Reliance Industries to enter cab aggregator business?

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

Reliance Group is looking at entering the cab aggregator business some time soon, or at the start of the FY2017-18 financial year, claim industry sources. Buoyed by the proliferation of the cab aggregator business in India perhaps, and with the participation of global and homegrown players like Uber and Ola, the business model Reliance is said to be looking at could be modelled on the lines of the Reliance Group’s telecom venture, Reliance Jio. In the absence of any official announcement by the group, it can be assumed that the move would set in motion a disruptive change. With the new regulations announced by the government and the view taken by many state governments towards cab aggregators – Ola and Uber especially, it will be interesting to see how the Reliance Group structures its cab aggregator strategy. Stress, claim industry sources, would be to find a strong foothold and grow.

Coming at a time when the two leading players, Ola and Uber, are finding new ways to make money, the Reliance business model, industry sources claim, will limit itself to cabs, atleast initially. With Ola and Uber said to be bleeding, the entry of Reliance Industries (RIL) could prove to be intresting. Especially when the Group is said to purchase its own cabs. Applications for drivers are claimed to be out. Drivers, claim Sources, will be paid more than what the current players are paying. An asset intensive business model, cabs, claim industry sources, are being bought from Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M). Assuming the service will roll of Mumbai, RIL, says an industry expert, will set change in motion.

FreightBazaar and DFAG sign MoU

FreightBazaar and Domain and Functional Advisory Group (DFAG), a New Delhi based non-profit organisation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to spread awareness about transport emissions and trucking safety. While DFAG is a key facilitator for highway design and feasibility studies, FreightBazaar is an online and integrated platform to connect truck users and truck suppliers by facilitating hassle-free truck hiring process. Keeping common goals of promoting efficiency and safety in sight, through areas such as reducing empty miles, driver training, optimum loading of trucks, reducing emissions and bringing innovative dimensions to the transportation industry, the two entities will leverage their knowledge and expertise to spread awareness about transport emission and safety.

Diesel engine oil from GP Petroleums

Repsol

A group company of UAE-based Gulf Petrochem Group, GP Petroleums Ltd, has launched Repsol brand of diesel engine oil. This is the first time that the company has launched a diesel engine oil in India. Diesel engine oils account for 55 per cent of lubricant sales in the country. With the launch of the diesel engine oil, the company will be targeting vehicles that are on the road for the last five to eight years. The diesel engine oil was developed in the Group’s global R&D centre at Spain, and will be manufactured in India. The specification of the diesel engine oil was not mentioned by the company in its media release.

Sundaram-Clayton to expand manufacturing footprint

A flagship company of TVS Group, Sundaram-Clayton, which specialises in the manufacturing and supply of aluminium die cast auto components for OEMs the world over, will invest Rs.400 crore over the next three years to expand its manufacturing footprint in India. The expansion would increase the company’s manufacturing capacity from 60,000 metric-tonne to 70,000 metric-tonne. Sundaram-Clayton has four manufacturing plants in India. Apart from India, the company will also invest Rs.350 crore to create 10,000 metric-tonne capacity over the next five years in the United States of America. The US facility will be set in Dorchester County, South Carolina. US accounts for a major share of Sundaram-Clayton’s export revenue. The facility in US will help the company to cater to its customers in the region quickly, and effectively. The company has acquired 50 acres of land in South Carolina to manufacture high pressure die cast and gravity cast parts. The US facility is expected to go on stream in the second-half of 2018.

Ashok Leyland plant at Dhaka

Ashok Leyland has announced the setting up of its assembly plant at Dhaka, Bangladesh. Built over a period of 15 months, the plant, spread over an area of 37 acres, is a strategic joint venture between Ashok Leyland and IFAD Autos Limited, Bangladesh. An important market according to Vinod K. Dasari, CEO and MD, Ashok Leyland Ltd., the new plant is expected to enable the Chennai-based company to carve a larger share of the CV market. A part of the company’s vision to strengthen its overseas presence, the Bangladesh facility will have a capacity to roll out 600-800 vehicles each month. Supporting the plant activities will be a bodybuilding and vehicle testing facility. The two are expected to be functional in the next two years. IFAD Autos has been selling Ashok Leyland vehicles in Bangladesh through 12 dealers.

Pricol new plant at Pune

Pricol has announced the commissioning of its new plant at Phulgaon, Pune. Spread over an area of 6.5 acres, the plant, incorporating green concepts of solar power and Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) air conditioning, is expected to generate a revenue of Rs.220 core in the next two years. Equipped with roof-top solar panels, which would fulfill 40 per cent of the daily power requirement, the plant has its production lines designed on a lean manufacturing principle and improved layout for streamlined material flow to ensure quality consistency and material efficiency. The new plant, as part of Pricol’s 2020 vision, will deliver on Surface-mount Technology (printed circuit board manufacturing). This technology is finding increasing use in commercial vehicles, off-road and tractor segments among others. Surface-mount Technology will also propel Pricol in Body Control Module and Telematics businesses. The technology pump production lines at the plant will cater to domestic and export markets.

BorgWarner Morse Systems to expand Kakkalur plant

BorgWarner has announced the expansion of Kakkalur plant, which operates under the aegis of BorgWarner Morse Systems. Established as a joint venture manufacturing facility in 2002, the plant became a part of BorgWarner morse Systems, a wholly owned BorgWarner entity, in 2008. It is to meet the growing demand for engine timing components for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles, that the company is expanding the plant by 17,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and engineering space. The expansion is expected to take up to one year to complete. The BorgWarner products made at the Kakkalur plant, include silent and roller chains, tensioners, arms and guides as well as phasers and controls to support variable valve timing applications.