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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

Auto Monitor

Vol. 13 No. 21

www.a mo nl i ne.i n

17 June 2013


24 Pages


Pg 14

Social Media in Auto

Catching Up

Dinesh Jain, Manager, Teradata India

A Balaraman, India Ops Head, CGN & Associates.

A new beginning K

mercial vehicle (CV) market. With this plant becoming operational, the percentage of exports from the Knorr-Bremse’s Pune unit to its global partners will increase. The new plant has already received orders for exports and will eventually become a global export hub for certain products. K norr-Bremse’s business strategy for its commercial vehicle operations in India is to invest some three percent of its overall turnover in research and development (R&D). In 2012, the tier 1 supplier with headquarters in Germany registered a turnover of `120 crores from its India operations. In five years, the company aims to achieve four times its current turnover. Globally it invests around six percent of its overall turnover in R&D. In 2012 the Knorr-Bremse group registered sales worth 4.3 billion euros.

No one’s market Nabeel A Khan New Delhi


he decline in automobile sales for the seventh consecutive months till May continues to be a cause of concern, but certain quiet emerging developments is offering them something to cheer about. The very dynamics of sales of cars and preferences among buyers are changing. This is reflective in the sales number of the new players who seem to be gaining ground from traditional volume players. This reflects on the maturity of the Indian buyers and offers a glimpse of how people prefer better vehicles over price factors and brand loyalty. The latest trend changers are French manufacturer Renault, which has grown manifold with the launch of its big ticket Sports

Utility Vehicle, Duster. The company sold a total of 6,300 units in May which is a 13 fold growth over the same month last fiscal. Of this, Duster accounted for 5,149 units, Scala 670 units, Pulse 410 units, Fluence 71 and Koleos 03 units. The market share of the French company which stood at 0.04 percent with 17 units in May 2012 rose to 12.16 percent in the most rapidly growing UV segment in May 2013. The company recorded cumulative sales of passenger vehicles of 12,614 units (UV + passenger cars) from April to May 2013-14, compared to 1,097 units last fiscal. Mahindra & Mahindra, a leader in the segment, held on to its position selling 20,873 units in May 2013 compared to 20,211 units in the same month last year registering a growth of three percent. This is lower than the segment growth of four percent in the same period.

In an interaction with Auto Monitor, Anirban Mukherji, Head – Sales, Marketing and Business Development said that the company will have a strong focus on R&D. The future plan is to continue investing heavily in India to become a technology partner with more OEMs and offer relevant technology at appropriate cost levels. “We want to optimise resources in the current downturn and focused investment for the next three years,” he added. Its current clientele of CV manufacturers include Tata, Ashok Leyland, Daimler, Mahindra, Volvo and Volvo Eicher. KnorrBremse Systems for Commercial Vehicles India gets its maximum revenues from Tata Motors, given that they have the majority market share. In 2012, they won a Technology and Innovation Excellence award from Tata

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Knorr-Bremse’s strategy for its CV operations is to invest 3 pc of turnover in R&D. It intends to become a tech partner with more OEMs and offer them at appropriate cost levels.

With a bigger plant in place, Knorr-Bremse aims to increase revenue from OE and exports, and increase turnover four-fold in 5 years, says Pradeb Biswas. norr-Bremse Systems f or C om mer c i a l Vehicles India has shifted its plant to a new location in Pune. Spread over 41,000 sq m, the new plant became operational in April this year. The new plant is very close to its earlier facility at Hinjewadi in Pune. The previous plant occupied under 5,000 sq m, and the site had been leased. KnorrBremse acquired the land for the new plant and construction began in the last quarter of 2011. The new manufacturing plant has an expanded product range comprising air compressors, pedal units, lift axle control systems, complete air braking system, exhaust brakes and automatic slack adjusters. The Germany-based company is the sole supplier for lift axle control systems to the Indian com-


Pg 15

Anirban Mukherji, Head – Sales, Marketing and Business Development

Motors. There are currently over four lakh commercial vehicles running in India equipped with Knorr-Bremse products. “Our biggest strength is that our products aren’t offered cheap but are aimed at reducing the customer’s total cost of ownership at a targeted price. This is our mantra. We have also provided many innovative solutions in the Indian commercial vehicle braking industry, for example: the lift axle control system and anti-roll back system. OEMs say that our parts are more robust, have better quality and a lower lifecycle cost. The end users get their payback quicker and warranty failures are few,” said Mukherji. “Global braking technology has surged ahead because it is

driven by regulations and safety criteria propagated by respective governments. However the limited regulations in India act as a deterrent for introducing the highly sophisticated and safer products from our global range. With the entry of MNC commercial vehicle makers like Daimler and Volvo, we expect a gradual shift in customer buying habits from a lower purchase price to a lower lifecycle cost,” added Mukherji. Knorr-Bremse has developed an independent aftermarket for its CV products since 2010. Currently the aftermarket rakes in around 10 percent of its revenues. The company aims to achieve 15 percent of its...

Contd. on Pg 13


Total sales May 2012

Market share 2012

Total sales May 2013





Market share 2012 46.32%











Tata Motors














3.38% 3.57%










































In UVs, M&M (20,211 units) held first position in terms of sales volume followed by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (8,120 units), Maruti Suzuki India (7,734 units), Tata Motors (2,744 units) and

1,43,216 General Motors (967 units) in May 2012. This May saw a slight change. While M&M and Toyota continued to hold on to first and second position, the dark horse Renault came third with just a

single product in this segment (though with a marginal difference) pushing MSIL and GM to fourth and fifth place,

Contd. on Pg 13

EDITORIAL Homeward bound


utomobile manufacturers based outside India prefer to source their car parts from various countries around the world. The large OEMs assemble about 60 percent of the car locally, and the rest of the car comes preassembled or fabricated from other parts of the world. Considering that the auto industry is the only industry that has such high complexity, which in turn has only increased over the last few years, it is obvious why auto makers are scrambling to contract additional suppliers and contract manufacturers. On an average, a typical automobile comprises 18,000-20,000 parts with roughly 1,000 key components. This means they would need to rope in Tier I and Tier II component manufacturers. This is the exact opposite in India. Most OEMs building cars in India are extensively talking about sourcing from local component suppliers. For instance, Nissan India is talking about locally sourcing about 80 percent of its components from India itself. Of course, the most obvious reason is that it helps the company bring down prices of its vehicles, while being able to offer a stronger after-sales support. One need not look askance at this policy, especially in the case of MNC OEMs. It does not mean that the company is willing to compromise on the quality of its vehicles. It only implies that they are looking at getting their supply chain right, while being

able to cut the mark to sell maximum number of vehicles. In order to get this right, car makers are increasingly inviting suppliers to onsite workshops that thus demonstrate their plan and goals for their initiative. This not only helps them build a rapport with the OEMs, but also scale up their abilities to help build better cars. It is also the reason why the MNC OEMs are looking at India for synergies in terms of development activities.

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QUOTABLE QUOTES Jean-Marc Gales, CEO, European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) on innovation in auto component

Though suppliers are closing plants in Europe, the industry is not dying. It is an industry in which European-based suppliers continue to lead on a worldwide basis.



Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat Chrysler on auto sales rebound in Europe

It will take three to four years. The rebound will start before, but to grow, you will need some time.

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CONTENTS CORPORATE Sprung into action


From being a solo Tier 1 supplier, Agsa Springs has widened its horizon to encompass more OEMs thus turning Tier 2. Now it’s looking at global exports. And how.


TVS Auto Solutions enters into JV with Myers Tire Supply


TVS Automobile Solutions has entered in to a JV with Myers Tire Supply International Inc to promote both the Myers range of products and TVS ASL’s tools and equipment business in India.


A refreshing offer


Fiat is now offering ABS and EBD as standard fitment on the Linea range; expanding dealer network to meet its target of five percent market share in India.

10 Auto infotainment hits the supply chain


More automakers are offering high-end information systems in their cars, spiking demand for infotainment modules in the electronics supply chain.


Volvo Car launches V40 Cross Country


Volvo Auto India unveiled the Volvo V40 Cross Country at the new Volvo Cars Showroom, Swede Auto in Gurgaon.


Borgwarner turbocharger powers new Hyundai engine


Bajaj upgrades 3-wheeler range


BorgWarner has provided turbocharging technology for Hyundai’s new 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) engine for the Veloster offering output of up to 150 kW



Bajaj Auto upgraded its three wheeler range promising savings of up to `20,000 per annum over previous models.

Are our suppliers being left behind? Alagu Balaraman analyzes the impact on suppliers and component manufacturers as the growth in the Indian automotive industry creates new challenges for industry as a whole.


Pavan Shetty, Head of Operations, India, Lamborghini

A Sydenham Management graduate, Shetty joined Lamborghini India as Head of Operations in February 2012 having worked with organisations like Castrol India, Tata and Ford.

