Commercial Vehicle may 2009 Issue

Page 1

JCB opens world’s largest backhoe plant

Rs. 100

Wipro to unveil D-Series FET • Behr India bets big on truck cabin ACs

At the heart of the indian trucks & bus industry

DCnner for

u t s s d l i bu Volume 3 Issue 8 • May 2009


Straightdrive You may look at it either way. The Hero Group pulling out of the JV with Daimler Trucks – or – the latter retaining strong enough faith in India’s CV industry to go it alone. So much of the slowdown is actually a matter of sentiment. For a moment, forget about new players entering the market. Even in the case of the existing ones – would they have a better opportunity to rationalise the extra-ambitious capacities that they were creating at the fag end of an extended boom in the industry? Likewise, shouldn’t fleet owners who had bought more than they needed during the era of easy money – be figuring out exactly how many trucks they need? Even while we go through this churn, it is undeniable that a part of the pain would have been diminished by falling commodity prices. What is more, this ‘down’ period can be used by manufacturers to hasten the demise of the old generation of vehicles and boldly introduce world-class products. Think low-cost ‘Nano CVs’, a 0.5 tonne four-wheeler, or even the ‘World Truck’ and the ‘Future Vehicle Development Programme’ and you have the perfect recipe for a new wave of demand and capacity creation. Certain quarters of the industry are not waiting for newer vehicles, they are making them! DC Designs shows off a classy motor home built on the Volvo 9400 6x2 coach. Replete with goodies like an expanding lounge, mobile office, makeup room, bedroom, entertainment system and a private gymnasium, it is fit for the king that is Shah Rukh Khan. In his own humble way, Shrikant Chandane, too develops a mobile wonder. His company, SMC designs will build 75 ‘Drinko’ juice malls on the Premier Roadstar for Pune-based Renaissance Group. There is a lot more to this issue than just designer beauties. Take JCB, which has underscored its bullish outlook for India by inaugurating the world’s largest backhoe factory in Ballabgarh. What is good about the company is that it has actually grown market share across construction equipment segments, even as the overall market shrank sharply. Mahindra Defence Services too has set up, a dedicated plant in Faridabad that can manufacture 500 armoured vehicles per annum. Whether it is an armoured Tourister, Scorpio, the trusty Rakshak or the awesome Axe, defence products never looked more exciting – more so during these insecure times. Innovation has not been slow in com- Even while we go through this ing on the part of components/system churn, it is undeniable that a part suppliers either. For instance, take Wipro of the pain would be diminished Infrastructure Engineering’s upcoming by falling commodity prices 16-70 tonne ‘D-Series’ Front End Tipping units for trucks. Not only will this range meet the needs of India’s tippers, it can be just as easily configured for global markets. Meanwhile, Pune-based Behr is developing cabin ACs for trucks. Cognisant of the fact that this market is as yet very small, the company’s ACs will be one-size fits all. Throw into the mix, Tulsa Gas Technologies’ special CNG dispenser for three-wheelers, Setco’s new hydraulic actuators for CV clutches and Hiab India’s demountables and utility cranes. There is a lot to look forward to, if you know where to look that is! Sridhar Chari

Commercial Vehicle Magazine 401B, Gandhi Empire, 5th Floor, 2 Sareen Estate, Kondhwa Road, Pune 411 040. India Tel +91-20-32930291 / 2 Fax +91-20-26830465 Email us at Executive Editor Test Editor European Editor North Bureau Head Staff Writers Group Art Director and Production-in-Charge Art Director Senior Designers Assistant Designer Photographer Production Executive Administrative Executive Publisher Associate Publisher

Sridhar Chari Aspi Bhathena Michael Smith Munish Shekhavat Ahfaaz Khan, Ram Kumar Ramaswamy, Amit Chhangani, Bunny Punia, Adhish Alwani, Rohit Paradkar Atul Bandekar Ramnath S Chodankar Praveen B Nambiar Ravi Parmar Varun Kulkarni Sawan Sekhar Hembram Dinesh Bhajnik Roshni Bulsara Khushroo Bhadha Marzban Jasoomani

Regional Marketing Manager (North & East) Ellora Dasgupta Regional Manager (Tamil Nadu and Kerala) A. Mageshwar Assistant Manager Advertising (Delhi) Chanchal Arora Area Advertising Managers Niladri S Majumdar (Mumbai), Pramod Udupa (Bangalore), Y. Lingeswaran (Chennai) Sr. Response Executives Vidya Venkatesan (Mumbai), Sachi Kumar (Delhi) National Manager — Circulation & Subscription K Srikanth Assistant Circulation Managers Kapil Kaushik (Delhi) Sanjeev Roy (West) Subscription Supervisor Sachin Kelkar Tel +91 22 67525220 Fax +91 22 24448289 Regional marketing offices Next Gen Publishing Ltd. 2nd Floor, Khatau House, Mogul Lane, Mahim (W), Mumbai – 400016, India Tel +91 22 67525252 Fax +91 22 24448289 24 & 30 Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase III, Okhla, New Delhi - 110020, India Tel +91 11 42345678 Fax +91 11 42345679 #6, Unit No. 1115/16, 11th Floor ‘B’ Wing, Mittal Towers, MG Road, Bangalore -560001, India Tel +91 080 66110116/7 Unit No. 30, 3rd Floor, Modern Towers, No. 35/23 West Cott Road, Royapettah, Chennai - 600014, India Tel +91 44 39149889/90/91 Fax +91 11 39149892 Chandan House, 3rd Floor, Mithakhali Six Roads, Ahmedabad - 380006, India iews and opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily V those of Next Gen Publishing Ltd. Next Gen Publishing does not take the responsibility for returning unsolicited material sent. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in part or full without the prior express written permission of the publisher. Published by Khushroo Bhadha Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, Khatau House, Mogul Lane, Mahim (W), Mumbai - 400016. Printed by Khushroo Bhadha Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, Khatau House, Mogul Lane, Mahim (W), Mumbai - 400016. Printed at Kala Jyothi Process Pvt. Ltd, 1-1-60/5 RTCX Roads, Hyderabad - 20. Published at Next Gen Publishing Ltd., 2nd Floor, Khatau House, Mogul Lane, Mahim (W), Mumbai - 400016. Copyright 2006 COMMERCIAL VEHICLE All readers are recommended to make their own independent enquiries before sending money, incurring expenses or entering into commitments in relation to any advertisement appearing in the publication. Commercial Vehicle does not vouch for any claims made by advertisers for their products and services. The editor, publisher, printer and employees of the publication shall not be held liable for any consequence in the events of such claims not being honoured by the advertisers. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts and forums in Mumbai only. Executive Editor Sridhar Chari

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle /

What’s inside Straight Drive

what’s inside

Sridhar Chari




CV News


Designer’s Delight

SMC Designs has developed mobile Juice Malls on the Premier Roadstar for Pune’s Renaissance Group.


Tulsa proves its mettle

Tulsa Gas Technologies has come out with a unique CNG dispenser for three-wheelers.



Hiab handles India well

Demountables and utility cranes are just a few examples of what Hiab India can bring into India. The on-road load handling scene is virgin territory.

Beauty and the beast

This International® LoneStar® Harley-Davidson™ Special Edition truck is quite a beautiful beast.


Mobile School

A makeshift classroom on a 26 - tonne Iveco Stralis is involved in imparting diploma programme to children between 14 to 19 years.


Wipro set to unveil D-Series


Cover Story

The hydraulic cylinder manufacturer will bring out a world class range of Front End Tipping units by the end of this year.

Fit for a King What is surprising about this bus is not that it looks great, but that it is so much a creature of thoughtful detail.


Sticking its neck out

Despite the financial crisis, Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle division registers record profit and sales in 2008.




Eye on the future

John Deere introduces a range of engines for off road applications in order to meet forthcoming emission norms.


Targeting new frontiers

Mercedes Benz gets going in the construction segment with the launch of Actros Bau range of trucks.

Siam data

74 78 No cooling of heels for Behr India The Pune-based company is ready to roll out a host of innovative offerings including a ‘one size fits all’ air conditioner for trucks.


We welcome suggestions, feedback, comments, bouquets and brickbats on how the magazine is shaping up and what you would like to see and read more about. Write in to: / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

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Setco sets the pace

JCB goes ballistic on backhoes

Setco, among the country’s largest clutch manufacturers expects value additions like hydraulic actuation systems to help consolidate its position in the market.

India’s biggest construction equipment manufacturer expands its Ballabgarh facility into the world’s largest plant for backhoes.

45 may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle /

letters to cv

of r e t Let month Encourage trucks and buses to run on gas It was very heartening to read that Ashok that once supplies begin, they the

Leyland has developed a 6-litre engine that can run on a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas. I have always felt that greater efforts should be made towards using natural gas for operating vehicles involved in inter city transport. Not only, will this move make sense from an environmental and economic perspective, logistically too there are a few things going for it. For one, the gas pipelines are being laid out. Secondly, even if for safety reasons, the gas stations have to be outside city limits, this would suit truck and bus operators very well indeed. All the same, gas has a few negative factors too. It is not clear

will be assured too. Secondly, there is also a problem with pickup on gas. But like the Delhi example shows, if the government is keen on ensuring that gas succeeds, it will. That is the lesson that policy makers in other states need to take home. ■ Karan Singh, Chandigarh

More green dealerships needed Thinking different can be a good idea. The concept of green dealers seems to be just that. The concept seems to be advantageous for everybody, be it manufacturers, dealers or customers. The fact that Commercial Automobiles had achieved 40 percent reduction in its energy consumption by adopting environmentally-friendly measures speaks volumes about the efficacy of going green. I would also like to appreciate Tata Motors for their proactive participation in implementing this concept. I think, OEMs need to put their hand up to

them to promote this concept throughout the country. If the biggest auto maker in the country goes on implementing this concept, I feel that the other manufacturers will also come on board. Looking at the benefits that the green dealerships have to offer, I don’t think convincing the rest of the dealers will be a problem either. After all, such concepts have already been tried and tested in the developed world. ■ Shamshad Sheikh, Hyderabad

Let us roll out the buses first I completely agree with Volvo Buses India MD, Akash Passey that high quality buses should be introduced irrespective of a BRTS coming into the fray. The idea is this. In India, people want comfortable travel before all else. Now, if that need is met by quality buses than, ridership improves. This can motivate civic authorities to opt for more such buses. As the numbers of buses increase, the efficiency of the system improves both in terms of time and cost. At that juncture, it will be very convenient to have a dedicated lane for this service. If this lane works, towards improving journey

speeds, you already have the template for the BRTS. At that juncture, the local authorities only need to map which other routes can fall into this virtuous pattern. The other paraphernalia, including bus stops, advertising and electronics will all fall into place once the fledgling BRTS gathers critical mass. Hence, it is my humble submission that rather than considering the BRTS to be a panacea for all ills in public transport, we would do well to look at it, the way it is meant to be. ■ Mangesh Kulkarni, Pune

Pen down your views and queries to Commercial Vehicle, NextGen Automotive, 401 B Gandhi Empire, 5th Floor, 2 Sareen Estate, Kondhwa Road, Pune 411040, INDIA. or Fax +91 20 26830465 or Email / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

CV Monitor


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Mahindra works on cargo versions of Xylo


ahindra & Mahindra is learnt to be working on cargo versions of its newest multi-purpose vehicle Xylo. According to sources, the utility vehicle maker has already developed prototypes of a single-cab and a double-cab version at its Nashik plant. The yet to be named models are undergoing tests, sources added. It is believed that the company targets overseas markets, especially the South African region with the cargo versions of the MPV. So far, M&M has not confirmed or denied these reports. It has already launched the Xylo in South Africa. Following the introduction of the Scorpio, M&M had launched pick-up versions of the same in the local market. South Africa has proven to be a potential market for pick-up vehicles. ■

Nano could push down 3-wheeler prices


ndustry experts feel that the Tata Nano could push down prices of passenger 3-wheelers. Tata Motors has priced the base model of Nano at around Rs.1.12 lakh (exshowroom) whereas the three-seater Bajaj RE (petrol) 3-wheeler costs about Rs. 90,000. The diesel version of the three-seater is priced at about Rs.1.2 lakh. Analysts feel that 3-wheeler buyers would rather opt for the Nano which offers better comfort, stability and safety. Though it could hit most 3-wheeler makers, analysts agree that the three-wheeler industry would be able to cope with the challenge. Bajaj Auto has already said that there is enough room in its profit margins to lower prices of its 3-wheelers.The leading player i n

/ Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

the passenger segment has been manufacturing 3-wheelers for about six decades. Experts say that Bajaj’s plants are fully depreciated by now and it will have no problem in lowering product prices. The company presently derives the highest margins from its 3-wheeler products. The passenger segment accounts for about 76 percent of the total 3-wheeler market. Bajaj leads this segment with a 46 percent market share. Meanwhile, some other experts do not see the Nano carving a big piece off the 3-wheeler pie. Tata Motors has announced that only the first 1,00,000

units of the car will carry the Rs.1 lakh price tag. Besides, the manufacturer has not been so keen to deploy the Nano as a commercial vehicle. Meanwhile, Sanjeev Bajaj, executive director of Bajaj Auto said that 3-wheelers offer better fuel efficiency and operating cost which are vital for auto rickshaw drivers. These are also proven, rugged vehicles to take on rural roads. Nano is not the first product to threaten 3-wheelers. Tata Motors’ Ace and Ace Magic have dented the market for larger three-wheelers. Customers in this segment now prefer the 4-wheelers to 3-wheelers, both in urban and rural areas. ■

Continental opens Tata Motors plans truck assembly plant technical centre in Bangalore in Myanmar


ommercial vehicle major Tata Motors plans to set up a heavy truck assembly plant in Myanmar. The staterun news paper ‘New Light of Myanmar’ mentions that officials from the Indian automaker met Myanmar’s minister of energy, Vice-Admiral Soe Thein, to discuss the feasibility of setting up the plant. Tata Motors would set up a heavy turbo truck assembly plant and a component production facility there. The project would be a part of India’s ‘Look Eat’ policy to improve cooperation with ASEAN countries. The policy includes setting up developmental projects in these countries. The Indian government would sanction a substantial line of credit tuned up to Rs.100 crore to facilitate the venture. Though Tata Motors has not spoken anything about the project, the facilities are expected to be operational by the end of this year. It may be noted that Myanmar is presently under military rule. However, new facilities in the neighbouring country would aid Tata Motors commercial vehicle business during the recession. It must be noted that Tata Motors has a pick-up manufacturing facility in neighbouring Thailand in collaboration with Thonburi Automobiles. Besides, Tata Motors is present in South Korea where it makes the Daewoo brand of trucks. This facility caters to the local market and exports products as well. ■


utomotive component manufacturer Continental opened a new technical centre in Bangalore. The company said that it would invest about Rs.150 crore every year for its operations. The centre is the third largest engineering hub of Continental Worldwide, after the ones in Germany and Romania. The new facility has 750 engineers out of which, 600 engineers

work on offshore development projects. The centre will focus on development and testing of engine management systems to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. It will also develop digital tachographs and telematics systems to optimise fleets of commercial vehicles as well as public transport systems. It may be recalled that the company has an existing R&D centre for electronics in Bangalore. The new technical centre will continue to work with current engineering partners KPIT Cummins Infosystems Ltd, Wipro and Siemens Information Systems Ltd. Head of the technical centre Dr. Gunnar Juergens said that the centre would grow by 20 percent every year. Meanwhile, Dr. Markus Distelhoff, managing director of Continental Automotive Components India said that the company will launch some new products this year which are expected to boost growth. Though the Indian operations have recently slowed down, the company stayed away from cutting jobs. ■

90di introduces ‘bus search’ across India


ndian travel search engine (90 Degree Internet) recently added bus availability data to its existing travel search feature. With the new feature, the website now covers more than 6,000 places across the nation. Before this, the site offered information about flight and rail links only. The bus search option, on the website offers links to many places which cannot be reached by flights or railways. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle /

CV monitor / news

NHAI initiates four-laning of Corporation Bank to finance M&M Pune-Solapur Highway

and MNAL vehicles


he National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will widen a 104 kmstretch of the NH-9 which links Pune to Solapur. It will widen the existing 10 metre-wide road between Kasroli and Balpudi to a 60 metre-wide four-lane road. The NHAI plans for a median as well as service roads for the project. The highway authority has started acquiring lands for the purpose. It intends to start construction by this September and to finish the project by mid2012. The Rs.1,000 crore project will be built on the build-operate-transfer (BoT) basis. While the wider highway will ease traffic load, it would also invite high-end buses to ply on the route. ■

ahindra & Mahindra and its newly formed joint venture Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL) signed two MoUs with Corporation Bank for vehicle finance. The bank will be a preferred financier for the entire range of vehicles from the two companies that include commercial vehicles, pick-ups, utility vehicles as well as the utility vehicles. Arun Malhotra, senior vice president, Sales and Customer Care, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said that now the customers will have additional retail finance options. Consumers will also benefit from Corporation Bank’s ‘Corp Mobile Scheme’ that offers greater value, flexibility, convenience with affordability. Meanwhile, Akhilesh Gupta, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Mahindra Navistar Automotives

M&M’s Choudhari becomes TMA president


he Tractors Manufacturers Association (TMA) elected Anjanikumar Choudhari, President of M&M’s Farm Equipment Sector (M&M) as president of the association for 2009-10. Choudhari is also the chairman of Mahindra USA Inc., Mahindra (China) Tractor Co. Ltd., vice chairman of Mahindra Yueda (Yancheng) Tractor Company Limited and a member of the board of Mahindra & Mahindra South Africa (Pty) Limited. Under the leadership of Chaudhari, the Farm Equipment Sector (FES) brought in Punjab Tractors Ltd. under its umbrella and claimed a leading 40 percent share in the domestic tractor market. The company is also among the top three global tractor makers. Chaudhari has succeeded L. D. Mittal as the new TMA President. ■ 10 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Ltd. said that their customers can avail a loan of up to 85 percent of the price of the vehicle. With the agreement, MNAL would have some advantage owing to Corporation Bank’s 1,048 branches across the country to reach upcountry markets. Presently, M&M with over 20 utility vehicle models leads the domestic MUV market. The company has formed Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd. (MNAL), a 51:49 Joint Venture with Navistar Inc. USA to manufacture trucks and buses in the rage of 3.5-49 tons. The JV has set up a Greenfield manufacturing facility at Chakan, Pune and developed products to suit Indian conditions. The two automakers have formed another joint venture to produce diesel engines for medium and heavy commercial vehicles in India. ■

CV monitor / news

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MAN to focus on India, Brazil, Russia and China


ermany-based truck maker MAN AG plans to go for further international expansion, with a special focus on India, Brazil, Russia and China. The company sees increasing demand for transport and energy in these markets in the long term in contrast to the dipping CV sales in its homeland and adjacent markets in Europe. Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive, MAN, said that there is no sign of recovery of the truck market. The depression has badly affected global trade and construction, thereby diminishing demand for trucks. He added that 2009 will be a very difficult year for truck makers. MAN fears a 50 percent drop in truck sales in the first half of the year. The prime concern for the company will be to reduce its 10,000-strong inventory, added Samuelsson. At the same time, he assured that MAN, with a strong capital base and diversified structure, is well-positioned to tackle the slowdown. The company also makes diesel and turbo engines. Business in this segment would remain flat, expected Samuelsson. The company has also prepared a road map for cost savings to the tune of 500 million Euro, in its commercial vehicle

operations in 2009. It targets to save up to 250 million Euro from just labour related costs. Among other plans, the truck maker wants to reduce the number of supervisory board members from 20 to 16. Meanwhile, it could add labour representatives from other European operations outside Germany. The company said that 75 percent of its total revenue comes from the international market. In line with its plans to expand at the global level, the company intends to

change its legal form from MAN AG (Aktiengesellschaft) to MAN SE (Societas Europaea). It may be recalled that the company recently acquired the Brazilian heavy truck business of Volkswagen. The latter is the largest shareholder in MAN and has a controlling stake in Swedish truck maker Scania. Volkswagen now plans to form a European truck alliance and benefit from synergies between its own commercial vehicles operations, MAN and Scania. ■

