Fau­re­cia In­te­rior Sys­tems sets up new plant in Andhra Pradesh

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - ACI

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.

Story by: Bhar­gav TS

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

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