Aurangabad-based Marathwada Auto Compo (MAC), one of the the world’s largest manufacturer of front suspensions for two- and three-wheelers, is foraying into the passenger vehicle segment with an indigenously developed electronic power-assisted steering (EPAS) for A-segment cars and small commercial vehicles in India.
The EPAS, which has been developed completely in India in partnership with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), is targeted at light vehicles and is the first product the company has developed for the passenger car segment.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Ajit Soundalgikar, vice-chairman and managing director MAC, said, “ARAI has helped us with the ECU and the rest of the mechanical parts are developed by us. We have worked on EPAS for over four years to get it ready for the market. At present, we are conducting the trials on the existing fleet of cars. After the trails, in early 2020, we will introduce the product in India first in the aftermarket.” At present, the company caters to two- and three-wheelers, construction and mining segment OEMs in India.
L-R: Ajit Soundalgikar, vice-chairman and managing director, Marathwada Auto Compo, and Rajendra Bhandari, GM, Material.
“Over the past two decades, we have been making steering columns for two- and three-wheelers. This helped us gain the expertise and special skills set to make zero-defect products, thus gaining over 97 percent market share. To further upgrade our capabilities not only in mechanical but also in electronics, we partnered with ARAI and developed this product,” elaborates Soundalgikar.
The company has been supplying only to OEMs thus far. Now with EPAS, it is entering the aftermarket segment for the first time. What the company is bullish about is that no local player makes electronic power-assisted steering in India today, and only foreign players manufacture the same in India.
MAC says it has an advantage of making the product locally both in terms of quality and price. “Once we deploy this product in the aftermarket and after the initial feedback, we would target OEMs as the product is of high quality with superior reliability,” says Soundalgikar.
MAC, which is a single-source supplier to almost 14 OEMs with a market share of over 97 percent in front suspensions for two- and three-wheelers, is expanding into newer product segments. The company also exports front suspensions to Piaggio for its two-wheelers in Europe.
Having first begun supplying steering columns to Bajaj Auto’s two-wheelers back in 1997, MAC then also bagged the business for three-wheeler steering columns. This was followed by key customers like Piaggio, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS Motor, Atul Auto and Scooter India for three-wheelers. In 2003, the company diversified into earthmoving, construction and mining equipment and today caters to both the domestic and exports market in this segment.
In mid-2018, the company began operations at a rented facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu to cater to TVS Motor’s mopeds. Next year, it plans to set up a new plant at Hosur dedicated to TVS Motor and move out from the rented place.
The company has seen rapid growth over the years and from a Rs 20 crore annual turnover in 1997, it is likely to hit the Rs 200 crore mark by FY2019. “We are bullish with our current business and the orders we have received from major OEMs. Our current business plans indicate that we are targeting Rs 500 crore revenue by 2021 and we confident of achieving this target,” signs off a confident Soundalgikar.