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RSB Transmissions targets Latin American markets

RSB Transmissions targets Latin American markets

RSB Transmissions India is aiming at the Latin American markets in what could enable it to de-risk and grow exponentially.

Pune-based RSB Transmissions India has entered into partnership with DHB Automotivos of Brazil, a US $150 mn enterprise that is into the manufacture of passenger vehicle steering systems in Latin America. In this direction, RSB Transmissions India showcased a range of hydraulic and electric power steering systems recently. Highlighting an intention to penetrate not just the Latin American markets in partnership with DHB Automotivos, the two partners, according to S K Behera, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, RSB Transmissions India, would also explore new markets like Russia. Apart from presenting RSB Transmissions India an opportunity to expand its boundaries beyond commercial vehicle and off-highway equipment sectors, which have been facing contraction for a little over one year now, the partnership with DHB will also enable the company to diversify into passenger vehicle segments. To cater to the aftermarket apart from OEMs like GM, Renault, Volkswagen, Ford, Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen among others. During an interaction with APF, M Shankaranarayan, President, Auto Business, RSB Transmissions, said that they have used the downturn in commercial vehicles to de-risk. To reach out to new customers.

Starting its journey as a auto components manufacturer for Tata Motors in 1975 at Jamshedpur, RSB Transmissions India has grown to produce propeller shafts, axles, transmission components, aluminium castings, ferrous castings, running gear system, trailer components, construction equipment aggregrates and forgings. Catering to clients like Mahindra, Cummins, Tata Motors, Telcon, Fiat, Eaton, John Deere, Allison, Ashok Leyland, Volvo, Caterpillar, Lombardini, and JCB, products of RSB Transmissions India find use in commercial vehicles and off-highway equipment. Clients of passenger vehicles hardly figure on the list. Perhaps, a reason why Shankaranarayan would like to believe that the Indian market is not as predictable as the American market, especially commercial vehicles. If DHB is an attempt to de-risk, the company used the downturn in 2013 to create new product series to respond to the market requirements quicker. “Indian requirements are unique. We therefore created our own model to handle unpredictable requirements. To be able to handle to an certain extent the unpredictably of the requirements,” said Sankaranarayan.

Flexible component platforms were devised for parts like propeller shafts. Value added products as an extension of the group’s core competence came next. And in that direction, the company would be supplying to the new commercial truck platform from Daimler India due in early 2015. The company is also supplying manual transmission to a new breed of LCVs from Ashok Leyland. Already supplying propeller shafts to existing Daimler India commercial vehicles, the participation of RSB Transmissions India lightlights its expertise in the manufacture of propeller shafts for varying requirements. “There are not many players in the propeller shaft market for M&HCV segment,” averred M Sankaranarayanan. He added, “Vehicle manufacturers are concentrating on specific products to address the exacting need of the market. We have been working towards matching the OEM requirements by developing such products.” Apart from flexible component platforms for parts like propeller shafts, RSB Transmissions India is also concentrating on the manufacturing of fifth wheel couplings in association with Fontaine of UK. These fifth wheel couplings are tecnologically advanced according to Behera, and could help the company to boost growth. The plan is to market the fift wheel couplings under the RSB-Fontaine brand in India, and under the Fontaine brand in Europe and the home markets of UK. Fontaine Fifth Wheel, an European division of Fontaine International Inc., is the largest fifth wheel coupling manufacturer in the world.
Finding new ways to de-risk and grow, RSB Transmissions India is planning to evolve by 60 per cent. Playing an important role in this would be the ferrous foundry that the company is erecting at Cuttack in Odisha. It already has a forging unit there. The ferrous foundry will aid the company to drive its tractor business. A segment that did well in 2013. Also a possibility according to Sankaranarayanan are value added products for two wheelers, which is another segment that performed well during the 2013 slowdown, and is continuing to do well.

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