Subros to ex­pand busi­ness with grow­ing ther­mal sys­tems mar­ket for CVs

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The New Delhi-based Subros Lim­ited, which man­u­fac­tures ther­mal prod­ucts for au­to­mo­tive ap­pli­ca­tions, in tech­ni­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion with Denso Cor­po­ra­tion, has 40% share of the In­dian pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle heat­ing, ven­ti­la­tion, and air con­di­tion­ing (HVAC) mar­ket. It is keen to repli­cate this suc­cess in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle space.

Subros has an an­nual ca­pac­ity to pro­duce 1.5 mil­lion AC kits which in­clude com­pres­sors, con­densers, heat ex­chang­ers and all con­nect­ing el­e­ments re­quired to com­plete the AC loop. The com­pany caters to all au­to­mo­tive seg­ments of pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles, buses, trucks, re­frig­er­a­tion trans­port, off- road­ers, and rail­ways.

“Ow­ing to the in­crease in the share of busi­ness from the ex­ist­ing cus­tomers, and be­cause of ex­pand­ing into new busi­ness do­mains like bus and rail air­con­di­tion­ing, truck re­frig­er­a­tion, and ra­di­a­tors, we are an­tic­i­pat­ing strong growth. We see growth in the pro­mo­tion of eco-friendly au­to­mo­biles in In­dia. We have made ex­ten­sive lo­cal­i­sa­tion plans for key com­po­nents to sup­ply prod­ucts that em­ploy the lat­est tech­nol­ogy at low cost. We are con­fi­dent that, this will help us to sus­tain growth, prof­itabil­ity, and min­imise the im­pact of fluc­tu­a­tion in eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors,” Shrad­dha Suri Mar­wah, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Subros, said.

Subros is work­ing closely with its part­ners to en­hance its tech­no­log­i­cal prow­ess, and to sup­port cus­tomer ve­hi­cle pro­grammes. Its state-of-theart test­ing fa­cil­i­ties help to eval­u­ate all as­pects of ve­hi­cle ther­mal sys­tem man­age­ment. Subros has pre­sented it­self as a re­li­able part­ner for com­po­nent and sys­tem val­i­da­tion. It is an­tic­i­pat­ing con­sis­tant growth in the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor be­cause of sta­ble global eco­nomic fac­tors, em­pha­sis on lo­cal man­u­fac­ture, and in­fra­struc­ture growth.

Ther­mal Sys­tems for CVs

Subros has de­vel­oped ther­mal so­lu­tions for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles man­u­fac­tured by Tata Mo­tors, Ashok Ley­land, SML Isuzu, Force Mo­tors and Daim­ler In­dia Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles, among oth­ers. The mar­ket ex­pan­sion and de­vel­op­ment plan of the com­pany is based on the Govern­ment man­date for the fit­ting of a blower unit in CVs with a GVW of 3.5-tonne and above, which has opened the ther­mal sys­tems mar­ket for CVs in In­dia, and the very good

de­mand for AC buses and reefer trucks. The mar­ket for AC bus is es­ti­mated to be be­tween 15,000 and 20,0000 units and for reefer trucks about 3,000 units a year.

“To­day al­most ev­ery pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle that rolls out of the assem­bly line is fit­ted with an air-con­di­tioner. Subros is con­fi­dent of mak­ing it big in the CV space. Lever­ag­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of build­ing ther­mal sys­tems for pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles at one end, and for lo­co­mo­tives (to In­dian Rail­ways, Medha Group and Bom­bardier Trans­porta­tion) at the other, we are keen to get a fron­trun­ner ad­van­tage in the In­dian CV mar­ket. We see the pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle trend repli­cat­ing it­self in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle space in In­dia. The man­date to fit a blower unit is cre­at­ing a strong pull. Al­most 95% of CVs were not fit­ted with an air-con­di­tioner in 2017. It is chang­ing,” Mar­wah said.

Since the third quar­ter of FY201718, Subros started sup­ply­ing blower units to CV mak­ers. The com­pany claims to have se­cured about 70% mar­ket share in this seg­ment. “We have the dis­tinct ad­van­tage of hav­ing an ef­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture at our dis­posal. We can quickly and promptly re­spond to the mar­ket re­quire­ment,” she said.

Subros has man­u­fac­tur­ing plants in Noida (2), Mane­sar, Pune, Chen­nai and Sanand, and a well-equipped R&D Cen­ter and Tool Room in Noida.

With the ma­jor share of its busi­ness from the pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle seg­ment, the com­pany, in the long-term, is look­ing at about 25% busi­ness from the CV mar­ket against the present 10-15%. Subros is en­hanc­ing its ca­pa­bil­i­ties to meet the needs of its cus­tomers. Sup­ply­ing world-class prod­ucts, the com­pany is en­gag­ing closely with its part­ner Denso to in­no­vate. “We are chart­ing out a growth story through the in­crease in the share of busi­ness not only from new cus­tomers, but also from the ex­ist­ing ones,” Mar­wah said.

Em­pha­sis­ing on lo­cal con­tent, costs and in­no­va­tion, Subros is bank­ing on tech­no­log­i­cally advanced prod­ucts at the low­est pos­si­ble price points. Since many sup­pli­ers are eye­ing the AC bus mar­ket, es­ti­mated to grow at a CAGR of 20-25% in the next 3 to 4 years, Subros is keen to se­cure busi­ness from the State Trans­port Un­der­tak­ings (STUs) which are ex­pand­ing their AC bus fleet.

