Pune-based forging giant Bharat Forge has charted a course involving two new growth drivers over the next five years, involving electric vehicles (EV) and light weighting technologies for automobiles.
Senior executives of the company, speaking in an analyst call, highlighted that the project involves building components for EVs and lightweight, primary parts that go into making the shells of vehicles. Bharat Forge has even set up an engineering and solutions centre for lightweighting in North America.
“These new growth drivers, over the next five years, will become very meaningful new businesses,” said Amit Kalyani, Deputy Managing Director, Bharat Forge.
“One is in the area of EVs, where we are producing components, subsystems in the areas of power electronics, control electronics and the entire BMS (battery management system) for both low-voltage extremely small LCVs (light commercial vehicles) and intermediate high-voltage intermediate LCVs,” added Kalyani.
In 2018 Bharat Forge bought a stake in UK-based Tevva Motors, an electric powertrain solutions provider for 7-14 tonne buses. Prior to that Bharat Forge picked up a stake in Pune-based electric motorcycle maker Tork Motors. The two companies have been working on plans to supply electric powertrains to three-wheeler manufacturers.
Focus on lightweighting
The centre of excellence for lightweighting set up in the US is already working with existing customers and some new EV players to deliver entire solutions using a combination of forging, casting and other metal-forming processes. This is used to deliver body-in-white (the stage in carmaking when only the car’s frame is ready) components and entire body-in-white solutions to Bharat Forge’s customers.
Bharat Forge’s light-weighting business, which is made up of forging and casting, generates about $50 million in revenues. This also involves becoming a one-stop shop for lightweighting processes, delivering not just lightweight parts but entire lightweighting solutions. The company believes that in the next three to four years this business can scale up to about $200 million to $250 million.
“We expect that this will help create a pipeline of large new businesses for the future and also give us engineering and prototyping business. We are looking at DC motor controllers, inverters and BMS solutions. Additionally, we’re also supplying forged and machined components for EVs to our traditional European customers,” Kalyani added.
The automotive segment is the biggest revenue generator for Bharat Forge, with the focus on the domestic passenger vehicle segment and the US' heavy truck segment. The oil and gas sector and industrial segment, which includes the tractor segment, are other areas of business for the company.
The defence segment is also one the emerging crucial segments for the company. Bharat Forge won its first major order from India’s Ministry of Defence a few days ago to develop and supply the Kalyani M4, a multi-role platform designed to meet specific requirements of the armed forces for quick mobility.
The Kalyani M4 will be made by Bharat Forge in partnership with South Africa’s Paramount Group
, a global aerospace and technology company with manufacturing operations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It has been producing a broad range of advanced armoured and mine-protected vehicles.