French auto parts maker Valeo to invest $100 million in India

Source: The Economic Times, Oct. 11, 2016

PARIS: French auto parts maker Valeo is betting on India’s engineering prowess, growing middle class and changing regulations.

The $16.2 billion company is looking at investing about $100 million (Rs665 crore) in India in the next two to three years and hire more than 1,000 engineers to support its local and global operations.

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The Indian middle class is growing fast and their spending power is going up while new regulations are going to add value to our products. We are planning to hire engineers in software and also in production to support our global markets,” Chief Executive Jacques André Aschenbroich told ETin an interview.

Aschenbroich, a former French bureaucrat and minister during 1987-88, has been the brain behind the company’s strategy towards developing technology for carbon dioxide reduction and emerging markets like India.

Our current revenue from China is about $1.8 billion and we expect to reach similar revenue in India in next 10 years,” he said.

Valeo’s currently makes $350 million from India and expects it to double in the next two to three years. The automotive technology provider is also gearing up to introduce three new ranges of low-cost hybrid solutions in India in the coming one or two years. Valeo already provides mild hybrid solutions — they help save fuel by allowing engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking, or stopped, but restart quickly — to automakers such as Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra in India. Mild hybrid technology is one of our main focuses,” Aschenbroich said.

The company is also planning to introduce low-cost and high-end mild hybrid system in India. According to Michel Forissier, Valeo’s R&D and electric & hybrid vehicle strategy director, all passenger cars that are longer than 4 metres will soon have mild hybrid in India. The company is expected to introduce mild hybrid with 3-4KW energy by 2018.

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