Scania and Transpro Motors inaugurate dealership and service workshop in Karnataka

Keeping up with the commitment of establishing and expanding strong dealer network in India, Scania Commercial Vehicles India, inaugurated its first dealership in Bidadi, Karnataka. Transpro Motors will exclusively sell Scania buses and on-road trucks and extend aftermarket services such as vehicle service, spare support, accidental repair and insurance.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Anders Grundströmer, Managing Director, Scania India and Senior Vice President, Scania Group said: “I am proud to inaugurate this dealership as it is one more step towards Scania’s promise to deliver Sustainable Transport solutions to the Indian market. It is a pleasure to be associated with Transpro Motors, who will exclusively market and sell Scania buses and on-road trucks in the region of Karnataka, and also extend aftermarket services to our customers. We look forward to strengthening this association. Scania is bound by its principle “Customer first”, our goal is to deliver a dependable and reliable after sales service that is prompt and effective and meets the customer needs in all ways. With this dealership we establish a strong foothold in Karnataka, being an important state for us. Going forward we will steadily strengthen our dealer network in the northern and western states of India.”

Mr. M.K Lakshminarayan, Chairman, Tranpro Motors added: “Transpro Motors are extremely delighted to be associated with Scania a leading premium commercial vehicle manufacturer. Our dedicated team will compliment and complete Scania’s core value in customer satisfaction and top-notch services. There is a growing demand among the fleet operators for premium products and the segment is rapidly opening up, our Scania dealership will not only address this growing demand but also ensure happy and satisfied customers”.

The new dealership in Bidadi will further strengthen the existing dealer network of Scania. The strategic location of the new dealership will increase the accessibility for key bus hubs and fleet operators to avail aftermarket services. The dealership will provide 24×7 assistance and service to Scania customers. Scania’s focus in the Indian market is to deliver the best aftermarket sales for all its products, to strengthen the same Scania is establishing a wide service and dealership network in India. In addition to the dealer outlets, Scania also offers service vans to guarantee service support to customers within two hours of fault reporting.

Scania stays committed to its promise of Sustainable Transport solutions. With every product the customer receives an outstanding Total Operating Economy including maximum uptime, great fuel economy with lesser impact on the environment as well as high residual value. Scania has a strong focus on driver training and the driver has a vital role for operating economy, safety and repair costs in any transport operation. In addition Scania’s Fleet Management Services ensure safety through monitoring.ae7e42d4-1b21-4969-bfa9-f93ec921c0e2_TempSmall

The Automotive Engineering Show opened in Chennai

The Automotive Engineering Show will be your destination for technologies and products that set new benchmarks for manufacturing in the automotive industry. Messe Frankfurt takes pride in announcing the 9th edition of the Automotive Engineering show which will be held from the 7 – 9 July 2015 at Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai.

Hon’ble Minister of Industries Thiru P. Thangamani addressed the gathering of auto sector professionals at the opening day of  Automotive Engineering Show 2015, Chennai. The Automotive Engineering Show is India’s only trade fair focussed on Automotive Technologies.

Innovations are the driving force for mobility in tomorrow’s world. Putting forward innovations of the future, the Automotive Engineering Show will cover engineering and automation in Vehicle and Automotive component manufacturing companies. Such a clear vertical focus on the vehicle manufacturing plant makes it a unique ‘one of its kind’ show in the world.

Messe Frankfurt’s expertise in the automotive industry spans the OEM and Aftermarket with the world-renowned trade fair ‘Automechanika’ which takes place in 13 locations around 4 continents. The Automotive Engineering Show and the Indian edition of ACMA Automechanika New Delhi will resultantly deal with the growing needs of the rapidly growing automotive industry in India.

