The event chairman Naresh T Raisinghani, CEO & Executive Director, BMGI, addressed the delegates and shared the current trends in the Indian Commercial Vehicle Industry and shared levers that could change the game in the Indian industry. The levers he shared include keeping aging vehicles off the road, mandating BSV norms, financing with low or nil interest cost vehicle for Light Commercial Vehicle’s and rapid infra development. He mentioned how he perceived that the current government was being aligned for the betterment of the industry.

BMGI unveiled a whitepaper titled “Revamping Logistics in Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers” which emphasizes on the need for a complete make over of supply chain for a sustained growth in the automobile Industry in India and thus contribute significantly to the country’s GDP. However this requires determination and commitment on the part of all stakeholders – Government, OEMs, suppliers and others. Since external agencies and factors are not within their control, it becomes imperative for automakers to focus on improving their respective supply chain practices laying emphasis on aligning these to meet the dynamic, evolving business environment. The paper was made available exclusively for the participants of the 4th India Commercial Vehicle Summit.

Abdul Majeed, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, in his ‘Commercial Vehicle Outlook’ shared that while the global CV Market has about USD 24 Million as a total opportunity, a significant component of growth is from China. The OEMs seems to focus on diversifying the product mix in India. The LCV is dominated by the US whereas the HCVs are dominated by China. In a country like Japan, the composition is 50-50. While there hasn’t been a question on potential in India, the question that is being asked is if India would achieve its potential, he pondered.

He shared statistics that support the growth promising recovery while throwing a caution on some of the factors like how fast GST will be implemented, growth rate of GDP etc., and also hypothesizing on what could change – like the cost of ownership, improvement in the component industry, value proposition at the product and service level. Mr Majeed added that all these would be possible only when changes in regulation would also support, significant improvements in emissions, payload, safety features or the CV scrap page. Concluding his talk, he shared that since customer preferences are changing and better strategies would fuel the growth of the industry in India.

How is a hub-spoke model relevant at a time when e-commerce industry is booming? Sudhir Mehta – Director, Force Motors, CMD Pinnacle Industries Ltd addressed this question in his talk on ‘Perspectives for Indian CV Industry’ talk.

Recollecting the progression of the CV industry from post 1980s with technology challenging era, and the 1990s that saw global OEMs enter the Indian market until the present day where India is the 8th largest CV producer in the world, Mr Mehta humored the audience that they weren’t going to get a breather anytime soon from the number of CV vehicles on the road. He stressed on the fact that while the people of India were impatient for change, it was important to give the government sometime to settle, as things wouldn’t change overnight.He referred to the ecosystem that was budding with the incubation of the idea of smart cities, which supported the growth of CV industry. Sharing the pick-up in freight generating sectors – agriculture, fertilizers, mining, cement and retail, he spoke about how the last mile connectivity and defense sector as areas which presented substantial opportunities for CV industry to grow in India.

How can air suspension lead to passenger comfort and improve safety? Emily Poladian, Managing Director, Firestone Asia, shared insights into improving safety & passenger comfort as she spoke about the ‘Future of CV suspension’. She enriched the audience knowledge with concepts of air suspension and air springs and their applications in transporting glass, oil and gas industry, buses to name a few.

She concluded by speaking about Firestone Asia, which is a part of Bridgestone Group and spoke about its global presence. She introduced the company’s products and their presence in global market and gave a glimpse into the company’s world class manufacturing ,testing facilities and various eco-friendly initiatives – green oil, metal coating, light weight construction started by Firestone.

How effective would advance composites and engineering plastics be in the transport industry? RKGairola, General Manager, New Business Development at NTF India answered this question through videos of shock tests that were carried out to test robustness. He shared that the results were positive and would bring in benefits such as light weight, better strength, ease in styling and anti corrosive properties. He shared details of tests that included images of the products, manufacturing facilities and CAD drawings to demonstrate the benefits.Providing further insights on this, Ravishankar, General Manager ,Ashok Leyland Technologies Pvt. Ltd in his presentation on ‘Light-Weighting the Commercial Vehicles’ spoke about the various solutions for designing light weight CVs like the choice of materials, the strength of materials, alternate materials that can be used and it’s advantages, use of processed materials, etc. He presented statistics on the various percentage of metals used in commercial vehicles and share the potential weight reduction with usage of various materials. He signed off by presenting simple approach to optimized design, train optimization, reducing process variables and improving reliability

Google’s self drive car is in the news, but how about a self drive truck? Albrecht Kollermeyer, General Manager, Design of Truck, Mercedes Benz, shared a video of how a self drive truck was being tested in the United States in his talk on ‘Modern Automated Transmissions for Trucks’. He introduced first & second generation motors, latest market trends and scenarios and shared various development objectives of Mercedes Benz trucks while stating that they were backed by three decades of experience in gearshift automation.