Caterpillar India sheds jobs


ources reveal that the Indian arm of construction equipment maker Caterpillar shed about 200 employees in the last 3-4 months. The move is believed to be a part of the company’s costcutting efforts to deal with the downturn. Although the company did not give any details, it acknowledged taking these steps to respond to the global recession. Sources add that the company removed these staff on account of poor performance. Some fear that Caterpillar India could shed more jobs in the range of 800 to 900 personnel in near future. The company has also gone for about 15-20 percent pay cut for the existing employees. Globally, the construction equipment maker has already cut more than 22,000 jobs since this January. ■

12 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Shortage of quality buses being felt


hirty five cities eligible under the JNNURM scheme to procure about 18,000 buses face difficulties in meeting the deadline. As part of the bus stimulus package, the government had announced part funding of replacements for old buses. The move also aimed at clearing the inventories of bus makers and boosting demand. The centre wanted the process to be completed by June 30. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) was one of the first city transport bodies to invite tender for procuring 1,000 buses. The corporation however said that bus makers could provide only 20 to 30 percent of the required number by the deadline. The JNNURM guidelines specified that at least 20 percent of the buses have to be low-floor with floor height between 385mm and 400 mm. The remainder could be semi-low floor (650850 mm) and ordinary (900 mm) models, it noted. BMTC said that the low-floor buses are quite expensive. Besides, the production rate of such buses is slow in India. Accordingly, the transport body decided to buy 200 low-floor, 100 semi-low floor and 700 ordinary buses. Following

the tender process, BMTC decided to acquire the ordinary buses from Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. The low-floor buses would be acquired from Volvo, hinted the transport body. The economic slump had resulted in a build up of inventories at bus makers’ end that stood at around 8,000 units. Mean-

while, bus manufacturers with their current production capacity will be unable to provide another 10,000 buses by the deadline. Insiders feel that under such a scenario, all city transport bodies eligible to buy buses under the scheme should request the department of urban development to extend the deadline. ■

Temporary shutdown at Volvo facility


igh-end CV maker Volvo has decided to shutdown its Hoskote plant near Bangalore, for 30 days in April and May. The company said that it temporarily halted the assembly line for trucks and bus chassis to rationalise production. Sources added that there has been substantial drop in exports which pushed the company to bring down production. In the last fiscal, Volvo produced 1,550 trucks out of which it exported 550 units to South Korea. As for the buses, the company has received domestic orders for 260 units. Out of this, 140 city buses will go to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) while buyers from Karnataka and Maharashtra will purchase 120 intercity buses. Volvo said that it has sufficient inventory of bus chassis for the domestic market. The temporary shutdown will affect about 160 workers of the shopfloor. Meanwhile, Volvo maintained that there has been no change in the plant’s other activities related to parts warehousing, service centre, office administration and training. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 13

CV monitor / news

Daimler to go ahead with CV project without Hero


he Hero Group has pulled out of Daimler Hero Commercial Vehicle Ltd. (DHCV) which was a 40:60 joint venture between itself and Daimler Trucks. The decision came after a mutual agreement between the two partners. The Hero Group said that it intends to focus on its core business in view of the economic slowdown and declining market condition. The group will return its 40 percent stake to Daimler. The Indian CV industry declined by 22 percent (in unit sales) during the 08-09 fiscal. Daimler has of course not been deterred by this dismal number. It has indicated that it will proceed with the commercial vehicle project in India. The company considers India to be one of the most promising truck markets in the world. Andreas Renschler, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management Renschler said that the current economic situation will not change Daimler’s longterm strategy for BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) markets. Following Hero’s withdrawal, the CV project will be a 100 percent Daimler company. According to Renschler, Daimler understands that there would be some impact of the downturn on Indian market as well. The realignment of the JV could actually prove to be a blessing in disguise. ‘It will give us more time since Daimler Trucks will not position its trucks during an economic downturn’ reasoned Renschler. That said, there is no change in the plan to manufacture trucks in India. It is ex14 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

pected that the Mitsubishi Fuso range will be introduced in India, starting with the Light and Medium Commercial Vehicle segment. The product line will see 6- to16tonne trucks. Furthermore, it plans to make heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Axor trucks in the 25, 32, 40-and 49-tonne categories. The company intends to offer a ‘value for money’ proposition with these products. It may be recalled that Daimler has already introduced the premium Actros series of trucks and a luxury bus model in the domestic market on its own. The company is learnt to have roped in a product and engineering solutions provider Ricardo UK Ltd to develop engines and other cost-saving products. DHCV had already invested Euro 24 million and is setting up a truck manu-

facturing facility near Chennai. Daimler Trucks intends to invest over Euro 700 million in India over the next four years. With completely new generation products under its brand, Daimler Trucks sees India as more than just a market. It plans to export products from here at a later stage. DHCV will be renamed following the transfer of shares. Marc Llistosella will continue as the CEO of the company. Currently, the JV employs about 280 people. Although the two firms have parted ways, Sunil Kant Munjal, chairman of the Hero Corporate Service noted that his company will continue to explore doing business with Daimler in the future. Renschler too reiterated that Hero Group’s expertise regarding the Indian market remains important for his company. â–

Apollo launches 49-inch OTR tyre


pollo Tyres’ Limda plant in Gujarat has started manufacturing XTRAX branded off-the-road (OTR) tyres. The 49-inch tyre meant for 90-tonner dumper trucks stands over eight feet high and weighs 1.1 tonne. Satish Sharma, Chief, India Operations, Apollo Tyres Ltd, said that following the acquisition of Dunlop, South Africa, they added its’ OTR products to their portfolio. He stated that manufacturing such big and specialised tyres requires advanced technologies and skills. Each XTRAX 49-inch tyre is made of 850 kg rubber, 170 kg fabric and more than 35 kg bead wire. Besides, producing each tyre from raw materials takes about 24 hours. The Limda plant had to add new infrastructure such as special conveyor belts to move these tyres inside the factory. Besides, loading the tyres onto trucks requires a crane. At present, the domestic market for OTR tyres is estimated to be worth Rs.700 crore. Products offered by Indian tyre makers range from 24 to 49-inches. According to Automotive Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), the OTR tyre segment witnessed a 9 percent growth in April-December 2008 as against the same period the previous year. â–

TATA Ryerson’s plate processing centre in AP


ATA Ryerson Ltd (TRyL), a joint venture between TATA Steel and US-based Ryerson, set up a plate processing and fabrication centre at Tada, Andhra Pradesh that will to cater to the domestic earthmoving and construction equipment (ECE) market. The JV invested Rs.50 crore to set up the facility. TRyL’s services will include plasma and laser cutting, shearing, press bending and welding of plates for carbon steel, alloy steel as well as very high strength and high hardness steel. The company will benefit from its proximity to construction equipment makers such as Komatsu and Caterpillar near Chennai, Volvo and L&T near Bangalore, and Telcon in Dharwad. â–

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CV monitor / news

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Tata, M&M plan 0.5 tonne commercial vehicles


ahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors are learnt to be developing four-wheeled, 0.5-tonne LCVs. The utility vehicle maker M&M is already believed to have developed a prototype. However, the company refused to comment on the issue, saying that at any given point of time, it works on a number of prototypes. Tata Motors too had indicated that it would launch a line-up of products in 2009. It also talked of applying the Nano-idea to commercial vehicles in order to offer cheaper products. The company is learnt to be working on a ‘Project Penguin’ involving a vehicle smaller than the Ace. The one-tonner and sub-1 tonner LCVs have proved to be somewhat recessionproof models in recent times. While most of the leading commercial vehicle makers witnessed drastic fall in demand for heavy-duty and medium-duty vehicles, the mini-trucks reported positive figures. Sales trends indicate that the market could at least partially be shifting from threewheelers towards 4-wheeled mini CVs.

R Buyers prefer this category of vehicles owing to better stability, safety and easy manoeuvrability in congested city areas. The segment could also see a new small pick-up from Bajaj Auto Ltd. Besides,

M&M is expected to launch a 0.8-tonne, 4-wheeled vehicle by the end of this year. Players like Piaggio and Force Motors are also expected to show off new products in the sub-2 tonne LCV space. ■

MRF reports Rs.68 crore net profit in Q4


yre major MRF Ltd. reported a net profit of Rs.68 crore in the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2009. The drop in raw material prices, especially those of rubber helped the company to improve margins. It may be recalled that the tyre maker had posted a net loss of Rs.38 crore in Q1 owing to rubber prices going north. The price of the key raw material hovered above Rs.100 a kg during the first quarter but fell to around Rs.75 per kg by January 2009. About 2.11 lakh tonnes of piled up inventory of natural rubber played a major role in making positive business during the fourth quarter. However, MRF is concerned about the prices rising again, touching about Rs.95 per kilogram. Factors like the lower production and depleting stocks along with a reviving auto industry are exacerbating the demand supply gap. ■

…MRF plants bag excellence awards Two of the tyre makers’ plants received TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance) Excellence Award from Japan Institute of Plant Management recently. The units at Arkkonnam and Goa bagged the awards for successfully implementing TPM principles under the guidance of CII and the Japanese Institute. The principles focusing on motivating employees to obtain desired objectives resulted in improved productivity and quality of products. In addition, the measures emphasised on fuel consumption, adherence to delivery and safety norms besides other cost control methods. MRF said that it introduced the principles at its other units in Chennai, Puducherry, Medak and Kottayam. 16 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Vectra-Kamaz to produce heavy trucks in India ussian truck maker Kamaz has formalised a joint venture with the Vectra Group to enter the heavy-duty truck market in India. The joint venture has proposed an initial investment of about Rs.65 crore to produce the Kamaz range of 6x4 and 8x4 multi-axle trucks. Vectra, the manufacturer of Tatra range of trucks, will partly modify its Hosur plant in Bangalore, to produce about 5,000 Kamaz trucks over the next 2-3 years. Akhat Urmanov, deputy director-general, (Sales and Servicing), Kamaz said that the joint venture is looking at entering a segment that lies between mass market products from Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland at one end and the likes of Volvo, Mercedes-Benz at the other. Right from the start, the JV intends to localise 30 percent of the products. Local components would include gear boxes at the initial phase to engines at a later stage. The joint venture plans to sell about 1,000 trucks during this fiscal. It targets a 10 percent share in the domestic market in a couple of years. Besides the usual customers, the company plans to sell the Kamaz range of multi-axle trucks to armed forces of India

and neighbouring countries as well. The Indian defence forces are already customers of Vectra’s Tatra products. R.K. Rishi, director of Vectra said that with the Kamaz trucks, the JV would get orders from Israel and Russia besides other countries. Urmanov said that the Indian market is certainly in a better condition than that of Russia. While the Russian auto industry is facing a tough time, he expected that the slowdown in India will be over by the end of this year. On a long –term basis, Kamaz intends to develop significant

revenues from India’s heavy duty market. Urmanov further added that Kamaz might line up more investments in India to produce 15,000 units of trucks over the next five years. Denis Trifonoff, Kamaz’s regional director for the Asia-Pacific region noted that the company’s Indian operation would be a hub for neighbouring countries as well as Africa. Meanwhile, Rishi added that the JV is mulling over introducing CNG-run city and intercity buses in the domestic market. The Russian partner has ready products in its portfolio. ■

VECV opens new component unit in MP


olvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) opened a new facility of Eicher Engineering components at Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. VECV which acquired Eicher Engineering Components in June 2006 invested more than Rs.50 crore for the latter’s expansion and technology upgradation. The factory is now equipped with high-tech machines like CNC hobbing, shaping, heat treatment furnace, out-diameter and inner-diameter grinding. Recently, it had received the TS-16949 quality certification. The unit has a monthly production capacity of one lakh gears. It also has the capability to manufacture crown wheel pinions. The Dewas plant will cater to the need of VECV, as also other domestic and international OEMs. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 17

CV monitor / news

Mahindra’s second Chinese tractor venture operational BEML opens assembly unit in Brazil


EML set up a facility in Rio de Janeiro to assemble various products for mining & construction, rail & metro and defence sectors. The unit, BEML Brasil Industrial Ltda will not only cater to the local market but also other adjacent markets. The full-fledged plant will promote sales and service in most Latin American nations including Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname. The unit also looks forward to ‘contract mining’. It may be noted that the region is the largest mining bowl of the world. BEML targets a turnover of USD 10 million by 2012. ■


&M’s second tractor venture in China-Mahindra Yueda Yancheng Tractor Company recently commenced operation. Its facility, with a capacity of 38,000 units started rolling out the top-end 125HP tractors. The product line of the JV will include tractors ranging from 16HP to 125HP models. Anjanikumar Choudhari, president, Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd said that the facility will cater to the local

market as well as export markets. Mahindra FES has another Chinese venture Mahindra China Tractor Company Ltd. The parent company entered into a second venture through Mahindra Overseas Investment Company (Mauritius) Ltd. that holds 51 percent share in the Mahindra Yueda Yancheng Tractor Company. M&M has been keen on the fast-growing Chinese tractor market that is witnessing a combined annual growth rate of about 32 percent. ■

Tata Motors and ALL sales slide in 2008-09


ata Motors reported a drop by 15 percent in 2008-09. The company sold a total of 2,65,012 commercial vehicles in domestic and international markets. During the previous

18 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

fiscal, it had notched up sales of 3,13,360 units. Its cumulative sales for medium and heavy commercial vehicles stood at 1,13,674 units, a 32 percent fall as against last year. Meanwhile, LCV sales for the fiscal 2008-09 stood at 1,51,338 units showing a three percent rise over the previous year. In March, the automaker sold a total of 29,006 CVs in the domestic market showing a 24 percent growth over February 2009. However, the figure was 19 percent lower than 35,993 units registered in March 2008.

No.2 CV maker Ashok Leyland Ltd. (ALL) reported a huge drop in sales during 2008-09. The automaker sold a total of 54,444 units of MDV and LCVs during the fiscal, a 35 percent fall in comparison to the previous year’s figure. In 2007-08, ALL had sold 83,307 units. The company’s 2008 domestic sales figure for passenger vehicles stood at 16,049 (17,572 units in FY 2007) whereas exports figure was 3,696 (4,688 units in FY 2007). The company sold 31,069 units of goods MDV in the domestic market and exported 2,280 units during fiscal 2008. Last year’s figures were 57,835 and 2,389 respectively. LCV sales however, bucked the negative trend, reaching 1,350 units in comparison to the 823 units sold in FY 08. ■

CV monitor / news

Centre extends depreciation benefits for CVs


he Centre has extended the duration of accelerated depreciation benefits on commercial vehicles by six months. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) announced that the benefit of enhanced depreciation on commercial vehicles has been extended up to September 30, 2009. In December 2008, the centre had announced a 50 percent depreciation benefit on commercial vehicles bought during the January-March 2009 period. The initiative boosted sales during the quarter as customers benefited from a lower tax burden. In January, sales of commercial vehicles increased by about 22 percent as against that in December. In February, sales further grew on the back of a 2 percent reduction in excise duty announced during the month. The moves helped CV makers in the country which had witnessed a drastic fall in sales in December. Tata Motors which had sold 4,811 units of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in December, managed to sell more than 12,300 units in March. Similarly, Ashok Leyland sold 4,366 units of CVs in the domestic market in comparison to 1,376 units in December 2008. Although month-on-month sales figures are positive since January, the year-on-year front CV sales were down 22 percent. That is why the centre thinks that extending the depreciation benefit until September 2009 would be a good idea. Experts believe that the extended benefit would help in stabilising demand as well. All said and done, the CV industry believes that recovery may yet take another year to happen. ■

20 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

news / cv monitor

FIPB approves ALL, John Deere JV


he Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) gave a green signal to the proposed joint venture between John Deere Construction and Forestry Company (JDCFC) and Ashok Leyland Ltd (ALL). The JV, designed to distribute and market the former’s construction equipment in India was stalled as Telco Construction Equip-

ment (Telcon) had raised an objection. Telcon had a license agreement with John Deere till July 2006 to manufacture Deere branded backhoe loaders for the domestic market. Following an expiry of the agreement, Telcon had sought to continue using the brand name. But John Deere allegedly did not respond. Telcon then objected to the recent Deere-ALL JV proposal, stating that its own products could be harmed by the JV. The Tata Group company denied a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the JV as required by Press Note 1 under FDI guidelines. However, the FIPB panel rejected Telcon’s plea saying that the company’s agreement with John Deere has already expired by now. Hence, the NOC is unnecessary for the JV. ■

Cummins India merges two subsidiaries


ngine maker Cummins India Ltd (CIL) merged two of its wholly-owned subsidiaries Cummins Sales and Service India Ltd. (CSS) and Cummins Auto Services Ltd. (CASL) with itself. CSS is involved in sales and aftersales service for Cummins engines and generators in India, Nepal and Bhutan. CASL on the other hand deals with retailing auto components and provides comprehensive maintenance and service solution for commercial vehicles in the domestic market. The parent com-

Caterpillar joins Navistar Volkswagen pessimistic to make heavy trucks about CV market


onstruction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar signed a deal with Navistar International Corp. to produce heavy-duty trucks for North America. The partners will develop the products at Navistar’s Garland facility in Texas. The models will be introduced in late 2010, with full production expected to start in early 2011. The ‘Caterpillar’ branded trucks will be sold and serviced exclusively by North American Caterpillar dealers.


erman auto maker Volkswagen AG which reported a positive trend in the commercial vehicle business in 2008, fears a downbeat 2009. The company recently said that the economic crisis continues to lower demand for CV products. Volkswagen added that its commercial vehicle division could witness a downtrend this year. The company reaffirmed its long-term growth objectives that include selling 7.5 lakh light commercial vehicles in 2018. It said that the commercial vehicles market will grow in the long term. VW further added that it will increase its market share by focusing on its core business which includes products like pickups, panel vans and their variants. The automaker plans to introduce a new pickup in South America at the end of 2009. Later on, the model will be launched in Europe as well. Further, Volkswagen plans to introduce new variants of the T5, Caddy and Crafter. The automaker would also focus on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) markets, it noted. ■

The two companies also formed a 50:50 joint venture to develop, manufacture and distribute commercial trucks outside North America and India. Last year, both the partners had announced the joint development of on-highway trucks and engine platforms for international markets. The joint venture’s product will be cobranded. The first product is expected to be introduced in the third quarter of 2009. ■

WABCO Introduces OptiDrive

W pany CIL, which makes diesel and natural gas engines for automobiles as well as besides other sectors, took the step as part of its strategy to integrate businesses, to build a stronger unified brand. ■

ABCO Holdings Inc. has introduced a new modular automated manual transmission system named OptiDrive. WABCO, a tier-1 supplier to the commercial vehicle industry said that the system can be easily adapted to an existing manual transmission without

changing it. OptiDrive offers fully automatic gear changing mode as well as manual operation. It also optimises the gear shifting process thereby improving vehicle control and driver comfort. WABCO claims that OptiDrive significantly contributes to increased fuel efficiency by facilitating gear

shifting at the most effective speed. HansJurgen Sander, vice president, WABCO Driveline Control claimed that the system was one of the most creatively engineered products in his company’s global portfolio. He added that OptiDrive has a high degree of modularity which will aid CV makers and transmission manufacturers in marketing the product easily. The company has high expectations from BRIC countries in terms of this product. China National Heavy Truck Corporation (CNHTC) became the world’s first OEM to adopt the OptiDrive system in volume production of its new flagship truck series. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 21

CV monitor / news

news / cv monitor

FAW, Ural India consider bus production from WB


hina-based automobile company FAW Group Corporation and Ural India Ltd. are contemplating a joint venture to produce low-floor city buses in West Bengal. A team of FAW and Ural India recently met Buddhadeb Bhattachajee, chief minister, West Bengal to discuss related issues. FAW which has an existing collaboration with Ural India, proposed to start production from the latter’s truck manufacturing unit in Haldia. J.K. Saraf, chairman of Ural India agreed to the proposition. The truckmaking company already has 200 acres of land in Haldia. The state government had offered an additional 300 acres for expansion. Saraf said that after the expansion, Ural India can manufacture buses on behalf of FAW. Sources reveal that the first of the products would be a world-class, 50seater low-floor bus. FAW has said that

35 percent of the product would be localised and sourced from domestic auto component makers. Saraf added that the companies would come up with a sample production of the low-floor buses by May. Following approval of it, the venture could go for main production in a month. Meanwhile, West Bengal transport minister Subhas Chakraborty has said that his department is interested in buying these buses. The state government is making efforts to get FAW to manufacture minibuses, mini-trucks as well as cars in West Bengal. According to sources, the Chinese automaker needs about 600 to 1,000 acres of land for setting up more facilities. According to another source, FAW and Saraf Group are in talks to invest up to Rs.1,000 crore for the automotive venture. As for the bus business, the low-floor models are expected to hit the road by the end of this year. ■

Tata ‘World Truck’ to hit the roads soon


ata Motors is expected to roll out its ‘World Truck’ models by the end of this month. The leading domestic CV maker has developed the completely new range of trucks in collaboration with its Korean subsidiary Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles. The World Truck models will sport engines in the range of 185HP to 565HP. However, the company would at least initially, only introduce the sub-300HP models in the domestic market. These trucks will compete with products from the likes of Volvo, MercedesBenz and MAN albeit at very competitive rates. Sources close to the development reveal that the feature-loaded, 22 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

high-end World Trucks will only be 5-10 percent more expensive in comparison to current models. It is learnt that Tata Motors would gradually replace its existing range of medium and heavy trucks with the new product line.

