For a cleaner and greener future

group_photograph copy

SIAM’s annual convention stressed on a cleaner and greener future through ‘Design in India’ and ‘Make in India’.

Story by: Anirudh Raheja

With an eye on BSVI emission regulations slated to come in force from 2020, the SIAM annual convention held in Delhi recently provided a good image of where and how the Indian auto industry is moving. Apart from BSVI, the stakeholders of the industry stressed upon the need to pursue green technologies. The keynotes of the various industry leaders pointed in the direction of electric mobility as the goal. Elements like connected mobility were also spoken about. While the crude oil prices in international markets dipped to the half-way mark almost over the last three years, the prices of fuel in India have remained high. They rose significantly in the last few months after a decision was taken to link them every day to the price of crude oil in international markets. With discussion revolving around the fact that alternate fuel propulsion technologies need to be perfected as quickly as possible, SIAM stakeholders, at the 57th annual convention, called for all-round efforts to not only safeguard the future of mobility, but to also find new ways of working in the wake of new regulations.

Clear roadmap

Pointing at the disruptive phase the auto industry is currently facing, Vinod K. Dasari, the outgoing president of SIAM, and the managing director Ashok Leyland, expressed that the auto industry in India contributes to the GDP of the country, and to the needs of the defense forces for equipment. He mentioned that the auto industry generates 30 million jobs, and spends over 10 per cent of the country’s R&D. It also contributes 50 per cent of the manufacturing GDP, said Dasari. To gain more traction from the central government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Dasari called upon the automotive industry to emphasise on ‘Design in India’. He also urged the government to create a National Automotive Board to protect the auto industry. “Despite auto industry’s apprehension on how much R&D would be required to move from BSIV to BSVI, and whether fuel will be available or not, the auto industry has agreed to jump an entire emission regulation to align with what is in the best interest of the nation,” explained Dasari.

Stating that it is strange for SC to pass an order that no BSIII vehicles can be sold, Dasari averred that thousands of crores were lost by the industry. He expressed that authorities sometimes write directly to the transport ministry to ban certain type of vehicles. Claiming that it is the auto industry that is subjected to intense scrutiny for pollution problems, Dasari called for a need to speed up work on vehicle scrappage policies. He said that the auto industry will fully support the government for a clean and green tomorrow. Requesting clarity on auto policy, and a roadmap for regulations since the industry is facing unprecedented challenges and standing at the threshold of major transformation, Dasari stressed on the need for a collaborative effort from the industry that is supported by a vital regulatory mechanism.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in his speech, reiterated the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. He urged the industry to look for cleaner options. Pointing at the move to electric vehicles, Gadkari asked the industry to brace up for growing global competition to meet the rising challenges. “I want the industry to research and at least kick start. Once a costly affair, I called for you to start, and batteries are now cheaper by 40 per cent. Prices will go down once mass production is undertaken,” he said. Stating that his ministry is in favour of vehicles that pollute less, Gadkari mentioned that the cabinet note on electric vehicles is ready and aims to take care of the charging infrastructure.

The union minister expressed that whether willingly or not, everyone will be dragged towards cleaner emission vehicles. Emphasising upon alternate fuel technologies as the future, he mentioned, “I want the import bill and pollution to come down. The government has decided to start 15 industries for second-generation ethanol. Ethanol can be easily produced from agro-based cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw, bagass and bamboo. Alternative fuel is an import substitute, and is cost effective.”

4_mr__nitin_gadkari__5bemZ copy

Manufacturing capability

Providing an assurance to the auto industry that the government is with them, Anant G Geete, Union Cabinet Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises, expressed in his speech that the industry should brace itself to be competitive globally. Stating that he is aware of the auto industry facing a tough time, Geete drew attention to the production of BSVI engines and vehicles by the industry even though the BSVI emission norms are still some time away. “We are capable despite the non-availability of fuel, which means capability is not an issue,” he said. He quipped, “There are disruptions, and there is a need to safeguard the local industry too.” In his speech, Amitabh Kant, CEO of the NITI Aayog said that disruptions like electromobility and connected mobility are unavoidable whether the economy likes it or not. He stressed upon a policy regime to be predictable, consistent and clear. “The government should keep the auto industry at its arm’s length for faster growth,” he mentioned. Calling upon the industry and components manufacturers to gear up and not be left behind, Kant expressed that the challenge is to think through the current situation. “I want the policy to come from the industry, rather than from the government. The industry should tell about how it can brace up. It must speak one voice, and with strategy of create early impact to achieve full electric status in the long run,” averred Kant.

