Caparo plans new auto parts plant in India, US expansion

London :Battling the meltdown in steel sector in the UK, Lord Swraj Paul-led Caparo Group is planning to get into new ventures in the US and also expand its India presence with a new automotive components plant.

Paul, Chairman of the UK-based one-billion euro industrial conglomerate focussed largely on steel products, has just taken over a leading trailer manufacturer for an undisclosed sum that could run into several crores of rupees.

The purchase of Manchester, Iowa based XL Specialized Trailers, a leading manufacturer of customised heavy-haul trailers for the commercial, construction and agricultural markets, marks the NRI industrialist-led group’s entry into a new business arena.

Caparo Group, which already has 30 plants in India, is now planning to set up one more automotive components plant in the southern part of the country, Paul said today.

Caparo India, through its multiple strategic business entities offers end-to-end solutions in the design, development and manufacturing of automotive systems, assemblies, advanced composites, modules and components for automakers and engineering majors.

The major clients of the group’s Indian unit already include big names like Maruti Suzuki, GM, Ford, Honda, Tata Motors, Renault-Nissan, Piaggio TAFE and JCB.

Paul said the group is also looking to consolidate and diversify in the US, where it has tube making plants at 7 locations, besides one steel fabrication plant and one steel warehousing and stockholding facility.

Caparo is also working on a property development and hotel project in the US which would be ready by February 2017, he added. The project consists of office block, apartment building, parking area, retail outlets and a hotel in the centre of St Louis.

Acquisition of XL Specialized Trailers, which would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bull Moose Industries – the North American manufacturing group owned by Caparo group – also furthers the group’s diversification plans.

Bull Moose is a leading manufacturer of tube steel and the purchase would help it expand into other industrial manufacturing markets.

Paul, who founded Caparo group in 1968, said he was dedicating the new plant in the US to his late son Angad who had planned its acquisition. “Angad had planned this purchase but he is not with us today. We dedicate this to him,” Paul said.

With business interests spanning across manufacturing of steel, automotive and general engineering products, Caparo has grown into a global entity and has over 40 companies operating from over 60 sites worldwide.

XL, which was founded in 1995 and has become the second largest player in the customised heavy-haul trailer market, will continue operations as normal under its current management at Manchester plant.

Along with the acquisition, Bull Moose also announced creation of a new business unit, named Bull Moose Mobility. The other existing units are Bull Moose Tube and Bull Moose Engineering.