Auto Monitor

17 JUNE 2013



Sprung into action Anand Mohan Mumbai


gsa Spr i ngs, a Pune-based spring manufacturer, was established in 1987. A family run business, it had a handful of employees working in a single manufacturing plant in Bhosari, near Pune, by 1996. Back then the largest of its very few clients was Tata Motors. Auto Monitor recently interacted with the father-son duo of Arvind and Ashutosh Khandkar, who are at the helm of Agsa Springs. Agsa was a direct tier-1 supplier to Tata Motors. Around that time, Tata Motors transitioned from doing the entire manufacturing assembly in-house to roping in component suppliers

to send assembled parts for final assembly to the Tata plant. Thus, from being a tier-1 supplier, Agsa changed over to a tier-2 supplier sending springs to component assemblers supplying to Tata Motors. The company was still a small manufacturing unit then but Arvind Khandkar, MD of Agsa Springs, says that they were still a preferred supplier due to their quick response time. “Springs are critical components but they are still the eleventh hour item during development of a product. If a company wanted them specifically developed, we could supply a sample within a day.” Agsa manufactures springs from 0.1mm to 8mm wire diameter and the machines in place have the capacity to manufacture them in large quantities at short

notice. Once the company became a Tier 2 supplier, the hunt for more clients began. In the past few years, large numbers of OEMs have set up shop in the country and so Agsa could get clients in the western region like Volkswagen, General Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra. The company was in a growing phase but didn’t supply much outside the western region but that began to change soon. Ashok Leyland and Nissan were roped in and so was Ford. The company also supplies to Auto-line industries, ZF and Sona-Koyo among major component manufacturers. Agsa has set up three manufacturing units in and around Bhosari with a capacity of supplying up to 50 lakh springs a month supplying 60 percent of its springs to the western region. “Wherever there is an automatic operation, springs are required,” says Arvind. With testing and quality checks done at Agsa now, from design to realization of the product, it takes a week to deliver to its clients. The company buys highcarbon steel wires from Tata SSL and Usha Martin located in Ranchi and Stainless steel from Gujarat. Arvind says that the quality of Usha Martin is rated highly so although they have other suppliers, Usha Martin is the preferred choice. Agsa is transitioning to its next generation of growth with helms on the first plant handed over to Arvind’s son, Ashutosh. Ashutosh is the business development and marketing director of the com-

pany. He says, “Till now we have been a well established supplier to Indian customers. Our quality is good with Bureau Veritas certification so why not supply overseas.” Agsa is looking for JVs with MNCs to gain a wider footprint. It hasn’t bagged international orders yet but is in talks with BMW and other German manufacturers as prospective clients. “Of the cars imported from India, you will find Agsa’s springs in most of them but that doesn’t still make us an exporter since we are supplying to a local manufacturer for export. We want export of components directly from the company,” says Ashutosh. Springs are not only required

in shock absorbers but in several parts, says Arvind. Even in a suspension housing, there will be several spring in addition to the main spring in the absorber. Among various applications, engine part springs give the best returns for Agsa. The company is now venturing into clutch springs. The tooling and processes are there for manufacturing but the material used in clutch springs is different. A high-carbon steel is required in it that is different from other applications, says Arvind. The company’s turnover was growing by an average of 30-40 percent till 2011-12 but last year the company saw a plunge and realised that instead of focusing only on the auto industry, the market can be widened. “The returns from the auto industry are not that good these days but that’s the advantage of being a spring manufacturer; we can supply to other industries too”, says Arvind. Ashutosh rounds it off saying, “we don’t need to be local anymore. The global market is our playground. Despite the auto industry seeing a slowdown, we can grow by expanding our reach.”

newer markets in Central America by launching the Hero brand and its range of twowheelers in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Hero

MotoCorp has appointed the reputed Indy Motos Group of Guatemala as the authorised distributor for its range of twowheelers in these countries.

Springs are critical components but they are still the eleventh hour item during development of a product and we could supply a sample within a day.

Strategic moves Hero MotoCorp looking to increase R&D strength, multi-pronged approach bearing fruits Abhishek Parekh Mumbai


ero MotoCorp is taking a multi-pronged strategy to expand its product development efforts. The strategy is aimed at increasing research and development (R&D) headcount, building local and global partnerships and working with independent experts, in addition to acquiring and developing capabilities in the product development space. The company’s employee strength in the R&D division has already grown from 271 in 2010 to around 400 as of now, and it is looking to augment this strength, according a recent company presentation. “We are looking to forge partnerships in specific areas and also evaluating merger and acquisition opportunities in order to enhance our product development capabilities and, in some cases, our market reach,” said Ravi Sud, Chief Financial Officer, Hero MotoCorp in a recent interaction with analysts. He also pointed out that a sizeable portion of the company’s capital expenditure plan

of around `450 crore would be directed at enhancing R&D in addition to capacity expansion and debottlenecking of existing facilities. Company officials further pointed out that the company had embarked on a multi-pronged plan for enhancing its product development capabilities. The plan includes training engineers and workers at the company’s R&D division to upgrade their skills. Additionally, the company is also looking to tap or employ consultants who are experts in their respective fields. It has also entered into consulting arrangements with global leaders in specific domains including automatic vehicle location (AVL), engines engineering and EBR. These arrangements could be long or short term in nature and are mostly geared at specific needs including emission compliance, development or product testing. The company sold a record 557,890 units of two-wheelers in May this year compared to 556,644 units in the corresponding month in the previous fiscal. Hero MotoCorp had earlier launched the first-of-its-kind five year (or ‘life-time’) warranty on all its two-wheelers (five

We are looking to forge partnerships in specific areas and also evaluating merger and acquisition opportunities. years or 70,000 km on motorcycles, and five years or 50,000 km on scooters: whichever is earlier). It also launched its own retail finance arm, Hero FinCorp, with a phased expansion plan. Having been launched in Delhi, the retail financing services will shortly be extended to the National Capital Region (NCR) and then to the rest of the northern market in the next phase. The finance assistance through Hero FinCorp would initially be available at around 200 dealerships in various parts of the country by March 2014, and extended to as many as 450 dealerships by March 2015. Customers can also avail of financing from existing partners like HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Shriram City Union Finance Ltd, and Fullerton. The company forayed into

Auto Monitor

17 JUNE 2013



A refreshing offer Fiat is now offering ABS and EBD as standard fitment on the Linea range, expanding dealer network to meet its target of five percent market share in India. Our Bureau Mumbai


iat recently refreshed the Linea’s petrol lineup, providing anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic breakforce distribution (EBD) as standard fitment across all its three variants. The Linea range starts at `7.6 lakh (ex showroom, New Delhi). According to Fiat’s market research, 80 percent of C+ segment petrol sedans are sold in eight prominent cities in India. Owing to this Fiat has decided to first focus more on these key markets of Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai. The company is also currently expanding its dealership network to 75 dealers, from 58 dealers in April 2013. “The new Linea will deliver around 30 percent more torque in order to make start-stop driving in the city more pleasurable. The 2013 Fiat Linea T-Jet with best-in-class features

and class-leading equipment is sure to delight its owners,” said Nagesh Basavanhalli, President and Managing Director, Fiat Chrysler Operations India. The 2013 Linea T-Jet gets premium imported leather upholstery on the inside and has an enhanced ground clearnance of 190 mm. The top-of-the-line Emotion variant gets 16-inch alloy wheels with wider 205/55 tyres. The car will be available in three variants (Active, Dynamic, and Emotion) with the T-Jet Dynamic costing `8.4 lakh (exshowroom, New Delhi) and the T-Jet Emotion costing `8.8 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). “We are looking to sell around 50 cars per month in the initial stage. With the difference in the price of petrol and diesel neutralising, we are witnessing a rise in the consumption of petrol cars,” Basavanhalli added. Company officials had earlier stated that they were targeting a five percent market share over the next four years in India. The Italian car major’s current market share

in the passenger vehicle segment in India is around 0.7 percent. The Group is planning regular launches and a refreshed model line-up comprising nine models under the Fiat and Jeep brands over the next four years to achieve their objective. This will also include some platform-sharing and derivatives, keeping in mind market realities and other factors. The Fiat-Chrysler combine is evaluating opportunities in the growing utility vehicle space where it does not have a presence. It is looking to launch a compact SUV and an SUV in the higher C segment under the Fiat and Jeep brands around 2014. The Group is looking to tap its Ranjangaon facility (a manufacturing JV between Fiat and Tata Motors) for assembling Jeeps in India. Fiat is aiming at 112 dealerships by the end of this year, with 32 dealers covering 25 key cities for the Jeep brand. Chrysler is looking to launch its first SUV by the third quarter of this fiscal, assembled at Fiat’s Ranjangaon facility. The Fiat-Chrysler com-

Nagesh Basavanhalli, President & MD, Fiat Chrysler Operations India at the T-Jet launch.

bine is also looking to launch Fiat Financial Services, offering inventory financing to its dealers in addition to vehicle financing. It will offer refreshed models in 2015 and 2016 as well to retain customer interest in their brands. Fiat Group Automobiles India Private Limited (FGAIPL) is a fully owned subsidiary of Fiat Group Automobiles SpA, Italy. Some of its associated brands include Magneti Marelli and Teksid (components), Comau (production systems and robotics), the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Abarth car brands, and light commercial vehicles under the Fiat Professional brand. In

January 2012, the activities of Fiat Powertrain – which researches, develops and produces engines (power output from 65 to 235 hp) and gear transmissions for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (torque up to 400 Nm) – were transferred to Fiat Group Automobiles. Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat SpA, produces the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT brands and Fiat vehicles and products. The Jeep vehicle line-up outside North America includes the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited.