However, considering the difficult market conditions, the automaker has indicated that it would continue to offer its existing range of trucks for some time. The higher powered models will be exported to various international markets. ■

WIAA to train Volvo fears 40 Gujarat Police drivers percent drop in EU truck market


he Gujarat Traffic Police has emphasised on honing the skills of staff drivers in the state police department. With modern road infrastructures coming up in cities, the department is keen on updating the skills of its drivers. The state police drivers usually undergo training at the Drivers Training Institute, Gandhinagar. The state police have chosen the Western Indian Automobile Association (WIAA) which will impart advanced skills in driving. Though the state police and WIAA have not finalised on the training courses, the association indicated that it would impart refresher courses of durations ranging from a day to six months. It categorised the drivers in to three segments-those who drive heavy commercial vehicles, cars and motorcycles. The course syllabus includes managing heavy traffic, techniques of identifying different roads, negotiating new roads and new vehicles as well as working on road psychology and presence of mind. The association will also impart knowledge regarding maintenance of vehicles. In addition to this, it will train drivers how to handle emergency situations. Pilot personnel who lead police convoys would be trained for optimum speed and accurate road signage. WIAA, the Mumbai-headquartered association has a motoring institute in Ahmedabad which is being run in conjunction with Castrol. The Ahmedabad police will be the first to undergo training from WIAA. The police department indicated that staff drivers in other cities will be trained as new road infrastructures come up in their regions. ■


eif Johansson, chief executive of major auto maker AB Volvo fears that the heavy truck market in Europe could drop by 40 percent in 2009. According to him, the European truck market would see a total sales figure between 1,80,000 and 200,000 units in 2009. The figure for the previous year stood at 3,18,700 units. Johansson blamed the credit crisis as the chief culprit. He acknowledged that prospective buyers are facing difficulties in getting loans. In February, Volvo’s global truck sales witnessed a 51 percent drop, whereas sales figure in Europe was more disappointing with a 63 percent fall. Western Europe, the US and Japan are the worst hit markets. Meanwhile, markets in China and India are recovering, Johansson cited. Apart from trucks, there was a sharp decline in demand for bus and heavy equipment. The company has shed about 16,000 jobs globally since September 2008. It laid off around 8,000 personnel in Sweden. The company could go for more layoffs, hinted Johansson. However he expected truck demand to pick up by the end of 2009. ■

Tata Motors’ new Starbus range in Maharashtra


ndustry leader Tata Motors launched a new range of Starbus in Maharashtra. The automaker manufactures the products at its Dharwad-based Tata Marcopolo Motors Limited (TMML) plant. The company will sell the new models as fully-built buses and coaches. The products can be used as route bus, school bus or staff bus, said Tata Motors. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 23

CV monitor / news

news / cv monitor

Mercurio-Pallia JV enters auto logistics market


talian logistics company Gruppo Mercurio has formed a 50:50 joint venture with domestic company Pallia Transport to cater the automotive

logistics market in India. The venture Mercurio Pallia Logistics will procure about 100 trailers over the next year to offer services, primarily in the car transporta-

Mumbai to have 1,250 Santro taxis


yundai has stepped into the taxi market by introducing its Santro model in Mumbai. The second largest car maker in India handed over the first lot of cars to the Mumbai Taxi Union recently. The Taxi and Autorickshaw Welfare Sangh of the city chose to run 30 Santro cars initially on the Mumbai road. It may be noted that the Maharashtra state government has decided to phase out ageing taxis because of safety and environmental issues. Accordingly, taxis over 25 years will be phased out by the end of this year. This opens up a market of about 7,000 cars. Hyundai aims to sell around 1,250 Santro taxis. It said that 500 out of this would be AC models. Hyundai said that the Santro offers a huge amount of interior space and comfort to passengers. At the same time, reliability and low-maintenance will benefit the taxi-owner. The automaker is offering the car at a special price of Rs. 2,42,500 exclusively for the taxi segment in Mumbai. The company said that its dealers will facilitate colouring the car black-and-yellow. Hyundai Motor India’s senior general manager (National Sales), DC Seol indicated that the company wanted to breakthrough the Mumbai taxi market with the Santro model. ■ 24 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

tion segment. The company informed that it has already placed orders for 20 trailers with Tata Motors. Vipul Nanda, managing director of the newly formed JV said that so far, domestic players in the sector offered services between the factory and dealers. And that the JV intends to offer end-to-end solutions and more value-added services to its clients. Nanda added that the company will be benefited from the Italian partner’s expertise in stockyard management and pre-delivery inspection. Andrea Conti, chairman of Grouppo Mercurio noted that the Indian automotive market is posed to be a significant growth hub. Presently, the domestic auto logistics market is estimated to be worth Rs.2,000 crore per year. The JV informed that it is also doing a feasibility study for car transportation in rail wagons. ■

MMG, AEM plan construction equip. show in India

Maharashtra plans RFID tags for CVs


s part of a modernisation programme for state border check-posts, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) plans to tag commercial vehicles with Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID). The state road authority has embarked on a Rs.1,571 crore project for modernisation and integration of all 22 check-posts to simplify services while cutting down on time. It would tag all commercial vehicles with the device which is a small adhesive sticker with an in-built microchip. The tag will store information about the vehicle, driver, goods, etc that can be read from a distance of 30 feet by systems installed at check-posts. Riding on this hi-tech method, staff at the check-post can prepare excise and sales tax invoices instantly. With this technology, the MSRDC expects that it will take barely three minutes to clear a goods carrier to pass through a checkpost. Tagging vehicles will also help the authority to have a central database of vehicles, drivers and owners. Sources informed that the MSRDC would not charge to tag vehicles for the first time. However, replacement of the device would cost anywhere up to Rs.500, they added. The modernisation project has been awarded to a joint venture of Sadbhav Engineering and SREI Infrastructure Finance. The JV expects to complete the project in about 18 months.■

JK Tyre introduces Ultra-Large OTR tyres


esse Munchen GmbH (MMG) and the US-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) entered into an agreement to hold a construction equipment trade show in India in 2011. MMG is the organiser of the Bauma exhibition that is touted to be largest trade show dedicated to the construction equipment market. Eugen Egetenmeir, deputy managing director, MMG noted that Indian industry has given a positive response for such a show in India. The two groups plan to establish a joint venture to run the show. ■


K Tyre entered to the Ultra-Large OTR tyre segment with 18.00-33, 21.00-35, 24.00-35 sizes tyres. The tyre major which has been an exist-

ing player in the off-the-road tyre market, entered into a joint venture with BEML to supply the Ultra-Large tyres. The latter manufactures large earth moving equipment for Coal India that happens to be one of the biggest customers of OTR tyres in the world. The tyre maker has already delivered the first consignment of 24.00-3548 PR tyres. Each of these tyres weighs about 750 kg, and stands about 7-feet tall. The biggest tyre to be supplied to BEML is a 12-feet

tall 40.00-5758 PR tyre that weighs about 3,700 kilogram. The company designed the tyres in collaboration with HASETRI (Hari Shankar Singhania Elastomer and Tyre Research Institute) and other Development Wing and Service Experts. JK Tyre is investing Rs.120 crore to expand its manufacturing facility at Mysore to produce the Ultra-Large OTR Tyres. The company targets completion of the expansion project by March 2010. According to Dr. R.P. Singhania, vice chairman & managing director, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd., the expansion envisages a doubling of production capacity of the plant. The company plans to export OTR tyres starting next year. It targets North American as well as Latin American markets. The tyre maker has free access to countries of North America Free Trade Agreement trade block. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 25

aggressive move


jcb / aggressive move

JCB opens world’s largest backhoe plant

enable JCB India to rise to the ever-present challenges of infrastructure development and the new opportunities that economic recovery will bring,’ he says. For the record, the 13,500 machines sold by JCB India in 2008, constitute 23 percent of JC Bamford Excavators Limited’s global sales.

India’s no.1 construction equipment manufacturer underlines its faith in the market. Story Munish Shekhavat


he Dancing Diggers wowed spectators as JCB inaugurated the world’s largest backhoe manufacturing plant at Ballabhgarh. Entailing an investment of Rs 300 crore, over a period of two years, the existing factory’s capacity has been doubled to 100 backhoes per day. The earlier plant area of 24,000 sq m has now grown to 33,574 sq m, inclusive of an assembly line, paint shop, fabrication, transmission, logistics, utility, pre-delivery inspection and hot test area. Speaking on the occasion, JCB Chairman, Sir Anthony Bamford was understandably proud of the achievement. ‘When this factory first opened in 1979, it was a small, low volume manufacturing facility. Today it is the largest backhoe loader factory in the world, an achievement

which fills me with immense pride’, he says. The Ballabgarh plant holds a special place for JCB since it was the company’s first facility built outside the UK. ‘Our factories in India are among the best in the world and the products they make are second-to-none. I look forward to seeing the backhoe and the heavy excavator shaping the Indian landscape over the next 30 years and even beyond’, he adds. Backhoe loaders are the largest selling products for JCB, globally as well as in India. Despite the slowdown, JCB India has maintained its 75 percent market share in this segment even as the overall market crashed from close to 21,000 units in 2007 to 16,000 units in 2008. JCB India sold 12,000 machines in 2008 as against 15,700 machines in 2007. But the company is not only about backhoes. In 2007, it kickstart-

JCB India has held on to its share of 75 percent, despite a de-growth in the backhoe market.

Sir Anthony Bamford, is justifiably proud of the Ballabgarh plant, that started out very small indeed.

ed operations at two plants in Pune. While one manufactures (8-21 tonne) excavators, wheeled loaders and compactors, the other puts out key components and aggregates for JCB’s global operations. ‘The backhoe loader will continue to be our flagship product in India. However, we expect heavy excavators to increas-

ingly define our future in India as the country continues to develop and needs larger equipment to do so. JCB’s $75 million investment in its Pune plant positions us very well to take advantage of the growing demand for excavators, wheel loaders and compactors’, feels Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive Officer JCB. In the excavator arena, JCB India sold almost 800 units in 2008, registering a market share of 9 percent in the 9,000 units Indian market. Similarly, 500 wheel loaders were put out in 2008, offering the company 30 percent of the 1,650 nos. market. In 2007, the market shares for excavators and wheeled loaders were lower- at 6 percent and 29 percent respectively. The compactors have also registered healthy numbers in a small market. The healthy mix of old and new products in its portfolio means that JCB India has expanded its overall market share in the construction equipment market from 50 percent in 2007 to 53 percent in 2008. This represents a silver lining amidst lower sales

numbers. Turnover dipped from Rs 3,500 crore in 2007 to Rs 3,000 crore in 2008 as unit sales fell from 17,000 units to 13,500 units during the same period. However, the overall Indian construction equipment market crashed faster - from 34,000 units in 2007 to 25,500 units in 2008. But, JCB is not too perturbed. It has an eye on the big picture. Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India Ltd said. ‘One in every two items of construction equipment manufactured in India is a JCB. We have sold over 80,000 machines here since 1979, which is an outstanding achievement. We are sure that the recent investments in Ballabgarh and Pune will

Guarded optimism Tentative signs of revival are on the way. ‘The first quarter of this year has been 20 percent better than the fourth quarter of 2008. There are encouraging signs, given that commodity prices are down and nationalised banks are lending to our customers. Certain infrastructure projects have been moving, albeit slowly. We expect better things to come post-elections,’ states Amit Gossain, General Manager, Business Development and Marketing, JCB India. JCB’s machines, command a 25-30 percent higher resale value, compared to competing products. This assurance of a higher lifecycle benefits motivates customers to opt for these yellow machines despite the difficult economic conditions. JCB India has also extended its distribution network from 9 dealers and 12 outlets in 1987 to 48 dealers and over 320 outlets in 2009. Further, Gossain does not rule out JCB introducing a captive financing set up in India to help customers. ‘Globally, JCB has a finance arm. At the moment, there are no plans to introduce this outfit in India. But, we are not ruling out that possibility in the future,’ he clarifies. ■

Vipin Sondhi believes that India’s economic recovery will afford JCB good growth opportunities

The plant’s capacity stands at 100 backhoes per day.

26 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Despite being late entrants, JCB India’s excavators have made a strong impression in the crowded market place.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 27

sizing up


setco / sizing up

Udit Sheth says that LCV segment would be a logical extension for Setco to get into once the company can deliver a strong USP.

Setco sets S the pace

Setco manufactures clutches ranging from 13 to 17 inches in diameter for medium and heavy commercial vehicles.

With a portfolio consisting of clutches, hydraulic actuators and hydraulic pressure convertors Setco is quite competent to address a cross section of the auto industry Story Ahfaaz Khan Photography Sawan Sekhar Hembram and Setco 28 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

ETCO Automotive Limited, one of the largest clutch manufacturers in the country, predominantly caters to medium and heavy commercial vehicles. It offers the Lipe brand of clutches ranging from 13 to 17 inches in diameter. Setco acquired the Lipe clutch division from DANA Corporation in 2005-06. ‘Initially the company was our technical collaborator. But when it fell into difficult times, we bought out the division. The acquisition fell in line with our expansion plans,’ says Udit Sheth, executive director, Setco Automotive Limited. Recently, Setco has developed a clutch for a Mahindra-Navistar truck that will be launched shortly in India. ‘The truck is built on an American platform and since

LIPE also originates from the same country, we had a more or less ready product,’ adds Sheth. Modifying a clutch for a different market takes about three to six months. However if a clutch is to be developed completely from scratch, then the time taken would be around 9-12 months and sometimes, even more. For instance, the 17-inch clutch recently introduced by Setco in India took more than two years to develop. Currently, all R&D and testing activities are carried out at Setco’s UK Plant. This plant also caters to prominent vehicle manufacturers like Paccar, BMC, Sisu, ACMAT and GAZ besides servicing the aftermarket requirements of Volvo, MAN, Mercedes, DAF and Iveco in the UK. Setco’s other plant is located in Tennessee, USA. This plants supplies to International Trucks and General Motors’ trucking division though it primarily caters to aftermarkets in North and South America. Setco’s other two plants are located in Kalol (Gujarat) and Sitarganj (Uttarakhand) respectively. The Kalol plant has a capacity to manufacture 1 million clutches a year. It caters to customers like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, VECV and Mahindra. The production from the Kalol plant is also exported to Africa, Middle-East and South-East Asia. Setco is also planning to set up another facility which will be dedicated to exports. Currently, ceramic clutches account for 75 percent of production at Kalol. Ceramic

clutches are relatively more friction resistant and have 2-3 times more life than organic clutches. The former also offers more power during the initial stages of vehicle acceleration. As a result, these clutches are best suited for trucks. On the other hand, the more expensive organic clutches, have the benefit of offering smoother acceleration. Therefore, these clutches are used in buses. The Kalol plant acts as a feeder unit to Setco’s three other plants, where clutches can be assembled. A clutch primarily consists of two parts, a cover assembly and a clutch plate. The clutch plate consists of about 12 components, whereas a cover assembly consists of another 24 components. Of these 36 components, friction material is sourced from Austria while springs and castings are bought from local suppliers. The rest of the components, such as press and machine parts are made in-house in Kalol. The outsourced components except friction materials, are given finishing touches, following which they are dispatched to the other three plants. In the case of the UK and US plants, the friction material is directly shipped from Austria to respective destinations. Setco’s Sitarganj plant was inaugurated only last month. This plant also has a capacity to assemble one million clutches. Setco has decided to use Sitarganj to cater to the domestic aftermarket. ‘There are almost 1.5 million trucks on Indian roads.

In a vast majority of cases, clutch failure occurs because of a faulty actuation system.

And because of their duty cycles, a clutch needs to be changed after every 18 months. So the aftermarket has huge potential for us,’ remarks Sheth. JV with FTE Currently the LCV space remains unaddressed and Setco seems to be in no immediate hurry to get into it. There are a couple of reasons for this line of thought. Says Sheth, ‘Earlier, we used to make clutches for LCVs. But when Euro norms were introduced in 1998, we realised that there would be need to introduce new products at significant investments. So, we decided

Ceramic clutches are more powerful and friction resistant. They are therefore primarily used in trucks.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 29

sizing up / setco

15 to 20 percent of Setco’s consolidated turnover comes from hydraulic parts for construction equipment.

to restrict ourselves to MHCVs.’ The other reason for Setco not getting into LCVs is because of strong competition in this segment. ‘A number of companies supply clutches to the LCV segment. Entering that market makes sense only if we have a new technology or solution,’ remarks Sheth. This is where, Setco’s 51:49 JV with German-company FTE Automotive comes into play. The JV aims to offer hydraulic actuation parts and components for the Indian market. ‘Around 60 percent of the time, a faulty actuation system is the reason for clutch failure. So by offering a package of a clutch and an actuation system, we will cut down the incidence of clutch failure. This will also offer us a strong USP in the marketplace,’ adds Sheth. FTE’s expertise in using plastics instead of cast iron for manufacturing actuating systems will be another advantage for Setco. ‘Because of the use of plastic, the actuation system is lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient. Secondly, while the actuators made out of cast iron have a life of 30,000 to 40,000 km, those made of plastic last for about 5,00,000 km,’ claims Sheth. The JV will set up a manufacturing unit at Setco’s Kalol plant. Close to Rs 100 crore will be invested for the same over the next three years. In all probability, the plant will be ready in the second half of 2010. Setco is yet to decide, as to whether it wants to start assembly operations from 30 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

day one, or to do so after having imported some fully built products from the USA. The JV will cater to both commercial and passenger vehicles. From 2001-02 till 2007-08, Setco grew at a CAGR of 43 percent. The growth rate increased further during the first half of 2008-09, before the slowdown bug hit the industry. After escalating from Rs 184 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 241 crore in 200708, the company’s consolidated revenues, are expected to fall back to the 2006-07 mark for 2008-09. Almost 60 percent of Setco’s turnover comes from the aftermarket while the rest is contributed by OEs.

The Setco-FTE joint venture will roll out plastic hydraulic clutch actuation components.

