Karnataka is India’s eighth
largest State in terms of area and 9th largest State in terms of
population. Some of the prominent cities
in the state are Bengaluru, Mysore, Mangalore, Belgaum, Gulbarga,
Hubli-Dharwad, Shimoga, Kolar, Tumkur and Karwar. Not really an automotive
biggie, this state is more of a major player in Information Technology (IT). The
state is known as Silicon Valley of India.
Primarily Karnataka has a TVS
Motor plant in Mysore, a Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) plant in
Narasapura and a Mahindra Reva plant in
Bangalore. HMSI’s plant in Narsapuram in Karnataka’s Kolar district has a
capacity of 1.8 million units. The State’s big ticket player is Toyota
Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd. The company has
two plants in Bidadi, near Bangalore. The total production capacity of the
plants is 4,10,000 units annually. Equally prestigious are the production units
of Scania Commercial Vehicles, Volvo
Buses India, Tata Motors and TAFE. The state laso has the presence of
Continental, a global automotive components company.
Components (India) Pvt. Ltd is part of Continental AG, one of the world's top
five automotive parts suppliers. Continental began operating in India in 2008
with headquarters in Bangalore. Today, the company has four manufacturing
locations, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Manesar and Pune, located strategically in the
automotive hubs of the country.
With three automotive
divisions, Interior, Powertrain and Chassis & Safety represented by 14
strong business units, each with an extensive product portfolio, Continental
Automotive Components India develops and manufactures a wide range of
electronic products in its Bangalore plant including engine management and
power steering ECUs, immobilisers, body control modules and instrument clusters
for all vehicle segments. It also manufactures actuation drum brakes, calipers,
Powertrain and Chassis sensors, fuel supply modules and fuel rail assemblies in
its other locations in India. In addition, the company supplies ABS, airbag
electronics, pumps, injectors and sensors to its customers in India from its
Hero MotoCorp was expected to
set up a plant in Karnataka but the company has now preferred neighbouring
Andhra Pradesh. The company has maintained that its fifth manufacturing plant,
expected to be completed in 2016, is now coming up in Halol in Gujarat and the
sixth plant will be in Andhra Pradesh. It had been negotiating with the
Karnataka government to set up a facility in Dharwad.
Karnataka’s biggest story is
the growth of Information Technology (IT) / Information Technology Enable
Services (ITES) led sector which accounts for more than 40% of the India’s
Software export. This growth has primarily occurred in Bangalore city and its
environs though the industry has now begun moving towards other centers such as
Mysore, Mangalore and Hubli-Dharwad.
The State is home to major
automotive industries such as Toyota Kirloskar, Volvo, Honda Motorcycle &
Scooter India, TVS, Tata-Marco polo, L&T Komatsu, Mahindra Reva, Scania,
Bosch, Siemens, JK Tyres etc. Triumph Motorcycle of the UK apparently bought a bit of land in the State
but has put its plan in the state on the backburner.
Among the latest commercial
vehicle giants to enter Karnataka was Scania. The company inaugurated its first
Industrial Facility housing Truck plant in Narasapura, Bangalore, in October,
2013. With an investment of Rs. 300 crore, this facility serves as the centre
of the company’s commercial operations in the country. In the next phase Scania
has inaugurated its Bus and Coach Plant in March 2015 to further expand
Scania’s ambition in offering state of the art sustainable mobility solutions.
The service workshop and a central parts warehouse, is housed at the same site.
Scania today has a capacity of
2500 trucks and 1000 buses and ambitions in the next 5 years to sell 5000
trucks and 2500 buses in the Indian market and employ more than 2000 people at
these facilities. Scania also launched the company’s engines range in India.
Scania R 580 Puller
certified under Puller category by ARAI.
Scania Commercial Vehicles
India Pvt. Ltd., a leading premium commercial vehicles and engines
manufacturer, received certification from Automotive Research Association of
India (ARAI) on categorisation of their on-road
Puller tractor R 580 6x4. According to the certification, Scania R 580
with capacity of gross combination weight (GCW) 200 tons when coupled with
multi-axle trailer is now defined under a new category called Puller, and will
be now available in the commercial market. Scania is the first commercial
vehicles manufacturer in India to receive this certification from ARAI. This
was stated in a press release from the company.
