Much before auto giants – be it US carmaker General Motors or homegrown Tata Motors – started eyeing Gujarat, Setco Automotive had started a small plant in the tribal belt adjoining Vadodara. Thirt years to that, Setco today is amon global top five clutch manufacturers.
“When we started, the scenario was different and central tapped. Over the past 15 years, Gujarat has changed, “ says Harish Sheth, chairman and managing director of Kalol-based sefco Automotive, which has grown to become India’s largest medium and heay clutch manufacturer with customers like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Volvo Eicher, AMW and Daimler (Bharat Benz) on board.
The likes of Setco which have investment plans north of Rs 500 Crore in the next five years, are only adding to the growth story as Gujarat is poised to emerge as new auto-hub of the country.
Those in auto component sector in and around Vadodara are upbeat about its future and say that with automobile industry coming up in a big way at Halol, Sanand and Bahucharaji, things will only look up.
“Components can reach Sanand and Bahucharaji within a matter of hours. Manufacturers here can take advantage of the situation,” says Jaimin patel, managing director of shyam facturing of automobile Suspensions.
“The city has excellent connectivity and it is possible to make deliveries across the country within in a reasonable frame of time. The manufacturing sector scorers above other parts of the country because of connectivity, power availability and skilled workers,” adds Bhavik khera, managing director of sameer Linkages private Limited.
Unnat Desai, director of a unit manufacturing sheet metal components for auto-industry, observed that the auto-components industry in the city is flourishing.
“The engineering sector has matured over the years and vendors as well as sub-vendors have done well. For those looking to set up automobile manufacturing plants in the state, this is a major consideration in addition to location, infrastructure and state’s policies,” says Desai.
“With country’s largest bike maker Hero Motocorp Ltd driving into the region, Prospects are very good for MSMEs. Many ancillaries had started their journey by supplying components to auto hubs like pune and now there are more ancillaries to back up the sector in Gujarat,” says Jatin Bhatt, Immediate past president of vadodara Chamber of commerce and Industries (VCCI) and owner of Auto Industries Company, which supplies brass, steel and aluminum auto components to auto majors like Tata Motors and General Motors India.
“Automobile sector requirements are quite complex. Though components look small, they have to pass through a series of mechanical and heat treatments. Vadodara region is highly advanced to meet all this rat shah, Owner of polyphase Motor, which supplies motors for precision grade machine tools used by auto ancillary units.