Büchel To Start Production in India with Citizen Joint Venture
CHANDIGARH, India – Ludhiana, India based bicycle component maker Citizen entered into a joint venture with German manufacturer Büchel. “We will start with the production of reflectors and expand this range in the near future with spokes, nipples, alloy rims and plastic mudguards,” said Erhard Büchel, CEO of Büchel GmbH & Co.
“We have formed 50:50 joint venture with Citizen early October,” confirmed Erhard Büchel, in the sideline of the 2-day Asia Bicycle Alliance (ABA) Conference in the North Indian city of Chandigarh. This event took place on December 8 and 9. Büchel was also displaying its products together with its Indian partner at the Bicycle ExCon Show which was organized alongside with the ABA conference.
Manjinder Singh, Managing Director of Indian Citizen Press Components commented on the company’s involved in the partnership, “together we are investing around INR 100 million (about 1.4 million euro) in the plant. The production of reflectors is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017.”
New road safety regulations
The timing of Büchel’s Indian production follows the announcement of new road safety regulations by India’s Supreme Court. Next to Büchel and Citizen also other Indian part makers are investing in new equipment and bringing in required technology to produce reflectors in line with the ISO standards.
According to these regulations it will be mandatory to fit a set of ten reflectors which comply with ISO 6742-2 on each bicycle. The reflectors have to be mounted on the front and rear of the pedals, the front lamp brackets and the rear mudguard.
ISO 6742-2:2015 is applicable to retro-reflective devices used on cycles intended to be used on public roads and, especially, bicycles complying with ISO 4210 and ISO 8098.
Rapidly growing demand
When asked about potential of the Indian bike market, Erhard Büchel stated that, “the move comes with the rapidly growing demand from OEMs as well as aftermarket following the announcement of the new regulation on installing reflectors on bicycles.”
He further emphasized that, “our Indian partner has shown willingness to learn and there is a growing awareness to improve the quality of parts in order to get better quality bicycles.” Buchel operates five facilities in Germany, three in China and one in Belgium.
With bicycle reflector regulations getting stricter in India, also Indianapolis (US) headquartered reflector maker Deflecto LLC is planning to enter India market by setting-up a production facility in the future.