SHIFT­ING FO­CUS

Auto components India - - EDITORIAL - Bhar­gav TS Ex­ec­u­tive Edi­tor s.bhar­gav@nextgen­pub­lish­ing.net

The In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, though strong in man­u­fac­tur­ing, is weak in de­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties and re­search and de­vel­op­ment (R&D). To over­come these weak­nesses, re­main com­pet­i­tive and im­prove growth prospects, the in­dus­try must spend more on R&D. It has to be in­creas­ingly in­no­va­tive and en­hance de­sign strength to sus­tain man­u­fac­tur­ing. Prod­uct spe­cial­i­sa­tion and in­te­gra­tion of op­er­a­tions across sev­eral re­lated ar­eas will be piv­otal to progress. Do­mes­tic com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ers need to in­crease their in­vest­ments in the US and Europe to be closer to their cus­tomers and shift their fo­cus to the world mar­kets.

The world au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try is in­vest­ing in com­po­nents man­u­fac­tur­ing, mainly in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like In­dia and Brazil. The large tier-1 auto com­po­nent com­pa­nies have been setting up their own sub­sidiaries next to their OEM cus­tomers to en­sure smooth and speedy sup­ply of their prod­ucts. Pres­sure is build­ing on the OEMs and com­po­nent sup­pli­ers to im­prove their com­pet­i­tive­ness to sur­vive in the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. They must pro­duce im­proved and com­pat­i­ble prod­ucts in chang­ing pat­terns to meet the new re­quire­ments.

The au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try is at the cusp of a ma­jor dis­rup­tion with the ar­rival of electric ve­hi­cles (EV). The dy­nam­ics of the In­dian au­to­mo­tive mar­ket is set to change as the global gi­ants present in the coun­try are gear­ing up for a big shift. The au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, how­ever, is look­ing for guide­lines on the di­rec­tion in which the govern­ment wants them to move be­fore mak­ing in­vest­ments on electric mo­bil­ity. Car­mak­ers, es­pe­cially the less pre­pared for an electric fu­ture, have got a breather with the govern­ment’s U-turn from its ear­lier po­si­tion on EVs and re­luc­tance to an­nounce an exclusive In­dian EV pol­icy. The govern­ment will sup­port all kinds of sus­tain­able mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions. The EV wave will prob­a­bly hit the In­dian shores a few years later than es­ti­mated ear­lier. Many im­ped­i­ments on the road to the suc­cess­ful adop­tion of electric ve­hi­cles in In­dia have to be re­moved.

The avail­abil­ity of charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture and sourc­ing of lithium and other in­puts for bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­ing are the ma­jor road­blocks. SUN Mo­bil­ity, led by Chetan Maini, Founder of In­dia’s first electric car, Reva, has launched its global, in­ter­op­er­a­ble smart mo­bil­ity solution for two-and three-wheeler electric ve­hi­cles. This could be the be­gin­ning of the fu­ture of electric mo­bil­ity in In­dia.

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