Hirotec in talks with OEMs to supply automobile doors

R. Yegya Narayanan Coimbatore | Updated on November 19, 2013

Takahiro Hayama

Work on new Coimbatore plant takes off

Hirotec India Pvt Ltd (HIPL) is in preliminary discussions with automobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to supply car doors that are currently produced by the carmakers themselves. While not disclosing the names of the OEMs, senior company executives said one in located in Maharashtra and another in Gujarat. If the discussion are fruitful, the production facility will be located close to the OEMs.

Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday to announce the commencement of work on HIPL’s new Keeranatham plant near here, Takahiro Hayama, Director and President, HIPL, Coimbatore, said the company is focusing on the production of closure (doors, hood and deck lid), assembly tooling and hemming systems.

The construction of the first phase of 75,000 sq ft built-up area at Keeranatham will be completed at an investment of Rs 40 crore.

Explaining why HIPL chose Coimbatore to locate the factory, he said tooling manufacture for the automobile industry is now turning local as companies look for cost efficiencies. HIPL, which is part of the $1.3-billion Hirotec Group, hopes to gain from the engineering skill available locally as its new facility becomes operational in 2014.

The company has invested about Rs 25 crore in its existing facilities and hopes to witness a three-fold increase in turnover to Rs 120 crore during the current fiscal. Geeth Narayanan, VP-Engineering, HIPL, said the facility will focus on tools for the manufacture of closure panels like car doors. The company counts almost all OEMs as its customers, Narayanan said. Apart from the first phase, the factory has space for the construction of another 1 lakh sq ft. This facility is important for HIPL as it will “get more work done out of Coimbatore”.

Senthil Kumar Parthasarathy, VP-Business Development, asked about the group’s plans for a car door manufacturing plant, said the company is in discussions with an Indian OEM on the lookout for such a supplier. But the required volume is currently low. HIPL is looking at a few other OEMs so that the cumulative volume will be higher “to leverage on the investment” (for the plant).

For achieving economy of scale, a minimum annual volume of 2 lakh units will be required, Hayama said. From past experience of the group, a global player in this product segment, he would put the investment requirement at $30-$40 million for a door manufacturing plant.

Published on November 19, 2013

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