Volvo Car launches V40 Cross Country


olvo Auto India unveiled the Volvo V40 Cross Country at the new Volvo Cars Showroom, Swede Auto in Gurgaon. The new Volvo V40 Cross Country establishes a Cross Country in the Premium C-segment. The showroom is owned by Jaipal and Vivek Ahluwalia. The Cross Country will be available in D3 Engine, 2.0 Litre 5 Cylinder, 6 speed automatic transmissions with 150HP and 350 Nm torque. Priced at ` 28.5 la k h (Ex-show room, Delhi) the Volvo V40 Cross Country will be retailed through Volvo’s dealerships across the country starting June 2013. Tomas Ernberg, Managing Director, Volvo Auto India said, “The Volvo V40 has received the top rating of five stars in the Euro NCAP collision test. The overall result is the best ever recorded by the institute. Volvo V40 Cross Country is a variant of the V40. With TFT instrumentation clusters (no needles), integrated panoramic glass roof and a host of other features as standard, it redefines the compact luxury offering. It is miles ahead of the competition when it comes to

intelligent accident prevention and mitigation.” The Volvo V40 Cross Country comes with TFT Crystal Display – Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and users can choose from three graphic display themes - Elegance (Amberish), ECO (Greenish), and Performance (Sporty Reddish). The driving modes transform the interactive dashboard, monitor your driving, and assist in maintaining optimization. Besides the car comes with Electronic Climate Control (ECC), Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), and Park Assist Pilot (PAP) based on front, rear and side-facing ultrasonic sensors. When the driver activates the Park Assist Pilot the sensors start to scan the side of the car. When a parking slot measuring a minimum of 1.2 times the car’s length is detected, the driver is notified by an audible signal and advised to use the pedals to stop via a message in the instrument cluster. This is a semi-automatic park assist for parallel parking. Besides this, the Park Assist Camera- Rear uses electronics to reduce “Fish Eye “effect. The Start-Stop Technology halts when the gear is in neutral, and turns off the engine automatically and

restarts when the driver accelerates. It reduces CO2 emissions by up to 8 percent and increases mileage. The Engine Brake Energy Regeneration transfers energy smartly. Whenever the accelerator or brake is released

while a gear is engaged, the braking energy is fed back to the battery. It reduces load of the alternator, saves fuel and lowers emission. Besides this the Volvo V40 Cross Country has Laser Assisted

Automatic Braking - City Safety up to 50 km/hr and Dynamic Stability & Traction Control (DSTC), which helps the driver to keep the car under control by averting scenarios such as spinouts, fishtails and roll overs.

Tomas Ernberg, MD, Volvo India and Sudeep Narayan, PR and Marketing Director, at the launch of the Volvo V40 Cross Country.

17 JUNE 2013

Auto Monitor



Bajaj upgrades 3-wheeler range Promises savings of up to `20,000 per annum over previous models. Our Bureau Pune


n a move aimed at strengthening its market leadership and countering advances made by TVS, Piaggio and Atul Auto in the 0.35 tonne passenger three-wheeler segment, Bajaj has upgraded its range of three-wheelers. This is the first time in 40 years that the Bajaj three-wheeler has got a major upgrade. The RE range has proved to be a cash cow for Bajaj in its 53 years of existence. The company has sold 457 lakh three-wheelers till now. The upgraded range will have seven variants – two-stroke and four-stroke petrol and CNG and

Although DTSi technology is a decade old, it is an important upgrade in the low-tech auto segment. The company promises 10-15 pc improvement in fuel efficiency. upgrades, the most significant of them being the DTSi technology being introduced in the fourstroke version, which was developed in 2003 for the Pulsar range. Although DTSi technology is ten years old, it is still an important upgrade in the low-tech auto segment. The company promises 10-15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and collective savings of up to `20,000 per annum. Oil change interval has been raised from 5,000 km to 10,000 km, thus halving oil costs. The company has also reinforced the chassis to increase stiffness. Other changes are on the cosmetic and comfort fronts. When asked about the future of three-wheelers in India, Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto said, “There is no other solution for affordable last mile connectivity other than compact vehicles.” He added that not everyone may be able to afford the RE60 quadricycle, and both the three-wheeler and the quadricycle can co-exist. Bajaj three-wheelers have a large export market, Sri Lanka being their biggest export destination. Every month an average of 7,000 units are exported to Sri Lanka, 5,000 to Egypt, 4,5005,000 to Nigeria and 3,000 to Peru. In Sri Lanka, 87 percent of autos are used as personal vehicles. Maheshwari added that first the Indian market will be catered to since there is high demand locally and then the upgraded vehicles will be made available to export markets. The company expects 80 percent of its sales to come from the replacement market and 20 percent from new vehicle permits issued by the government.

LPG RE Compacts, which will be launched in a phased manner; a diesel version that will be coming in a few months time; and two larger three-wheeler platforms called the Optima and Maxima that will come in the last quarter of the year. All the products will be for the passenger segment as Bajaj thinks that’s where its core competence lies. The cargo segment will not be targeted. RC Maheshwari, President – Commercia l Vehicles, Bajaj Auto said, “It will take at least six months to change all variants to the upgraded three-wheeler range.” The new range of products rebranded as RE Compact will be approximately `2000 cost-

The upgraded range will have seven variants – two-stroke and four-stroke petrol and CNG and LPG RE Compacts, which will be launched in a phased manner. lier than the outgoing models. The two-stroke petrol model is priced at `1.03 lakh, ex-showroom, Maharashtra, and the 4-stroke petrol version is priced at `1.15 lakh, ex-showroom Maharashtra. Justifying the increase in prices are a host of

Auto Monitor

17 JUNE 2013



Risk management NASCAR today is televised industry. It’s also a metaphor for what made American business and innovation the best in the world for decades. In their joint-authored book That Used To Be Us, journalist Thomas Friedman and Professor Michael Mandelbaum talk about the country’s challenges, and how it’s the turns the economy takes, rather than the straightaways, which provide the opportunities for risk taking. They quote John Doerr, who is, they write, one of America’s premier venture capitalists – an early backer of Netscape, Google, and “You have to take risks when you are in a high-speed turn,” says Doerr. “Sometimes you’re going so fast and the turn is so sharp, your car’s riding on only two wheels. But, without risk taking, nothing big happens.”


hen a racing car is standing still, we can admire its curves and wings, we can marvel at the clever engineering, and we can pontificate all we like about power, down force, and utilitarian beauty. But, of course, a racing car doesn’t make sense unless it’s traveling at 200 mph, which, ironically enough, is when we almost can’t see it at all, depending on how close we are. I was at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Sunday October 13th, for the sixth from last race of the Sprint Cup season for 2012, and given that the outside temperature was probably around 50 degrees, I felt fortunate to have a bird’s-eye view of the circuit from the Stewart-Haas suite, several floors above the action. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is one of North America’s biggest spectator sports. Perfectly choreographed for a television audience, a NASCAR Sprint Cup race represents the highest level of this exciting sport – with 36 races taking place over a 10-month period. Watching a race from the Stewart-Haas suite is a mildly surreal experience. During the rolling start, the 43 cars pass almost silently from one end of the ceiling-to-ceiling, panoramic window to the other. Fortunately, I had the chance to take a much closer look a few days later, when the team was back at its Kannapolis headquarters, around 20 miles northeast of Charlotte.

Haas Automation founder, Gene Haas, and three-time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart, jointly own Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). In the 2012 season, the team fielded three drivers: Tony Stewart, of course, Ryan Newman, and Danica Patrick. The SHR headquarters is a long, rectangular building on the appropriately named Haas Way. Painted high on the walls are quotes and aphorisms by thinkers and leaders through history, intended to keep motivation and work-rate high, as if there were a need. To the right of the main workshop is the team merchandise store, and to the left, behind a glass partition, is the team machine shop, fronted by a red, special-edition Tony Stewart VF-2 vertical machining center. Unsurprisingly, every single CNC machine tool in the shop is a Haas CNC machine tool. According to Brad Harris, machine shop manager, this definitely works in the team’s favour. “It’s natural that we have Haas machines as opposed to other makes,” he says. “But, I’ve worked with other machines before I came here, and I can say, Haas machines are reliable. Having one make of machine with a single control helps scheduling. There are just five of us here, and between us we take care of all 12 machines.” The Stewart-Haas machine shop includes eight vertical machining centers and four turning centers. “Four of the VMCs have four- and five-axis capability,” says Harris. “Mid-season, modifications are happening all the time, sometimes due to NASCAR rule changes, and sometimes because someone comes up with an idea to improve the performance of the cars. However, by the time the change has been through the engineering department and filtered through to the machine shop, there’s usually not much time left. As a result, every job is an emergency.” The biggest machines on site are two VF-6TR’s with trunnion tables. There’s also a Mini Mill, a VF-2, and a VF-4 five-axis machining center, also fitted with a trunnion, a TR-210. Like all race teams, SHR is reluctant to show most of the components it makes in-house close-up, especially when there are still another half-dozen races to go. One of the most recognis-

able parts though, is the shifter handle. “This was a fun but challenging project for us, as well as the engineers,” he says. “It was machined using our fiveaxis VF-4, which allowed us to create the part in just two operations. Like most parts on the car, they get ‘mileaged’ out and are replaced. But we don’t wait for them to fail.” Among other Haas-machined components at Kannapolis are the front spindle uprights, which start out as forgings with the spindles pre-machined by the supplier. “After fabrication, an assembly will come back to us, and we’ll finish the entire machining in a single set-up, which means we won’t compromise precision or quality,” says Harris. “Precision is the biggest challenge. We mount the part on the spindle snout in the trunnion on the VF-6TR. We rotate it and hit all of the features in one setup. We get great support from the local HFO.” NASCAR has its origins in the era of prohibition, when bootleggers would distribute their illicit liquor throughout the Appalachian region of the U.S., using the fastest car and driver combinations they could find. NASCAR was born, therefore, of cultural innovation. What grew subsequently was a sport that would eventually generate billions in annual revenues, and create even greater wealth across the thousands of individuals and businesses. As Friedman and Mandelbaum point out in their book: Over the years, government has often played a significant part in helping launch a new wave of innovation – one way or another, then got out of the way. The second stop on my short tour of NASCAR’s homeland was Hendrick Motorsports (HMS), around 5 miles south of StewartHaas Racing, in Concord, a stone’s throw from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. HMS was formed in 1984, and is one of the winningest teams, with 10 championships in the Sprint Cup Series, alone. NASCAR fans will already know that it was through HMS that Haas Automation originally came to the sport, initially as a sponsor and supplier of CNC machine tools. In 2003, Gene Haas founded his own team, Haas CNC Racing, in partnership with HMS. What is now SHR’s number 39 car was in fact Haas CNC Racing’s original entry in NASCAR’s top series.

