All roads lead to Delhi

The 11th Auto Expo will be the biggest yet. We bring you a detailed preview of what OEMs and component-makers will be displaying.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 03 Jan 2012 Views icon3362 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
All roads lead to Delhi
Capital interest

Along with the dawn of the new year, Auto Expo 2012 and New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan will draw automakers and suppliers from all over the world, keen to make most of the business opportunity that is India, says Shobha Mathur.

As 2011 drew to a close, there was a distinct buzz around, similar to the one just before the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in Noida, in October 2011. Yes, it’s Auto Expo time and the 11th edition, to be held from January 7-11, is all set to be a major show with many global firsts to its credit.

The biennial show has been accredited as one of the major global auto shows by OICA (Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles). This year’s Expo is slated to be the biggest in terms of vehicle launches with 50 OEMs prepped up to showcase their models. Of this, 24 will be domestic and eight global passenger car launches, eight domestic and one global two-wheeler launches, six commercial vehicle unveilings and three of other products.

Since Auto Expo 2010, which had seen a record 1.2 million footfalls, had some issues relating to excess visitors and crowd control, this year the event organisers have put in place a plan to make visiting the exhibition a pleasurable affair. For the first time, there are limits on the number of visitors and the upcoming Expo will allow a maximum of 100,000 visitors every day, of which 70,000 will be showgoers and the rest exhibitors.

To override infrastructure constraints and to facilitate easy movement of visitors, the components sector has been segregated and will find a separate display in Halls 1 to 6, with vehicle launches, which usually draw huge crowds, in Halls 7 to 18. The various halls have been sequentially arranged so that the confusion that ensued at the last Expo is eliminated.

Categorised under vehicles, components, accessories, garage equipments, design and technology pavilions and Asli Naqli spare parts, India’s largest automotive exhibition will be spread across 115,000 square metres with 16 permanent halls, 10 international hangar structures, state pavilions, national pavilions and outdoor display space. About 24 countries will participate with 1,500 exhibitors, of which international participants will hail from a wide spectrum of countries like Belarus, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Korea, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and Malaysia. Some global players from Germany, Canada, Italy and UK will be housed in their own country pavilions. New entrants at the Expo will be PACCAR from Netherlands, Polaris from the US and Triumph from the UK. Buying and sourcing delegations will constitute 362 members from 11 countries including China, France, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam. A strong focus at this year’s Auto Expo will be on green technologies, environmental issues, technical seminars and conferences, workshops, innovations and designs, safety technologies and future trends with global speakers addressing the issues. There will also be an exclusive day reserved for the physically challenged (January 5).

A global show

Like the expos before it, Auto Expo 2012 is jointly organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the theme, like in recent years, is ‘Mobility for All’. “With the middle-class population growing, the Indian automotive sector is becoming a major global player. So mobility for all means making cars and two-wheelers affordable for more and more people of India,” says Rajive Kaul, chairman of the Steering Committee of the Auto Expo.

International attention on the Indian automotive industry is perhaps at its peak today, with the developed markets either stagnant or showing a decline. India, with its vast growth potential and as an emerging economy, is clearly expected to drive future global growth in the auto sector. All eyes are currently on India, says S Sandilya, president, SIAM.

The Indian component sector, as always, will be making its presence felt and about 400 component makers will be participating, from all parts of the country. Most of the OEMs will be present and exhibition space has been completely sold out – this at between Rs 7,200 and Rs 12,000 per square metre, prices that are at par if not more than some of the better known auto exhibitions in the world like those at Geneva, Frankfurt and Detroit. While the largest area of 4,000 square metres has been taken by Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors; the smallest – nine square metres – has been rented by a component maker.

Challenging the slowdown

At the time of Auto Expo 2010, the world was coming out of a major global recession and the auto sector was reporting negative growth. But 2010 saw the Indian automotive industry sell over 18.7 lakh passenger cars, 3.3 lakh utility vehicles, 2.03 lakh vans and MPVs, representing a growth of 31.14 percent, 32.26 and 51.4 percent respectively over the previous year.

The two-wheeler market experienced a similar trend that year, selling 19.6 lakh scooters, 86.6 lakh motorcycles and 6.7 lakh mopeds, representing a growth of 50 percent, 27 percent and 26 percent respectively over the previous year. Three-wheeler growth in 2010 was 23.40 percent.

The same year witnessed sales of 2.62 lakh units in the M&HCV category, 0.5 lakh heavy goods vehicles, 0.38 light passenger vehicles and 3.03 lakh light goods vehicles, representing a growth rate of 63 percent , 31 percent, 18 percent and 37 percent respectively over 2009. Currently, there is a moderation of growth rates, GDP has been declining for several quarters, and inflation rates have been rising. This trend has been persistent for two years with interest rates being among the highest in the world. This has impacted industry which is dependent on bank finance, lease finance and non-banking finance. Due to various pressures, growth rates have dropped in the three-wheelers and passenger vehicles segments.

