Chennai – The Detroit of India

We have all heard everyone talk about how Chennai is the Detroit of India. Here’s exactly why. I’m sure we all know some, but there are quite a few that we don’t. The current major players are

> Hyundai – currently scaling up capacity to 400,000 and making Chennai its export hub for small cars
> FORD – has an installed plant capacity of 100,000
> Ashok Leyland – scaling up capacity from current 50,000
> HM-Mitsubishi – Lancer assembly plant – capacity at 44,000 cars
> TAFE – tractors project – 60,000 tractors per annum
> Caterpillar – Earthmoving equipment plant
> Enfield and TVS Motors – Motorcycles
> ICF – Rail coaches – Perambur
> Heavy Vehicles Factory – Battle Tanks – at Avadi

The Auto components Industry is on a growth phase too with about 35% of India’s capacity in Chennai. There are 107 players in the large category with over 2000 SMEs. The estimated investment in the component industry is worth $800 million and it provides direct employment to over 45,000 people.

Names like Sundaram Fastners, Sundaram Clayton, Rane TRW, Brakes India, Wheels India have received honors at the highest level viz. Deming Award, Japan Quality Medal among others. And how can we forget our very own Madras Rubber Factory (MRF)and Dunlop which is back after a long shutdown and all-set to get into production. And Saint Gobain who have started production of their SEKURIT automotive glass out of their Chennai plant. The list goes on and on and on….

Here’s why Ford chose Chennai. David Friedman, former managing director Ford India Ltd. says, “Tamil Nadu had long been established as a leader in the supply of auto components to the existing auto manufacturers. The required skills are available. The basic infrastructure is as good …. The proximity to the port, as well as the infrastructural facilities, had immense possibilities of expansion and facilitates easy access to imports and exports. The international airport in Chennai connects India to the major industrial capitals of the world. Another major factor on the future development of the industry in the State, is its potential to grow, … To top all these factors is the thrust given by the State Govt. to support the industrialization by reducing red tape and bureaucratic processes which were deterring the foreign investors from coming into India”.

And the latest addition to this is BMW which is setting up a greenfield facility at Mahindra City. Way to go!

Notes: Guidance Bureau, Tamilnadu

5 Comments so far

  1. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

    Since when did BMW make green fields.

    Thought they made cars… … …

  2. vinod (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

    when you set up a plant on a piece of land / field where there was nothing before it is referred to as a greenfield one…

  3. haha (unregistered) on July 23rd, 2006 @ 11:17 pm

    Ah..All the resources were being swindled by the MNCs and nothing is left for the people of the land..

  4. Vinod (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 12:03 am

    Ashok Leyland is Indian. So is MRF, TAFE, ICF, Enfield, TVS Motors. So are all the auto component manufactures.

    Plus, all these MNCs employ Indian talent and is headed by Indians. Ford by Arvind Mathew, St. Gobain by Santhanam and Mitsubishi HM by Ravi Santhanam.

    Can you pls clarify.

  5. WA (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 2:56 am

    Funny though that it should be called greenfields when as direct a result of the building of the factory its the same green fields that would have been destroyed.

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