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German auto parts maker hopes for leg-up from Nano


Chennai : German industrial group Freudenberg, which posted a turnover of 5.34 billion Euros (Rs.366 billion/$7.2 billion) in 2007, is hoping to cash in on India’s small car wonder Nano’s potential demand, a top company official said here Wednesday.

“We supply oil seals, vibration control items and non-woven items for the Nano car. We will realise around 50 Euro per Nano,” Jorg Matthias Grossmann, managing director and chief financial officer of Freudenberg’s chemical specialities division, told reporters.

Grossmann, however, conceded it had to be seen to what extent Nano would eat into the existing two wheeler market.

Terming India as one of the focus Asian markets, he said the group’s Indian outfits generate a total business of around Rs.5.5 billion annually, and that the units had “enough capacity” to cater to the country’s automotive industry,

The German group has business interests in auto components (seals, vibration control technology components and filters), lubricants, non-woven products, speciality chemicals and information technology (IT) services.

Since 2004, Freudenberg and its Indian partners have invested around Rs.1.16 billion on production facilities and setting up a sales network.

Meanwhile, the German group is set to inaugurate a vocational training centre Thursday, set up to benefit the tsunami-hit people in Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu, around 320 km from here.

Explaining the delay in commissioning the project, Grossmann said while the tsunami hit the Indian coast in December 2004 and the project was planned the following year, the policies of the Indian governments – central (regarding transfer of funds from abroad) and the state (ownership of land) “continued to change, delaying our project”.

Added group company Kluber Lubrication president and chief executive K.R.V. Prameshwar: “The Indian government is yet to give its nod to transfer funds from Germany for the project. The group companies have met the project cost out of their own funds.”

Eleven acres of land was bought in February 2007, and construction work started seven months later.