Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Nov 14, 2006

Cross Currency

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Steel
Web Extras - Automobiles
States - West Bengal
Steel industry urged to upgrade product offerings to auto sector

Ambar Singh Roy

Current growth is pegged around 15 pc per annum

Jamshedpur , Nov. 13

It would be imperative for the Indian steel industry to upgrade its production capabilities and product offerings for the Indian automobile sector if it wishes to play an important role in the growing automobile industry.

The country's automobile industry is currently growing at around 15 per cent per annum, ahead of China's nine per cent and the global average of five per cent per annum.

This was the consensus among speakers at an International Symposium on `Steels for Automotives' that was held here on Monday under the aegis of the 44th National Metallurgists Day and 60th annual meeting of The Indian Institute of Metals.


A total of 12 technical presentations were made by representatives of three Indian and nine foreign companies. The Indian companies that made presentations were Maruti Udyog Ltd, Tata Steel and SAIL while the foreign companies included Toyota Motor Corporation, SMS Demag, Pirelli Tyre, Nippon Steel, Bao Steel and Arcelor-Mittal, among others.

Some of the speakers felt that Indian steel companies have "relatively less experience with auto grade steel" and, hence, automobile makers in India perforce have to depend upon imports. As such, Indian companies should accelerate their efforts to set up capabilities for the manufacture of high tensile steels and galvanised steels, for example, for automotive applications.

This would be imperative with regard to safety considerations, increased stiffness, reduction of thickness with a view to reducing weight and for compliance with environmental regulations. Mr Ravi Kant, Managing Director of Tata Motors, who chaired the pre-lunch session of the symposium, said the automobile industry was faced with major challenges — such as increasing competitiveness — even as it was on a high growth path.

"The Indian steel industry must play an increasingly important role as the automobile industry moves forward," he said, adding that the next three years would be a major challenge for the Indian steel sector in this regard. In his presentation, Mr Shinichi Takeuchi, Joint Managing Director of Maruti Udyog Ltd, asked Indian steel makers to focus on the production of high-grade steel for automotive applications. This was especially important in view of India's potential to emerge as an export hub for such products.

"We are working with Tata Steel for enhanced usage of their CR products as inner panels of our cars," he said, and added that the surface quality of products made for the Indian automotive sector must match international standards.

Steel companies such as Tata Steel have begun to scale up its offerings for the Indian automotive sector. From 2001, the company has been a supplier of products for the automobile industry and currently accounts for 45 per cent of the Indian market for automotive steels, according to Dr T. Venugopalan, Chief Technology Officer of Tata Steel.

In his presentation, Dr Venugopalan said Tata Steel was making investments to improve the surface quality of products for the automobile sector in view of the "stringent surface acceptance norms for exposed panels".

More Stories on : Steel | Automobiles | West Bengal

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page

Stories in this Section
Rains likely to dampen coffee output hopes

StanChart NRI Swagat account
ICICI Bank NRI deposit scheme
UP has most working children
Chidambaram seeks more Arab investments
The elixir of life
Pollution threatens Digha sea resort
Tariff value on edible oil: A tool to fight inflation
Novo Nordisk survey to take stock of diabetes control
World AIDS Day to be observed
SC clears land acquisition for Reliance SEZ
Coal-bed methane: BP to begin exploration in 2007
New Pharmacopoeia edition provides fresh insights
L&T teams up with Mitsubishi
Steel industry urged to upgrade product offerings to auto sector
UK team meets Ashwini Kumar
Kirana stores, getting refashioned by Hind Lever
Adobe Senior Vice-President's son abducted
Govt cautious on FM radio phase III rollout
Students need better `finish' to succeed in corporate world
Bengal's footwear sector seeks full VAT exemption
Scientist bags Ranbaxy award
Grameen Phone — doing things with a difference
No compromise on workers' rights: CITU
Uncertainty over trade fair venue irks Bengal chamber
Meet on natural products
Vaghela pegs cotton production at 270 lakh bales
Cell cos fare poorly in quality survey
Crackdown at Kochi port yields results

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2006, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line