Auto Components

Avtec commissions Chennai facility

Avtec, a company of the GP-CK Birla group, has set up a Rs 20 crore plant in the Madras Export Processing Zone to manufacture transmission assemblies for application in off-highway vehicles. It was inaugurated by Lawrence Dewey, president of Allison Transmission. Allison Transmission, incidentally, is a subsidiary of General Motors and a top player in manufacturing transmissions.

Avtec was created after Hindustan spun off its production units in Hosur and Pitampur. Apart from making components and assembling automatic transmissions, it also imports and distributes certain varieties of ransmissions. Avtec registered a turnover of Rs 500 crore last year and has targeted Rs 600 crore this fiscal. While Avtec’s agreement with Allison covers only technology transfer for automatic transmissions in off-highway vehicles, Dewey said it would extend to on-highway commercial vehicles if there was significant demand in India.

According to R Srinivasan, executive vice-president of Avtec, the MEPZ unit is likely to achieve a turnover of Rs 35 crore in 2007-08. Though Hosur has been exporting components, the growing demand warranted an exclusive export-oriented facility and hence the move to set up the MEPZ facility. The company procured an existing shed from a sports product maker and refurbished it as per its requirements. It hopes to install some more machines, he added.

Allison designs, develops and manufactures a wide and advanced range of fully automatic transmissions for on and off road vehicle applications. Founded in 1915 as a division of GM, it is present in over 80 countries and has 1,500 plus distributors. The company became part of General Motors Powertrain division in 2003. Its transmissions are of a modular construction which helps reduce labour time by up to 70 percent. This eventually minimises downtime at workshops.

At present its transmissions support vehicles of over 200 manufacturers including Ashok Leyland, Sutlej and Tata Motors. Allison Transmission was the first company in the world to begin high volume production of a parallel hybrid electric drive system for buses.
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