Tata Group is set to complete the takeover of Wistron’s iPhone plant in Bengaluru by the end of April, thereby giving India its first homegrown production line for Apple products.
Sources close to the takeover told businessline that the Indian conglomerate has already started organisational changes at the plant.
According to sources, around 2,000 factory personnel could be asked to go as part of the takeover process. The Bengaluru iPhone plant may also see an attrition of 400 mid-level executives. Already about 4- 5 senior level executives have been let go or are in the process of exiting.
Wistron’s Indian plant had nearly eight production lines, which are currently manufacturing iPhone 12 and iPhone 14. There are speculations that Tata will start manufacturing iPhone 15 after the takeover.
Wistron’s Bengaluru plant was the Taiwanese electronics company’s only product line for Apple products in India, with this takeover – Wistron will be completely divesting from the iPhone business in India which is estimated to be worth $600 million. The 2.2 million square foot factory is located just on the outskirts of Bengaluru.
Focus on India
This comes at a time when Apple is eyeing India’s manufacturing prowess with interest, especially as they wish to shift production from China. Amidst the geopolitical troubles between the US and China, the Cupertino, California-based company announced its plans to shift 25 per cent global production to India.
At present, three Taiwanese firms – Wistron, Pegatron and Foxconn assemble Apple products in India. While Wistron announced its plans to leave India’s iPhone business as early as 2020, Foxconn and Pegatron have increased their production lines in India recently.
Tata has taken other steps to increase its business with Apple, such as increasing hiring at its plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, where iPhone components are manufactured.
Industry experts believe that the Tata Group is eyeing manufacturing for Apple to be a golden opportunity, especially as the Indian government is courting Apple extensively to shift its production to India. Industry insiders speculate Tata will potentially acquire Pegatron’s manufacturing units for iPhone once the Wistron takeover is complete.
businessline reached out to Tata Sons and Apple for comment, but they did not respond at the time of filing the story