Uno Minda Considering Acquisition in Europe
The Uno Minda Group plans to invest Rs 700-800 crore over the next three years and is working on an acquisition worth Rs 200 crore in Europe, as the component manufacturer expands capacity to cash in on a turnaround in the automotive market.
“We cannot divulge details of the acquisition right now,” Chairman and Managing Director NK Minda said. “This is a European company which manufactures product in our existing product line and we hope to conclude this deal in November-December.”
The group that makes products ranging from automotive batteries and two-wheeler switches to seat belts and alloy wheels expects its revenue to double over the next three years from a projected Rs 4,000 crore this fiscal year through March 2015. Last year, it posted a turnover of Rs 3,150 crore. Minda Industries is the only listed company in the group.
“We are going to grow now. Infrastructure has been lagging behind and the automotive industry is directly connected with this. Now both seem to be coming on track, therefore the industry has to grow,” Minda said.
The Gurgaon-based group’s capacity expansion plans come at a time when the automotive sector is witnessing a pickup in demand after two years to falling sales. Parts makers are cranking up idled capacity, and industry executives say they have started hiring and are considering expansion to meet rising demand from vehicle manufactures.
Minda said the group is looking at products which it can launch soon. It has a dozen joint-venture partners and there are products “our collaborators have not introduced in India as of now”, he added.
It is planning to manufacture control systems for automated manual transmission (AMT) – a clutch-less technology that promises to combine the high mileage of manual transmission with the convenience of automatic cars. Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio hatchback was the first to spot this transmission system in India. Tata Motors has recently introduced AMT in its Tata Zest compact sedan, while Mahindra & Mahindra is planning to offer it in its compact utility vehicle Quanto.
Uno Minda will get the AMT control system technology from JV partner Tokai Rika, which makes them in Japan. “We are studying the opportunity in AMT. We were slow in investing because of the slowdown in the past two years, but now we will invest,” Minda said.
The company is doing a feasibility study to start a plant for alloy wheels at Bawal in Haryana or Gujarat. It has land available at both places.
It currently manufactures alloy wheels in Chennai and supplies to Maruti as well as the local units of Nissan, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor. That plant can produce 60,000 units a month and the capacity is fully utilised. It is considering a new plant because of rising demand for alloy wheels.
Uno Minda is also setting up a plant in Gujarat for filters with an investment of around Rs 60 crore, excluding land. Construction is ongoing and manufacturing is expected to start by mid-next year. From this plant, Minda will supply to Honda’s two-wheelers.