SAR Silicon Systems (which owns the popular Luminous brand of invertors) has entered into a technical tie-up with US based $US685-million EaglePicher, to produce automotive and valve-regulated lead acid batteries.

SAR will invest INR300 million in a production facility in Himachal Pradesh. The first phase of the plant will be completed by January 2005 with a capacity of half a million units per year, then scaled up in the second phase to one million units by August 2005.

Initially, the Luminous EaglePicher brand batteries will sell in the replacement market at an estimated 3.5 to 4 million units per year. SAR has 4,600 dealers and is targeting INR5 billion in business over the next three to four years.