Sika makes automotive adhesives which are used to join car glass parts, including the windshield and window panels, directly to the cars body.While direct glazing, the term used to describe the use of an adhesive to put in place auto glass, is a norm in the West, the current norm in the Indian automobile industry is to use rubber beading to hold glass panels in place. Direct glazing is superior, according to the company, since the glass gets the supporting strength of the entire automobiles frame strength that is unavailable when rubber beading is used. Sika, which already supplies to Tata trucks and Volvo in India, is expected to enter into an OEM contract with Tata Motors for its passenger cars sometime this year.
We do not manufacture in India, since the investment in manufacturing is very high. It makes sense to import from our seven global facilities. However, in future it may be a possibility, Biswajit Mohinta, country manager, Sika India, told FE.
Sika, which also produces other sorts of automotive adhesives, currently supplies to Tata trucks. The new buses unveiled by Tata Motors at Auto Expo are all fully bonded using Sika adhesives.
DaimlerChrysler India is the only maker of cars in India that uses only direct glazing for its glass panel components. Sika is a 100 per cent supplier to DaimlerChrysler in India. DaimlerChrysler also buys aftermarket adhesives for servicing of cars that it sells.
Mr Mohinta indicated that a few car manufacturers were currently testing Sikas products, which would probably lead to OEM commitments by next year. Of the 15 million cars in India presently, only 2.2 million use direct glazing for glass panels.
The company currently imports all its products from its seven global manufacturing facilities in Switzerland, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China.