…says Sriram Viji, Deputy Managing Directror, Brakes India Pvt Ltd, a TVS group company in the automotive component space. With its partner, the German-American auto parts maker ZF TRW, the company is focusing on bringing in latest braking technology and locatisation in India.
What is driving the demand for anti-lock brake systems (ABS) in India?
As per current trends, ABS fitment in vehicles sold in the country is relatively low as safety features are not a big consideration for Indian consumers. This is quite different from some other markets where safety features are adopted by consumers quite readily and rapidly. This is one of the reasons that a government mandate for ABS and other safety technologies was essential. The mandate will come into effect in 2018-19 and covers passenger vehicles and two wheelers above 125cc.
The passenger vehicle segment is estimated to grow from present 2.5 million to 4.3 million by 2021, while the CV segment would grow from a modest 13k to 87k hydraulic ABS units by 2021. Current demand for ABS in two wheeler segment above 125cc is estimated to grow from present 3.3 million to 4.3 million by 2021. The regulation for ABS for two wheelers above 125cc, cars, SUVs and M3 category of light commercial vehicles has given Brakes India an opportunity to establish and grow the ABS business in the country.
Kindly share with us the products & technologies offered by you in ABS arena.
Brakes India’s primary product is the EBC 460, which is the latest generation of products offered by ZF globally in this space. We also have a single channel ABS that has been designed locally with commonalities to the ZF product, that can serve the two wheeler market and we are working on an aggressive cost down for this area to drive adoption and increase road safety. We are also working on low cost designs of global products for specific applications where initial product cost is a major consideration.
How is Brakes India serving the surging demand for ABS?
With our strong partnership with ZF, we have productionised and launched the four-channel ABS for cars and UVs with some degree of localisation. Our readiness is for 500k units with infrastructure in place to scale to 1 million units and beyond as needed. Further localisation is being planned in a phased manner. The four-channel ABS for light CV has also been localised and is in production and has been received very well by customers. With the regulation coming into force within the next few years, we expect to garner further business in this area.
Brakes India offers electric parking brake technology. What is the advantage of this technology?
Braking can also provide an enhanced customer experience through new and innovative features. One such area is the electric park brake (EPB) designed by ZF which we have localised in India. This by far, is the best product in its category offering a combination of safety and comfort features. From a feature perspective, EPB enables OEMs to eliminate the park brake lever in the cockpit, allows end customers to operate the park brake with no effort and provides automated features such as hill hold on hotel ramps, automatic deactivation when driving away and safety features when doors are open to prevent the car from rolling.
What are the emerging trends in brakes industry, in general, and ABS, in particular?
Some of the trends spoken of in the industry are electrification and light weighting or low emissions. When it comes to low emissions, we have some of the most optimised designs on low drag calipers which will help customers meet and exceed their CAFE requirements. Investing in low drag braking is one of the most cost-effective ways for our customers to increase mileage and Brakes India with ZF support is the leader in this space. Further when it comes to EVs, ZF is working closely with multiple customers for brake control systems which work without engine vacuum.
What are your growth plans for ABS business?
We at Brakes India are focused on providing the best value proposition to our customers. India is a very competitive market with unique requirements. Our deep understanding of customer requirements and market conditions is aiding our growth plans. Anticipating the growing demand, we have invested substantially in manufacturing facilities and local parts development for ABS business. Further investment road map is also in place.