Truck airconditioning takes off on right note while tractors will follow suit.
DM Reddy, CEO, says discussions are underway with Mahindra & Mahindra and TAFE for providing airconditioners in their tractors. “This is an interesting area and manufacturers are looking at tractor airconditioning in a big way. It not only protects drivers from dust and heat but also from insects especially when they are driving tractors at night,” he says.
As in the case of trucks (see box story) airconditioners are still considered a luxury for tractors and drivers believe that such comfort will actually make them sleepy! “However, things are now changing especially with more and more owner drivers,” Reddy says. Subros has already started the design part for tractor airconditioners.
The company is also in the process of localising the HVACs (heating ventilating and airconditioning) for the Maruti Swift. The company is currently importing the HVAC from Denso, Subros’ Japanese partner. The HVAC has already been localised and is under testing. The diesel variant of the Swift to be launched later this year will also have the same HVAC, says Reddy.
He is particularly proud of his company’s validation centre in Noida that is now fully functional and has been its “biggest achievement”. The centre is already supporting several companies. “General Motors has used our centre for engine tuning and other related activities. We are also going to help our competitors test their vehicles in our lab. We did a lot of work for Tata Motors and even Delphi and Sandon used our facility. Sending a vehicle abroad is expensive. It works out to Rs 1 crore while it can be done at Rs 20 lakh here,” Reddy says.
Subros, which is restricted from exporting products as per its agreement with its Japanese partner, is confident that the domestic market has plenty to offer. There are indications that the next Maruti model development “will happen in a major way in India”.
While the company’s Pune plant has started the first phase of operations, phase 2 will kick off in October. This is the same time when production will begin at Manesar. This will take total capacity to 750,000 units and to one million units by June 2007. Pune will cater to M&M and Tata Motors while Manesar will meet Maruti's needs.
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