Autocar Professional's September 1 issue – an NCR Special – is a must-read

by Ajit Dalvi 01 Sep 2019


As September steps in, India's festive season has begun today, with Onam in Kerala today and Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra tomorrow. They herald the return of positive sentiment in millions of homes, businesses and in people's hearts. Will that sentiment also spill over to the beleaguered automobile market? Industry fervently hopes so.

A lot would depend on how Delhi-NCR, India's biggest car market, performs. Nonetheless, this region, home to the country's largest car manufacturer, two-wheeler OEM and component manufacturer, not to mention policy makers, will remain special. Our eighth NCR Special is laden with exclusive interviews, features and plenty of analysis. Here's taking a closer look at just what some OEMs, component makers and even start-ups are doing in a time of slowdown, how they are thinking anew, innovating and also improving efficiencies across the board.

In the flurry of five cars launched in nine days last month, Maruti Suzuki India's XL6 stands out. Why? It aims to add SUV oomph to MPV size. We take a look if the crossover strategy in the MPV segment works.

JK Tyre, which has nine plants across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, took over the Cavendish plant in Laksar, Uttarakhand. We find out how the company is making gains through its efforts aimed at sustainability, operational safety and efficiency improvements.

Gurgaon-headquartered BMW India recently launched the new 3 Series sedan. President and CEO Rudratej Singh speaks about the plan to drive the German carmaker's growth in India and the role the new 3 Series will play in it.

in February this year, Germany's Eberspaecher Group inked a JV pact with New Delhi-based Sharda Motor Industries to develop, produce and market exhaust after-treatment systems to Indian CV manufacturers. In an exclusive interview, Heinrich Baumann, Managing Partner and COO, Eberspaecher Group, reveals the company's plans for India, why he is upbeat about the upcoming BS VI emission norms and Eberspaecher's ability to deliver, and his outlook on the Indian bus and truck market.

The Manesar-based Goodyear India recently rolled out the new Assurance Duraplus and Wrangler AT series targeted at 'value-conscious' owners of cars and SUVs. Kenneth Jenner Powell, Product Director, Goodyear Consumer Tires APAC, outlines what led to the development of this new range of tyres for the Indian market.

The art of logistics is getting the right product to the right place at the right time. Now, Rivigo, a Delhi-based technology-enabled logistics firm, is helping its clientele achieve a high level of improved efficiencies across operations, sales and core functions, starting with its unique and patented driver-relay tech. We also detail how a faster supply chain can overcome a liquidity crisis, and how to restructure and cut down waste in a supply chain.

Tough times don't last, tough companies do. Find out how Manesar-based coolant and brake fluids supplier S-CCI plans to ride out the ongoing slowdown and emerge with new business in hand.

Sometimes, the answers to a crisis don't come from within and a macro perspective is all that is needed. We find out how Gurgaon-based Kognoz Research & Consulting is helping vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, particularly MSMEs) to improve their performance by deploying its people and business expertise.

Start-ups are the flavour of the entrepreneurial world and NCR has its lot of young businessmen. We bring you the real-world stories of Greater Noida-based two-wheeler OEM Gemopai Electric and on-line fuel delivery platform, Fuel Buddy.

By riding an electric two-wheeler, you will surely be contributing to a greener planet but if you are doing so without strapping on a helmet, then life can be rather mean. Two NCR-based helmet manufacturers – Steelbird International and Sandhar Amkin Industries – are doing their best to up the safety quotient for scores of riders in the country. Our detailed feature explains just how.

Sum of all parts
India Auto Inc essentially comprises vehicle OEMs and component manufacturers. With automobile sales being down and out for the past 10 months, suppliers are feeling the pinch. Having clocked 14.5 percent YoY growth in FY2019 and hit the $57 billion revenue mark, they are bracing for a tough FY2020. But they are also hard at work developing BS VI-related parts, enhancing quality and reducing component weight. Our comprehensive analysis of the component sector's performance in FY2019 is a must-read.

Who better than Vinnie Mehta, Director General of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) to spell out what lies ahead for the component industry? In a candid and exclusive interview, he tells us how the supplier community is meeting the many challenges of a slowdown, the welcome change in government policy towards co-existing of technologies, planning of EV-related courses at ACMA's CoE in IIT, Sonepat, the focus on digitalisation, need for re-skilling people after the slowdown is over, and the measures being taken to stamp out counterfeit parts makers.

How to tackle the menace of fake parts is a topic that Nakul Pasricha, President of Authentication Solution Providers' Association (ASPA) knows very well. He tells us about the many measures being taken to arrest the problem and also gives top tips on how to recognise a fake.


If India Auto Inc is to power ahead in the disruptive future, it is its peoples' skills that will help the ride to success. The World Skills 2019 competition in Kazan, Russia recently got over with India posting its best-ever performance: 19 winners and a 13th rank from 56 countries. In an expansive interview, Nikunj Sanghi, Chairman of the Automotive Skill Development Corporation (ASDC), who was present in Kazan, details some initiatives that the auto industry should consider, the skills that will remain relevant and sustainable, and also also reveals the findings of a recent ACMA-E&Y study to identify the skill gaps. This is a must-read for all industry stakeholders.

Brand matters. That's why TVS Srichakra with its new TVS Eurogrip brand is aspiring to go global. We reveal the brand strategy.

EV-olution of India Auto Inc
As India Auto Inc upgrades to new emission and safety norms, while also drawing the electric mobility roadmap, the role of testing and validation becomes even more important. We have an exclusive interview with Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director of the Automotive Research Association of India, who speaks on ARAI’s efforts at lightweighting, developing new propulsion technologies and driving towards an integrated transportation system.

Electric mobility is also the subject of a guest column. Ashim Sharma, Partner & Group Head - NRI Consulting & Solutions, makes a case for CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) mobility in India.

Another guest columnist, Gaurav Vangaal, Country Lead, LVP Forecast, India, writes on the impact of the slowdown on the Indian automobile industry.

With the continued focus on electric mobility, EV makers are exploring new avenues to extending travel range, reducing range anxiety and importantly costs. Now, there could be a disruption in the form of ultracapacitor batteries. Singapore's Shado Group and Bangalore-based Adarin Engineering Technologies have joined forces to manufacture and sell the Erick three-wheelers, whose standout feature is a single charge in a scant 5 minutes and good enough for 70km. We also have an exclusive interview with Dr Saurabh Markandeya, Co-CEO and Executive Director, Shado Group, who reveals that the company could be looking to diversify from electric three-wheelers to mini-trucks and also partnering to develop two-wheeler platforms.

Developing the advanced EV battery of tomorrow is something which the Mumbai-based Ion Energy is actively engaged with. The company, which bills itself as a battery intelligence specialist, believes it has what it takes to power next-gen EVs.

Lots of news too
With the second half of August being a very newsy one, what with vehicle launches, Toyota and Suzuki deepening their alliance by buying into each other's equity, Continental expanding speed sensor capacity at its Manesar plant to cater to ABS and ESC demand in India, and Motherson Group entering the logistics sector. It's all there in this 100-page issue, which is simply unputdownable.

Where to buy?
Autocar Professional magazine is available through all good newsagents and for download from Magzster. You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar Professional magazine – contact Ganesh at ganesh@haymarketsac.com. Alternatively, never miss an issue – subscribe to Autocar Professional magazine today.