Technology today is all encompassing. As India navigates through over 50 days of lockdown in an effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19, software and simulation have become the backbone of businesses. The automobile world is no exception. Both globally and locally, Virtual reality and augmented reality are making inroads everywhere from automobile manufacturing to retailing of cars.
That’s exactly why Autocar Professional’s latest edition, the May 15 issue, is a Software & Simulation Special. This 64-page issue aims to throw light on how technology is helping India Auto Inc get an edge and adjust to the new normal of social distancing and greater thrust on contact-less safety in a post-Covid world.
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But after close to two months of lockdown, the biggest focus is on making businesses viable in a world that has to adjust to lower buying power and poor demand. The Prime Minister has announced a mega stimulus package worth Rs 20 lakh crore. The Finance Minister has already unveiled the second tranche of the package. Measures worth nearly Rs 15 lakh crore are out already including earlier announcements by the RBI and the Finance Minister but there is still no mention of any for the auto sector specifically, especially GST reduction or a firm scrappage policy.
But industry experts are of the opinion that here is an urgent need for a vehicle scrappage policy to create demand and also cut down emission in a world that is increasingly getting used to bright blue skies and cleaner air. Speaking at an Autocar Professional Webinar to mark the 70th Earth Day, stalwarts of India Auto Inc were emphatic in their call for a well-structured Scrappage Policy.
Expert-speak on becoming future-ready
The expert panel from the Earth Day Webinar that included Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, ARAI; Sekhar Viswanathan, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor; C V Raman, Senior Executive Director - Engineering, Maruti Suzuki India and Naveen Munjal, MD, Hero Electric and President, SMEV see a firm scrappage policy as a key platform to drive growth going forward in a sustainable manner.
That is however only one aspect of the whole narrative. As is quite evident in the past few weeks, the demand demographics are changing, customer behaviour and requirements are changing too and the auto industry has to think on its toes to stay ahead in the game. In the Autocar Professional Webinar to mark Labour Day on May 1, top guns from the industry made a case for upskilling and reskilling to enable a restart in ‘Safe Mode’. The Panel comprising Vijay Kalra, Head, Mahindra Institute of Quality and Ex-Chief of Manufacturing Operations- Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra; Ashim Sharma, Partner & Group Head - Business Performance Improvement (Auto, Engineering &Logistics), Nomura Research Institute; Nikunj Sanghi, Chairman, ASDC; Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella India Lighting; and Rohan Rathod, Managing Director, Delux Bearings were voval about digitilisation, diversification and reskilling as the India Auto Inc reveals its restart gameplan.
Restarting industry's growth engine
Restart is a reality now. Assembly lines are gradually limping back to the new normal. India Auto Inc is taking its tentative steps towards adapting to the new normal of social distancing and greater thrust towards safety and hygiene. We get you a comprehensive report on how prepared companies are how they plan to drive up the pace of manufacturing.
Tata Motors is taking a leaf out of Jaguar Land Rover’s experience in China when it comes to restarting its plants.
But automobile manufacturing is like a harmonious symphony where every chord matters. Without the component manufacturers making a smooth start, it is difficult for the OEMs to function smoothly. As Sona Comstar resumes operation after a lockdown, its Chairman, Sunjay Kapur explains the challenges ahead, the business priorities and how they plan to ramp up production in a step by step process.
According to a CRISIL study, restarting operations at the Pune and NCR regions is crucial for maintain the supply chains, especially for the Passenger Vehicle and the two-wheeler segments.
Software & Simulation: digital tool to reach out to the customer
Perhaps it is this new normal and adjusting to it that continues to be the core concern of the automobile industry and technology comes across as a knight in shining armour.
- Rafiq Somani, Area Vice –President – India & South Asia Pacific, Ansys says many engineering companies are set to increase their dependence on simulation
- Michael Laxman, Brand Lead, 3DEXCITE, Dassault Systemes takes forward the overriding simulation theme forward. At Dassault, they see a growing popularity of manpower-less showrooms.
- Taking a cue, a plethora of Indian car manufacturers are going big on virtual showrooms. Car manufacturers are pulling all stops to make online retail the new driver for greater sales.
- In a bid to make these showrooms more exciting, we get you an exclusive interaction with Mumbai-based Eccentric Engine which is looking to use gaming technology to augment the virtual experience.
- Firms like MathWorks are also enabling automotive organisations in accelerating vehicle development using VR.
- In case you think your engineers don’t have the requisite skills, Skill-Lync offers the solution. The start-up's Master Certification courses aim to help engineers adapt to the new demands. We can reveal that it is already in talks with eight OEMs and two suppliers for their programs.
Electric mobility is the other major theme as manufacturers look at driving demand in a post-Covid world.
- Kinetic Green, the electric vehicle business arm of Pune-based Kinetic Group is planning a 500kg payload model to address the demands of the domestic market
- Meanwhile in an exclusive interaction, Taiwan’s Ahamani Group says it is considering the partnership route to enter India
All this exciting content apart, this 64-page issue has plenty of news and views too.
Stiff competition, cost pressures, short development cycles and now social distancing are challenges facing OEMs and suppliers. Dassault Systemes says it has the software and simulation solutions.
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