Anil Kumar MR: ‘The future of mobility is being shaped in Asia.’

In his first media interaction following the sale, Anil Kumar MR, managing director, SEG Automotive India, spoke to Amit Panday on the strategy behind the restructuring, key segments, product and technology roadmap and the priorities for India.

By Amit Panday calendar 02 Apr 2018 Views icon24940 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

More than a century ago — in March 1914 — Bosch presented its first electric starter motor for vehicles. On January 10, 2018, the Bosch Group completed the sale of its starter motors and generator division.

Under its new ownership of ZMJ Group of China, the division — now renamed SEG Automotive — will tap new opportunities around e-mobility in the automotive industry globally.

What is the primary strategy behind this restructuring for both the companies — Bosch Group and ZMJ?

In 2015, Bosch decided to adjust its product portfolio and spin-off the SG division. Now, Bosch has achieved a sale price that is appropriate for a profitable segment with global growth potential and a bright future – while finding a buyer that offers a long-term perspective on the SG division.

For ZMJ, the purchase of SEG Automotive is a long-term, strategic investment. It is the company's next important strategic step towards becoming an international automotive component supplier.

Who are its main customers across segments in the Indian automotive industry?

We have been the technology leader for starter motors and generators globally for over a century. In India, we are a leading supplier and present for over 25 years.

SEG Automotive is a reliable global partner to almost all OEMs, drawing on our longstanding experience to develop new, competitive products and achieve consistently high-quality standards worldwide.

In India, our customers include all the major passenger cars, commercial vehicles and off-highway OEMs. We have our manufacturing plants in Bangalore, Chennai and Hassan. We have our presence close to our customers across India in the form of regional offices and warehouses.

We have a very strong local R&D working together with our lead engineering (unit) in Germany, which develops products that fit the Indian market and supports Indian customers in product application. Our products are known for their high level of reliability, quality and their technological leadership.

boost-recuperation-machine

SEG Automotive's Boost Recuperation Machine enables 48-volt hybridisation with little effort and low cost and helps cut CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent.

Under the new ownership, what will be the new priorities for the company globally and in India?

As it commences operative activities, SEG Automotive already ranks amongst the most renowned suppliers in the starter motors and generators sector – globally and locally. Our product range covers the entire transition phase, from the combustion engine to hybridisation to e-mobility.

The combustion engine will remain a pillar of individual mobility worldwide for some considerable time. We offer a host of technologies for making these engines significantly more energy-efficient and hence reducing CO2 emissions by the overall vehicle fleet. With our Boost Recuperation Machine (BCM), for example, we enable 48-volt hybridisation with little effort and low cost, thus cutting CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent.

In parallel, we are also working on competitive solutions for e-mobility.

Our new Chinese owners – while retaining continuity in terms of strategy – provide us with a strategic advantage here: the future of mobility is also being shaped in Asia. As part of the ZMJ network, we have good access to this dynamic market and benefit from the investment strength of our parent company.

What was the time period involved in ZMJ's purchase?

The bidding process for (Bosch) SG was concluded around early 2017. The signing (between the two companies on this acquisition) took place in May 2017. Between then and now, the usual approval processes by antitrust and governmental authorities took place. The closing was effective from December 31, 2017. From January 1, 2018, SEG Automotive is operational as an autonomous company under the new ownership.

What are the new products and technologies that SEG Automotive plans to look into, to grow its business in India from this point?

We have been the technology leader for starter motors and generators globally for over a century and in India, we are a leading supplier and present here for more than 25 years.

In India, our customers include all the major passenger cars, commercial vehicles and off-highway OEMs. We have our manufacturing plants in Bangalore, Chennai and Hassan. We have our presence close to our customers across India in the form of regional offices and warehouses.

We have a very strong local R&D working together with our lead engineering (unit) in Germany, which develops products that fit the Indian market and supports Indian customers in product application. Our products are known for their high level of reliability, quality and their technological leadership.

Thanks to our broad, competitive product portfolio as regards to starter motors and generators, we fulfil the globally diverse requirements of our customers – for passenger cars as well as for various application areas in commercial vehicles. We constantly work closely with our customers on further evolution stages of our products – globally and in India. The focus is very much on key attributes such as efficiency, noise avoidance and so on.

SEG Automotive is, and will continue to be, one of the major development drivers in its product sector. We are also investing in further development of our BRM for a 48V-based mild hybrid system.

In the e-mobility market, there is still no consensus as to which technological solutions will prevail. We are analysing the situation very carefully and are researching appropriate products. Hence, the ‘E’ in our name. And even beyond the BRM, we have already collected a wealth of experience in this area. After all, a starter motor is nothing other than an electric motor.

start-stop-starter-motor

Start-stop starter motor helps reduce fuel consumption by up to 8 percent as well as CO2 emissions

How do you evaluate the government's push for electric mobility in India? How is SEG Automotive preparing to capitalise on the opportunities?

We, of course, welcome the push towards e-mobility. It is our goal to contribute to further reduce the CO2 emissions from passenger cars and commercial vehicles in order to address the challenge of climate protection – globally and across all (vehicle) drive technologies.

Even today, SEG Automotive offers technologies that make vehicle models based on the combustion engine significantly more energy efficient and hence reduce CO2 emissions.

SEG Automotive is also well positioned for the transition to e-mobility: for application cases in city traffic – electric scooters or rickshaws, for example – we can already offer full, 48-volt electrification through the Boost Recuperation Machine.

At the same time, we are meticulously preparing our product range for a market that is characterised even more by high-volt electrification. Thanks to our development expertise and pioneering spirit, we are all set to become a driving force in this sector too.

baseline-generator

Baseline generator

What is the existing headcount at SEG Automotive India? Are you planning to expand the same in the near future?

SEG Automotive India has been growing rapidly in the Indian market. We are a leading supplier of starter motors and generators in India and we have a broad product portfolio that caters to the needs of all market segments for Indian OEMs (passenger car, commercial vehicles, three wheelers, off-highway and stationary applications).

Our strategy forecasts sustainable growth for the future, which is also reflected in the business we have already acquired for the coming years. India, as an important and growing market, will remain central to our international strategy.

hxf88-starter-motor

HFX88 starter-motor.  

Can you provide details of the financial transaction between Bosch and ZMJ and are there plans to make fresh investments in India?

Since we are neither the seller nor the buyer, we cannot comment on details of the financials of the transaction. Since India is a growing and important market, the investments will continue both for conventional and e-mobility markets.

(This interview was originally published in the 15 January 2018 issue of Autocar Professional)

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