(FCA) has invested $150 million to open a global innovation and technology development center in Hyderabad, joining other global automakers tapping the high-quality, low-cost technology skills in India.
The Italian-American automaker said the information and communication technology center is its biggest such facility outside North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
“India has been at the center of our plans when it comes to vehicle development and technology. FCA’s engineering capabilities are being expanded in India. This is in line with the increased volumes of work we foresee globally and in India,” said Partha Datta, president, and managing director, FCA India. The new center would have about 1,000 engineers when fully operational by end of 2021.
Global carmakers such as Hyundai Motor Co, Renault-Nissan, Ford Motor Co, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen Group already run technology centers in India.
FCA aims to tap into India’s vast talent pool of software engineers to build new capabilities to meet new disruptions in the auto industry as it continues to rapidly adopt digital technologies, Mamatha Chamarthi, its chief information officer for North America and the Asia Pacific, said.
“While reviewing our strategy last year, we knew that the next step for us was to set up a global digital hub, which would serve the company in its digital transformation and drive global technology strategy,” she said.
India is a global leader in the skilled IT talent pool, she said. “We chose India because it already is one of the top four automobile markets globally, has one of the largest millennial populations and youngest labor forces in the world. This is expected to drive strong growth in urban household income over the coming years,” Chamarthi said.
FCA India, which already runs engineering centers in Pune and Chennai, has a manufacturing plant in Ranjangaon, Pune, in a joint venture with Tata Motors Ltd. The plant can produce 165,000 cars and 350,000 engines a year.