October 2018 opened with one of the biggest events in India’s automotive history – the first-ever FISITA World Automotive Congress, which was held in Chennai. For an industry taking on disruptive technologies, automotive engineers will be the movers and shakers of mobility. This global event saw plenty of discussion and debate, technical seminars, student and young engineer activities, all with an aim to share and expand knowledge.
Our 10-page report reveals the highlights of the four-day conclave, what global industry experts had to say on future mobility, challenges and opportunities, the many exhibitors at the tech show and an interview with Arvind Balaji, joint MD of Lucas TVS, who believes adoption of EVs in India may happen sooner than most think it will.
FISITA 2018 also saw General Motors Technical Centre — India unveil its range extended electric vehicle (REEV), which is planned to develop into an inter-collegiate competition aimed at driving student innovation in vehicle electrification in India.
Among the challenges that India Auto Inc faces is that of skilled vehicle service staff. It is estimated that India will require 3.5 million mechanics by 2020, of which around 1.5 million would lack training in vehicle repair. The latest industry-academia collaboration to take up skilling for the auto industry comes from Henkel India and the Mumbai-based Kohinoor Technical Institute. Find out how the two firms plan to train next-gen mechanics.
Preparing for the future is also what the Chennai-based Witzenmann India, which manufactures exhaust gas recirculation lines and exhaust decouplers, is doing. The company is readying to cater to passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle OEMs, who are actively engaged in preparing for the incoming BS VI emission norms, now barely 17 months away.
In the Interview of the Fortnight, we speak to Mahindra Logistics’ CEO Pirojshaw Sarkari who details the advances the Indian logistics industry has made in the past few years, GST as a growth driver, the advent of multi-modal transportation, the big positive in the new axle-load norms for trucks, and challenges in the form of fast-changing technologies as also the lack of skilled manpower in the logistics sector.
We also speak to YS Guleria, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India's Senior Vice-President (Sales & Marketing), who speaks about how India's peculiar customer composition and state-specific dynamics pose challenges, Honda's strategy to meet upcoming BS VI emission norms and the growing presence of the e-commerce platforms and Honda's own Best Deal used vehicle business.
The booming automotive aftermarket in India is seeing many players deploying different strategies to achieve growth. Find out how Mahindra First Choice Services, which aims to have a robust 1,200-strong network across India, is pushing quality services at economical costs to achieve sustained growth.
Meanwhile, Boodmo.com, an online spare parts operation with over 530,000 parts to click, aims for speedy growth in India. Will it achieve this?
The domestic auto industry’s September 2018 sales numbers, particularly for the PV sector, are not exactly worth shouting about but with the festive season underway OEMs are bullish on a better performance in the coming months, fingers firmly crossed. Our report reveals all, stats et al.
Exciting news pages
The past fortnight was packed to the gills with industry-leading news, both Indian and global. To stay abreast of everything, we suggest you get a copy of this issue. Whether it’s VE Commercial Vehicles announcing a new truck plant in Bhopal, the new Maruti Swift getting a two-star rating in the latest Global NCAP crash test, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India expanding capacity at its scooters-only plant in Gujarat, Ashish Kale being appointed FADA’s new president or the five new car launches, it’s all there in the latest issue.
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