In his keynote address, Guenter Butschek, Chief Executive Officer, Tata Motors, expressed that the Automotive Mission Plan and Smart cities have had positive iimpact on the industry. The transition from BSIII to BSIV norms, GST and demonetisation, he said, have however caused disruptions in the market. In order to realise the true potential of Automotive Mission Plan 2026, there is a need to eradicate the deep rooted basic challenges within the overall ecosystem, accentuated by intermittent regulatory uncertainties, opined Butschek. Stressing upon the auto industry’s understanding of the regulatory issues, and the need to be in tune, Butschek stated that the industry is looking for a platform for collaborative and participative approach from the government for a policy framework that fosters sustainable growth. Drawing attention to India lagging in emission and safety norms implementation when compared to the rest of the world, Butschek called upon the need for OEMs to commit; to leverage the emerging trends, and to work in tandem to bridge the gap by investing in future technologies.


The annual convention also included a discussion on skill development and talent. Abhay Damle, Joint Secretary, MoRTH, expressed that India is not short on talent, there is however a need to carry out new research and development activities. He shared his observation that India is not keeping pace with the emission norms prevalent in the developed nations, and is buying new technologies from the world rather than developing them locally. “For faster growth of the industry, it is important to sell technologies, rather than to buy them. If we can stay one year ahead of the world, only then can we give technology to the world rather than take it from them,” said Damle. One of the ways to enhance ‘Design in India’ averred Damle is to put our engineering capabilities to the test. Appreciating the commitment shown by the industry in adapting to regulatory policies, he said positivity prevails in the Indian auto industry. The simple reason why the government makes regulations is to bring systematic reform, and to address problems at their source.

In his address, Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, mentioned that India has tremendous advantage in design and engineering. It can do things in a more relevant and frugal manner. Citing that the biggest advantage comes from competent engineers available at reasonable cost, Aggarwal stated that manufacturing excellence is extremely important, and should reason an investment in technology, skilled workforce, lean manufacturing, and in design and engineering to enhance asset productivity. “We need to bring automation in a balanced way; the need is to partner and develop more suppliers in India; develop world class quality to ensure process discipline,” he concluded.

1504864339_PWgN95_SIAM copy

SIAM gears up for its 57th Annual Convention

Society of Indian Automobile manufactures (SIAM) is all set to organise the 57th Annual Convention, which will be held on 7th September, 2017 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Building the Nation, Responsibly’. The sessions of the programme are ‘Designed & Engineered in India’; ‘Regulatory Policies: Analysis of Impact’; ‘Transforming Mobility’ & ‘Think Global, Act Local or Think Local, Act Global’.

The much-awaited event of the automobile industry will see leaders from government, industry, thought leaders, automotive experts and other stake holders coming together to address some of the important & ongoing issues, and discuss developments happening in the automobile industry. The Convention will offer a common platform, where more than 1000 global and Indian automotive industry leaders and various stakeholders will be interacting and discussing opportunities and challenges of the future.

The Chief Guest of the event, Mr Anant G Geete, Hon’ble Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, along with the Guests of Honour, Mr Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, and Mr Babul Supriyo, Hon’ble Minister of State for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, will grace the occasion.

Mr Vinod K Dasari, President, SIAM and Managing Director, Ashok Leyland will deliver the annual address in the Inaugural Session. Panels of renowned industry leaders will be sharing their thoughts during the convention. Some of the distinguished speakers are Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, Government of India; Mr Ian Yarnold, Head, International Vehicle Standards Division, Department of Transport, United Kingdom; Dr K Sivan, Distinguished Scientist and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Department of Space, Government of India; Mr Mike Hawes, Chief Executive Officer, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, United Kingdom, Mr Eyal Rosner, Founder, Beyond Mobility and Former Director, Fuel Choices Initiative of Prime Minister’s Office, Israel & more.

The Convention is supported by SIAM members who will be present at the Convention.

