Amidst the hype around hybrid vehicles, an India-based starter motors and alternators manufacturer named Comstar Automotive Technologies (CATL) is developing an integrated starter generator (ISG) system for hybrid vehicles, which the company plans to produce in Mexico.
“Combining the function of both the starter motor and generator or alternator, the product will ensue in fuel savings of 7-15% in a hybrid vehicle depending on the mode in which it is being driven,” revealed Sat Mohan Gupta, President and CEO of Comstar Automotive Technologies to Indian media in recent days.
Current generation of vehicles are equipped with a separate starter and generator function. While the starter motor cranks the engine, the alternator charges the battery and powers the electrical system while the car is running. An ISG additionally adds the capability of regeneration, boost function and stop-start to the functions. These features will help automakers to achieve higher mileage and CO2 reduction.
The production unit of Comstar has been established at an undisclosed location in Mexico (unconfirmed versions point out to Aguascalientes) and expected to become operational in the last quarter of 2017. The plant will support Ford and other OEMs overseas with conventional and start-stop starter motors. The company expects to supply these components to customers in Mexico, U.S. and Canada.
Comstar has invested around US$ 5 million in its Mexico facility that will be ramped up to US$ 7 million in the coming two or three years. Such operations were conceived keeping in mind long-term plans to grow in the region and targeting BMW and Renault Nissan here for future orders.
In terms of return on investment, the Mexico facility is aiming for a topline of US$ 30-35 million by 2020-21.
Some of Comstar main customers are Ford, Volvo, Renault-Nissan, Aston Martin, Mazda, International Trucks and of course Tata Motors.