“Clutch manufacturer will have to come up with products which improve driver comfort, lessen fatigue and offer better road safety.”


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Article by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

Udit Sheth, Executive Director, Setco Automotive Ltd.

How far have you come on the ceramic clutch front. Would the 2015 Prima T1 have them?

We have given them (Tata Motors) the offer for ceramic clutches but the 2015 T1 Prima is using a 17-inch diameter organic clutch. In racing conditions, ceramic clutches are always better because they support a high ability to accelerate. However at the kind of horsepower the (T1 Prima) truck produces, a ceramic clutch may not be needed. I think for now, they (Tata Motors) aim to get the racing right and get into component engineering in the next phase. Right now the focus is on tweaking the engine and its weight, to get more power out of the vehicle. This may be followed by braking dynamics and clutch dynamics. Last year (2014), we took all our clutches back from the race trucks and analysed their performance. What we found was that they could be re-installed and used for another 2,00,000 km.

You have been supplying clutch systems to Tata Motors for a long time. How do look at Tata Motors’ pursuit for AMT?

AMTs also have clutches. It is just that they are used differently. I don’t see too much of a threat over there. I think we are still far away from building AMTs as a standard feature. Also, in India we still need to get our power-to-weight ratio right. This has a direct impact on fuel consumption, as well as the wear and tear of parts. Overloading and the poor condition of roads are still our biggest challenges. It all revolves around the operating conditions.

Having a global presence, do you foresee any drastic changes in the clutch industry?

There will be no drastic changes. Changes will be in the area of noise and vibration. Noise and vibration harmonics will play an important role due to rising environmental concerns. So, the clutch manufacturer will have to come up with products which improve driver comfort. Products which lessen fatigue and offer better road safety. One would also need to be at the edge of cost and development.

How advantageous it is to make in India, you recently mentioned that Setco will be commissioning a foundry at Kalol?

I think our primary advantage in India is that we have good engineers. They have the ability to work keeping international market requirements in sight. Then, we have better costs. It is however, not only about cost reduction, but also about innovation. India does differentiate itself when it comes to low cost products. We are able to customise the products better, unlike China, which is known for producing bulk quantity.

India seems to focus on innovation in terms of costs, or should it clearly stand out in a particular area?

Innovation in terms of costs and standing out in a particular area are two sides of the same coin. The difference I see is in our engineers, that they need to get their hands a little more dirty. They need to get on the shop floor. In India, we have a lot of disguised unemployment, and there is a need therefore to efficiently use our manpower.

With a need to build world-class trucks, we still seem to get the power-to-weight ratio right. There’s the scarcity of drivers. What do you think?

Ours is a market in which owner driven trucks do not constitute a large part of the CV industry. If he will buy for self driving, for sure he will go for a vehicle with better features.

You think such a market will evolve in India?

It is too early to comment. We still have people who are not trained, and work for minimal amount. Half of the truck drivers out there have been cleaners earlier. One side of it is that if the driver faces bad roads and uses the clutch frequently, it is good for our business. Replacements will go up. And experts can easily tell whether the clutch has been abused, or has had a manufacturing defect. Also, it is the overall value proposition that will decide whether we will have enough drivers in the future.

What kind of clutch technology does India need?

I don’t think it will be changing dramatically. The clutches developed for advanced markets like Europe will fail in India, not because the product is faulty but because the engineering standards of the clutches vary according to market performances.

New technologies that you are working on?

Normally as the clutch wears, you have to adjust it. That adjustment is done manually, and can be automated. We are currently working on a technology that will automate the adjustment of the clutch. We expect it to enhance customer satisfaction. We need to target OEMs first as aftermarket will not move forward until OEMs are willing. There will be a need to leverage both.

Ashok Leyland Ltd., flagship of the Hinduja Group, celebrates sales of 100,000 Dost LCV

In less t13129752-a592-4f18-9cf1-ad6c23773039_TempSmallhan 4 years since Ashok Leyland Ltd., flagship of the Hinduja Group, and Nissan formed a joint venture to manufacture LCVs,

Ashok Leyland rolled-out the 100,000th DOST. They also unveiled Dost and its RUV’s (ready to use vehicles) such as Ambulance, Refrigerated container, Steel Container, Service-at-Site Van etc.

In less than 4 years, DOST has become the 2nd largest brand in its category; making it one of the fastest growing brands. It is today the largest volume brand in the Ashok Leyland portfolio, with customers, not just in India, but across countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Male, and UAE.

