ManufacturingIndia: News and Views-3

1.The Danish company Danfoss will invest close to $100 million in India over the next two years. The $6 billion company makes components that help improve energy-efficiency and are used in various industrial applications like air conditioning, heating buildings, controlling electric motors and powering commercial vehicles.

2. Engineering exporters are targeting up to 10 per cent exports’ growth in the current fiscal, the Engineering Export Promotion Council said today.Engineering exports include transport equipment, capital goods, other machinery/equipment and light engineering products like castings, forgings and fasteners. During 2012-13, engineering exports amounted to $56.7 billion.

3. Ford Motor Co. will make India an export hub for its compact sports utility vehicles, chief executive Alan Mulally said.Ford has invested a total of $2 billion to set up manufacturing facilities in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat besides an engine facility in Gujarat.Mulally was in Chennai to start production of the company’s compact SUV EcoSport at its Chennai factory, where it has invested $142 million to create a new production line that can produce as many as 10 variants of the model. The Chennai facility is one of the five plants that will produce this model, Mulally said.

4. Sanand has attracted investments from Tata Motors Ltd, followed by Ford India Pvt. Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. Non-automobile companies,the likes of Hitachi Ltd’s Indian unit Hi-Rel Power Electronics Pvt. Ltd, Colgate Palmolive (India) Ltd, Nestlé India Ltd and Bosch Rexroth India Ltd, too, have flocked to Sanand.

5.Central public enterprises (CPSEs), like BHEL, Power Grid, Indian Oil, Steel Authority as well as defence PSUs,are aggressively investing in applied research and development (R&D) projects to improve their efficiency and keep up with competition.

6. HAL is a premier aeronautical complex in Asia with 19 production divisions and 10 R&D centres. Its expertise encompasses design, production, repair, overhaul and upgrade of aircraft, helicopters, aero-engines, accessories, avionics and systems. The 19 divisions of HAL are equipped with modern infrastructure for production of fighter aircraft, trainer aircraft, transport aircraft and helicopters. It provides one-stop solutions for all the design needs of aircraft and helicopters in airframes, airframe systems, avionics, mission & combat systems, using advanced design tools.
The defence major, being a technology driven company, continues its thrust on R&D, by incurring R1,749 crore, or 12% of its turnover, towards it. The company has filed a record 32 patents in 2012-13.
The year witnessed landmark events such as handing over of the first weaponised advanced light helicopter (ALH) “Rudra” to the Indian Army, exports of Cheetah helicopters to the Republic of Surinam and Do-228 light transport aircraft to Seychelles as well as the first flight of Jaguar DARIN-III and light combat aircraft (LCA) naval prototypes.
HAL has a workforce of around 33,600, with over 50% having more than a decade of aircraft industry experience. It has also diversified into manufacture and repair /overhaul of industrial and marine gas turbine engines, and manufacture of structures for aerospace vehicles.

7. A clutch of car makers with parent companies operating out of Japan, have lined up investments of about Rs 13,000 crore to enhance capacity. While Maruti Suzuki is set to invest about Rs 6,000 crore to add capacity of about 500,000 units across Haryana and Gujarat by 2015-16, Honda Cars India has commenced work to double production by making operational a second facility at Tapukara (Rajasthan) by 2014. Nissan, set to debut the Datsun brand in India later this year, is learnt to be evaluating possibilities to expand capacity to about 600,000 units at its Chennai unit.

8.Italian auto maker Fiat SpA is looking to make 600,000 units of Chrysler’s brands in India and 90% of the production will be exported, mostly to the Asia-Pacific region.Chrysler has a research and development centre in Chennai, the company’s third-largest after Detroit and Turin. The centre works on vehicle interiors, body and chassis, and engineering services for its global operations. It employs at least 1,200 engineers.

9. SECO shifted its operations from Singapore to India recently, now Swedish metal cutting tools manufacturer is planning to expand its base in India to capture business in the Asia Pacific region. Considering the demand for cutting tools, it is gearing up the investments in infrastructure, manpower and marketing as well as in research and development. The company has acquired around 25,000 square meter land adjoining its existing production facility in Pune to expand its production capacity in the state. Seco exports 70 per cent of its production from India and the company registered a turnover of Rs 230 crore in 2012. Currently, the Pune R&D centre works in close association with Seco’s other R&D units in Sweden, Czech Republic and France.

10. The gun being offered by the Indian firm L&T is learnt to have been built and developed in collaboration with South Korea’s Samsung Techwin and is based on its “K9 Thunder” self- propelled howitzer. According to the contract between the two firms, the Korean firm would provide key technologies to L&T for local production of the howitzer.

9. Over the last decade, India’s output per worker almost doubled, according to the International Labour Organisation. The do-more-with-less mantra affects the nation’s elite employees as well, whether bankers or engineers. Consider the challenges facing India’s bellwether $108-billion information-technology sector. To earn $1 billion in 2003, India’s large software companies needed 37,798 engineers, according to calculations done by Mint and Nasscom, a lobby group, earlier this week.In 2012, no more than 19,783 engineers were needed to earn $1 billion.

10. In a bid to rev up sagging sales, Tata Motors today launched eight upgraded models of its different passenger vehicles, including the CNG version of its entry level small car Nano. This is the first time that the company has introduced such a large number of new vehicles on a single.

11.Over the past two decades, there have been around 750 R&D centres established by MNCs in India, employing over 400,000 professionals. A recent survey of senior business innovation strategists by GE ranks India higher than the US on interest in innovation.

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