The Made-in-India slogan that has become the mantra of the Indian government has created a remarkable impact at Automechanika Shanghai, held between December 9-12 in Shanghai, China.
While China’s mass manufacturing and competitive pricing scenario has created a market for Chinese products worldwide, Indian automotive component makers have projected their own products as a qualified high-quality alternative for Chinese products to global automakers.
As many as 39 component manufacturers, who participated in the world’s second premium auto component show under the banners of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), showcased their products in individual stalls installed in the two dedicated India pavilions. India was one among the 17 out of 39 countries that participated in Automechanika Shanghai to have separate pavilions to showcase their products and services.
Although India has been participating in the Automechanika Shanghai trade fair for the past few years, the 2014 outing turned to be a special one as it received overwhelming response following the Union government branding India as an emerging manufacturing hub across the globe, including China.
For instance, a television channel like CNN has been airing ads of the Made-in-India concept in China in order to attract business opportunities from the world's largest automotive market, many Indian participants told Autocar Professional in Shanghai.
Leading auto component maker and 19-company Anand Group, which has been participating in Automechanika fairs worldwide, participated at Automechanika Shanghai for the first time. The Group mainly projected the products manufactured by its flagship company Gabriel India.
Sachin Puri, senior vice-president and head (Global Automarket), Anand Group, said the company sells its products in six continents. It has been receiving interest from a few Chinese companies too for its products. Currently, it has pitched Gabriel’s shock absorbers as a trump card to enter the Chinese market.
Sandeep Arora, director of the Noida-based Brakewel Automotive Components, said the company already exports its products to 15 countries and supplies products like clutch facing, brake lining, sheet lining and teeth lining to reputed domestic OEMs like Tata Motors, Exedy Clutch and Ashok Leyland. Now it is exploring an opportunity to tap the Chinese market. “One Chinese OEM has shown interest in our products and we are expected to export clutch facings to them soon,” Arora said without identifying the prospective Chinese customer.
Vimal Samani, senior manager (Exports), Banco Products, said, “If the Chinese could export their products to India, why don't we export our products to China, especially in the space where the Chinese lack expertise? India has the strength in spaces like engineering design and tooling. This will give an opportunity for Indian players to get orders from the Chinese OEMs and Tier 1s.”
Automotive air-conditioning products manufacturer Subros was a Automechanika Shanghai debutante. According to Pawan Sabharwal, customer director of Subros, the company is present trying not only to sell its products to China but also to source some parts from the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, the Haryana-based Neolite, India’s largest exporter of automotive lighting products, had a different reason to participate in Automechanika. The company sees the China fair as a good platform to attract potential customers visiting from across the world. At the same time the company also has trade links with China as it sources raw materials for its manufacturing in India. Anil Chaturvedi, vice-president of international marketing of Neolite, said the company is also looking to tie up with some Chinese companies to manufacture products in China.
JSK Bearings, another first-time participant, which pinned big hopes on the fair, displayed 35 sizes of the company’s bearings. It manufactures bearings in more than 1,200 sizes and 60 percent of its revenue comes from the automotive industry. S M Hussain, vice-president of JSK Bearings, said the company has installed top quality German machines at its production lines in India. China is a hub for bearings. “Global OEMs and Tier 1s, who visit Automechanika Shanghai and look for quality product at a cheaper cost, will consider the companies like us as the products have higher quality level meeting global standards,” he said.
Kishan Autoparts is one among a very few Indian companies that has been exporting its products to China. Its presence in Automechanika Shanghai will further increase its visibility in the Chinese market and also with the global visitors, said Ajay Bajaj, executive (International Business Development). He added that the company has been supplying 15,000 to 20,000 pieces of connecting rods to two players in the Chinese aftermarket. Its products are being supplied to meet the demand for connecting rods in the Chinese aftermarket for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs), he said. The company’s connecting rods are primarily used in the aftermarket for the trucks of Mercedes and MAN plying in China.
Other notable Indian companies that participated at Automechanika Shanghai were Adhunik Sales, Chopra Retec Rubber, Galaxy Bearings, Luthra Industrial Corporation, Masu Brakes, Mini Meters, Pheon Corp, Power Industries, Sandeep Axles, Talbros Automotive Components and Bar International.
It is evident that the Indian companies have been attracting OEMs in China as a few of Chinese companies have invited the Indian auto part makers to showcase their capabilities in the tech shows arranged in the third week of December, immediately after the Automechanika show.
China’s auto component market is estimated at around $ 350 billion (Rs 2,164,050 crore), of which $70 billion (Rs 432,810 crore) accounts for imports.
ACMA moves fast on Opportunity China
ACMA has recently conducted a study with the support of the Union Ministry of Commerce to understand and explore the opportunities in the Chinese automotive market.
The government’s effort seems to be started paying results as a few of Chinese OEMs have evinced their interest in sourcing auto parts from India. According to sources, four Chinese OEMs like Lifan, Foton, Great Wall and Weichai have expressed interest to hold tech expos in their premises for the potential Indian companies to showcase and demonstrate the capabilities of their products and interact with their R&D teams. The Indian companies which will be able to convince the Chinese companies will have an opportunity to win huge orders.
The tech shows are scheduled in the third week of December, after the Automechanika show, sources added. It may be noted that Lifan is the third largest Chinese two-wheeler maker while Foton is the largest CV manufacturer and Great Wall is the largest SUV player while Weichai is the leading manufacturer of diesel engines.
According to Michael Johannes, brand manager, Automechanika Messe Frankfurt, the total number of exhibitors at Automechanika Shanghai grew by 6 percent to cross 4,906 with 39 countries including India.
Fiona Chiew, deputy general manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai), said, “We have taken over the entire venue and more – with a total of 220,000 sqm, consisting of 17 established halls and ten temporary halls, a 5 percent increase compared to last year.
A breakdown figure shows an 11 percent increase in international exhibitors to 581 and a five percent increase of Chinese exhibitors to 4,325.
All in all, Automechanika Shanghai 2014 promises to have been a good trade outing for the 39 Indian component exhibitors. In the days to come, they will be looking to see if their effort to attract new business pays off.