Special Correspondent

Honda Siel locating its second manufacturing unit in the NCR

The plant to have an initial installed capacity of 50,000 units a year

To be gradually expanded up to 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh units

JAIPUR: The Bhiwadi region in Rajasthan’s Alwar district is all set to become a major automobile industry hub with yet another automobile major, Honda Siel Cars Ltd (HSCIL), locating its second manufacturing plant and Research & Development centre in Kushkhera in the area. Honda Seil will have its base of ancillary units also in Bhiwadi, which is part of the National Capital Region (NCR).

The HSCIL plant will have an initial installed capacity of about 50,000 units a year with a provision for gradual expansion up to 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh units. The Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO), which has envisaged a growth similar to Pune and Hosur for Bhiwadi in the near future, has provided about 600 acres land at Khushkhera to the company.

On the eve of the groundbreaking ceremony of HSCIL in Khushkhera, RIICO’s managing director Kuldeep Ranka said here that the portion of NCR falling in Rajasthan already had the presence of prominent automobile companies such as Ashok Leyland and Eicher. About 70 auto component units including prominent players like Caparo Fasteners, Climate System, Federal Mogul, Goetze, Hi-Tech Gear, Ocap Chassis, Amtek India, Balkrishna Tyres and Continental Engines are already operating in Bhiwadi region, he noted.

Among the major centres manufacturing automobiles and auto components in the country, the NCR clusters account for 60 per cent production of passenger cars, 55 per cent of motorcycles and 25 per cent of tractors. The growth in NCR has been due primarily to the presence of automobile majors including Maruti Udyog, Hero Honda and Honda Siel Cars.According to Mr. Ranka, in order to create a new auto industry hub, RIICO developed an exclusive auto and engineering zone in a new industrial area, Pathredi, in the Bhiwadi region. Caparo Engineering, Shriram Pistons, Pearaylal & Sons and TPS Infrastructures have already taken allotments here. RIICO is acquiring more land in Bhiwadi for expansion of the Auto Complex.

As a part of an important common infrastructure facility for auto units, the corporation is planning to set up a Tool Room and Training Centre in Pathredi. The land for this purpose has already been earmarked. RIICO has also signed an MOU with JETRO for Japanese Investment in Neemrana, another NCR location on NH 8.

The automobile hub, according to Mr. Ranka, would generate new investment amounting to Rs.3,000 crore in the Bhiwadi region, creating employment potential for over 7,000 persons.

HSCIL was incorporated in December 1995 with majority stake of Honda-Japan to set up car manufacturing facilities. The company began commercial production in December 1997 with an installed capacity of 30,000 units per annum at Greater Noida. The company sold 42,727 units in 2005-2006 and recorded a turnover of Rs.3, 051 crore. The “bhoomi poojan” ceremony for the proposed plant at Khushkhera is scheduled for Sunday. Japanese Economic Trade & Industry Minister Akira Amari and Chairman of Honda Motor Company Ltd, Japan Satoshi Aoki are among those who would attend the ceremony. The plant is expected to start production of components by the end of 2008. The first car is expected to roll out by 2009-end.