China's Caska enters car multimedia stakes

Manu P Toms, Hindustan Times
Mumbai
First Published: 21:25 IST(15/5/2011)
Last Updated: 21:27 IST(15/5/2011)
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Chinese car audio system makers, Caska is set to enter the Rs. 600 crore Indian car infotainment business which is ruled by Sony, Pioneer, Panasonic and JVC. Already in the aftermarket segment, the company plans a manufacturing facility in India by 2013.

"We want to build our brand in India and then start manufacturing from the country. As a first step in this direction, we will set up our R&D centre in India next year," said Peter Chen, general manager Coagent Enterprise Ltd, the $5 billion- parent company of Caska. He said that the assembly of semi-knocked down units in India is subject to the business growth.

Caska's multimedia sytems are tailor-made for car models and is typically meant for premium cars. However, taking into account India is a huge small car market the company is developing special models for Indian small cars.

Eyeing 20% share of the Rs. 100 crore-aftermarket segment of car multimedia systems, the company aims to sell 50,000 units this year. The company is targeting original equipment manufacturers (OEM) market too. The OEM market - the tie-ups with carmakers for factory fitment -is five times greater than the aftermarket.

Globally, Caska has tie-ups with Volkswagen, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Skoda, General Motors and Nissan. The company has already entered a tie-up with GM for car multimedia system for its midsize car Cruze. Chen said, following 'smart series' Caska will launch E-car system, which is based on 3G services.

Auto Trendz, the India partner of Caska, has lined up 20 distributors and 200 dealers for the aftermarket foray.

The Indian car infotainment industry has a dozen established players and an equal number of unorganised small players. The scattered market of car multimedia systems is now hotting up with the evolution of the sub-segment of top end small cars.


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