Off the road Setco also manufactures hydraulic pressure converters for earth moving equipments. ‘These are necessary parts for front end loaders used in construction equipment, where air pressure is converted to hydraulic pressure for smoother and more efficient operations’ informs Sheth. In 2006-07, Setco acquired Haldex AB Sweden’s US facility for $ 4.9 million in order to manufacture these converters. Now this plant acts as a R&D hub in so far as hydraulic converters are concerned for Setco. The converters are directly shipped from the US to global sourcing divisions of companies like Caterpillar, Hitachi and Komatsu. Setco does not see any possibility of manufacturing these converters in India but Sheth says that a greater number of components will be made in India to reduce costs. Currently some cast and machined components are already being made in Kalol. Hydraulic parts for construction equipment account for 15 to 20 percent of Setco’s consolidated turnover. Setco has also set up a new press shop in Kalol last October for manufacturing pressed and precision components. The company will also target the non-auto business through these components. One of the reasons behind targeting the non auto business is to counter the cyclical nature of the auto industry. Not a bad idea, so long as, Setco can continue propelling the CV industry as it has for the last 25 years. ■

new frontiers

Mahindra Defence Systems

Mahindra Defence Systems / new Frontiers

In order to play its part in this process, the USD 6.7 billion Mahindra Group set up Mahindra Defence Systems in 2001. At first, content with marketing its tough vehicles to the army, the company gradually got into new platforms for light military vehicles. To help in this effort, the company has tied up with UK-based defence vehicles specialist BAE Systems. This alliance is expected to roll out a mine protected vehicle in the later part of this year. Also in the works is an indigenously developed high mobility vehicle – ‘Axe’. The vehicle has been under trials with the Army for over a year now. As the operations have grown, M&M has set up a state-of-the-art factory at Faridabad (see ‘purpose-built’). This facility will allow for better quality vehicles at considerably lower cost and time outlays. Till date, MDS has supplied over 700 specially crafted light armoured vehicles to the Indian army as also to the paramilitary and police forces. New applications MDS supplied over 200 armoured vehicles to the army in 2008-2009. The bulk of its supplies consisted of the Rakshak, a high

Anand Mahindra (L) and Brig. Khutub Hai (R) are looking forward to a major order from the army.

mobility, armoured version of the Mahindra MM775 jeep. MDS is now bidding to supply 800 next generation vehicles to the army – the details of which are confidential. ‘We are working on a contemporary armoured vehicle for the army. The tender will be out in May and will be finalised by early next year,’ informs Brigadier Khutub Hai, Chief Executive, MDS. The successful bidder will have to supply the vehicles

within 18 months of the successful bid. Apart from Indian Army, MDS has also been meeting the needs of paramilitary forces and state police. ‘Whether it is J&K, Maharashtra or Jharkhand, every police force has our vehicles. In fact, the majority of Chief Ministers travel by armoured Scorpios,’ claims Brig Hai. Apart from the Scorpios and Rakshaks, MDS will be bringing out a mine-protected

MDS: Aggressive on defence I ndia has become a hot bed of terror, whether it is the state-sponsored variety or violent homegrown ones like Naxalism. Masses have suffered huge losses of life and property as have the defence forces engaged in countering these elements. With a large number of casualties happening during the movement of troops, the armed forces have long felt the need for quality armoured vehicles. It was in this context that the defence sector was opened up to the private sector. 32 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Defence is a recession-proof industry. MDS proves that the country’s needs can be suitably addressed by aggressive intervention from the private sector. Story and photographs Munish Shekawat

An armoured Scorpio (L) and the Rakshak (R).

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 33

New Frontiers / Mahindra Defence Systems

Mahindra Defence Systems / New Frontiers

tire 0.5-49 tonne universe for commercial vehicles. Also in the pipeline is a high mobility vehicle Axe which is undergoing trials with the army. ‘We have developed this vehicle entirely on our own. It is a high mobility vehicle that is capable of multi-role applications for both defence as well as border security,’ says Brig Hai. Apart from army, even the Border Security Force (BSF) is showing keen interest in the vehicle. Until now, MDS has only catered to Mahindra vehicles. But that is by no means, its policy. ‘We can armour nonMahindra vehicles too’, says Brig Hai. MDS recently came out with bullet- proof Mahindra Tourister buses priced at Rs 5060 lakh apiece. ‘We have received quite a few inquires for these buses. We are quite open to work on buses made by other manufacturers too,’ adds Brig Hai. Such buses were in hot demand, while it was still plausible that the IPL could be held in India. But even otherwise some other state governments want it to meet their VIP movement needs. Apart from catering to domestic needs MDS has also supplied armoured Scorpios and Rakshaks to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Ghana and Trinidad.

The Faridabad facility is capable of putting together 500 armoured vehicles in a year.

vehicle by the end of the year. Specially crafted to protect the defence forces from IEDs and mines, this vehicle will be manufactured with the help of BAE systems. With various anti-national elements laying their hands on mines, MDS sees a huge demand for these vehicles. Sales are expected to start from next year. ‘We first plan to penetrate the police and paramilitary forces marker and then get into the army segment’, says Brig Hai. Down the line, MDS is also looking at making a new in34 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

fantry combat vehicle for the Army. It will be a totally ground-up design vehicle in the 18-20 tonne GVW category. If accepted by the Indian government, the vehicle will be pressed into service from 2018-2019. Going forward, MDS is also bullish about the Mahindra-Navistar JV delivering LCVs that can be tailored for defence applications. It must be noted that the Indo-US combine will rolling out commercial vehicles starting December 2009. In time, Mahindra hopes to straddle the en-

Purpose Built Mahindra Defence Systems now has a new home for its home-bred light military vehicles. The Faridabad facility has been christened as Mahindra Special Military Vehicles (MSMV). Spread over an area of 6 acres, MSMV has entailed an investment of Rs 25 crore. With the extension of the facility happening soon, investments will go up to Rs 40 crore. The facility, with a 40,000 sq feet shop floor is capable of churning 500 armoured vehicles each year. It has three manufacturing lines. The first one caters to the Rakshak, the second to the Scorpio and the Bolero, while the third, the ‘stranger’ line will put out all manner of miscellaneous products such as riot intervention vehicles. By the third quarter of this fiscal, a second phase of operations will see the Axe high mobility vehicle and the Mine Protected Vehicle, being manufactured in a new shed. MDS accords huge importance to R&D activity. In fact, of its 140 employees, 18

On account of recent additions, investments at the Faridabad plant will go up to Rs 40 crore.

belong to the R&D side. To keep them busy, a short test track is being constructed behind the factory. This track will have a multiple angle gradient ramp, as well as different profiles like potholes and paved surfaces, shower, turning radius and noise test facilities. The R&D team’s inputs are also important, while working on any new concept. ‘In order to compensate for the additional weight of bullet proofing, the R&D team decided to remove 8 seats from the 30-seater bus,’ states Brig Hai. In fact the

bus was stripped down and its chassis and suspension were strengthened. The Scorpios and Boleros are similarly follows the same technique. ‘We have increased the Scorpio’s GVW from 3,100 to 3,600 kg’, informs Brig Hai. An armoured Scorpio costs in the range of Rs 30-50 lakh depending upon the level of armouring. ‘Some customers want protection from below to thwart mines while others want run flat tyres. These specifications decide the cost of the vehicle,’ informs Brig Hai. MDS feels that costs can be further

brought down with greater localisation. At the moment, most components used in the armouring process are being imported. MDS gets armoured steel mainly from Sweden. That steel is in short supply due to the ongoing war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. ‘We have now started stocking, because unavailability of steel leads to an increase in our lead times’, says Brig Hai. The bullet-proof fibres and the run-flat tyres are imported from Germany, Israel and UK. The exception is bullet-proof glass, which MDS procures from the domestic market. ‘We encouraged the glass industry to support us. Now, a local vendor has been supplying us a world class product,’ asserts Hai. Localisation will also help crash lead times, which can also be as high as 5-6 months for certain critical components. MDS’ vehicles undergo severe testing before being accepted by both the army and paramilitary forces. Army inspectors evaluate the vehicle on their own. They take a sample of 15-20 vehicles and then test them according to their standards. The police and paramilitary forces get the vehicles and materials approved by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) in Delhi. The bullet-proof panels are then further approved by the Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL) at Chandigarh. ■ MDS has 140 employees on its rolls currently.

cover story

DC Designs

Fit for a king Building a motor home for Shah Rukh Khan has been a challenging assignment for DC Designs. From what we see, those efforts have not been in vain. Story Sridhar Chari Photography Sawan Sekhar Hembram

36 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

dc designs / cover story

The razor-sharp exteriors exude power and charisma. While the interiors, classy practicality.

These attributes are of course a reflection of the man, who got himself the 13.9-metre motor home. We are talking about a unique meeting between Shah Rukh Khan, Dilip Chhabria and the Volvo 9400 6x2 coach. The 45-member team at DC Designs took just 90 days to develop this wonder on wheels. But the 60-90 days preceding the effort involved the real hard work. ‘Shah Rukh has a real eye for detail. During the course of 8 meetings he clearly laid out the interior specifications,’ recounts Dilip Chhabria. The specifications were for a living space, workstation, entertainment system, bedroom, gymnasium and toilet. Naturally a conventional 12- metre bus would not have sufficed. That brought the Volvo multi-axle into the picture. Once the bus and specifications were settled upon, DC Designs actually etched

The space ship style lounge can increase in width thanks to a telescopic hydraulic extension.

In specifying this bus, Shah Rukh khan has revealed a keen eye for detail.

Dilip Chhabria is happy that the bus could be developed in a record time of 90 days.

a 1:1 floor plan of the bus on the terrace of SRK’s bungalow to give the latter a concrete idea of things to come. Satisfied as he was, the superstar was still not prepared for what was to hit him, three months down the line. ‘I received a message from him at 3:00 am, stating that DC Designs had spoilt him,’ beams Chhabria. This is why; Shah Rukh Khan felt the way he did. The first thing that hits you is the aggressive V-shaped windscreen. Reaching really low, it is flanked by the equally striking custom-built head lights. The ramrod straight rear section of the bus is distinctive and emblematic of DC Designs’

well-honed design philosophy. The side walls have not been changed beyond Volvo’s factory-built construction, save for one critical value addition. To get to grips with this X-factor we must get into the interiors of the bus. The futuristic lines, finely developed surfaces and the deft use of lighting give you the feel of walking into the Star Ship Enterprise. The lounge is the first section to come into view. A 52 inch LCD screen towers over the right wall, while a cabinet below it houses X-Box, Play Station and Nintendo gaming consoles. The floor does not have any carpeting- it is made of fire may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 37

cover story / dc designs

The 2.5 feet extension in the lounge seen from outside. This mechanism only works when the bus is stationary.

and water-proof plywood. There is ample pragmatism in this move. With a whole host of visitors expected, cleaning carpets can prove to be quite a task. Thankfully, there are no such restraints for the seating space. A plush sofa, handcrafted by DC Designs takes up the left side of the wall. While you sit on it, glimpsing at the monster LCD screen, the sofa, starts sliding backwards – by design of course. That is on account of the X-factor we had mentioned earlier. ‘We have developed a telescopic hydraulic extension to enhance the space in the bus, without needing to make too many changes to the chassis and body of the Volvo bus. Such systems are extremely popular in the US,’ explains Chhabria. The indigenously engineered hydraulics system pushes out the lounge almost 2.5 feet beyond the regular wall. Functional only when the bus is stationary, the mecha38 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

nism deploys in less than 40 seconds. It has been designed to maintain structural stability and operate smoothly even on rocky and uneven ground. An equally futuristic chair, ‘The Captain’s Seat’ is positioned at the end of the lounge. It can swivel, rotate and recline, besides being able to move almost 7 feet on rails. That is because, it

Key Dimensions Inside Length: 38 feet Width: 7 Feet Height: 6 Feet + Inside Usable Volume: 1596 cubic feet Expanded Inside Usable Volume: 1776 cubic feet Captain Seat Movement: 7 Feet

cover story / dc designs

There is enough space in the bus for this private gymnasium.

dc designs / cover story

does not stay confined to the lounge. Once on the chair, SRK can easily zip into the next section, a mobile office cum make up room. A computer, printer cum fax and coffee maker are placed on a table to the left of the bus. Below the table is an ‘iLife’ air purifier that would take care of SRK’s chain-smoking habits. To the right of this section is a wardrobe that can easily house the superstar’s attire for a movie, as also condiments for the make-up man. A simple alignment of the chair can allow Shah Rukh to either work or slap on makeup. The wardrobe door, that folds out can afford privacy while either of these activities are taking place. The third section is the bedroom. It has a simple sliding door. ‘Shah Rukh did not want over engineering. That is why, you will notice that both the chair and doors are non-pneumatic,’ states Chhabria. Once inside, you discover ample room for the kids and a rather large folding bed. Recessed lighting, a 42-inch LCD screen, DVD players, speakers, sub-woofers and

the mobile gym complete the ambience of this room. The gym is especially noteworthy, since, it can be neatly and almost inconspicuously stowed in its own cabinet. A final touch is the button-operated curtain that cosily shields the bed from the harsh sun outside. All electronic devices contained in the bus can be operated by a centralised touch screen remote control. ‘The gadget-crazy SRK took only 10 minutes to get comfortable with it. Most people would have taken a couple of days for the same,’ claims Chhabria. At the rear of the bus are a WC and shower.

Aggressive rear-end styling is a DC Designs speciality.

Larger perspective Dilip Chhabria is unwilling to disclose the price of this blockbuster offering. But it must be noted that the 12-metre Volvo B7R modified for Sanjay Dutt was priced at Rs 4 crore. Even if we account for a premium over this tag, Chhabria’s motor homes are still

A true captain’s seat this. SRK can access his mails or slap on some make up at a mere swivel or rotation of the chair

considerably cheaper than similar products sold in the US. ‘We spent 32,000 man hours in doing this bus. In the US, the rate per hour is USD 150. That means a similar spec bus would not be available for anything less than USD 5 million,’ claims Chhabria. It is estimated that some 4,000 motor homes are sold each year in the US. Of this number as many as 1,500 are priced at USD 1 million or above. ‘ So, doesn’t it beg the question- why cannot DC’s buses go the US? After all, DC’s concept cars head out to the west

too. ‘It is about time we set our sights a bit higher. Our information is that despite the recession, the demand for luxury goods is not drastically down in the US,’ admits Chhabria. The cost of transporting such motorhomes by ship is not that significant when taken in the context of their price either. The challenge lies in augmenting production capacity in India and creating a brand in the US. The latter is not difficult considering that DC Designs has over 700 designs to its name, many of which have gone to Europe and the US.

‘Our advantage is the huge body of experience. For instance, we can say how a particular fibre glass substrate will behave without computer simulation. We can create our own lights, tyres, seating, furniture and trims. That is hard for someone else to replicate,’ Chhabria underlines. DC Designs expects to sell 6-8 such high-end buses this year. ‘We are too niche for the recession to take effect. Orders are on track, though, admittedly, it takes a bit longer to convert an inquiry,’ concludes Chhabria. ■

From (L-R): The luxurious bedroom, a 52 inch LCD screen, shower and WC, give the bus a very home-like feel.

40 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 41

creative juices

smc design

Designer’s delight The young Pune-based special vehicle design house has plunged itself into a diverse body of work – from mobile juice malls to luxury vans and ambulances.

smc design / creative juices


une-based SMC Designs has been making specialised vehicles for only a year now. But the number of projects on its plate belies the newcomer tag. For starters, the company has bagged an order to make 75 Juice Malls on the Premier Roadstar pick up. Things are also pretty rosy when it comes to the passenger segment. SMC Designs has received a mandate to make luxury vans on the Tata Winger chassis for a Pune-based tour operator. Juice on wheels SMC is developing mobile Juice Malls

Story Ahfaaz Khan Photography Sawan Sekhar Hembram

With an aim to acquire an upmarket appeal, the high end version of Juice Mall will be developed with a lot of attention to aesthetics.

on a Premier Roadstar chassis for Punebased Renaissance Group that has interests in product marketing, software, entertainment and healthcare industries. Now, the blazing summer sun has revealed a ‘cool’ business idea. The group has bagged rights to market fruit juice manufactured by Mumbai-based Gurukrupa Food Products. Renaissance will sell these juices, branded ‘Drinko’ through stationary as well as mobile Juice Malls. The Roadstar was deemed fit for mobile application purpose on account of its intrinsic strengths. ‘Despite the presence of more popular product offerings, we chose the Roadstar on account of its higher rated payload of 1,400 kg,’ says Somnath Kale, CEO, Renaissance Group. But apart from this, Renaissance also wanted a vehicle that would be sturdy enough to run on rural roads. Atul Akolkar, GM-corporate and international business affairs, Premier Auto42 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

mobiles Limited remarks ‘ Roadstar has a good ground clearance, it has a 8-ft long deck and is ideally suited for both city and

Shrikant Chandane says that availability of adequately skilled manpower is a big concern for the design industry.

rural roads.’ In the first phase, the plan is to introduce 75 Juice Malls in rural as well as urban parts of Maharashtra by the end of 2009. As a result, these mobile Malls have been categorised into low and high-end versions. The latter has aesthetically appealing interiors in the form of wooden cupboards and compartments for accommodating juice containers, bottles and glasses. Specially designed compartments for a refrigerator and an oven complete the functionality of the vehicle. According to Shrikant Chandane, director, SMC Designs, ‘in the urban market, Renaissance is planning to sell snacks like sandwiches and samosas along with juices.’ Renaissance will offer juices in 75 different flavours and 350 different combinations. The juices will be offered in combination with water, milk or soda in a price bracket ranging from Rs 40 to 100. Juices offered in the rural market will may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 43

creative juices / smc design

smc design / creative juices

lets being set up across Maharashtra will not only sell juice but also help replenish stocks on the mobile Juice Malls.

The Roadstar was selected as the base vehicle because of its relatively larger payload of 1400 kg.

be relatively cheaper - Rs 5 to 20. But, only 40 different varieties of juices will be offered in these vehicles. Though not endowed with the luxurious interiors as its urban counterpart, the rural Juice Malls will have a U-shaped platform to store juice containers and bottles. The Juice Malls will be stationed at different Talukas in Maharashtra. The vehicles will then travel to different villages on their respective weekly market days. Renaissance will offer these Juice Malls to partners after the payment of franchisee fees of Rs 7 lakh. The vehicle becomes the customer’s property; post acceptance of franchisee membership. The vehicle along with the supply of juices will be delivered within 15 days of the agreement. The Renaissance Group’s 31 ‘Drinko’ retail out44 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

The building blocks SMC Designs took close to two months to develop the vehicle from the concept to the prototype stage. FRP, sheet metal and painting work was outsourced and the final assembly was again done in-house. For the moment, the design and fabrication activity happens across dispersed centres in Pune. But going forward, SMC Design is planning to set up a facility in Pune by the end of 2010. Once the facility is set up, the painting as well as FRP and sheet metal work will be done in-house. This facility will have no dearth of talent. Chandane has set up an institute to train students on CAD-CAM designing activity. And 10-15 of them will be absorbed by SMC. ‘The intention behind starting this institute is to have adequately skilled manpower that can be used in-house as well as by the auto industry,’ says Chandane. The course conducted at the CADCAM institute trains students both on aesthetics as well as functional parameters. Initially, training is imparted on basic CAD-CAM software for six months. The institute has 8-10 visiting faculty comprising of well known personalities in the design industry. After the initial training, students are sent to auto design companies in Pune for two months of hands on-training. The Juice Mall will offer 40 different combinations of juices to the rural market.

