Global auto component manufacturer AB SKF has deferred the commissioning of a new Rs150 crore manufacturing facility at Haridwar, following a slowdown in the automotive components market.
The plant being built on a 10 acre plot was to go live by the end of the year, but the company has now decided to postpone it due to a slowdown in market demand.
Media reports quoted AB SKF president and CEO Tom Johnstone as saying that the company would expect to commission the plant around the first quarter of 2010, although a final decision regarding the matter was still pending.
AB SKF has operations in India via its subsidiary SKF India, and has three manufacturing facilities in the country, with two located in Bangalore and one in Pune. A fourth is under construction at Ahmedabad.
The slowdown in the domestic automotive market has seen a number of SKF's major clients cutting orders by over 10 per cent. The Indian auto industry had witnessed a decline of 14.42 per cent in total vehicle sales in October, at 8,65,404 units as against 10,11,221 units during the same period last year.
While the existing market demand would be met by SKF's facilities at Bangalore and Pune, the new Rs300 crore facility at Ahmedabad would be commissioned sometime next year. The ongoing global economic slowdown had indeed impacted his company, which had shut one of its North American plants as well, Johnstone said, adding, the Indian operations would not be able to evade the impact.
The company had issued the pink slip to 100 temporary staff during the third quarter of the year, even as it does not see any major changes in its employee strength for now.
Once SKF's new facilities in Ahmedabad and Haridwar go live, the company's headcount would increase to 3,300 from the existing 2,600.