Ideas, ingenuity, innovation all are in plenty in the first issue of November – the annual R&D and Testing Special. There’s also a dash of excitement and more – yes, Gurgaon-based Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz, a dynamic Indian start-up is working with both Indian and foreign OEMs on ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). We reveal the inside story.
Likewise, the Aurangabad-based Dhoot Transmission which manufactures electrical parts such as wiring harness and other critical components has charted out an aggressive growth roadmap. Having acquired Scotland-based TFC Cables and recently inked a JV with Carling Technologies of the US, this company is now gearing up for the next phase of growth, which includes making the most of the opportunities that upcoming BS VI emission norms will bring. As managing director Rahul Dhoot told Autocar Professional, “We are investing 10 percent of our profits into R&D each year. With BS VI, we will grow faster as we are there in several new vehicle platforms for 2019-20.”
It’s not only home-grown companies that are bullish on the future in India. French tyre maker Michelin, which has recently expanded manufacturing capacity, is exploring the potential of the India market as a global engineering base. In an exclusive interview, Dr Arun Jaura, managing director of the Michelin India Technical Centre (in Manesar), details the current role of the facility which caters not only to Asia but also Africa and the Middle East. In June 2017, Michelin inaugurated a materials lab which conducts materials research that is relevant both to Asia and other markets.
Spain’s Applus+ IDIADA Group, which specialises in providing design, engineering, testing and homologation services to the global automotive industry, is eyeing new business in India in the safety, powertrain, ADAS and green mobility sectors. Find out what Mandeep Singh Tack, director, Business Unit India, Applus+ IDIADA has to say.
TomTom, the Dutch major which develops traffic, navigation and mapping products, has its largest global development centre located in Pune. In a wide-ranging interview, Alain De Taeye, Member of the Management Board of TomTom, speaks on the many R&F-oriented projects, involvement in technologies like autonomous and connected cars, handling of big GPS data and the key role that the Pune facility is essaying.
There’s also electronic testing solutions developer National Instruments which, with its open source systems and fully customisable testing equipment, aims to drive R&D in electric vehicles and driverless cars.
Another company with an eye on the future is lighting equipment manufacturer, Lumax Industries. The company plans to invest around 500 crore, over the next five years, including Rs 150 crore on brownfield and greenfield expansion, joint ventures and R&D. We’d love to tell you more, but for that you’ll have to pick up this 80-page issue.
On November 9, Ford India will launch the new and improved EcoSport as part of a comeback into the dynamic Indian passenger vehicle market which is seeing a massive boom in compact SUVs. In fact, it was the EcoSport that kick-started the compact SUV revolution in the country. Among the product’s highlights is the new-generation 123hp, 1.5-litre, Dragon petrol engine for which India is the lead global production hub. This will help Ford India increase engine localisation levels and thereby enable the EcoSport to be launched at an aggressive price.
To find out just how this brand-new family of engines is manufactured, Autocar India’s Shapur Kotwal visited Ford India’s integrated plant in Chennai and in fact built one! Our four-page feature details all.
Analysis: PVs, CVs, 2-wheelers
SUVs are the flavour of the PV industry and account for one out of four PVs sold. Are you aware that FCA India’s Jeep Compass has helped the company achieve a 1.16 percent market share in the UV segment in a scant two months? Our detailed analysis reveals all, stats and facts put together.
Scooters are to the India-two-wheeler market what SUVs are to the PV market. While Honda reigns supreme with its Activa, the big news is that TVS Motor Co has gone past Hero MotoCorp to become the new No. 2 in scooters, much of it because of the Jupiter which is spinning rings around the competition. Suzuki too has got into the sales act with its Access.
In a manner similar to the above two vehicle segments, Maruti’s first commercial vehicle – the Super Carry – is taking baby steps in the mini-truck market where Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra reign supreme. This is the first-ever analysis of this new Maruti CV sales in the domestic market.
When it comes to a bigger set of CVs, then VE Commercial Vehicles, the JV between Eicher Motors and Volvo Trucks of Sweden, makes a mark. Autocar Professional’s Mayank Dhingra visits the Pithampur plant to learn more about the art of making trucks and also comes to grips with a Pro 3015 on the in-house test track.
Manufacturing vehicles and components of a high order would be impossible without skilled personnel across the automotive spectrum. And it’s an area where India and its auto industry is feeling the pressure. That’s just what veteran automobile dealer Nikunj Sanghi, president of the Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC), wants to solve. In a freewheeling interview, speaks about the many challenges and his immediate course of action.
Staffer skills is where Toyota Kirloskar Motor, with its many initiatives, is benefiting from. Three of its high-performing personnel recently won laurels at the 44th World Skill Competition held in Abu Dhabi.
All this plus an exciting News section in this very captivating issue. Ensure you get your hands on it.
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