Kalyani Hayes forays into car wheel rims

The company’s new facility at Chakan has orders for 1.7 million car wheel rims for local and overseas clients and Volkswagen AG is a major buyer,=

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 03 Dec 2010 Views icon5640 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The company, which invested an estimated Rs 70 crore in the two-million capacity plant, has already booked orders for domestic and international car manufacturers like Volkswagen (India, USA, Mexico and China) Tata Motors, Fiat India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ford India and Renault Nissan India. Out of the 1.7 million units, one million wheel rims have been booked by the VW Group alone. The capacity of the plant can be increased to four million.

Kalyani Hayes was established in 1996 and caters to the commercial vehicle steel wheels rims segment. Its clients include Tata Motors, Volvo Trucks, Daimler, Swaraj, Mahindra-Navistar and Vehicle Factory-Jabalpur, with an annual capacity of one million commercial vehicle wheels. Kalyani Hayes Lemmerz is the pioneer in developing tubeless wheel rims for CVs in India. The company currently exports this product to Daimler AG, Volvo Trucks and Iveco. Diversification into a booming business Looking at the booming passenger car market in the country, the company has decided to expand its business by diversifying into wheel rims for cars. The company went ahead and developed passenger car wheels for Indian carmakers such as Fiat (for Punto and Linea) VW India (Polo) and Tata Motors (Sumo and 207 DI).

Curtis Clawson, president and CEO, Hayes Lemmerz International, said: “The automotive business is shifting to the East and India is one market that is booming. There are three to four regions that we are concentrating on and India is one of the big bets for us.”

KHLL's competitors in the domestic market for CVs include Wheels India and Steel Strips. In the CV segment, KHLL claims it is in second position behind leader Wheels India. In the joint venture, the Kalyani Group holds a 15 percent equity share with Hayes Lammerz holding the rest.

Hayes Lemmerz International is also looking at manufacturing aluminium wheels but is waiting for the market for alloy wheels to evolve before it launches these products in India. “Today the penetration of the aluminium wheels in India is limited to just high-end cars which have a share of three to four percent. We expect this to increase to 10 percent in two to three years,” said Clawson.

While aluminium wheels in the motorcycle segment is a larger market as compared to the passenger car market, the company currently has no plans to enter the two-wheeler market. “Our focus remains the CV and passenger car segments only”, added Clawson.

Kalyani Hayes currently manufactures steel wheel rims ranging from 12 inches to 19 inches. Hayes Lemmerz also has experience in developing stylish steel wheel rims and the
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