Safety conscious

Article by: Rajesh Rajgor

Googling truck and bus accident images will throw up horrific scenes. Mangled remains of trucks by the roadside; burnt buses displaying their raw structure; head-on collisions between a truck and a bus, or between a pickup and a car appear in quick succession. If they bring to mind the three laws of Sir Isaac Newton, and how they seemed to have found application, it is at once clear that safety is not to be taken lightly. May it be on the move or even when stationary. Not in an active sense or in a passive sense either. It is therefore not surprising to find OEMs and suppliers testing new safety systems on test tracks almost tirelessly. At the same time, engineers and designers in front of large computer screens toil to develop new safety apparatus, and better what has already been developed. As the quest for autonomous driving vehicles and zero accidents gains force, active and passive safety systems get a shot in the arm. And, irrespective of whether a collision mitigation system will work on an Indian truck or a bus. In India, the latest developments in the area of safety include a government order to fit a certain class of trucks and buses with ABS. The developments also include a mandate for Bus Code, which speaks about the use of approved materials and
coach work.

Active safety

Defined as a system that is activated in response to a safety problem or an abnormal event, active safety in an automobile could mean a function as simple as good steering and good brakes. Starting with a good steering and good brakes, active safety has gone much beyond however. It has come to include mechatronic developments like brake assist, traction control, electronic stability, etc. Employing sensors that interpret signals to help the driver control the vehicle, active safety systems have also come to include advanced driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation systems. In the development of such systems are involved tier 1 suppliers like Wabco, Knorr Bremse, Bosch, Continental and many others. They continue to work closely with OEMs to turn out systems that make an automobile safe. At the risk of reducing the driver to a mere passenger almost.

What works in USA or Japan may not work in India however. It does not come as a surprise therefore when Jacques Esculier, Chairman and CEO, Wabco Holdings Inc. opines that it is not desirable to introduce collision mitigation system in India because one is always prone to a collision due to the heavy traffic. “You may need a different kind of functionality depending upon the speed itself. This is the work that we are doing right now to provide the best optimised system that will benefit the Indian market,” he adds. Wabco commands a large chunk of the commercial vehicle market in India for brakes. The company, based at Chennai, also supplies ABS to most commercial vehicle manufacturers in the country. Apart from collision mitigation system, some of the active safety systems that Wabco has been working on, include AMT, which Esculier claims, helps the driver concentrate on the road better. Describing ABS as a major cornerstone to enhance safety, Esculier drew attention to the need to manage energy without challenging the safety of the vehicle. Especially in the case of hybrid vehicles that are emerging. India will also get them, albeit later than that of Europe
or USA.

If the Freighliner autonomous truck has demonstrated that it can drive itself without the help of a driver under varying conditions, the success marks the rise of active safety systems to the next level. Passive safety systems can’t be ignored either. In case a collision is unavoidable, they reduce
the damage.

 

Passive safety

Aimed at reducing damage, passive safety systems include seat belts, airbags, safety seat structures, head restraints, crumple zones and energy absorbing body structures. Passive safety systems protect vehicle occupants from injury in case of a collision. They are engineered such that they create a safe zone for vehicle occupants in case of an impact. Ensuring that the vehicle occupants remain in the safe zone throughout the crash, they work such that a seat belt, airbag and headrest will keep the driver and passenger safe by limiting him to the safety zone. Reduce the risk of serious injury.

Also a part of passive safety are measures like the positioning of fuel tank in a truck or a bus. Engineering a collapsible steering column. The engineering of crumple zones, and the design of the cab. A part of the cab design are issues like the view outside. In other words, providing the driver of a truck or bus with unobstructed, long-range visibility of both the road and approaching obstacles. This could be done with the help of full close- and long-range rear view mirrors; large, well-positioned and adjustable mirrors, and advanced alternatives like, camera systems with full-frontal display monitors. When driving at night, automatically levelling headlights help to enhance safety. Also, directions indicators, position lights and side indicators improve safety. Not just for the driver of a truck or bus, but for other road users. Even technologies like auto transmission and Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). The driver of a CV is able to focus more on driving rather than split his focus between the road and the controls. In case of automatic transmissions, supplementary safety features like door integration (gears cannot be engaged when the door is open; door will not open when the vehicle is in motion) and no roll back when in drive-mode also help to enhance safety.

