Stringent vehicle safety mandates and a growing consciousness among two- and four-wheeler buyers is driving demand for the Anti-Lock Braking System in India. Now, as OEMs look to source the life-saving safety gear in larger numbers, Aurangabad-based Tier 1 supplier, Endurance Tech aims to latch on to the opportunity.
The competition in the over-Rs 1,200 crore Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) market in India is about to intensify. Aurangabad-based Endurance Technologies is set to start rolling out locally produced ABS products by October this year. In heavy braking situations, ABS gets to work on a two-wheeler or passenger vehicle by releasing and then re-applying or ‘pumping’ the brakes. On detecting a lock-up, ABS pumps the brakes hundreds of times a second, which stops the wheels from skidding. This in turn enables the driver or rider to stay in control.
Currently, the hi-tech ABS market in India, with an estimated annual potential in excess of 3.2 million vehicles, remains highly concentrated with German major Bosch alone commanding a dominant 85 percent market share. Continental, another top German safety component player, has a flourishing ABS-manufacturing operation too, running from Bangalore and Manesar.
Endurance Technologies, a dominant player in hydraulic braking systems, which had anticipated a surge in demand for ABS after the safety norm was mandated in 2019, had initially toyed with the plan to source modulators from Bosch and other players. However, the company chose to select BWI, its longstanding US- based partner, for the ABS programme. Recalibrating the ABS system as per Indian road and driving conditions, clubbed with the onset of the pandemic, resulted in delay of the ABS launch, says a company executive.
Ramesh Gehaney, executive director and chief operating officer, Endurance Technologies, tells Autocar Professional that testing and validation of its ABS products are in advanced stages. He is hopeful of it being at manufacturing stage latest by July-August before beginning supplies in October, 2021. In the first phase, the plan is to produce 250,000 ABS units before scaling production to over 500,000 units.
What proved extremely helpful in Endurance’s ABS development journey was the company’s expansive 29-acre test track in Aurangabad, set up a few years ago. The Rs 45 crore track, which has a high-speed stretch of over a kilometre, proved extremely useful in testing the home-grown ABS products under different conditions and is helping the company get its product right first time. The original plan was to also conduct calibration and vehicle tests in the US but it was scuttled due to Covid-19-related travelling restrictions. By sharing the calibration software electronically, the desired work was carried out. "Our test track was of great help," points out Gehaney.
Ramping up capacity for other products
Meanwhile, Endurance has firmed up capacity expansion plans to cater to future demand from key two-wheeler clientele including Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor, Royal Enfield, India Yamaha, Hero MotoCorp and HMSI. Additionally, new orders due to the China-plus policy adopted by several Indian and global OEMs is driving the demand push. The development seems significant considering that Endurance is focusing on a value-added product mix with new offerings like ABS.
Endurance, which has a strong EV-related component portfolio, is revising its business strategy in this sector. It is now said to be in talks with "new OEMs" like Ola and others for securing future orders.