New Delhi: Germany-based auto component maker Schaeffler Group on Monday said it plans to invest 150 million euro (over Rs 1,000 crore) in the next three years in India to set up a manufacturing facility and to expand existing plants.

The company, which has three facilities in India at present, is also looking to nearly double the number of its engineers in the country in the next three years.

"We plan to invest around 150 million euro in the next three years for expanding our existing plants at Pune, Hosur and Vadodara, besides constructing an additional facility at Savli (Gujarat)," Schaeffler Automotive President (Asia-Pacific) Matthias Zink told reporters here.

The new plant will be utilised to manufacture low friction ball bearings and bearings for renewable energy, Zink added.

Schaeffler sells its products under three brands -- Luk, INA, FAG -- in the country. Its product portfolio consists of various components, including ball bearings and engine components.

When asked about the break-up for 150 million euro investment in India, Schaeffler India President Anil Shah said said the company would be investing 40 per cent of the amount in Vadodara (including the new plant at Savli), 35 per cent in Pune and the rest 25 per cent at its plant in Hosur.

To support the growth, the company also plans to add 1,200 employees in India in the next three years taking the total employee strength to 3,500 in the country.

 "To support our growth, we will be recruiting over 1,200 employees over the next 3-4 years and a large number of the new recruits will be trained to high level of competence in application, product design and R&D," Zink said.

As part of the increase in employee strength, the company also plans to double its engineering resources in the country.

"Currently, we have 175 engineers across our facilities and we plan to double this in the next 2-3 years," Shah said.

Schaeffler's clients in India include all the major automotive firms, including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Mahindra & Mahindra. It also supplies components to commercial vehicles and two wheelers companies.

Globally, the company operates across two main verticals -- automotive and industrial, with former accounting for 60 per cent of revenues.

Schaeffler sales from India account for 5 per cent of its global sales at present.

The company, which reported sales of 9.5 billion euro in 2010, is expecting to close 2011 at 11 billion euro, Zink added.

(Agencies)