Hyderabad: Liteauto GmbH, a German company that specialises in magnesium products for the transport segment, will invest over Rs 1,500 crore in Telangana to set up an advanced design and manufacturing facility. The new plant will provide direct employment to about 9,000 people and indirect employment to twice that number. The investments for the new unit — Liteauto Components — will be in two phases. The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding to this effect with the Telangana State government on Monday in the presence of IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao and Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan.
Company Managing Director J Balanand said it chose Telangana due to its proactive and industry-friendly policies besides other factors including the presence of aerospace, defence and automotive ecosystems. Also, the availability of high-quality manpower, particularly for precision engineering, was a big plus for Telangana, he said.
Liteauto has been making magnesium components under a pilot project in Telangana for some time now that were being shipped to Germany for advanced research and development, he said. “It is a happy moment for the company. This is the result of continuous work done in three years in Telangana and also 15 years of research and development. Our products have been tested and tried in space and defence technologies as well,” said Balanand.
“Magnesium is the lightest of all structural materials. It is lighter than aluminium by 40 per cent and almost 80 per cent lighter than steel. It replaces and equals in the strength of both steel and aluminium. However, the technology is extremely difficult and you can count on your fingertips the number of companies dealing with magnesium technologies,” he said. “With demand rising, Liteauto had to quickly come up with scalable plans. We have a Euro 600 million (Rs 5,088 crore) investment plan over five years and of that Euro, 180 million to 200 million (about Rs 1,526 crore to Rs 1,695 crore) has been earmarked for India investments and all of that is likely to be invested in Telangana,” the company official said.
“Telangana, though the youngest State in the country, has got marquee names, got strategies and investor-friendly policies. Its Minister sending a corporate jet to get investments is no ordinary thinking. This approach has been taken note of by our German team and we want such an aggressive and supportive government for our investment of Euro 200 million in two phases. The response was quick from the government,” he said. “We recently succeeded in getting a supplier quote from BMW. The advanced prototypes of the products we would supply have been made in Telangana,” he said, adding that in the past 18 months, the company had bagged orders worth Euro 2.2 billion (about Rs 18,658 crore) from multiple clients.
“Liteauto set up its headquarters in Munich. The first customer for us was one of the biggest companies. It was Rheinmetall. It further supported significantly by infusing capital for product development, which they are launching next year. I am proud to say that almost all the prototypes, which were tested by the German giant, were made in Telangana. Every week we have a shipment going from Telangana to Germany for advanced testing,” he said. The demand for magnesium products increased in the last one year.
“The automotive sector is seeing a change from using fossil fuels to battery systems. For battery vehicles, the structures have to be the lightest possible for them to be range and energy-efficient. For hydrogen cell vehicles too, a similar thing applies. Magnesium has taken a central position in the automotive segment,” he said. “One of its clients committed Euro one billion 100 (Rs 8,480 crore) of contracts and also advised it to take over three major plants,” he said.