It’s a new month, a new issue and lots of new hope as India gets on with Lockdown 5 to tide over the Covid-19 pandemic. As companies restart and employees return to work, businesses are looking at ways to make up for the lost time and jumpstart the profitability plan with a bang.
Collaboration, technology and sustainability are therefore the key themes that India Auto Inc is moving forward with. This is exactly why this 72-page June 1 issue of Autocar Professional is an ‘Indo-German Special.’
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Deepening Indo-German ties
Germany and India have historic trading ties. Recent numbers indicate that it is the largest trading partner for India amongst the EU nations and fourth largest globally. The 2019 numbers indicate that the bilateral trade between the two countries in was 22 billion euros (Rs 181,874 crore), with exports to India accounting for 11.93 billion euros (Rs 98,625 crore) and imports from India at around 9.39 billion euros (Rs 77,627 crore). In an exclusive interview, Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General of the Indo- German Chamber of Commerce says opportunities are huge for companies in both countries but India still needs work to improve ease of doing business.
Meanwhile, the unified association of carmakers, component suppliers, bus, body, trailers and accessory manufacturers, Germany’s VDA is forging stronger ties with India’s ACMA and SIAM to make the most of opportunities that are arising from the current crisis. Angela Mans, the Head of Foreign Trade of VDA, believes that a deep collaboration in joint standards, regulations and homologation is crucial.
Covid-19 has hit automobile sales hard but German automakers are taking the digital route to take control of the situation. As social distancing becomes the new normal, online retail looks to be the way forward. Find out how Mercedes-Benz India, BMW India, Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda India have initiated interesting online buying, financing and servicing solutions that buyers can access from the comfort of their house.
Innovation is not restricted to the passenger vehicle segment. Satyakam Arya, MD and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, shares his mantra for tackling the current crisis, meeting the BS VI challenge and the most recent Rs 2,000 crore investment in India to expand production.
Even German component players are bullish on BS VI in India. Bosch, which was instrumental in making Indian OEMs take the leap and transition to BS VI and undertook all of 79 BS VI projects across vehicle segments expects IC engines to account for 80 percent of all vehicles sold in India by 2030. It is, however, bracing for a tough 4-6 years and has cut capex by a whopping 40 to 50 percent.
Dattatri Salagame echoes this sentiment in his first media interview after taking charge as the CEO and President of Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions (RBEI). He details India’s dynamic role in the company’s future plans and the Bosch philosophy based on parallel technologies apart from electric to ensure sustainability.
Big on sustainability, German supplier, SEG Automotive is readying to launch a host of new electric motors, especially for two- and three-wheelers as the demand for personal affordable transport is set to see an uptick in a post-Covid world.
Another German technology major, Continental Automotive India looks to make autonomous vehicles an important addition to existing mobility solutions given the greater need for sustainable, environmental friendly socially distanced transport options. We speak to Alexander Klotz, Head of Technical Center India, Continental Automotive India.
That apart, this 72-page Indo-German Special has a host of guest columns including Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, Prashanth Doreswamy, Country Head, Continental India and Dave Hutchinson, Product Manager - NX Visualization, Siemens Digital Industries Software.
As India Auto Inc battles with challenges post Covid-19, sustainability and effective use of resources take centre-stage across boardrooms. Water conservation in that regards comes across as a key issue. India Auto Inc is going all out in deploying innovative solutions to cut down water consumption, re-use and recycle this scarce resource in every possible way. Water harvesting and creating green zones are the other key areas of focus for automakers.
Technology, the talk of the town
As operations increasingly become digital as businesses adapt to the new normal of social distancing post-Covid, the fourth in a series of webinars organized by Autocar Professional delves on exactly this issue on May 11, National Technology Day. A star-studded panel comprising of Dr Arun Jaura, the managing director of Michelin India Technical Centre, Fernando Rodriquez, Head – Engineering, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit (PVBU), Tata Motors, Dr Ravi Damodaran, Chief Technology Officer (CTO ) at Greaves Cotton and Meenakshi Sundaram, CTO , Amalgamations Components Group make a case for greater technology planning and penetration.
But different companies have a different mantra for dealing with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. As Farrokh Cooper, CMD, Cooper Corporation prepares for the long haul bets on empathy and discipline to get past the current crisis.
As passenger vehicle makers look at improving sales and wooing buyers, Nissan Motor India decides to shift away from diesel. The Chennai-based carmaker launched the BS VI avatar of its midsized crossover, the Kicks.
But that’s not all, this issue is packed with a lot more news from the big deals in the two-wheeler segment to the major development in the component world.
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