‘VLS plans to invest in capacity expansion in N America, Europe and China.’

Jeff Stevenson, president, Varroc Lighting Systems, speaks to Amit Panday on expanding its global footprint and leveraging the latest technologies to develop new lighting solutions.

Amit Panday By Amit Panday calendar 20 Aug 2015 Views icon4147 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
‘VLS plans to invest in capacity expansion in N America, Europe and China.’

Jeff Stevenson, president, Varroc Lighting Systems, speaks to Amit Panday on expanding its global footprint and leveraging the latest technologies to develop new lighting solutions.

How did Varroc Lighting Systems fare in terms of new technology developments and business globally and in India in the last fiscal?
Varroc Lighting Systems experienced a very successful year both in terms of technology and business growth. We secured our largest new business wins during the year, setting us on a trajectory to significantly outpace the global market.

More importantly, we secured the majority of these wins with new lighting technologies including, LED, Matrix LED and laser headlamps. Although we grew our revenues by over 10 percent globally last year, we see the next few years significantly outpacing last year. Our Indian operations grew due to many new product launches, although the market continues to remain sluggish. The outlook next year is significantly better, as a number of new programs are being launched.

VLS has been working to make it to the top 3 global automotive lighting companies by 2020. How close is it now from the target? What is the growth strategy for 2015-16?
The initial couple of years of VLS has been focussed on right-sizing our cost structures and getting the right customer base in each of our regions. We have succeeded in turning around our North American operations with robust growth there.

Current efforts are to acquire a balanced customer base in all of our regions, which will accelerate our growth towards our 2020 target.

Does the company plan to invest in capacity this year across locations?
VLS is planning to invest in capacity expansion in North America, Europe and China which are growing markets for us. Also, to drive this growth with state-of-the-art technologies, we plan to grow our global engineering resources by 100 headcounts this year. A significant number of these engineers will be from India, as we tap into the available engineering pool to service high cost markets.

What is the capacity utilisation at the VLS plant in Pune? What are the new activities planned at this location going forward?
Last year, we improved our revenues by 20 percent resulting in better utilisation of our machines. Our moulding operations are nearing optimum utilisation now and we plan to invest for growth next year.

How has the relationship between VLS and Tesla grown over time?
VLS continues to have a strong relationship with Tesla and we continue to be their largest lighting supplier.

 

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