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`Auto components exports to touch $20 b in next 10 years'

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Nov. 5

AUTO components exports from India are expected to be of the order of $20 billion in the next 10 years. At present, India's auto components exports have been pegged at around $1 billion, according to Mr S. Kumar, Assistant General Manager of Tata Motors.

Speaking at a session on `Speciality steel long products - The past, present and future outlook and its relevance to the auto and auto ancillary growth in India' held here on Friday as part of `Metals 2004' seminar organised by The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr Kumar said that the global auto components industry was valued at $1.2 trillion. As such, India's cost competitiveness could be leveraged to garner a larger share of the global auto components pie.

According to him, it would be imperative for automobile companies and steel manufacturers to adopt a collaborative approach with a view to facilitating the development and applications of steel. However, it would be necessary to ensure steel quality and reliability. In this regard, Mr Kumar said the steel industry was faced with two major challenges i.e. safety and weight reduction for automobile parts. "Weight gain leads to higher fuel consumption and increased emissions," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr G.S. Natarajan, General Manager of Sundram Fasteners Ltd, highlighted the need for stability in the prices of speciality steels if India were to emerge as a major player in the global auto components market.

Mr Natarajan said that 25 per cent of Sundram Fasteners's production was exported at present. This figure would go up to 50 per cent in the years ahead, he said, adding that processes and products must be robust enough to be able to sustain in the global market.

According to Mr S.N. Guha, President (Marketing) of Usha Martin Ltd, auto components export has the potential to emerge as the second biggest foreign exchange earner after software. However, for this to happen, partnerships would have to be forged between steel manufacturers, automobile makers and research & development institutions.

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