Companies

GKN Driveline to use Nano lessons in China

Murali Gopalan Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on June 09, 2011

BL10_NANO

Launching new generation low-cost products for small-car segment





GKN Driveline, the world's leading supplier of automotive driveline systems, plans to extend the India lessons of the Tata Nano to its low-cost vehicle programmes in China.

Chery Automobile's new product range is apparently part of this exercise though it is equally likely that there will be a host of other local Chinese companies on the radar. GKN has already made it known that it will launch a new generation of low-cost products for China's small car segment.

The company believes that the Nano concept has come in handy for China even though the configuration of the vehicles there is different.

The biggest takeaway was the confidence working with Tata Motors in this difficult exercise. “We are proud of what we achieved with the Nano. There was a target price and we had to make a product to meet it. The driveshaft is perfect today and we had to work really hard to achieve results,” Mr Ravindra Ojha, Managing Director of GKN Driveline India, told Business Line.

Co-invention

Co-inventing was the key to this exercise and GKN pooled in its best engineering resources and technology from its operations across the world to achieve the right sideshaft solution. As a result, other carmakers in India want the concept replicated in their models though the larger objective is to keep costs in check.

From GKN's point of view, the Nano has shown that the time for Indian automakers has come to respond appropriately to local tastes and needs.

Maruti Suzuki, for instance, is working on its first locally designed car that is scheduled to debut in 2012. Other automakers are pursuing their ‘Made-in-India' programmes aggressively.

“Tomorrow, if cars are designed by Indians alone, we will have to be ready for the transition. You can no longer pick something off the shelf and put it out in the market. In my view, those who respond to this change quickly will have the cutting edge,” Mr Ojha said.

Turnover target

GKN, which meets the needs of practically all carmakers in India, wrapped up 2010 with a turnover of Rs 560 crore. The target for this calendar is Rs 700 crore and the company believes that the Rs 1,000 crore mark can be achieved within the next four years. It has two plants in Haryana, one near Chennai with the fourth in Pune scheduled for commissioning in 2012.

“I expect the good growth in the car market to continue despite niggling issues like interest rates and fuel costs. You cannot expect 30 per cent growth year after year but 17-20 per cent will happen. After all, there is still a large untapped market in rural India,” Mr Ojha said.

Published on June 09, 2011
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