New Delhi: Gurgaon-based auto components manufacturer Rockman Industries Ltd, which acquired Moldex Composites in January, has set up an office in the UK through which Moldex will expand into Europe and the US, a top executive said.

“We just opened an office in the UK at Silverstone for our carbon composite business. Silverstone is a hub for motorsport development in terms of technology. The idea is to be closer to customers and have a team over there to forge partnerships and look at acquisitions, joint ventures, etc.," Ujjwal Munjal, executive director, Rockman Industries Ltd, said in an interview.

Composites are used in place of aluminium castings to make vehicles as well as aircraft lighter. They have a superior strength-to-weight ratio than wither steel or aluminium.

The reduction in weight translates into aeroplanes carrying a larger payload for longer distances while reducing emission. It helps vehicles accelerate and run faster.

Regulatory requirements including stringent emission norms and moves to popularize electric and hybrid vehicles have increased the focus on the need to reduce the weight of automobiles.

Rockman expects carbon composites to account for 10% of its revenue in the next five years. Besides motorsports and aerospace, there is a global shift towards carbon fibre in the automobiles sector.

“Composites are used extensively in motorsport, aerospace and ultra high-end sports cars. We expect it to be used in mass segment cars as well but for that manufacturing needs to evolve to bring down cost. We would like to be as close as possible to that," Munjal said.

Rockman Industries, a Hero Group company and a supplier of parts to India’s largest two-wheeler firm Hero MotoCorp Ltd, acquired a majority stake in carbon composites maker Moldex Composites in January.

The acquisition of Moldex is the third by Suman Kant Munjal’s family business after Hero Electronix, run by his son Ujjwal, acquired Tessolve Semiconductor Pvt. Ltd in April and the India business of German electronics design services firm TST DST Holding Europe in July. Suman Kant Munjal is the son of Hero Group founder Brijmohan Lall Munjal and elder brother of Hero MotoCorp chairman and managing director Pawan Kant Munjal.

The semiconductor and auto businesses are being run separately, with each having a target of Rs5,000 crore in sales in the next five years. Rockman Industries’s annual revenue is around Rs2,200 crore and that of Hero Electronix around Rs1,200 crore.

“Our interest is to grow the aerospace business. With Moldex, we are getting a lot of traction. Within this quarter, we should get AS (aerospace standard) certification. That’s the first step. Audits have already happened. AS certification will make us aerospace-ready. To start dialogue with clients, we need this certification," he added.