Germany's Freudenberg excited by Make in India

Germany's Freudenberg excited by Make in India

The €7-billion German diversified company Freudenberg has planned a robust push of its myriad manufacturing solutions in India through a host of 11 brands across various sectors.

Freudenberg, which has been in India since 1920, is in a bid to make the most of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Automotive is one sector where the company has been making a lot of headway.

“One significant project is the new production site of Chem-Trend and Kluber Lubrication in Mysuru that will officially open in August, this year,” Freudenberg Regional Representative in India, Jorg Matthias Grossmann, told Deccan Herald.

The company has invested around Rs 135 crore over the last couple of years in the facility (built on a surface area of 17,000 sq metres over a site of over 40,000 sq metres), which will house product development centres, major tribology testing facilities, and an FZG (gear research centre) test rig, where around 20 products will be developed and manufactured for the Southeast Asian and Pacific markets. “We have many solutions for the Indian market, especially where automotive is concerned. All over the world, Freudenberg can be represented as 300 parts in each car on the road. Our plan is to foster this trend in India,” Grossmann claimed.

The company’s brand, Chem-Trend, makes mold-release agents, casting lubricants, purging compounds, and mold cleaners to be used in manufacturing processes. Besides, products for dashboards and polyurethane seats are made as well. Similarly, Trelleborg Vibracoustic manufactures vibration control systems.

“We have initiatives in the chemical sector too. The Freudenberg Chemical Specialities’ business (includes brands like SurTec, Kluber, Chem-Trend, OKS and Capol) solutions provide 35 per cent contribution to automotive products,” Grossmann said.

Apart from that the company has also provided solutions in multiple realms such as airport heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAS) filters. Freudenberg Nonwovens business makes the SoundTex Acoustic sealing, while the Freudenberg Gala Household Products business manufactures professional cleaning equipment.

“Our business strategy is not centred around one sector, but across industries. We have four R&D centres in the country and 14 production sites with state-of-the-art shop-floors. As of December 31, 2014, we employ 2,800 full-time associates across our 50 locations in India,” he added.

Banking on the current government’s ‘pro-industry’ strategy, Freudenberg is aiming at 100 per cent localisation in India, from the current 50-60 per cent. In 2014, the company made local investments totalling Rs 97.6 crore.

Last year, the company generated overall sales of Rs 1,497 crore at a CAGR of 32.8 per cent in India, while its global sales amounted to €7,039.1 million in 2014, over €6,662.5 million in 2013, a growth of 6.3 per cent.

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