Chennai, March 22 (IANS) Not to be left behind in the growing Indian elevator and escalator market, Japan's Mitsubishi Electric is exploring options to set up a production base in India through its joint venture Mitsubishi Elevator ETA India Pvt. Ltd., a top company official said.
"We are planning to set up a factory in India. However, as a first step we will set up logistics centre near here which will take care of sheet metal items needed for the elevators. We will also outsource some of the items," Bharat Vishnani, deputy chief executive officer, told reporters here.
According to Vishnani, the Rs.49 crore equity based Mitsubishi Elevator ETA is a four-way joint venture between Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (holding 40 percent stake), Mitsubishi Electric Building Techno-Service Co. Ltd. (five percent); Mitsubishi Corporation (10 percent); and ETA Ascon Holding LLC (45 percent).
The joint venture was formed by taking over a Mitsubishi elevator distribution company ETA Melco Engg Pvt. Ltd. with a turnover of around Rs.1 billion, he said.
Vishnani said the company is exploring the opportunity to set up a plant here given the fact global majors like Kone Elevators have production facilities in India.
Recently, another Japanese company Toshiba joint hands with city-based elevator manufacturer Johnson Lifts for high-speed lifts.
Queried about the delay in Mitsubishi Electric firming up its India plans, Masahito Endo, managing director and chief executive of the Indian company, said: "We were focused on the Chinese market which was around 400,000 units per year."
Vishnani said that last year the Indian elevator market was pegged at around 44,000 units and is expected to grow at around 8-10 percent this year.
He said the new joint venture has also taken over the operation and maintenance contract business of ETA Melco Engg.
In 2012, around 1,600 Mitsubishi brand elevators and escalators were sold in the country. This year, the number will go up further as the logistics centre will be ready by September, Vishnani said.
The cumulative sales of Mitsubishi brand of elevators and escalators in the country will soon touch 10,000 units. The company will also look at tier two towns for market growth, he added.