Commercial vehicle air brake facility inaugurated in India

Formal inauguration ceremonies were held today in Chennai, Madras, India, at the new $13 million, 300,000-square-foot air brake components production facility owned by Sundaram-Clayton Limited, a joint venture involving leading Indian automotive component manufacturer TVS Group and leading global commercial vehicle control systems supplier WABCO, a business of American Standard Companies Inc.

The facility, which relocated braking component production from an existing 42-year-old facility nearby, manufactures and supplies air brake components for national vehicle manufacturers and aftermarket customers. Currently employing more than 1000 people, including approximately 50 development engineers, the Sundaram-Clayton facility is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.

Speaking at the inauguration, Suresh Krishna, director of TVS & Sons and chairman of Sundaram-Clayton Limited, paid tribute to the excellent rapport, shared understanding and mutual support of the partnership, saying, “Our success today is testimony to that strong bond of trust and friendship that exists between us. It has been a long and rewarding journey. A journey that continues based on mutual cooperation and admiration.”

“This new facility improves Sundaram-Clayton’s ability to develop and deliver world-class braking system products,” said Venu Srinivasan, managing director, Sundaram-Clayton. “Facilities onsite will promote future product development, as we continually seek to improve our range of products and their performance capabilities.”

Guest speakers also noted the high national priority being given to infrastructure improvements to create high quality roads that link cities and ports. The new transport networks are increasing demand for faster commercial vehicles capable of carrying higher payloads. To promote road and vehicle safety, the Indian government has introduced regulations, which take effect in October 2005, that reduce braking distances and require more powerful braking systems on commercial vehicles. Automatic slack adjusters and anti-lock braking systems (ABS) will become mandatory from October 2006.

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