New developments

New developments continue to emerge in the area of commercial vehicle safety. Airbags do not just inflate out of the steering column but also appear along the side-panels and even around the knees. Advanced seat belts moderate the amount of tension across a person’s body, and reduce instances of seat belt-related injuries. A major safety application that enhances safety, but is yet to reach out to Indian CVs include tyre pressure monitoring systems, camera monitor systems, adjustable steering and steering mounted controls to operate the vehicle features to avoid distraction of drivers. Tyre pressure monitoring systems, monitor tyre pressure and alert the driver via a display and an audible alarm in case the pressure in the tyres depletes beyond a certain limit. Capable of monitoring tyre temperature, the systems warn the driver when there is a fire hazard or a tyre burst risk.

Camera monitor systems are said to provide the same level of functionality that traditional mirrors provide. Interest is therefore growing in Europe and USA towards this technology. Indian CV manufacturers are prioritising driver safety and overall drive enhancement of CVs. They are likely to embrace these new technologies that promise greater safety, just as we saw the acceptance of ABS and Bus code.

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Indian safety requirementsCommercial vehicle safety in India is mainly governed by regulatory requirement – AIS 029. As a part, the cabin of a truck is subjected to frontal impact test, roof strength test and rear wall strength test. Other than these tests the truck is also tested by loading it to the maximum. Test are also conducted to avoid small vehicles and pedestrians coming under the wheels of the trucks. Under run safety provisions are made. This includes UPDs (Under run Protection Device) like, SUPD (Side), RUPD (Rear) and FUPD (Front). This devices are added to the trucks in India under AIS(069), IS:14812 and IS:14682. Lighting, primarily at the rear-end, forms one of the core requirements of the passive safety. However, rear lighting systems alone are not enough to make a truck visible. It is also mandatory to have conspicuity marking under the regulation AIS 090. International studies revealed that the presence of reflective tapes can result in 41 per cent fewer rear end collisions and 37 per cent fewer side collisions. Mandatory conspicuity markings under AIS 090 comprise of colour and width of marking. For side to be marked in yellow, the width is 50 mm. Rear should have red reflective tapes of 50 mm width. For vehicles exceeding 2.1 metres width at the rear, a red full contour marking is mandatory. Similarly vehicles exceeding 6000 mm in length should have partial yellow contour marking. Roll Over Protection (ROP), mostly for buses, comes under (AIS 031). Bus rollover is one of the most serious types of accidents. ROP ensures adequate strengthening of the bus frame to maintain life space (occupant space) and minimises occupant injuries.

The Scania Metrolink bus, for example, is equipped with a Fleet Management System (FMS), fire detection and suppression system, six emergency exits with twelve hammers, emergency doors and flight like safety video to educate passengers on do’s and don’ts, at the time of emergency. All the Scania products also comply with R66 standard which is formulated to ensure, best possible safety even in case of vehicle roll over and accident, tested and certified by TUV, Germany. To reduce the wear and tear of the braking system, Blended Retarder (BR) in the Scania products improves safety by keeping the service brakes cold for full emergency performance, and also adds on to the stability of the vehicle while braking. The engine and bus body is built with 100 per cent fire retardant material. Other advantages such as shorter turning radius for easy manoeuvring and Scania Opticruise, a fully automated manual gearbox, helps the driver concentrate better.
Volvo too has introduced several new concepts and technologies like the Volvo Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS), Electronically Controlled Brakes (EBS), Volvo Engine Management System (EMS), ABS, kneeling mechanisms in city buses, FUP/FIP safety systems in all coaches, and bus multiplexing. With the introduction of each of these technologies, Volvo raised the benchmark in terms of safety, performance and reliability. Monocoque coach construction specialist Corona who has delivered the company’s Majestic AC sleeper coach to the North West Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and the North East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC)claims that the space frame structure, increases passenger safety.

Mining deep

Article by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

The Indian-made BharatBenz 3143 deep mining tipper is set to change the way the deep mining tipper segment will be looked upon.

From behind the wheel of the new BharatBenz 3143 deep mining tipper, the view ahead is almost uninterrupted. It is a far cry from the trucks of yesteryear where the cabin was cramped and the driving position uncomfortable. Displayed at the AAI show at Hannover last year as a ‘Made-in-India’ product along with the left-hand-drive Fuso truck, the 3143 has begun rolling out of the Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) facility at Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. A commercial launch is scheduled later this year. Impressive is the attention to design and ergonomics. The day cabin flaunts good built, presents a good service of space. The large, sweeping dashboard may look a touch bland, it does not feel like it was built to a price. The modern instrument panel has two large dials. At the centre is a digital readout which indicates the gear the vehicle is currently in. If it is in the manual mode or the auto mode or if the differential-lock is engaged, and more.