Escorts Partners With Cognizant to Digitally Transform its Businesses



Escorts Limited, one of India’s leading engineering conglomerates, today announced a strategic relationship with Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), to modernize its technology landscape and achieve the company’s vision of digitally transforming its businesses to deliver innovative products, provide superior customer experience, and drive growth. This multi-year, multi-million dollar engagement spans all of Escort’s businesses, including agri-machinery, material handling and construction equipment, railway equipment and auto components.

Cognizant will enable Escorts to improve control and collaboration across its value chain by mobile-enabling its workforce and integrating multiple systems used by vendors, sales partners, and customers. This will help Escorts continuously improve product quality and offer a broad range of customized, configurable, and value-added products and services, strengthening existing customer relationships and building new ones.

Cognizant will set up a Transformation Office to help Escorts embrace adaptive production lines and demand-based manufacturing practices, and develop new digital capabilities in areas such as mobility, analytics, cloud, telematics, and machine-to-machine communication. Complementing traditional channels with new digital ones, Escorts will be able to better align manufacturing and business strategies, and expand into newer geographies. By enabling connected worksites, remote product monitoring and diagnostics, and platform-based governance, Escorts will be able to harness and analyze real-time data from multiple sources for improved customer insight, decision-making, and productivity.

“Escorts is poised for a leap forward with its transformative business strategies. We are working passionately towards becoming the most trusted and innovation-led engineering company,” said Rajan Nanda, Chairman and Managing Director of Escorts Limited. “In today’s dynamic market, technology is key to stay ahead of volatile demand patterns and rising expectations of informed, socially networked customers. As we start the journey with Cognizant, our commitment towards enhancing value for all stakeholders gets a further boost. With the global domain and technology expertise of Cognizant, we will be able to raise the bar of manufacturing excellence.”

“This strategic engagement is expected to create a positive impact on the entire Escorts ecosystem,” said Nikhil Nanda, Managing Director of Escorts Limited. “Aligning our engineering expertise with Cognizant’s capabilities will help all of our businesses unlock tremendous value. By leveraging organizational synergies and next-generation technologies, we will be able to improve performance efficiencies as well as attain the next level of innovation and market leadership. This partnership will help us bring our businesses in line with global industry benchmarks and increase our ability to develop future-ready products based on digital and other cutting-edge technologies.”

“As multiple stakeholders replace traditional value chains and embedded technologies prepare to unleash the next wave of smarter products and services, there has never been a more exciting time for technology innovation in the manufacturing and engineering industry,” said R. Chandrasekaran, Executive Vice Chairman, Cognizant India. “We are pleased to partner with Escorts in helping them realize their vision for innovation, and look forward to helping them build a data-driven digital enterprise. By developing new collaborative and real-time capabilities straddling shop floor and supply chain, Escorts will be able to drive transformation across products, people, processes and infrastructure.”


Cambodia – DICV’s next destination for FUSO trucks from India

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (DICV), a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, Stuttgart, Germany along with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation, Japan (MFTBC), a Daimler Company, started the export of its robust DICV-made FUSO trucks to Cambodia, making it the 13th market for DICV. This market is growing rapidly in many sectors like garments, logistics, mining and constructions. The first vehicles have been retailed and delivered to customers.
For these sectors, out of the 5 newly developed FUSO truck models manufactured at DICV’s Oragadam plant, the ‘FA’, ‘FI’ and ‘FJ’ models have been chosen to reinforce FUSO’s leading presence in Asia . These robust and fuel-efficient trucks are already being exported to Kenya, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Brunei and Indonesia, and are now on their way to Cambodia. While most of the current export markets demand right-hand drive vehicles, the Cambodian market requires left-hand drive vehicles. With that, DICV once again shows its flexibility to cater to specific customer’s needs. DICV’s distributor RMA Cambodia also promises full support on technical services and spare part availability in stock as well as financial service. Convinced customers have already made the first orders at the local dealership.
Export out of India
Under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks Asia, DICV and MFTBC (Mitsubishi Truck and Bus Corporation) have combined their strength to tap into further sales potential. While DICV focuses on the Indian market and countries such as Nepal, that are related to the Indian market conditions, MFTBC will service the rising demand in the Asian and African regions with its existing portfolio of Mitsubishi-Fuso trucks from its plant in Kawasaki and the robust Fuso trucks produced in Oragadam. With a clear view on the growth potential in Southeast Asia, DICV is in preparations to establish its presence in this region and will continuously add further markets to expand its reach.