An ambulance built on Sigma van will also be introduced over the next two months.

front half, as also a kitchen and wardrobe in the rear section. The target audience is people heading for an overnight outing,’ says Chandane. The modified luxury vans will have luxurious interiors, special seats and a striking lighting system. These luxury vans will be delivered before the onset of the monsoon. If this product clicks, SMC could start making mobile homes and caravans too. Staying on vans, SMC is working on a project to make ambulances on the Premier Sigma van. The customer is yet again the Renaissance Group. Though further details are not yet on the table, the prototype of this vehicle will be rolled out within the next 2 to 3 months. All in all, SMC Designs looks pretty impressive in its early days. How it ‘designs’ its future will be interesting to watch. ■

Here students get to see how Computer aided designing (CAD), sketching, sheet metal; FRP and painting are done in real time conditions. Only students with degree or diploma in engineering are eligible for admissions. This is a valuable filter, since the yearlong course entails fees of Rs 1,00,000. ‘Engineers are aware of 2D and 3D drawings and technical elements pertaining to design. So training them on the aesthetics front can add to their innate knowledge,’ adds Chandane. Close to 40 engineers are trained each year. Till date, 150 students have passed out from the institute and have been absorbed in a number of major auto manufacturers like Tata Motors, Maruti and Hyundai. More to come SMC seeks a mandate with Belgaum-based bus body builder Alma Motors to develop interiors on Tata buses. ‘We are in early stages of discussions. They are looking for partners to do FRP work and design interiors for their buses in Pune,’ says Chandane. Alma Motors manufactures bodies for Tata Motors’ buses including some export models. Meanwhile, SMC has already started developing five luxury vans on the Tata Winger for Pune-based tour operator Girikand Travels. ‘The need is for a vehicle with a seating area for six people in the

SMC Design will manufacture 75 units of Juice Mall for the Renaissance Group in 2009.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 45



wipro / exclusive

‘WIN’ning moves lined up Wipro Infrastructure Engineering is developing a new range of Front end tipping units (FET) for trucks. Simultaneously, it will rely on its traditional strengths in underbody cylinders to bag new customers


Story Sridhar Chari ipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), a division of Wipro Limited is all set to unveil a new range of front end hydraulic tipping (FET) kits for the trucking sector. The 16-70 tonne FET range, christened the ‘D-Series’ has been in the works for the last 9-12 months. The development and testing activity should be over in time for a launch by the end of this year. Through the entire process, Wipro has hugely leveraged the technical capabilities of the Hydrauto Group. The latter, acquired by WIN in 2006 is a leading supplier of hydraulic cylinders including Nummi truck hydraulics components in Europe, with manufacturing facilities in Sweden and Finland. The D-Series is currently being sold as the ‘Diamond’ Series in Europe. ‘We work through global product development teams. So far as development of the new FET range is concerned, we 46 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Wipro Infrastructure Engineering’s sprawling facility in Bangalore.

These ‘D-Series’ FET will be available in the 16-70 tonne range by the end of this year.

utilised Hydrauto’s European platforms. But, there was still a fair bit of work to do in terms of tailoring the product for Indian conditions,’ says Anurag Behar, Chief Executive, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering Limited. FETs, mainly used in tippers, come under huge strain in India, on account of factors like overloading, continuous use under tough conditions and poor maintenance. Wipro is confident that its hydraulic kits will display high reliability despite the challenging operating conditions. In India, the 40,000-50,000 unit tipper market is split in 60:40 ratio between FET kits and underbody hydraulic cylinders. Wipro, which had a 34 percent share in the truck hydraulics segment in 2007-08, has been strong in the latter segment. But the limitation with underbody cylinders is that they are normally considered suitable for only sub-25 tonne tippers. Higher tonnage tippers use FETs, a product segment in which Wipro’s competitor Hyva India has an 80 percent market share. As the breadth of mining, road construction and irrigation activities grow higher tonnage tippers will grow in India – further boosting demand for FETs. ‘Going forward, we feel that the truck hydraulics

market will stabilise in the 70:30 ratio between FETs and underbody cylinders. That is the way, we will go too, starting with the D-series,’ explains K.N Padmanabha, VP, global truck hydraulics business. The FETs will be An under body made at Wipro’s cylinder used for trucks. Hindupur plant in Andhra Pradesh. The company has already commenced its marketing activity on this score. Discussions are underway with new global players entering Indian market besides current customers like Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Volvo Eicher commercial vehicles in order to start supplies of the FETs. The best part about the D-Series is that it will not stay confined to Indian shores. ‘The D-Series is configured to be a global platform product. It has been tested in the cold conditions of Finland as well as hot environments in India. Once the ongoing development activity is complete, we can tai-

lor the product for applications as far afield as Brazil and South Africa in a matter of 2 months,’ claims Behar. Global footprint Wipro Infrastructure Engineering has been going strong on the hydraulic cylinders scene for more than three decades now. It employs 1,300 people at eight manufacturing locations - 3 in India, 1 in Finland and 4 in Sweden. Thanks to the Hydrauto acquisition, Wipro mustered sales of 8,25,000 hydraulic cylinders in 2007-08, thereby becoming the world’s second largest independent hydraulic cylinder manufacturer. Interestingly, the truck hydraulics segment is a small, albeit growing part (16 percent) of its global product portfolio. While the material handling segment weighs in at 51 percent, the construction equipment constitutes 29 percent of turnover. The agricultural and industrial sectors are smaller contributors to the topline. Wipro has a market share of close to 70 percent in India. The bulk of sales come from the construction equipment segment. Globally, companies like JCB, Tata Hitachi, Caterpillar, Kubota, Volvo, L&T Case, and Terex, stack up as customers for WIN. Until the economic slowdown moderated performance, Wipro had been witnessing business from the Indian construction equipment space grow at 30-40 percent.

Anurag Behar says that the ‘D-Series’ has been developed as a global platform. This means that, following minor modifications, it will be a ready fit for most markets.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 47

exclusive / Wipro

Wipro / exclusive The ‘D-Series’ as seen in use in Europe.

the material handling industry and in turn demand for Wipro’s hydraulics solutions,’ states K.N Padmanabha. A small portion of Wipro’s sales in India also comes from supplying steering cylinders to the farm machinery segment. Key customers include M&M, Kubota, and Cararo.

Underbody cylinders for construction equipment are a Wipro speciality. The company expects to bag a significant share of business from new construction equipment players entering India.

The company offers hydraulic cylinders, pumps and track motors for construction machines in the 7-100 tonne range. ‘We are strong in both the backhoe and excavator segments. Most major OEMs source cylinders from us,’ states Sudhindra Sabnis, product manager, global truck hydraulics business. Along the way, a host of new companies like Hyundai, Kobelco, Sany, Luigong and ALL-John Deere have either already or

KN Padmanabha, believes that as higher tonnage tippers grow in popularity, so will increase demand for FET.

48 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

will soon set shop in India. WIN is banking on its strong product development capabilities in its efforts to cater to these potential customers. The hydraulic cylinder manufacturer has a wide range of designs at its disposal. It claims to have put out 8,000 successful product and application designs, including cylinders developed for 14 backhoe loader models as well as 26 excavator models. ‘Globally, we have offered some of our most innovative products to construction equipment majors. We look forward to working with them in India too. But, it must be understood that they will take a while to localise their products in India. Secondly, some of them may have captive arrange-

ments with our global competitors,’ reasons Behar. So far as competition from overseas players is concerned, the economic downturn may actually be a blessing in disguise for Wipro. Many Japanese, Korean and European hydraulic equipment manufacturers who were all set to enter India, when the economy was booming have now either postponed or shelved their plans So far as the material handling industry is to be factored in, Wipro counts as its clients, such majors as Hiab, Zepro, Kalmar, Multilift, TIL, Voltas, Godrej and Sandvik. In fact, much of Hydrauto’s sway in Europe is on account of the strong profile of the material handling industry in that continent. In the Nordic part of Europe, Hydrauto enjoys an impressive 40 percent market share. The same trends had started to filter into India in the recent past. The domestic market saw a huge demand for material handling equipment like forklifts and cranes. ‘Before the current downswing, the growing profile of the Cylinders used for construction and material handling manufacturing and special equipment. activity, fuelled

Exciting areas WIN’s foray in the truck hydraulics business will not be restricted to tippers. Certain new areas are proving exciting too. For instance, the company is looking at the Tata Nano with great interest. The small wonder could spur demand for car carriers and consequently for its hydraulics solutions. ‘There is a great potential in chassis as well car carriers, especially, where highend CVs and the Tata Nano are concerned. We are already working with existing and upcoming car carrier manufacturers,’ says Padmanabha. The car carrier market in which Wipro has a 60 percent market share is estimated to be at 1,200 units. It is expected to grow by as much as 25 percent thanks to the Nano. However, there is a note of caution. ‘Some business could be taken away by the railways too,’ states Vinay Kumar Ragi, sales manager –truck hydraulics. Other interesting areas for Wipro include dumper placers and garbage compactors. The latter, especially so, since many cities are likely to get funding under the JNNURM for their waste management efforts. ‘We have a steady order stream to supply underbody cylinders for Tata Ace mini-trucks. These vehicles are deployed in urban waste management,’ adds Ragi.

Wipro is also working on certain niche opportunities that will materialise in the near future. ‘The next generation of trucks may no longer use mechanical systems for cabin tilting. As such, we are developing hydraulics for the same. Some prototypes are being tested with a few manufacturers,’ reveals Sabnis. A pointer At the time of going to press, Wipro has been observing a silent period leading upto the declaration of annual results for the 08-09 fiscal. Despite the lack of official

comment, it is learnt that the six months of economic slowdown has considerably impacted performance. Before this unfortunate scenario occurred, WIN’s, three Indian plants were running at full capacity. At that juncture, there was firm speculation that the company would set shop in China, from where it already sourced certain kinds of steel and bearings. Those plans may be delayed now. But there is no questioning the fact that this widely diversified and indeed well-grounded company will ride out the storm and emerge stronger, when the current economic crisis dissipates. ■

Wipro’s subsidiary Hydrauto’s plant in Finland

Hands on Men (L-R): Sudhindra Sabnis and Vinay Kumar Ragi.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 49

beating the heat

Behr India

behr india / beating the heat

No cooling B of heels for Behr India Admittedly, the market is slow. But good companies like Behr India use this slack period to plot the road ahead. Story Ahfaaz Khan Photography Sawan Sekhar Hembram

ehr India a 60:40 JV between Behr GmbH & Co. KG and Anand Automotive Systems has developed a ‘one size fits all’ air conditioner that can be readily fitted into trucks, irrespective of the OEM stables to which they belong. This innovative product is set to hit the market shortly. ‘Such a ‘one size fits all’ approach for air-conditioner is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. In fact, when we started working on this project, not many gave us a chance of pulling it off,’ says Sunil Kaul, President and COO, Behr India. Starting July 2008, Behr India’s strong team of 80 designers took nine months to develop this path-breaking air conditioner. The company selected trucks made by Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra Navistar to chalk out a common design. Based on that template, components like evaporators, condensers, blower housings and control panels were designed from

Behr India’s plant in Chakan manufactures air-conditioners, radiators, charge air coolers and Visco fans for the automotive industry.

50 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

The one size fits all approach of the ACs will help Behr expand its reach in the miniscule truck AC market in India at minimal expense.

scratch. ‘The effort was significantly difficult, since there was no ready benchmark even in Behr’s global portfolio,’ remarks Kaul. This development augurs well for Behr India in its effort to increase the miniscule truck AC market in India. ‘Developing any air-conditioner needs an investment in the region of Rs 8 crore. But such an expense is justified only when there are decent volumes. In Germany, one platform sells about 100,000 truck HVAC’s per year. In contrast to this, the Indian truck AC market will take three years to touch even 10,000 units per annum,’ explains Kaul. As a result, developing dedicated air-conditioners for individual trucks does not make economic sense either for the vendor or the OE. Cognisant of this reality, the truck makers have extended their support to Behr India in this win-win pursuit. ‘While we can recover our investments faster, the truck makers also end up paying less,’ Kaul adds. The other products to be rolled out next year include EGR heat exchangers and engine cooling modules like radiators and charge air coolers. As emission norms get tougher, trucks will need to use SCR and EGR technologies to curb their offensive output. And such technologies, especially the latter will generate heat as a by-product. Hence the need for cooling solutions. Behr India will set up a new production line for manufacturing EGR heat exchang-

Sunil Kaul expects the truck AC market to touch 10,000 units by 2012.

ers at its Pune plant. The line will be ready by the end of this year. ‘There is a ready product with our parent company. We are testing it on a couple of vehicles in India. Depending on how the results shape up, we will launch it in 2010,’ reveals Kaul. The introduction of radiators and charge air coolers will further enhance the presence of Behr India in the CV space. Currently, the company supplies around 4,000 radiators per month for the Tata Ace. Regarding supplies to bigger haulers, Behr India is in talks with all CV manufacturers including Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and

Mahindra Navistar. The plan is to target the next generation of products that will be put out by these manufacturers. It is public knowledge that the Tata Motors’ World Truck, Ashok Leyland Future Vehicle Development Programme and the Mahindra Navistar range are going to be unveiled in the near future. ‘We are preparing for a new breed of trucks that will hit the market. Radiators need to be tailored for specific vehicles. And developing them takes 9-12 months each,’ states Kaul. Behr India has a capacity to manufacture 2,50,000 radiators per annum in Pune. This capacity

Behr India supplies around 4,000 units of radiators per month to Tata Motors for the Ace.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 51

beating the heat / behr india

aaa / aaa

Behr India has a capacity to manufacture 3,00,000 units of Visco fans per annum.

can be flexibly divided between CVs and passenger cars. Fanning out Riding on these developments, Behr India is targeting a five fold increase in its turnover from the CV segment over the next 2-3 years. The current turnover from this segment stands at Rs 50 crore, the majority of which comes from the Visco fans that Behr India has been selling since the start of its operations in the country. The recent slowdown has however impacted business on this account for Behr India. ‘Prior to September 2008, we used to manufacture 11,000-12,000 Visco fans per month, but that figure crashed to 1,000 units in November. It has now come back to around 5,000 units. So although it is better than what it was in November and December, there is still a considerable slump in demand,’ says Kaul. Behr India can manufacture 3,00,000 units of Visco fans per annum at its Pune plant. Components like die-pressure castings and some plastic parts are sourced from local suppliers, while the assembly operations are done inside the plant. The total market for Visco fans in India is 2,40,000 units a year out which 60 percent is supplied by Behr India. The company supplies Visco fans to Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Tata Cummins. It also exports around 50,000 units of these fans to international players like IVECO. On the domestic front, the bulk of business for Behr India comes from medium and heavy commercial vehicles using 2.2 52 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

to 5 litre engines. Behr India deploys two kinds of Visco fans to cater to this segment. The LCV segment is expected to good Radiators for heavy haulers will hit the market next year.

business for Behr India over the next 2-3 months, once supplies begin for the Tata 407. Currently, only the Tata Sumo and a couple of other vehicles made by Eicher Motors are the only source of business for Behr India in the LCV space. A third variant of the Visco fan is expected to be put out fairly soon. This product is designed for heavy duty trucks. ‘Potentially, there is room to grow business, when a new range of seven litre and above engines arrive on the scene,’ says Kaul. Behr India’s spare capacity to the tune of 1,00,000 units per annum will be put to use on this front. The company, which is in talks with all major truck makers for this product, expects to bag substantial orders over the next few months. Behr India surely has a cooler ride lined up! ■

out of the box


tulsa / out of the box

Little Master comes to the fore Tulsa proves that something as inconspicuous as a CNG dispenser can be quite an exciting product indeed. Story and Photography Munish Shekhavat


ulsa Gas technologies India Private Limited, has an ace up its sleeve. The company has come out with the ‘Little Master’ a new four hose CNG dispenser especially designed for three-wheelers. This is the only product of its kind in the world. ‘The product is capable of a life cycle of 1,50,000 fillings,’ says Ashok Anand, MD, Tulsa Gas Technologies India Private Limited.

The Little Master is available in two and four hose variants

54 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

Ashok Anand claims that the Little Master has significantly longer life than competing products in the market.

The Little Master can fill up a three-wheeler in less than a minute.

While this product, priced at Rs 11 lakh will hit the market within a month, a twohose variant costing Rs 7 lakh is also in the works. The Little Master will greatly help in erasing congestion at CNG filling stations. There will also be a commensurate fall in the wear and tear on CNG dispensers designed for cars and buses. Incidentally, Tulsa also sells two-hose CNG dispensers for cars at Rs 12 lakh apiece, while single-arm CNG dispensers for buses cost Rs 11 lakh apiece. Tailor made Designed, keeping three-wheeler friendly markets like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and Philippines in mind, the little master took 18 months to come to life. ‘We figured out that traditional CNG dispensers were just not meant for threewheelers. They were geared either for 12 kg car CNG tank or an 80-100 kg bus CNG tank. What was needed was a dispenser for a 3.5-4 kg three-wheeler CNG tank,’ reasons Anand. The Little Master fulfills this need very well. Besides, it can fill upto 4 three-wheelers at one go. ‘The flow- meter and four-arm electronics controller ensure that filling occurs at just the right calibration. What is more, each three-wheeler can be filled in less than a minute,’ claims Anand. The Little Master also reduces the strain on the valves of the dispenser. Gas is dispensed at a very

high pressure of 3000 psi using a cyclical movement of valves. Now, if the CNG intake capacity of a vehicle is low, the cycle of the valves is increased, thereby causing wear and tear. The multiple arm action of the Little Master helps reduce cycles on certain valves without tampering with the rate of flow of the gas. With so many benefits in its wake, the Little Master looks like a winner in the Indian market. And, once this product is successful in India, Tulsa hopes to export it to similar

markets. ‘We are targeting sales in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Iran in the days to come,’ offers Anand. Some 60 percent of the parts on the dispenser have been imported. ‘We get electronic parts from Puran Technologies, Canada. The valve manifold comes from New Zealand, while the drive manifold and hoses are imported from the US,’ informs Anand. In fact, apart from the electronics and the flow meter, the rest of the components can be manufactured by local companies. But Tulsa refrains from using the latter’s services for fear of the parts being duplicated for competitors. ‘Our foreign suppliers strictly adhere to nondisclosure norms, thereby ensuring professional secrecy for our products,’ says Anand. Though Tulsa India does not have strong homegrown competition, global companies like TFI Technologies Canada, Safe of Italy and Delta of Argentina do pose a threat. Journey so far Tulsa has been around since 1998, when the CNG movement practically started in India. ‘We imported a bus dispenser from US-based Tulsa Technologies and installed it at the Sarojini Nagar depot of the Delhi transport Corporation. After that, we supplied 10 car dispensers to the Indraprastha Gas Limited,’ states Anand. But the

The Little Master took 18 months to be developed.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 55

out of the box / tulsa

market for CNG dispensers also proved attractive for many other global players, who brought in their own imported products. This led to Tulsa deciding to get aggressive by setting up its own manufacturing facility in India. In 2005, the company started manufacturing dispensers at its Kundli facility. Till date, it has managed to sell 320 dispensers in the Indian market, with 102 dispensers being sold just last fiscal. This achievement means that Tulsa has a 50 percent market share in India. While part of this success comes from the fact that Tulsa sells locally manufactured products, the edge comes from a skilled R&D team. ‘Many of our foreign competitors failed because they could not understand the local market very well. Having worked on the dispensers since day 1, our R&D team has been able to ensure a trouble-free 1,50,000 fillings per dispenser. Our competitors had to exit the market because they could only manage 30,000 fillings,’ claims Anand. Besides the obvious market in Delhi, Tulsa is also bullish on Gujarat. ‘Gujarat has the maximum penetration of CNG pipelines and stations. We have done well there and that has led to our leadership in the CNG segment,’ feels Anand. Capitalising on its captive gas reserves, the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation has set up CNG stations all over the state. Tulsa, the main supplier of dispensers for the GPSC has followed the PSU, as the latter spreads it CNG dispensing network across Large CNG dispensers used for cars and buses are ill-suited for three-wheelers.

