S Ram, Chairman, Wheels India said that the passenger vehicle market is expected to show reasonable growth this year. “The increasing adoption of aluminum wheels on passenger vehicles will limit the growth of steel passenger car wheels. We have started production of cast aluminum wheels at our new plant in Thervoy Kandigai, near Chennai and started export of these wheels to the US market. Also, we are seeing strong demand for forged aluminum wheels in export markets.”
Export of Tractor Wheels
S Ram expected the Agri tractor market to continue the growth momentum this year “We see an opportunity for Wheels India to grow in its export of tractor wheels this year.”
The construction equipment market where Wheels India is a supplier of wheels globally too is likely to grow this year.
He said that the air suspension business had been badly affected last year due to the pandemic and the reluctance of people to use mass transport. “The bus segment’s recovery would depend to a great extent on how effectively the third wave is managed in our country.”
Bullish on Exports
Chairman Ram said that Wheels India has become an important supplier to the global wind energy business, manufacturing a number of structural components to the industry. One of the important developments in FY21 was that the company had been able to increase its exports as a percentage of its sales to over 25%.
“The growth in the global economy and opportunities in front of the company is likely to ensure that this positive trend will continue. While our export business will grow, the domestic business should recover in the second half of the year.”
Significant Investments to pay off
Company's Chairman said that Wheels India has made significant investments in prospective growth areas and should benefit from that with the return to growth this year.
Wheels India Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of wheels for trucks, buses, agricultural tractors, construction equipment, utility vehicles and passenger cars with manufacturing plants at Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and a combined overall annual capacity of 10.3 million wheels. Over 50% of the Company’s business accrues from the manufacture of automotive wheels for commercial vehicles, agricultural tractors and cars while the balance comes from wheels/components for construction & mining equipment, air suspension for commercial vehicles and components for energy equipment & railway bogie frames.