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Wheels India in pact with Topy Industries

Special Correspondent
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Srivats Ram (left), Managing Director, with S. Srivathsan, President (Finance), Wheels India, at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday. — PHOTO: BIJOY GHOSH
Srivats Ram (left), Managing Director, with S. Srivathsan, President (Finance), Wheels India, at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday. — PHOTO: BIJOY GHOSH

Wheels India, a TVS Group company, has inked a technical agreement with Topy Industries, a leading maker of steel wheels in Japan. The technical collaboration is for process, design and development of steel passenger car wheels.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Srivats Ram, Managing Director, said the technical pact with Topy would help Wheels India get closer to customers. Elaborating further, he said through its tie-up with Topy, the TVS company “is looking to be a part of the early stage development of steel wheels for passenger cars.'' With many Japanese and Korean car makers setting up production facilities and looking at India as a major hub for global product launches, it was imperative for Wheels India to benchmark itself to world standards and “increase its capacity to garner new business from Japanese and Korean companies.'' The alliance with Topy was precisely intended to achieve this, he added. Wheels India, in the meanwhile, has reported a net profit of Rs.10.98 crore for the quarter ended September, 2011 up from Rs.5.14 crore in the same quarter last year. Revenue for the quarter was up 19 per cent at Rs.496 crore (Rs.417 crore). The net profit for the first-half year ended September 2011, also more than doubled to Rs.18.17 crore from Rs.7.77 crore in the year-ago period. Revenue for the first-half increased by 19 per cent to Rs.956 crore (Rs.802 crore).

Mr. Srivats Ram said exports had been a strong growth driver for the company in the second quarter of the current year. About to 30 per cent of incremental sales during this period came from exports with a strong traction for mining and truck wheels, he pointed out. Wheels India, he said, had a diversified customer base with over 30 customers globally. While over 80 per cent of the company's business came from the domestic market, the company exports wheels for off-road construction equipment and agricultural applications to Japan, Korea, the U.S., Brazil, Belgium, South Africa, China and Indonesia, he said. Mr. Srivats Ram said exports would remain strong for the second-half of the current year. He was hopeful of a revival in the domestic automotive market in the next calendar year.

He said the company had a well diversified revenue mix with one-third coming from the commercial vehicle segment, 22 per cent from passenger car, 15 per cent from construction and mining fields and 5 per cent from air suspension. The balance came from other segments, he added. Mr. Srivats Ram said Wheels India would be investing over Rs.70 crore this year in capital expenditure. This would largely go towards expanding the presence of Wheels India in the global markets, he added. He said the company could easily dip into internal generations to fund the capex programme for the year.


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