I N D I A ’ S N O . 1 M A G A Z I N E F O R A U T O M O T I V E N E W S , V I E W S & A N A LY S I S
Vol. 13 No. 07
www. amonli ne . i n
11 March 2013
Customer service with ERP
SKF launches tapered roller bearing for trucks Pg 09
ERP in the service industry
Seeking Greater Play Launches Maxximo Plus; opens tractor plant in AP Our Bureau Mumbai
a hindra & Mahindra is looking to enhance its portfolio of vehicles in the small and light commercial vehicle segment. The company is in the process of developing a small commercial vehicle below the Maxximo range even as it is seeking to move customers to its latest offering Maxximo Plus priced at `3.4 lakh (BS3, Ex showroom Thane). The company has discontinued the existing model (Maxximo). “One of the major challenges facing us is identifying segments in the market where we could offer products and play to our strength. It gets increasingly difﬁcult for a new player to have a meaningful presence in any segment with a dominant player. This calls for developing product keeping customers and applications in mind,” said Rajan Wadhera, Chief Executive —Technology, Product Development and Sourcing, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sector. He added that the company is looking to develop a new small commercial vehicle and introduce it by 2015. The company recent ly launched the Maxximo Plus, a
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0.85 tonne payload mini-truck with fuel smart technology that allows vehicle to be driven at high power (26 HP; 19.2 kW) or high mileage (21.9 kmpl) mode, switching modes as and when needed. It is offered with a longer wheel base and a stronger sevenleaf rear suspension. “Critical to commercial vehicle ownership is the operating cost per tonne per kms. With the new Maxximo Plus the customer will potentially earn approximately 30 percent more, per year, over the competing vehicle. This is on account of superior mileage which lowers fuel cost, a lower maintenance cost and the ability to carry more load with faster turn-around time,” said Pravin Shah, Chief Executive - Automotive Division,
Mahindra & Mahindra. The new Maxximo Plus also comes with a class-leading two year / 60,000 km warranty. It will be manufactured at the company’s Chakan plant in Maharashtra. In the months leading up to the launch of Maxximo Plus, the company has identiﬁed and trained over 2,400 local mechanics to service the Maxximo Plus. The company recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Zaheerabad, Andhra Pradesh. The plant has been set up at an investment of over Rs 300 crore and will have an installed capacity of 100,000 tractors per annum. The world class facility, equipped to meet international manufacturing standards, is spread across 80 acres, making it the largest
The first tractor rollout at the Zaheerabad Plant, Andhra Pradesh.
One of the major challenges facing us is identifying segments in the market where we could offer products and play to our strength. tractor plant in India. “This is the largest tractor plant in Asia and a major investment for Mahindra in the state of Andhra Pradesh. With this plant we are also setting up a supplier park which will help to bring more investment and employment in the region,” said Dr Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra. The company sells tractors under two brands, ‘Mahindra’ & ‘Swaraj’. Last year, the company sold 221,730 tractors in the domestic market. It
chaefﬂer AG is changing its business strategy to beneﬁt group brands. The company has three brands under one umbrella: LuK, INA and FAG. LuK is known for its clutch systems, and INA and FAG are the leading manufacturers of rolling and linear bearings. Each manufacturer has been offering its products and services individually in the past, but now the Group will approach OEMs with
its entire portfolio of products. The company believes that this will beneﬁt each brand, but without as much marketing effort as before. Dharmesh Arora, President and CEO, Schaefﬂer India, said, “Now we are bringing the Schaefﬂer organization into the picture rather than individual brands. There will be just one point of contact who can explain our entire portfolio.” He added, “It is our way of becoming customer centric. The plan has changed to how the customer would like to do business with
has tractor manufacturing plants in Mumbai, Nagpur, Rudrapur, Jaipur, Mohali and Rajkot. It also has plants overseas - in the US, China and Australia. The new facility is equipped with advanced technology and processes including touch-less transfer of engines from assembly line to testing, and a clear interlock for restricting nontested and rejected engines from entering the finished engine storing conveyor. The cycle of engine testing is completely controlled and monitored using computerized techniques. The plant provides direct control of each and every load in the system making them ideally suited to industrial applications that demand maximum versatility and efﬁciency through the power and free conveyor. Chassis painting is performed using mobile robots, which considerably improves quality on the paint application which will be applied evenly every time, thereby saving 20 percent of the paint quantity.
Pravin Shah Automotive Division Chief Executive at the Maxximo Plus launch in Mumbai.
Synergising Anand Mohan Mumbai
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Juergen Geissinger, President and CEO, Schaeffler AG
us rather than how we would like to change.” In terms of R&D Schaefﬂer recently showcased an affordable automatic gearbox concept that is clutchless, but with a
manual shifting pattern. The technology uses an Electronic Clutch Management (ECM) system with sensors in the gearbox to engage the clutch when the gear is changed. The ECM is essentially a part of a DCT, but is required only for partial automation compared to total automation in DCTs. Asked if the company sees a trend of using existing technology to innovate new products like this new automatic transmission, Dr Juergen Geissinger, President and CEO, Schaeff ler AG, replied, “Yes, there is a trend forming and it will also come to Eastern Europe and South America. In that sense, India is a trendsetter.”
Contd. on Pg 9
EDITORIAL Bouquet upon bouquet
he superior level of innovation or creativity is directly related to the dismal level of circumstances. Or when else will you ﬁnd jaw-dropping schemes from manufacturers? Take for instance the two latest schemes to come from Skoda and Tata Motors. Skoda has announced that on the purchase of a Skoda Rapid, you can avail of a Skoda Fabia (though after ﬁve years) for free. Tata Motors, on the other hand, is asking prospective customers to swipe their credit card and drive out with a Nano.
economy is not acceptable. The high interest rates though a deterrent is also not the only reason. Though they do put one off from buying a car. And this brings to mind the Volkswagen’s bouquet of schemes that I read about recently. Trade in a Vento sedan by paying `1, don’t pay anything for the ﬁrst year, and the balance in 36 EMIs. While I won’t comment on the Vento, the scheme should see plenty of takers.
