SKF India expects to corner higher share in auto-components market

Auto-component maker SKF expects to corner "significantly higher" share in the sector it caters to irrespective of the pace of industry's growth amid demand revival, a top company executive has said.

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The Indian arm of Swedish auto-component maker SKF expects to corner "significantly higher" share in the sector it caters to irrespective of the pace of industry's growth amid demand revival, a top company executive has said.

The country's leading bearings maker, which reported a net profit of Rs 65.02 crore in September quarter of the current fiscal, 23.16 per cent lower over July-September 2019-20, also said that the festive season demand has been good (so far), particularly in the automotive segment.

SKF India has three manufacturing facilities located in Pune, which caters to automotive and industrial electrical sectors, Bangalore for automotive and industrial and Haridwar for two segments.

The industrial sector accounts for 55 per cent of the SKF India's total business while the rest 45 per cent comes from the automotive sector.

"We are focussed on gaining share irrespective of how the industry is doing, whether it is doing extremely well or it is going a little slowly, my expectation is that SKF will gain share significantly higher than that (industry's) growth rate," SKF India managing director Manish Bhatnagar told PTI in an interaction.

"In automotive we expect to be gaining share in two wheeler and tractors while in industrial we expect to be gaining share across many sectors," he added.

He said the growth is expected to come from the sectors linked to infra such as steel, cement, construction equipment as well as sectors linked to consumer demand like textiles and food and beverages.

"We are re-focussing on the sectors we are drawing, on the customers we can chase. and on the suppliers we need to ramp up," Bhatnagar added.

Auto component is seeing a revival of demand, he said, adding, it is, however, difficult to forecast if it is sustainable in the long-term or not.

Automotive has grown much faster, in about high double-digit than industrial, which has grown in low single digit, Bhatnagar stated.

For the festive season, the demand has been pretty good (so far) with the automotive sector doing very well in the festive demand, he said, adding, "We are just following the lead. It has been pretty good so far and even the outlook for the coming days is pretty strong."

"Right now it could be pent-up demand on account of a prolonged lockdown or it could also be due to stocking up of festival season," he said.

However, the actual nature of the demand and how the festive season penned out will be known only when the November sales numbers come out in early December, he added.

On the demand revival in the auto sector, he said, "I would think two wheelers and tractors have already recovered and have seen growth there while the CV segment, which has systematic issues that go back to pre-Corona period like axle load norms, among others, would start showing growth with the festive season and the launch of new models early next year.

"I don't expect the CV segment to recover any time soon.. it may start seeing growth from around 2022 beginning. But other sectors will recover much faster before the CV does," Bhatnagar said.

He also said that while supply chain issues have nowhere been put to bed, they have had no impact on SKF India operations as it has the "best" supply chain mechanism in the country.