JTEKT India generates around 75-80 % of its overall revenue from its steering business
JTEKT India Limited – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-based JTEKT Corporation – is focussed on accelerating its steering system business across the country, which is its key focus area as it contributes to around 75-80 % of its overall revenue. “The steering supply vertical is our main growth engine in India. We cater to around 30 % of the country’s passenger car market and this is in line with the philosophy of JTEKT Corporation of offering products that are enjoyed and relished by the society,” said Sudhir Chopra, Director, Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary, JTEKT India.
Besides manufacturing steering systems for passenger cars, JTEKT India Limited operates in three other segments – ball bearings, driveline components and machine tools. The company operates seven plants across the country – it operates one facility at Gurugram, three at Dharuhera, one each at Bawal, Sangli and Chennai.
The steering system market for commercial vehicles (CV) is a lucrative market, but JTKET India for now, wants to stay focussed on the passenger vehicle market. “We may foray into the commercial vehicle space in future as realise that it is more lucrative than the passenger vehicle segment. But there is no firm visibility for us to get into this space in the immediate future,” he pointed out.
The push for electric vehicles (EVs) across the country will create new growth opportunities, which makes JTEKT India excited. “Like ICE vehicles EVs will also have steering systems unlike gearboxes and we are focussed on making our steering systems lighter by at least 10-15 %. Clearly, we want to tap whatever opportunities EVs will bring to the market,” stated Chopra.
The company is according high priority to upping its R&D capabilities and in this regard has started working on setting up a technical design centre at Gurugram for which work is being carried out in a phased manner. “We at JTEKT India understand the importance of shortening our lead time for our customers and this technical design centre will address this aspect among others. We have adopted a three-pronged approach for putting up this technical design centre. The setting up of the testing centre in the first phase is complete, while we intend to complete the prototype facility in the second phase by 2020-end. We should hopefully have the entire design centre ready in the final phase by 2021 or 2022,” Chopra exuded optimism.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 has hit hard the global automotive industry and India has been no exception. “This is a tough situation to be in, but I will look at the scenario with full positivity and believe newer opportunities will spring up amidst challenges times,” he said.
It may be worth noting that JTEKT India Limited was earlier known as Sona Koyo Steering Systems (that was established in 1985) and acquired its current name after JTEKT Corporation had picked up a majority stake in Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limited in June 2017. JTEKT Corporation commands a massive presence – it has 152 subsidiaries across twenty-eight countries. Interestingly, JTEKT Corporation was established in January 2006 through the merger of Koyo Seiko Co., Ltd and Toyoda Machine Works Ltd.