Sundaram Clayton to invest in US plant; expand in India too

Chennai: Automotive castings company, Sundaram Clayton, part of the TVS group, on Thursday said it was investing $50 million to set up a greenfield factory in the US, in sync with Trump administration’s call to set up factories in America. In addition, the company has announced a Rs 400 crore expansion plan for its Indian operations.

“This is our first overseas venture,” said Lakshmi Venu, joint MD of Sundaram Clayton. The plant will come up in Dorchester county in South Carolina across 50 acres. It will make high pressure die cast and gravity cast parts. Construction at the site is expected to begin by April and first production would be ready for roll out by end of 2018.

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She denied it was after US president Trump’s protectionist policies. “We have been planning for the past two years, We are following our clients who want changes to our existing supply chain,” she said. Changing automotive dynamics are forcing companies to shorten supply chains. There will also be benefits on carbon footprint for the company.

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Sundaram Clayton will also expand its capacities across its four plants in India. “We will invest nearly Rs 400 crore in the next three years for our Indian operations,’ Venu said.

She said all the funding required for both projects would be through a mix of equity and debt. Upon completion of expansion, the Indian operations can make 70,000 tonnes of aluminum castings, up from 60,000 tonnes. “We are very bullish on India story. Between 2011-12 and 2015-16, we have completed an investment of Rs 408 crore in adding capacities across the three Chennai plants and one Hosur plant,” she added.

The company, which ended March 2016 with revenues of Rs 1,523 crore said its export basket contributed to 40% of total revenues of which 60% of the exports were to the US.

Sundaram-Clayton is a manufacturer of aluminum die cast products catering to the automotive industry.

It is part of $7 billion TVS group, one of the largest automotive and automotive component manufacturing and distribution groups in India, besides being the holding company for two wheeler maker TVS Motor.

Source: India in Business; February 13, 2017

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