The biggest machines on site are two VF-6TR’s with trunnion tables. There’s also a Mini Mill, a VF-2, and a VF-4 five-axis machining center, also fitted with a trunnion, a TR-210.

HMS builds 550+ engines per year, with many of these leased to other teams.

With the advent of SHR in 2008, the partnership between the two teams evolved, and to this day, SHR uses HMS engines and chassis, and the HMS machine shop on its 100-acre campus is almost entirely Haas. HMS builds more than 550 engines per year, with many of these leased to other NASCAR teams. “We have four Haas ES-5 machines on campus to machine cylinder heads and intake manifolds,” says Larry Zentmeyer, engine shop coordinator. Each of the company’s ES-5 machines is fitted with a Haas HRT210 rotary table and tailstock, to support the long parts. “Each month, we machine around 12 sets – that is, 24 manifolds,” says Mr. Zentmeyer, “which means the machines are always busy, but not so busy that we need multiple pallets or pallet-changers. The ES-5’s do the job very well, indeed.” As well as SHR, Hendrick Motorsports supplies engines and parts to several other teams, including Earnhardt Ganassi, Phoenix Racing, JRM, and Turner Motorsports. HMS cylinder heads are also machined using the Haas ES-5 horizontals. These complex parts start life as semi-finished castings supplied by Chevrolet. “Enough material is left for us to add valve-train and rocker stand features,” explains Mr. Zentmeyer. “There’s also plenty of material left for us to come in and port the exhausts and the intakes, and there is also some machining required in the chamber. Basically, there is hardly a surface on the casting that we don’t machine in some way or form. Machine operators like Mark Thomas have Siemens NX systems alongside the machines where they prepare programs.” The HMS engine shop also custom fits its pistons to each cylinder block. “We’ll use one of the VF-2 machines to do final machining work on the piston tops,” says Mr. Zentmeyer. “This way, we can get the tolerances and fits exactly as we want. On average, we machine around 20

piston sets every week.” As well as cylinder heads and pistons, Hendrick Motorsports also makes and supplies highvolume parts and components like alternator cages to famous name suppliers, such as Bosch. “Many parts for use in road vehicles are cast. We machine the same parts from solid billets, so they’re stronger and more durable. If we used cast parts on the race cars, they wouldn’t last more than a lap or two, because of the temperatures and the vibration.” A few laps after the start of the Charlotte race, I put on my coat and took the elevator down to where the stadium touches the upper edge of the banking. The air was cold and laced with ethanol and excitement. As close as possible to the no-man’s-land between the seats and the wire safety fence were the kids, precisely where they always are (where I would have been as a 12-year-old), bundled-up in down jackets and ear-defenders, accompanied by long-suffering moms and dads. Motor racing sometimes gets bad press in our environmentally conscious times, but educators and industrialists still recognise its enormous potential to inspire future generations. Those kids, enthralled by the noise, color, and spectacle of NASCAR races in Charlotte and elsewhere around the country, may not grow-up to be the next Tony Stewart (or even his crew chief), but they may just grow up with an instinctive appreciation of risk and the role it plays in private enterprise. And, if they apply that understanding during their working lives – if they’re comfortable enough with the idea of risk that they start their own businesses, register patents, or invest life-savings to buy capital equipment – then that’s how America will find its way back. They won’t want to stand around and admire what previous generations have done. They’ll want to experience the economy flat out, in a power slide, whilst fighting for a place on the winner’s podium.

17 JUNE 2013

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A new beginning No one’s market Contd. from Pg 1 ...overall revenues from the aftermarket within the next few years. With their limited vehicle parc in India, the company is aware that it will take time to grow their aftermarket share. Within one year, the company will open new service training centres in Central and North India. It currently has five service training centres, in Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Guntur and Kolkata. The training centres are run with support from Germany-based DEG Bank and the Don Bosco group. When students sign up for technical courses at Don Bosco institutes, they have the option of taking up an additional vocation. This course helps them learn technical skills related to automobile braking systems. They can join any service centre or seek employment with OEMs after the course. The collaboration was begun in 2009 with the aim of creating a talent pool of brake technicians. Knorr-Bremse started its commercial vehicle operations in India through a joint venture with Tata AutoComp Systems (TACO) in 2003. Its Pune plant became operational in 2005. The JV with TACO was dissolved in January 2010 and it has been a 100 percent subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse AG since then. Its products are marketed under the Knorr-Bremse brand through 56 distributor locations. It also has more than 65 authorized centres to carry out service and repairs of their parts across India. The Knorr-Bremse group is

Contd. from Pg 1

Within a year, Knorr-Bremse plans to open new service training centres in Central and North India. It currently has five service training centres including three metros. the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. For more than 100 years now, the company has pioneered the development, production, marketing and servicing of state-of-the-art braking systems. In the rail vehicle systems sector, the product portfolio also includes intelligent door systems, HVAC systems, control components and windscreen wiper systems, as well as platform screen doors, friction material and driver advisory systems. Knorr Bremse also offers driving simulators and e-learning systems for optimum train crew training. In the CV sector, the product range includes complete braking systems with driver assistance systems, as well as torsional vibration dampers, power train related solutions and transmission control systems for enhanced energy efficiency and fuel economy. The company is based in Munich, Germany and is a family-owned business with majority ownership residing with Heinz Hermann Thiele.

...respectively. In May, Renault sold 5,149 units of its only UV (Duster) closer to Toyota’s 5,580 units. Compared to this, while M&M may record substantial figures in UVs, it has the advantage of a huge product portfolio.

The big picture According to SIAM, overall domestic sales in April and May 2013 declined by (-) 0.64 percent over the same period last year. The overall sales in passenger vehicles declined by (-) 8.56 percent in April and May 2013 over the same period last year. Within the passenger vehicles, cars and vans dropped by (-) 11.33 percent and (-) 10.88 percent respectively, while UVs grew marginally by 4.08 percent during April and May 2013 compared to the same period last year.

In passenger cars, Honda Cars (HCIL) saw an unprecedented growth with the launch of its first ever diesel vehicle, the Honda Amaze. The Japanese automobile major reported a 9.8 percent increase in domestic sales for May 2013 at 11,342 units, its highest ever monthly sales on the back of its newly launched sedan. HCIL sold 10,334 units in the same month last year. The company recorded a growth in sales at a time when sales of cars fell for a record seventh consecutive month in May with an overall decline of 12.26 percent, according to SIAM. MSIL which has a near monopoly in the passenger car segment, has been losing market share to some new-found players. From commanding over 50 percent of the total market, now it hovers around 45 percent. MSIL sold 76,509 units of passenger cars in April 2013 commanding a 50.7

percent market share. Its sales in May 2013 slipped to 66,342 units trimming down the market share to 46.30 percent. The second largest passenger car manufacturer Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) maintained a marginal growth in market share. HMIL sold 32,364 units with a market share of 21.50 percent in April 2013 which grew marginally to 32,052 units with a market share of 22.40 percent in May 2013. The home grown car manufacturer, Tata Motors, which held third position in terms sales volume suffered the biggest loss. HCIL maintained a steady growth last three months with a market share of 5.50, 5.60, and 7.90 percent. GM, despite new launches continued stable with a market share between 3 and 4 percent. While TKM which gained market share with the launch of sedan Etios and hatchback Etios Liva could not sustain. TKM’s market share slipped from five percent in March 2013 to three percent in May 2013.


Total sales May 2012

Market share 2012

Total sales May 2013

Market share 2012

Force Motor





Ford India









8.65% 0.34%





Honda Cars



















49.31% 10.17%





Nissan Motor















Tata Motors













Auto Monitor

17 JUNE 2013



Can social media create better cars? Social media has not only transformed our personal lives, it has had a huge impact on businesses as well. Negative online comments can damage your reputation – or you can play the game and benefit from opportunities for customer profiling and targeted promotions, says Dinesh Jain.