56 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

aaa / aaa

Tulsa imports key components for the Little Master under non-disclosure agreements, in order to prevent specifications from being copied by local competitors.

key intercity buses routes. Apart from the GPSC, Tulsa also supplies dispensers to Adani Energy Limited and Sabarmati Gas. Going forward, as gas from the KG Basin become available, more than 150 cities and towns will be covered by CNG pipelines. ‘Taking into consideration the immense expansion of the CNG network, we want to increase our turnover to over 50 crores in FY 2009-10 as against 12.5 crore in 08-09,’ says Anand. Tulsa is gearing up to manufacture 300 dispensers in the current fiscal. Along the way, it is also ramping up its service centres in Delhi, Hyderabad and prominent urban centres in Gujarat. It may be worth keeping a close eye on Tulsa for the foreseeable future. ■

Fresh ideas

hiab india


handles India well

Demountables, such as hooklifts can prove to be really useful in urban waste management.

hiab india / fresh ideas

can be accomplished in less than a minute. Not surprisingly, certain civic corporations in India have opted for these solutions. ‘Already several demountables have been supplied to cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Coimbatore. With the expected round of funding under the JNNURM, another 40-50 cities could be added to the roster,’ states S. Srinivas, Director, Hiab Business - Cargotec India Pvt Ltd. While the funding may be available, the stumbling block remains rigid mindsets of the civic authorities. ‘There is still a perception that manual garbage disposal is the most cost-effective option. Secondly, it is thought that compaction is not needed for typical wet waste seen in India. One only needs to look as far to our neighbouring countries, who inspite being a smaller buy a few 100 demountables each year – mostly from Hiab,’ he adds. In fact, these load handlers are popular globally, since they lend themselves so easily to multitasking. ‘Besides civic authorities, even a private service provider can benefit by using the hooklifts. At certain times of the day, he can couple a truck with a container/compactor for waste management. On other occasions, the same truck can be used as a milk/water tanker,’ offers Srinivas.

The nascent on-road load handling solutions sector in India has a true evangelist in Hiab.


Story Sridhar Chari

ake a walk in a residential area at any major ‘urban’ centre in India and you notice obnoxious little garbage dumps. More spills out than stays in. What is worse is the process of garbage collection. Municipal workers often working by hand do a less than efficient job of clearing the mess and loading it onto a rigid truck. All along, their health suffers. But thankfully, this sorry scenario may be short-lived. Hiab, the world leader in on-road load handling solutions and part of Finnish 58 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

group Cargotec Corporation plans to leverage its Multilift demountables, such as hook lifts, cable lifts and skiploaders for urban waste management. The demountables can be fitted with attachments like containers as well as garbage compactors. The unique feature about the hooklifts is that they can slide and/or lift the attachment to the actual garbage dump. On the other hand, the skiploaders can pick up containers horizontally and lift them over obstacles. These products make for very clinical operations –loading at the garbage dumps and unloading at the landfill area

Truck-mounted forklifts may catch up in a big way, as material handling becomes more organised in India.

Besides the demountables, Hiab India, which was established in 2007, also offers loader cranes. These versatile cranes can replace tractor-mounted pick and carry cranes, mobile cranes, jib cranes and other stiff boom cranes. With a lifting capacity that spans from 1 to almost 92 tonne metres and an outreach between 2 to 30 metres, customers can avail of almost custom-built products. Some of these products have found use as brick and block handlers with prominent real estate developers. Other products that can be supplied by Hiab India include the Moffett and Princeton Piggyback truck-mounted forklifts. Today, Moffett, also a part of the Cargotec Corporation is the world’s number one selling truck-mounted forklift company. The Moffett can be carried on the rear of virtually any truck or trailer combination and can be mounted or dismounted in less than a minute. Another application that will surely catch on in India as cargo becomes more palletised is tail lifts. The tails lifts are offered under the Zepro, AMA, Waltco, Del, Ultron and Focolift brands. Capable of reducing manual labour and the risk of damage to

Palletisation of cargo will go hand in hand with the adoption of taillifts in India.

goods, these tail lifts are available for light and heavy-duty vehicles in lifting capacities that range from 450 to 2,500 kg. The other product in Cargotec’s portfolio that may yet not be applicable to India includes the Loglift and Jonsered forestry and recycling cranes. Localisation possibilities Hiab products have been present in India since the 1980s. The bulk of its sales activity having been concentrated with

the defence sector, as many as 800 cranes are in operation today. In 2007, around the time that Hiab India was established, Cargotec Corporation acquired Indital Construction Machinery Ltd., based in Bangalore. That acquisition could be useful in Hiab India’s localisation efforts. ‘True, the recession hit us at just the time we were beginning to grow. But the larger picture is that India remains an attractive market for Hiab India from a long term perspective. As such, there is a definite plan to localise our hook lifts and cranes in India,’ reveals Srinivas. In fact, last year onwards, a major step has been taken to localize some range of the HIAB products mainly for the Indian market, perhaps also for global requirements in the future. The products are crane up to 10tm capacity and some demountables. ‘Such a move will allow us to cater to the market speedily. Secondly, it may also be possible to easily customise offerings for local needs,’ reveals Srinivas. There may be some price benefits too. Imported cranes and demountables are subjected to import duties, as high as 21 percent today. This pushes up the end cost to customer considerably. A typical example would be of a crane for 15 GVW Indian truck costing less than Rs 10 lakhs, the crane if imported would be around the same price as the truck. On the other hand, locally product would may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 59

fresh ideas / hiab India

tries and sales companies and representative offices in 34 countries. It has independent importers and distributors in 100 countries around the world. In 2008, the company employed approx. 4,300 people and net sales amounted to 907 million Euros.

Hiab’s utility cranes have found notable use in the construction sector.

surely keep prices steady and reduce the cost to the customer. That said, Srinivas is careful to emphasise the point that there will be no compromises so far as quality is concerned. That said, Srinivas is careful to emphasise the point that there will be no compromises so far as quality is concerned. ‘Cargotec and HIAB globally are known for their products’ reliability, performance and minimum down time. We also lead the way with safety as a key feature. For India, each of these parameters will never be diluted’.

Not so likely to be applicable to India, these forestry cranes are big currency in Scandinavian markets.

60 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

However, Hiab knows that the market for cranes and demountable is still in a nascent stage. ‘India is a market where the initial phase is extremely slow and less rewarding, but in time gathers a momentum of demand and hence volume,’ reasons Srinivas. For the same reason, the slowdown, is not exactly bogging Hiab down. ‘We expect the market to pick up as soon as the election phase is over,’ adds Srinivas. Globally, the company operates with production plants in 11 coun-

Parent company Cargotec is the leading global provider of cargo handling solutions. Its products are used in different stages of material flow in ships, ports, terminals, distribution centers and local transportation. Recently, Cargotec set up Cargotec Engineering India at Pune to meet the global product development requirements for Cargotec Corporation. The initial plan is to start with a 5,000 sq. ft. facility in Pune to expand Cargotec’s product development capabilities and to become a center of excellence in analysis for Hiab, Kalmar and MacGREGOR, Cargotec’s three business areas. The center will have 60 mechanical, analysis, software and control engineers. The support will be provided in the fields of engineering, analysis, design, drafting and controls development. ■


style quotient

aaa / aaa

Navistar teams up with Harley Davidson The result is a sparkler of a vehicle that also lugs some load.


avistar introduced the International® LoneStar® Harley-Davidson™ Special Edition at the Mid-America Trucking Show held recently. With deep black paint and contrasting silver and orange striping, the attentiongrabbing, chrome-laden big rig truck is one-of-a-kind version. According to Dee Kapur, president, Navistar Truck Group, ‘The Harley-Davidson Special Edition takes LoneStar to the next level. It is the perfect combination of LoneStar’s originality and Harley-Davidson’s authenticity.’ The new truck has been designed in collaboration with the legendary motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson. The headlights are actual authentic headlamps from Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and the leather seats feature the same HarleyDavidson Bar and Shield that appear on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. ‘When the opportunity to work together first came about, we were intrigued about designing a long-haul truck that had the sleek forms and unique shapes that are unique to Harley-Davidson motorcycles,’

said Ron Hutchinson, senior vice president of Product Development for Harley-Davidson Motor Company. The special edition truck also comes with as many as 40 customisation options. The cabin features rich leather upholstery, turned aluminum gauge faces, dark rose-

wood cabinets and a dark walnut floor. The International LoneStar Harley-Davidson Special Edition is available in a sleeper configuration only. It will be available for order next month and will enter production in June. Only 250 units will be produced in 2009. ■

Exterior features:

Interior Features:

>> Unique metallic black paint with contrasting silver/orange striping in classic Harley-Davidson style >> Distinctive grille, inspired from the 1939 International D-series with distinctive Harley-Davidson logo-type side graphics >> Deep, clean, and classically simple front bumper with integrated fog and marker/turn lamps and optional bumper light bar >> Authentic Harley-Davidson headlights, pulled directly from the famous Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle® Performance Division >> Massive 7-inch chrome stacks with aggressive bologna cut tips for a custom look >> Set-back fuel tanks for a sleeker, west coast appearance >> Custom-forged and -machined 24.5-inch aluminium wheels with unique lug nut covers and Harley-Davidson Bar and Shield centre caps. >> Unique formed super-deep custom sunshade and a distinctive aluminium battery box sporting Harley-Davidson Bar and Shield logos

>> Rich, black perforated leather upholstery with colourcoordinated black-on-black stitching throughout >> Authentic Harley-Davidson fuel tank badges on front seatbacks and rear couch bolster >> Special Edition instrument cluster featuring hooded gauges with turned aluminium faces and an engine-turned argentcoloured housing background for the cluster and secondary display >> Harley-Davidson logo-types debossed into rich leather door panel top-covers >> Distinctive dark rosewood cabinetry and instrument panel accents and a rich dark walnut insert in the sleeper floor >> Pull down bed quickly converts from couch to 42”-wide bunk with standard innerspring mattress or an optional Lattoflex Sleep System with a memory foam mattress

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 61

classy ideas


iveco / classy ideas

Iveco V treads off beat path The Iveco Stralis neatly cradles an outdoor school.

Once parked, the body extends outwards on both sides making way for a swanky classroom.

62 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

ersatility never seems an issue with Iveco Stralis. This is very much evident in a unique project undertaken by the Hounslow Creative Media Consortium for a group of six schools, colleges and learning centres in the local area. The project involves a state-of-the-art outdoor classroom built onto a Stralis 6x2 rigid 26 tonne truck for imparting new specialised diploma programmes for children between the ages of 14-19 years. The new diploma programmes have been designed to impart job oriented training to youngsters. The project is headed by Lampton School and is partly funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. According to John Hurley, Operations Manager of the project, ‘I think we are setting new ground by purchasing a heavy truck for use as a classroom. The Stralis will not only help to increase the learning opportunities for students, but, it will also spawn other such projects’.

With all the gizmos, tables, chairs and wall mounted projector, this makeshift classroom offers everything one could ask for.

The Stralis 6x2 rigid is fitted with an Active Time sleeper cab offering ample storage space, double bunks and a central internal height of 1.82 m. The body has been designed in such a way that it can be extended outwards on both sides when the vehicle is parked. The space that is generated can accommodate nine IT workstations, each with dual-bootable Apple Mac computers, extra tables and chairs along with a wall-mounted projector. The body also incorporates a sound-proof recording studio, together with a modular staging area which can be erected immediately outside the vehicle. ‘When the project was first conceived we thought of buying a portacabin and stationing it at one of the schools. But this would have created problems in transporting students between sites. The beauty of the Stralis is that it can travel between schools and colleges, and even be taken to events where students can experience the real time work environment’ remarked Hurley. A team of four staff from across the participating schools, colleges and city learning centres have already completed their LGV driving courses, with two more currently being trained. Hounslow Creative Media Consortium trucks from five different manufacturers from UK before selecting the Iveco Stralis. ‘It was essential that the truck really looked the part. In our opinion the image and design of the Stralis fits perfectly with

the project,’ Hurley added. The mobile classroom is powered by a 7.8 litre Euro 5 Cursor 8 engine, which is capable of producing up to 330 hp between 1,660 and 2,400 rpm, and up to 1,400 Nm of torque between 1,080 and 1,660 rpm. It is expected that the new Stralis will remain in operation with the Hounslow Creative Media Consortium for at least 7-10 years, with servicing carried out by the local Iveco dealership. ...delivers hybrid Eurocargo for Coca-Cola Iveco has delivered a Eurocargo dieselelectric parallel hybrid urban distribution vehicle to Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) at the European Business Summit

in Brussels. The new prototype low-carbon vehicle was handed over to Hubert Patricot, President, Coca-Cola Enterprises Europe by Franco Miniero, Iveco’s Senior Vice-President Sales & Marketing. This is the first such vehicle to be operational in an urban environment in Europe. CCE and Iveco are involved in a pilot project to test the feasibility of hybrid technology for commercial trucks. ‘With CCE, we seek to develop innovative solutions that will reduce fuel consumption and check CO2 emission by up to 30 per cent’ remarked Miniero. Speaking on the occasion, Patricot commented, ‘This pilot study with the Iveco hybrid truck will guide us in developing a sustainable transport strategy across our European business. The hybrid truck will be used to deliver Coca-Cola products until the end of July on a specific delivery route of 20 km stretching across busy streets of Brussels. The vehicle is powered by a 16-valve, 4cylinder tector Euro 5 diesel engine generating a maximum power of 160hp. This engine works in combination with a 60 hp electric motor-generator, a six-speed automated gearbox and a lithium ion battery pack with a 1.9 kWh capacity. The hybrid truck starts from standstill in electric mode only, with the diesel engine starting automatically to provide the additional power when the vehicle is on the move. A further innovation in this vehicle is the automatic engagement of the engine brake during deceleration, in advance of the application of the foundation brake. ■

The use of electric parallel hybrids for urban distribution is part of Iveco’s efforts to promote hybrid technology in trucks.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 63

braving the storm


volkswagen / braving the storm

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles holds fort in 2008

Volkswagen will introduce variants of the Crafter van during the later part of this year.

Led by strong numbers from the T5 family, the van specialist has done quite well for itself.


The Caddy registered sales of 151,565 vehicles in 2008, a jump of three percent as compared to that in 2007.

midst falling demand in the second half of 2008, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sold more vehicles than ever before, and also achieved new record values in turnover and operative profit. According to Stephan Schaller, CEO, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ‘we are in a strong position to tackle the existing crisis and aim to sell more automobiles than before once the market conditions improve.’ In 2008, the company sold more than half a million light and heavy commercial vehicles worldwide. Deliveries at 5,02,964 units were up by 2.9 percent compared to the previous year. Amongst these, the T5 with its Transporter, Caravelle, Multivan and California models recorded the vast majority of the sales at 1,78,007 units. In 2007, the company had sold 1,91,205 units of T5s. The Caddy also continued on the road to success, with 1,51,565 vehicles delivered in 2008 as compared to 1,47,133 in 64 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

the previous year, representing an increase of 3 percent. The Crafter, too, registered a 10.7 percent growth as it sales clocked 51,101 units. In the European market, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles increased its mar-

ket share by 0.4 percent to touch the 15 percent mark. ‘With a total of more than 3,32,000 unit sold, we have successfully defended our ‘title’ as European champions,’ Schaller remarked. Outside Europe, too, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles registered impressive performances. The Saveiro and T2 models, which are manufactured and sold in South America, topped their previous year’s performance by more than 17 percent, achieving unit sales of 67,270. The class of heavy commercial vehicles also showed positive development with sales improving by 17.6 percent to 55,021 units in 2008 As with the sales, the turnover of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles also scaled northwards. Turnover improved by 3.3 percent, rising to 9.6 thousand million Euros. Operative profit also went up by 23 percent to 375 million Euros, an all-time record. Net cash flow remained healthy at 183 million Euros, return on capital reached double figures for the first time and touched 11.5 percent and profit margin

The Transporter was amongst the largest selling models for Volkwagen in 2008.

also shored up to 3.9 percent. ‘The good turnover and profits are not because of only more deliveries, but also because of more stringent cost and efficiency management’ explained KlausDieter Schürmann, member of the board of management with responsibility for finance and integration technology. Investments amounting to 275 million Euro made by the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles also rose by 92 percent in 2008. ‘Looking at the economic situation in the second half of the year, we have attained an excellent result – the best balance achieved by our brand so far. This also points out despite the present crisis we have the financial strength to continue pursuing our long term growth aims’ remarked Schürmann. This year may be slower than the last year, but the German auto major has decided to continue with its product expansion plans in 2009. The company will introduce newer versions of the Caddy, T5 and Crafter this year. A new pickup will also be introduced in the South American Market by the end of this year after which it will be introduced in Europe. ‘The new

Business vans are gaining popularity each day, In the form of the Caravele, Volkswagen has a quality offering to cater to this segment.

pickup will bring our brand into a different dimension, and enable us to gain access to new markets’ said Schaller. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also on course to sell approximately 7,50,000 light commercial vehicles in 2018. The company sees great growth potential for commercial vehicles, particu-

larly in BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. ‘The market for commercial vehicles will grow again in the long term, and we want to bag a big slice of the market. In the future, we will focus on core businesses like pickups, panel vans and the relevant superstructures and variants’ explained Schaller. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 65

Cleaner Air

VW Crafter

VW Crafter / cleaner Air

5 limits. This new Crafter with Commercial Vehicle registration has thus achieved the EEV (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) certification, which is the most exacting European exhaust standard for buses and trucks. Nuts and bolts The Urea solution is injected into the exhaust tract according to a characteristic map based on the load status. This exhaust purification process is made by AdBlue, which consumes up to 1 percent of total diesel. Urea breaks down into Ammonia (NH3) in a fraction of seconds at 200 degrees Celsius. The released ammonia reacts with Nitrous Oxides (NOx) at the catalytic converter to produce harmless Nitrogen (N2) and Water (H2O). A new Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) with a ten percent higher filter volume, supplements the exhaust post-treatment with an upstream oxidation catalytic converter. The DPF in conjunction with a new temperature control concept ensures that regeneration control is optimised. A separate tank carries upto 29 litres of

the Adblue reduction agent. There is a filler neck on the tank itself in vehicles with open bodies, whereas, in the case of a closed van, the tank is filled via engine compartments. During the first three years, service partners will themselves perform free filling. In case, the Adblue drops below a certain level before service date, a warning light indicates the dwindling amount promptly. This goes off only when the remaining range drops outlets for The exhaust purification process to 2,400 Km or below. this purpose. consumes up to The truck is being drivVolkswagen, through 1 percent of total contained in en without replenishment; the diesel their service partners, promise a vehicle’s tank. torque shall fall by 25 percent. to refund the replenishment costs if Prompt refilling ensures automatic re- incurred outside the scheduled workshops setting of the system. Special filling pumps during the first three years, provided, a and 10 litre containers are available at retail receipt is furnished. â–

Volkswagen to offer greener Crafter Adblue technology makes the difference


olkswagen Commercial Vehicles will start offering AdBlue emission reduction technology as a standard feature in its Crafter model range from June onwards. Using AdBlue, the Euro 5 Compliant and EEV (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) engine can cut toxic Nitrous oxide emissions by breaking it down to nitrogen and water. AdBlue ranks among the best technologies in exhaust purification in the CV arena. The AdBlue technology involves adding a harmless 32.5 percent aqueous urea so66 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

lution to the extract tract, thus catalysing the breaking down of nitrous oxides into nitrogen and water. The cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is the chief reason for the reduction in emissions. AdBlue technology has allowed a reduction in the rate of exhaust gas recirculation. This has made it possible to operate the TDI engine closer to the optimum thermodynamic point. The results are clearly, low particulate emissions as well as lesser fuel-consumption. Added to all this, the redesigning of the six-speed manual gearbox now permits

a moderate reduction in engine speeds in the higher gears, saving the transporter, as much as 0.9 litre per 100 kms run. The CO2 emissions drop too, by as much as 23 g/Km. This is a great improvement over the previous Euro 4 model. Furthermore, this Euro 5 adaptation promises torqueincrease for all the available TDI engines, amounting to between 7 and 14 percent for the 65 to120 KW engines. By using this technology, Volkswagen has gone beyond the emission cut offs for particulates, hydrocarbons and carbonmonoxide emissions specified under Euro

Besides making the Crafter greener, the Euro V adaptation offers 7-14 percent more torque over the Euro IV version.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 67


john deere

john deere / empowered

John Deere power systems gets future ready The off-road engine maker has used a mix of electronics and emission control technologies to meet stringent emission norms coming into effect from 2011.


ohn Deere Power Systems (JDPS) has announced its readiness to meet the stringent Interim Tier 4/Stage III B emission requirements for off-road applications. The new regulations require at least a 90 percent reduction in particulate matter and up to 50 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) as compared to the previous Tier 3/Stage IIIA emission norms. Tier 4/Stage III B emissions are going to come into force from January 1, 2011 for engines above 174 hp. For engine between 75 and 174 hp, the regulations will come into force a year later. John Deere’s engines that are more powerful than the 174hp category include the 6.8L, 9.0L and 13.5L in-line, six-cylinder variants. John Deere has updated the cylinder head, fuel system, cooled EGR, VGT and air-to-air after-cooling systems for the new engines. The engine control unit (ECU) has John Deere has developed a new exhaust filter for engines ranging between 75 and 174 hp.

been developed a n d manufactured by Phoenix 68 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

The new engines come with significant improvements in cylider heads, fuel systems, cooled EGR and air to air cooling systems.