SIAM elects Rajan Wadhera as Vice President


The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has elected Rajan Wadhera as Vice President with effect from June 27, 2017. Rajan Wadhera, President – Automotive Sector and member of Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited will take over as the Vice-President of SIAM from Ravi Pisharody who recently announced his resignation from Tata Motors Limited. Speaking on the occasion, Rajan Wadhera, Vice-President, SIAM said, “At SIAM, we are confident that the Indian Auto Industry will continue to be a strong pillar of the Indian economy and will partner the society at large, for delivery of sustainable mobility solutions.” “Personally, I am honoured to be given this opportunity, and look forward to working with the industry, Government and all other stakeholders for the growth of the industry,” he averred.

Auto industry invests in emission tech

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has revealed that the investment on new regulations is in the region of 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.

Safety workshop by SIAM

SIAM organized a safety workshop for three-wheeler, cab and commercial vehicle drivers recently. As part of the ‘Road Safety Week’, the workshop conducted safe driving training for three-wheeler, cab and commercial vehicle drivers. The training was held at Institute of Driving Training and Research (IDTR), Sarai Kale Khan, Delhi, and at the Driving Training Institute (DTI) at Burari, Delhi. The workshop, led by Delhi Traffic Police, was supported by IDTR, Maruti Suzuki India and Ashok Leyland. Senior officials Maruti Suzuki, Ashok Leyland and Delhi Traffic Police addressed the drivers. Drivers were trained into following the traffic rules. They were also trained to ensure the safety of women passengers. Commercial vehicle drivers were trained to behave responsibly on the road because of the nature of their vehicle and the load they are carrying. Over 900 drivers participated in this training program.

SIAM to organise COMVECS 2017

Image result for SIAM LOGO

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is organising a Commercial Vehicle show (COMVECS) at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, in March 2017. To be precise, the show is scheduled to be held between March 01 and March 03, 2017. Focusing on buses, trucks, commercial vehicle systems, accessories, tyres and tubes, COMVECS, exploring a range of CVs like ambulances, school buses, armoured vehicles, mining and industrial application vehicles, pick-up trucks, etc., is expected to provide an effective platform for CV players. According to Vishnu Mathur, Director General, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, “Each sub-segment of commercial vehicles is expected to grow. The objective of the show therefore is for the CV sector to showcase the latest technological developments, and provide manufacturers the right platform to interact.” COMVECS will be a business-to-business show.

Focusing on challenges

At the recent SIAM annual convention, focus was on long-term policies to counter future challenges

Story : Bhargav TS


It was in 2000 that the Indian automobile industry rolled automobiles complying with BSI emission norms. Much has changed since. The industry has moved past BSII emission norms in 2002, and past BSIII emission norms in 2005. The BSIV emission norms were introduced in 2010. Their pan-India implementation is however slated for mid-2017. Unavailability of fuel proved to be a detterent for pan-India implementation. It took Europe 13 years to move from Euro1 to Euro4. In India, this journey was completed in 11 years. Work is on to meet the BSVI emission norms deadline by mid-2020. This was reflected at the 56th SIAM Annual Convention held at Delhi recently. Said a SIAM source that the industry is ready. He drew attention to the additional expenditure of Rs. one-lakh crore that may be necessary to get to a new level. The theme of the convention was, ‘Building the nation, responsibly’.

The future

In his inaugural speech, Anant Geete, the minister for heavy industries and public enterprises, expressed that the government’s move to subsidise electric vehicles, implement GST and encourage a transition to greener vehicles will ensure good growth. Hinting at the future, Geete mentioned that environment is one of the biggest concerns for the sector. “We have therefore allocated Rs.14,000 crore for the FAME scheme to promote hybrid and electric mobility. This will save Rs.60,000 crore worth of fuel, thereby benefitting the environment,” he added. Announcing that hybrid and electric vehicles are expected to dominate mobility by 2025, Geete stressed upon the key role the Indian auto industry has played in the ‘Make in India’ programme. Reiterating government support, he averred that jobs need to be created for the youth of this country. SIAM president Vinod K. Dasari, called upon the central government to support the auto industry concerning laws governing diesel vehicles, and regulate GST to ensure the auto industry is able to focus on innovation. Dasari said that the auto industry lost Rs.4000 crore in the last nine months post the ban on sale of diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region. “Such losses could be avoided if the industry gets a clear long term policy perspective,” he added.

