Autocar Professional – October 1 issue out now

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 01 Oct 2017

Sum of all parts. Indian industry across OEMs and suppliers are exploring new materials, processes and innovative measures to shave the grams and cut the kilos (Representational image of the component

This one’s a heavyweight issue and it’s all about lightweighting! Yes, reducing vehicle weight in the quest for improved fuel efficiency even as stringent safety norms call for a heightened sense of purpose to keep vehicle occupants safe is what is keeping automakers and their suppliers very busy. And lightweighting is gathering even more importance in a world that is fast plugging into electric mobility.



With vehicle manufacturing responding positively to new, metal-replacing hi-tech plastics, we take a close look at how some dynamic companies are helping cut down weight with tough, durable and sustainable thermoplastics. Do you, for example, know that an oil sump made by using DSM’s Akulon PA6 reduces weight by almost 40%, when compared to its traditional metal design? We speak to Anand Diwanji, Business Director – Engineering Plastics Division, DSM India, to find out the extent to which vehicle weight can be shed responsibly.


An electric vehicle needs to have the right materials to make it lightweight and more efficient in terms of range, insulation, battery thermal performance management and flammability performance. Ajay Durrani, Managing Director & Senior Country Representative – Indian Sub-Continent, Covestro India, writes exclusively for Autocar Professional on why composite is the new normal.

There’s also Lanxess, which has optimised polyamide 6 to slash engine oil pan weight by over two kilograms compared to its aluminium counterpart. Enough to make the Porsche 911 Carrera to make the shift.


OEMs are also increasingly taking to software and simulation-driven design to help them find a better balance to fulfil their requirements of weight, attribute performance and costs. Find out how Altair Engineering’s simulation-driven design processes can be used on complete vehicle platforms and body-in-white structures.

Bonding also helps the auto industry stitch materials better. Henkel India is driving cutting-edge technologies that enable sustainable lightweighting solutions that offer enhanced durability, crash performance, safety, comfort and reduced NVH. We speak to Barun Bharadwaj, Business Director – Transport & Metal, to glean the latest on adhesive technologies, associated challenges and new mobility solutions.

New norms bring new opportunities and that’s what benefiting New Delhi-based Radiant Polymers, the engineering plastics manufacturer which is working on a host of projects with vehicle manufacturers in India.


Shaving the grams and cutting the kilos is the mantra for OEMs worldwide. The biggest gains in weight loss therapy can be had in the commercial vehicle world. We find out just what Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and VE Commercial Vehicles are doing to optimise weight in their M&HCVs.

Do you know that BEHICLE (Best-in-class vehicle), an electric quadricycle concept, is aiming to become the highest-rated lightweight vehicle in Euro NCAP testing? And that ZF is providing a gaggle of passive safety systems to this innovative vehicle.

Electric mobility and the Indian government’s aggressive push has kicked off a lot of debate. Rattan Kapur, ACMA’s outgoing president and CMD, Mark Exhaust Systems, speaks to Autocar Professional on the path to take for a sustainable EV industry.


In an era of electro-mobility, will synthetic fuel be the IC engine’s saviour. Engineers and CEOs, representing OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, say clean mobility policies should be technology agnostic. We plug into the eco-friendly debate.

We also find out how Total Oil, one of the world’s leading global energy majors, is accelerating its India growth story through innovative measures at its R&D Centre located in Mahape, near Mumbai.

Over the years, India has become one of the world’s most preferred manufacturing destinations. But after Make in India, it’s time for Design & Develop in India’ if the country is really to make the leap into a global powerhouse for automotive. This new movement was the hot topic at the NASSCOM round-table held in Bangalore recently and conducted in association with Autocar Professional.

Plenty more in this issue. . .

This 100-page issue continues to pack a punch. Bernhard Maier, CEO, Skoda Auto, speaks on developing a low-cost platform, setting up a robust supplier base and reveals the Czech carmaker’s ambitions in the Indian market.

India is where the action is, even for tyremakers. Kazutoshi Oyama, Bridgestone India’s executive director (Sales & Marketing), reveals the company’s growth game-plan.  

Tata Motors has finally made the con-Nexon with the booming compact SUV market in India. The snazzy, hot-on-style, aggressively priced Nexon has what it takes to be a winner. Should the competition be worried? Find out in our report.

If you thought the MPV market in India is where angels fear to tread, you could be wrong. Renault India is still betting on its ace-of-space machine, the Lodgy to board buyers in droves. MD and CEO Sumit Sawhney has a contra theory in mind. We also reveal who’s won and who’s lost in this segment – full facts and figures.


Seeing tomorrow today is also what Ford Motor Co is doing through a series of industry seminars the world over to analyse and propose solutions to the many challenges facing cities as they prepare for the future. Our report on the New Delhi edition is a must-read.

Autonomous vehicles, like electro-mobility, are here to stay. How does industry take on the design and test challenges for these driverless machines? It’s all there in a two-page informative feature.

CVs to the fore
As the green shoots of recovery happen to the M&HCV industry, there’s a tough battle underway between arch rivals – Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. Our fact-filled analysis is what will keep you busy as it has rivals who keep searching for ways to dent these two OEMs’ supremacy in this segment.

Future-tech ready Daimler India Commercial Vehicles has also recently introduced a Euro 5-compliant heavy duty truck to draw buyers, even as it targets a 20% share of the HD truck market by 2020.



The LCV market is also full of promise and Ashok Leyland, now free from Nissan’s LCV JV and its limitations, is plotting a raft of products to take on Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra. The company, which recently launched the Dost+, is clearly looking to make enemies in this segment.

10 pages of exciting news. . .
The past fortnight was packed to the gills with industry-leading news, both Indian and global. To stay abreast of everything, we suggest you get a copy of this issue. Whether it’s the Suzuki-Toshi-Denso JV for lithium-ion battery packs, the M&M-Ford new mobility alliance, Mahindra’s driveless tractor, ZF’s plan for an innovation factory with start-ups, or Piaggio and Foton coming together to develop LCVs, we’ve got it all. We also spill the beans on electric Traveller minibus. Or how ACMA has got India Auto Inc talking about the impact of BS VI.

Where to buy?
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