Essar Steel targets auto biz
Barely a month after it inaugurated its steel service centre at Oragadam, near Chennai, Essar Steel opened its fourth centre at Bahadurgarh in Haryana.
,/br> The Bahadurgarh centre’s proximity to the auto hubs of Gurgaon and Greater Noida as well as Rajasthan (which will see Honda Siel’s new factory come up) ensures that Essar will be able to provide speedy service to auto majors in the region. The facility is ideally located, near a national highway as well as connected to a rail facility.
,/br> The facilities at the centre include a CR slitting line, CR narrow cut to length line, CR wide cut to length line and HR cut to length line. This enables it to cater to even single-sheet customers, with small lots and customised deliveries for ready-to-use steel.
,/br> According to Ravi Singh, VP, service centre and business development, “Our customers will benefit with this facility as they will no longer have to build huge inventory and can have the steel processed at their own specification levels, rather than having to process it themselves.”
,/br> The centre will be able to deliver steel grades for various automotive applications which include chassis and supporting members, discs, wheel rims and axles. It can also deliver steel for making tubular sections like front forks for two-wheelers, tubular shafts and hydroformed tubular components among other parts.
,/br> Essar Steel has three other service centres – one each in Hazira, Pune and Chennai – and the Bahadurgarh centre augments its total service capacity to 2.5 million tonnes per annum, which is the country’s largest. The centres provide a market for products from Essar’s 4.6 million tonnes per annum steel plant in Gujarat’s Hazira. The Bahadurgarh facility will also help Essar Steel achieve its target of 10 million tonnes of steel production that the company has planned to achieve by 2010.
,/br> One-stop steel shop
,/br> These service centres are part of Essar’s plan to become a one-stop shop for all things steel. It already has set up 145 steel hypermarts and expressmarts across India, which are designed to benefit both big and small users directly. According to J Mehra, CEO, Essar Steel, “India seems to be relatively spared from the current global slowdown and the country’s earlier plans on developing infrastructure ensure high demand for steel. This growth will mainly come from the automotive and white goods sectors.”
,/br> “Our tie-up with Kobe Steel, which is the world leader in auto industry steel, ensures that we have the best technology required for high-quality steel that automakers require,” he added.
,/br> Speaking on the occasion Shashi Ruia, chairman, Essar Group, said: “This investment is a part of our strategy to be closer to our customer. Service centres are an independent business in western countries. Essar is developing this concept in India.”
,/br> Chief guest Sunil Kant Munjal, chairman, Hero Corporate Services, who inaugurated the centre, commented: “The Indian economy hasn’t slowed down as substantially as the rest of the world. I believe we will be one of the first to recover, especially the auto sector, which seems to be doing comparatively well when compared to the West.”
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