The bet­ter road in­fra­struc­ture and the aware­ness about the ben­e­fit of AC cab­ins in CVs is ris­ing and is be­ing linked to higher re­turn on in­vest­ments. This is cre­at­ing bet­ter de­mand for AC CVs. “We are look­ing at op­por­tu­ni­ties in both, short-haul and long-haul buses and CVs. The de­mand may be at a nascent stage to­day, we ex­pect it to rise sig­nif­i­cantly,” she said. Subros is look­ing at the offhigh­way CV seg­ment to carve out a large pie of the grow­ing AC mar­ket for con­struc­tion and earth mov­ing equip­ment. It is the well-be­ing and safety of the equip­ment op­er­a­tors that drives the AC mar­ket. Subros has a strat­egy to cater to the con­struc­tion and earth mov­ing equip­ment mar­ket, the agri­cul­tural equip­ment sec­tor, which is driven by fac­tors like health, com­fort and work en­vi­ron­ment, and the cold chain lo­gis­tics seg­ment.

“Mo­bile farmer seg­ment is on our radar. Strin­gent govern­ment reg­u­la­tions and im­prove­ment in crop re­al­i­sa­tion are cre­at­ing de­mand for reefer trucks. We are ready to serve the needs in this seg­ment. We are pro­vid­ing turnkey so­lu­tions for both, the cabin and su­per­struc­ture,” Ms Mar­wah said.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties

Founded in 1985 as a joint ven­ture pub­lic lim­ited com­pany with 40% own­er­ship by the Suri fam­ily and 13% each by Denso Cor­po­ra­tion and Suzuki Mo­tor Cor­po­ra­tion,

with a ca­pac­ity to as­sem­ble 15,000 AC units, Subros now has 7 man­u­fac­tur­ing plants in In­dia and an en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre de­vel­oped jointly with Denso in 2012. Subros is happy about the sup­port from Denso as a tech­nol­ogy part­ner. It is work­ing closely with its cus­tomers and ex­pand­ing in line with their growth plans.

Subros will com­mis­sion a new fa­cil­ity in Gu­jarat next year. It will add 0.5 mil­lion units to the com­pany’s ex­ist­ing ca­pac­ity of 1.5 mil­lion. “The de­ci­sion to in­vest in Gu­jarat was taken for prod­ucts that are pro­duced at a sin­gle lo­ca­tion, and are crit­i­cal to qual­ity,” Mar­wah said. Apart from pro­duc­ing the en­tire HVAC unit, the plant will also man­u­fac­ture hoses and con­densers. Akin to the in­fra­struc­ture at the ex­ist­ing plants, the com­pany is in­vest­ing in mod­ern ma­chin­ery and pre­ci­sion test­ing equip­ment in Gu­jarat. The pro­duc­tion lines will in­cor­po­rate ex­ten­sive in-line qual­ity checks to en­sure the best qual­ity.

The pres­sure die cast­ing plant in Noida is the only squeeze die cast­ing plant in In­dia for Subros. It pro­duces high qual­ity in­tri­cate cast­ings us­ing squeeze and vac­uum die cast­ing. The tech­nol­ogy for this was pro­vided by Denso Cor­po­ra­tion.

The Mane­sar plant of Subros has a state-of-the-art man­u­fac­tur­ing and test­ing fa­cil­ity. The plant man­u­fac­tures com­pres­sor clutch assem­bly, con­denser core, con­denser assem­bly, hoses and tubes, HVAC assem­bly, in­jec­tion moulded parts, and ECM. The AC sys­tems for CVs are made at the Ora­gadam plant of the com­pany. The plant, near Chen­nai, also caters to trans­port re­frig­er­a­tion and the af­ter­mar­ket. The Chakan, Pune, plant of Subros serves Tata Mo­tors. It has the lat­est in pro­duc­tion equip­ment, and prod­uct de­sign and de­vel­op­ment set-up.

The Subros Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre (STC) in Noida de­vel­ops new prod­ucts for model launches with as­sis­tance from Denso. Denso Subros Ther­mal En­gi­neer­ing Ser­vices takes care of the ap­pli­ca­tion and al­lied ser­vices. Its fo­cus is on en­hanc­ing tech­nolo­gies to meet the fu­ture re­quire­ments of cus­tomers with lo­cal man­u­fac­ture ac­cord­ing to global spec­i­fi­ca­tions. The com­pany’s road map for fu­ture tech­nolo­gies that the In­dian mar­ket will de­mand is in place. (This­re­por­tis­base­do­nan in­ter­ac­tion­inNewDel­hi­with Shrad­dhaSuriMar­wah,Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor,Subros,and­herteam, byHSBil­limo­ria,CEO,NextGen Pub­lish­ing,andAshishBha­tia, Se­niorCor­re­spon­dent,NextGen Pub­lish­ing.)

H S Billimoria, CEO and Ashish Bha­tia, Se­nior Cor­re­spon­dent, Next Gen Pub­lish­ing in con­ver­sa­tion with Shrad­dha Suri Mar­wah, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Subros Ltd.

Subros Tool En­gi­neer­ing Cen­tre.

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