Kansai Nerolac guns for bus body market
Paint supplier aims to tap growing bus body building market
According to Murali Sundaram, vice-president – Industrial Coating Division, “Kansai Nerolac is the largest industrial paint supplier in India and a major supplier to the automotive industry. We are now leveraging this relationship to gain approvals in the fast-growing bus body industry.” He said the company has received trial orders from leading bus body manufacturers in India. “While we have a dominant market share in the automotive segment, we are yet to gain a position of strength with the Korean and European vehicle manufacturers. Our focus is on these customers and we are jointly working with the Kansai Paint Co, Japan”.
Kansai Nerolac is already a major supplier to commercial vehicle manufacturers like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. The company believes it will benefit from the bus body code which will soon be implemented. Automotive OEMs, which used to supply their chassis to bus body builders, have now started selling fully- built tippers and buses. The bus body building code, when implemented, would make it mandatory for bus body builders to use approved paint manufacturers.
“Once that happens, we expect that growth rates will be stronger in the next few years,” said Murali Sundaram. With a number of overseas players setting up commercial vehicle manufacturing facilities in India, the company expects a robust growth in this segment. Sundaram added: "We expect the commercial vehicle segment to grow at a steady pace of 10 to 12 percent a year in the next few years”.
Through its strategic collaborations (Kansai Paint Co, Japan, for electro deposition primers, automotive and industrial coatings; Nihon Parkerizing, Japan, for pre-treatment chemicals; Oshima Kogyo, Japan, for heat-resisting paints; and Ameron/PPG, USA, for high performance coatings), the company provides a total painting system to auto makers. The product range is backed up by a strong technical service network of experts placed with the customer. Kansai Nerolac has plants in Chennai, Lote, Bawal and Jainpur and plans to set up an industrial coating facility at Hosur. Besides catering to Toyota Kirloskar, this facility will also focus on tapping the commercial vehicle and tipper segments. Clearly, this move is a bid to tide over the ongoing downturn in the market.
“Products for the commercial vehicle segment are made at all our facilities. The proposed Hosur unit is part of our expansion programme to cater to customers in South India. We are already suppli
ers to Tatra Motors,” said Sundaram. Kansai Nerolac has 65 sales offices countrywide and also places technical executives with customers to maintain both quality and trouble-free application of the coatings supplied. The company recorded a turnover of Rs 1,613 crore in 2007-08 with the year-on-year growth in the past five years being over 15 percent.
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