While these schemes suggest a desperate state of nature, it also signiﬁes that car makers need to do more work in term of sales. Mere cosmetic changes and offering better interiors is just not alluring enough. Not to mention that the high interest rates on new cars are also a deterrent, what with the markets down. Car makers and dealers are stuck with high inventory. Most manufacturers are also sending out signals to their component manufacturers to supply components for just-in-time manufacturing. All this will have a cascading effect on the automotive economy. However, it is at times like this that OEMs need to huddle and ﬁnd out the reason behind poor sales. Merely citing a slow
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QUOTES Robert DeCrick, (Head-SCM, APAC FIAT Chrysler) on Fiat’s new stockyard in Ranjangaon
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar Land Rover, at the unveiling of the XFR-S during the Geneva Motor Show
The development of this stockyard is in alignment with the Group’s strategy to replicate its’ global operational standards.
This is the fastest and most powerful saloon Jaguar has ever produced, and today we’re delighted to share its European debut with you.
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CONTENTS CORPORATE Smooth Rolling
The new SKF E2 TRB bearings promises lower friction, emissions, and fuel consumption over previous models
09 Continental, Fiat in partnership for navigation system
Continental and Fiat Group Automobiles have integrated navigation by TomTom into their touchscreen infotainment system Uconnect.
Upping Customer Service with ERP
Auto Monitor analyses the role ERP can play in the service industry, and the benefits and pitfalls to its wider adoption
Swaraj launches two tractor models
The Swaraj Division of Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd.’s Farm Equipment Sector launched two new tractor models Swaraj 855 XM and 744 XM in Maharashtra
Nissan brings Safety Driving Forum to Mumbai
Nissan organized the Safety Driving Forum in the country to increase the awareness about road safety and highlight the benefit of modern safety technologies in cars.
JLR’s EMC gets massive boost
JLR will reinforce its commitment to manufacturing in the UK by increasing the investment in its new Engine Manufacturing Centre to more than £500 million
Infotainment for more eco friendly driving
The Fiat Group’s eco:Drive Live function analyzes driving parameters in real time and gives suggestions for more eco friendly driving.
11 MARCH 2013
Smooth Rolling The new SKF E2 TRB bearing promises to lower friction, emissions, and fuel consumption over previous models.
KF recently launched tapered roller bearing, especially designed for truck ﬁnal drive applications that reduces friction, lowers fuel consumption, and reduces emissions in heavy trucks. Typical fuel savings achieved using this bearing in a truck ﬁnal drive are approximately 0.15 l per 100 km, which for vehicles on long-haul routes add up to an estimated annual saving of 150 litres per year. This can give faster returns on investment over time for truck
and truck fleet owners, thus reducing total cost of ownership. Compared to the company’s existing bearing range, the new SKF E2 TRB has been further improved with friction reduction calculated at 30 percent. This can enable energy savings of approximately 500 watts when the bearing is used in the pinion position. Unlike competing products, this friction reduction is valid over the complete rpm range. For a typical truck running 100,000
kilometres per year, equipped with four bearings of this type, the reduction is estimated at 398 kg CO2 saving per year. Speciﬁc features of the new bearing include fewer rollers, improved roller topography, and modiﬁed raceway proﬁles. The improvement of rollers means that despite their reduced number, the SKF E2 TRB offers the same nominal carrying capacity as standard TRBs. “All our product engineering efforts are focused towards
having solutions t hat a re energy efﬁcient, long lasting, and reducing cost for the truck and f leet owners. They should also be easy to install and cost-efﬁcient. It is all about saving money and time, but also reducing negative impact on the
environment,” says Christian Gen heimer, Product a nd Business Development Manager for Trucks, SKF.
Synergising... Contd. from Pg 1 A little known fact about Schaefﬂer’s business is that India is a cruo the cial arm for the company’s R&D efforts, and it’s not restricted to m for recent automatic transmission concept. The engineering team nder the company’s motorcycle division globally (for motorcycles under ble for 500cc) is based in India. “This team is completely responsible ger said. all developments for small and midsize motorcycles,” Geissinger Schalefﬂer is looking at the Indian motorcycle market very seriousced stage of ly. The company is working on clutches that are at an advanced development. Arora says, “We are looking at the application force and life of the icle’s life. Usually, over a vehicle. Our focus is maintaining this force through the vehicle’s lication force increases. We period of time when the clutch disc starts wearing off, this application ughout the life of the vehicle.” will be able to provide solutions that will work optimally throughout In addition to LuK, INA and FAG, Schaefﬂer owns a 49.9 percent stake in component manufacturer Continental. The two companies are working on a lot of joint projects. “Continental and Schaefﬂer have complementary technologies,” according to Geissinger. In the turbocharger for example, the engineering was done by Continental, and manufacturing engineering was done by Schaefﬂer. Schaefﬂer now produces these turbochargers. Other joint projects include stabilizer bars and start-stop systems. The presence of Schaefﬂer’s global President and CEO in India and a display of the company’s new technologies, some of which were speciﬁcally developed for India, shows India’s growing importance to Schaefﬂer’s global plans.