The ban on sale of diesel vehicles above 2000cc engne was recently lifted after levying an additional one-per cent green cess, and is reflective of the challenges the Indian automotive industry is facing towards providing sustainable mobility for the masses. The industry is keen on a long-term roadmap on safety, emissions and fuel efficiency from the government. In order to make practical and rational regulations, the auto industry has been calling for the establishment of a single ministry, and a single window system. “We would like to thank the Government for accepting SIAM’s suggestion of fleet modernisation. The industry will be happy to offer incentives to customers to supplement the incentive the government will offer for the purchase of new vehicle against a scrapped vehicle,” expressed Dasari.

Global benchmarks

The session titled ‘Sustainable Mobility for Creation of Wealth of Nations’, as part of the annual convention, saw prominent industry figures participate. Discussion focused on India setting the trends – global benchmarks, rather than follow them by pursuing innovation and best practices. Gunter Butschek, MD and CEO of Tata Motors averred that the Indian economy is witnessing an unprecedented advantage compared to other countries since it is home to the world’s largest young population. “The Indian automobile industry contributes 40 per cent to the nation’s manufacturing GDP, and is surrounded by a cloud of opportunities,” he expressed. Drawing attention to challenges like safety, pollution, unemployment and lack of adequate resources, Butschek explained that it is imperative for leading automobile manufacturers to focus on developing ‘sustainable mobility solutions’ and nurture skilled engineers and people managers rather than technocrats and theory masters. “New developments like safety norms, GST and scrappage policy will be an opportunity to counter such challenges,” he added. Wilfried Aulbur, Managing Partner India, Chairman Middle East & Africa, and Head Automotive Asia, Roland Berger India, stated that the automotive industry is a significant driver for FDI in India. It also drives process improvements and quality. Aulbur stressed upon the need to stimulate volumes to boost GDP and create more job opportunities, A holistic, long-term policy is required, he opined.


In the interest of safety

Participating in a discussion under the theme, ‘Technology Trends’, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, praised the auto industry’s performance and assured of his government’s support to avail new technologies. Speaking via video recorded message, he appreciated industry’s support to solve pollution problems and agree to move to BSVI from BSIV emission norms. “The automotive sector is on the road to growth and success with a turnover of Rs.450,000 crore. It is generating employment, and the government is seeking ways to ensure that a large part of the global supply can be exported from India,” averred Gadkari. He drew attention to safety, and stated that five lakh accidents take place annually, causing 2.5 lakh deaths. Calling upon the auto industry to help address the issue of accident spots across the country, Gadkari mentioned, “In 10 years, we believe India’s automotive sector will be number one in the world. To realise this goal, the industry will have to play a key role.”


Smart mobility solutions

In his address, Areil Sella, Managing Director, Capsula, called upon the Indian auto industry to come together and develop smart mobility solutions. He expressed that it is the latest and perhaps the most disruptive technology that is changing the world. Dr. Robert Stephen Moran, Deputy Head, Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Departments for Transport, Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Government of United Kingdom, spoke about his country’s plans to go all electric by 2040, and how they’re creating awareness among people and supporting electric vehicle production. Moran stated, that the move towards efficient models, diesel engines will play a big role in the UK. There are four policy drivers – air quality, energy security, carbon and inward investments, he informed. Drawing attention to his government’s plan of spend Euro 600 million between 2015 and 2021 to support uptake and manufacture of ultra low emission vehicles and achieve the goal of zero emission vehicles by 2040, Moran explained that the challenge is to create a self-sustaining market that is not reliant on government support.

4th Industrial Revolution

As part of the discussion under the theme, ‘Overcoming Mindsets’, John Moavenzadeh, Head of Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum on Global Trends in Mobility, USA, averred that the 4th industrial revolution is on. It is a shifting automotive game, he said. Stating that the 4th industrial revolution is not categorised by one single technology but by diverse technologies, Moavenzadeh mentioned that the global auto industry is in the midst of a more profound transformation not seen in the past 100 years. “Automotive demand is undergoing a seismic shift between developed and emerging economies. The automotive game is changing from volume to value; from the customer’s focus on the product to the mobility experience; from customer-driven vehicles to software-driven ones. By 2026, the Indian automotive industry will be among the top three in the world in the area of engineering, manufacture and export of vehicles, and components,” he added.


Vindo Dasari MD, Ashok Leyland has been re-elected as the president of SIAM. Ravinder Pisharody, Executive Director (Commercial Vehicles), Tata Motors, will continue to serve as the vice president of SIAM. Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, continues to be the treasurer of SIAM.