Scania R 580 6x4 is powered
with V8 engine, making it most powerful on-road truck for the first time in
India. The Scania R 580 6x4 offers high torque at low speed which is essential
for over-dimensional cargo (ODC) transport. The Scania V8 engine is equipped to
ensure excellent drivability, outstanding Total Operating Economy and refined
vehicle handling and maneuvering qualities. A pioneer by itself, Scania R 580
is set to redefine the truck industry in India.
Scania R 580 was first
showcased at Bauma ConExpo, 2014 in Delhi. With the inclusion of R 580 to the
product portfolio in India, Scania supports the development of the market and
the definition of a new category called puller.
Anders Grundströmer, Managing
Director, Scania India, and Senior Vice President said, “I am proud to inform
that Scania R 580 is the most powerful on-road truck in India powered with V8
engine available for the first time in India. A fast growing Indian economy
demands a rapid and reliable product to support the growing need of high
quality transport solutions, Scania products complement and support the demands
for robust, powerful and trusted vehicles. With every product introduced in the
Indian market we ensure that, our customers and fleet operators greatly benefit
from Scania’s promise of outstanding Total Operating Economy and well-connected
aftermarket services. This achievement signifies Scania’s commitment to the
Indian market and its ability to develop and deliver to the Indian industry a
sustainable transport solution with Innovation, profitability and quality at
its core while setting new trends. I am thankful to ARAI for defining R 580
under the right category of on-road Puller.”
Source: Scania India
strikes 10,000th mark
Joshua David Luther
The Indian economy is expected to grow at a
rate of 7pc in the years to come and the Indian mining and infrastructure
sector has a major role to play in this growth. While many government bodies
are working at full capacity to ensure targets are achieved the major
contributors to growth are emerging from the private sector. In the mining and
infrastructure industry Volvo Trucks has been at the centre of all the action
and have successfully sold their 10,000th truck in India.
The infrastructure and automobile sectors
have received a renewed thrust and this will further create a demand for steel
and power in the country. This in turn is expected to generate demand for
minerals such as coal and iron ore. While Volvo has sold its 10,000th
truck in India more than 70pc of these sales have been to the mining sector. In
FY 2014-15 the approximate target for coal production in India was 630 million
tonnes of which approximately 120 million tonnes of coal production was
facilitated through Volvo Trucks. Telangana is one of the major hubs for coal
production in South India, the total coal reserves for the state stand at
22,154.86 million metric tonnes of Gondwana coal. The largest coal reserves in
the country however are in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu. Neyveli is famous for lignite
mining and with reserves of 80,356.21 million metric tonnes of Tertiary coal
the township is one of the major hubs for development in the years to come.
On the occasion of the sale of
their 10,000th truck Pierre Jean Verge Salamon – President, Volvo
Group Truck Sales, India, said that “Innovation is the
key to progress and at Volvo Trucks we have been driving progress for the last
17 years in India. I am proud to announce that since the spectacular launch of
our new range last year we have already sold 650 units year-to-date. I am
convinced that we should continue in the direction we are moving to invest in
infrastructure. The Transport and infrastructure industry play a key role in
the development of a sustainable society. We have been through challenging
times and I am happy to tell you that the worst is behind us. The premium truck
segment year-to-date has grown more than 55pc compared to last year and Volvo
trucks still has more than 60pc market share in India. The progress of India is
linked to the progress of mining, infrastructure and transport industries. With
the recent development of the Indian economy and with the boost of mining and
infrastructure sector I am extremely convinced that the dynamism will continue.
We want to maximise operations with a range of technologically advanced
solutions and we want to continue being the number one in this sector.”
Even before their first truck rolled out
onto the streets, Volvo had begun a driver training program to ensure the
evolution of our transport industry. Till date Volvo Trucks has successfully
trained over 55,000 drivers through this program. The company has also been at
the forefront of pioneering technology for the transport industry. Their 8x4
tipper trucks revolutionised the industry and the latest FMX 8x4 Tipper stands
testament to that as it is the most preferred truck in its class. Volvo Trucks
also introduced the I-shift technology, automated gearboxes and Volvo
telematics solutions, all to ensure a higher productivity and profitability of
its customers. Working in synergy with their core value of safety Volvo Trucks
was the first to introduce crash tested cabins to the Indian market. In the
past 17 years in India, no Volvo Truck has been involved in a fatal accident
making its cabins one of the safest in the world.
