UNO Minda lamps to go on Suzuki Indonesia's new car

The supplier is also setting up a facility in Indonesia to target business from Nissan, Toyota and Yamaha for their upcoming models.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 02 May 2012 Views icon10154 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The UNO Minda-NK Minda Group has bagged orders to supply tail-lamps and cabin lamps worth an annual Rs 5 crore for Suzuki Indonesia’s new car. Production of this model, likely to be on the lines of Suzuki’s Wagon R, is expected to kick off in 2012-13 and will be supplied from a new facility being built in Indonesia.

The upcoming lamp facility will go on stream in July 2012. While the tooling will be done in Taiwan, the manufacturing in Indonesia is being undertaken at an investment of around Rs 10 crore inclusive of land and buildings. In the initial phase, PT Minda Asean (an equal partnership between the Ashok Minda and NK Minda Groups) will make tail-lamps, foglamps and small and interior lamps for four-wheelers and headlamps, LEDs, tail-lamps and blinkers for two-wheelers from this facility.

Minda is also in talks with Nissan, Toyota and Yamaha in the region for their upcoming models as this will help it fully utilise the new unit. At present, Daihatsu (Indonesia), Suzuki and Kawasaki are existing customers. Nissan is believed to be setting up a plant in Indonesia to roll out a small B-segment car that will also be launched in India around 2013-end.

In fact, Minda established a base in Indonesia way back in 2005 for switches and lock sets for two-wheelers. Last year, it set up a facility for painting and metallising lamps for supply to Suzuki for the new B-segment car, as well as Daihatsu and other customers. The assembly lines for lamp production are now being installed. For the past three years, Minda exported foglamps to Daihatsu from India and once production begins at the Indonesian plant, these will be supplied locally. Initially, most of the lighting components will be supplied from India but once volumes ramp up, localisation levels are expected to reach 85 percent. This will include both components localised in-house by Minda Asean as well as sourced from a local vendor base.

According to N K Minda, chairman of the UNO Minda-NK Minda Group, the company has won various orders from Mahindra for a tractor, and Maruti Suzuki, General Motors and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India for their new models (see box). The USP of some of these new lamps will be the use of LED technology and styling. For instance, the headlamp of the Mahindra tractor will be equipped with the latest technology wraparound with fender (instead of the traditional round and square lamps) that will impart an entirely new aesthetic appeal to the tractor segment.

Meanwhile, Minda’s lighting division has projected sales worth Rs 216.68 crore for 2012-13 for domestic OE customers, growing at a CAGR of 24.56 percent with an expected CAGR of 26.97 percent till 2015-16.

The supplier is working on new LED technologies in tail-lamps for two- and four-wheelers. In an innovative initiative, it has also developed a map lamp with Bluetooth technology for reading road maps.

Scouting for hi-tech

Minda is also scouting for a global technology partner to equip it with the latest lighting technologies. With OEs increasingly opting for LEDs in upcoming lighting products, the technology is expected to become common in the years to come.

Adding to the appeal, LED prices have already dropped significantly, and Minda feels that suppliers are working to trim costs even further. This will enable OEs to leverage LEDs across the board in all vehicle segments including B-segment cars in about eight to 10 years. Moreover, the light guide is seen to be emerging as a popular alternative with many new generation high-end cars using it. Going forward, light guides are likely to become more popular.

UNO Minda-NK Minda also offers interior lighting products such as room lamps, spot lamps, map lamps and door ajar lamps. In December 2010, it opened a design and development office in Taiwan and developed the map lamp for Toyota last year. Normally for a headlamp and tail-lamp it takes around 18 to 24 months for development work. Small lamps, on the other hand, take lesser time.

The supplier has also developed the headlamp for the Volkswagen Polo in India as well as the tail-lamp and headlamp for the Vento saloon. Furthermore, it has also developed the rear combination lamps for General Motors’ upcoming hatchback and notchback models.

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