he times they are a-changin’“, goes the Bob Dylan song. Did you know that 65 percent of people today use social media as an input before deciding on a buy? Or that 78 percent of shoppers use the internet to research and purchase products? And some 68 percent of buyers want to customise what they buy? Picture this: you log into your Facebook account and you see a post from your friend going gaga over his new car with pictures taken from every possible direction. You look through the pictures and actually like one of them. You then browse through other stuff but in the notification section you suddenly see a whole bunch of other people also liking the car. You add this car to the list of cars you were evaluating and call your friend to talk about the car and the deals he got, etc. You also ask for his recommendation. Afterwards, you log into your Twitter account to check what others have to say about this model. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of people trust online reviews and messages and it has become the second most trusted source of information. Now let’s dissect the scenario given above. You are the “prospect” who is influenced by an “influencer” (your friend) to look at more details about a car, and your interest is piqued by the fact that other people in your network or his network also “like” the car. So you feel there must be something good about this car. You now look for more information on another influencer channel (Twitter) where you feel you will gain unbiased opinions about the product. How much of the above is happening with the knowledge

of the automobile company? Absolutely none! The product is generating its own interest once it manifests on social networks and people start taking an interest in it. They start talking about it, sharing their experiences and also berate it if they don’t like it. So it’s like this huge PR machinery working for and against the car at any point of time without the manufacturer’s intervention or even knowledge! Auto companies need to realize that there is a treasure trove of information generated on social media which can be used for a whole lot of purposes – tailoring promotions, product design changes, grievance management, new product design, tailored solutions and accessories, etc. The reach and depth at which this happens is mind boggling and cannot be replicated by a traditional sample study or survey. Twitter processes about three billion new tweets a week. Some 1,020 billion minutes are spent on Facebook across the world a month, and the figure is growing. All of which leads us to the question: as a car manufacturer, what should you be doing to harness and use the power of social media? Here are five tips to help you make the best of social media: 1. Identify the inf luencers – Suppose five lakh people like your site. Quickly analyze the influencer networks amongst them through an in-depth graph analysis. Then reach out to the key influencers with promotions and offerings which get sweeter if he or she will “influence” more people to buy the product. 2. Identify the right prospects – Among the people who like or follow you identify what kind of life situation they are at: just married, just had a kid, shifted to a new job, shifted to

a new city, and then based on the situation provide or offer a service tailored to their “life situation” – like free kid seats, easy financing, easy registration change facility, new leasing facility, etc. 3. It’s important to listen to and understand your customer – With natural language processing engines you can now “listen” in to the chatter that happens on social media for the items of interest to you, bouquets and brickbats alike. Once you start making sense of the comments you will find a treasure trove of suggestions on product improvement, communication plan design, customer service and overall marketing effectiveness. The listening becomes extremely important due to the vastness of the data being generated – some 25 billion web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, and photo albums are shared each month. 4. And don’t just listen: be the influencer, participate in the buying decision – talk about the product, never let a negative thread go on for long. A quick apology and a set of extra foot mats can go a long way towards keeping your customer happy and your brand safe. It is essential that bad publicity does not spoil your company image. So, invest in creating a reputation risk management strategy to protect the interests of the company, spread the messages that YOU want the customer to hear, and win your customer before his attention span wears out. Make the process of buying a car easy and fun, with engagement built into the process of selection, customisation and delivery of the car.

5. Understand the lifestyle – study the lifestyle choices that the customer makes and suggest the accessories to go with it. If a customer likes high-end musical equipment, you can promote a high-end car stereo and leather upholstery. A vintage car lover could be sold an engine overhaul or polishing service. And so on. India is currently one of the fastest growing markets for social media platforms. That means a lot of India-specific content is being generated on social media which you cannot ignore. An indepth analysis of this content, combined with multi-structured data such as videos, voice, pictures, text, telematics, location, and driving patterns, can help you understand the customer like never before and predict their behaviour and preferences. The challenge lies in combining the digital and physical selling worlds into one compelling and seamless customer experience. His or her likes or tweets should lead to a promotion at the dealership nearest to where he/she is located, and should extend to their influencer networks, and should translate into his owning a better car which is being constantly improved by feedback from millions of happy or unhappy customers. I am sure that once automobile companies come up with a clear strategy to enrich their marketing, sales and service through social media data, the day is not far when this will all be a reality. Dinesh Jain is country manager of Teradata India. He has over 15 years of global experience in consulting and business development. He has helped implement large data warehouses for global corporationsand also their BI roadmap and strategy.

MyTVS inaugurates its 4th facility


yTVS inaugurated its fourth multi-brand car service facility in Bengaluru. This is the 4th outlet in Bengaluru and 7th outlet in Karnataka taking the tally of total number of outlets to 79 across India.

The new state-of-the-art facility, will undertake repair works for all brands of cars with quality service at affordable cost. The new facility is located across 25,000 sq.ft. Sanjay Nigam, CEO & President, T VS Automobile

Solutions Ltd., said, “The inauguration of the 4th facility in the Garden city reaffirms our quality service and customer confidence on our brand. We will now look to expand our service outlets in Tier-II cities of Karnataka in 2 to 3 years time.” The addition of this facility will provide the last mile service connectivity closer to customer’s place of choice. The outlet is completely equipped with latest technologies and will have 19 bays (5 Mechanical Bays, 12 Body Repair Bays and 2 water wash bays), 3D Wheel Alignment, Wheel Balancer, Engine Scanner, Dust Free Paint Booth, Nitrogen inflator, AC gas re-charger, etc. Besides, the facility will also have multi-level service facility, which would ensure parking of serviced vehicles in a closed and safe environment besides, main-

taining the greenery of the city to a great extent. MyTVS provides value-added services like extended warranty to car customers, which can be availed even after the expiry of manufacturer’s warranty, 24x7 emergency roadside assistance with annual membership privi-

leges, etc. MyTVS has also announced special discounts as part of the inaugural offer, viz., 10 pc discount on external body polishing & interior cleaning, 15 pc discount on underbody anti-rust coating and 20 pc discount on A/C disinfectant.

17 JUNE 2013

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Are our suppliers being left behind? The growth in the Indian automotive industry has created new challenges for industry as a whole. Alagu Balaraman analyzes the impact on suppliers and component manufacturers.


t is a point beyond dispute that the Indian auto components industry has grown and grown substantially. Today, there are companies in this industry which have breached the $1 billion mark and far beyond. When historians write the story of the auto components industry, they will probably mark its birth with the time Maruti Udyog began its operations. More than 30 years have passed since then, and the industry has come a long way in terms of scale and quality. India has become a growth market of note and the components industry has risen with the tide. However, today the industry is at the cusp of a new beginning, and it remains to be seen whether it will take the next leap or whether it will falter. Along with the growth in the Indian automotive sector, competition has also grown. A young customer base, with rapidly ris-

people to understand. When you move to the components level, the increase in complexity is even more startling. An auto components supplier who was manufacturing 20-25 components in 2003 is today dealing with some 400 components. Going beyond product proliferation, auto component suppliers are now dealing with a larger number of markets. Earlier India pretty much supplied India. However, with the country becoming a global manufacturing hub, the number of players who are exporting from India has grown from only Maruti and Hyundai to players like Ford, General Motors, Mahindra, Toyota and Volkswagen. As the number of countries increase, so do the regulations, documentation and logistics that have to be managed by the supply base. The third type of change that is impacting the supply base is the change in the core product. Cars today are far more complex than they were a decade ago. There is a quantum increase in the use of electronics. Feature lists grow longer. Service packages are wrapped into the product and suppliers have to deal with warranty and aftermarket prices.

What next? All in all, auto component suppliers today are facing a dramatically different environment from the one they operated and matured in. For the industry to grow and thrive, the supply base has to evolve and deal effectively with the new challenges that it faces. What worked earlier may not work now. Today, companies need to work collaboratively to deal with demand fluctuations as well as new product design, development and launches. Companies will have to collaborate in building new investments that will give the kind of flexibility required to deal with constant change and diversity. New skills will have to be developed within the supply base. All this will be a revisit to the era of a quarter of a century ago when the changes that were being implemented by entrepreneurs were non-linear and risky, but immensely rewarding. Alagu Balaraman is India Operations Head at CGN & Associates.

ing disposable incomes, has created a growth market with its own unique characteristics. To start with, the customer profile is very heterogeneous. Some people are exposed to global standards, some are looking for a lifestyle statement. They live in very different environments. Many are concerned about the size of the investment commitment and the interest rate burden. Car companies have responded by launching a slew of products aiming to more sharply profile customers and create a winning fit, as well as inject excitement and demand in a market that tends to splutter even as everyone is convinced of its long term potential.

Changing times While the market side of the story is fascinating in itself, another factor that is often hidden from view is the supply side. The automotive industry has

New entrants source from existing suppliers, adding to the complexity of the suppliers’ operations. In 2003, we had around 12 launches. This has increased to 50-odd in 2013. been a bellwether for good manufacturing and supply chain practices. However, the Achilles’ heel of the industry continues to be its supply base. This is not a simple case of suppliers not stepping up, but also due to the rapidity of change in the industry and the resultant demand on all players in the supply chain. Over the first two decades, the supplier base in India had to deal

with two factors: scale and quality. OEMs provided the knowhow; suppliers had to build the skill base and invest in infrastructure to meet the ever growing demand for better quality parts. Just as OEMs had to create a supplier base, so too the suppliers had to create their own base: a base of skilled manpower and technological infrastructure in an economic environment of skill shortage and capital shortage (at least initially). Today the game has changed. Back in 2003 there were seven large car companies, today there are 14. The new entrants have by and large attempted to source from existing suppliers, adding to the complexity of the suppliers’ operations. In 2003, we had around 10-12 product launches. This has increased to 50-odd in 2013. The increased complexity is of a different nature from quality or volumes, and is less easy for

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17 JUNE 2013



TVS Automobile Solutions enters into JV with US-based Myers Tire Supply


VS Automobile Solutions (TVS ASL), which operates its business through the MyTVS brand have announced a joint venture with US-based Myers Tire Supply International Inc, the biggest distributor of equipment, tools, accessories and consumables for tyres in USA. The newly formed JV company will promote both the Myers range of products and TVS ASL’s tools and equipment business in India. TVS ASL’s in-depth sales and service knowledge of equipment, repair services to automobile dealers in India will be enhanced by the global presence of Myers Tire Supply, which excels in providing tools and consumables for tyre repair and maintenance to independent tyre dealers, tyre service centres and tyre retreaders. Announcing the joint venture, Sanjay Nigam, President & CEO, TVS Automobile Solutions said, “This joint venture will give us the first mover advantage in the largely fragmented and unorganized after-market tyre repair and service business in India. Our tie-up with Myers will bring in the global best practices in the

aftermarket tyre service business through its service equipment and consumables.” James Drohan, General

Manager, Myers Tire Supply International Inc. said, “Not only does this joint venture coincide with the geographic expansion

growth platform for our distribution segment, but it also provides entry into the fast-growing Asian market.”

