Text : Bhargav TS
TM Seating Systems, a 50:50 joint venture between Tata AutoComp Systems and Magna Seating, is focused on designing solutions for the commercial vehicles. The JV, headquartered in Pune, will supply seating systems to customers in India. The product portfolio covers seating system for LCVs, trucks and buses, including coach seats, intercity and city bus seats.
The joint venture is working on various technologies that would improve driver safety and comfort, light-weighting solutions and improved crash performance. For this, the company is considering various material options as well as adopting a modular design approach that offers scalability.
According to an official from Tata AutoComp, “Seating systems in commercial vehicles have not yet evolved in India. With the rapid increase in infrastructure, we envisage more and more vehicles plying long distances. In such a scenario, the safety and comfort of both driver and passengers is paramount.”
The joint venture was floated in September 2014 and the company official said that, “We are in the process of putting many things together in terms of team and structure. On the commercial side, we are already working with a couple of OEMs in India. Our competitive edge will be the technology we bring in – both in terms of design and manufacturing. It will aim at enhancing the safety and comfort of the occupants as well as offer light weighting solutions. Currently, we are investing in creating a testing and prototype facility and subsequently a manufacturing facility.”
TM Seating is discussing solutions with the OEMs for their upcoming vehicles. The actual sales would begin only when these models hit the market. The companies are yet to finalise their launch date. Tata AutoComp provides products and services in the automotive industry to Indian and global customers, including Ashok Leyland, BMW India, Mercedes-Benz India, Eicher Motors, Fiat, Force Motors, Ford India, General Motors India, Hero Honda, Hindustan Motors, Honda Scooters, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd, International Tractors John Deere India, Mahindra and Mahindra, Mahindra Renault, Man Force Trucks, New Holland, Piaggio, Punjab Tractors, Royal Enfield, Skoda, Swaraj Mazda, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited. All these companies could also be the customers of TM Seating.
Tata AutoComp has own capabilities in automotive interior and exterior plastics, composites, sheet metal stampings and engineering and supply chain. It has 4 joint ventures in partnership with leading companies from the Global Auto Component Industry through which it manufactures and markets automotive components and systems like engine cooling solutions, automotive batteries, rear view mirrors, command systems, HVAC and suspensions for heavy commercial vehicles. Tata AutoComp has 29 manufacturing facilities spread across India including one in China.
Magna International, through Magna Seating, is an innovative leader in the development and manufacturing of high quality complete seating systems, mechanism and hardware solutions, specialty mechanism solutions, seat structures as well as foam and trim products for the global automotive industry. Magna has 317 manufacturing operations and 83 product development, engineering and sales centres in 29 countries.
The company official further said, “We will bring the latest in seating systems to the Indian commercial vehicle industry. The combination of Magna’s seating expertise and our knowledge in the Indian market provides both the companies an opportunity for growth in the commercial vehicle market.” ACI