The proposed investments are to support the Tata-owned air-conditioner and home appliance maker’s pace of growth, ensure its leadership status in air-conditioners and commercial refrigeration, and fulfil its aspirations to become one of the top three brands in home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, its managing director, Pradeep Bakshi, said.
Voltas will invest over ₹1,000 crore to expand its manufacturing capacity including a new plant near Chennai while another proposed ₹500-crore compressor plant in partnership with China’s Highly International is yet to receive government clearance, its managing director, Pradeep Bakshi, told ET.
The proposed investments are to support the Tata-owned air-conditioner and home appliance maker’s pace of growth, ensure its leadership status in air-conditioners and commercial refrigeration, and fulfil its aspirations to become one of the top three brands in home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, Bakshi said.
The planned compressor plant in joint venture with Highly under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme is stuck in limbo as the Press Note 3 and PLI approvals are pending, he said.
Voltas had sought government permission under the Press Note 3 norms one year ago.
The Press Note 3 norms, drafted in 2020, says a company which is based out in a country that shares land border with India (like China) can invest in India only after receiving government clearances.
Highly, part of the Shanghai Highly (Group) Company Ltd, is one of the largest compressor manufacturers in the world.
The compressor plant is to come up near Chennai where Voltas has received 150 acres from the state government. The project involves the ₹500-crore plant with Highly and another ₹500-crore AC manufacturing facility.
Voltas will also invest ₹200 crore for expansion of commercial refrigeration and AC at its factory in Baroda and ₹100 crore for room AC at Pantnagar. An additional ₹200 crore is going to be pumped into the home appliance plant at Sanand, near Ahmedabad, officials said.
However, the plans with Highly getting stuck may impact the overall investment cycle, they added.
Bakshi said the compressor plant with Highly will be operated as a joint venture and will also sell to other brands and be exported. “It is in line with the government’s Make in India plans and a significant step for the industry which is dependent on imports,” he said.
Voltas’ investment plans come at a time when the white goods industry in the country is facing slow demand due to inflation and macroeconomic factors, with investments slowing down.
Voltas has been the largest air-conditioner brand in India for more than ten years with around 23% share in overall market. Korean rival LG is in second place.
Voltas has launched home appliances like frost-free refrigerators, fully automatic washing machines, microwave ovens and dishwashers in partnership with Europe ‘s Arcelik Group. It sells appliances under the Voltas Beko brand.
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