Nigam added, “Fuel and tyre maintenance are the two major expenses for fleet operators. That way the tyre industry provides enormous business opportunity for us. With this JV, TVS Automobile Solutions will become the only organized player to have expertise in all the sections of after-market automobile service industry.” Myers provides solutions for tire repairs and maintenance services including modern repair process for passenger car tyres, commercial vehicle tyres and offroad equipment / vehicle tyres. It has a successful business model across USA with more than 40 branches. The business model will be customised and implemented in India to suit local needs. The expertise of Myers will also be shared through training of technicians in handling and repairing tires and wheels. Myers and TVS ASL are looking to make a mark for its business in India and other parts of Asia through this JV. Together, the companies will develop their global sourcing capabilities and operate through a localized branch network to meet customer demands with competitive quality and pricing.

mance, Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “We are delighted with the steady progress being made by Ssangyong. The trend towards weekend leisure travel in Korea is helping drive up our SUV volumes in that market.” The company’s Korea sales uptrend continued for the fifth straight month i0n May thanks to robust sales of refreshed models including the Korando series despite a slowdown in the Korean auto market. The company registered a sharp increase of 28.4 percent in the Korea market

from a year earlier, exceeding 5,000 vehicles during May. Ssangyong’s exports also showed an increase of 23.1 percent in May compared to the same month last year, exceeding 7,000 vehicles for the two consecutive months. This can be attributed to an upswing in sales in Chile and other Central and South American markets, along with increased sales to the Russian market. Ssangyong is planning customer participation events such as outdoor leisure programs, camping and driving schools, in order to respond to the uptrend in SUV sales actively.

Ssangyong posts strong monthly performance


sangyong Motor, part of the USD 16.2 billion Mahindra Group, has announced that it sold 12,730 vehicles in May 2013 – 5,270 vehicles in Korea and 7,460 in exports, including CKD kits. The company’s month-

ly sales exceeded 12,000 units for the second straight month in May 2013, increasing by 25.3 percent year-on-year. Its cumulative sales from January 2013 also rose by 21.4% compared to the same period last year.

Ssangyong expects to continue to increase its sales since the company resumed second-shift production at its plant in Korea in the middle of May, which would help it reduce backorders. Commenting on the perfor-

Nissan announces name of new premium SUV – ‘Terrano’


issan have announced the name of its new premium SUV, the Ni ssa n Ter ra no, and revealed a sketch of the new model, which is planned to launch in the 2013 financial year. Terrano will be produced at Nissan’s Oragadam plant alongside the premium hatchback

Micra, the Sunny sedan and Evalia urban class utility vehicle, expanding Nissan’s locally-built model range to four. President and CEO of Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd, Kenichiro Yomura, said Terrano will play a key role in increasing sales within the Indian market, “I am delighted to reveal both the name and the

very first image of what will be a very important model for Nissan. You can see from the sketch that Terrano has a bold and distinctive design that I am confident will appeal to our growing customer base in India, as will its driving performance and range of other features that will be revealed at a later date.”

17 JUNE 2013

Auto Monitor



Dassault Systèmes launches “Target Zero Defect” Digital continuity and collaborative environment for transportation and mobility OEMs and suppliers aiming for zero defect processes from concept to final assembly.


assau lt Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, a world leader in 3D design, 3D Digital Mock Up and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, have announced the launch of “Target Zero Defect,” an industry solution experience providing an integrated and open collaborative environment tailored to enable zero defects across the entire product development process. Target Zero Defect helps reduce risk for OEMs and their suppliers associated with introducing new products, as well as the potential for costly recalls. Today’s vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers must introduce new technologies and functions faster, while facing increasing vehicle and development process complexity. Global vehicle platforms require localized modular design and assembly strategies, further compl icat i ng development

and manufacturing processes for both OEMs and suppliers. Connecting and managing all OEM and supplier stakeholders in a collaborative business platform enables a company to detect potential mistakes sooner, and thus lower its development costs. Yet, the reality is that many processes are still disconnected. Target Zero Defect provides a global approach to capture and leverage existing corporate knowledge, connecting design, engineering and manufacturing disciplines across a company’s entire ecosystem of partners and suppliers into a dynamic, collaborative product creation environment. It includes high performance virtual design and simulation in all stages of product creation from conceptual design to virtual manufacturing, including all domains such as chassis, powertrain, and body and interior. A cornerstone of Target Zero Defect is its

Tata Elxsi wins “Best User Experience” award


ata Elxsi, a global design company and a part of the $100 billion Tata group, was declared winner of the first Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) User Experience Contest in the “Best User Experience” category. The AGL contest was centred on the theme ‘Designing the Future of Automotive Infotainment User Experience’.

Giving a focus Tata Elxsi’s concept HMI called ‘Today’s Tomorrow’ won the award for its intuitive and hassle-free navigation. The user interface aims at minimising driver distraction from in-vehicle information access and electronic controls. It features backgrounds that change colour depending on the time of the day and also provides an integrated user manual. As part of the prize, the architect and the designer of ‘Today’s tomorrow’ will now have an opportunity to collaborate on a proof-of-concept with Jaguar Land Rover and Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). The winners of the contest were announced on May 27, 2013 at the Automotive Linux Summit Spring in Tokyo, Japan. Other winners include Ford Motor Company – Best New Feature, and Reaktor – Best Visual Appearance.

systems engineering capabilities that enable virtual design, simulation and validation of complex vehicle systems and components. “At Tesla Motors, we depend on everybody to be as creative and productive as possible. Part of the power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is its ability to allow everybody involved in the product development process to focus on being creative and productive rather than focusing on the process and tools,” said Paul Lomangino, Engineering Tools Director, Tesla Motors. “The ability of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to handle the complexity both in our product and our process as we move forward is very important. Its ability to unify multiple organizations under one banner and bring them all together within a common solution will help us immeasurably going forward.” “Instead of corrective action to solve defects, the indus-

Target zero defect – from design to production

try needs to eliminate them upfront by capitalizing on institutional knowledge and tracking costs,” said Monica Menghini, Executive Vice President, Industry & Marketing, Dassault Systèmes. “This is about cre-

ating a holistic view of your business to improve the entire development process. Tesla is an incredible success story based on daring innovation with real profitability and we are proud to be part of this achievement.”

Auto Monitor

17 JUNE 2013



Auto infotainment hits the supply chain Bruce Gain

System integrators must adapt their capabilities so that they can supply many components for informationrelated applications locally.


ore automakers are offering high-end information systems in their cars, spiking demand for infotainment modules in the electronics supply chain. High-end applications, such as running smartphone applications on a dashboard console or dictating emails with voice commands, were previously limited to BMW, Mercedes, and other luxury brand cars. Now more advanced offerings have begun to trickle down into the mainstream car segment. Demand is ramping up from the likes of General Motors, Ford, Toyota, and Chrysler in the United States and PSA PeugeotCitroen, Renault, and Volkswagen in Europe. On average, when offering components to big-volume producers, electronic suppliers are also able to maintain margins similar to what they commanded for high-end cars, according to the European Association of Automotive Suppliers. The margins are largely maintained by achieving supply chain operational efficiencies, often on a worldwide scale. System integrators must also often adapt their production capabilities, for example, so that they can produce and supply many components for information-related applications locally on a just-intime basis whether in the United States, Europe, or elsewhere, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers says.

The focal point of in-car infotainment in the United States remains the smartphone and the in-car console on which smartphone apps run in the United States. US carmakers increasingly seek consoles that can run and display smartphone apps, often with voice-activated commands. Electronic systems integrators such as Bosch, Continental, and Delphi supply the consoles with the components that they procure from component makers, in much the same way that PC makers do. According to a Frost & Sullivan report, 25 percent of the cars sold in North America in 2011 ran smartphone apps on a car console. That percentage should more than double within five years. Ford was the first mainstream automaker to roll out high-end systems that run smartphone apps in cars with its Sync system. Two years ago, it began to offer consoles that ran smartphone apps with voice-activated com-

Maruti Suzuki announces June as ‘Exchange Month’ To organise all India exchange carnival with special discounts and offers.


eading Indian car maker Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSI) has declared June 2013 as an “Exchange Month”. MSI’s countrywide network of True Value showrooms and dealers will reach out to over five lakh customers. A mega carnival has been planned across 112 cities on June 15th and 16th as a part of the initiative, going beyond the metro cities to cover tier 1 and tier 2 locations as well. On offer will be spot booking benefits and offers including attractive EMI schemes with bank partners. W hile the month-long exchange campaign will run at all dealerships across India, the special mega carnival will take place on 15th and 16th June at centralised locations in these 112 cities. At this mega carnival all dealers, showrooms and True Value centres around the region will congregate to offer the widest variety of True Value offers. Mayank Pareek, Chief Operating Officer (M&S), Maruti Suzuki said, “The

The exchange campaign will run at all dealerships. The special mega carnival will take place on 15th and 16th June at centralised locations. month-long Mega Carnival is an initiative for driving exchange and facilitating new car sales. It will be led by our True Value chain which will act as catalyst to spur growth in this segment. Maruti Suzuki is the market leader in this format of business. This initiative will provide a boost to an overall sluggish market and also create a positive sentiment for the entire automobile industry.” The month-long event will offer a combination of exchange bonus and loyalty bonus for the full range of Maruti Suzuki cars. These initiatives are aimed at retaining existing Maruti Suzuki customers.

