BYD India's dynamic market strategy revealed in Autocar Professional's September 15 issue

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 15 Sep 2019


Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD is biding its time for a bigger presence in the Indian market. The world's largest EV maker, which already has a strong presence in the electric bus market in India through its BYD Olectra buses, has now turned its attention to electric mobility in smaller-sized vehicles. The company, has launched two new products -- the T3 MPV and T3 cargo minivan -- targeted at the personal mobility and cargo logistics segments. They could also be the precursor to manufacturing electric cars in India and also exporting them from India.

That's just what Ketsu Zhang, Executive Director of BYD India, tells Autocar Professional in an exclusive interview. Among other things, he said, "We  would like to start electric car production in India not only for the Indian market but also for overseas markets."

Set up in March 2017 in Chennai, BYD India has two factories, covering  140,000 square metres, with a cumulative investment of over US $150 million (Rs 1,080 crore) . The business covers mobile components, solar panels, battery energy storage, electric buses, electric trucks, electric forklifts, chargers, and now cars.

While  vehicle electrification remains an ongoing programme with industry, India Auto Inc is right now completely focused on the technological leap to BS VI. Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, which has the advantage of parent Daimler Trucks' familiarity with Euro 6 tech for over a decade, believes it has an advantage over its rivals. Now the Chennai-based CV maker has revealed plans to not only rejig its product portfolio to BS VI compliance with a promise of superior fuel efficiency and lower total cost of ownership, but will also leverage the India production base as an export hub of BS VI trucks and buses, starting FY2021-22.

Meanwhile, in an effort to put OEM concerns about delayed availability of BS VI fuel across India to rest, oil marketing companies have told Autocar Professional that they are on track to make the greener fuel available ahead of the April 2020 deadline. See what Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have to say.

Exporting top-notch quality made-in-India vehicles and components was one of the measures advocated by industry experts at the SIAM and ACMA annual conventions in early September. While Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari assured India Auto Inc of a technology agnostic approach and of standing firmly with industry during the ongoing troubled times, stakeholders at the SIAM convention were made aware that they need to take on disruptions in their stride through smart manufacturing, digitalisation, sharper focus on quality, and readying for the shift to BS VI ahead of the April 2020 deadline.

Making quality products is what Charles Frump, Managing Director of Volvo Car India, firmly believes in. In a candid interview, he reveals the company's product and growth strategy.

The ACMA Convention, held a day after SIAM's on September 6, saw industry heads urge the supplier community to master the quality mantra across all operations. Several captains of industry, representing OEMs and suppliers, called upon the component industry to manufacture zero-defect products and to think global since exports can act as a buffer to dwindling sales in the domestic market. We also detail the many findings of an ACMA-McKinsey & Co study on how the component sector can gear up for six impending discontinuities.

In a candid interview, Deepak Jain, the new President of ACMA, and also CMD of Lumax Industries, reveals his top three priorities as head of the apex component industry body, how the industry can drive out of the downturn and the growth outlook for suppliers in FY2020.

How to tackle the ongoing downturn and how it has already impacted them is the subject of an analytical three-pager wherein five captains of the component industry speak exclusively to Autocar Professional. They include Deepak Chopra, CEO, Anand Group; Nishant Arya, Executive Director, JBM Group; Ramashankar Pandey, MD, Hella India Lighting; Prashanth Doreswamy, MD, Continental Automotive Components India; and Rohit Saboo, President and CEO, National Engineering Industries.

If India has to keep company with top rankers in the global scheme of automotive things, then it has to embrace digitalisation. Global technology major Siemens Digital Industries Software recently held its global conference in Brooklyn, where it launched the Xcelerator software, services and application development platform that can be easily customised and adapted to enable companies of all sizes to transform into digital enterprises. We have a first-hand report.

Our guest columnist for this issue is Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director of Hella India Lighting. He writes on how the New Motor Vehicle (Amendment)  Bill 2019, with its stiff penalties, could turn out to be a game-changer legislation to arrest the alarming rate of road crash fatalities in India. If only the State governments would listen and not water down the Bill by not implementing it in its entirety.

August was not such an august month for the Indian automobile industry, what with sales acros vehicle segments declining at an alarming rate month on month. We have all the stats and facts.

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