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UK - Hinduja Automotive to globalise business

In March, the UK-based Hinduja Automotive, the automotive holding company of the Hinduja Group, earlier known as Land Rover Leyland International Holdings, picked up Tata Motors’ former executive director V. Sumantran to spearhead the group’s initiative in the auto sector.

The group currently has two auto companies under its fold - commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland, where it holds 39% and component manufacturer Hinduja Foundaries where it directly holds 59%, and another 21% through Ashok Leyland.

An IIT Madras alumnus, Sumantran spent over 16 years at General Motors, mostly in Detroit, serving as director (advanced engineering) of SAAB Automobile, before heading home to head Tata Motors’ passenger car business. In conversation with DNA Money’s Rabin Ghosh, Sumantran confirmed the group’s global ambitions but didn’t confirm any passenger car plans.


The group is trying to bring focus to its automotive business. In the past it has made acquisitions and forged joint ventures and my objective, along with Sesh (R. Seshasayee, managing director, Ashok Leyland, and executive vice president, Hinduja Automotive), is to plan a global strategy.

The pattern is now to consolidate and expand core business. To grow its global business, the group has acquired Avia (a Czech Republic truck maker) and has also actively filled gaps in its offerings by forging joint ventures like the one with Siemens VDO, now Continental (to design, develop and adapt infotronics products and services for the transportation sector), or Alteams (to manufacture high pressure die casting aluminum products for the automotive and telecom sectors), or Nissan (to manufacture light commercial vehicles).

It has also acquired Defiance (a US testing and engineering firm) and is expanding its design and engineering services (Ashlay Design and Engineering Services).

It has also established a small test centre in Germany for emission standards. The focus of the group is clear - invest in core business and key adjacent businesses.

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