Al Moster, Director, Application Engineering, Product Manager, Chain & TSC, BorgWarner Morse Systems, on remaining focused on both IC engine-related as well as EV products, India as a growth market, and staying ahead of global megatrends.
Morse Systems has been around for over a century now. What are the trends you see in global chain systems?
Morse Systems is one of the five groups of BorgWarner. The Morse Group produces chain systems and variable cam timing systems. The future will see us moving towards drivetrain chain systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Clearly, the focus continues to improve the efficiency of the IC engine and this will continue to be a strong growth driver. IC engines still represent more than 95 percent of all vehicles in the world today. There is a lot of focus on electrification and hybrids and BorgWarner and Morse Systems want to grow its product portfolio in line with the market.
As EV penetration increases, we want our products portfolio to be leading ahead to be relevant for the EV era. We are moving more towards hybrids and electric products than the IC engine. However, this doesn’t mean we are stopping (our focus on IC engines) but we will continue to evolve our ICE-based products. We will put more emphasis on new product developments.
Which are the main global markets showing strong growth?
At present, we supply our products to almost every OEM globally. The biggest growth coming for us today is from China and it continues to be a huge growth driver for us. This is followed by Mexico and also India. We are witnessing strong growth in these regions.
Morse Systems has been an early investor in India and set up the Chennai plant back in 2002. How do you see the domestic market growth since then?
As we look at India as a market, we are certainly in a far better position now and are satisfied with the growth. Everyone knows that 20 years ago there were a lot of expectations for this market but not all of them materialised. We have been patient and committed to the market. We see a promising future in India. I expect to see much more growth in the coming years in India; it is certainly starting to turn the corner, which is exciting.
What is Morse Systems' global engineering and development ecosystem?At Morse Systems, we have engineering teams located in New York, Michigan, Italy, South Korea, Japan and China. I head those engineering teams and all our engineering teams collaborate on a global basis. We are a globally connected engineering organisation and our engineers speak every
single day across the world, all the time.
We basically set some high-level design rules and guides; we train our teams before we set the rules. The engineering teams are very autonomous at each location and just do with checkpoints at every quarter on projects and the status. At Morse, we have a total of 400 engineers and 200 of them are part of my team.
You visit India often. What is your observation of the automotive market in India?
I would parallel India to what I saw in China 20 years ago. The infrastructure was similar to what it is in India today. I have been coming to India for a decade now and there has been great improvement. It hasn’t been as fast as it was in China but it is improving significantly.
I believe the growth for a passenger car maker in India is potentially more than what we have seen in the past decade because the infrastructure is finally starting to improve. While I don’t see the pace of improvement as fast as in China, it is certainly moving to increase at a fast pace. We see some optimism and I am positive on the Indian automotive market.
(This article was first published in the October 1, 2018 issue of Autocar Professional)