You are here: Home » Companies » News » Automobile
Business Standard

Former racer to drive Nano electrification

Tata Motors will supply the shells and Jayem will add the powertrain and electric motor for the Neo

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Former racer to drive Nano electrification

Nano, Ratan Tata’s dream project, has found a new address. The electric variant of the car would be made in Singanallur, a small town 50 km from Coimbatore, by
 
The company’s Managing Director J Anand refused to speak on the Nano project owing to a non-disclosure agreement.
 
For the Nano, the electric avatar Neo is being seen as the first step towards phasing out of the Nano. Motors will supply the shells and Jayem will add the powertrain and electric motor for the Neo. Sources said the first 400 Neos were being made for Ola and would be handed over to the company shortly. “The Neo is powered by an electric drive system developed and supplied by Electra EV, a technology company that develops and produces The first batch of cars will be supplied shortly,” said Anand. The 48-volt Neo will be assembled and marketed by and is designed to run 150 km with air-conditioning on a single full charge. He had said in an earlier interview that the company has been focusing only on a small volume of cars, including race cars.
 
The low-profile Coimbatore-based component maker had caught the attention of Ratan Tata, who has invested in Jayem. The company counts global and domestic top original equipment manufacturers such as Tata, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Renault Nissan, Hyundai, Hero, Bharat Benz, Bosch, TAFE, MRF, Harley Davidson, TVS, as its clients.
 
Jayem is a research and development company involved in design, development, testing and manufacturing of a wide range of automotive components, systems and prototypes. Anand, who has won Formula-3 events four times on a Chennai track, is the third-generation entrepreneur spearheading the company, besides running J A Motorsport, a race-car manufacturing facility. He is also the cousin of India's first Formula-1 racer Narain Karthikeyan.
 
Anand quit racing in 1996 and focused on his family engineering business, In 2012, he collaborated with Italian chassis-maker Dallara Automobili to design and develop race cars. He has also built track day cars such as the Indica Silhouette, Super Nano and Inde.
 
Jayem’s legacy started with D Balasundaram, who completed an engineering degree from Sheffield University, England. He developed India’s first indigenous electric motor in 1939. This became the foundation of Textool Company Ltd, one of the first fully company, in 1946. In 1969, All Tools Private Ltd branched out from Textool, under his son B Jayachandran. It boasts of several firsts in manufacturing automobile engines such as the first indigenous diesel engine for passenger cars. The evolution led to the launch of Ltd in 2000.
 
Anand followed the family’s legacy and developed a high-performance petrol engine during his college days. Passionate about cars, he started racing from 1987. He was part of the Team from 1990-96. He started J A Motorsport to drive his passion further.
 
Anand quit racing in 1996 and focused on his family engineering business, In 2012, he collaborated with Italian chassis-maker Dallara Automobili to design and develop race cars. He has also built track day cars such as the Indica Silhouette, Super Nano and Inde.
 
While Anand refused to shares any numbers, documents from the Registrar of Companies (ROC) show Jayem Auto had posted a turnover of Rs 72.65 crore during 2015-16 and its net worth was around Rs 31.70 crore. The company posted profit after tax of Rs 2.72 crore during 2014-15, a decline from Rs 5.36 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 4.80 crore in 2012-13. Profit after tax for 2015-16 was unavailable.
 
ROC documents show Ratan has personally invested around Rs 10 crore in Jayem, which was later questioned by Cyrus Mistry, the ousted chairman of Sons. Jayem has a 50-50 venture with Motors.
 
“We are like an extended arm of Motors and work with them in a lot of areas in passenger car and commercial vehicle segments,” said Anand, who said he admires Tata's legacy and work culture. “We are excited about our joint venture with Motors and to be a part of their transformation journey. We aim to bring world-class performance products to the market in a short time, and to fulfil expectations of passionate customers in the niche segment of sportier cars.”
 
It is experienced in making after-market diesel overhead engines for major brands. In 1999, it entered into an agreement with Mahindra & Mahindra to develop vehicles, engines and suspension systems. Jayem has worked with on various vehicle developments. In 2005, the Coimbatore-based company severed ties with M&M and it partnered with Motors for various vehicle development programmes.
 
Jeyam has played a crucial role development various automobiles, including India's first hot hatch Bolt Sport, which can go from 0-100kph in 10 seconds.
 
In March 2017, Motors announced the launch of JT Special Vehicles Pvt Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture with JT Special Vehicles will develop a range of performance vehicles at a dedicated line in Coimbatore.

First Published: Sat, December 16 2017. 23:18 IST