Indian auto makers venturing into aerospace industry

March 16th, 2008 - 8:51 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Tyre makers and automobile component manufacturers are now venturing into uncharted territory of aircraft components production. India-based MRF Tyres, Minda NTS and Sundram Fasteners are going ahead with plans to supply components to aircraft manufacturers.

Last month, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing signed an agreement with Tata Automobile Ltd (TAL) Manufacturing Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors. The Indian company would manufacture structural components for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner airplane programme.

“We are going into partnerships with Indian companies for different aircraft components,” Ian Thomas, president of Boeing India, said.

Analysts estimate that as much as 90 percent of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been outsourced to an international network of fabricators, while 50 percent of the Airbus’ A350 will be farmed out, a pointer to the potential market.

The market is also large. By one estimate, there will be 24,300 aircraft in the world by 2026, with Asia registering the fastest growth.

MRF, India’s leading tyre manufacturer, has taken an initiative in this regard. The company is making tyres for helicopters used by the defence services.

Similarly, lighting manufacturer Lumax Industries is conducting a study on the market condition for aircraft lighting. This industry is looking for technology tie-ups with established players.

According to the industry, there is a large market for Indian companies in aerospace, especially in manufacturing mechanical, electrical, electronics and composites. There is large scope for design services businesses as well, explained an industry expert.

Industry experts said gross profit margins in auto ancillaries are 10 to 12 percent, but for the aviation space they are far higher.

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