India’s Kolhapur foundry industry is estimated to manufacture seven lakh tonnes of forgings, accounting for about 8 per cent of the country’s production capacity
EVs need fewer body parts than fuel-based vehicles
MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 8 – As the country is preparing for an automobile revolution with electric vehicles (EVs), the foundry industry is bracing for a disruptive change in business. It fears that the demand for auto components will dry up as EVs use far fewer moving parts in the vehicle body. In Kolhapur and Sangli in western Maharashtra, a hub
for forging industry, units are doing SWOT analysis to face the emerging situation. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government announced its EV policy, offering sops for manufacture and use of the new machines.
The Executive Secretary of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen (Kolhapur Chapter) Abhijeet Naik said the industry is worried about the government move to replace motor vehicles with EVs that require fewer forged components. If EVs come to dominate the roads, smaller foundries may not survive.
Naik pointed that there are very few large forging units in Kolhapur. Most fit in the MSME space and do not have much capacity to bear losses. Forgings are provided to a number of industries, but a large number of units make forgings only for automobile companies. Over 90,000 people are directly employed in Kolhapur.
Kolhapur foundry industry is estimated to manufacture seven lakh tonnes of forgings, accounting for about 8 per cent of the country’s production capacity. Along with engine parts, the units make valves, pistons, camshafts, drive transmission and fuel injection systems.
The Chairman of Kolhapur Foundry and Engineering Cluster Sachin Patil said the local industry is struggling to remain competitive in spite of very high electricity tariff and with EVs on the horizon, the whole industry will undergo a major change. Some units might have to shift to making parts for trucks and earth moving equipment to remain in business, he said.
On the other hand, the President of the Association of Indian Forging Industry, Muralishankar Sambasivam, said that along with EVs, there would be space for hybrid cars also, which will help maintain the orders for the forging industry. But the units should now move to aluminium forgings, which will be required for EVs, he said.
Traditional forging units will still be able to migrate to aluminium forgings but the machining of the components will have to be done differently, he added.
Edited by Abdelaziz ADDAD