Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) plans to set up a manufacturing unit in India to tap the increasing demand for railway vehicles and equipment.
“There is a tremendous opportunity in India. Also, I think it can be the hub for the entire Asia. Our intention is to come up with a manufacturing plant in India. It is an important market for us and we need to become Indian to cater to the market,” said Juan Jose Garcia, international division director of CAF. The world’s fourth-largest train maker had formed a wholly owned subsidiary, CAF India Pvt Ltd, in 2010 to look after its operations in the country.
Garcia said the Spanish company had a “definite plan” for its India unit, but refused to share details. “I cannot comment on the exact geography, time or investment right now, as it is confidential. We are a listed company in Spain, I cannot share all the details. But by next year, we will be able to give a clear picture,” he said.
“Spain is one of the few countries where we have three different gauges. So, we have technologies to support both standard gauge cars like the ones in Delhi Metro or broad gauge cars as used in the Indian Railways’ Kolkata Metro,” he added.
The company recently bagged a Rs 780-crore order to manufacture 14 rakes (each rake consists of six coaches) for Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL). It is also bidding for all upcoming metro projects in the country.
“For the KMRCL order, we have started production of few trains in Spain. But we would like to make some of these Kolkata Metro rakes in India, too,” Vishal Khetarpaul, director, CAF India, said. KMRCL is expected to receive the 14 rakes from CAF by 2014-end.
“We are looking after the maintenance of the Delhi Airport link of DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation). We are bidding for projects across the country. In case of Jaipur Metro, we have qualified for bidding. For L&T Hyderabad Metro, we have made the financial offer for 171 cars. We have submitted the bids for Calcutta North South, which is also in the final stage of evaluation. Hopefully, we will manage to bag all the orders. The plan is to localise manufacturing in coming years,” he said.