With India’s automobile industry billed to become the world’s third largest by the year 2020, a good number of global suppliers are upping the ante when it comes to investing in India.
Adient, the global leader in automotive seating, is one of them. Last month, the company broke ground on India’s largest-ever automotive seating prototyping and testing facility in a state-of-the-art upgrade of its Pune technical centre.
Autocar Professional’s cover story reveals how Adient will be able to fully execute new product development including design and product validation for global and local launch programmes, all backed by its cutting-edge infrastructure in India. We also speak to Murali Rajagopalan, director and country manager, Adient India, who reveals the company could be looking to enter the aftermarket in India.
Persistence pays, which is something many a component supplier in India is aware of. The Delhi-based PPAP Automotive, which has been keen on business from Hyundai Motor India, is to supply parts for the Eon hatchback under a pilot project aimed at import substitution. In an exclusive interview, CEO and MD Abhishek Jain reveals how the company is going about a strong expansion programme which, when completed, will ensure PPAP’s presence in all the key passenger vehicle manufacturing hubs in the country.
In the Interview section, we speak to representatives of two strong players in the Indian motorcycle segment. Find out what Rajeev Jorapur, vice-president, MIS, Bajaj Auto, has to say about how business analytics is enabling across-the-board gains for the motorcycle manufacturer from product development to sales, and the growing influence of social media on business planning. He also reveals that it is a matter of time before the Bajaj Qute gets the go-ahead in the Indian market, which is what the quadricycle has been designed for.
As demand for high-end and midsized motorcycles grows in India, OEMs like the iconic Harley-Davidson are bullish about gains in this part of the world. Giacomo Marzoli, Harley-Davidson's marketing manager for Italy, Spain and Portugal, who is also a part of the iconic motorcycle maker's global product expansion and sales team, speaks about the new strategic global game-plan, evolving the product portfolio in line with customer preferences, the new Softail and Street platforms and customisation.
Road Safety was the highlight of the past fortnight and the World Road Meeting 2017, held in New Delhi, saw over 1,000 industry leaders, policy makers, professionals and think-tanks from several countries participate to discuss key issues including developing safer vehicles, leveraging technology, adopting global practices, bringing reforms in regulations and also targeting stricter enforcement of rules.
Last month, the big news was of Elon Musk unveiling the all-electric Tesla Semi truck. This green behemoth with an 800-kilometre range can tow 36 tonnes and is claimed to be capable of hitting 100kph in 20sec even when fully loaded. Production is due to begin in 2019. Find out all there is to know on this powerplant on wheels.
There's action too in the domestic commercial vehicle world, but more on the small CV side and specifically load carriers. We bring you the complete, in-depth analysis of how this segment stacks up in the fiscal year till now.
Like always, the magazine opens to a cracking news section. This time around there’s plenty of news on the electric vehicle industry front, be it the Toyota-Suzuki plan to roll out EVs in India, Mahindra & Mahindra partnering Uber with its e2O Plus and eVerito, Tata Motors and Jayem Automotives readying the Nano-based Neo EV or Mahindra opening a new manufacturing facility in the USA.
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