Apr 12, 2021

Saietta VNA to set up new plant in India, strengthens leadership team

Saietta VNA – the joint venture which was formed in May 2021 between the UK-based Saietta Group and India’s Padmini VNA – is ramping up its ‘Make-in-India’ strategy by establishing a new manufacturing facility on the outskirts of New Delhi.

The company has today revealed about the ongoing construction of a new state-of-the-art plant in Delhi-NCR to produce its range of axial- and radial-flux electric motors for e-two-wheeler and e-three-wheeler applications. While the groundwork for this 30,000 square-feet facility commenced in Q1 2022, the outer shell is already complete and the setting up of tooling and equipment will begin in Q1 of 2023.

In addition, Saietta VNA has also appointed Pradumna Walimbe as its new managing director to take charge of the company’s India operations. While Walimbe comes with a rich experience in the global lightweight mobility sector, which has proved crucial to the company’s strategic approach to new and fast-growth markets, it has also appointed Dr Seshu Bhagavathula as the non-executive director of the Board.

Dr Bhagavathula, who joined the Saietta Group in 2021, has had a long and successful career in the Indian automotive sector. Dr Bhagavathula has previously held senior executive positions at the Ashok Leyland Group, Great Wall Motor Company, Daimler Trucks and Daimler Chrysler AG.

According to Wicher Kist, CEO, Saietta Group, “We were among the first e-mobility technology developers to recognise the importance and potential of the rapidly-evolving Indian transportation landscape. Through our joint venture with Padmini VNA, we are delivering a portfolio of turnkey e-Drive solutions that are ideally suited to the market, and – crucially – they will be produced in India, for India.”

“We are currently working with several OEMs and Tier 1 partners in the L(light)-Category segment and will reveal more information on this in the coming months. In appointing Pradumna to the managing director of Saietta VNA, we now also have a hugely experienced automotive leader with extensive commercial and technical expertise spearheading our activities in India,” Kist added. Kabir Bhandari, managing director, Padmini VNA, said, “We are excited to be at the vanguard of clean e-mobility technologies with Saietta. Through Saietta VNA, we are giving Indian vehicle producers access to industry-leading e-Drive components, and are investing in high-quality manufacturing capability and processes in India. The market opportunity is estimated to be worth around US$ 206 billion by 2030.”

Expanding indigenised e-Drive portfolio

Saietta VNA claims that it is uniquely positioned to offer vehicle manufacturers in India a range of turnkey light duty e-Drive solutions to help them meet rapidly growing demand for clean and sustainable mobility in large cities.After showcasing its patented Axial-Flux Technology (AFT) e-motors at the JV announcement last year, the company has now developed a new Radial Flux Technology (RFT) e-motor for lightweight two- and three-wheeler applications.

Specifically with Indian market applications in mind, the RFT85-65 was designed by Saietta’s Light Duty e-Drive (LDE) team in conjunction with Saietta VNA. The compact, air-cooled unit produces 4kW of continuous power at 48V, and offers attractive characteristics of being lightweight and efficient. The motor can be fully integrated with Saietta’s power electronics and transmission. The RFT85-65 is expected to be produced in India alongside Saietta’s AFT140 – an e-motor ideal for premium motorbikes and lightweight three- and four-wheel applications for vehicles ranging between 1 to 2.5 tonnes, such as last-mile delivery vehicles.