11 MARCH 2013
Upping customer service with ERP ERP has found wide acceptance in manufacturing. Though in its nascence in Indian auto manufacturing, it has been seen to improve performance and efﬁciencies. We now ﬁnd out what role ERP can play in the services industry. Jagdev Kalsi New Delhi
RP stands for Enterprise Resou rce Pla n n i ng and is used to automate activities within an organization with integrated computer software. Its purpose is to enhance the ﬂow of information in an organization and manage connections with stakeholders. Thiru Vengadam, MD & CEO, IFS Solutions India Pvt Ltd, explains ERP as, “ERP captures data on everything that is happening in a company like machineries’ data, infrastructure, products, etc. ERP is also capable of automating supply chain for efﬁciency, improve-
ment in suppliers, improve own efﬁciency by improving time, cost, service and quality”. W ho ca n use it? While ERP has found a lot of takers in the manufacturing area, especially OEMs, it has wider applications. It was initially used only by large manufacturing organisations to automate their work ﬂow and improve efﬁciencies. However, with tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers responding to OEM expectations, OEMs are now planning or have already invested in closed loop ERP systems with their supply chain to keep the workﬂow momentum going. However, it’s not just the manufacturing industry that can beneﬁt from ERP. Since the service sector is a vital touch point
for the user, it remains under strict time constraints. Explains Thiru, “Based on our global survey we feel the adoption of ERP systems would be more on service management side than on manufacturing side. Manufacturing, they are somehow already doing. Customers have got more to do with the turnover time, servicing timings, etc., than a Kanban system in manufacturing”. While efforts have been made to apply ERP to various sectors, acceptance in small industries (both manufacturing and services) has remained low due to misconceptions about cost. With time however, ERP has grown and has become scalable enough for even small companies to beneﬁt from it. “Our system (of ERP)
has various architectural features. It is architected in such a manner that it is now a single application. Suppose a company requires only 10-20 users on the ERP, he can use the same application as any other big ﬁrm. For all different types of applications we have the same system. The architecture is so scalable, it can efﬁciently operate irrespective of volume or number of connects or users”, explains Thiru Vengadam. Previously, it was necessary for companies to adopt a complete ERP suite at one go, which required a lot of investment. But
with time ERP has become more ﬂexible. Says Thiru, “They (companies) need not necessarily buy our thing in one go. They may buy 7-8 modules from our range of 80 modules, and later buy more whenever required, since it’ll ﬁt in perfectly, like a building block, you can add more. This is the most ﬂexible approach”. Also clearing doubts about ERP’s cost burden, MD & CEO, B-Square Group of Companies, PKD Nambiar adds, “ERP isn’t as costly as it is perceived. We spend lakhs on improving our infrastructure and everything. A
couple of lakhs spent on ERP can do wonders to the output of any organization”. Appl ic at ion a nd Cu r rent Use Talking about the output and positive impact of ERP software on any organization, Thiru adds, “Generally companies achieve anywhere between 15-20 percent cost saving at the completion of implementation of ERP. The ﬁrst project I took was for M&M (when I was with SAP), and they had tractors and farm equipments also. At the end of 3 years, they initiated an internal study to see the return on investment. They had a signiﬁcant beneﬁt and decided to implement it in all their units. On average 15-20 percent is the savings in the ﬁrst iteration of an ERP system. ERP implementation is not a one-time activity, it is a continuous improvement”. Currently ERP is in use in the service industry, though not in the automotive sector. Says Thiru, “We have implemented Dynamic Resource Scheduling. This is a ﬁrst ever thing in India at this level. ERP is back-end manufacturing system, but what they are looking for is a complete integrated system with ERP, and a mobile application. It is for those who want to provide service at the customer location. It is still not very prevalent in the auto industry”. How can auto service sector benefit? In the recent past, we have seen a number of multi-brand service centres opening up in India. In the past, we had a culture of roadside mechanics working on any car from any manufacturer. The scenario is very different these days, with more than 20 auto manufacturers, and each requiring a different set of tools and understanding of products to service them. Providing roadside assistance is no longer easy, since it would require carrying different equipment and tools for different makes and models. This is where ERP can help. Explains Thiru, “In such a situation where you need to send in the right technician with right tools and spares and a vehicle to carry all this, ERP comes to the rescue. We have an engine that will do all the computations like time to reach and everything, it’ll do dynamic scheduling against multiple constraints. There’s even a manufacturing OEM from industrial equipments who have done this. They have 1000 service technicians, all currently being trained and they assure the customers that their system will be up and running almost 99.9 percent of time. Objective of all of this is to improve efﬁciency”. Citing the example of a multi-brand service centre such as Carnation, Thiru adds, “Multiple product service is an area where ERP can work very effectively. They [Carnation] might have entered into a back-end arrangement with all the OEMs, since they can’t keep all the spares of all cars. Every single activity that such a ﬁrm is doing can be done by ERP. It would improve their efﬁciency, their productivity, and for the same installed cost they’ll be able to do better”.
11 MARCH 2013
G L O B A L WAT C H
AMG plans a 50pc sales rise to celebrate 50 years
ercedes-Benz is planning to increase sales of its high-performance AMG models by 50 per cent based on the 2011 total of 20,000, to mark the sub-brand’s 50th anniversary in 2017. The UK is currently the fastest-growing market in the world for AMG. Last year’s sales total of slightly over 2,200 was more than double that of the year before. And it does not include ‘AMG Sport’ and ‘Engineered by AMG’ trim versions. Ola Kaellenius, the MercedesBenz board member responsible for AMG, revealed on the eve of the Geneva show that the performance division has plans to
Last year’s sales total of slightly over 2,200 was more than double that of the year before. launch 30 new models in the next four years to help achieve its ambitious sales targets. There will be increasingly more powerful engines delivering increasing levels of efﬁciency, and more and more all-wheeldrive models. Two of them were on view at an invitation-only preview at the Geneva show. Kaellenius
revealed the A 45 AMG with the help of R&B superstar Usher, but lurking in a ‘box’ at the venue - and deﬁnitely not to be photographed - was the AMG version of the new CLA coupe. The A 45 is the entry to fullblown AMG ownership and the ﬁrst transverse-engined car from the Affalterbach performance
specialists. It is powered by a 357bhp 2.0litre four-cylinder turbo engine and has an AMG-tuned sevenspeed double-clutch transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, and AMG suspension, steering brakes, body styling and interior trim. It will be on sale in the UK at the start of summer for
around £36,000. The CLA 45 will get its public unveiling at the New York show at the end of March and go on sale in the UK in the autumn. It features the same drivetrain as the A 45 AMG and, if the price difference between the mainstream A-Class and CLA is maintained, is likely to cost around £40,000.
GM reveals next step in all-new European powertrain strategy
very Vauxhall, Opel and European-spec Chevrolet will be powered by one of three new engine ranges being rolled out by General Motors over a ﬁve-year period. The only exceptions will be a few specialist models like the Chevy Stingray and commercial vehicles. GM has started to roll out three new engine families which will eventually amount to a total of 13 powertrains. It began with the introduction of a new 1.6litre petrol unit last year, and the second phase which began
at Geneva sees the Zaﬁra Tourer become the ﬁrst recipient of a new 1.6-litre diesel. GM has made no secret of its intention to bring out a small-capacity engine to match Ford’s acclaimed threecylinder Ecoboost. The engines will also feature in an increasing number of GM products in other markets and have the potential to signiﬁcantly reduce the group’s corporate carbon footprint. “The 1.6 you are seeing today is the ﬁrst of our new inhouse-designed and -developed mid-size diesels. We are also insourcing all the controls. A key
element of this engine is that all the technology is ours to own and understand,” says GM Europe vice-president for powertrains, Michael Bly. “It will have sisters and brothers of different sizes, displacements and power outputs and with different turbochargers and control units. The Cascada will be ﬁrst to get the new gasoline engine, and there will be smaller gas engines of three or four cylinders and with a turbo or not. They will be introduced in Europe ﬁrst, but are also for the US and China in future.” Part of the plan will see GM
Vauxhall Opel 1.6 CDTi Start Stop diesel engine
introduce its ﬁrst diesel passenger car in America for 25 years when it launches the Chevy Cruze with a 2.0-litre compression-ignition power unit. “There is still a reluctance towards diesels in the US, but things are
starting to change,” said Bly. The new engine families have been designed to ﬁt in with GM’s alternative fuel strategies, including hybridisation and stop-start and compressed natural gas and liquiﬁed petroleum gas.
