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Bharat Forge plans R&D, design center in U.S.

July 11, 2006
New center will be based in Lansing, MI.

A report in the Indian business newspaper Business Standard, states that Bharat Forge, world’s second largest forging company, is planning to set up a center of excellence (CoE) in Lansing, MI. The objective of the center will be to help facilitate the company’s U.S. subsidiary achieve excellence in all aspects of engineering, R&D, and design. The company already has a CoE in Europe.

A senior company official told the Business Standard, “The U.S. is a market of major focus for the company and we need to obtain excellence in all our activities. A CoE will help us in attaining quality attune with global standards.”

Bharat Forge acquired Federal Forge Inc. in Lansing, MI, in June, 2005, and renamed it Bharat Forge America. It manufactures a variety of forged automotive components such as control arms, links, steering knuckles, and connecting rods.

According to the newspaper report, Bharat Forge America had sales of $85 million for the year ended December 2005. Bharat Forge America has a manufacturing capacity of 60,000 metric tons, but capacity utilization is less than 50%. In addition to doing forging itself, the U.S. company also imports forged components from India.

During the year ended March 2006, Bharat Forge exported forgings from India valued at $135.25 million, 49 per cent of which came from exports to the U.S. Exports to the U.S. reportedly contribute to 21 per cent of the group’s total revenue.

The company supplies components to the U.S. operations of DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, and Ford. It also supplies components to tier II manufacturers such as Arvin Meritor, ZF Lemforder, and Goodyear. According to the report, Bharat Forge America is in “advanced stages of negotiations” to supply forgings to the U.S. operations of Japanese auto producers Toyota and Honda.

Bharat Forge has forging operations in China and Europe in addition to its forging operations in Pune, India, and Lansing. Annual forging capacity of the company on a global basis is 600,000 metric tons