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Sundaram-Clayton air brake unit opened

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(From left) Mr Suresh Krishna, Chairman, Sundaram-Clayton; Mr Ravi Kant, Executive Director, Tata Motors; Mr Venu Srinivasan, Managing Director, Sundaram-Clayton; and Mr Jacques Esculier, President, WABCO, at the inauguration of Sundaram-Clayton's facility to manufacture air brake systems for commercial vehicles in Chennai on Friday. — Shaju John

Chennai , June 24

SUNDARAM-Clayton's Rs 58-crore facility for producing air brake systems for commercial vehicles was inaugurated today by Mr Ravi Kant, Executive Director, Tata Motors. The plant will be able to produce 1,50,000 sets of compressors, actuators, and valves.

Speaking to newspersons, Mr Venu Srinivasan, Managing Director of Sundaram-Clayton, said that the new facility would turn out to be a production base for exports to the company's US collaborator, WABCO.

At a later stage, perhaps next year, the company could begin manufacturing electronic brake systems from the new plant, he added.

Mr Jacques Esculier, President, WABCO, and Mr Frederic M. Poses, Chairman and CEO of American Standard Companies, the parent company of WABCO, were present at the inauguration.

Sundaram-Clayton manufactures three types of products - air brakes, anti-lock braking systems, and aluminium castings.

The company is undergoing a restructure under which the air brake division would be spun off into a separate company in which WABCO will have majority stake.

Negotiations between the TVS group and American Standard Companies have been going on for quite some time and were originally expected to be complete by March. TVS officials expect a result to emerge shortly.

A background paper issued by Sundaram-Clayton said: "To ensure road safety, the Government of India has introduced regulations stipulating systems that reduce braking distances and require more powerful braking systems on commercial vehicles."

Automatic slack adjuster and anti-lock braking systems will become mandatory from October 2006, the paper added.

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