Explaining the designs involved in synchronized transmission and gave an insight into Mercedes power shift system, he shared how fuel efficiency, economy & convenience could be achieved through Mercedes Power shift.

In the smart world that we are in, how are connected products transforming competition? Bob Merrifield, SLM Business Development Director – APAC, PTC, in his talk on ‘Connected Service Lifecycle Management’ introduced his company PTC and spoke about how technology has changed the way of connectivity. Speaking about PTC’s ThingWorx , a platform for manufacturers as a software solution to enable organization to rapidly build and connect applications.Mr Merrifield spoke about underlying features of connected service parts management to increase forecast accuracy, reduce inventory investment and improve service levels; connected diagnostics for getting the machines to talk to each other.He gave a quick glimpse of the clients PTC caters to in India across industries.

Throwing a caution to the industry, Pranab Ghosh, General Manager, Tata Motors, articulated Challenges and Mitigation of managing automotive waste. What would happen after the automobile – CV or PV has completely aged? Sharing statistics of vehicles sales in the world and India, Mr Ghosh, gave a insights about various challenges in handling huge automotive waste – the foremost being how to handle aged and old vehicles. While he outlined possibilities of segregating the various components and subsystems from the automobile, he shared that the industry has not been able to come up with an effective way to dispose an automobile. With government policies mandating vehicles beyond a certain age be off the road, Pranab wondered where we will bring the space to dispose the vehicles, in an already chock-a-block country like India. He then proposed a model where automobile companies would buy from specialized recycling industries or directly from segregation centers in for their new models

Given that the driver of a CV is one of the primary user of the vehicle, how can driver comfort be enhanced using technology? S K Agarwal, General Manager , Tata Motors, shared how Tata Motors has tied up with medical teams to analyze the discomfort of the driver and also tied up with various training and development firms to enhance the driver performance. He drew up a list of critical areas that included Safety, communication using telematics, improving fuel economy using multi drive & hybrid vehicles.

How can best practices like Lean & Six Sigma be leveraged to enhancing capability of value chain for growth? Yogesh Pitkar, General Manager, John Deere, joined by his colleague and Assistant General Manager, Santosh Bhise shared the John Deere’s model for leveraging the best practices and how it has worked for them. Together, they elaborated how six sigma which is data driven has changed the complete culture and have now expanded the framework to include the suppliers as well to make their supply chain robust, efficient and cost effective.

Yogesh and Santosh shared with the audience how BMGI supported John Deere to deploy the best practices at the supplier locations as well demonstrating financial savings to the tune of millions of USD from smoothening the supply chain and making it a win-win-win proposition. Yogesh shared how John Deere used a data driven structured approach which was starting to change the culture and slowly taking the organization toward business excellence..

Does being lean make you a zero human error company? Niraj R Tiwari, Plant Head, Engine Plant & Trimming Plant, Power Train Division, Fiat Automobiles answers this question through his presentation highlighting many live examples from his experience. Sharing that nobody walks into a factory with an intention to create a defect, Mr. Tiwari explained that with increasing complexity of tasks and work pressure, humans tend to make errors irrespective of their level of talents. An open culture encouraging people to own up mistakes would take the focus of the error away from the individual and put it on the system. While maintaining that the errors can never be zero, he shared that errors can be only be detected and controlled.

He shared framework for managing defects arising from human errors that has been deployed along with sharing specific examples and solutions developed in his facility.

Are the only opportunities that exists for a CV maker limited to making and selling CVs? Nirmalya Banerjee, Business Head, BMGI, shared ways in which CV makers could look at the related jobs as carried out by the customers and tap the opportunities for growth. In his presentation on ‘Going Beyond Commercial Vehicles’ he engaged the audience with videos to explain value creation model and identifying jobs to be done.

Through a story of different coloured cheese, Mr Banerjee provided a lens for the organizations to see and identify opportunities. He pondered, while the CV makers assume responsibility of transferring goods from one location to another, there is no standard way of loading or unloading the goods into & out of the vehicle. He shared the technological advancements could make the last mile connectivity much more effective by the use of drones to deliver to the end user from a hub.

