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ArvinMeritor sets up New Technical Center in Bangalore, India Print E-mail
Written by Arjun   
Friday, 25 September 2009
Bangalore: ArvinMeritor, a tier one automotive supplier and global market leader in independent truck drive axles, has opened a new technical center in Bangalore, which will lead the company's advanced product development initiatives for its range of axles and brakes.

"We've had a technical center here in Bangalore for over ten years. This is the next phase in our expansion of our abilities here, in India, to support the local market and the rest of ArvinMeritor's business," said Tim Bowes, ArvinMeritor’s vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific.

(L-R) Tim Bowes, Nagaraja Gargeshwari, Baba Kalyani, Kevin Thieneman, Larry DowersThe Bangalore technical center is the second largest technical center of ArvinMeritor out of 7 globally, in terms of number of employees. The center will support the company’s engineering needs in North America, South America and Europe.


The company is currently in the process of transitioning out of it's light vehicle business.

"We are transitioning the company to focus on, not only the commercial vehicle space, but also off-highway, military, aftermarket and industrial application. There were 2 divisions in our light vehicle side . We sold off bulk of our chassis division and we are in the final stages of our body division," explained Bowes.

"We think, in Asia there are opportunities for expansion of our business inorganically," said Tim Bowes. He said that the present economic scenario had presented interesting opportunities for inorganic expansion.

ArvinMeritor has projected a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30% by 2014.

Investment & expansion

Speaking about the investment involved in the technical center, Larry Dowers, ArvinMeritor’s Vice President and Managing Director for India said, "Over the last 5 years the company has invested Rs.25 crores into engineering in India."

In the next phase the company will bring in additional test equipment.

"We are already working with a developer here to identify a facility of about 20,000 sq.ft. where we are going to expand the testing capabilities which includes dynamometer rigs for axles and brakes, hub testing, road load data acquisition and hydraulic rigs for vertical fatigue and side skid," said Nagaraja Gargeshwari, Engineering Director and Site Manager of ArvinMeritor's Bangalore Technical center.

Hiring plans

"We currently have about 75 employees here and we will be adding another 30 employees by the end of this year. Eighty percent of this team mainly works for project design and development. We also have global sourcing and supplier development team based here," Gargeshwari said.

"We've had some very good ideas come out of the India test centre and they have been highly recognised for their patent contributions to the company," said Larry Dowers. Two patents have been awarded and six patent applications are in various stages of approval.

JV with the Kalyani group

ArvinMeritor has been present in India for nearly 30 years. Automotive Axles Ltd., a joint venture between ArvinMeritor and the Kalyani group which is located in Mysore, manufactures axles, gears, housings and brake components for commercial vehicles. It is the largest independent manufacturer of rear drive axles in India.

Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems (India) Ltd [MHVSIL], which is also a JV between ArvinMeritor and the Kalyani group, is involved in the marketing, sales and application engineering for axles and brakes.

"Since I've been here, in 2 years we've doubled the number of suppliers in India. Currently we have north of 20-25 suppliers in India," said Larry Dowers.

The company is currently the market leader in 'independent truck drive axle' and 'independent off-highway axle' in the Asia Pacific region.

Global platform

"We will continue to expand our engineering capabilities in Asia. We feel that engineering the products here, leveraging the global platform is very key. India and China are definitely a focus to grow our aftermarket and remanufacturing business," said Tim Bowes.

"Today, if you look around any where in the world, there is a concept that the whole world needs a common platform, common technology. There is a tremendous amount of convergence that has begun to take place. It is an interesting thing that the truck industry in India, which is our primary customer, is now becoming global," said Baba Kalyani, chairman and managing director, Bharat Forge Limited.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 September 2009 )
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