The world's second-largest diesel locomotive manufacturer, Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), said that its revenues in India have grown faster than it had anticipated and it will overtake China a year ahead of schedule. India is now EMD's largest market outside of the US.
"Our revenues in India have almost doubled from $70 million to $125 million in the last two years, at a time when our overall business declined," said John S Hamilton, president and chief executive officer, EMD Inc. "Our worldwide revenues declined in the last two years but we seem to be recovering from the trough and should grow henceforth."
The company is part of a competitive bidding process along with bitter rivals GE for a public private partnership (PPP) project to set up a locomotive manufacturing project in Bihar, but Hamilton said it would now set up a manufacturing unit irrespective of whether it wins the bid or not.
"We have been contemplating on setting up a manufacturing base in India for quite sometime and now we are very clear that we have to do it," he said. "The PPP project in Bihar should hopefully drive us to establish a base in India but if it does not then we will look to put our own facilities."
The company has been a technology provider to Indian Railways for over half a century and with its revenues stagnating elsewhere in the world, it is looking to change its strategies in tune with those of the Indian Railways.
For example, the latter has aggressive plans of electrification, an area that is not EMD's forte. But while the US firm will not be drawn into a debate on whether electric locomotives are better, it is looking at renewing its interest in electrical engines.
"We have thought about this debate a lot and while electric engines are not exactly better than diesel from the environment point of view, we recognised that electrification does exist," Hamilton said.