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

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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 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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

SIAM Logistics Conclave banks on collaborative effort

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Automotive logistics business is of prime importance to India’s economy. Almost 95 per cent of the vehicle movement is undertaken through road transport. Logistics costs, in such a situation, are estimated to be as high as 14 per cent of the GDP. Such a scale should make it essential for the industry to address growing complexities in the area of logistics. Experts from the logistics arena, auto industry and the Government came together for the same cause at the third edition of SIAM Logistics Conclave, which took place at Delhi recently. The one-day event, organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), saw experts their views about complexities involving the need to reduce emissions and enhance safety. Under the theme, ‘Optimizing operational efficiency in automotive logistics’, the experts shared their vision and knowledge to counter issues that trouble outbound automotive logistics. Already battling problems like poor infrastructure and a complex regulatory framework, one of the major problems automotive logistics faces is the high logistics costs. They are so high that they are known to equal or exceed three per cent of the total sales volume. Said Prem Verma, Chairman, SIAM Logistics Group, “Reliance on road transport should be minimised. Considerable emphasis should be placed other modes of transportation like railways, inland and coastal shipping. These are certain to be more cost effective.” Averred Bipin Menon, Director, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, that measures to counter cost related issues are crucial for faster growth of the sector. He stressed upon the growth of the industry achieved by a uniform evolution of all segments since it not only contributes to GDP but also increases employment opportunities.

The conclave had three separate sessions that focused on various arms of logistics. While the discussion at one session stressed upon capacity building for development, the session on road transportation, highlighted the fact that the Indian logistics industry is fragmented. It put the spotlight on 70 to 75 per cent of the truck owners owning less than five trucks. Small fleet owners, mentioned an expert, constitute nearly 35 per cent of the market on an average. It is such fleet operators that have played a crucial role, added the expert. Another expert drew attention to the limited investments in large car carriers. Issues like high freight transit times were delved upon. It was observed that they arise due to unnecessary procedural stoppages at state borders. Expressed an expert that the high logistics costs are often fueled by a fragmented and inefficient carrier market apart from the lack of skilled manpower. Deepak Garg, Rivigo co-founder the need to pay attention to the drivers of commercial vehicles. He opined, “If the driver fraternity can be trusted with goods worth crores of Rupees, their interests should be dealt with seriously. Said Ram Kidambi, Partner, A T Kearney, telematics and customised car carriers can be instant solutions but long term solutions need to be achieved. The same, he added, can be achieved through logistics park development, highway infrastructure development, bypasses and elevated roads to reduce network inefficiency and supply uncertainty.

A special session on waterways and shipping witnessed active participation of Rabindra Agarwal, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, and S Mahiyaria, IRTS, Member (Traffic) Inland Waterways Authority of India. The discussion delved upon the delay in using waterways and railways as a mode of outbound automobile transportation. It was observed that despite initiating measures to enhance operational efficiency, poor infrastructure to handle and store cargo remains an area of concern for the railways. UC Joshi, Executive Director (Freight Marketing), Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, during the session on railways said plans to introduce smaller capacity rakes to cater to lower volumes for smaller regions are on.”We plan to put across a system which will enable us to monitor transit time and real time tracking of the consignment,” he stated. The conclave ended with a clear message, that there was a need for a collaboration between the government and the industry.