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Steering Growth - ACE List 2019

By Niranjan Mudholkar,

Added 23 August 2019

The opening of Nexteer’s facility in Chennai and our expanded production capacity in India are important pieces in our global strategy and represent our confidence in the growth potential of the automotive market in India, says Madhav Kulkarni, India MD, Nexteer Automotive


Our almost 40 percent revenue is from Exports and 50 percent of this comes from direct export to Global Customers, says Madhav Kulkarni, India MD, Nexteer Automotive

Nexteer Automotive opened the India Software Center in Bengaluru in January 2019. How are you leveraging on this center to serve different markets?

The Software Center in Bangalore is going to serve Nexteer’s three Engineering Development locations including Saginaw (USA), Suzhou (China) and Tychy (Poland) for all EPS software development work with Global Customers.

Software plays an increasingly important role in the safety and performance of Nexteer’s advanced steering systems. We view our software and electronic capabilities as key differentiators – especially as the market demand and steering function complexity grows with driver assist features and varying levels of automated driving. Nexteer is committed to deploying a best-in-class global team that delivers innovative solutions with speed, flexibility and seamless vehicle integration. The India Software Center expands Nexteer’s software development by focusing on downstream software production and validation – ensuring quality and compliance with regulations and enables us to offer our global customers fast and flexible support.

With the inauguration of its third India plant in Chennai in January 2019, Nexteer Automotive is also steadily increasing its manufacturing footprint in this market. What is driving this growth?
With Chennai plant we had launched our core product EPS (Electric Power Steering) for Indian market. The Chennai plant is going to focus mainly on EPS product. We are also putting state of art Drive Line (HS) manufacturing foot print in Chennai & that will cater mostly for export of HS products to Global customers. 
With Chennai Plant we had launched Nexteer’s core product - the high quality and safety-critical Electric Power Steering (EPS) products to India, as well as fast, responsive service to better serve our customers. Nexteer’s EPS systems enhance driver comfort, control and feel-of-the-road, while also enabling ADAS features, such as lane keeping, park assist, lane departure warning, traffic jam assist and more. EPS systems also offer automakers increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. At the same time, they help give your vehicle personality and performance. The opening of Nexteer’s facility in Chennai and our expanded production capacity in India are important pieces in our global strategy and represent our confidence in the growth potential of the automotive market in India.

How is the Chennai plant enhancing Nexteer’s manufacturing capabilities and capacities?
Chennai plant will have installed capacity of about 550K EPS systems & 1.2 million HS per year. This is state of art facility for both EPS & HS products with latest technology and controls.


Tell us about your customers in India and the kind of solutions you are offering to them.
We do supply to most of major OEMs in India. They include Maruti Suzuki, Renault & Nissan, Tata Motors, Mahindra and so on. We offer the India customers the systems integration and cost optimized solution, which is suitable to meet Indian market conditions with Nexteer’s over 110 years proven experience in the industry. We get involved with customers from design stage so that we can also work jointly on optimum solution.

What are some of the key trends that we can expect in the segments of Steering and Driveline? Tell us what Nexteer is doing in this context.
As you aware with BS VI change, safety & economy of drive, the EPS transition will happen fast in passenger vehicle segment up to SUV. We are here to support all customers with most suitable solution in this regard. On drive line with EV transition, we will have challenges for Indian market. We will use our global product experience to support our customers in India.

The field of mobility is going through disruptive transformations constantly. How is Nexteer Automotive is responding vis-a-vis these dynamics?
Relentless innovation is part of our culture. Everyday around the globe, we pursue new ways to enhance safety & performance for today’s world & an automated future. EPS is a key ADAS enabler for features on the road today such as park assist, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning & traffic jam assist. Besides, our Steer-by-Wire technology unlocks new benefits for both drivers and OEMs in future mobility, and enables further functions, such as Nexteer Steering on Demand™ System (Safe, transitions b/w manual & automated driving) & Nexteer Quiet Wheel™ Steering (Steering wheel remains still during automated driving) for automated driving. We work with most of Global Customers (almost 60 nos) including three Major USA OEMs. We are making sure that we are on track to meet / exceed the customer expectations in terms of technological innovations. In many cases we are partnering with Customers for innovations.

Having started its India operations in 1995, Nexteer Automotive is now heading towards its 25th year in this market. How would you analyse the journey so far?
Last 25 years journey was challenging as we did transform through many challenges including Limited Bankruptcy by Delhi, where we got separated with independent company under Name Nexteer. Our major growth came after separate entity Under Nexteer brand and we are striving for US$ 200 million revenue by 2025.

Tell us about your exports business from India.
Our almost 40 percent revenue is from Exports and 50 percent of this comes from direct export to Global Customers. We do export Hyd Power Steering Pumps to PSA in France and Fiat in Turkey, Manual Steering Columns to Suzuki Japan. We export HS through Renault and Nissan in India to their operations in Brazil, France & Japan.

How do you see the India market evolving in the next two years?
We will have many challenges with BS VI transition and EV drive from Central Government. Safety will become a major focus in coming years with all these changes. Currently Automotive Industry is going through tough time and I am sure that we will come out of this soon with path on growth trajectory.

What is your vision for Nexteer Automotive India?
We are ready to support all customers in India and also global customers out of India in coming years with technologically advanced, quality products. we are looking forward for a quantum jump in revenue with customer experience management. Our vision is to have US$ 200 million revenue by 2025. 

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