Chassis Brakes International India (CBII), the local arm of one of world’s three largest manufacturers of automotive foundation brakes and foundation brake components, Chassis Brakes International, has entered into a technical agreement with Barcelona-based J Juan Group for developing braking systems to tap the growing requirements of the Indian two-wheeler market.
Under the technical agreement, Chassis Brakes International India (erstwhile Kalyani Brakes) will source technologies from J Juan Group, a known supplier of braking systems and associated components to BMW Motorrad, Ducati, Triumph Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson and many others, for designing and developing hydraulic disc brakes and master cylinders for two-wheelers up to an engine displacement of 200cc. Interestingly, this would cover exports from India as well.
While CBII will pay royalty to its Spanish partner for leveraging their technological expertise, J Juan will now have a footprint in India to not only study the market but also consider developing tailor-made braking systems for the growing midsized bike segment (above 200cc engine displacement) in India.
Talking exclusively to Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the agreement between the two companies, Deepak Mahendra, India executive vice-president, Chassis Brakes International, said: “The current penetration of hydraulic braking systems in the two-wheeler segment stands at close to 30 percent, which means that there is a huge opportunity. Moreover, with rising safety concerns across the industry, disc brakes would take the lead as compared to the conventional drum braking systems. Though we signed off the agreement with J Juan in December 2014, we have been negotiating the terms and conditions to finally materialise the tie-up. We aim to make disc brakes for two-wheelers under 200cc while any requirements above 200cc will be addressed by our Spanish partners directly.”
While the company at present does not have any two-wheeler OEM as its customer, it is in different stages of product development with a few, claims the company official. “We will very soon acquire a few orders for the supply of these advanced products,” added M P Raajha, vice-president, sales & engineering, Chassis Brakes International India.
The products will be manufactured at the company’s existing facility in Jalgaon (Maharashtra) where the production process integrates aluminium casting, machining and assembly lines. “While we have land, manufacturing plant and skilled engineers in place, we need to invest in setting up new assembly lines and new equipment. We estimate that the fresh investments will range close to one million euros over a period of two years,” added Mahendra.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Angeles Juan Verdejo, CEO, J Juan Group said, “The demand for braking systems for two-wheelers will grow globally. In Europe, while two-wheeler with an engine displacement of equal to or more than 125cc will have ABS next year, two-wheelers below 125cc will be required to have combined braking systems as mandatory regulation. We believe that India, an emerging economy, will reach the stage of developed markets soon.”
The J Juan Group, a Tier 1 supplier of braking systems for two-wheelers since 1965, is currently the second largest two-wheeler brake supplier in Europe. It has three manufacturing plants around the world – two in Europe and one in China, and the company plans to open one more facility in Mexico next year. Further, the family-run company also has a technical centre in Milwaukee (USA) and now in India.
Talking about the upcoming mandatory requirement of ABS fitment on two-wheelers with 125cc and above engines in India from 2017, Mahendra added that “this is a good news for a company which manufactures hydraulic disc brakes for two-wheelers. We are foraying into this segment because we see huge demand from two-wheeler OEMs in the near future.”
On the other hand, with 15 manufacturing locations worldwide, France-based, the 870 million euro-Chassis Brakes International is a leading Tier 1 supplier of braking systems and employs over 6,000 people globally. Of these, while 40 percent are based in Europe, 60 percent are based in Asia Pacific and South America.