With Eutech6, VE Commercial Vehicles has added an edge to its BSVI strategy.

Story by Deven Lad


As part of its BSVI strategy, VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) has announced the launch of Eutech6. Encompassing the CV maker’s experience in producing Euro6 engines since 2013 at its engine plant in partnership with Volvo Group, Eutech6 highlights an ability to leverage the knowledge of one of the partners – Volvo – to produce as well as support BSVI equivalent trucks in various parts of the world. Highlighting Exhaust After-Treatment (EATS) technology as well, and involving electronic governing software, the relevant hardware that includes the ECU and various sensors, the DPF and other components, Eutech6 underlines uptime solutions that add to the overall value proposition.


Empowering the operator to earn more, Eutech6, according to Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO, VECV, is engineered to offer superior technology, better performance and the necessary aftermarket support. Coming against a backdrop of higher acquisition cost of a BSVI CV and efforts put in to ensure retention of fuel efficiency edge when compared to BSIV CV of the same stature, Eutech6 points at an ability to offer superior fluid efficiency and validation (as well as testing) spanning 5.6 million-km. Supporting Eutech6, which is capable of reducing fuel costs by improving performance, productivity and uptime, is a competence development centre and mobile training facilities. An Uptime Centre is also a part.

 

Uptime Centre
Setup at the company’s Pithampur facility in April 2019, the Uptime Centre is spread over an area of 2400 sq. ft. It has a 24×7 support team that comprises of diagnostics experts. These offer remote diagnostics and predictive diagnostics. Upgraded to cater to BSVI CVs, the Centre can take control of any vehicle at a dealer workshop or on the road (post a breakdown or if it is in need of an assistance) and provide necessary guidance. Using telematics as the basis (standard fitment on every Eicher CV), the Uptime Centre is offering support in languages like Hindi, Marathi Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. It is supporting 35 fleet customers with 6000 vehicles.
Manned by 87 people, the Uptime Centre also involves the dealership network of VECV. Currently supporting six to eight districts (24×7) across the country, it is adding value to the after-sales support offered by the company. Marking an important part of Eutech6 no doubt, the Uptime Centre is designed and developed to create a unique support culture that encompasses the entire lifecycle of the vehicle. It is also designed and developed to tap earning avenues that will assume greater importance with BSVI; to tap avenues that extend well beyond the initial acquisition cost of a CV. Revealed Aggarwal, that VECV is collecting the learnings from diagnosis of vehicles through the Uptime Centre and utilising them to upskill the dealers and technicians. Stating that the ‘Uptime’ journey started with a reactive approach, he expressed that the pro-active nature of the exercise is now structured across two phases – Uptime 1.0 and Uptime 2.0 respectively.


Involving dealer support, Uptime 1.0 involves the creation of a diagnostics learning document within four hours of the call. The document is forwarded to the dealership as the average cases handled by the Uptime Centre continue to rise. While a breakdown assistance van is often dispatched quickly as per the need by the dealership closest to the breakdown, the amount of cases handled per quarter by the Uptime Centre has risen to 77 in a short span of time. If this points at an improvement in VECV’s ability to respond, the data obtained is also being put to good use for the development of preventive maintenance techniques. Predicting faults before they crop up under the realm of Uptime 2.0. VECV informs vehicle owners to visit the nearest dealership in anticipation of a fault development and a subsequent breakdown. A message is also sent to the dealership to ensure timely repair.

Active vendor support
Helping the operator to conduct the repairs himself in case it is minor and does not require him to suffer a downtime, the Uptime solution, under Eutech6, also provides spares support. Devised with the active support of its vendors, VECV is putting to good use its central warehouse at Pithampur as well as the regional warehouses. Playing a part in faster availability of spares at dealerships to ensure maximum uptime, the CV maker has aligned the supply of spares with Uptime 1.0 and Uptime 2.0. As part of Eutech6, a clear shift towards preventive maintenance is visible. The hit rate of such a measure is currently claimed to be 84 per cent. Arranged such that the red colour coding means ‘Predictive Critical’ (immediate intervention is necessary), yellow colour coding means intervention is required but not immediate, and blue colour coding means intervention is required and the fault can be rectified by the customer, Eutech6 is being honned further to make it more effective.

