Faurecia Interior Systems sets up new plant in Andhra Pradesh
Faurecia, a global supplier of seating, interiors and clean mobility solutions, is setting up a new plant at Kia Motors India’s Component Vendor Park at Ammavaru Palli, Penukonda Tensil, Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh, invsting Rs 50 crore. Faurecia Interior Systems (FIS) India will produce injection moulding and assembly and supply to Hyundai Mobis, which will make the vehicle cockpit for Kia Motors India. The company aims to get the plant ready in 180 days and the SoP is scheduled to start from Q3 of 2019. The plant, spreads across 15,000 sqm, is to come up on a 12-acre site, which will employ around 400 people. Kia Motors is building its new plant at Anantapur, with an investment of about $1.1 billion (Rs 7,050 crore).
Vidyadhar Limaye, Faurecia Interior Systems, Director, India said, “In the new plant we are going to deploy basic technologies like injection moulding, high gloss painting and assembly process which will include vibration welding and screwing operations, among others. We will supply the instrument panel to Hyundai Mobis, which will convert it into a cockpit for supply to Kia Motors. Like our investment in Chennai plant, we are confident and excited about our new plant in Andhra Pradesh, which will help us grow substantially.”
Faurecia can customise any surface that contributes to the visual ambience, from the instrument panel to the door panels and centre console, inside a car. It uses a wide variety of materials (wood, skins, leather, textiles, brushed or polished aluminum) and technology to create a full range of interior environment for every market segment. The company has in-house expertise to supply top-quality products at competitive prices. It has specialised know-how for cutting and sewing leather, polyurethane or PVC-based thermoplastics.
Kia Motors will offer substantial business for FIS India, which has a plant in Chennai since 2014. The plant is supplying components to OEMs like Ford India, Renault Nissan and Isuzu Motors India. FIS bagged the first order from the Hyundai Motor India in 2015, to supply a new console for one of its vehicle programmes which is likely to hit the market in the first quarter of 2019. “We won this business from Hyundai competing with many major rivals. It was a breakthrough for us from a Korean OEM in India,” Limaye said.
Mobis has been sourcing all its interior products for Hyundai cars from Reydel Automotive. FIS outbid Reydel in the Kia Motors tender and bagged the order in December 2017. The Kia Motors and Hyundai
Motor India business together would contribute about 25% of the total India revenues for FIS.
“Kia has announced 3 models for the India market in the initial phase. The first 2 models will have righthand drive and left-hand drive, and the last one will be only right-hand drive. FIS is a full-service supplier to all the 3 models. We get the styling and surface from the OEMs and develop the CAD model and tooling for these products and are in the process of tooling for the first business as Kia has announced plans to launch its first vehicle in Q3 of 2019,” he said.
Although FIS’ Chennai plant has extra capacity, logistically it is not feasible to support Kia Motors as the products are fragile. Given the expected high volumes of business, FIS decided to set up a new plant as proximity to the customer would reduce cost and help to be competitive. It will make the plant an export hub in future.
About the manufacturing capabilities of FIS in India, Limaye said, “In Chennai, we are doing soft IPs and are the only company making them in large numbers in India for Ford North America. This is the In-Mould Graining (IMG) process, so its soft laminated TPO is applied on the top covers of the IP. We also supply to Jeep Compass the complete foam dashboard and the foam injection technology. Given these technologies, we are uniquely positioned in India. This certainly offers us an advantage in supplying products with the latest technologies to our customers.”
The new plant in Andhra Pradesh will employ 2 technologies, injection moulding and painting, facilitated by 650, 1300, 1800-tonne injection moulding machines in the beginning. They will be scaled up in future. FIS brings to India its unique design capabilities and manufacturing facilities. It has more than 600 engineers working on interior programmes at its technical centre in Pune for India and overseas markets.
FIS India customers include Ford India, Renault Nissan, Isuzu Motors India, Hyundai India, FCA India, Tata Motors, Fiat and PSA (export) and now Kia Motors India. The company is also bidding for PSA business in Chennai. It has a plant in Ranjangaon near Pune for Fiat Chrysler Automotive. The company is opening another plant in Chakan, Pune, to produce pneumatic parts like air vents, cupholders, armrest and tambour door. The products are for one of the PSA programmes in three locations in Europe.
FIS which started its India journey in 2004 with an equal partnership with a Tata Group company, TACO, for engineering, bought out the entire stake in 2009. After bagging Ford’s global mandate in 2013, the company started manufacturing interior parts in India. At present, FIS India has 10 OEM customers and its turnover has grown 10-fold from Rs 50 crore to Rs 520 crore in 2017 with a CAGR of over 30%.
The business mandate for the 2013 Ford EcoSport proved to be a massive growth driver for FIS India, Limaye said. As the domestic market shifted from sedan to compact SUVs, FIS bagged business from the recent compact SUVs in the Indian market like the Tata Nexon, Jeep Compass and the Renault Captur, among others. FIS strategy of global technology with a local approach, design strength, localisation and price competitiveness has aided its growth.
It is yet to get orders from some of the major car manufacturers in India, including Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Mahindra & Mahindra. “We are working with these companies by engaging with them on their new vehicle programmes. Suzuki with its new-generation vehicle programmes will need new technologies to remain competitive and as the segment leader in India. I am quite hopeful of bagging a mandate soon,” he said.
FIS India is competing with all the local and overseas players in India on cost, design, localisation, and quality. “We have grown significantly in the past 5 years. In the next 5 years, our aim is to double the India turnover from Rs 500 crore to Rs 1000-1100 crore,” Limaye said.
FIS manufactures complete foam dashboard and the foam injection technology for Jeep Compass
The Chennai plant of FIS manufactures soft IPs for Ford North America