Volvo Trucks announces India Fuel Watch
Volvo Trucks India has announced the winner of
the India Fuel Watch competition. P Ravi of SV Engineering Construction has
claimed the crown of the most fuel efficient driver.
As P Ravi, from SV Engineering now goes on to
compete in the Asia round of the Fuel Watch competition, Kameshwar Rao from
Mahalakshmi Infracontracts finished 2nd and D Ganapathi of Sushee
Infra claimed the 3rd spot. The Indi Final was held in the coal mine
of Kothagudem, Andhra Pradesh from June 7-9, 2015.
Volvo Trucks India Fuel watch was initiated in
2010 and the 6th edition of the completion was concluded on June 9,
2015. The competition is aimed at helping drivers build their competency and
bring out the best fuel efficiency from Volvo trucks in real-life mining
conditions in a safe and efficient way.
39 Volvo truck customers were eligible for
participation and a total of 210 drivers participated from 19 mining sites in
regional round. 15 drivers across the country were selected through regional
rounds and were put through a 5km long track four different times i.e. total
20kms, first the drivers will have to drive the Volvo FMX trucks with the
iShift AMT and then the manual tippers with no load and then the same trucks on
the same track with full and equal load. The total average of all four runs
will then be the final score of the driver.
At the end of each run the data is downloaded
using Dynafleet Online trip manager. The officials also looked at the technique
utilised by the drivers and took it into consideration on the grounds of safety
and driving attitude. In the rare occasion of a tie, the time taken by the
respective drivers will be considered and the driver who has taken the least
amount of time to achieve the goal will be crown champion.
Drivers play a crucial role in the overall
profitability from the trucks. Volvo Trucks is focused on improving
fuel-efficiency and thereby increasing customers’ profitability, while
encouraging safe driving practices and environmental care through reduction in
Tiger Global invests $12m in
electric vehicle start-up Ather Energy
A little known company based in Bangalore, Ather Energy
which is currently designing an electric two-wheeler, has received funding of
US $12 million (Rs 75.33 crore) from Tiger Global. The new round of funding
will be used for development, testing, production and the launch of Ather’s
first smart electric two-wheeler – the Ather S340. Ather will be joining the
likes of Hero Eco and others in the electric two wheeler industry.
“Ather Energy aims to
build smart, connected electric vehicles of the future. We want to offer the
Indian consumer a completely new driving experience by developing a product
that would be at par with any petrol or electric two-wheelers available in the
market today. This investment will help us continue to evolve our product and
scale it towards launch. We are very excited with the interest shown by Tiger
Global and all our investors”, said Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather
Energy, in a press statement.
Ather had received
its first seed fund of US $1 million in late 2014 from Sachin Bansal and Binny
Bansal, founders of Flipkart, and Raju Venkatraman of Medall Healthcare, which
provided the initial impetus for Ather’s growth plans.
Lee Fixel from Tiger Global said, “We are impressed with
Ather’s vision of building smart electric vehicles that have a potential to
revolutionise the driving experience. We see great potential in Ather’s product
offering and the technology and are confident that their maiden launch will
attract tremendous positive response. We look forward to partnering with the
Ather team and bring their vision to fruition.”
The Ather-S340 is a connected vehicle powered by lithium-Ion
battery pack, featuring a digital touchscreen dashboard, has a light-weight
aluminium chassis and offers a top speed of 75 kmph. It has been designed by
Ather from ground-up and will be the first electric scooter to be completely
designed & manufactured in India. Some of the features in the smart
dashboard will enable users to create personalized profiles, choose riding
modes and set other ride preferences. The S340 will also be one of the first
connected vehicles in the country. This will ensure that all vehicle data is
constantly logged and monitored enabling on-board diagnostics and issuing
notifications for any maintenance.
Ather is currently at an advanced stage of integration on the
vehicle platform and testing of the functional prototype. Test rides are
scheduled for October this year and the company is already seeing an increasing
number of sign-ups for the same on their website. The Ather-S340 is planned for
launch in Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi by early 2016.
Ather Energy is the brainchild of IIT-Madras graduates Tarun
Mehta and Swapnil Jain. The idea of developing a smart electric two-wheeler
which would compete with the best in the market was incubated in 2013, at their
alma mater’s Engineering Design Department under the mentorship of Prof.
Krishna Kumar and later under the Incubation Cell at IIT Madras.