ACI Bureau

Rane TRW Steering Systems Pvt. Ltd. (RTSSL), a joint venture of the Chennai-headquartered Rane Group and the ZF Group, has opened a new facility for occupant safety products at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. Strategically located on the Trichy-Chennai national highway, 40km from Trichy and 300 km from Chennai, the new facility will address the expected market demand and add capacity to localise laser cutting of fabrics and airbag cushion manufacturing for captive use and exports.

The company has invested around Rs 400 million in the new facility. The initial annual capacity will be around 0.50 million modules of airbags and 1 million units of seat belt assemblies. The annual capacity would be ramped up to 1 million modules of airbags and 2 million units of seatbelt assemblies in 2 years, with an additional investment of around Rs 250 million to Rs 300 million. These investments are aligned with the Rane Group’s goal to bring best-in-class technology to help customers to offer products with enhanced safety.

Harish Lakshman, Vice Chairman, Rane Group, and Managing Director, Rane TRW Steering Systems Pvt. Ltd. said, “This new state-of-the-art facility will help us to address increasing demand for occupant safety products and enable us to further localise the airbag cushion manufacturing process. In this milestone of Occupant Safety Division, I would like to thank our customers and partner ZF for their support in this growth journey.”

Dr Michael Büchsner, Executive Vice President, Passive Safety Systems Division, ZF Group, said, “The Indian market is increasingly important for the ZF Group and particularly for our Passive Safety Systems Division. Our joint activities with Rane are appreciated by local OEMs and support our competitiveness for global customers and platforms. The opening of the joint bag sewing plant in Trichy is the next logical step to further increase our vertical integration and thereby our customer service. That is only possible thanks to the continuous support by our JV partner Rane.”

Suresh KV, Head of ZF India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Safety is becoming a key driver for tomorrow’s mobility. With this investment both of the joint venture partners firmly support the target to reduce the number of total road fatalities. Bringing key safety technology to the Indian market underlines the growing importance of this region for the automotive world.”

Harish further said, “Right now, we are under discussion with our partners on the products that are needed for the next 5 years. Airbags in India started only for drivers, then it came to passenger side. Going forward you will have knee airbags, curtain airbags and lot other products that will keep getting added. Therefore, we are clearly preparing ourselves to bring all those technology. Beyond that, there is no immediate plan. Rane and ZF as partners look at the next 7 years and plan to bring those technologies to the Indian market. We are also looking at exports. Currently we are exporting to Korea. Discussions are on to enhance export opportunities to other countries as well.” ACI

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