M&M cutting weight of its electric cars
MUMBAI, INDIA — Mumbai-based automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. is using plastics to make its electric Reva vehicles lighter.
The 1,542-pound Mahindra Reva already depends heavily on plastic, but the company wants to get its weight down to 1,213 pounds, according to Chetan Maini, deputy chairman of Reva Electric Car Co.
With the Indian government favoring electric vehicles, M&M is gearing up its strategy for the domestic market.
M&M has a new Mahindra Reva plant at Bangalore with a capacity to make 3,000 cars annually.
“The capacity would be further ramped up to 5,000 units in the next three years, depending on the demand in the Indian market,” Maini said.
Anand JV to make automotive parts
NEW DELHI — Anand Automotive Ltd. has recently commenced production of plastic components for car OEMs at its joint venture plant in Chennai, India.
The venture is with Alzenau, Germany-based Mahle GmbH, said Sandeep Balooja, Anand Automotive's president of group development, at the annual Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers convention in New Delhi. The partnership is called Mahle Filter Systems India Ltd. Its Chennai site caters to a Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. plant.
“The plant manufactures plastic components like plastic cylinder covers and intake manifolds for the Nissan model range,” Balooja said. The 4-month-old plant also supplies Honda Motor Co.
Anand also has set up two joint venture plants in Chennai and Neemrana, India, with Tokyo-based Takata Corp. to make safety systems, including seat belts, airbags and steering wheels. The Neemrana plant started production in late 2010 and serves Indian automakers. The Chennai plant started in 2009.
In addition to plastic parts, Anand makes shock absorbers, filter systems, engine components, drivetrain products, exhaust systems, climate-control and engine-cooling systems, brakes, friction materials and adhesives.
Business park slated for Gujarat region
MUMBAI, INDIA — Some 30 plastics companies in and around India's commercial capital of Mumbai plan to invest about $134 million in a business park under construction in Dahej, located in the state of Gujarat.
“Gujarat is emerging as a major plastic hub,” said Manish Dedhia, secretary of the All India Plastics Manufacturers Association. “Currently, about 70 percent of the raw materials used in the plastic industry in India is being manufactured in Gujarat.”
Gujarat Industrial Development Corp. allocated part of a 200-acre parcel to AIPMA for the park.
“This land has been allotted for the first phase of the project. We are planning to apply for another 300 acres in the second phase,” Dedhia said.
Manufacturers that plan to build there include injection molders, blow molders, extruders and masterbatch makers.
About 150 companies in the plastic sector may be interested in Gujarat. “Dahej is very near to the port, offers very cheap land compared to Maharashtra, moreover, Dahej is a petrochemical hub and also provides uninterrupted power supply,” Dedhia said.
Bharat Plastics adds plant, is diversifying
UMBERGOAN, INDIA — Indian molder Bharat Plastics has moved from Mumbai into a new facility in Umbergoan as part of a two-phase project that will see the firm expand and diversify into plastic packaging and organized retailing.
Bharat Plastics opened the facility in the third quarter of 2010 during the first phase of the project. Another 200,000-square-foot expansion will follow, according to Sanjay Parekh, Bharat Plastics managing director.
The new facility begins a chapter of growth for the company. The site will employ 500 and make more than 70 different plastic products for the consumer-goods market, Parekh said.
“We are further expanding and doubling the production facility in Phase 2, which includes the development of another 200,000 square feet of production space,” said Parekh. “Construction [of that phase began] in Q2 2011, and is expected to be completed by April 2012.”
With the new facility, Bharat Plastics is diversifying into the areas of packaging and organized retailing.
“We are diversifying in cosmetic packaging, PET bottles and home-care products,” Parekh said. Currently, the firm manufactures household and housewares products like lunch boxes, water jugs, flasks, casserole containers, insulated bottles and buckets.
The new plant manufactures 330,690 pounds of plastic products per month, while packaging production is just 55,115 pounds monthly.
“With the expansion of the facility, the packaging production will likely doubled by the middle of next year,” Parekh said.
Bharat Plastics also is moving into organized retailing by supplying directly to retailers such as Mumbai-based chain Big Bazaar.
Bharat Plastics is part of Bharat LLC.