable. Maruti Suzuki is setting up schools and hospitals for public needs in this state. We are also setting up an International Automotive Centre of Excellence along with the state government. The facility will be ready by 2019. We seek the state government support for that,” he said.
More than 120 companies want to set up factories here soon. Some of the participants this correspondent spoke to shared details of their expansion plans.
Maxion Wheels India, the wholly owned subsidiary of the USD 2.4- billion company Maxion Wheels, is planning to make aluminium wheels from the third quarter of this year with an initial annual capacity of two million, to be expanded to four million units in the future. The company has two plants in Pune – one each dedicated for passenger and commercial vehicles. The company introduced its premium steel wheels under the brand ‘VersaStyle’ in India some time ago. These wheels can be seen in Hyundai i20 Active and Asta. It plans to introduce them to Tata Motors and other OEMs.
Gurgaon-based Machino Plastics Limited is planning to set up a new facility in Gujarat. The company that makes several components including AC vent assembly, glovebox, chrome radiator grill, bumpers, instrument panels, fender, shield leg lower, panel side and cap clutch cover, has two plants in Manesar and one each in Gurgaon and Pithampur. It has a warehouse in Gujarat opposite to Maruti Suzuki’s plant. The company is acquiring land close to it and is planning to set up a manufacturing facility, which is expected to be up and running by the end of this year. The company supplies to Maruti Suzuki, Suzuki Motorcycle India, Volvo Eicher, SMR, Hero Motors, Mikuni, Krishna Maruti and Bharat Seats. With the new plant in place the company will look at opportunities to cater to other customers in the region.
Gurgaon-headquartered Mark Exhaust Systems Limited has finalised its plans to set up a new facility in Gujarat. The new plant, close to Maruti Suzuki, will be operational by next year. The company has seven plants in Gurgaon to manufacture water and oil pumps, shock absorbers and several sheet metal components. It supplies them to Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars, Suzuki Motorcycles and HMSI and others.
Hella India Automotive
Supplier of electronic products that help boost fuel economy and cut CO2 emissions in the energy management segment, plus sensors and actuators, Hella India Automotive is planning to set up its second plant in Sanand, Gujarat. Production will commence from October this year. Its first plant is in Dhankot.
Aluminium high pressure die casting company Sipra Engineers is looking at options to set up a plant in Gujarat. The company has three plants in Nashik, Maharashtra, catering to OEM customers including Tata Motors, Eicher, Mahindra, MAN Trucks. It also supplies to a host of Tier-1 companies including Knorr Bremse, RSB, Haldex, Divgi-TTS and Varroc. In Gujarat its customers include Idex and Autol Auto and the proposed new plant, according to the sources from the company, will help it penetrate the region better.
Gurgaon-based Roop Polymers is looking at options to set up a greenfield facility in Gujarat. The company, a leading manufacturer of moulded and extruded rubber and plastic parts for automotive OEMs across the world, holds land in Bitlapur area for the proposed facility. It has manufacturing operations in Gurgaon, Pantnagar and Pune. The company exports its products to USA, UK, Norway, France, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
Gurgaon-based Sellowrap Industries is setting up a plant in Rajkot in Gujarat. In addition to Gurgaon, the company has manufacturing operations in Ranjangaon in Maharashtra and Bawal in Haryana. The company is known for manufacturing moulded fastener products that are used in insulation, heat / shock resistance, filtration, packaging, gaskets, seals and sound absorbers. It supplies to several customers including Maruti, Skoda, Magna, Lear, Renault and Mahindra. The new plant will support the requirements of the existing and new customers in the western region.
Leading standard and special fasteners manufacturer, Nipman Fasteners Industries Pvt Ltd, is looking at options to set up a plant in Gujarat. The company supplies a range of cold forged parts such as transmission shaft, ball pins, tie-rods, outer ball joint, inner ball joints, studs, socket head flange, flange screws and bolts to Mahindra, Ford, Hyundai, Hero, Maruti Suzuki, Renault Nissan and Vibracoustics.