Autocar Professional's June 15 issue –  an Indo-German Special

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 15 Jun 2019


Of the many countries that India has business and trading ties, Germany easily stands out by the depth of its engineering and technological prowess, particularly in the automotive scheme of things. Germany is India’s leading trading partner within the EU and one of the top 10 global trading partners. Over the past few decades, collaboration between the two countries has deepened, laying a sturdy foundation for the partnership that both countries are beginning to take more and more seriously. Reason enough for Autocar Professional to dedicate a special issue to the partnership each year.

German companies' investment level in India keep growing each year, both from OEMs and component manufacturers. The Volkswagen Group's big-ticket 1-billion euro investment in the India 2.0 project is one example. This year, we have focussed on some dynamic component manufacturers which are making waves in the Indian market.

As Indian OEMs tackle a host of challenges including BS VI and new safety mandates even as they contend with megatrends like lightweighting, connectivity and electrification, they are also looking up to suppliers to help them surpass the challenges. India is home to a number of leading German suppliers who, are also game to the task in hand and also scouting for new business opportunities in India, which is among the few global auto markets with a decent rate of growth.

The Schaeffler Group, which clocked revenues of 14.2 billion euros in 2018, is one of the world’s largest suppliers with approximately 170 locations in over 50 countries, and research and development facilities, and sales companies. To ride global industry megatrends, the Schaeffler Group has developed its 'Mobility for tomorrow' strategy concept, with which the company is focusing on four areas across divisions and regional borders: Environmentally friendly drives, urban mobility, interurban mobility, and the energy chain. 

In an expansive interview, Dharmesh Arora, CEO of Schaeffler India, says the company is well positioned to enable Indian OEMs meet their powertrain goals, be it IC engines, hybrids or pure electric vehicles. The bullish-on-innovation company has set up an Incubator Competency Centre for two-wheelers in its Pune plant along with a new state-of-the-art R&D Centre, which has been approved by DSIR.  

On April 30, 2019, FEV inaugurated its new mobility centre in Pune, which houses BS VI powertrain test benches among a wide range of other testing equipment. We have an exclusive interview with Prof. Dr Stefan Pischinger, president and CEO, FEV Group.

Make in India is also a mantra which some German suppliers are benefiting from. Adhesive technology major Henkel has inked a strategic partnership with RLE International to assist Indian OEMs' new vehicle development programmes. That's not all. The company is looking to make India an innovation and new product hub, which is good news for India Auto Inc.

The ElringKlinger Group is a powerful and reliable partner to the automotive industry. Be it car or commercial vehicle, be it optimised combustion engine, hybrid technology, or electric motor – it has innovative solutions for all types of drive systems in passenger cars and commercial vehicles. We speak to Ian Malcolm, country general manager, Elringklinger Automotive Components, who is confident the company will see double-digit growth in India over the next five years, driven in part by customers targeting higher levels of localisation.

The Gurgaon-based JBM Group has recently acquired a German company, Linde-Weimann. Nishant Arya, executive director, JBM Group, reveals the strategy behind acquiring the majority stake and how it will expand the company's global footprint.

Guest columnist Somok Ghosh, chief information officer, DHL SmartTrucking India, has written an incisive column on how the deployment of trailer and container-unloading robots will have a significant impact on the logistics industry. 

The global auto industry is seeing disruption like never before. It's the same with the aftermarket, where new megatrends and fast-changing industry dynamics are fundamentally changing the way business was handled in the past. Autopromotec, the leading Italian aftermarket trade fair, was a big hit this year what with 1,676 exhibitors from 53 countries. Kiran Bajad files his report from Bologna. 

A fortnight full of news
The first half of June was a very newsy one, what with captains of industry coming together in one voice and taking on the government on the proposed mandate to fully electrify all two-wheelers (below 150cc) and three-wheelers a few years from now.

BS VI, which will continue to be a sustained theme from now on till the new emission norms finally kick in from April 2010, was another news maker what with Mahindra & Mahindra announcing that it has achieved compliance for a number of petrol and diesel engines and is readying for market demand transition.

Meanwhile, Eicher Trucks, part of VE Commercial Vehicles, revealed its BS VI-ready Eicher Pro 2000 range of trucks. Aiming for a first-mover advantage, VECV, which has been making and supplying Euro 6 engines to Volvo Trucks for the past six years, is confident that its fuel-efficient trucks will triumph in the marketplace.

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