Mid-sized Indian automotive components maker Sona Koyo Steerings plans to export INR1bn (US$22m) of components in 2006/07 and expand capacity to meet increasing demand, chairman Surinder Kapur told a news agency on Tuesday.

"There are lot of possibilities for everybody in this industry to gain substantial business from international companies, whether they be a General Motors, a Renault or a Toyota," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a manufacturing summit.

With a market share of 45%, Sona Koyo is India's largest steering gears maker, Reuters noted, adding that Japan's Koyo Seiko owns 20.47% of the company.

"Overseas business has become an important segment of our industry and therefore we don't have a choice but to scale up our capacities," Kapur reportedly said. He added that Sona Koyo plans to raise manufacturing capacity by 50-100% in the next two to three years to meet growing demand.

"We have decided to put capacity ahead of business because overseas customers do not want us to say that we will put up capacity if you give us orders, instead they want us to say that we have already got capacity," he told the news agency.

Kapur told Reuters that leading private equity funds and financial institutions were now ready to fund expansion in the industry.

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