Mahindra launches all new mini-truck Jeeto


Set to redefine small commercial vehicle landscape in India, Jeeto is the first Indian small commercial vehicle to offer a range of 8 mini-trucks Price starting at Rs 2.32 lac (ex-showroom Telangana for BSIII)
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a part of the US $16.9 billion Mahindra Group, today launched its all new small commercial vehicle, Jeeto from its Zaheerabad plant in the state of Telangana. Jeeto is the first ever product in its category with a modular range of 8 mini-trucks to cater to the varied needs of the sub 1 tonne load segment customers. Priced competitively, Jeeto starts at Rs. 2.32 lac (ex-showroom Telangana for BSIII) and will be available in S, L & X series, catering to mini-truck, micro-truck and 3 wheelers customers.
The extended facility of the automotive plant was inaugurated by the Honourable Chief Minister of Telangana, Shri. K Chandrashekar Rao on April 22, 2015.   Jeeto will be a game changer in last mile distribution with its modular range, as it offers multiple options to choose from – 2 powertrains of 8.2 kW (11 HP) and 11.9 Kw (16 HP), 2 payloads of 600 and 700 kgs and 3 deck lengths of 1630mm (5.5ft), 1780mm (6ft) and 1930 mm (6.5ft).These combinations will be available across a range of 8 mini-trucks, namely S series (S6-11, S6-16), L series (L6-11, L6-16, L7-11, L7-16) and X series (X7-11, X7-16) and will lend the Mahindra Jeeto an unmatched versatility and superior efficiency to haul goods across different segments.   Powered by m_Dura, an all-new Direct Injection (DI) diesel engine from the Mahindra stable, Jeeto is designed for refined performance and delivers fuel efficiency of upto 37.6 km/l.
Further coupled with lower maintenance cost and the ability to carry varied load options effectively, Jeeto, will deliver upto 30%* higher profit than its nearest competitor.   Speaking at the launch of Jeeto, Dr Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “At Mahindra we have regularly created disruptions in the market with our alternative thinking and the Jeeto with its unique value proposition is a clear validation of this philosophy. A true ‘Make-in-India’ vehicle with a modular platform, the Jeeto is poised to redefine the landscape of the small commercial vehicle industry within India and drive positive change by providing its customers with a higher earning potential. It is also a matter of pride for us that through the launch of this product, we are able to participate in the industrialization of the newest state of India, Telangana”.   Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive, (Automotive) Mahindra & Mahindra, mentioned, “Being a listening organization, we have identified specific need gaps amongst the customers in the sub 1 tonne category, through various consumer insights and feedback.
To fulfill these latent and existing customer needs we have launched the Jeeto, India’s first modular small commercial vehicle with multiple options. This vehicle will play a significant role in last mile distribution and will be a compelling option for both stand operators and small and medium scale businessmen and traders, with higher earning potential and better mileage. We are sure, as with other Mahindra products, the Jeeto will go a long way in helping our customers prosper in life in line with our Mahindra Rise philosophy”.   Jeeto also comes with a class-leading warranty of 2 years/40,000km (whichever is earlier). It will be available in 5 attractive colours of Diamond White, Sunrise Red, Mango Yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Premium Biege.
Stylish Looks
Jeeto sports a stylish and contemporary exterior with an impressive characteristic front grille that lends it a distinguished look. Also, bringing in a touch of exclusivity are the dual tone interiors and a contemporary dashboard. The Jeeto will be available in five attractive colours, namely Diamond White, Sunrise Red, Mango Yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Premium Biege.
Car Like Comfort & Features
Jeeto has many car like features – such as a large cabin space with better headroom and legroom for greater comfort and comfortable seats to make the journey more pleasant, especially over long distances. The better ergonomics and car like gear-shift quality further enhance the Jeeto’s driving pleasure.
Best in Class Performance
The Jeeto is technically designed to meet the exacting requirements of customers. It is powered by m_Dura, an all-new Direct Injection (DI) diesel engine with 2 power train options of 8.2 Kw (11 HP) and 11.9 Kw (16 HP) that offer diverse power delivery for different industry applications. It also boasts of best in class pick up. Besides its superior performance, it is extremely fuel efficient and gives a mileage of upto 37.6 km/l. Equipped with more power and torque it leads the pack of load carriers in the segment, with ease of driveability and load carrying capacity even on gradients. The Jeeto will be sold in BS IV cities from launch.
 Unmatched Safety
Jeeto provides the highest level of safety in its category. The cabin has been designed to provide better safety to the driver and co-driver in the event of a crash. In addition, (ELR) seat belt systems, head restraints and bucket seat provide safety against sudden impact. The Jeeto’s unmatched safety is due to its semi forward design, strong body, and superior chassis with larger wheel base of 2500 mm for better balance.
Class leading Mini-truck for Cities
The Jeeto’s compact size and smooth steering give it an easier manoeuvrability in narrow city lanes and by-lanes. Further, the vehicle also boasts of best in class pick up and acceleration for better driveability on busy city roads.
Higher Earning Potential
With a profit of upto 30%* more than its nearest competitor, Jeeto’s higher earning potential makes it a clear winner. It also comes with a class-leading warranty of 2 years/40,000km (whichever is earlier).