However, despite the slowdown, industry captains are optimistic about the auto industry’s recovery. For the component industry, a new export market – Japan – will be added, one that will be critical for industry, according to Arvind Kapur, president, ACMA. The sector is expecting a number of delegations from Germany and Japan. With the rupee depreciating against the dollar to over Rs 50, an overall slowdown in exports is expected in the next few months. However, components exports potential remains high as India is a good source for buying parts, says Kapur. Since the dollar is linked to the commodities dollar, export-led components will not find the going easy. But most global manufacturers who will attend the Expo are sourcing parts for their global supply chains.

Product bonanza

Auto Expo 2012 will see a number of first-time exhibitors. Prominent among them is Japanese major Denso Corporation (Hall 6, first floor) that will make its debut at India's largest auto exhibition. The company, which is involved in thermal, powertrain control, electric, electronics and information as well as safety systems sectors, will exhibit its range of technologies in the fields of environment, safety, comfort and convenience.

“We regard India as one of the most important markets with high growth potential, and we are expanding our business in the country,” says Yasushi Nei, chairman of Denso International India and Denso’s Executive Director. The company has decided to increase production capacity and to establish a technical centre to begin developing products in the region and for the region. Denso will present Resonance 2021, which is a cockpit simulator envisioned for the automobile of 2021. It will enable visitors to experience how people, vehicles and communities will 'connect' to each other in real time to make driving more safe, convenient and enjoyable. Other products on display will include diesel common-rail systems and starters for stop/start systems that can contribute to meeting India’s next-generation emissions standards. Denso will also showcase one of its safety-related products — a full-colour, full-screen TFT liquid crystal instrument cluster with a night-view system that will show pedestrians or other obstacles on the roads at night or under other poor-visibility conditions. To keep end-users cool on a hot day, and also help improve fuel efficiency, an air-conditioning system that uses an ejector will also be displayed. Other products will include a remote touch controller that allows the driver to operate the car navigation system or the controls with little arm movement.

Meanwhile, Bohra Rubber (Hall 2-5, Stall 5.11, ground floor) will display its full range of sealing system products like EPDM windshield seals, door seals, secondary seals, moulded rubber components and speciality assembled components. The company plans to launch its foam products portfolio at the Auto Expo.

“We stand to benefit immensely from the interaction with OE and Tier 1 companies. The Auto Expo is now a very good brand equity building platform for the automotive industry,” remarks Shailendra Bohra, director. The company expects about 200 visitors to its stall with about 10 percent translating into business.

Bohra maintains the Expo has never been an instant business- garnering event but more for creating awareness about the company. Also, there are a lot of learnings about industry trends and new technologies that constitute the real takeaway.

For Sellowrap Industries (Hall 2-5, 2.6), which manufactures cellular foam products, blow films and plastic moulded components, and die-cut processed components, the biennial fair provides a platform for the introduction of new technologies and forms to drive business. “Our focus this year will be to essentially network and further build on our clientele. We expect an approximate increase of 10 percent in the footfalls at our pavilion,” adds Saurabh Poddar, director.

While Sellowrap will display woven and non-woven felt to injection mouldings, PVC and its combinations, sister company Sellowrap EPP will display foamed PP/PE and PS products like bumper core, floor spacer, tool kit, side impact bar, sunvisor core, door trim pad, headrest pad and returnable containers. The company will also introduce injection moulded components.

For the US-based Federal Mogul, its presence at the Expo is critical in growing and introducing leading technologies for many new OEs and aftermarket customers. The products that it is showcasing include bearings, sealing and friction products that are its newest offerings. In powertrain energy, Euro 4 and 5-compliant pistons and rings will be its highlights. Besides, CV brake linings, light vehicle brake pads, mechanical abrasion protection, thermal protection, crushfield mechanical protection will also be on display. Aftermarket products will include pistons and rings, cylinder liners, bearings, gaskets, ignition, wipers, radiator coolant, brake fluid and battery.

Kohler, which is all set to offer a complete range of engines upto 1.0-tonne payload for small diesel-engined commercial vehicles, will be present at the Expo. Its Lombardini engines (Lombardini was acquired by Kohler Co in 2007) are manufactured at a manufacturing facility at Aurangabad and cater to a host of OEMs. Its KD441 (single-cylinder, 441cc, air-cooled, DI-Mech) 6.8kW engine currently powers Mahindra & Mahindra’s Gio (both goods and passenger) and Piaggio Vehicle’s Apé Mini (goods) and delivers over 27kpl fuel efficiency. At the Expo, Kohler will unveil a new 2012 version of the KD441 engine that the company says will deliver improved power, torque and fuel efficiency. According to Kohler, it has achieved BS-IV emission standards with this single-cylinder, air-cooled mechanical engine, the first of its kind in the world to fulfill BS IV norms. The company says it is now ready to offer engines for 700-800kg and 900-1,000kg payload four-wheel commercial diesel vehicles. GKN Driveline (Hall 5, Booth 5.4) will exhibit more than 20 pieces in four product segments. These will encompass constant velocity joint systems that provide space, weight and fuel savings with greater all round efficiency, an all-wheel-drive system that improves vehicle handling, stability and traction by intelligently distributing power and disconnecting technology, can reduce drag and inertia for ultimate efficiency, trans- axle solutions and eDrive systems or electric drive technology.

