MAN Trucks India rolled out the 25,001st truck from the Pithampur facility recently. Present in India since 2006, the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Truck & Bus AG, Germany, delivered the new CLA Evo range of trucks to customers at Pithampur. Launched at Bauma Conexpo 2016, the CLA Evo range builds upon the CLA range of trucks the company has been offering since 2007. Comprising of tippers, long haul and special application trucks ranging from 16-tonne to 49-tonne, the CLA Evo range of trucks are powered by MAN D-0836, turbo charged, inter-cooled common-rail engine that does between 250 and 300 hp. Equipped with a six-speed and a nine-speed transmission, the CLA Evo range is claimed to offer class leading performance, superior fuel efficiency and a low operating cost. The tippers in the range feature a planetary rear axle with hub reduction. The inter-axle and differential lock imparts superior traction. Expressed Joerg Mommertz, CMD, MAN Trucks India, “With the implementation of GST, demand for haulage trucks is expected to rise.”
India Ratings and Research agency (Ind-Ra) has maintained a stable outlook on the auto sector for the financial year, despite an expected slowdown in the commercial vehicle segment. The slowdown in the commercial vehicle segment is expected to be on account of a nine to 12 per cent decline in Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (MHCVs), partially offset by a six-to-nine per cent growth in Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs). The volatile Index of Industrial Production (IIP) trend, along with the depletion of replacement demand is expected to lead the decline in MHCV volumes in FY2017-18. However, LCV volumes are likely to witness demand owing to the last mile transportation requirements triggered by a surge in online retail sales. According to the report, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is also expected to benefit the auto industry.
Ashok Leyland is not keen to participate in the sub-one tonne CV segment claim industry sources. They draw attention to Nitin Seth, President – LCV and Defence, Ashok Leyland, having mentioned that the respective segment is shrinking, and they would therefore not be keen to look at it. With Ashok Leyland said to be keen to double its LCV market share from 15 per cent to 30 per cent over the next three to four years, a strategy to concentrate on a segment between two and 7.5-tonne would help. Apart from operators looking at moving up in anticipation of better earning potential by carrying higher load, and quickly, the reason for the sub-one tonne segment to shrink is said to be the tightening emission standards. In FY2012-13, the total volumes in the sub one-tonne segment were 2.47 lakh units with Tata Ace accounting for about 83 per cent of the market share. Total sales of pick-up segment (above one-tonne payload) were about 1.93 lakh units. In FY2016-17, sales of sub one-tonne vehicles were about 1.17 lakh units. Pick-up truck volumes were .08 lakh units. If this indicates a shift to higher tonnage CVs, it is also about the growing shortage of drivers, said a source.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has revealed that the investment on new regulations is in the region of Rs.one-lakh crore. This would entail the upgrading of products to meet the tightening emission norms, and safety and fuel efficiency. The investment would also include the development of new platforms, emission norms, safety upgrades and fuel efficiency. According to SIAM sources, the big change in CVs will be the move up to BSVI emission norms in 2020. Advanced after-treatment systems and components will command investments. Also, the need to develop technologies and new ways of dealing with challenges that may arise, given the emerging trend for disruptive change that the industry has had to face. If the advanced after-treatment systems installed in BSVI vehicles will have to be imported initially, an amount of cost will have to be accounted for that as well.
In a recent report titled ‘India Leaps Ahead: Transformative Mobility Solutions for All’, the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has stressed on India’s potential to save up to 64 per cent of passenger mobility related energy demand, and 37 per cent of carbon emissions by 2030 by adopting electric and connected vehicles. The report, jointly published with Rocky Mountain Institute, has pegged India’s potential to reduce annual diesel and petrol consumption at 156 million tonnes by 2030 by adopting electric and connected vehicles. The report is said to also mention that Rs 3.9 lakh crore can be saved per year by adopting shared, electric and connected mobility. NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant, drew attention to battery costs reducing by half in every five years or so.
Germany-based Kogel Trailers has announced that the new Kögel Trailer Axle (KTA) enhances its trailer’s driving properties. The new KTA also increases the payload, and extends the service life. Maintenance-friendly, the new axle, having two U-bolts for secure clamping of the trailing arm and the axle, has the axle tube enclosed such that the trailing arm is fastened at the top. The axle spring seats at the bottom. The shape of the axle support, the trailing arm and the axle tube have been especially adapted to the dynamic and static forces encountered in driving, and are in accordance with the latest finite element calculation methods. Facilitating easy repair, the trailing arm and axle tube can be replaced. The axle tubes are forged from a single piece and have no joints. This provides for a stress-free transfer of forces and reliable protection against breakages. The trailing arm, made from high-strength spring steel, offers an optimum ratio of spring properties and resistance. A rubber metal bearing absorbs both axial and transverse force at the interface between the bracket and the trailing arm. This is claimed to ensure excellent suspension response due to high torsional rigidity. The air suspension bellows and the shock absorbers are tailored to the design.
The Maharashtra State Transport Department has passed a mandate for taxis operating in the state to install ‘speed governors’ in a bid to restrict their top speeds to 80 kmph, claim industry sources. They draw attention to a circular sent to the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) that speaks about issuing fitness certificate to only those cabs that have been fitted with a speed governor. The cabs, if the sources are to be believed, include the regular ones, the app-based ones, tourist taxis, small tempos and pick-up vans weighing no more than 3.5-tonne. If the new mandate essentially translates into a legal requirement for prescribed class of vehicles, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), in January this year, is known to have said that the Supreme Court, in 2002, and in 2009, ordered the fitting of speed governors to commercial vehicles that ferry people and cargo. The current circular is also said to have been linked with the amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules. Taxi and pick-up operators are not happy with the fact that they will have to shell out up to Rs.10,000 to fit the governors.