Equipped with a 12-forward, 4-reverse G330 ‘Powershift’ constant mesh Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) that is operated by means of a multi-function stalk (paddle shift) on the steering column, the 3143 deep mining tipper that I am at the helm of, is filled with 28-tonnes of cargo. Enough to make me realise that this truck, referred to as Thunderbolt internally, is rated at 31-tonnes and equipped with a 29 cu. m. rock body from Satrac. The hydraulics are from Hydromass India.

Gearshift is activated by moving the multi-function stalk vertically. Moving it laterally activates or releases the exhaust brake. Pushing the ring on the stalk gets the transmission into neutral. A button at the end of the stalk also facilitates a similar function. It marks a world of change from manual transmission. With the gears positioned such that the first gear amounts to first-low, and the second gear amounts to first-high, highlighting the G330 transmission’s splitter arrangement, a switch on the centre console and part of a three-switch bank, enables the move to manual mode. Conversely, it also facilitates a move back to auto from manual. In the auto-mode, the transmission is sensitive to the push of the accelerator pedal and brake, thus shifting up or down. One of the three-switch bank is a switch for the air-conditioner. Not far from it and closer to the steering column, is the parking brake lever. On the other side are the HVAC controls.
If the cabin of the 3143 deep mining tipper reflects the amount of comfort an European driver has come to expect (most trucks in Europe are fitted with air-suspension), it is the quality perception that is carried over to the outside.

Subjected to extremely strenuous conditions and expected to operate for 22 hours in two shifts everyday, with the sole break for refilling fuel, deep mining trucks typically ferry overburden in a mine. Since three deep mining tippers come at a price of one dump truck, they are a preferred lot. Capable of ferrying 48-tonnes in-line with the Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) regulations, and 31-tonnes according to CMVR rules, overloading of deep mining tippers is always a possibility. The need therefore is to withstand such conditions. Replacing Mercedes-Benz Actros, and with 90 localisation at the chassis level (powertrain is sourced from Germany), the 3143, according to Erich Nesselhauf, CEO, DICV, will be a game changer with its low acquisition cost and strong technological prowess.

To facilitate the nature of its application, the cabin of 3143 is situated 180 mm higher. Riding on 24-inch diameter wheels and off-road tyres the truck looks intimidating. A ‘Make-in-India’ ambassador according to Nesselhauf, it looks slightly different from the one that was displayed at the 2014 IAA show at Hannover, Germany. The 3143 thus has been treated to a facelift. The grille, in matt black is now more pronounced and wider. The BharatBenz logo is at the centre. It does not take long to find out that the cabin of the 3143 has been inspired by that of the Axor C. Contributing to an impression where even when standing still, the 3143 looks brutish, a dandy looking bumper includes the head lights (with daytime LEDs in them). At the bottom of the bumper is a scrub plate.

Walk over, and thick wheel arches painted in the same shade of grey as the bumper draw attention. Just aft of the cabin, and ahead of the superstructure is the hydraulics hardware. Structured on a chassis that is made from high-strength E500TM material, the 3143 deep mining tipper, ironically is easy to drive. There is no clutch pedal to deal with. All it takes is to step on the accelerator. In auto, it does not take long for the transmission to shift into 4th gear. Speedo needle shows 25 kmph. With speeds in mines for such trucks topping out at 40 kmph, the 3143, employing a 400 series engine in comparison to the 500 series engine found in the Actros, produces less power but more torque than that of the Actros’ engine. A mere touch of the brake pedal retards the machine, and leads to the transmission downshifting itself.

If a torture track leads to considerable axle articulation, which is easily accomplished, the 3143 was subjected to many ‘torture’ tests in Indian mines and at Daimler’s testing facility in Germany to ensure that a robust, reliable and efficient solution was arrived at. Development on the product started two years ago, and as part of a strategy to offer a highly diverse range. Also meant for export under the BharatBenz and Fuso brand, the 3143 gives the impression of being refined. Not much noise is filters in. Outside, I am sure, it is noisy owing to the viscous clutch fan, which creates quite a din. Powered by a 430 hp, 12-litre OM457 six-cylinder motor, this 8×4 truck, with a wheelbase of 4380 mm, has two front steered axles. The rear bogie arrangement contains Meritor axles with hub reduction.