800,000 homes spend more than a quarter JLR to double engine plant of their income on running a car workforce
he poorest ten per cent of car-owning households in the UK are mired in transport poverty and are spending at least 27% of their disposable income on buying and running a vehicle. This equates to roughly 800,000 homes. By contrast, those in the wealthiest car-owning households are spending around 12% of their disposable incomes on purchasing and operating a car. Of a total weekly expenditure of £167, those in the poorest carowning households see £44 go on vehicle-related purchasing and operating costs. Of the £44, £16 is used to buy petrol and diesel and £8.30 is spent on insurance. The high level of expenditure is revealed in analysis of previ-
ously unreleased data from the Ofﬁce for National Statistics which has been seen by the RAC Foundation. Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These figures should shock the Chancellor. We already knew transport was the single biggest area of household expenditure bar none. But this spending breakdown just for car-owning households is not normally available. It lays bare the truth about the extent of transport poverty in the UK. “There is understandable concern about home owners having to spend more than 10% of their money on heating their houses. But to most of us transport is another essential item and our outgoings on getting about eclipse all other domestic bills.
To most of us transport is another essential item and our outgoings on getting about eclipse all other domestic bills. “George Osborne will soon deliver his budget and is likely to tinker with the rate of fuel duty. For people already drowning under the weight of motoring costs, cutting a penny or two off the price of a litre of fuel will help but is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic - ultimately futile. To make any meaningful difference to those on the lowest incomes the rate will need to be cut much further.”
aguar Land Rover, already the UK’s leading automotive investor in research and development with a £3billion spend in 2012, is doubling the number of jobs at is new Wolverhampton engine plant to 1,400. Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive ofﬁcer, said that the 700 new jobs at the four-cylinder engine plant, due on stream by 2015, are on top of the 800 new jobs already announced for the company’s Solihull assembly plant. “We are attracting some of the best talents in the UK,” he said at a business brieﬁng on the eve of the Geneva motor show. The news came as JLR enjoyed its best year with global sales of 350,000 and year-onyear revenues up 20 per cent in the third quarter, said Dr Speth.
“We are a small British company and not in the volume race,” he said. “But we have plans to expand our product range and global presence.” The new all-aluminium Range Rover Sport will be revealed at the end of March, he said. This will be followed by diesel-hybrid models later this year “and three more surprises which I will not tell you about just yet.” Global sales director Phil Popham said that much of JLR’s sales growth will come from expanding Jaguar into new markets. Land Rover sells in 177 countries but Jaguar is only present in 135. The plan is to take Jaguar into another 40 or so markets alongside Land Rover with joint JLR dealerships. “We’re opening 10 new dealers a month globally,” he said.
11 MARCH 2013
JLR’s EMC gets massive boost J
aguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest premium automotive manufacturer, showcased its latest plans for further investment in technology and innovation at the Geneva International Motor Show. JLR will reinforce its commitment to manufacturing in the UK by increasing the investment in its new Engine Manufacturing Centre to more than £500 million. In addition, Jaguar Land Rover will invest £2.75 billion in product creation during the year to support its ambitious growth plans that will see the business introduce eight new or refreshed products during the year. The company’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre in the UK is essential to support the company’s long-term strategic growth plans and will be the home for a new generation of technologically advanced, lightweight 4-cylinder low emission diesel and petrol engines. Reinforcing Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to manufacturing and innovation in the UK, the company will increase its investment in the facility to in excess of £500 million. This will almost double the number of highly skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs at the plant,
taking the total number of people who will be employed at the site to almost 1,400. Speaking at the show, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Dr Speth said: “Jaguar Land Rover’s new Engine Manufacturing Centre in the UK will not only bring our engine supply back to our production doorstep, but gives us signiﬁcant new resource as we continue to innovate with new products and markets.” The new family of engines is currently under development at Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced research and development facility. It will strengthen and expand the company’s engine range supporting future product development plans. Jaguar Land Rover will deliver high performance engines with class-leading levels of reﬁnement and signiﬁcant reductions in vehicle emissions, allowing it to compete even more effectively and attract new customers globally. The state-of-the-art facility is the ﬁrst in the company’s history to be entirely designed and speciﬁed by Jaguar Land Rover. At almost 100,000 sq m, the plant will include an engine testing centre alongside the manufacturing and assembly halls. The
Artist’s impression of the completed plant
building will meet the highest standards of sustainable production and will feature a variety of energy efﬁciency technologies. T he new Eng i ne Manufacturing Centre will open later this year with the ﬁrst engines coming off the production line in 2015.
Simultaneously, JLR will invest £2.75 billion in product development which will support the launch of eight new innovative products to help achieve its business growth strategy. These include the Jaguar F-TYPE and the introduction of the world’s ﬁrst nine-speed gearbox in its
Land Rover product line-up. Jaguar Land Rover is the UK largest investor in automotive research and development. Exporting 80 percent of its vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover’s success has been worth almost £25 billion in export revenues for the UK economy in the last two years.
TIA Portal from Siemens
Tata Manza Club Class diesel prices revised
Conti, Fiat TomTom anew
ith the launch of SI M AT IC S7-1500, Siemens Industry Sector’s Industry Automation division has announced the introduction of a whole new family of next generation controllers for medium to high-end machine and plant automation. The Siemens Industr y Sector’s Industry Automation division also announced the enhancement of its “Totally Integrated Automation Porta l” (TI A Portal) engineering framework with numerous new functions. Version 12 enables all Siemens drives of the Sinamics G converter series to be parameterized via the TIA Portal, and additional diagnostic functions have also been integrated. Among other things, the safety functionalities have been extended for SIMATIC S7-1500 and the Proﬁnet communication performance has been expanded. The programming languages have been trimmed for even greater efficiency and new security functions provide improved protection of know-how, and better security against copying and access. Within the framework of the new version of the TIA Portal there are also updates for engineering tools for the conﬁguration, programming, commissioning and servicing of the Siemens automation devices and drive systems. These include, for example, the following engineering systems: SIMATIC Step 7 V12 for
SIMATIC controllers, SIMATIC WinCC V12 for HMI systems (SIMATIC HMI) and Sinamics Startdrive V12 for the Sinamics G converter family.
