Löningen – Chandigarh/India
„The City Beautiful“
is the dreamy slogan of the city of Chandigarh, in the north of India, within sight of one of the foothills of the Himalayas. Chandigarh will be the new production site for the international perforated sheet metal manufacturer Graepel from Löningen. Graepel, now run by the fourth generation, produces individual perforated sheet metal solutions for various areas of application. Graepel products can be found in high-class sports vehicles as well as in load transport products. The renowned Graepel gratings are manufactured for steps and ladder rungs. The international company is characterized by its “everything in-house" production strategy. From the idea to series production, design, toolmaking, surface finishing and series production, everything is all handled within the Graepel Group.
Due to the international structure of its customer base, the company already foresaw several years ago that it would have to grow with its commitments. In 2010, the first production facility outside of Germany was opened in Omaha, Nebraska, in the Midwestern United States. Today German goods are sold in North America and various assemblies are produced mainly for the agricultural and construction machinery sector. Graepel is now the only perforated sheet metal manufacturer in the world with a presence on multiple continents.
In the course of increasing globalization and associated customer expansion, Graepel was faced with the question of what course the family company’s future plans would take.
The first intensive discussions were held as early as 2014 through the extensive network of the global association of perforated sheet metal manufacturers. With an external committee of international consulting experts, the management of Graepel meticulously developed new market strategies and new investment areas. Taking several selection criteria into account, India was identified as the most promising market. Many global customers of the perforated sheet metal manufacturer have been active on the Indian market for several years. With its own on-site production facility, Graepel is able to reduce delivery time and avoid lengthy customs processing for customers, thereby guaranteeing optimal delivery conditions. In India, around 850,000 tractors are manufactured in the agricultural machinery sector every year. In comparison, the European market volume is below 140,000, and Germany accounts for less than 28,000 units.
India is the world’s largest democracy and can be seen as a country where the rule of law is secure. This is an important consideration for a western investor in choosing a country. The chosen production location of Chandigarh, with almost 1,000,000 residents, is located in the north of India and is the most European city in the country. Thanks to the city's good infrastructure, Graepel is able to offer its employees a safe and good location in which to reside.
In 2017, after considering allfactors, Graepel Perforation India Pvt. Ltd. was founded. It was a great challenge to put together the right local team, who would support the construction of the plant and ensure the future production of high-quality products that meet German standards. At the beginning of 2018, a long-term German Graepel employee relocated to India to take on this task with this strong team. This ensures that the construction project and all administrative tasks are handled reliably on site.
Due to heavy rains in the past years and occasional bureaucratic obstacles, the time for the construction project was repeatedly limited. The current corona crisis in India has also brought the economy to a standstill. Nevertheless, Graepel India is expected to start production this year and the first orders have already been placed.