Investing in a new plant at Bhopal to augment its capacity, the CV maker is also upgrading its dealership network. It is turning it into an infrastructure that would support future endeavours in connection with the regulatory framework as well as the market needs. Monitoring as well as supporting an improvement in driving habits with the use of telematics, VECV is ensuring higher productivity and profitability achievement for its BSVI CV customers. Investing in a driver training facility, the company is packaging a good deal of value through Eutech6. Leaving no stone unturned to lead the charge in BSVI era, VECV is leveraging the strong arm of technology and know-how to stay ahead of the curve.

Vinod Aggarwal, Managing Director and CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd.

How do you plan to promote BSVI technology and other related solutions under Eutech6?
Eutech6 is about BSVI technology experience, EATS and uptime. We have more than six years of producing EuroVI engines. We have gained a lot of experience from Volvo customers. The EuroVI engines produced are in use in more than 100,000 trucks the world over. In over 41 countries to be precise. Accounting for the experience gained, and it being leveraged in the development of drivelines, we are prepared to deal with complexities. We are prepared to deal with new demands and needs.

How would you link modularisation to the need to deal with complexities?
Our new range of trucks is quite modular in nature. They offer certain benefits that we are keen to leverage. We may not look at launching anything new next year. What we want to focus on is to commercialise what we have developed.

Are you further strengthening your aftermarket network to support the uptime promise under Eutech6?
There is a lot of electronics involved in BSVI. It translates into a significant aftermarket activity involving the network. The dealers and technicians will need to be trained. In fact, they are being trained. We have taken effective steps to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place. Our technicians are ready. Emphasis is being laid on harnessing the experience for betterment of people. An important part will be played by the Uptime Centre. It will work 24×7 and take control of any vehicle at a dealer workshop or waiting at the roadside. The Centre will provide guidance on a real time basis. In Phase 2, it will provide predictive guidance.

There was no pre-buying, can you quantify the lack of it given your decline in sales figures?
We were expecting pre-buying but the same has not been experienced due to various reasons. We expect better buying in the absence of pre-buying. We are looking forward to better opportunities in the future.

Will the scrappage policy that is being spoken about, revive demand?
Scrappage policy will increase demand. We are waiting for it.

How do you plan to tap emerging segments like e-commerce with the new range of BSVI CVs?
It is a new type of customer that looks at productivity. Ours is the best solution. We offer highly productive trucks that would most suit the requirement.

Rajinder Singh Sachdeva, Chief Operating Officer, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd.

What challenges do you anticipate with the move to BSVI and BSIV?
Challenges will be faced by the industry in first two years as technology matures. Consider fuel availability from 50 parts per million (ppm) to 10 parts per million (ppm). The government has invested much to ensure 10 ppm. Regarding higher technology complexity in BSVI, the need for a lot of calibration was a challenge. Another challenge was engine and after-treatment development. It had to be done in a short time frame of three years. Europe took almost a decade whereas in India work started in 2017 and ended in 2020. The time available to calibrate as well as to develop the necessary infrastructure supply was very less.

How did you leverage your ability to produce Euro6 engines for the development of BSVI technology?
In India, most regulations have come from Europe. The government and the operating bodies have always looked at Europe because Indian operating conditions are closer to Europe. In the case of BSVI and Euro6, the main difference is temperature. In Europe, the temperature is -30 degree Celsius. In India, it is -10 degree Celsius.

What challenges could customers face?
Challenges will be there in cost efficiency and energy efficiency. There will be technical difficulties. The ones that offer better reliability, better uptime and lowest cost will take the lead.

How about electrification?
Apart from BSVI, EV is one route to reduce emissions. It is sustainable at this point of time. Neither from the supply chain point, and neither from the cost point. The journey from BSVI to CNG to LNG to EV to hydrogen fuel cell is long. The next 15 years will be very exciting. ICE engine will be absolute and EV and hydrogen cells as zero emission solutions will come under the spotlight.

With the push for BSVI and alternate fuel technologies, how has VECV come to balance between cost and quality?
For us, customer satisfaction is the first priority. We want to ensure the best product, best operating economy and lifetime support. We feel that the more care we take of our customers, the more they will come back and spend. We have experienced that in the last two-to-three years. Wherever we are able to ensure better uptime, better operating economy and better profitability, they have come back. They have spent more.

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