Demonetisation: Exide two-wheeler OEM battery sales down in December

Haldia (West Bengal), Jan 2 (IANS) Battery maker Exide Industries on Monday said that its sales in the replacement market have not impacted due to demonetisation, but its two-wheeler OEM battery sales have dipped 30 percent in December.

Asked about the impact of demonetisation, company MD and CEO G. Chatterjee said: “In motorcycles, we have seen the sales of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) have dipped by 30 percent in December. Since there is one to one correlation, our sales also down by same in the segment in the month of December.

“We have not felt any impact in the sales for replacement market,” he said.

Inaugurating the new plant at the company’s factory here, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee assured the battery maker for providing 25 acres of land from Haldia Development Authority( HDA).

“After getting the land from HDA, we will set up a smelting plant there with an investment of Rs 120 crore,” Chatterjee said.

Built in technical collaboration with East Penn Manufacturing Company of the US and at a capital investment of Rs 700 crore, the new plant will use “punched grid technology” to manufacture the technically advanced lead acid storage batteries in the country.

“With the implementation of new technology, we will manufacture batteries for car. We will invest additional Rs 300 crore in a period of 18 months starting from next April to manufacture batteries for motorcycles,” he said.

The new range of batteries will not only be a lot more robust, being manufactured in a modern plant with advanced robotics and automation, the manufacturing process will also eliminate human errors to a large extent, said Chatterjee.

Established in 1981, the Haldia factory which contributes 30 per cent of company’s business produces both automotive as well as industrial batteries in its 41 acres site.

For expansion in Haldia factory, the company has been looking for 25 acres of land adjacent to the existing factory.

“We are in talks with Kolkata Port Trust for this,” Chatterjee added.

Currently, Haldia plant’s capacity is 2.2 million batteries annually. With the implementation of new technology, the capacity will be 3.5 million from the next fiscal, he said.

The battery maker’s other manufacturing factories are located in Shyamnagar in West Bengal, Hosur in Tamil Nadu, Chinchwad, Ahmednagar and Taloja in Maharashtra, Bawal in Haryana, Pune, Uttaranchal and Bengaluru.