2012 Western India Special: TE Connectivity eyes CV, 2-wheeler business

The automotive business of the company contributes close to 35 percent of the total turnover of its Indian operations while globally, the contribution of automotive business stands at 36 percent of the total turnover.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 01 Nov 2012 Views icon5745 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
2012 Western India Special: TE Connectivity eyes CV, 2-wheeler business
According to the UK-based Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA), more than 700 car recalls have been made by the manufacturers in last five years. Electrical faults are one of the major reasons of car recalls globally. According to Sameer Pagnis, director – automotive India, TE Connectivity, Pune, an average car deploys around 300 to 350 connectors, nearly one-kilometre-long wiring in total length and close to 1,500 electrical connections which play a crucial role while the vehicle is under operation.

As a part of the world’s largest provider of electrical connectivity solutions, the Indian arm of TE Connectivity produces high temperature wires, cable assembly protection accessories, inductive systems, relays, connectors, sensors and many other crucial components which are used in automotive, marine, defence, telecom and many other industries. The automotive business of the company contributes close to 35 percent of the total turnover of its Indian operations while globally, the contribution of automotive business stands at 36 percent of the total turnover. The electrical components major registered a global turnover of nearly US$ 14 billion during FY 2011 to which Asian operations contributed 19 percent to the total net sales.

Present in India since the last 20 years, the company produces close to 8,000 different electrical components for the automotive vertical from facilities at Shirwal, Wagholi in Pune and Kochi. The company plans to expand the Shirwal plant where it produces head and cable assemblies by up to 50 percent in the next three years while the Wagholi plant where the basic moulding, stamping and plating operations for various electrical assemblies are performed now has 14 additional moulding machines totalling up to 34 as compared to the 20 machines earlier. These machines are used in manufacturing end-to-end low cost connectors.

The company’s facility at Kochi houses the biggest tool room for automotive purposes within its global setup. With declared investments of Rs 300 crore recently, the company is setting up a new manufacturing facility in Bangalore to support the growing domestic demand as well as the global business.

Targeting 45 percent market share by 2015

“Virtually every vehicle on Indian roads has a component made by TE Connectivity. We currently have a 35 percent market share in this segment and we are aiming to achieve 45 percent market share by 2015,” informs Pagnis. Without disclosing the total turnover from the automotive vertical from India, he reveals that 70 percent of the total Indian automotive business comes from the passenger car segment while 25 percent and five percent come from the commercial vehicle segment and two- and three-wheeler segments respectively. However, in order to fuel future growth, he believes that in sync with the expansion plans, the company now has to focus more on commercial vehicles and two-wheelers along with increasing the localised content in the products dedicated to passenger cars.

TE Connectivity imports 60 percent of the total content sold in India while only 40 percent is locally produced. “We plan to achieve 50 percent localisation by 2015,” adds Pagnis.

Earlier this year, TE Connectivity acquired Deutsch Group SAS which brings in the expertise of high-performance connectivity solutions for harsh environment applications such as commercial transport, mining and construction equipment.

With commercial vehicles gradually becoming feature-rich, the challenges for the company such as reliability, safety and cost control come into play. “The tilt cabin feature in trucks is a massive challenge to designing the electrical components as we have to manage the disengagement between the wiring of the cabin with the rest of the body. The trucks have a million-kilometre lifecycle which demands extremely reliable electrical aggregates which can endure not just vibration and harshness but also weather related wear and tear. For example, the connectors housed inside the engine bay should be able to endure temperature of over 120deg C,” he explains.

Though tight management of space is not a concern in CVs, space utilisation shapes up as a substantial challenge in passenger cars resulting in miniaturisation of cable assembly, plastic-embedded connectors and many such similar components. Further, producing greener components with minimal e-waste is also a challenge for the aggregate manufacturers. On growth drivers, Pagnis believes that with 12-13 cars per 1,000 people, India displays enormous potential for the future while electrification and hybridisation opens up a complete new world of opportunities. “A global shift to hybrid and electric vehicles is a given eventuality. The electrical components required in such vehicles are more complicated and should be safer. The company has formed a different group on a global level for hybrids and EVs which is working with different consortiums to define standards. We have a few engineers working from India on the same,” he concludes.

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