Venturing into the production of motor control units for electric two- and three-wheeler original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in India has proven to be a lucrative decision for the Tier 1 fastener supplier. As it scales up its capacity to reach 600,000 units by the conclusion of the fiscal year 2024, the company also has ambitions to provide electric powertrain components to manufacturers of electric light commercial vehicles (LCVs).
Sterling Tools established a subsidiary called Sterling GTake E-Mobility through a technology transfer agreement with China’s Jiangsu GTake Electric Company. The purpose of this subsidiary is to introduce innovative EV technology to the Indian market and explore expansion opportunities in various EV product lines. The company operates a technology center in Bengaluru with approximately 35 engineers dedicated to application engineering and product development.
Jaideep Wadhwa, the Managing Director of Sterling GTake E-Mobility, stated, “While our core expertise lies in automotive components and has been the hallmark of the Sterling Group for over four decades, we began planning our diversification strategy almost five years ago by closely analyzing industry trends. It became evident that electrification is the prominent technology of the future, and we believe we have a role to play in the autonomous, connected, and electric sectors within the CASE megatrend.”
In the fiscal year 2023, Sterling GTake E-Mobility generated INR 175 crore in revenue by supplying EV components from its 300,000-unit capacity plant in Faridabad, Haryana. The company is optimistic about future growth in the domestic market and is expanding its capacity at the same location to produce 48V motor controller units (MCUs) for electric two- and three-wheelers, with a target of reaching 600,000 units by the end of the fiscal year 2024. Furthermore, the company intends to broaden its range of vehicles within the existing EV product line of MCUs and sees significant potential for electrification in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment.
Jaideep Wadhwa expressed, “While our current EV business focuses on the two- and three-wheeler segments, where initial EV adoption is prominent, the LCV category is an enticing area. Both established companies and startups are introducing products, making it an appealing segment for electrification in the future.”
Regarding future endeavors, he stated, “We are continuously exploring opportunities beyond MCUs and seeking further collaborations and technology partnerships. However, we do not intend to passively receive technology; we aim to develop our own capabilities to create new products. Our in-house capabilities will be instrumental in crafting India-specific solutions.”
Although Sterling Tools has the option to export components from India due to its agreement with Jiangsu GTake Electric Company, the company’s primary focus currently rests on the Indian market, which it believes is teeming with opportunities. Wadhwa emphasized, “We may consider exploring export opportunities in the future, but not at the expense of overlooking our domestic customers.”
He concluded by stating, “Our long-term vision involves organic growth in our legacy business and incremental capacity expansions. We have already planned a capital expenditure of INR 25 crore for FY2024. Additionally, we plan to introduce complementary product lines in our fasteners business to bolster our revenues. Our main areas of focus for future growth are our new businesses – EV powertrains and supply chains for new-energy vehicles.”