mands, such as email dictation, after luxury carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes began offering similar applications. Following Ford’s lead in the United States, other mainstream US carmakers have developed or are developing car systems that run smartphone navigation, communications, and a range of other apps. These systems include GM’s MyLink, Chrysler’s UConnect, and Toyota’s Entune. Rolling phablets Europe’s mainstream carmakers are taking a less smartphone-centric approach. For example, Renault is rolling out its R-Link system in its high-volume selling Clio, Captur, and other models. Car owners download apps directly to a tabletstyle computer screen embedded in the console. In addition to the standard navigation and music apps, R-Link allows drivers and passengers to send and receive emails and tweets. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen offers its

Connect Apps in its Peugeot 208, 2008, and other models. The user plugs a connection key into a USB port to access content such as weather reports, traffic conditions, prices at nearby filling stations, parking lot locations, restaurant and hotel information, and even a Michelin guide. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, offers a touchscreen system that features a WiFi hotspot that permits in-car Internet access. For the European market, Bosch, Continental, Delphi, and Omega are the leading electronics system integrators. The fact that drivers in the United States will increasingly be able to access and interact with information and applications raises obvious safety concerns. However, distracted driving is a subject of another discussion. Those involved in the automotive supply chain can expect significant demand for components that go into car entertainment systems in the near and middle term. The author is a freelance writer for ebnonline.

Carbon fibre drags feet into auto territory


a rket s ou r c e s who supply raw materials such as polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) to auto parts makers are not concerned about carbon fibre moving into mass-market vehicles -- at least not yet. Market sources that supply petchem-based plastics and resins also said that even when carbon fibre does become affordable for mass-market vehicles, it will not really compete with the parts of the car for which they provide material. Carbon fibre, because of its strength and light weight, is being looked at to replace frame rails and other steel parts. Auto makers are looking at carbon fibre because it is roughly 10 times as strong as steel and a quarter of the weight. They are looking at an aerospace-grade of carbon fibre called polyacrylonitrile (PAN). But PAN costs roughly $15/lb, compared with about 40 cents/lb for steel. Carbon fibre has other obstacles it must overcome. Most carbonfibre components are made in autoclaves that bake parts at high temperatures and pressures. But the autoclave cycle-time needed to make something such as a car hood is 90 minutes. It is not nearly fast enough for high-volume auto factories that are rolling a car off the line every 60 seconds. In the US, GM tied up with Teijin Limited to develop carbon fibre composites. Similarly, Ford formed a JV with Dow Chemical. With so much carbon-fibre innovation under way, it is unclear which carbon-fibre technologies will prevail. That is why auto makers are signing nonexclusive contracts with their suppliers.

BorgWarner turbocharger powers new Hyundai engine


orgWarner supplies its leading turbocharging technology for Hyundai’s new 1.6liter turbocharged gasoline direct injection (T-GDI) engine. Available in the US for the Veloster Turbo passenger car, the turbocharged engine features a maximum output of 150 kW (204 HP), an increase of 46 percent compared with Hyundai’s standard 1.6-liter GDI engine. The Veloster Turbo has also been available in Europe since October 2012. “Combined with Hyundai’s direct-injection technolog y, BorgWarner’s turbocharging expertise helps achieve a fuelefficient and responsive engine for an exhilarating driving experience,” said Frederic Lissalde, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Turbo Systems. “We are very pleased to expand our successful relationship with Hyundai Motor Company through our supply of advanced turbocharging technology for gasoline engines.” To develop a state-of-the-art engine featuring low-end torque, responsiveness, instantaneous

BorgWarner’s twin scroll turbocharging technology improves performance and fuel economy for Hyundai’s new 1.6-liter gasoline direct injection engine.

power delivery and improved fuel economy, Hyundai matched BorgWarner’s K03 twin scroll turbocharging technology with its GDI system. Compared with a single scroll turbocharger, twin scroll turbocharging recovers more energy from the exhaust gas and improves responsiveness even at low rpm. BorgWarner’s twin scroll turbocharger separates the exhaust gases of the cylinders and minimizes parasitic back pressures.

BorgWarner further optimizes the exhaust gas flow to the turbine wheel with an optimized channel design. Torque of 270 Nm (199 lb-ft) is available over a wide engine speed range, from as low as 1,750 rpm and going up to 4,500 rpm. In addition, BorgWarner integrated the exhaust manifold into the stainless steel turbine housing to reduce size and weight while optimizing heat energy recovery for better efficiency.

17 JUNE 2013

Auto Monitor



Lowering friction loss in combustion engines Researchers have developed a method that can reduce engine friction and wear even during production of engine components. Special coatings can help to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


f a new car engine is to run smoothly, first it has to be properly run in: drivers should avoid quick acceleration and permanent short trips during the first 1000 kilometers, for instance. Why is this “grace period“ necessary at all? When an engine is being run in, the peripheral zone on the articulations – the components in mechanical contact with one another – changes as a result of friction: the surface itself becomes “smoother“, and the granularity of the microstructure becomes finer at a material depth of roughly 500 to 1000 nanometers (nm), creating a nanocrystalline layer. Quite a bit of friction has taken place, though, by the time this nano scale layer has formed. That is why, even now, a large share of the energy is lost to friction during the phase in which an engine is run in. Surface running properties are also a function of the customer‘s behaviour during the runningin phase. A critical topic for the automotive industry: against the

backdrop of increasingly scarce resources and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, reduction of friction loss has top priority on the development agenda.

More precision through optimized production technologies Within the scope of the “TRIBOMAN“ project, researchers at five Fraunhofer Institutes are working to develop production methods and processes to improve combustion engines‘ tribological (meaning frictionrelated) performance. The focus is on components exposed to particularly high levels of friction, such as the running surfaces of engine cylinders. “Our common approach is to move the process of forming marginalized layers to an earlier stage in production,” explains Torsten Schmidt from the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz. Schmidt and his team have

developed optimized production technologies for precision finishing in this connection. “For precision drilling of running surfaces on cylinders, we use defined cutting edges with a specific design. This results in very high surface quality,“ Schmidt adds. “We also systematically use the force of the machining process to promote ‘grain refinement‘ – meaning the hardening of the materials – even during production.” The new process is designed to improve the influence on friction and wear in engine components in the future – taking the automotive industry a significant step closer to achieve the goal of using energy more efficiently and reducing CO2 emissions. But customers stand to benefit as well: these new advancements would considerably shorten the running-in period for new engines. Besides improvements in comfort, it also reduces the risk of premature wear as a result of running in a new engine.

Precision boring of cylinder running surfaces rely on defined cuts with a specific geometry. Thus, surfaces of a very high quality can be created. © Fraunhofer IWU

Using a single cylinder test engine with cylinder running surfaces of aluminum, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg have already documented the first positive results of this kind of modified finishing: analyses of the processed cylinder surfaces showed a significantly lower grain size compared to conventional methods. The surface microgeometry is comparable to the cylinder

running surfaces of well-run-in cylinders. Researchers are currently working to adapt their method to new development trends in automobile manufacturing such as the introduction of biofuels: since the ethanol content of biofuels is higher, aluminum components are now usually fitted with a coating layer to protect them from corrosion more effectively. Courtesy: Fraunhofer Institute

Racing cars with electric drive Drive technology has an electric future: of this Fraunhofer research scientists are in no doubt. At the Sensor + Test measurement fair in Nuremberg, they used an electric racing car to present novel solutions for battery management and electronic sensor systems.


rom 0 to 100 in 3.6 seconds – we’re not talking about the rapid acceleration of a Porsche Carrera or Ferrari Scaglietti, but of EVE, a racing car with a very quiet engine. EVE is powered by two electric motors, one for each rear wheel. With a maximum output of 60 kilowatts, they get the e-racer going at 4500 rotations per minute. The sprinter can reach a top speed of 140 km/h, and has a range of 22 km thanks to two lithium polymer batteries, with a combined capacity of 8 kWh. Electrical engineering students from the e-racing team at the Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences designed the 300 kg car as a voluntary project alongside their studies, and they have already competed in it at the international Formula Student Electric (FSE) race in Italy. Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS in Erlangen developed the entire electronic sensor system in close collaboration with Seuffer GmbH & Co.KG, an industry partner with whom the institute has been

working for over 11 years. Seuffer GmbH & Co.KG is based in Calw in Baden-Württemberg, southern Germany, and sponsors the students of the E.Stall racing team. “Electromobility as a topic is becoming ever more important. The racing car serves as a showcase for us to demonstrate novel sensor solutions as well as battery and energy management concepts,” says Klaus-Dieter Taschka, an engineer at Fraunhofer IIS. Besides wheels, brakes, damper unit, batteries and electric motors, EVE is equipped with numerous sensors. These include braking pressure, crash, temperature and acceleration sensors as well as sensors that monitor the accelerator and brake pedals, speed, steering angle, wheel speed and power. These last six functions could all be performed by HallinOne sensors developed by Fraunhofer IIS, 3D magnetic-field sensors that are already a standard feature in washing machines, where they are used to determine the position and orientation of the drum.

The racing car from the e-racing team at Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences speeds round the track without a sound, powered by an electric engine. © E-Rennstall, Hochschule Esslingen

Sensors determine charge state of the battery The two electronic sensors attached at the sides of the batteries use 3D magnetic-field sensor technology developed by Fraunhofer IIS to measure the magnetic field generated by the flow of electrical current and thus determine the battery’s level of charge. The contactless sensors measure both the current that flows from the battery to the engine and the current that flows back again when the vehicle brakes. A further advantage is that the system is also able to measure other aspects of the battery such as its voltage and temperature. The data is collected and sent to the power control unit (PCU) and the battery management system (BMS).