Safety functionality Bhaskar Mandal, Executive V ice-P resident, I ndu st r y Sector, South Asia, Siemens Ltd, said, “Integration of automation platforms in a manufacturing environment is vital to avoid automation islands. While our current version of TIA portal performs automation and drive tasks quickly and intuitively, the new version provides seamless drive integration, integrated system diagnostics and safety functionality along with a powerful Proﬁnet communication.” The Siemens TIA Portal is designed for high efﬁciency and user-friendliness, and it is suitable for both ﬁrst-time users and experienced users. It offers a standardized operating concept for controllers, human machine interface (HMI) and drives, for shared data storage and automatic data consistency, for example during conﬁguration, communication and diagnosis. It also offers powerful libraries covering all automation objects. In its latest Version 12, Siemens has extended the TIA Portal to include numerous f unctions for drive integration, system diagnosis, sa fet y, P rof i net communication, security and programming language.
fter Club Class Features, Club Class Service, Tata Manza has launched yet another industry ﬁrst and has introduced the ‘Club Class Buyback Assurance’. With the Club Class Buyback Assurance, Tata Motors offers its customers 60 percent of the purchase price after three years.
Tata Motors has revised the Manza prices and is now offering the range at special reduced prices.
ontinental and Fiat Group Automobiles have integrated navigation by TomTom into their touchscreen infotainment system Uconnect. This new feature was presented at the Geneva Motor Show for the ﬁrst time. It includes many of the same technologies as found in TomTom’s industryleading portable navigation devices, including world-class maps, IQ Routes, voice control and Advanced Lane Guidance. The device also incorporates the acclaimed TomTom user interface. Customers can order it in the new Fiat 500L in the second quarter 2013.
Designed for the discerning new-age customer, the Tata Manza Club Class is an enticing combination of ﬁrst-in-class human-machine interface, best-in-class cabin space and contemporary styling. Taking forward its luxurious lineage, the new Tata Manza has been launched with a powerful positioning of ‘the Club Class Sedan’ since it has set a new benchmark for sedan buyers in the mid-sized car segment with its plush interiors and state-ofthe-art technology features, making it the most premium sedan in its class. In order to make the value proposition even more attractive, Tata Motors has revised the Manza prices and is now offering the range at special reduced prices.
“Infota inment becomes more and more important for vehicles of all classes. The Uconnect system we have developed for Fiat features attractive functions for a digital lifestyle and with the integration of navigation by TomTom, we support Fiat to offer even more appealing infotainment to its customers,” comments Johann Hiebl, head of the Continental business unit Infotainment & Connectivity. Thanks to Bluetooth and t he USB-interface of t he Uconnect system, drivers and passengers are able to stream music from digital devices or use the hands-free kit. The five-inch touchscreen, voice output and speech recognition lets the driver operate the
Made for media
system intuitively. For example, by having text messages read out loud, they can stay in touch without taking their eyes off the road.
Thanks to Bluetooth and the USB interface, drivers and passengers can stream music from digital devices or use the hands-free. The 5-inch touchscreen and speech recognition lets the driver operate the system intuitively. Affordable systems “Based on Microsof t Windows Embedded Automotive, we have designed the infotainment system as a platform to allow the easy integration of third party software. With the installation of Navigation by TomTom we can now offer the driver true added value in an updatable Infotainment System”, Hiebl explains. “Using an operating system that has a proven track record in the market and is automotive ready helped us keep the research and development costs at a minimum level. This also makes the system more affordable for the driver,” Hiebl concludes.
11 MARCH 2013
Swaraj launches two tractor models
he Swaraj Division of Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd.’s Farm Equipment Sector launched two new tractor models Swaraj 855 XM and 744 XM in Maharashtra. The Swaraj 855 XM and 745XM are
powerful tractors in the 40-50 HP range, with an engine which has greater pulling and load carrying capacity. The branding XM stands for “Xtra Mileage” and denotes the new fuel efﬁcient engine used in this product category.
The tractors are technologically advanced with constant mesh, side shift gear box and highly advanced “SENSILIFT” hydraulic, suited for all agricultural operations. Sa njeev Goyle, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Fa rm Equipment Sector, Mahindra &Mahindra Ltd. said, “Maharashtra being one of the key agricultural states, it is vital that we provide farmers with solutions to enhance farm productivity with comfort in a cost effective way. We have a strong focus on offering superior products to ensure technological progress in the agriculture sector. The Swaraj 744 and 855XM are extremely powerful and fuel efﬁcient tractors and their advanced ergonomics give the farmer a comfortable driving experience.”
Mahindra Reva to launch e2o EV on Mar 18
ahindra Reva has announced its plan to launch its next generation electric vehicle, the e2o, on 18th March 2013 in New Delhi. The Mahindra e2o (powered by Reva) is the embodiment of the Mahindra Group’s vision of the Future of Mobility for a sustainable tomorrow. Dr Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of the e2o, which will mark a signiﬁcant milestone in Mahindra’s automotive journey. Electric vehicles today epitomize clean and green driving and Mahindra wants to take the lead in developing this segment and its surrounding eco system. We are humbled with the kind of feedback we have received so far on the e2o, which reafﬁrms our conviction to remain committed and invested in this segment”. He added, “We hope that such an initiative will ﬁnd the desired support and incentives
The tractors are technologically advanced with constant mesh, side shift gear box and highly advanced “SENSILIFT” hydraulic, suited for all agricultural operations and haulage. Tractors like the Swaraj 855 XM and 744XM are a result of Swaraj’s continuous focus on
Nissan brings Safety Driving Forum to Mumbai
from all governmental agencies that will support us in this journey of providing clean mobility solutions.”
