Niemla develops seat fabrics with less weight, new features
Niemla Automotive, manufacturer and supplier of automobile seat cover, has developed light-weighted flat jacquard fabric which claims to improve the fuel efficiency of a bus. Reducing the load by 50-60 kg on a 3-axle bus, the new technology assures 3-5% of improved fuel efficiency. Currently, it is being tested by a Swedish CV maker and the fabric is expected to be out in the market by February 2019. The company also manufactures value-added products like waterrepellent, oil /stain resistant, antibacterial plush jacquard fabrics and fire-resistant (FR) finish to meet the specific requirements of institutional customers in the bus-seating and entertainment segment.
Opened in 1932, Niemla was originally known as New India Embroidery Mills Limited. In 2014, the company took over the automotive division of Raymond and introduced top quality products at much cheaper prices. Niemla supplies fabric for both the seating of passenger vehicles and interiors of buses. The company deals with both Flat Jacquard and velvet materials which umbrellas Dobby and Jacquard. Armaan Mehra, CEO, Niemla Automotive, said that “the prevalent prejudice among the OEMs underestimates the quality of the fabric made in the country.”
Indirectly supplying fabric to Maruti Suzuki, Niemla’s clientele includes Harita Seatings and Satluj Coach Products. The company is catering to Volvo with carpets and curtains and is at the advanced stages of conducting direct business with Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars India and Renault India. A new entrant into Niemla’s clientele is Indian Railways, since July. Currently, utilising 5-7% of the production for the Railways, Mehra, the fourth generation in the office, aims to take it up to 15-20% by 2020. Chair car is an attractive proposition as its refurbishment happens every 4-5 months, he added. The aftermarket presence of the company is supported by 25 distributors across the nation.
Niemla Automotive exports its products to the US, Bangladesh and Turkey. It plans to increase its footprint globally. Mehra said China was not a threat as it was not able to cope with the seating industry due to higher labour costs.
Providing with the state-of-theart colour combinations, Niemla Automotive is equipped with machinery capable of producing 4D colours. While the current industry trend is of 2D, Niemla is upgrading its 4D technology to 7D on Jacquard fabric by 2020. The company is also developing 3D dobby, contrary to the running 2D dobby fabric in the market. Niemla has pioneered the concept of manufacturing back-coated plush fabrics in India. The back coating on the fabric improves the binding strength of pile to the base fabric. Although this product is essentially targeted at the automotive upholstery market it is now being widely used in office chairs and panels.
Niemla is also focussing on giving the finished product to the endconsumer by bringing in stitched seat covers for cars by 2020. Currently operating out of 3 manufacturing units in Ghaziabad and Sonipat, Niemla is also planning to set up an another unit in Sonipat, which will have the latest technology equipment to manufacture advanced products mainly to meet demand from the OEMs.
The new facility will export carpets and seat fabrics to the US. It is setting up a warehouse there to reach its customers quickly. Mehra plans to cross the Rs 100-crore mark by 2020. Its present business is at around Rs 50-60 crore.
Armaan Mehra, CEO, Niemla Automotive