Maha India Automotive Testing Equipment (Hall 16, Stand 39), a wholly owned subsidiary of Maha Maschinenbau Haldenwang GmbH & Co. KG, will exhibit a range of vehicle lifting and testing equipment. MoRTH plans to introduce vehicle inspection stations across India on a pilot basis.

For BorgWarner, 2012 will be the first year when it will showcase exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) systems and EGR coolers in India due to its ENSA acquisition. These reduce NOx emissions in diesel engines and increase fuel efficiency. It will also be the first time for BorgWarner to exhibit an expanded portfolio of front-wheel drive, all-wheel-drive couplings with electro hydraulic actuation through the recent acquisition of the Haldex Traction System group. In addition, there will be an expanded offering of electric drive transmissions and eAWD. The show will provide it an opportunity of connecting with customers. BorgWarner will also display several products from other business units with very long established businesses in India.

Trelleborg Automotive (Booth 1A 5) will be showcasing a range of NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) solutions to enhance driver comfort in the latest hybrid and dual-clutch transmission vehicles. Diane Whitworth, VP – marketing at Trelleborg Automotive, says that the company is committed to ongoing innovation in the automotive arena as well as to the Indian market. As such, the Auto Expo will be the perfect opportunity to showcase the company’s new technologies to the market.

“The Auto Expo has a special focus on technological innovations in the environmental arena, and fuel efficiency, so we’re keen to illustrate the support we can give to automotive manufacturers who are increasingly caught between demands to reduce fuel emissions and maintaining the levels of driver comfort the consumer has become accustomed to.”

One of Trelleborg’s key innovations to be exhibited will be its damping technology that ensures success of the latest dual-clutch transmissions. Other products on display will be its new start/stop technologies that are becoming increasingly popular with economical and eco-conscious drivers. Additionally, Trelleborg will present its active vibration control system that solves noise issues in hybrid cars. This provides an ideal solution for manufacturers, who are under growing pressure to reduce emission levels while maintaining driver comfort.

Trelleborg will also exhibit innovative Requill-tuned absorbers, which utilise unique material selection and product design to counteract brake noise and vibration problems across a broad range of vehicle types.

For Italian component major Magneti Marelli (Hall 1A, Stand No. 3), of all its technologies, products and solutions showcased, the highlight will be the Freechoice AMT (automated manual transmission) that is being brought to the Indian market. The AMT is an electro-hydraulic technology used to automate the manual transmission that combines driver comfort, lower fuel consumption and emissions.

In electronics systems, apart from the instruments cluster, Magneti Marelli will display technologies and solutions in the telematics area, such as telematics boxes and infotainment systems. In the powertrain field, an interesting focus will be on CNG and Flexfuel systems. In the lighting field, it will be head and rear lighting technology, including the multicolour moulding aspect, that will be attention grabbers.

Auto Expo 2012, the company says, will provide a platform for showcasing its wide range of products and technologies to the automotive industry linked to affordable costs for the market, a well-established manufacturing footprint and a growing R&D network.

Meanwhile, Komax Automation India will be exhibiting its Zeta 633/656 automatic harness processing system. The Zeta 633 serves as the basis for processing wire ends for the insertion of control cabinet components or automotive harness. The Zeta 656 helps load components with different terminal contacting such as spring-loaded, push-in or contact, flabs on one end or both ends automatically. These facilitate fully automatic harness production even when miniature components are involved.

Subros Ltd (Hall 6, Stall No 1) is targeting opportunities of business development in its product categories through the Auto Expo platform where a large gamut of potential customers and end users will be present. The parts maker will exhibit a wide range of products related to passenger vehicle air-conditioning products, compressors, condensers, RS evaporators, heater core, commercial vehicle and bus AC, transport refrigeration systems, radiators and engine cooling modules for passenger, commercial and off-road vehicles, precision engineering parts, plastic components, sheet metal components, gaskets and aluminium die cast parts.

According to the Anand Group, some of the new technologies space has been squeezed for auto components as a result of which group company Takata India gets a smaller space than at the last Expo. It will be exhibiting safety products with a lot of electronics that are being produced at its plants in Chennai and Neemrana.

The Anand Group will display changing technologies used in Japan and Europe. According to Group CEO Deepak Chopra, many products like the exhaust gas recirculation valves made for EGR coolers for better efficiency for engines will be on display.

Last year, on the filtration side, it started manufacturing in-house for the first time the complete air intake manifold, air filters and injection mouldings at its Chennai plant. This technology is very different and will be compliant with Euro V and VI emission norms. Some displays will include emerging technologies from its joint venture partners that are not yet available in India but may be introduced later.

Meanwhile, ISK Bearings which manufactures wheel hub bearings, wheel bearings and clutch bearings, plans to display its entire product range at the Auto Expo. The company, which caters to some global automotive brands in both the export and domestic markets, expects to derive good mileage from its Expo participation.

JEI Bearings which manufactures tapered roller bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, needle roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, ball bearings and clutch bearings, will be exhibiting its entire product range.

All in all, as the global auto industry makes a beeline for the 11th Auto Expo at Pragati Maidan, get set for a super show of components and vehicles, great and small.
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