Cameras point at a safer future

Article by: Rajesh Rajgor

With camera monitoring systems finding their way into passenger cars, the time is not far when they will find their way into commercial vehicles to help the driver get a 360-degree view.

A leading tier 1 supplier in India is said to be in discussion with MEKRA Lang to ink a joint venture. If the discussion reaches its logical conclusion, MEKRA Lang and the respective Tier 1 supplier are likely to go to the market with Camera Monitoring Systems (CMS), lighting systems, mirrors and plastics for a variety of automobiles, including commercial vehicles. Based in Germany, MEKRA Lang claims to be a leading manufacturer of surround vision systems for commercial vehicles. Its product portfolio includes a near infinite system variations in the field of CMS. Winning a supplier award for camera vision systems in 2011 from MAN Truck and Bus AG, MEKRA Lang has had a long experience in vision systems for automobiles. In an effort to replace mirror-based vision system for trucks that is known to suffer from a disadvantage of blind spots, MEKRA Lang has worked with MAN to replace rear view mirrors with CMS. MAN also on its part, worked with the Institute of Ergonomics at the Technische University, Munich, to develop a cabin-intensive camera vision systems concept. The same was displayed by the truck maker at the 2014 IAA Commercial Vehicle show at Hannover.

Interest in CMS is growing in Europe and USA. Daimler’s US truck brand Freightliner ran a self-driving truck on Nevada’s public roads. The truck used a complex stereo camera and radar system to keep to the lane and maintain a safe distance, including the need to stop and proceed. The run followed a mandate from the US Department of Transportation for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that new vehicles under 4,500kg are to be equipped with rear view cameras by 2018. For the inspiration truck run, Daimler requested the US Federal Government to revise regulations in order to replace rear view mirrors with Camera-Monitor Systems (CMS). The current motor policy asks for rear view mirrors. Daimler North America in its petition is known to have mentioned that CMS can achieve the same or better level of safety as outside rear view mirrors in providing the driver a view to the rear along both sides of the vehicle, but with enhanced environmental benefits, especially for large trucks.

Enhanced visibility

Apart from improving the surrounding visibility, CMS, researchers claim, also helps to enhance the vehicle’s ability to cheat the wind. Consisting of an electronic imager (camera), an intelligent Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and a display (monitor), CMS is said to provide the same level of functionality that a rear view mirror, or a set of rear view mirrors provide. What makes a CMS stand out is its ability to build different types of images with the use of different lenses. Presenting an ability to designers to design a vehicle that is more aerodynamic and provides the driver with a good vision around him, CMS also helps to compensate for the limitations of the driver. Right positioning of the display in the cabin is therefore important as much as it is for the cameras to be placed on the outside. The Pro Viu range of CMS from Continental enhances surround safety, as does the high vision camera-based systems from Australia-based, Truck Rear Vision Systems (TRVS). It is worth mentioning a project Volvo Trucks carried with the help of Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, in 2013. The project looked into the future layouts of visual information in Volvo Trucks and evaluated the practical aspects of CMS in the cabins of the trucks.

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Article by: Rajesh Rajgor
Comprehending the technology

Apart from the ‘right’ placement of the cameras and the display screens, further evolution of CMS is creating a need for one that allows brightness to be adjusted such that the display does not prove to be a hindrance during night driving. Then, there’s the issue of depth of vision. The driver looks at the surrounding area by moving his eyes, and also by tilting and turning his head. To reduce head movements the visual information is expected to be placed as close as possible to his line of sight. This can also minimise the time required for the driver to comprehend
the visuals.

