State set to attract more investments

State set to attract more investments

Bangalore: Karnataka, ranked the fourth largest automobile investment destination in the country after Maharashtra, Haryana and Tamil Nadu, is set to attract more investments and job opportunities from the world’s largest auto components maker, Bosch group, German machine tools maker MAG Industrial Automation Systems Gmbh and General Motors India.

On Friday, Bosch group signed a memorandum of understanding with the Karnataka state government to set up a Rs550 crore plant in Bidadi on the outskirts of Bangalore.

“We have asked for 100 acres of land," said V.K. Viswanathan, managing director of Bosch Ltd, on the second and concluding day of Advantage Karnataka, the Global Investors’ Meet aimed at attracting investment to the southern state. “The plant will make fuel-injection pumps, starters and hydraulic systems."

Viswanathan said the capacity of the plant would be finalized in the coming 6-9 months. Bosch also plans to add capacity at existing plants in Pune and Nashik, part of the Rs2,000 crore investment plan it had announced in January at the Delhi Auto Expo.

Faced with increasing demand from the Indian market, MAG, which counts General Motors (GM) and Ashok Leyland Ltd as customers, plans to set up a technical centre in 2011 followed by a $1.5-2 million (Rs6.97-9.3 crore) plant in 2014 or 2015. The technical centre will employ 10 people and will customize imported equipment for Indian clients, said Markus Grob, MAG’s president, Europe. In 2009, the company which had a global turnover of $1.65 billion, sold machinery worth $98 million in India.

General Motors India, which makes the Spark and Beat hatchbacks, plans to hire 400 engineers at its Bangalore-based research and development centre by the end of the current calendar year, taking the headcount to 2,000, said Karl Slym, president and managing director of the unit.

The centre, which undertakes computer aided design and engineering, will also work on a mini electric vehicle along with colleagues at GM’s Detroit headquarters. The company is going solo on the electric vehicle project after it broke off its collaborative arrangement with Bangalore-based electric car maker Reva Electric Car Co.