Tata Group is in talks with Wistron to buy its manufacturing facility in Karnataka for Rs 4,000-5,000 crore. The facility in Narasapura is Wistron’s only plant in India and manufactures devices and components for Apple, as reported by the Economic Times (ET). It employs 14,000-15,000 workers.
The deal could help the Tata Group to ramp up the manufacturing capacity of Tata Electronics Pvt Ltd (TEPL) in precision engineering, the report added. It was incorporated in 2020 to scale up mobile phones and component manufacturing following a geopolitical backlash against China.
Currently, TEPL supplies components to Apple from its Hosur unit in Tamil Nadu. It employs over 10,000 workers, mostly women. TEPL’s exclusive deal with Apple was a part of Make in India and takes benefit from the government’s Production-linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.
The report further said that according to sources, if the deal does not work out, Tatas may even pursue finalising a joint venture (JV) with Wistron. It might be in line with Tata Motors’ JV with Ford in Gujarat earlier in 2022.
“Tatas will run the show, but Wistron may keep a small share to leverage on the global vendor ecosystem of Apple,” a person aware of the matter told ET. The deal is, however, still being worked out.
Moreover, the latest infrastructural developments will facilitate easy travel between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This includes highways and high-speed Vande Bharat trains that will reduce travel time between Chennai and Bengaluru significantly.
Currently, Apple produces iPhone SE, iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 in India.