It’s February and Auto Expo time. The over-150-acre Pragati Maidan, the biggest exhibition centre in Delhi, is ready to play host to the Components Show 2020, where parts, great and small, technologies, green and mean, and innovations aplenty will stay firmly in the automotive limelight for four days from February 6-9, and beyond.
2019 was a year of resilience for the Indian automotive component industry, which used the slowdown to re-carve its competitiveness. Now, with the focus firmly on cleaner emissions, safety, energy efficient solutions and connectivity, the 15thAuto Expo Components Show at New Delhi's Pragati Maidan will showcase the latest products and technologies for the future from nearly 1,500 suppliers from 20 countries, indicative of the continuous improvement underway.
This year’s event is of paramount importance given that India Auto Inc is successfully making the emission technology shift to BS VI, even as vehicle electrification and improved vehicle safety assume greater focus in the automotive and India scheme of things. Helping OEMs achieve this, even as they go about shedding vehicle weight by shaving the grams and cutting the kilos through lightweighting of vehicle parts, use of strong and robust new materials and also manufacturing top-notch quality products, is India’s strong and well-diversified automotive component industry.
India Component Inc is an industry which contributes 2.3 percent to the country’s GDP, accounts for four percent of exports, employs around 5 million people directly and indirectly, and recorded a turnover of Rs 395,902 crore (US$ 57 billion) in FY2019, which constitutes a year-on-year growth of 14.5 percent. Good going it can be said for a year that was replete with challenges, an economic slowdown which continues to envelope industry and OEMs cutting down on production to be BS VI-future-ready. But the tough-as-nails Indian component industry and the supplier community also saw the slowdown as an opportunity.
As Deepak Jain, president of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) told Autocar Professional, “Fundamentally, 2019 was a year of conservation. We saw a lot of fundamental policy interventions which, unfortunately, derailed growth. But I think it would also be seen as an opportunistic year because a lot of companies saw an opportunity to introspect and re-carve their competitiveness by using certain tools that we have always believed in — cost cutting, quality circles and many others. So, it was actually a year of resilience as we came out resilient and stronger against the slowdown.
“Going forward into 2020, the first and foremost thing is that the industry will successfully launch BS VI in record time, globally. This shows the competence of the auto components industry and how we collaborated with our customers to ensure that the national agenda is fulfilled. The key challenges going forward will be to remain competitive and to ensure that we promote the 'Make in India' brand.”
Technovation: Walking the tech talk
The overall theme for the Auto Expo 2020 is ‘Technovation’ with an eye on future technologies. In line with this, one of the highlights this year will be a Future Technologies Pavilion which will provide a road map of safe, energy efficient and low emission systems for India through a display of eco-friendly solutions and innovations for future mobility. These will include charging stations, hybrid and battery technology, solar-energy charging stations, car data collection and sharing, AI-equipped smart cars and upgraded refineries and fuel pumps.
Other dedicated pavilions include ACMA Innovation, ACMA Safer Drives, Bearings and Garage Equipment. In a bid to disseminate information on the need to use genuine parts, ACMA plans to expand Safer Drives programme to 10 cities across India.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Vinnie Mehta, director general, ACMA, said: “We have moved to a situation wherein even the common man is very conscious of the fact that one needs to be safe and follow road safety rules and regulations. Simple concepts such as wearing a seatbelt are getting ingrained into our psyche and we will continue with the ACMA Safer Drives pavilion. Moreover, Safer Drives will be a common feature not just for the Auto Expo but also an ongoing 10-city campaign where we will spread awareness in smaller pockets. We will sensitise people and communities such as technicians and mechanics on safety issues and best practices, but largely from the perspective of using genuine components. While most of the safety-related subject deals with issues of active and passive safety systems, what gets largely ignored is what's underneath the bonnet. One needs to make sure that only genuine replacement parts are being used during repair and maintenance of a vehicle. We want to bring home the point that if you buy genuine, then everyone on the road remains safe.”
A global show
The Components Show, the largest in this part of the world, will be a veritable global marketplace what with 1,500 exhibitors from 13 countries — China, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA — and seven dedicated country pavilions (Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and the UK).
Expectedly, there will be considerable business networking as OEM and supplier representatives from India and all over the world actively engage on this industry platform to check out the best deals, ink strategic partnerships and plot the best strategies to make the most of the Make in India growth story.
Autocar Professional is at the Auto Expo 2020 - Components: Hall No. 11, Stall No. 132. Do drop by to avail the super subscription offer.