Chennai: Chennai-based Rane Group's equal joint venture with Japan's NSK Ltd, Rane NSK Steering System Ltd (RNSSL) today inaugurated its new automotive steering column plant at Bawal in Haryana, 80 kilometers south west of New Delhi. The new steering column plant was jointly inaugurated by L Ganesh, chairman, Rane Group and M Degawa, director and executive vice president, NSK Limited, Japan.
Tokyo-based NSK Limited is the world's third-largest bearing manufacturer and noted for technological innovation. Founded in Japan in 1916, NSK is now a global company with 23,000 employees and manufacturing operations in 14 countries worldwide. Revenues in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008 reached Yen 722 billion.
"The key is close service to our customers in each of India's manufacturing regions," said Degawa at the inauguration ceremony. "To overcome logistics challenges and offer minute-by-minute technical support, our plants must be close to the final assembly line. So this new Bawal plant will offer the kind of support our Chennai plants provide in South India."
The company currently produces energy absorbing steering columns, rigid steering columns, tilt, telescopic and sliding steering columns and intermediate shafts and joint assemblies.
Established in 1929, the Rane Group comprises seven companies manufacturing safety and critical components for a broad range of automotive industry segments. In fiscal 2007-08 the group recorded revenues of Rs.14,000 million. The Rane Group embraces TQM as a way of life and four of its companies have received the coveted Deming Prize.
The company has invested Rs37.7 crore in the new plant which has an initial capacity to produce 200,000 electric power steering systems annually for vehicle assembly loacted plants in the region. The plant will employ about 100 technically employees.
"RNSSL will grow in its chosen segments through expansion, upgraded technology and synergetic diversification," Ganesh said. "We are also expecting sales revenue of over Rs200 crore targeted by the year 2010-11. This factory will act as a catalyst for our vision of 'leadership position in steering column business'. "
Completed in just eight months, the 3,600 square meters plant offers a vast production area architecturally designed without support pillars, and cuts down on lighting by maximizing the use of natural light and using 'double-skin' roofing to absorb heat and reduce the ambient temperature . The plant's state-of-the-art equipment has been built in Japan by NSK Limited.
The 5-acre site in the Bawal Industrial Area offers ample space for fiture expansion as the company has planned its new investments in several phases to cater to contracts for new business already in hand.
"NSK has been associated with Rane in India since 1997,'' added Degawa. "But with this investment our partnership is reaching a new level. I believe we are poised to achieve our vision to become India's market leader in steering. Watch us grow!"