Denso ups India plan with Gurgaon plant, tech centre

Japanese component major reveals aggressive India market gameplan with a new facility and tech centre to come up in Gurgaon by 2013.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 17 Jan 2012 Views icon4229 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Denso ups India plan with Gurgaon plant, tech centre
Denso started its India operations in 1984 but it’s only in June 2010 that it decided to post an executive here from its HQ to head the operations, which till then were monitored from Thailand. The 2012 Auto Expo saw the global supplier participate for the first time, reflecting its increased focus on India. To tap business growth potential in India, Denso is to set up a new Rs 300 crore plant in Gurgaon, with production slated to start in 2013.

Denso also plans to strengthen its R&D team to develop technologies and products that meet India market-specific needs. In line with this, it will invest Rs 150 crore to set up a technical centre in Gurgaon, its sixth technical centre in the world. “It will undertake development of products such as powertrains, electric and electronic systems, information and safety systems, and small motors — which reflect customer needs in India more directly than ever before,” says Yashusi Nei, chairman, Denso International India.

“Denso will increase its efforts to employ more Indian engineers, bring together the technical centre and other Denso technical centres, and develop products that reflect the various needs of customers,” he adds. Some such products are heat exchangers, including a radiator, heater core, condenser, and evaporator that Denso supplied to the Toyota Etios for the first time in 2010. The technology for these products has been implemented by Denso in Indonesia and Brazil as well.

Denso says by end-2013, it will launch a next-phase engine management system in India. The system mainly consists of an engine ECU, fuel pump and an injector, and can comply with future Bharat Stage V emission norms.

Meanwhile, under the new safety norms expected to be implemented by 2014, airbags may become mandatory for passenger vehicles. Denso views this as a new business opportunity, in line with its efforts to promote safety technologies. “To meet this trend, we are developing airbag ECUs, while considering the possibility of producing them in India,” says Nei.

The Japanese supplier is also working on developing more products for motorcycles. “We are advancing technology development to offer products that fit the usage environment and meet the need to improve fuel efficiency in India at a competitive price,” says Nei. Among the new technologies is a stop-start system, an area which key global suppliers eye as a major opportunity in India. “The government is trying to set up some infrastructure. We have started working on the stop-start tech, on both four-wheelers and two-wheelers,” says Yoshitaka Kajita, MD, Denso International India.

Given that there’s an increased focus of OEMs in hybrid technology, Denso has initiated negotiations with some of them to supply hybrid tech systems. Hybrid technology is an area of expertise for Denso which supplies the system to Toyota Prius – the world’s largest selling hybrid car.

Eyeing the Indian aftermarket

Denso sees a good opportunity in the aftermarket business in India. It started test marketing of horns in June last year and will add wiper blades to its aftermarket portfolio. There’s also a new thrust on Iridium spark plugs. Compared to the conventional spark plug, the Iridium spark plug enhances combustion which results in better fuel efficiency and improved engine performance. The life of the new Iridium plug is expected to be double that of a conventional plug. Denso also showcased Iridium spark plugs for gas engines and bus ACs at the Expo.

Denso has targeted to increase its fiscal year 2015 sales in India by 2.5 times of the level of fiscal year 2010. The company saw sales of US$7.8 billion in Asia and the Oceania region in fiscal 2010 with India contributing a little less than 10 percent. The company's new plant and technical centre in Gurgaon will be crucial for the Japanese major to achieve its goals in India and contribute to its global revenues.
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