ZF ex­pands man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, opens new shock ab­sorber line

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - ACI

ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a global leader in driv­e­line and chas­sis tech­nol­ogy as well as ac­tive and pas­sive safety tech­nol­ogy, has opened its new shock ab­sorber pro­duc­tion line in Chakan, Pune. With an an­nual in­stalled man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity of 0.7 mil­lion units, the new pro­duc­tion line will be part of ZF’s re­gional head­quar­ters there. It will in­crease the ca­pac­ity to 3 mil­lion units in the com­ing 3 to 4 years.

“With the dy­namic busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment of the coun­try and ini­tia­tives like ‘Make in In­dia’, ZF is fo­cus­ing on ex­pand­ing its man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the coun­try. With our wide ar­ray of prod­ucts for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, we are ac­tively shap­ing the 3 mega­trends in the In­dian auto in­dus­try: Safety, Ef­fi­ciency and E-mo­bil­ity,” Suresh KV, Pres­i­dent of ZF In­dia, said.

The com­pletely lo­calised pro­duc­tion line will man­u­fac­ture a com­pre­hen­sive range of shock ab­sorbers for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles and in­dus­trial ap­pli­ca­tions like trucks, buses and in­cludes cabin and axle shock ab­sorbers. The pro­duc­tion line will be es­tab­lished in the ex­ist­ing multi-prod­uct fa­cil­ity and will of­fer op­er­a­tional syn­er­gies with the cur­rent set-up, help­ing the com­pany to op­ti­mally utilise its re­sources. Fur­ther­more, man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses used in dif­fer­ent global plant lo­ca­tions will be fol­lowed at this new pro­duc­tion line.

Fredrik Staedtler, Global Head of ZF’s Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Busi­ness said, “The rapid de­vel­op­ment of In­dia’s in­fras­truc­ture, im­ple­men­ta­tion of new norms for emis­sions and new ve­hi­cle loads, as well as the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles and scrap­page pol­icy, are all set to trig­ger a de­mand for the up­grade of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. As a sys­tems so­lu­tions provider, ZF is well po­si­tioned to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the growth of the In­dian com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle sec­tor as OEMs seek to in­tro­duce the lat­est tech­nolo­gies to their CV port­fo­lio. For ex­am­ple, our nine-speed trans­mis­sion tech­nol­ogy for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles is al­ready BS-VI com­pli­ant.”

Ear­lier talk­ing about the plans for ZF In­dia, Staedtler said, “It is very en­cour­ag­ing to see the de­vel­op­ments that are hap­pen­ing in the In­dian mar­ket. In In­dia, we will fo­cus more on the six-speed and nine-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion sys­tems. We will work with the sup­ply base to in­crease our pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ties. This will be the first step where we will see au­to­ma­tion of the trans­mis­sion sys­tems. We have plans to lo­calise our chas­sis com­po­nents such as shock ab­sorbers. Var­i­ous as­pects of chas­sis and driv­e­train will be lo­calised in the Pune plant.”

In­dia fo­cus

ZF has an ex­ten­sive range of prod­ucts for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in In­dia. ZF of­fers trans­mis­sions, axles, chas­sis com­po­nents and steer­ing sys­tems for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles in the In­dian mar­ket. The com­pany makes steer­ing sys­tems

with JV part­ner Rane TRW Steer­ing Sys­tems Lim­ited and Anti-lock Brak­ing (ABS) tech­nol­ogy with JV part­ner Brakes In­dia Pri­vate Lim­ited.

ZF is keenly fol­low­ing the de­vel­op­ments in the In­dian econ­omy and its fast-evolv­ing au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. In­dia will make airbags manda­tory for all pas­sen­ger cars from Oc­to­ber 2019, and will move to BS-VI emis­sion norms from April 2020. Plans are un­der way to re­place a large fleet of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles (and other pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles) older than 20 years from the roads with the new ones. ZF is in dis­cus­sions with OEMs and is plan­ning ca­pac­ity ex­pan­sion for airbags and seat­belts. The se­nior man­age­ment at ZF ex­pects that from 2020 there will be big de­mand for au­to­matic trans­mis­sion sys­tems for trucks af­ter the im­ple­men­ta­tion of BS VI.

“In­dia will be shift­ing to BS-VI emis­sion norms in 2020. Due to higher emis­sion norms, higher ef­fi­ciency is needed on the driv­e­lines. We hope that this will help the mar­ket up­grade from man­ual trans­mis­sion sys­tems to the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion sys­tems. We are try­ing to be ready for that. We have ma­jor plans on how to grow in In­dia. In In­dia, our fo­cus is on the Pune fa­cil­ity, which has enough area for fu­ture ex­pan­sion. Also, our seat­belt and airbag busi­ness is very im­por­tant for us, due to up­com­ing safety norms. We are hav­ing dis­cus­sions with our OEMs and plan to op­ti­mise costs through large-scale man­u­fac­tur­ing,” Staedtler said.

Ear­lier this year, ZF In­dia achieved cu­mu­la­tive ex­ports of parts worth 100 mil­lion eu­ros (Rs 802 crore). The com­pany has dou­bled its tar­get to 200 mil­lion eu­ros. For this the com­pany plans to have a se­cured sup­ply chain from In­dia and have in­stalled a pur­chas­ing hub with peo­ple lo­cated in Hy­der­abad, Pune and in Coim­bat­ore. The com­pany of­fi­cial said, “We have aligned this pur­chas­ing hub di­rectly to Europe, and we are hav­ing a lot of dis­cus­sions with our In­dian sup­pli­ers. For us, In­dia is a very im­por­tant mar­ket. In many cases, we have de­liv­ered parts from In­dia to the US, Ger­many and to the other lo­ca­tions as well.”

Suresh KV, Pres­i­dent ZF In­dia, Thomas Flack, Chief Pro­cure­ment Of­fi­cer, Tata Mo­tors and Fredrik Staedtler, Global Head of Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Busi­ness, ZF Friedrichshafen AG at the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the new shock ab­sorber pro­duc­tion line

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