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        SKF India Delays Commissioning of Its Plant in India



        SKF India is the largest supplier of automotive bearings in the country. It has delayed the launch of its Rs. 150-crore plant at Haridwar in India. The plant is spread across 10 acres of land and was expected to commission its production by the end of this year. It will now start its operations sometime in the first quarter of 2010.

        SKF India took the decision after witnessing a sudden dip in the demand from major car makers in India. “We have decided to postpone work at the Haridwar plant due to a slowdown in market demand. However, there is not much impact on the demand for industrial products and our Rs 300-crore investment in the other plant at Ahmedabad, which will make equipment for the industrial sector, is on track. The plant will be operational next year,” said Rakesh Makhija, Managing Director, SKF India.

        The parent company of SKF India, AB SKF, is Swedish by origin. It has already shut down one of its plant in North America and has laid off workers there. However, SKF India is not looking at retrenching the workforce in India.

        “We have parted ways with 100 temporary workers in the US and more can happen if there is no improvement in the economic situation in the near future. India is a different market, as we are investing in two new facilities at Ahmedabad and Haridwar, so we will increase our workforce to 3,300 from the current 2,600 in the next two years,” said AB SKF President and CEO, Tom Johnson.

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