Rane TRW Steering Systems Occupant Safety Division – a 50:50 joint venture between Rane group and ZF TRW – has opened an airbag manufacturing plant located near its seatbelt factory in Singaperumal Koil, Chennai.

Both plants have around 450 employees and are located a few kilometres from a Ford site.

In India, Rane TRW’s Occupant Safety Division, which manufactures seatbelts and airbags, caters to customers including: Ford India; Renault Nissan; Mahindra & Mahindra; Maruti Suzuki India; Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland as well as Daimler India Commercial Vehicles.

The company exports nearly 15% of its seatbelts volume to Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam and Thailand among others.

“With the Government of India promoting occupant safety/road safety to significantly reduce fatalities, we expect the auto industry in the country to introduce passive safety technologies to meet these regulations,” said Rane TRW managing director, Harish Lakshman.

“We anticipate exponential growth in the application of frontal airbags over the next decade and Rane TRW will be well positioned to support both global OEMs and domestic OEMs located in India…to bring in these technologies to their vehicles.”

The airbag plant, which covers an area of 1,800 square metres, will assemble driver and passenger airbag modules.

The factory will have an installed capacity to produce around 500,000 airbags initially with space to expand.