Bangalore, July 5 (IANS) Leading Italian auto component firm Sogefi SPA will soon expand its production capacity in India by setting up its third joint venture facility at Pune to manufacture air intake, oil and fuel filteration systems.
"We are setting up our third facility at Chakan in Pune at a cost of Rs.35 million with a production capacity of one million units per annum of fully-assembled filtration systems," Sogefi chairman Rodolfo De Benedetti told reporters here Thursday.
The new facility will cater to the Indian and global automotive manufacturers located in and around Pune and the western region of the country.
The Euro 1.16 billion ($1.44 billion) Sogefi group formed a joint venture with Bangalore-based MNR Filtration in 2008 to bring in the latest technology in air, fuel and oil filtration and cater to its domestic and global requirements with fully equipped design, simulation and validation capabilities.
The joint venture had invested Rs.25 crore in setting two plants in the city with a combined installed capacity of 1.5 million units per month of filter elements (components) for two- and four-wheelers.
"The growing importance of the automotive market gives India a central position in our global strategy. Pune is an ideal location for our new plant because the city provides a strong infrastructure and a rich talent pool of skilled workforce in the automotive sector," Benedetti said.
MNR Filtration was founded in 1971 as a pioneer in the use and implementation of flexible porous cellular plastic media for air filtration in the two-wheeler industry.
Sogefi has presence across 16 countries with 44 manufacturing sites and nine research and development centres.
The group's strategy is to expand its worldwide presence in the major automotive manufacturing centres.
"Over the years, we have established a leadership position in the supply of two and three-wheeler filter elements and have a market share over 65 percent in the Indian two-wheeler industry," Sogefi chief executive Emanuele Bosio said on the occasion.
The Rs.90-crore joint venture's key clients are Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto Ltd, TVS Motors and Piaggio Vehicles Ltd and in the four-wheel segment, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda Siel Cars Ltd and General Motors.
The joint venture will increase its headcount to about 500 from 350 with the setting up of the third unit.