The Automotive Testing Expo 2014, held at the Chennai Trade Centre last week, saw some really big names which are show regulars as well as a slew of new companies from China, Korea and one all the way from New Zealand.
However, it was generally felt that the buzz was missing this time as compared to the last edition of the Expo two years ago. Was it due to the current slowdown in the Indian car market? Or a slowing economy now in full-blown election mode, it was difficult to pinpoint the exact reason.
Nevertheless, there are trends emerging in the Indian automotive testing scene. And what are they?
Here are four that emerged from my conversations with those who came to the Expo
Focus on exports: As a result of the slowdown, OEs are looking at exports and what the requirements are for catering to those markets. Companies like Hyundai and Ford are looking at India as an export hub and that has implications for what needs to be done on the testing front. Overall, when testing, OEs are looking beyond what may be required in India alone. That’s a major trend.
R&D projects deferred: This was put succinctly by Vinod Bambarkar, head of Honeywell’s T&M Product, who was at the stall to explain his company’s products to customers: R&D spending has not fallen, it’s only that projects have got deferred.
Nearer to home: OEs are looking for solutions that can be provided closer to home rather than go all the way to a European or North American location. So if you have testing expertise, be on terra firma right here in India.
Scale matters: The NATRiP project has not quite delivered on its original promise and so the much-needed scale isn’t there. So companies have to ensure that they have the wherewithal for testing thus ensuring that things do pretty much hum on the testing front.
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