Leading technology company in the field of automotive displays/HMI solutions, climate control and thermal management, Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH (BHTC), is looking at its India's arm to contribute about 10% of its revenue in five years.
Speaking to Mobility Outlook, after inaugurating the state-of-the-art fully integrated manufacturing facility and technical centre in Pune on Wednesday, Michael Jaeger, CEO, BHTC Group, said that the Indian automotive market is the fastest growing market in the world and, “to be successful globally we need to be successful in India.” The company sees huge opportunities to grow by offering specific products to its customers in India and beyond. Besides, the global company will leverage the competence of India operations in engineering, IT and HR, he said.
BHTC India is vital for developing competencies for the local and global requirements. It will support customers beyond boundaries in terms of technology and product manufacturing, he said.
Kolja Kress, CFO, BHTC, said, the company will be investing in the second assembly in at the Pune facility. In 2006 it invested about €10 million and will be ploughing in an equal amount in India in the next couple of years. Jaeger said that these initiatives would make BHTC India contribute about 10% of the global revenues in the next five years.
Kress said, “We have a lot of fixed revenues booked and so there is natural growth. We are still working on a number of opportunities. Also there are number of global projects involving software engineering, testing and augmenting product lines.”
The Pune facility is spread across 120,000 square feet and employs around 300 people. It specialises in end-to-end product development and manufacturing of advanced HMI and Climate Control Panels for leading automotive OEMs in India and across the globe. The company has upgraded its manufacturing capability and capacity to produce world-class products out of India. The facility houses an advanced testing and validation centre, global R&D centre, global IT and shared services under one roof.
The opening of the new facility underscores the strategic importance of India as one of the key pillars of BHTC’s global R&D network. The engineers in India are already working on the latest technologies and innovations for its local and global customers. With the expansions, it aims to accelerate the global development activities in the coming months and ramp up the R&D strength to about 300 soon from about 200 now.
“The new facility will house SMD manufacturing, advanced testing and validation center, global R&D center, global IT and Shared services, all under one roof. New facility will strengthen our local manufacturing capabilities, design and development of innovative climate control and HMI solutions,” Kress added.
Sudeesh Karimbingal, Managing Director, BHTC India, said, “The investment in the new facility not only meets the increased demand for our products but is also having a positive cascading effect on employment generation and skilling at the same time. We are very well positioned to achieve our 2025 strategic goal – to be the market leader in India for automotive HMI and climate control products. We aim to outperform the industry by growing over 15% CAGR next five years based on the already bagged strong order book. We see a growing demand for BHTC’s display solutions in India with the augmenting demand for connected vehicles with increasing dependency on navigation systems, infotainment systems, and growing awareness of in-vehicle safety and comfort among Indian consumers.”