A management system that extends battery life The BMS developed by Fraunhofer IIS in Nuremberg tackles this problem by determining the impedance spectrum of all battery cells and constantly testing whether the cells are

functioning properly. This allows cells’ condition, current capacity and potential service life to be ascertained and running times to be predicted more accurately. As battery cells age, they are able to store less energy. The challenge lies in optimizing cell utilization. “Until now, a battery system was able to provide only as much energy as was available in its weakest cell. The energy stored in other cells remained unused. Our BMS has an active cell balancing system that moves energy between stronger and weaker cells. This means that all cells share the load equally,” explains Dr.-Ing. Peter Spies, group manager at Fraunhofer IIS in Nuremberg. “EVE’s current BMS is a system developed in house by E.Stall, but our solution could take its place,” says Spies.

Polarization camera detects cracks in bodywork EVE’s compact design is built on a tubular steel space frame housed within a carbon fiber body. Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen

has developed POLKA, a polarization camera that can detect such damage at an early stage by measuring stresses within unpainted surfaces of the carbon structure. This compact camera makes any scratches visible: polarization. Material stresses in the plastic cause changes in polarization. POLKA is able to collect all the polarization information for each pixel in a single shot at speeds of up to 250 frames per second. Using realtime color coding, the software translates the information about the intensity, angle and degree of polarization into a visual display. “We are convinced that EVE’s technology will allow the vehicle to perform well while demonstrating environmental awareness,” says Rolf Kleiner, group manager of the battery technology department at Seuffer. And the students of E.Stall will have a chance to prove it: This year EVE will be in the lineup for the Formula Student race in Italy, Spain and Czechia. Courtesy: Fraunhofer Institute

Auto Monitor


17 JUNE 2013


Nissan’s self-cleaning rear view camera


he all-new Nissan Note is packed with innovative technology. Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Moving Object Detection combine to form the Nissan Safety Shield, complimenting the 360-degree helicopter view offered by the Around View Monitor parking aid to break new ground in the B-segment. But there’s one small yet highly significant innovation which ensures all of these functions are fully optimised - Nissan’s intelligent self-cleaning rear view camera. In order to make premium technology features accessible to the B-segment, Nissan’s engineers have developed all the functions of Safety Shield to rely on only the rear view camera. That means the costly radar, laser or front-facing camera technology needed by many premium models are not needed, and realworld cost savings are passed on to Note customers. However, with so many functions relying on the unblinking operation of the wide angle rear view camera, Nissan’s engineers realised the lens would need to be clear of dust and dirt at all times. Richard Picton, Nissan’s Safety Shield engineer takes up the story: “The rear camera

is critical to the functionality of Safety Shield, as well as the rear view used for Around View Monitor. We couldn’t allow the camera’s lens to get dirty at any time because it would detract from the technology’s performance in everyday use with the customer. However, we didn’t want the task of cleaning the lens to fall at the hands of the driver, so the intelligent self-cleaning system was developed.” With no input from the driver the rear camera is kept clear of accumulated dirt or water drops. This fully automated function relies on advanced algorithms processing more than 3 million pixels from the rear camera every second to determine when the image is obscured. Inputs are also taken from windscreen wiper functions to help to ascertain the prevailing driving conditions. First the image from the camera is received and processed into a view which the human eye can easily see. In order to see beyond 180-degrees, the lens protrudes from its position on the tailgate and has a ‘fish-eye’ shape. As a result it captures a stretched image that needs to be digitally remapped to appear on the flat 5.8-inch Connect screen on the Note’s dashboard. The downside of the camera’s

location is that it is exposed to dirt, dust and water, which could obscure the image. So, the next step is a continual analysis which determines if the lens is dirty and then determines the type of grime that’s obscuring the picture. Intelligent enough to know the difference between mud or simply rain water, the self-cleaning system then uses its tiny water system and compressed air blower to clear the lens. Picton explains: “Light dust

is best cleared with a blast of air. A splash of muddy water from a puddle will need a full wash, so water is squirted at the lens and blown off again with air.” There is even a function for rain, where testing revealed that the best way to keep the camera functioning is to keep it wet with a very small but steady stream of water to avoid large water drops forming on the camera and obscuring the processed image. Extensive digital modelling

and real-world testing has proven water consumption from the system to be minimal, drawing negligible amounts from the Note’s standard windscreen washer vessel. The jet of air is fed from a tiny compressor mounted underneath the rear of the Note. Bringing premium technology and sharp design to the B-segment is at the core of the new Note’s appeal, with innovative thinking applied to all aspects of its design and engineering.

Toyota is Interbrand’s Best Global Europcar’s solution to Green Brand for third year running pricey airport parking


oyota’s consistency in environmental leadership has been confirmed by a third successive top ranking in the annual Best Global Green Brands report from international brand consultancy Interbrand. The report gauges the gap between public perception of a brand’s environmental performance – its “green image” – and its actual environmental practices, using publicly available data and information. More than 10,000 consumers around the world have recognised Toyota not only for its commitment to sustainable environmental leadership, but also for its investment in groundbreaking products, such as Prius, and its programmes for reducing greenhouse emissions, energy consumption and water usage throughout its operations. The Interbrand assessment comes as Toyota is in the early stages of a product launch cycle that will see 21 new or updated

E hybrid models brought to markets worldwide by the end of 2015. In the UK the choice currently extends to 10 Toyota and Lexus hybrids, with the new, Britishbuilt Auris Hybrid Touring Sports wagon model set to extend that total from July. The UK makes a significant contribution to Toyota’s global green profile, with Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK)

being the country’s first automotive plant to be awarded ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management systems. Its Burnaston factory was Toyota and Europe’s first centre for hybrid vehicle production and is also the site of one of British industry’s largest solar panel arrays, a sustainable energy installation that can generate enough power to build the equivalent of 7,000 cars a year. Toyota GB’s environmental programme for its national dealership network saved more than 3,700 tonnes of CO2 in 2012, reducing its carbon footprint by 15 per cent. Elsewhere in Europe, Toyota is addressing the mobility challenges of the future with a trial programme running electric vehicles in Grenoble, France. The self-service car sharing project will use around 70 ultra-compact urban electric Toyota vehicles, including the TOYOTA i-ROAD, working in conjunction with existing public transport systems to reduce overall emissions generated by commuting.

uropcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe, is helping travellers avoid hefty airport parking charges – which can cost as much as a holiday, according to a recent Which? Money survey. Europcar’s Airport Connect service offers a convenient alternative at £49 each way. Airport Connect customers can have their hire car delivered to their home or pick it up from their local Europcar location so that they can drive straight to the airport branch. Customers f lying from Heathrow can use the courtesy coaches which will take them directly to the Airport terminals. On the way home, the process works in reverse, so no more struggling with train connections and rushing from A to B. Plus, Airport Connect customers can also transfer

between UK airports. Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group said, “Savvy travellers know to book their airport parking in advance to get the best deals. But the Which? Money research reveals that parking for a week at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted can cost as much as £125 - even if you book in advance. “With Europcar’s Airport Connect one-way car hire, we’re taking the hassle and the cost out of getting to and from the airport. From just £49 travellers benefit from a door-to-door service that’s easy, affordable and convenient. Plus, by hiring a car to get to the airport there’s no need to struggle with getting all the luggage and passengers safely and comfortably in the family car – and no worries about the car breaking down on the way there.

17 JUNE 2013

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17 JUNE 2013

Getting Personal with Pavan Shetty, Head of Operations, India, Lamborghini India

If not in the auto industry, where would you be? If not for auto I would be pursuing a career in FMCG. What car do you drive? What do you dream of driving? Being a part of VW group I currently drive the VW Passat. My dream car is a Lamborghini V12 Aventador Roadster. This is a car which helps you breathe in an open air experience. At the same time, it ensures that you skip a beat or two with its performance. Your most recent indulgence? Lots of work, and little time for indulgences! What are you currently reading? I’m reading “ The Habit Of winning” by Prakash Iyer. I strongly recommend this book to all. It uses simple stories to help us reconnect with our value system while giving you a fresh perspective to the society outside. What do you do when not talking auto? Being the health freak that I’m, I spend a lot of time working towards keeping myself fit. An activity you would miss office for? I will miss not just office but anything for a track driving experience. Driving cars like Lamborghini on a F1 track is like an addiction. The more you drive the more you want! You get angry when... People do not honor their commitments. What is the one thing you would like to change about yourself? Right now, I’m not able to take time off for sports, which is something I miss. Tennis and cricket are on my agenda. The best thing to have happened to you? Apart from my family, I would say its Lamborghini, It has helped me develop a business acumen in half the time.

Illustration: Sachin Pandit Compiled by: Pradeb Biswas

In Real Life Pavan Shetty joined Lamborghini India as Head of Operations in February 2012. Driven by a great passion for cars he began his professional career at Castrol India, and later worked with Tata Motors and Ford Motors. He an alumni of Sydenham Institute of Management.

Regn. No. MH/MR/WEST/20/2012-2014. RNI No. MAHENG/2000/11414 Licenced to post at Mumbai patrika channel sorting office G.P.O. Mumbai 400 001. Date Of Mailing:16th & 17th Fortnightly Issue. Date Of Publication: 13th of Every Month


Auto monitor 17 june 2013  

Auto Monitor, India's leading weekly automotive news magazine, focusses on offering a broad platform to the automotive industry. It strives...