First customer trials of UD city bus begin in India

The first customer trials for UD city bus was flagged off today in Bengaluru. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will operate this bus on key routes over the next two months. The buses were flagged off at a ceremony by Shri. Ramalinga Reddy, Hon’ble Transport Minister, Government of Karnataka and Dr. Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, BMTC, along with senior members of the transport corporation. Akash Passey, Senior Vice President – Business Region International, Volvo Bus Corporation, and Suresh Chettiar, Vice President and Head – Commercial, Volvo Buses India were also present on this occasion.
The start of the first customer trials is a significant milestone in the introduction of UD Buses in India. In 2014, Volvo Group unveiled the UD Buses brand as part of its strategy to foray into the value segment in growth markets. India is now the first market where UD Buses is being introduced.
The UD SLF is a semi low-floor city bus that will create the benchmark in the value segment with features that impart the best performance with focus to excel on essentials such as fuel efficiency, reliability and optimized uptime.
Akash Passey said, “The start of the trials is a momentous occasion for UD Buses. The UD SLF city bus exemplifies the aspirations of passengers and drivers who clearly demand better commute experience. With several features that are first in the value segment, stakeholders will be able to realise better benefits. I am confident that UD Buses will further enhance the bus-based public transport system and motivate more cities to adopt this product.
“BMTC has always taken the lead in adopting the best solutions for urban mobility. They were the first to induct Volvo city bus in India – a trend that has now spread to about 30 locations in the country with 1500 buses plying. With the trials of the UD SLF, we are hopeful that another movement will happen in the due course wherein other locations will also adopt this mobility solution. We would like to thank BMTC and the Transport Department, Government of Karnataka for motivating us to develop new mobility solutions that will be offered under UD Buses. We will continue to work as partners with all stakeholders to bring the latest public transport solutions to India,” he added.
Bengaluru has been home for Volvo Group in India since 1998. With the support of the state government and various authorities, this city has become a shining example for bus-based public transport system in India.
UD Buses – The best of three worlds
UD Buses is one of the brands in the Volvo Group and originates from Japan. It is from a vision of the founder, Kenzo Adachi that there should be vehicles that will never let you down. In 1939 he spent endless days and nights working out what such a vehicle should be like. His sole, intense focus was ultimate dependability. UD was born.
‘Going the Extra Mile’ is essence that typifies UD. The brand promise of ‘Smarter Value. Smarter Mobility’ is based on the dependability and reliability of our products. The emphasis is on providing smarter solutions for modernizing societies with technology that is proven to ensure dependability.

Tata Motors partners with CEAT and Paytm to offer more ‘Delight’ for Customers

Tata Motors, India’s largest Automobile manufacturer today announced its association with tyre manufacturer CEAT Ltd. and mobile commerce platform Paytm, as new partners in Tata Motors Loyalty Programs – Tata Delight and Tata Emperor.

The Delight and Emperor Loyalty programs are designed to offer loyalty benefits for their members from across multiple product segments like Heavy Commercial Vehicles, Medium Commercial Vehicles, Intermediate Commercial Vehicles Light Commercial Vehicles and Small Commercial Vehicles. The partnership will enable the customers to accumulate and redeem points on purchase of every CEAT tyre, transactions made on Paytm, as also on the offerings of TATA and other loyalty program partners.

Hailing collaborations with TATA Motors as a welcome step, TATA Motors Senior Vice President (Commercial-CVBU), Mr. R. Ramakrishnan said, “At TATA Motors; we constantly endeavor to delight our customers. Our Customer Loyalty Program is a step further in this journey. It is indeed inspiring to see CEAT Ltd. & Paytm coming forward and associating with us in this journey. Both CEAT Ltd. & Paytm are known to set high standards of customer satisfaction and as a team, we hope to exceed all the expectations of our customers.”

Apart from the partnership with CEAT Ltd. and Paytm, significant updates were announced in the Delight and Emperor Programs.

The unnamed vehicle linked accidental death & disability cover, has now been increased to Rs. 2.45 lac from Rs 2.25 lac.

The BPCL-TML tie up in the program, has now extended to 5500 BPCL outlets across India.

Educational scholarships worth Rs. 40 lac will be offered to children of program members.97154cf1-bbc4-400e-bf69-2e760cc9dfe7_TempSmall