Int e r national, a business unit of John Deere’s Intelligent Mobile Equipment Technologies. Compared to its Tier 3/Stage III A counterpart, the new ECU provides twice the RAM, double the processing speed and four times the program memory of the previous version to allow for more advanced engine control. For engines between 75 and 174 hp also, John Deere will use a cooled EGR system in combination with an exhaust filter. The company has developed an exhaust filter consisting of a diesel oxidation cata-

lyst (DOC) and a diesel particulate filter (DPF) specifically to meet the demands of off-highway applications. The DOC reduces carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other particulate emission. The downstream DPF traps and holds particulates in the exhaust stream. Trapped particles are eventually oxidised within the DPF through a process known as regeneration. Another benefit of the exhaust filter is that it eliminates the need for a muffler in most applications. The engines in the 75 to 174 hp range includes the 4.5L and 6.8L versions featuring electronic controls, a 4-valve cylinder head, air-to-air after-cooling, a highpressure common-rail fuel system and a waste gate or variable geometry turbocharger. John Deere has also made sure that the Interim Tier 4/Stage III B engines have similar configuration to that of their Tier 3/Stage III A counterparts. The engines with cooled EGR and an exhaust filter will occupy similar space as the Tier 3/Stage III A engine. Engine-mounted or remotemounted exhaust filters for the 4.5L and 6.8L models will be available for increased application flexibility. Moreover, engines between 75 and 174 hp will have similar levels of fuel economy as that in cooled EGR, above 174 hp Tier 3 /Stage IIIA engines. The company claims that in some cases there will be about 5 percent improvement in fuel economy

Tier 4/ Stage IIIB emission requirements ask for 90 percent reduction in particulate emissions and 50 percent reduction in Nox emissions as compared to those applicable in Tier 3/ Stage IIIA norms.

compared to the Tier 3/Stage III A PowerTech M and E models. For engines under 75 hp, the John Deere PowerTech M and PowerTech E 2.4L engines already meet Interim Tier 4 and Stage IIIA emissions requirements and have been in production since 2007. PowerTech M 2.4L engines feature 2-valve cylinder heads, mechanical unit pump fuel systems and fixed-geometry turbochargers. So far as the PowerTech E 2.4L engines are concerned, they come with electronic engine controls, electronic unit pump fuel systems and air-to-air-after-cooling. This is in addition to the 2-valve cylinder heads and fixed-geometry turbochargers. The exhaust filter is used in neither of these engines. John Deere was the first engine manufacturer to widely commercialise cooled EGR and variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) technologies in off-highway applications, introducing them in 2005 with the enforcement of Tier 3/Stage III A regulations. ‘Our proven record with cooled EGR was a major driver in our decision to continue using it for Interim Tier 4/Stage

III B’ said John Piasecki, director, worldwide marketing, sales and customer support, JDPS. John Deere has not used SCR for meeting Interim Tier 4/Stage III B requirements. This is because; SCR requires various additional components to be fitted on the vehicles. An SCR system injects liquid urea into the exhaust stream to reduce NOx. A vehicle employing SCR needs to be fit-

For engines between 75 and 174 hp, John Deere will use cooled EGR in combination with the newly developed exhaust filter to meet upcoming emission norms.

ted with a separate tank, a sophisticated urea injection system and a tamper-proof diagnostic system. Since urea has a property of freezing, heating systems for the tank and delivery lines are also required. In addition, there are also concerns about the availability of urea especially for offhighway applications. Moreover, the operator also needs to undergo training to operate an SCR engine. ‘SCR may be an appropriate technology for the future, when the technology is more developed for off-highway applications. However for Interim Tier 4/ Stage III B norms, the cooled EGR and exhaust filter technology approach provides a proven solution with the best value product to OEM and end-users,’ an official release of the company says. John Deere Power Systems is one of the few manufacturers that build engines exclusively for off-highway applications. It manufactures industrial diesel engines ranging from 40 to 600 hp diesel engines, marine diesel engines ranging between 75 hp to 750 hp and drivetrain components for off-highway applications. ■ may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 69

fast forward

scania xpi

scania xpi / fast forward

SCANIA presents cleaner engines at INTERMAT 2009 The Scania XPI can not only meet Tier 4i regulations for construction equipment, but also provide useful low-end torque and impressive power delivery.


cania now offers new range of 2011 emission standard engines. These in-house developed systems for engine management and emission control will be compliant with Stage IIIB and Tier 4i regulations. Launched on 20 April at the French exhibition, INTERMAT 2009, ‘the new range will be an outstanding blend of performance and operating economy’, the Swedish CV maker claims. These engines have been strategically launched well in

operating pressure is supplied to the rail, and the accumulator on the cooler side of the engine. The inlet metering valve regulates the fuel-amount which ranges from 500 bar to a peak of 2400bar, averaging 1800 bar of working pressure. The electronic engine management system controls inlet metering valve via a closed loop from the rail’s pressure sensor. A mechanical dump valve takes care of excess pressure building up, by sending fuel back to the tank. The fuel injector for each cylinder is constantly fed with high-pressure fuel from the rail. A servo valve in the injector controls injection pulses. The injector remains open as long as it is electronically powered. The pulse initiation determines injection start. An injector nozzle injects fuel into the combustion chamber.

advance of 2011 standards for non-road applications. The new engine will help Scania customers worldwide to meet new regulations, which include mandate no more than 2.0 grams per KWh of NOx emissions. Prototype engines for approval will be available as early as 2009. With this new addition to its successful range of modular trucks and bus engines, Scania now has secured control of all strategic steps in development and performance control.

From 2011, construction equipment will be subject to stage IIIB and tier 4 norms.

The Scania XPI, common-rail fuel injection (extra high-pressure injection) has a revised bore and stroke for increased swept volume. It is powered by a wastegate turbocharger and equipped with Scania SCR exhaust aftertreatment and engine Management. The traditional easy-toservice Scania architecture with individual cylinder heads helps maintenance, while the scraper ring prevents coke build-up on top of the piston. But what is most impressive is that the 2400 bar injection pressure, which is high enough to reduce particulate emissions, does not increase NVH levels of the truck. The result is increased power output and higher low-end torque. The new common-rail system jointly developed with Cummins offers increased freedom in the injection timing and pressure. The camshaft angle-independent system has no fuel injector actuating lobes, tappets, pushrods or rocker arms. Thus, high pressure is available at any time, regardless of engine speed. The electronic controlled system opens up possibilities to use several injection pulses. 70 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

This is how the engine works. A low pressure pump sucks fuel from the tank, through pre-filters with water separators and cooling circuit to feed main fuel filters. A venturi device drains back water back to the tank automatically. This fuel is fed to the high-pressure fuel pump via an inlet metering valve, to which both pumps are integrated as a unit. The engine timing gears drive both the pumps. The fuel under

In-House Engine Management System Fuel injection, exhaust aftertreatment, charge-air and engine operating temperature are now easily controllable thanks to Scania’s new generation of Engine Management Systems. The system also provides on-board diagnostics (to be developed further) and allows detailed logging of operational data for subsequent analysis. Engine Architecture The completely new design is built around traditional Scania kernel characteristics like individual cylinder heads, a camshaft located high in the block and rear-mounted timing gears, as well as the familiar cyclone oil filter. With a slightly altered Bore (for 9, 13 and 16 litre engines) and stroke (13-litre

Under the process of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), urea combines with toxic nitrous oxide to produce pure nitrogen and water.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 71

fast forward / scania XPI

ards of ISO 22241 and DIN V 70070 and the CEFIC regulations to safeguard correct functioning of the SCR system. SCR, needs an additional tank for the urea solution. SCR has been used to reduce NOx emissions in stationary and marine installations for the two decades and in recent years has also found widespread use in automotive applications. The consumption of AdBlue or DEF in the aftertreatment system is 2-7 per cent of diesel fuel consumption, depending on the application. Scania provides all the necessary ingredients from the supply tank for AdBlue/DEF to the catalyst and the NOx sensor.

engine).The swept volume has also been increased compared to current engines. The cylinder block and other structural components have been redesigned for additional strength. There is a loose scraper ring at the top of the cylinder liners which removes residual carbon from the piston crown. The risk of cylinder liner wear is reduced. Scania SCR SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) is the chosen technology for Scania, in combination with the common-rail fuel injection system, Scania XPI, for industrial off-road applications. Based on the injection of a urea solution into the exhaust pipe and a hydrolysis catalyst, Nox molecules are broken down to nitrogen and water. The urea then transforms into ammonia on account of the exhaust heat. This NOx reduction technology is future- ready, for more stringent emission norms. Most OEMs are expected to absorb these engines to conform to Stage IV and Tier 4 norms, coming into force in 2014. Scania will offer prototype engines to support the OEMs to meet the 2011 deadline which can be installed and approval ready by 2009 itself. This will benefit OEMs greatly in their quest to be geared up for the future. Both SCR and some amounts of EGR 72 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

are expected to be demanded by the upcoming 2014 norms. Scania has offered both SCR and EGR in their trucks and buses of late. This experience will enable them to offer minor tweaks for SCR engine installation adaptations. Scania SCR is ideal for industrial applications owing to a reduced need for performance calibration to different industrial applications and customers.

Extended maintenance intervals Maintenance and oil-change intervals have been extended to 500 hours. Shared components and systems between the different engine series reduce parts’ costs and ensures maximum availability. Training of staff is easy thanks to the systems commonality between the engine series. ■

AdBlue / DEF AdBlue or DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid in the US) are the commercial names of a mixture of water and urea. It is a non-toxic aqueous urea-solution that chemically reduces NOx-emissions from diesel-fuelled engines. The supply of AdBlue or The cylinder block and other structural components have been redesigned for additional strength. DEF on the market is gradually being extended and the majority of industrial applications operate locally with mobile fuel depots. AdBlue is classified under the minimum risk category of transportable fluids. It is guaranteed to meet the stand-

India’s only, Two-Wheeler Magazine! Sign me up for... car INDIa MarcH’ 09 CV May’09

Industrial engines are big business in Europe, on account of the mechanisation of agricultural and construction activity.

The urea solution has the following properties: • Freezes at -11°C and crystallises above 100°C. • Consumption around 2-7 percent of fuel consumption for Stage IIIB and Tier 4i NOx-levels. • The urea solution is corrosive to some metals such as non-alloyed steel, copper, copper containing alloys and zinc coated steels. • No restrictions for transport on rail, road or sea.

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new frontiers


mercedes-benz / new frontiers

the new Actros to negotiate uneven terrain with ease.

New Actros for the construction segment If you thought that the Actros was all about mining, think again.


ercedes-Benz is set to expand the Actros range further with the introduction of a new version for the construction segment in the European market. Tagged as the Mercedes-Benz Actros Bau, the new introduction will plug the only gap in the Actros range. ‘With the new Actros Bau, we intend to continue the success story of the previous Actros generations, even in this difficult period for the economy,’ remarked Hubertus Troska, Head Mercedes-Benz Trucks. The introduction of the new truck is also timing with recent developments in Europe. Since mid-2008, the governments of Germany and several other European countries have unleashed a number of economic stimulus packages. Some of these funds have been earmarked for the construction industry. According to ex74 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009

perts, the European construction industry will see an investment of more than €30 billion over the next few years to modernise or expand transport infrastructure and public facilities. A part of this investment will also be made on buying vehicles for construction activities. The new Actros comes with a host of new features and improvements with an aim to offer extensive tailor-made solutions for construction applications. The all-wheel-drive tippers, concrete mixers, semi trailer tractors and special-purpose chassis units come with a choice of two, three or four-axle combinations. The different drive configurations on offer include the ‘4x2’ two-axle model with rear-wheel drive and the ‘8x8/4’, a four-axle model with all-wheel drive and two steered front axles. Customers will have an option to choose from nine power outputs options from the OM 501 LA and OM 502 LA en-

gine range. This includes six 11.9-litre sixcylinder engines developing power ranging from 320 hp to 476 hp and three 15.9-litre V8 engines having power output ranging from 510 hp to 598 hp. All of the vehicles are equipped with efficient, environmentally-friendly BlueTec diesel technology, which meets the Euro 5 emissions limits that will take effect in October 2009. Another new feature available in the Actros Bau is the new Mercedes-Benz PowerShift automated transmission which is specially adapted for off-road applications. Because of its relatively short shift times and correspondingly minimal interruptions in tractive power, the new PowerShift transmission prevents the truck from breaking down on difficult road conditions or from losing speed on a steep climb. Functions like the rocking mode, the four reverse gears and fine transmission control because of integrated tilt sensor also helps

Safety enhancing features The Actros Bau also comes with a host of protective features keeping in mind the extreme conditions at a construction site. The new truck for example comes with a threemillimetre-thick, high-strength stainless steel guard plate that protects the radiator and engine from any potential damage. Another typical construction-specific feature is the improved pivoting entry step. The step is corrosion-resistant and can even be retrofitted to the previous models. The pivoting entry step is available in two versions for all-wheel-drive and conventionally driven trucks. Other practical features include the shrouded exterior mirrors, whose housings are made out of impact and scratch-resistant plastic. The protective headlamp grilles are made out of steel for protecting the lenses and lamps. The fuel tank, which is one of the most vulnerable parts of a construction vehicle, is also protected underneath by a guard plate. The Actros Bau also features a

one-piece handrail, which is now routed across the cab for ensuring more safety and comfort. The rain and light sensors also enhance the safety quotient further. Driving the Actros Bau Enhanced promises to be a pleasant compatibility experience thanks to a comfortable and spacious One of the major cabin featuring ergonomically placed controls. issues faced by the construction segment customers is that of compatibility of the vehicles for mounting bodies. Mercedes-Benz has taken care of this problem with its new introduction. The Actors Bau has an adjustable exhaust pipe behind the cab, the height of which can be quickly and easily adapted to suit the relevant body. The exhaust pipe consists of an end section and an intermediate section with two stainless steel clamps and this arrangement permits the height to be ex-

tended up to four metres. At the same time the direction of the exhaust flow can be adjusted. As a result retrofit solutions can be installed efficiently and with ease. These compatibility features are available on everything from the 4x2 construction Actros to the 8x8 construction Actros, the four-axle variant with all-wheel drive. Bodies and dedicated equipment for major segments of the construction industry will also be made available ex-factory.

Installing a body is relatively easier because of the adjustable exhaust pipe located at the back of the cabin.

may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 75

new frontiers / mercedes-benz

specifications: F e a t u r e

A v a i l a b i l i t y

Protective plate for the radiator and engine

Standard for tippers, optional for all Actros trucks with no underguard

Optimised pivoting step

Standard for tippers, concrete mixers, all-wheel-drive dropsiders and all-wheel-drive semi trailer tractors, otherwise optional

Protective mirror shroud

Standard for tippers and concrete mixers, optional for semi trailer tractors and dropsiders

Headlamp protective grille

Optional for all model variants

Mudguard/protective grille for tail lights

Optional for tippers and concrete mixers

Protective plate under main tank

Optional for all model variants in conjunction with 280-litre aluminium, 300 and 400-litre steel tank

12-speed Mercedes PowerShift Offroad automated transmission

Optional for tippers and concrete mixers

Rear axle ratios to reduce rpm

Standard for heavy-duty tippers and concrete mixers

Adjustable exhaust tailpipe behind the cab

Optional for all vehicles with a raised tailpipe behind the cab

Extended wheelbase

Standard for tippers and concrete mixers

Road construction package

Optional for tippers

New Meiller dump truck bodies

Optional for tippers

Construction-site specification with grab rail on the roof

Optional for all model variants

Compressed-air gun

Standard for tippers, concrete mixers, all-wheel-drive dropsiders and all-wheel-drive semi trailer tractors, otherwise optional

Rubber floor mats for driver’s and co-driver’s side

Optional for all LHD model variants

Sunblind for the side windows for driver’s and co-driver’s side

Standard on the driver’s side on many cab variants, optional on the co-driver’s side

Folding table on the co-driver’s side

Optional for all model variants

Floodlight on the cab’s rear wall

Optional for semi-trailer tractors and dropsiders

Light and rain sensor

Optional for all model variants, in conjunction with tinted windows

A customer can choose between power output options ranging from 320 hp to 598 hp.

...dump truck version in Brazil Mercedes-Benz has also introduced an Actros 4844 8x4 dump truck in Brazil recently. The move follows the huge success of Actros which was introduced for mining applications by Mercedes-Benz in Brazil last year. Aimed at mining and civil engineering applications, the dump truck is powered by the powerful OM 501 LA engine, which is also used for powering the Actros Bau. The 4844 8x4 dumper is also equipped with a 16-speed transmission, and the Telligent semi-automated gear shifting system. This semi automated gear shifting system enables rapid and smooth gear shifting operations. Features like ABS and ASR, imparts more safety to the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles have a long existence in Brazil and enjoy a strong market position for more than five decades. In 2008, Mercedes-Benz achieved a total market share of 29.5 percent in the medium- and heavy-duty truck segment. This is despite the fact that it could not expand its operations significantly in the country because of capacity bottlenecks. In Brazil, Axor and Accelo account for majority of the sales for Mercedes Benz while the Actros is sold primarily in the mining sector. ‘Actros offers more benefits for customers, ensuring more productivity in the transport and, mainly, more operational profitability for the fleet owner’ said Eustáquio Sirolli, Product Marketing Manager – Trucks, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. The Mercedes-Benz Actros was elected as the ‘The Truck of the year 2009’ in the last edition of the Commercial Vehicles International Show held in Germany. ■

The introduction of the 4844 dump truck in Brazil will only add to the rising popularity of the Actros in the country.

