Auto component manufacturer NK Minda Group plans to invest an estimated Rs400 crore in the next 18 months to set up manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Pune and expand capacities at its existing 18 manufacturing facilities across India.
With companies such as Volkswagen AG, General Motors India Ltd, Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd and others locating their plants in these two cities, Pune and Chennai are emerging as important auto hubs. “We will increasingly concentrate on putting up manufacturing facilities in these locations,” said group managing director Nirmal K. Minda.
The group, a diversified supplier of electrical auto components including switches, horns and batteries, has nine manufacturing plants in the Pune region, and one in Indonesia. It plans to expand to the Philippines and Vietnam by the end of this calendar year, Minda said. “These are the two fastest growing markets in the world for two-wheelers and we intend to aim for at least a 30% share of the market for components in these countries,” he said.
While the size of the Vietnam market for two-wheelers is currently 2 million, it is expected to cross 3 million in three years. The Philippines market at 800,000 is expected to double in the same period.
The group supplies two-wheeler manufacturers including Kawasaki Motors Corp., Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd and Suzuki Motor Corp., from its Indonesia plant that makes switches and locks for two-wheelers.
The group recently won a contract to supply 200,000 units of fog and interior lamps to car maker Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd. It will commence supply from India by mid-2008. The plan is to set up a new assembly line for supply of fog lamps at its Indonesian facility next year by when volumes will have scaled up, said Minda. The group already supplies lamps to Tata Motors Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Ford India Ltd.
It is also putting up a large integrated manufacturing facility at Maharashtra’s emerging auto hub, Chakan, to cater to demand from auto makers such as Renault India, Hyundai Motor India, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Fiat India Ltd. The Chakan facility will see its switch manufacturing capacity go up from the current 250,000 units per year to 1 million units.
The firm is also conducting a feasibility study on the Chennai market where it plans plants for switches, lights and blow-moulding. Chennai has recently seen many big-ticket auto investments. Nissan and Renault plan greenfield manufacturing plants there. Hyundai is making Chennai its global hub for small cars. Ford, too, plans to manufacture a small car at its Chennai plant in the next two years.