Infotainment for more eco friendly driving
Future protect The Mahindra e2o is the next generation global electric vehicle built on the capability of using the futuristic ecosystem of Sun2Car to derive energy from the Sun for urban mobility, while protecting and preserving the environment. The car will use next generation Lithium Ion batteries and will have a range of 100 kms on a full charge, which is suitable for most urban commuters today. The e2o will enable users to carry out self fueling through any 15 amp plug point at home or at their workplace. This can be further augmented with the help of Sun2Car solar technology. The e2o will be produced at Mahindra Reva’s recently inaugurated production facility which is India’s ﬁrst platinum certified automobile plant located at Bengaluru. It has a rated manufacturing capacity of 30,000 cars per annum.
new product development and upgrading. The Swaraj Division of M&M is known for producing tractors that are rugged, powerful and reliable. With over 600 dealers across India, Swaraj is a `3,000 crore company today with over 5,000 employees.
umbai got to participate in the Safet y Driv ing Forum organized by Nissan Motor India on the 16th and 17th of February in the parking area of the Inorbit mall in Malad. The idea behind organizing the Safety Driving Forum in the country is to increase the awareness about road safety and highlight the beneﬁt of modern safety technologies in cars. The Nissan Safety Driving Forum was first organized in Delhi in the ﬁrst week of February. The car manufacturer is planning to take its initiative to Chennai also. During the two day event, individuals were given an opportunity to learn about the importance of road safety through panel displays and simulator devices. The mall visitors who took a detour to experience the Nissan set up, got to learn how airbags function during an accident and the importance of wearing seatbelts while driving or travelling in a car. The participants also got a chance to know more about importance of Anti-Lock Brake System on a simulator vehicle. At the launch, Mr. Takayuki Ishida, Managing Director & CEO, Nissan Motor India Pvt.
Ltd, said, “The growing number of cars on Indian roads has also resulted in increased number of accidents. Nissan as an automobile manufacturer understands its social responsibility and strongly believes that “Safety begins with ME.” The Nissan Safety Driv ing Forum has been formed to educate drivers, copassengers as well as other road users on safety practices with a focus on reducing road accidents.” Nissan Motor India Private Ltd. (NMIPL) is a 100% subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Japan and was incorporated in 2005. Nissan along with its global Alliance partner Renault has established a manufacturing plant and a Research & Development Centre near Chennai. Nissan has appointed Hover Automotive India Pvt. Ltd. as a sole distributor for India to handle sales and marketing, dealer development, customer relationship management and after sales. Hover Automotive India Pvt. Ltd. functions as an independent company with an exclusive distribution agreement with NMIPL to accelerate the sales and build customer touch points across India for the Nissan brand of cars.
he system even helps drivers to drive more energy efficiently and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 16%. The Fiat Group’s eco:Drive Live function analyzes driving parameters in real time (acceleration, deceleration, gear shift change and cruise speed) and gives suggestions for more eco friendly driving. Drivers can also upload their data via mobile or USB to the eco:Drive portal and compare their progress to other eco:Drivers.
The Fiat Group’s eco:Drive Live function analyzes driving parameters in real time (acceleration, gear shift change) and gives suggestions for eco friendly driving. W it h prel i m i na r y sales of €32.7 billion in 2012, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 170,000 employees in 46 countries.
11 MARCH 2013
Harnessing natural rubber crisis Arup K. Chandra
orldwide shortage & spiraling prices of Natural Rubber except in the recent time is a major concern for all tyre and rubber manufacturers. Natural Rubber is a highly valuable biomaterial in contrast with other Bio-Polymer. It cannot be replaced by other synthetic materials for many applications e.g. heavy duty truck-bus, air planes tyres as well as many latex products or only at great cost. It is the ﬁrst choice for heavy duty radial truck tyre manufacturers because of its physical, mechanical properties and excellent adhesion to steel cord. The worldwide shortage of NR is mainly due to productions cut & shifting towards palm oil cultivation in Malaysia, growing usage of NR in commercial vehicle radial tyre and an increasing demand in China & India due to rapid economic development. As with all agricultural commodities; the effects of climate change, population growth, economic developments, are unpredictable factors and induce major changes in the available yield and demand for NR. Tyre & rubber companies would experience great difﬁculties, if large scale alternative is not developed. The scientist/technologist all combined their efforts and talents in harnessing this crisis. Guayule, a shrub growing in semi-arid regions in Mexico and Southern US, is one of the non tropical plants that have been used as a commercial alternative source of NR. Out of several other potential sources of NR, another promising one is Russian Dandelion. Production of Rubber from sunﬂower or Lettuce is being considered in the USA & Canada. For overcoming this crisis, the scientists are also considering the synthesis of synthetic poly- isoprene through bio-isoprene route. This paper will cover all such possibilities; the scientists/technologists are considering for overcoming this crisis in future. As it is rightly said that the biggest drawbacks of owning something valuable is that someone else is always trying to
steal it. This was the case during World War I & II, when Britons and later on Japan controlled the most of rubber supplies. During and after that war, a lot of people in different countries started to feel uneasy that not only their military strength, but their industrial and economic strength were dependent on foreign rubber.1 Now, when everything is stable and rubber has become an essential part of the life, we see the vulnerability of rubber to the market conditions. This gives rise to the ﬂuctuations in the market and leads to a steep increase in price. There are a lot of factors responsible for it & here we will discuss these factors & how to overcome those.
Shifting towards palm oil cultivation About two decades ago, palm oil emerged as the cheapest source of edible oil and has been garnering a lot of attention since then. Currently, it is the largest produced, consumed and traded edible oil in the global markets. Not only is it competitively priced compared with other major oilseeds, but it also has the highest yield.2 The palm oil tree yields an annual average of 3.7 ton of oil per hectare, which is much higher compared with the rapeseed (0.6 ton) and soybean (0.45 ton). Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest producers and exporters of palm oil, and together have an overall 87% share in the global output and 90% share in exports. An analysis by Koh and Wilcove3 suggests that during the period 1990–2005, close to 60% of the palm oil expansion in Malaysia was at the expense of forest conversion and rest coming from rubber & cacao cropland. Similar developments are taking place in Thailand and Indonesia. As with all agricultural commodities the effects of climate change, pollution, economic development, and population growth are unpredictable factors, which are also inducing major changes in available acreage, yield, and demand for natural rubber.