76 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009


big picture

Volvo introduces Globetrotter XXL cabs in Norway

along with various components needed for local assembly. The cabs for Norway are transported from Umeå to the Volvo heavy vehicle plant in Gothenburg, where they are fitted to the chassis after which they are then transported to Norway. ‘When new regulations came into existence in Norway, we could not introduce the cabs at that time as all of our production was fully booked for the Australian market. Last year, we found out a way to bring this special cab to Norway, and we are delighted to be able to present it now for the Norwegian market’ added Engelien. After the recent introduction, Volvo expects to target other countries permitting longer vehicles. ‘The recent introduction of a long cab in Norway has also attracted international interest and we have received a number of enquiries from customers in other countries who can use this type of tractor unit. The Scandinavian country now permits longer vehicles. As a Sweden for example, is one which also permits result, the Volvo FH 16 has been rolled out with a larger cab. country longer heavy goods vehicles and these bigger cabs can also olvo has launched the varsete for his efforts in persuading the be used there as well’ said Engelien. While Globetrotter XXL – a spe- Government of Norway to permit the in- most European countries do not permit a cial-sized cab on FH16 troduction of bigger trucks. The minister length of more than 16.5 meters for a semirange of trucks in Norway. has said that on account of Norway’s typi- trailer combination, a total length of 17.5 The move rides on the spe- cal winter driving conditions and narrow meters is permitted in Norway. Similarly cial length regulations for heavy goods roads, it was necessary to have three-axle while an articulated rig cannot exceed 18.75 vehicles introduced in Norway. Initially tractor units having the same loading ca- meters in Europe, the maximum permitted available only on the FH16 tractor unit, the pacity as that of its two-axle counterparts. length in Norway stands at 19.50 meters. ■ new cab is 245 mm longer than the Globe- ‘If the Norwegian Transport Minister had trotter XL. ‘The extra length creates a bet- not pitched for it, Norwegian transport ter working environment for the driver. A companies would have had to convert their larger cab also means better sleeping ac- existing vehicles at a cost of millions of commodation - something that is very im- kroner,’ claimed Engelien. portant to drivers who spend most nights This special cab has been successfulof their working week in their trucks’ re- ly operating in the Australian market for marked Erik Engelien, marketing director, many years. All Volvo cabs for the FH Volvo Norway. models are produced at Volvo’s cab factoEngelien also commended the Nor- ry in Umeå, in northern Sweden. The ones wegian Transport Minister Liv Signe Na- meant for Australia are shipped directly


may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 77

the numbers game

siam data

siam data / the numbers game

M&M and Piaggio 08-09 sub-3.5 tonners’ sales end in green Production


Domestic Sales



For the month of


For the month of


For the month of















7.5-12 tonners dip sharply in 08-09




M1 Category : Upto 8+1 seats (Passenger Carrier) B: Max.Mass upto 3.5 tonnes B1: No. of seats including driver not exceeding 7 BMW India Pvt Ltd 0 0 0 0 26 38 114 296 0 Force Motors Ltd 8 1 340 28 2 2 326 35 0 Ford India Pvt Ltd 453 265 2,947 2,684 392 276 2,918 2,780 0 General Motors India Pvt Ltd 718 427 8,407 5,465 1,008 534 8,879 7,796 0 Hindustan Motors Ltd 201 143 1,443 1,923 242 173 1,680 2,055 0 Honda Siel Cars India Ltd 0 0 0 0 329 282 3,428 2,246 0 Hyundai Motor India Ltd 0 0 0 0 5 3 188 50 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 6,293 7,073 68,703 64,664 7,091 7,525 65,178 65,077 312 Maruti Suzuki India Ltd 0 0 0 0 37 0 795 270 0 Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd 0 0 0 0 2 39 62 130 0 Tata Motors Ltd 3,941 2,792 32,899 21,829 3,447 2,976 26,760 21,488 38 Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd 2,316 1,595 19,854 16,753 2,722 1,394 20,220 16,535 0 Total 13,930 12,296 134,593 113,346 15,303 13,242 130,548 118,758 350 B2: No. of seats including driver exceeding 7 but not exceeding 9 (7+1 & 8+1) Force Motors Ltd 0 0 73 27 0 1 21 1 0 General Motors India Pvt Ltd 252 75 2,219 1,168 215 85 2,194 1,252 0 International Cars & Motors Ltd 380 78 1,868 3,479 365 140 1,757 3,489 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 2,579 5,103 32,642 29,263 3,109 5,421 31,010 29,677 262 Maruti Suzuki India Ltd 170 1,319 3,001 8,073 585 1,394 3,132 7,219 27 Tata Motors Ltd 223 402 3,622 5,973 1,019 372 4,398 5,966 1 Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd 2,802 1,347 27,322 21,437 3,513 1,585 27,990 21,775 0 Total 6,406 8,324 70,747 69,420 8,806 8,998 70,502 69,379 290 Total B (B1+B2) 20,336 20,620 205,340 182,766 24,109 22,240 201,050 188,137 640 C: Multi Purpose Vehicles (MPVs) - Van type vehicles & Max. Mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes Van Type (M1) Maruti Suzuki India Ltd 8,741 6,156 93,940 75,215 8,041 6,021 89,729 77,948 145 Tata Motors Ltd 1,310 2,747 11,393 28,463 1,529 2,890 11,136 28,659 0 Total C 10,051 8,903 105,333 103,678 9,570 8,911 100,865 106,607 145 Total of all M1 Category (B+C) 30,387 29,523 310,673 286,444 33,679 311,51 301,915 294,744 785 N1 Category : Max. Mass upto 3.5 tonnes (Goods Carrier) Max Mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes Force Motors Ltd 146 124 5,896 1,782 487 89 5,483 1,981 24 Hindustan Motors Ltd 0 10 0 53 0 29 3 47 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 3,782 5,909 53,156 51,985 4,417 5,633 44,976 47,269 830 Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd 865 718 5,113 9,206 825 667 4,945 9,012 0 Tata Motors Ltd 11,579 10,722 117,804 101,148 10,016 10,185 101,847 89,150 1,787 Total of all N1 Category 16,372 17,483 181,969 164,174 15,745 16,603 157,254 147,459 2,641 M2 Category: More than 8+1 seats & Max. Mass upto 5 tonnes (Passenger Carrier) A: Max. Mass upto 5 tonnes A1: No. of seats including driver not exceeding 13 Force Motors Ltd 819 542 7,777 4,919 962 560 7,766 5,027 0 General Motors India Pvt Ltd 830 680 10,147 6,709 917 624 10,205 6,555 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 413 1,396 7,857 11,612 749 1,394 7,696 11,722 11




0 0 0 0 0 0 0 70 0 0 38 0 108

0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2,431 0 0 2,322 0 4,754

0 6 0 0 0 0 0 1,351 0 0 350 0 1,707

0 0 0 27 2 5 0 34 142

2 0 0 903 103 81 0 1,089 5,843

24 0 24 759 76 101 0 984 2,691

133 0 133 275

1,005 1 1,006 6,849

1,112 48 1,160 3,851

26 0 195 0 333 554

211 0 8,305 4 14,501 23,021

60 0 5,351 73 7,737 13,221

11 1 10

36 0 208

42 1 76

For the month of


For the month of
















1,704 3,766


1,491 14,917 12,222 2,432 1,829 18,567 14,359 18 4,109 40,698 35,462 5,060 4,407 44,234 37,663 29 A2: No. of seats including driver exceeding 13 Force Motors Ltd 363 503 4,556 3,843 526 548 4,184 3,899 57 Hindustan Motors Ltd 0 0 16 0 0 0 11 2 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 298 202 3,857 2,606 395 224 3,493 2,525 0 Tata Motors Ltd 152 242 2,107 3,192 387 292 2,350 3,783 0 Total A2 813 947 10,536 9,641 1,308 1,064 10,038 10,209 57 Total of all M2 Category (A1+A2) 4,579 5,056 51,234 45,103 6,368 5,471 54,272 47,872 86 N2 Category : Max. Mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes (Goods Carrier) A: Max. Mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes A1: Max Mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 5 tonnes Force Motors Ltd 114 147 924 1,815 171 118 902 1,757 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 124 50 1,406 921 144 70 1,427 1,030 0 Tata Motors Ltd 54 106 678 389 0 0 0 0 1 Total A1 292 303 3,008 3,125 315 188 2,329 2,787 1 A2: Max Mass exceeding 5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 Eicher Motors Ltd 503 263 4,265 3,292 510 240 3,288 2,404 135 Force Motors Ltd 6 6 233 99 8 6 187 54 11 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 237 359 3,662 2,918 287 233 3,403 2,456 41 Swaraj Mazda Ltd 201 85 2,286 1,685 402 131 2,610 1,495 0 Tata Motors Ltd 2,401 1,978 24,744 20,658 1,907 1,962 19,009 17,078 631 Total A2 3,348 2,691 35,190 28,652 3,114 2,572 28,497 23,490 818 A3: Max Mass exceeding 7.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 181 120 2,432 1,754 128 76 1,774 1,271 55 Eicher Motors Ltd 1,527 1,195 16,638 10,428 1,999 1,276 16,274 10,587 18 Swaraj Mazda Ltd 289 267 4,060 2,378 425 467 3,663 2,331 21 Tata Motors Ltd 2,658 1,493 21,731 13,773 2,037 1,422 19,138 13,527 49 Total A3 4,655 3,075 44,861 28,333 4,589 3,241 40,849 27,716 143 Total of all N2 Category (A1+A2+A3) 8,295 6,069 83,059 60,110 8,018 6,001 71,675 53,993 962 M3 Category: More than 8+1 seats & Max. Mass exceeding 5 tonnes (Passenger Carrier) A: Max. Mass exceeding 5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes No. of seats including driver exceeding 13 Ashok Leyland Ltd 67 156 861 1,097 79 75 613 511 66 Eicher Motors Ltd 190 123 2,075 1,550 138 192 1,853 1,390 105 Force Motors Ltd 36 8 163 79 36 8 146 128 0 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 224 185 2,154 2,278 265 243 1,981 2,505 0 Swaraj Mazda Ltd 248 259 2,226 2,194 373 362 2,234 1,944 16 Tata Motors Ltd 1,510 1,175 15,867 11,799 1,177 1,205 10,967 10,158 657 Total A 2,275 1,906 23,346 18,997 2,068 2,085 17,794 16,636 844 B: Max. Mass exceeding 7.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes No. of seats including driver exceeding 13 Ashok Leyland Ltd 51 218 1,174 926 53 102 765 694 22 Eicher Motors Ltd 219 153 1,677 1,567 128 75 1,317 1,225 25 Swaraj Mazda Ltd 184 90 2,643 1,888 359 207 2,090 1,605 0


Vlro ebob ql do^_ qeb jlpq bvb_^iip 78 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009



2008 Tata Motors Ltd Total A1

Domestic Sales

For the month of



13 35

196 440

230 349

1 0 0 0 1 36

294 0 28 22 344 784

144 0 70 84 298 647

0 0 0 0

0 2 246 248

28 0 83 111

-3 27 0 120 35 174 353

4 767 24 281 155 6,094 7,325

-3 656 50 535 383 5,429 7,050

106 26 21 74 227 580

498 289 333 1,119 2,239 9,812

476 356 190 748 1,770 8,931

311 22 4 5 11 154 507

204 430 0 52 41 5,236 5,963

836 404 7 88 49 3,744 5,128

40 30 0

267 182 146

215 144 4

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may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 79

the numbers game / siam data

siam data / the numbers game

Rigid truck sales slump, buses relatively fine Production


* Volvo Buses cumulative data is only for Oct-08 to March-09



For the month of


For the month of


For the month of








2008 Tata Motors Ltd Total B

Domestic Sales

Bajaj manages to end flat in passenger 3-wheelers










213 402 1,059 2,872 332 480 1,417 3,239 3 26 667 863 6,553 7,253 872 864 5,589 6,763 50 96 C: Max. Mass exceeding 12 tonnes but not exceeding 16.2 tonnes C1: No. of seats including driver exceeding 9 but not exceeding 13 Tata Motors Ltd 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 C2: No. of seats including driver exceeding 13 Ashok Leyland Ltd 1,489 1,998 21,435 18,892 1,382 1,918 16,809 15,355 658 196 Eicher Motors Ltd 2 9 545 208 45 6 487 110 44 16 Tata Motors Ltd 2,009 1,815 17,832 14,155 1,898 1,439 15,521 12,203 888 453 Volvo Buses India Pvt. Ltd* 0 28 0 182 0 30 0 190 0 0 Volvo India Pvt Ltd 25 0 177 264 39 0 240 251 0 0 Total C (C1+C2) 3,525 3,850 39,989 33,701 3,365 3,393 33,058 28,109 1,590 665 D: Max. Mass exceeding 16.2 tonnes No. of seats including driver exceeding 13 (Passenger Carrier) Volvo Buses India Pvt. Ltd* 0 4 0 41 0 4 0 43 0 0 Total D 0 4 0 41 0 4 0 43 0 0 Total of all M3 Category (A+B+C+D) 6,467 6,623 69,888 59,992 6,305 6,346 56,441 51,551 2,484 1,268 N3 Category: Max. Mass exceeding 12 tonnes (Goods Carrier) A: Max. Mass not exceeding 16.2 tonnes Max. Mass exceeding 12 tonnes but not exceeding 16.2 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 1,611 910 14,606 10,411 1,725 1,099 12,457 9,042 195 21 Eicher Motors Ltd 193 116 2,682 1,299 204 78 2,406 977 75 32 Tata Motors Ltd 6,013 2,634 49,428 33,215 5,716 3,159 45,582 32,638 683 272 Total A 7,817 3,660 66,716 44,925 7,645 4,336 60,445 42,657 953 325 B1: Max Mass exceeding 16.2 tonnes - Rigid Vehicles (a) Max. Mass exceeding 16.2 but not exceeding 25 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 4,529 132 35,816 16,207 5,041 955 35,633 16,432 140 0 Asia Motor Works Ltd 380 124 2,132 2,464 402 294 2,042 2,886 0 0 Eicher Motors Ltd 16 32 1,811 443 171 57 1,619 439 5 13 Tata Motors Ltd 8,116 4,582 69,019 43,918 8,309 4,746 67,637 42,515 9 107 Volvo India Pvt Ltd 0 0 36 238 7 0 33 15 0 0 Total (A) 13,041 4,870 108,814 63,270 13,930 6,052 106,964 62,287 154 120 (b) Max. Mass exceeding 25 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 0 0 0 1,171 0 156 0 1,344 0 0 Eicher Motors Ltd 102 0 381 106 75 13 266 172 0 0 Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd 38 17 123 297 34 18 206 235 0 0 Tata Motors Ltd 445 601 1,742 3,429 528 562 1,488 3,393 0 0 Tatra Vectra Motors Ltd 0 0 43 10 0 0 32 6 0 0 Volvo India Pvt Ltd 123 76 742 992 77 55 678 822 57 0 Total (B) 708 694 3,031 6,005 714 804 2,670 5,972 57 0 Total B1 ((A)+(B)) 13,749 5,564 111,845 69,275 14,644 6,856 109,634 68,259 211 120 B2: Max. Mass exceeding 16.2 tonnes- Haulage Tractor (Tractor-Semi Trailer/Trailer) (A) Max. Mass exceeding 16.2 tonnes but not exceeding 26.4 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total (A) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0



08-09 42 405



4,421 162 4,781 0 0 9,364

3,481 100 3,540 0 0 7,121

0 0 15,978

0 0 12,654

1,486 224 5,549 7,259

1,764 371 3,397 5,532

294 0 162 1,772 0 2,228

34 0 54 1,517 226 1,831

0 0 0 0 0 120 120 2,348

0 0 0 1 0 45 46 1,877

19 19

0 0

For the month of


For the month of


















(B) Max. Mass exceeding 26.4 tonnes but not exceeding 35.2 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 639 0 3,391 1,668 624 50 3,463 1,578 19 0 91 Tata Motors Ltd 882 0 5,616 1,741 856 288 5,436 3,120 0 0 14 Total (B) 1,521 0 9,007 3,409 1,480 338 8,899 4,698 19 0 105 (C) Max. Mass exceeding 35.2 tonnes Ashok Leyland Ltd 577 24 4,291 1,920 509 10 4,508 1,402 0 0 1 Asia Motor Works Ltd 240 9 1,704 544 101 78 1,569 745 0 0 0 Eicher Motors Ltd 3 0 155 23 27 -2 101 37 0 0 0 Tata Motors Ltd 753 0 9,733 2,918 963 237 9,818 3,039 5 0 66 Volvo India Pvt Ltd 41 4 103 195 23 14 112 73 23 0 41 Total (C) 1,614 37 15,986 5,600 1,623 337 16,108 5,296 28 0 108 Total B2 ((A)+(B)+(C)) 3,135 37 24,993 9,009 3,103 675 25,007 9,994 47 0 232 Total of all N3 Category (A+B1+B2) 24,701 9,261 203,554 123,209 25,392 11,867 195,086 120,910 1,211 445 9,839 TH Category: Three Wheelers A: Passenger Carrier A1:No. of seats Including driver not exceeding 4 & Max.Mass not exceeding 1 tonne Atul Auto Limited 241 140 3,539 7,166 253 135 3,543 2,625 0 0 16 Bajaj Auto Ltd 16,328 19,524 259,589 265,275 9,359 13,100 127,379 125,273 10,135 7,611 136,215 Force Motors Ltd 10 3 880 69 55 5 927 104 0 0 45 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 1,649 2,302 3,325 26,023 1,663 2,289 2,564 26,195 0 30 0 Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd 9,142 10,318 93,981 105,937 8,901 9,658 90,478 102,467 246 10 3,653 Scooters India Ltd 216 182 2,781 2,736 292 193 2,888 2,953 0 0 0 TVS Motor Company Ltd 65 860 65 5,584 78 649 78 4,596 0 1 0 Total A1 27,651 33,329 364,160 412,790 20,601 26,029 227,857 264,213 10,381 7,652 139,929 A2:No. of seats Including driver exceeding 4 but not exceeding 7 & Max.Mass not exceeding 1.5 tonnes Force Motors Ltd 84 81 1,580 840 90 41 1,281 475 43 0 473 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 10 121 1,815 1,737 61 87 1,779 975 0 0 0 Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd 0 0 26 19 0 0 26 0 0 0 0 Scooters India Ltd 448 184 3,479 2,295 288 183 3,831 2,826 0 0 4 Total A2 542 386 6,900 4,891 439 311 6,917 4,276 43 0 477 Total A (A1+A2) 28,193 33,715 371,060 417,681 21,040 26,340 234,774 268,489 10,424 7,652 140,406 B: Goods Carrier B1: Max. Mass not exceeding 1 tonne Atul Auto Limited 569 422 5,275 4,373 585 387 5,308 4,341 0 0 4 Bajaj Auto Ltd 1,194 654 26,259 9,437 1,271 742 26,607 10,197 0 0 100 Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd 4,142 3,985 59,426 43,520 4,106 3,510 58,868 42,139 33 36 386 Scooters India Ltd 221 188 3,183 3,070 323 202 3,340 3,261 0 0 0 Total B1 6,126 5,249 94,143 60,400 6,285 4,841 94,123 59,938 33 36 490 B2: Others Force Motors Ltd 250 131 3,770 1,487 328 99 4,130 1,844 4 0 18 Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd 1,287 1,402 29,420 19,273 1,879 1,667 29,584 17,363 98 4 149 Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd 8 0 198 244 0 0 22 0 6 18 162 Scooters India Ltd 143 176 2,069 1,945 200 173 2,148 2,085 0 0 0 Total B2 1,688 1,709 35,457 22,949 2,407 1,939 35,884 21,292 108 22 329 Total B (B1+B2) 7,814 6,958 129,600 83,349 8,692 6,780 130,007 81,230 141 58 819 Total of all TH Category (A+B) 36,007 40,673 500,660 501,030 29,732 33,120 364,781 349,719 10,565 7,710 141,225


Vlro ebob ql do^_ qeb jlpq bvb_^iip 80 / Commercial Vehicle / may 2009




56 651

Domestic Sales

For the month of

08-09 0 21 21 9 0 0 45 85 139 160 7,569

4,528 139,056 0 160 2,679 6 17 146,446 418 0 50 8 476 146,922

9 0 751 0 760 18 110 264 0 392 1,152 148,074

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may 2009 / Commercial Vehicle / 81

RNI NO. MAHENG / 2006 / 20842