With the recent spurt in activities in the automobile space in Gujarat as Ford and Maruti come knocking, the auto-components industry at Rajkot is eying huge growth in the coming years. The component makers in Rajkot expect at least 20-30 per cent growth in business.
The automotive component makers in Rajkot had witnessed good growth after Tata Motors parked its Nano project at Sanand near Ahmedabad. Earlier this month, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava visited Gujarat and the company has shown keen interest in setting up a manufacturing plant here. Meanwhile, the state government is in final stages of discussion with Ford India which has sought for 550 acres of land at Sanand. Ford is almost all set to enter Gujarat.
"It will surely boost the auto components industry of Rajkot. As auto giants like Maruti and Ford show interest to come to Gujarat, demand of auto-components will increase. The industry at Rajkot may witness more than 30 per cent growth," said Dhanubhai Vora, president, Greater Rajkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GRCCI). At present the auto-component industry at Rajkot is clocking a 15-20 per cent growth per year, industry sources claimed. Rajkot has more than 500 auto component manufacturers with a net turnover of around Rs 1500 crore.
"The entry of these major automakers in Gujarat will attract new investment in Rajkot auto-components industry as well. Moreover, one cannot ignore the possibility of companies from outside Rajkot coming to set up units here," Suresh Santoki, managing director of Amul Industries said. The state first hit the headlines when Tata Motors decided to relocate the Nano project here from Bengal. Untill then the only prominent automobile company in the state was General Motors which had set up base in Halol. Atul Auto, however, has been present in Rajkot for years.
Some of the Rajkot-based units have even expanded to cater to the rising demand thanks to the Tata Nano. Amul Industries, for example, has invested around Rs 25 crore on new unit at Sanand to supply parts to the Tata Nano plant. "Smaller players will have to move on the way to automation to reduce the problem of shortage of skilled manpower," Santoki said. As Gujarat emerges as an auto hub, it will not only provide a boost to the auto-component makers business, it will also cut down the cost of transportation significantly.
"The Rajkot industry will see the growth when auto makers start operation in Gujarat, and it will help to expand business. Moreover it will cut down the cost of transportation.The industry would have move towards automation to beat the issue of manpower shortage," said Upen Modi, managing director of Unitech Engineers Private Limited. The company is setting up a new unit with an investment of Rs 15 crore to meet demand. Of the 500 auto component manufacturers at Rajkot, around 50 are suppliers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) while the remaining are small players which supply to the retail market.
The industry in Rajkot produces more than 300 types of parts for the automobile industry and employs about 10,000 people.