Growing usage of NR in radial tyre Despite an ever increasingly stringent consumer requirement, more NR is used in tyres than ever
before and the worldwide trend toward radial tyres will ensure continued demand. Natural rubber has some advantages over synthetic rubber. It has excellent dynamic properties, with a low hysteresis loss, and good low temperature properties, it can be bonded well to metal parts, has high resistance to tear & abrasion and it is relatively easy to process. Radialization has increased the percentage usage of natural rubber owing to better green strength and steel cord-rubber bonding. A high level of building tack between the various layers of liner/carcass/tread/sidewall is essential for the modern day’s high speed tyre building machines. All-steel radial required a higher level of green tack and green strength than conventional tyres. In these respects natural rubber is superior compared to the other polymers used for making tyres.
Increasing demand in China and India China & India are the largest consumer of natural rubber. China, the largest NR consumer in the world, is encountering many problems in extending its limited rubber plantations. Rubber planting areas in China are located in remote mountain areas or undeveloped areas. Threat of extreme weather is more frequent than ever. Environment conditions in new expanded area are poor for rubber tree growth, where rubber trees take longer time to mature. The gap between local output and demand has to be met by imports. India is also gearing up and due to an increase in presence of international players in India, there is a surge in the demand for NR & is reﬂected in the ranking of India at 3rd place in the world for consumption of NR.
Harnessing the challenges Alternate Crops It is rightly said that “necessity is the mother of invention” or “crisis is the criteria for new developments”. China & India are estimated to be consuming nearly 40% of the global production followed by the USA & Japan. There is huge ups & downs in prices in last decade. Thus,
alternative crops for natural rubber production are required to secure supplies. There are 1,800 species identiﬁed that produce natural rubber latex, but only a few of these are known to produce large amounts of high molecular weight rubber.4 Guayule5 & Russian Dandelion6 are two varieties of shrubs which contains considerable amount of latex. Guayule project was ﬁrst started in 1988 and the Russian Dandelion project was started in 1942, for two years until 1944. Based on several studies, TKS (the most popular variety of the dandelion) was demonstrated to be a viable alternate source of natural rubber, compatible with associated rubber manufacturing process, comparable to Hevea, and superior to Guayule. Several other plants that are able to grow in temperate climates were tested for rubber production, especially in times when price or accessibility of natural rubber was an issue (1920s, WWII, 1970s).7-9 A recent study showed that lettuce contains small amounts of rubber with a molecular weight similar to that of the rubber tree and guayule. This provides a new opportunity to study rubber biosynthesis in plants on a molecular level, however, its potential as an alternate source of natural rubber is unclear10. There are other plants known to produce rubber, like Cryptostegia 2-4%, Milkweed 4-5%, Pingue 1-2% & Rabbitbrush 1-2%.11. Synthetic Polyisoprene Ever since, synthetic cis1,4-poly isoprene, w ith the structure and properties of natural rubber, was prepared in 1954 with the then newly discovered Ziegler catalyst, synthetic polyisoprene has been an important elastomer.12 Although it still demonstrates lower green strength, slower cure rates, lower hot tear, and lower aged properties than its natural counterpart, synthetic polyisoprene exceeds the natural types in consistency of product, cure rate, processing, and purity. In addition, it is superior in mixing, extrusion, molding, and calendering processes. Isoprene is found in products ranging from surgical
gloves to car tyres. Isoprene has a market value of $1-2 billion.12 Depletion of global petroleum resources & environmental hazards has directed efforts to produce synthetic isoprene from bio-resources.13 The production of isoprene from renewable resources (BioIsoprene™) is the target of a joint venture between the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and the biotechnology company Genencor.14 Using BioIsoprene™ from Genencor, Goodyear have produced a synthetic rubber for incorporation in a concept tyre demonstrating the equivalence of BioIsoprene™ with petroleum derived isoprene.15 Recently, Amyris has signed a deal with Michelin to collaborate in the development and commercialization of Amyris No Compromise® renewable isoprene.16-17 Amyris is also collaborating with Kuraray & Kuraray will use Biofene to replace petroleum-derived feedstock such as butadiene and isoprene in the production of speciﬁed classes of high-performing polymers.18.
Conclusions It was the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941 that saw the earlier face of the natural rubber crisis & it is still there irrespective of development of synthetic alternates. Today, natural rubber industry is facing various unavoidable circumstances & efforts to tackle the crisis are increasing. Back during World War-II, rubber industry saw the research on the alternative rubber plants to decrease the dependability on the hevea tree. Then came the time when alternative methods to synthesize synthetic rubber from bioresources instead of petroleum based resources was extensively explored. Now days, it is being realised by various research organizations and efforts are on to commercialize it to overcome the crisis. Hope to see in near future that ultimately the joint effort of scientists & technologists will result in harnessing this crisis commercially. The author is employed with the R&D Centre of Apollo Tyres Ltd. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rubber Crisis, Polymer Science Learning Center, 2000 http://www.pslc.ws/macrog/exp/rubber/bepisode/crisis.htm
The Economic Times, Palm oil prices to stay in check, seasonal reversal may take place from December, Oct 22, 2012.
L.P. Koh, D.S. Wilcove, Conservation Letters 1, 60 (2008).
B.S. Bushman, A.A. Scholte, K. Cornish, D.J. Scott, J.L. Brichta, J.C. Vederas, O. Ochoa, R.W. Michelmore, D.K. Shintani, S.J. Knapp, Phytochemistry, 67, 2590 (2006).
K. Cornish, J. Williams, J.L. Hall, R.G. McCoy III, Production and Properties of Yulex® – the Natural Solution to Latex Allergy. 168th Technical Meeting of the Rubber Division, American Chemical Society, Pittsburg, PN November 1-3, 2005, ISSN: 1547-1977.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. “Dandelion Rubber? Researchers Make Russian Dandelion Suitable For Large-scale Rubber Production.” Science Daily 11 Sep. 2009. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.
J.B. van Beilen, Y. Poirier, TRENDS in Biotechnology, 25, 522 (2007).
L.G. Polhamus, Journal of Agricultural Research, 47, 149 (1933).
C.L. Swanson, R.A. Buchanan, F.H. Otey, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 23, 743 (1979).
