Chennai: Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland, a Hinduja Group undertaking, will offer Indian aerospace sector facilities for testing various aircraft components. The company will offer testing as well as engineering design services through a new division, Defiance Technologies, or through its wholly-owned US subsidiary Defiance Testing and Engineering Services Inc.
Ashok Leyland has rebranded its Ashley Design and Engineering Services division as Defiance Technologies. It acquired the US-based Defiance Testing, which is into automotive product and component testing, for around $15 million last year.
The American subsidiary has two testing laboratories.
'Foreign aircraft manufacturers are now bound by high local offset clauses - up to 30 per cent of the value. This offers good scope for us,' Hinduja Automotive Ltd executive vice-chairman V Sumantran told reporters.
'We can test undercarriage structural components made of cast aluminium, doors and others for their durability and also offer design engineering services,' he added.
According to Sumantran, discussions were on with a few aircraft manufacturers.
'Under a common brand Defiance, the group can offer enlarged range of services - design, engineering, prototyping, testing and validation. The two divisions have a total head count of 300,' said Defiance Technologies chief operating officer P Parthasarathy.
According to Sumantran, vehicle and component testing is potentially a Rs700 crore business opportunity in India as all vehicle manufacturers currently send components abroad for testing and validation.
Sumantran said plans were on to set up a vehicle testing laboratory in India but the location and the outlay were yet to be finalised. The US subsidiary was planning to open vehicle testing laboratories in China and Europe. 'We have been approached by several Chinese vehicle manufacturers to set up a lab there. However, the outlay has not been finalised,' said Peter G. Dodd, vice-president and general manager at Defiance Testing.
Ashok Leyland may at some point hive off its engineering design services division and merge with Defiance Testing. The combined revenue of the two units is around $15 million.