February is all about the Auto Expo and this February 1 preview issue kicks off the mega event with a comprehensive preview of the preparations, expectations, details of participation and also exclusive interviews with industry association heads as India's biggest show unfolds at two separate venues: the Motor Show at India Expo Mart inGreater Noida and the Components Show at Pragati Maidan.
Auto Expo 2020
The industry-wide slowdown does little to dampen sentiment as tough-as-nails suppliers join hands with OEMs to ready new technology and materials for a smooth transition to BS VI and diversify towards the global megatrend, e-mobility. This preview edition gets you details of the top component participants, all the exciting new passenger vehicles to be launched and all the expected action from Pragati Maidan as well as from India Expo Mart.
Industry leaders speak
It is not just news but exclusive interviews from industry heads, who speak in detail about the Auto Show. Find out why both Deepak Jain, President, ACMA and Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA are optimistic about this year's event, which sees over 1,500 suppliers from 20 countries participating.
We also speak to Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM, who says, "Auto Expo 2020 will not just be a futuristic perspective of the evolutionary paradigm in the Indian auto industry but would also manifest its preparedness to adopt BS VI norms."
Christopher J Lanker, Vice-President & GM, Emissions, Terham and Turbo Systems, APAC for BorgWarner Inc, speaks on engine downsizing as a continuing trend, supplying newly developed components for a 1.5-litre petrol engine to a leading Indian carmaker and being propulsion-neutral as a growth strategy. BoirgWarner, which is a leading participant at the Component Show at Hall 5, will be showcasing its EGR module, battery module and VTG turbo for petrol engines.
Canada is one of the leading participants at the Auto Expo Components Show. Colin Singh Dhillion, Chief Technical Officer, Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, tells us that that APMA plans to showcase Canadian auto industry capabilities and technologies to cater to India's auto sector in production and also advanced digital manufacturing.
Safer cars, more stars, better ratings
Whether you are selling cars or buying one, in-vehicle and passenger safety are paramount and in a perfect tribute to the ‘Make In India’, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra gross the maximum number of GNCAP five-star ratings nationally raising the safety bar several notches higher and setting a new benchmark. In an interview to Autocar Professional, Global NCAP's David Ward says the pace of turnaround is one of the fastest in India and he expects carmakers like Maruti Suzuki India and others to start emulating this performance.
Luxury carmakers chart the next growth driver
The past fortnight saw much action in the luxury car sector. Mercedes-Benz India introduced the EQ brand in India with an intent to a key EV player in the luxury space. Audi India meanwhile has come up with a ‘perception strategy’ to retain diesel buyers as they get set for a BS VI era with petrol-only cars. Volvo India too has switched to petrol power as it launched the snazzy 2020 XC40 with a brand new BS VI-compliant petrol engine.
CV industry high on BS VI, innovation
The commercial vehicle segment is buzzing too. Ashok Leyland delivered the first set of BS VI trucks while Force Motors unveiled the all-new IC, CNG and EV van platform, the country’s first, that is high on safety and innovation and prepares the CV maker for the next level in the evolution chain.
In more news from the commercial vehicle space, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles has upped the ante and unveiled plans of it becoming a powertrain hub for Daimler.
And Eberspaecher Sharda Motor inaugurated its new Pune plant which will manufacture BS VI exhaust systems for commercial vehicles. Piaggio meanwhile is pushing the pedal towards the e-commerce route as it bets big on last-mile connectivity.
Two-wheeler talk of the town & lots of industry news
Moving on to the two-wheeler space, TVS Motor has unleashed its electric vehicle drive with its first electric scooter, the new iQube while Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles revealed their ambitious plan to make the most of the growing demand in the midsize motorcycle market, in India and overseas. Given how passionate both these product-driven OEMs are, should rivals be worried?
The first issue of February is packed with lot more news too. Tata Motors plots a speedy run on the electric avenue as it looks to tie-in group synergies. GM bid adieu to India as Great Wall Motor acquires its Talegaon plant and Pinnacle-Phylion opened a li-ion battery assembly plant in Pune. And in the biog news of the past fortnight, doyens of the Indian auto industry, Venu Srinivasan, chairman, TVS Motor Co and Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group were conferred the Padma Bhushan award on the 71st Republic Day of the nation.
But that’s not all. There is plenty more to read in this 124-page issue packed with news, views and analysis.
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