Germany’s 838 million euro Marquardt Group, a leading manufacturer of electro-mechanical and electronic switches and switching systems for automobiles and other sectors, opened up its first-ever global research and development centre in India in Pune today.
Spread across 25,000 square feet, this all-new R&D centre will employ around 80 skilled professionals under phase one, and will scale up to 200 employees within next five years. According to company officials, having recruited as many professionals at its Pune-based R&D centre in the near future, this will become the largest R&D centre for the Marquardt Group globally.
Apart from India, the family-owned company has other R&D centres in the USA, Germany, Romania, and China.
While the company has been present in India since 1965, it forayed into the automotive products segment in 2008, with major focus on the same from 2013.
According to Ran Bahadur Singh, CEO, Marquardt India, “The company will invest close to Rs 12 crore over next 30 months in India to set up this state-of-the-art facility. We have a manufacturing facility in Mumbai, which has enough capacity to locally produce the products for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.”
Also present at the event, Dr Harald Marquardt, CEO, Marquardt GmbH, revealed that “we have recently bagged an order from Tata Motors for providing them with passive entry passive start systems for their upcoming models. Within the order, we are developing keys, control units, antenna, door sensors, electronic steering lock and a start-stop button. We will start delivering these products to them in the third quarter of 2016. This order from Tata Motors marks the largest order for us from India so far.”
Later talking to Autocar Professional, Marquardt disclosed that “this (order from Tata Motors) is a double-digit million euro order, and the first supplies will made to them from China. Last year (CY 2014) we grew by 17 percent YoY, and we hope that with our current order book globally, we will be able to grow even better.”
According to the release issued by the company, the order from Tata Motors has impacted in terms of the Marquardt Group considering further investments in India in the coming years and scouting for more orders from OEMs.
The company, which is a 100 percent supplier to a number of models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mini, Audi, Volkswagen and others, is known for developing products for premium cars.
However, it now sees a number of premium features percolating down to sedans and the hatchbacks over time. “This is bound to happen because buyers are evolving and they demand premium features in small cars. Also, growth is where the volumes are. We will be able to maintain profitability if we tap volumes, as we will achieve economies of scale,” concluded Dr Harald Marquardt.
It is to be noted that the company has its footprint across 14 locations (in 10 countries) worldwide and employs more than 7,000 professionals. The automotive industry globally contributes to nearly 84 percent of its overall business.