2013 Automotive Lighting Special - Rinder lays ground for diverse products

Pune-based Rinder India, the 100 percent arm of the Spanish lighting major Rinder, has completed its expansion programme at its Chakan, Maharashtra plant in 2013-14 and added a slew of new clients to its roster that includes Royal Enfield and KTM of Austria.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 05 Sep 2013 Views icon7336 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Pune-based Rinder India, the 100 percent arm of the Spanish lighting major Rinder, has completed its expansion programme at its Chakan, Maharashtra plant in 2013-14 and added a slew of new clients to its roster that includes Royal Enfield and KTM of Austria.

In a telephonic conversation with Autocar Professional, S ALatif, managing director, said the company has also laid the ground for increased business between now and 2016 that will see its turnover double to Rs 400 crore.

The company which began its India innings way back in 2006 now supplies over 40 products to Kawasaki, a key client, even as it has added new customers, both local and overseas. Its key product line-up includes headlamps, LED tail-lamps and LED blinkers among other products.

Having completed its expansion plans, Rinder India which has three plants (two in the Pune area and one at Bahadurgarh in North India) is ready for a phase of a key growth that includes making significant in-roads in the commercial vehicle and passenger car space. This development assumes significance given that the company has been largely a two-wheeler segment player with clients that include Bajaj Auto, its largest, TVS Motor and India Yamaha Motor to mention a few.

Growing client list

If all goes as planned, Rinder India which maintains a low-key profile will add a diverse set of clients to its roster. Last year saw the addition of Royal Enfield, the South-based high-end player whose products have a waiting list that stretches many months. It also added the Ashok Leyland Dost, whose design and development was an innovative project for Rinder India.

In the year gone by, the company also added Piaggio of Italy to its export roster as well as KTM of Austria and Peugeot. While Rinder supplies tail-lamps for a Piaggio scooter model, it supplies LED blinkers and LED license plate lamps to KTM and head and tail-lamps to Peugeot’s Metropolis and Satellis two-wheelers.

The Spanish company’s expansion plans now hinge on a slew of projects that it has got and which span the auto sector. Unable to reveal names thanks to a non-disclosure agreement, the projects span 17 new projects (five with existing customers) in 2013. For 2014, the company has lined up 10 projects with four new customers and for 2015, five projects with two new customers, all in the two-wheeler segment.

In the four-wheeler segment, Rinder India is working on 11 projects with seven customers that will be launched in 2014. The new customers include three commercial vehicle players and four passenger cars and are international names, Latif said.

Dynamic product mix

As these projects get implemented, it will result in the biggest change at Rinder since its inception. Two-wheelers currently account for nearly 95 percent of the company’s sales; this will change by 2016 to 40 percent in favour of CVs and the remainder in favour of two-wheelers. In a larger context, as a result of these projects, overall, Rinder India’s market share in the two-wheeler OE segment, currently in the region of 15 percent, will see a considerable rise in 2014.

In the CV segment, clearly, Rinder wants to build on the base it has with the Dost. Moreover, with the projects that it is currently working on, Latif explained that several global OEs do not want to outsource their needs but prefer to get their own locally and close to the client concerned.

Earlier this year, Rinder, which is the major supplier for Bajaj Auto, had to contend with the impact of the strike at the Chakan plant that affected production of Pulsar and KTM bikes. However, Rinder India, like all other suppliers to the company, did its best to ensure that supplies were maintained. It may be recalled that Bajaj Auto shifted some production of the Pulsar to its Waluj plant to ensure that production could be ongoing.

With its Chakan plant capacity now expanded, Rinder India’s three plants have a total capacity of around seven million units. This capacity, currently being utilised to the extent of 60 percent, is expected to grow to 90 percent by next year.

Global base expands Rinder India has also been able to expand its global base as well. Among its existing clients are Yamaha and Kawasaki, the latter with which there has been a 25 percent year-on-year growth. Its export locations have gone up to five new ones that include Piaggio (Italy and Vietnam), KTM (Austria), KHI (Japan) and Peugeot (France). At present, exports account for 30 percent of turnover, Latif said.

On other fronts, Rinder India has initiated design activities at its Pune headquarters taking on designers and training them at its Design Centre in Spain. “This will help the company reduce its development time considerably from years to months,” he added.

Rinder’s Spanish parent is planning to set up a production base in Colombia, Latin America where it will make headlamps, tail-lamps and LEDs among other products. This is expected to go on stream by the fourth quarter of the current calendar year. With Indian two-wheeler OEs targeting the potential of Latin America, this is music to the ears of Rinder India.

Based on SIAM data, sales of bikes fell by about 3.5 percent for the April-July 2013 period. The coming festive season may well see a spike in sales thanks to good monsoons. However, a slowing economy and likely higher interest rate regime due to the sharply falling rupee could act as a dampener. In this scenario, a balance between domestic and local sales can be of great help in weathering the current scenario.
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