The Hindu Business Line: January 09, 2012
New Delhi: Global automotive components manufacturer Federal-Mogul's new facility for producing braking and friction materials, being set up in Chennai, will begin operations by March this year. The plant is expected to be inaugurated next month and will initially focus on after market products like linings and brake pads.
Speaking toBusiness Lineon the sidelines of the Auto Expo 2012 here on Friday, Mr Jean de Montiaur, Corporate Vice-President and CEO India, Federal-Mogul India group of companies said that the plant is being set up on a 10-acre plot and will be operational in phases. A total four phases within one large building will be set up over the next four years. The plant will expand the product range that is manufactured locally and will eventually enable Federal-Mogul to enter new segments, Mr Montiaur said.
He added that the Chennai is significant geographically due to the location of a large number of OE (original equipment) customers in the region and the plant will also enable the addition of products like brake pads for discs, linings for heavy commercial vehicles and other friction products. The products will enable Federal-Mogul to cater to both OE and the after-market customers.
Recently, the company added a number of after-market products like wiper blades, engine coolants and brake fluids to its portfolio. These brought in a considerable change in profile to its product range that was otherwise heavily oriented towards traditional engine parts such as pistons, piston rings and engine bearings. The new Chennai facility will focus largely on catering to the demands of the domestic market here, though it can also double up and act as a back-up facility in the event of any production disruption at any of the Federal-Mogul plants globally, clarified Mr Montiaur.
The company wants to aggressively increase its focus on the after-market. The aftermarket is growing rapidly as the influx of new vehicles has expanded the total Indian car market, which was 14 million vehicles in 2005 and is projected to grow to 55 million vehicles in 2020. This will drive new requirements for high quality OEM-style repair and maintenance parts, felt Mr Montiaur. Federal-Mogul's Indian headquarters is in Delhi, and one of the company's 18 globally networked technical centres is in Bangalore.
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