A CMS will therefore have to take into consideration details pertaining to different views like, left rear view, right rear view, wide angle view, close-up front view and a bird’s eye view. A combined view will help in effectively manoeuvring the truck or a bus. Successful employment of CMS in a truck or a bus also involves evaluation at different speeds, at different times of the day, at different camera angles, with the lights on or off, during bad weathers, etc. Researchers are also focusing on how to train drivers to read the display and comprehend it. Human behavioral issues are a challenge for certain. Drivers would need to unlearn the basics of traditional viewing and get used to grasping new visual data by training their minds. Given that the human mind has its limitations, drivers can thus get distracted easily, even when they are looking at the road ahead. Correct placement of CMS components can aid in eliminating such error.

Pros and Cons

Claimed to reduce the aerodynamic drag co-efficient and therefore fuel consumption, CMS also offers an environmental advantage in terms of lower energy usage and lower emissions. With numerous aspects to consider in case of a CMS system and its application in a commercial vehicle, in terms of challenge it is the way the screen is positioned inside the cabin, and how the driver will be able to best decipher the information will take precedence. It is perhaps in view of this challenge, that some researchers are of the opinion, that the information captured by the cameras should be presented close to the actual line of sight to reduce distractions and increase readability. This however contradicts the fact that information placed near the line of sight to reduce distractions from head movement may disturb the direct vision for the driver. There are laws and regulations for most of the units and informative systems in a cabin of a vehicle. They may differ from country to country, and from region to region. The need therefore is to understand the local applications needs without exceeding the brief put in place by the law of that land. Both direct and indirect vision needs to follow strict regulation of the land, as it is true of any new solutions that provides visual information to the driver. A word of caution from the experts therefore is, that drivers should not solely rely on cameras to view their surroundings and blind spots as a primary source. They should use the CMS as an assisting technology instead.

Despite the advent and increasing use of CMS technology, rear view mirrors may not fade away quickly. As an integrated approach to improve the vision of the driver grows, the likely outcome is a combination of cameras and mirrors that complement each other, and are thus positioned such that they offer a 360-degree view. With the use of CMS, rear view mirrors could reduce in size, thus freeing up the space near the front pillars for the driver to have a better view. Especially when he is negotiating turns and driving in and out of blind corners.

VE Commercial Vehicles sells 4163 units in June 2015

VE Commercial vehicles Ltd. (A Volvo Group and Eicher Motors joint venture) has sold 4163 units in June 2015 (YTD 23148) as compared to 4242 units in June 2014 (LYTD 21476) recording a YTD Growth of 7.8%.

This includes 4063 units of Eicher brand and 100 units of Volvo brand.

 

 

The following are the key highlights for June 2015:

  • Eicher branded trucks and buses have recorded total sales of 4063 units in June 2015(YTD 22626)as compared to 4187 units in June 2014(LYTD 21120), representing a YTD Growth of 7.1%.
  • In the domestic CV market ( 5T and Above), Eicher Trucks and Buses  have recorded sales of 3537 units in June 2015 (YTD 20420) as compared to 3474 units (LYTD 18021) in June 2014, representing a growth of 2% (YTD Growth of 13.3%)
  • On the Exports front Eicher Trucks and Buses have recorded sales of 526 units in June2015(YTD 2206) as compared to 713 units in June 2014(LYTD 3099).
  • Volvo trucks have recorded sales of 100 units in June 2015(YTD 522) as compared to 55 units (LYTD 356) in June 2014, a growth of 81.8% (YTD Growth of 46.6%)b1a5b42c-4e52-4d16-bfe0-29d112d4968d_TempSmall

Mahindra Tractors sells 23,899 units in India during June 2015

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s Farm Equipment Sector (FES), a part of the USD 16.9 billion Mahindra Group, today announced its sales numbers for June 2015.
Domestic sales in June 2015 stood at 23,899 units, as against 28,893 ­units during June 2014. Total tractor sales (domestic + exports) during June 2015 stood at 25090 units, as against 29,884 units for the same period last year. Exports for the month stood at 1,191 ­­­units, registering a growth of 20%.
Commenting on the monthly performance, Harish Chavan, Chief Operating Officer – Farm Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “We have registered a sale of 23,899 tractors during June 2015 in the domestic market. With a healthy spread of the monsoon and good sowing progress across the country, we are hopeful of a very good agricultural output, leading to improved market sentiments. At Mahindra, we continue to see a positive trend in our tractor exports which has grown by 20% during the last month”.