Swiss firm setting up machine tool plant in India

January 27th, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Jan 27 (IANS) Leading Swiss firm StarragHeckert Holding AG will soon set up a $31-million (Rs.1.53-billion/Rs.1,535-crore) machine tool manufacturing plant in India, a top company official said Tuesday.”The plant location will be decided in the next three months. We have short-listed Bangalore, Pune and Chennai,” StarragHeckert chief executive Frank Brinken told reporters here.

In the run-up, the global firm has set up a wholly-owned Indian subsidiary - StarragHeckert Machine Tools Ltd and plans to foray in two phases, with an upfront investment of $6 million (Rs.297 million/Rs.29.7 crore) in the first phase and $25 million (Rs.1.24 billion/Rs.124 crore) in the second phase, generating about 300 jobs by 2010.

“We will set up an assembly and manufacturing unit followed by a world-class machinery facility subsequently. Initially, we will import kits in SKD (semi-knocked down) and CKD (completely knocked down) conditions and scale up manufacturing as we build volume,” Brinken said.

Renowned for its advanced precision milling machines for energy, aerospace, automotive and transport, and precision machine sectors, the $300-million (2007 revenue) StarragHeckert has been shipping its range of products to Indian firms over the last four decades under the brand name ‘WMW’ through its sole marketing channel Francis Klein.

“Though we have exported about 28,000 machines over the last 40 years across sectors we see a huge potential to tap, as about 70 percent of the machines installed in India are still imported,” Brinken said.

Leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Ashok Leyland, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bajaj, Hindustan Aeronautics, Hero Honda, Mahindra, Siemens, Tata, TVS, Winergy and defence organisations are some of the major importers of StarragHeckert tools and machines.

“The market for high precision machine tools in India is estimated to be about $150 million,” he contended.

Francis Klein managing director Ghanshyam Agarwal hinted at a 20-30 percent price reduction in WMW tools and machines such as engines when these are rolled out of StarragHeckert plant in India.

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