December 15, 2012: Madhur Aneja, Vice President, Federal-Mogul
The vice-president of Federal-Mogul’s global aftermarket division, Asia Pacific, speaks to Brian de Souza on the Asian market, India’s position and new product launches.
As head of the Global aftermarket in India, what are your priorities?
Federal-Mogul’s aftermarket business is a completely integrated P&L business structure, not merely a sales arm like other companies. In addition to our sales and purchase functions, our aftermarket operations include R&D, engineering, manufacturing, assembly and distribution operations. Our primary objective is to cut across borders and boundaries, and provide our customers easy access to our global distribution centres that offer a wide portfolio of leading products across industries including automotive, aerospace, energy, heavy duty, industrial, construction, railways, marine, mining and power generation.
If we may focus on Asia-Pacific, what are the main characteristics of the Asian aftermarket for your company?
Given that we operate across several regions such as India, China, Thailand, Australia, Japan and South Korea, it is not possible to define one single harmonised market characteristic. Diversity in vehicle parc, differences in consumer-buying behaviour, varying levels of infrastructure and development in each of these regions influence and define the characteristics of the local markets. We look at each market individually and customise our offerings to that market’s requirements. Our global presence, technical and manufacturing expertise, and extensive product portfolio provides us an edge over our competition.
What kind of aftermarket products does Federal-Mogul offer and which area from engine solutions to services offers the biggest scope?
In the engine category space in key markets, we have been able to secure leadership position by having grown our market share through the launch of new products and continuous range extension over the last few years. The core product categories which include engine parts (pistons, piston rings, cylinder liners, engine bearings, spark plugs, valves, gaskets and seals) and braking friction products are supported by a growing portfolio of service parts (ignition wires, ignition coils, service fluids, batteries and wiper blades) and a range of steering and chassis products across the region. Over the years, in India, we have transformed from a ‘two-product’ company to one that offers a wide portfolio of engine, service and braking products. Given the unique nature of each Asian market, we develop products for local markets and deliver the technology to suit specific local requirements. One of our fortés lies in quickly adapting to changing market trends through the launch of new products and expansion of our existing product range. Our local product teams work closely with our global technology centres and global manufacturing facilities to develop and deliver products required by our customers in each local market. As for recent launches, in India we introduced Ferodo, Federal-Mogul’s advanced disc brake pads, and now are in the process of launching Ferodo brake linings. In Japan and Korea, we launched various ignition products as part of our Champion portfolio.Elsewhere in Asia, other recent launches include a patented range of ‘ThermoQuiet’ brake pads in Australia and New Zealand. These pads give an unparalleled performance and we have received very positive responses from our customers since the launch. In Australia, we recently introduced a range of gaskets and sealing products with the largest distribution and retail chain in the region.
Which is the most significant Asian market and why? How does India rank in the aftermarket and what share would India have, say, by 2020?
Asia is vital for Federal-Mogul because of the size of the OEM market and the growing acceptance of high-quality and performance aftermarket auto parts in numerous fast evolving local markets.India as a market is of strategic importance to us, and we have grown rapidly in the last five years. The country’s aftermarket is rapidly growing as the influx of new vehicles has expanded the total Indian car parc. While there is relative ‘softness’ being felt in the Indian aftermarket currently, the long-term story is intact and we remain bullish on the prospects.
How are Federal-Mogul's Asian operations linked to servicing the aftermarket, especially in terms of logistics and other requirements?
Within Asia, our aftermarket operations include manufacturing, assembly and distribution facilities which are located in India, China, Thailand, Australia, Japan and Korea. Additionally, we have teams based at our offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which are managed by a dedicated, local country manager / director. Our distribution centres strategically located in key countries in the region ‘buy’ products not only from our manufacturing facilities in Asia but also from our 105 manufacturing and 19 distribution facilities located in 25 countries across the globe. Logistically, this gives us an edge by being closer to the customer and reduce shipment lead times and hence improve our fill rates and overall customer service levels.
What advantage does the FTA between India and Thailand offer your company in terms of aftermarket exports?
The Indo-Thai Free Trade Agreement has drawn a mixed reaction across industries. The agreement is restrictive in nature in terms of product category coverage and omissions, but we have been able to take selective advantages trading both ways between the two countries.
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