10. C.H. Pearson, K. Cornish, C.M. McMahan, M. Whalen, D.J. Rath, N. Dong, S. Wong, The Rationale for Transforming Sunﬂower into a Rubber-Producing Crop. Issues in new crops and new uses. J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.). ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA, 2007. 11. I.C. Feustel, F.E. Clark, Opportunities to Grow Our Own Rubber, Yearbook of Agriculture: Crops in Peace and War Part#2: 367 (1950). 12. M. Senyek, “Polyisoprene” Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2000. 13. Bio-based Chemicals: Value Added Products from Bioreﬁneries, IEA Bioenergy-Task42 Bioreﬁnery, 2010-2012. 14. BioIsoprene™ product begins ﬂowing from Genencor to Goodyear. March 9, 2009. (http://biosciences.dupont.com/media/news-archive/news/2009/ bioisoprenetm-product-begins-ﬂowing-from-genencor-to-goodyear/) 15. G.M. Whited, F.J. Feher, D.A. Benko, M.A. Cervin, G.K. Chotani, J.C. McAuliffe, R.J. LaDuca, E.A. Ben-Shoshan, K.J. Sanford. Industrial Biotechnology, 6, 152 (2010) 16. R. Hart, Breakthrough in synthetic biology. December 21, 2008. (http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/drive_to_discover&id=6567729) 17. Amyris and Michelin Announce Collaboration to Develop and Commercialize Renewable Isoprene, September 28, 2011. (http://www.amyris.com/en/newsroom/214-amyris-and-michelin-announce-collaboration-todevelop-and-commercialize-renewable-isoprene) 18. Amyris Partners with Kuraray to Develop Renewable Polymers, August 1, 2011. (http://www.amyris.com/en/newsroom/209-amyris-partners-with-kuraray-to-develop-renewable-polymers)
11 MARCH 2013
The Future of Retailing in the Car Industry: Frost & Sullivan Report
ar companies will increasingly apply an omni-channel strategy to market and sell their cars to customers. About 4 percent of all new cars sold in future, equalling about 4.5 million units could be sold completely online by 2020. In 2011 approximately 5,000 new cars were sold solely online. New cars will be sold via a number of channels, leveraging the existing dealer network and new flagship stores, but also through online and mobile channels, with sales staff even travelling to customers to showcase the vehicles digitally. In 2009, only 4 percent of all retail sales globally were online; a trend which accelerated to about 11 percent of all sales in 2011. In certain industries, like publishing and entertainment, the leading retailers have collected over 50 percent of their revenues online that has forced the shut down of major brick and mortar stores like Borders in the US, who have failed to follow the trend. In the UK, Best Buy opened 11 new mega stores which were selling from £10 kettles to $100k Tesla’s but had to shut them down within 18 months of its opening as it failed to read that one in four customers were buying electronic products online and used their mega stores only for browsing. In the future could this trend be witnessed in the car dealerships too? Yes it can, and dealerships need to therefore
innovate. The good news is that most OEMs are already experimenting or planning to get into the online bandwagon. Ford UK sells new cars through its website (http://www. fordretailonline.co.uk/) and similarly Dacia (http://www.dacia. co.uk/) has entered the UK market primarily pushing its online sales channels with dealerships for back up. Upcoming Shop-Click-Drive website (http://shopclickdrive. com/) is General Motors’ new initiative to sell cars online in association with its participating Chevrolet dealers. New car OEMs like Tesla (for Model S, X) and Fisker (for Model Atlantic) are already facilitating complete car buying process online with assistance to its customers in different geographies. Short-term success of Subaru, Fiat, Smart and Volkswagen with online auto channels like eBay, Taobao, Jindong, Alibaba and Gilt.com is expected to pave the future of possibly also using other independents platforms for pushing their products. Car companies are also planning to use Fashion Merchandising online in the future e.g. Fiat500byGucci and Fiat500byDiesel. This trend is also visible with premium OEMs like Jaguar which targets to sell its ﬁrst 30 models of XJL Ultimate via online retail. OEMs will choose either an evolutionary approach or a
Car cos are planning to use Fashion Merchandising online in the future. Jaguar targets to sell its first 30 models of XJL Ultimate via online retail. completely revolut iona r y, omni-channel approach. In the evolutionary ‘Bricks and Clicks’ approach, car retailers are expected to operate both brick and mortar dealerships and online / mobile showrooms in independent silos. The key aim is to replace the salesman in the dealership store with an online system. The delivery of the vehicle is to happen at dealerships. The revolutionary, omnichannel approach will operate one uniﬁed integrated channel of bricks and clicks where the entire new car buying process is carried out online (mobile and nonmobile) including ﬁnance and insurance deals, with minimal to possibly no need for brick and mortar dealerships in thefuture. However, there are two important dimensions to the new car buying process - the emotional and the physical touch - that need to be mastered to create a winning click business. In the emotional dimension customers typically need to be able to have
empathy with the brand and the vehicle, and it needs to be able to infuse emotions. The physical part involves the touch and feel of the metal, the leather and the drivability, handling and steering feel of the car. Both these dimensions can be enhanced, and not diminished, by the online channel and OEMs are developing new creative ways of digitally enhancing the emotional feel of the vehicle through simulations, augmented reality and showing how the car is born and delivered through cameras on the shop ﬂoor. For the test drive, OEMs like BMW are creating new solutions like BMW on demand where one can rent the high end models by the hour at realistic prices. Car companies are also working with car sharing and rental companies to provide test drive experiences. The future will see car companies pushing real estate price by opening ﬂagship digital stores in expensive streets in major cities of the world like Audi and its Audi city (http://audi-microsites. com/audi-city/en/). BMW plans to use ﬂagship stores like the one in London’s most expensive street - Park Lane, with dedicated staff providing information and marketing for its new iBrand.
Implications One of the key macro to micro implications of this megatrend is that we will see shrinkage of
dealership space by about 20 percent and it will pave way for digitalisation of the dealership stores, with interactivity with the customer as a key focus. The role of the salesman will have to change to be more of a facilitator, and training the sales force will need to evolve. OEMs will have to also invest in an integrated channel strategy and IT platform that will need to be able to scale up their offering to country-wide solutions from day 1 as internet buyers can be sitting and ordering anywhere in the country. Premium automotive OEMs are taking guidance from leaders in the consumer industry especially in luxury (Burberry) and electronic retail (Apple) to understand the implications to their retail strategy. By 2020 China and Europe will be the key markets to promote the growth of new car eRetailing followed by the US. The latter market currently faces large scale hurdles in implementing online car retailing due to state franchise laws and universal opposition by evolutionary new car dealers. Do not be surprised to see your local dealership close in the near future. Insights by: Automotive & Transportation Practice, Frost & Sullivan
11 MARCH 2013
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