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.