'The future is lightweighting. We are able to even get better properties than steel (with carbon fibre) but the issue is cost. We want to make it more affordable.'

Gagandeep Singh, Bright AutoPlast’s CEO, speaks to Sumantra B Barooah, on driving new initiatives in automotive lightweight parts.

By Sumantra B Barooah calendar 02 May 2014 Views icon2482 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
'The future is lightweighting. We are able to even get better properties than steel (with carbon fibre) but the issue is cost. We want to make it more affordable.'

Gagandeep Singh, Bright AutoPlast’s CEO, speaks to Sumantra B Barooah, on driving new initiatives in automotive lightweight parts.


Given the opportunities that the industry promises in the future and the challenges it faces currently, what is the growth curve looking like?
Over the last two years, our efforts at Bright Autoplast have been focussed on growing more than the industry rate. We are venturing into high-performance functional parts. Till now, 85 percent of our products are aesthetic. Now we are foraying into fuel tanks, degassing tanks and hydraulic reservoir tanks. These will propel us into a different league altogether.
We will definitely keep continuing with aesthetic parts. The third thing we are doing is entering into the electricals space. We are leveraging the strengths of our foreign companies – sister concerns like Nief Plastics and Wausaukee – to bring these technologies to India.

Will Bright Autoplast’ India base also be an R&D or production hub for foreign operations?
For R&D, it’s too early but on the production aspect, we are already working with three types of synergies. First is Nief synergy, the second is Wausaukee synergy and finally, Sintex synergy. So with Nief we will do more production of precision parts, precise parts that have very low tolerances.
With Sintex-Wausaukee synergy, we intend to bring this LRTM (Light Resin Transfer Moulding) technology that has applications in off-roaders, and then move to commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles. LRTM gives an edge, gives a better surface finish. With Sintax, we have already started roto-moulding of fuel tanks.

Could you through some light on the route you plan to take to enhance Bright Autoplast’s technological capabilities?
The future is lightweighting. We are able to even get better properties than steel (with carbon fibre) but the issue is cost. That is why it is today in the R&D stage. We want to make it more affordable and then introduce it. We are working closely with a foreign company.

You would also like to reduce your dependence on passenger vehicles, right?
We are working on our de-risking strategy. It is not that passenger vehicle segment is not so good. Surveys suggest that it will grow but it is always better to de-risk your business. We will grow with passenger vehicles but we want to grow at a higher pace in two or three other segments.

And within that, what about two-wheelers?
Almost 10 percent of our sales come from two-wheelers. We would like to enter into more players in the two-wheeler segment.

Is it possible to increase the plastic content in scooters? The side panels, for example?
If we are able to replace a hood and a boot of a car, which I feel will have more impact, why not a scooter? Only the cost matters as the scooter is even more cost-sensitive, so we have to come up with appropriate solutions.

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