Gestamp debuts at Auto Expo, to supply lightweight chassis parts to Skoda-VW's India 2.0 cars

by Mayank Dhingra 07 Feb 2020

Gestamp, the Spanish company which is into the design, development and manufacturing of highly engineered metal components is betting big on safety with a host of lightweight innovations pertaining to the structural safety of a vehicle, on display at the Auto Expo Components 2020 (Hall 4B-FF / Stall No. 188). 

After opening up its technical centre in India in Pune, it is working on developing India-specific solutions and also aiding its 13 other R&D centres to carry out concurrent engineering work. The company has a presence in 23 countries with over 100 manufacturing plants. 

At the Auto Expo, Gestamp is showcasing its range of high-strength steel applications and chassis solutions for passenger vehicles in order to meet the stringent frontal and side-offset crash norms in the country. It is also displaying its range of structurally critical solutions for battery safety in an EV. 

The company is betting big on these innovative solutions which can offer dual benefits to OEMs, and help them meet the safety as well as emissions norms which require an improvement in vehicle efficiency by reducing weight. 

Its advancements in hot stamping allow the company to present the most advanced and cost-effective light weighting solutions for vehicle body structures. Gestamp, which has all of three manufacturing plants in India including a dedicated hot stamping facility for Skoda-Volkwagen in Pune has invested to be partners to the Volkswagen Group's India 2.0 strategy and supply lightweight chassis parts from 2021 to the new models slated to be launched next year. 

Gestamp will supply the subframe and the front control arm on the new models to be launched under the two German brands in India next year. 

Gestamp will supply the sub-frame (above) on the Skoda-Volkswagen models to be launched in India in 2021, based on the MQB-AO-IN platform.

The hot stamping technology was launched in India with the establishment of Gestamp’s hot stamping plant in Pune. It caters to the demands of contemporary automotive manufacturers, especially in terms of adopting regulations pertaining to crash tests, improved fuel economy, emissions norms and NCAP ratings. The technology also matches the Indian implementation and UN standards of safety regulations in vehicles.

The company has showcased not just hot stamping parts but also class-A skin panels that are made at its Pune plant and supplied to Skoda-Volkswagen. While its second plant in Pune caters to Fiat-Chrysler and Tata Motors, the third facility in Chennai supplies parts to Renault-Nissan, Ford and Hyundai+Kia in India. Its current installed capacity is 1.2 million annual stamped parts and expansion will depend upon future plans of its customers.

"We have to emphasise on the make-in-India policy: Glyn John Jones
"New safety norms that have been brought in by the government call us to bring more and more solutions which are lightweight yet strong enough," said Glyn John Jones, country manager, Gestamp India. 

"In terms of EVs, globally, markets at the moment are still in a transition phase depending upon which market we are talking about. Here in India, it is at nurturing stage. But, we have got products and are working on the products which are safety oriented," he added.

Innovative one-piece door concept
In terms of new innovation, the company has showcased a one-piece door concept which merges a four-part panel into one, thus reducing the complexity. The concept has been developed by Gestamp's R&D team in Barcelona and it is supplying it to FCA-RAM in North America. 

While it is a lightweighting solution that can also meet crash regulations, company says clients would also save on logistics, warehousing space and internal investments. 

Also, Gestamp has displayed a lightweight Battery Box for EVs which safeguards the battery from impact. Gestamp is supplying the battery box to Nissan for its e-NV200 electric van from Barcelona.

Business from newcomers
The company, which established its first facility in India in 2006, in Pune and partnered with Volkswagen, is now eyeing business from PSA Peugeot (from Chennai) and other new players entering the India market as well. 

"We are in discussions with all the newcomers coming to India. We already have business with SAIC in the ASEAN region and now we want to grow that relationship in India," said Jones.

"We see India to be a strategic market for Gestamp. Hopefully, we will have more facilities in India in the future. We have already invested with Skoda-VW and we will monitor the changes that new safety regulations bring to our business in the near future to chalk our future roadmap," he added.

Recovery by second-half of CY2020
While the India automotive market has been reeling under tremendous pressure of the prolonged slowdown over the last one year, it's been no different for Gestamp. "Obviously, last year was a challenging year for all automotive companies, but we had foreseen our customer plans and planned accordingly. However, this year, however, has started off on a positive note as the BS IV stocks for most of our clients are getting over."

"So, compared to last year, it would be a growth year and we are looking for a more optimistic H2 of CY2020," Jones concluded.

Gestamp closed 2018 with overall global revenues of 184 million euros (Rs 1,438 crore) for its India business and is expecting a marginal 5 percent growth in revenues for last year (2019) for its global business, the results for which are set to be announced towards the end of this month.