Sharing a framework that will enable organizations to look into a direction beyond what is in the known realm today, the business head from BMGI ended his provocative presentation inspiring the audience to look at the related jobs the customers are getting done today.Speaking about “Clean Diesel Solutions – towards better environment”, Dr. Venkat Srinivas, Vice President & Head – Engineering & Product Development, Mahindra Truck & Bus Division shared advanced after treatment technologies that could be leveraged and and highlighted the how policies like retirement of vehicles, retro fitment after treatment devices, replacement of power train could help the cause of clean solutions. A simple solution of increase in the number of inspections and maintenance would go a long way in contributing towards better environment.

Outlining the challenges confronting India – fuel availability, urea availability, OBD III, speed limit, fuel adulteration, driver awareness, complexity with technology, Dr. Srinivas shared that the challenges increase and the need of the hour is to look out for a technology for better diesel. Reinforcing the ideas, N V Marathe, Senior deputy director & Head Power Train Engineering, ARAI, speaking on ‘Advances in heavy duty Diesel Combustion – Potential to Improve Emissions and Efficiency’ shared specific areas for IC engine development comparing the problems in a conventional diesel engine and the phenomenon that makes handling them complicated.

Mr. Marathe shared his insights on how an advanced diesel engine has a better edge over the conventional one and shared methods by which fuel efficiency can be improved.

How can CV makers turn to Innovation to survive in the competitive market? Nandakumar Khandare, Senior Vice President – Trucks Platform, Ashok Leyland Technologies Pvt. Ltd, emphasized how innovation has been the differentiator to survive the competition.Calling Innovation as the need of the hour to change a firm’s culture by having an open mindset and creating a platform for exchange of ideas with the right rewards to support the change management.Mr. Khandare stressed deep rooted mindsets have to be broken into and changed in order to stay ahead in the competition. Sharing his experience, Mr Khandare insisted that the key word to not lose focus on making a choice between two options but designers should work towards making the best of both options a reality for the customer, where the traditional tendency is to accept either. Sharing a few examples on simple innovation techniques that solve simple problems, he summarised his presentation by reiterating how Innovators dare where others fail.

What does Powertrain mean in a Commercial Vehicle? Shamprasad Ponkshe, Executive Vice President, AMW Motors answered this question through his talk as he highlighed the issues on infrastructure and how it can affect the choice of a right powertrain. He shared that while a higher horsepower engine not only can navigate through the current state of roads, but also, bring in benefits like better fuel economy making it cost effective for the fleet owner. He reinforced the need of intelligent powertrains that will contribute towards a better fuel economy.

What is the outlook on the CV dealership? Partho Roy, Assistant Vice President, Foton Motors coming with an experience of working in both passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle segments in working with the dealers, shared detailed industry statistics and outlook for the dealers. The financial performance of a dealer, he explained, is dependent on the major expense heads like financial charges, manpower cost, sales promotion & miscellaneous costs including primarily rent, outsourced jobs & maintenance. A perspective from the dealership and their profitability filled in the void to make the event cover the entire ecosystem of the commercial vehicle industry.

Sharing the trends of atuomation in automotive mass manufacturing and their influence on the tooling requirements, Avinash Khare, Assistant General Manager, Tata Motors, showed how advanced automation has changed the dimensions of the business today through his videos and examples. Highlighting how the automotive market in India has been growing so far, Mr. Khare shared various methodologies and advancements in the tool room to smoothen the process flow. He shared a roadmap on the way forward for tool room function where the components would be smart and communicate with each other. He delighted the audience with various videos on latest technology solutions.

Addressing the challenge of skill gap in the CV Industry, Alka PandeAdvisor, Automotive skills development council shared that in a society where there is low respect for the skilled vocations like a workshop manager, it becomes a challenge to fill the roles for the organization. She stressed that while there appears an imbalance in the knowledge &skills in technical institutes, the gap between the industry and education sector is much higher. The opportunity for upgradation, factoring mutual requirements looms at large for the industry.

She signed off sharing that ASDC – Automotive Skill Development Council is entrusted with the tasks of training partner affiliation, assessment process, results & certification process and resolving conflicts, working in hand with National Skill Development Centre is working hard to bridge this gaps through various initiatives.


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