The Components Show at 2014 Auto Expo attracted quality visitors, echoing the sentiments of the industry - thereby highlighting its strategies for survival and growth.
A separate Motor Show and Components Show at the 2014 Auto Expo attracted quality visitors. Held at two separate venues, 40 kms apart, the Components Show, at Paragati Maidan, reflected the journey of auto components manufacturers through challenging times. Their strategies and efforts to survive and keep growing. If some participants reasoned that their ability to innovate had kept them firmly on the path to growth, there were those who announced that they had a good time in 2013 since their clients performed well; had new, exciting models to offer, which assured growth.
Echoing such positive sentiments was Sunil Soni, Deputy General Manager, Denso International India. He said that his company did well since its client Honda Cars India performed well - had new models to offer. And at the right position in the market, too. Coming from a tier supplier, which also has clients like Maruti Suzuki and others on its roll, this sentiment offers a glimpse of how the Indian auto industry is changing. Adapting to changes; overcoming challenges, if not highlighting strategies for survival and growth. Said Alex Fernandes, Sales Manager, Stork Rubber Products, "OEMs are keen to know if the company has a foreign collaboration. If not, they are not very keen to award business". "Can't an Indian company have the ability to offer the same quality of products? Are Indian companies incapable of offering superior quality products without forming a joint venture, or entering into a technical collaboration with a foreign company?"
Amit Gupta, Director, Autolite (India), and his brother, Adarsh Gupta, also a director, expressed that they have been growing consistently without collaborating with any foreign company. "We were an export oriented organisation till very recently, and with a slowdown in exports to Europe, decided to increase our focus on the domestic market," said Amit. He added, "We are perhaps the only automotive lighting company in India that exports a huge quantity of products to China." Restructuring its business to be better able to address the growth the domestic market is offering, Autolite (India) is investing in modern machines and new technology without losing focus on exports. Refusing to reveal the company's activity under branding business, Amit announced that they have been fighting piracy in export markets. "The high quality of our products has led to the availability of duplicate products in the exports markets that we have a presence. The fact that we are well recognised, is also ensuring that we deal firmly with piracy," he added.
If Bradley J Maggart, Senior Vice President & GM (India Business), Hitachi Automotive Systems, expressed that unique about India is its strong OE base, made up of automakers like Tata Motors and Mahindra, M Sankaranarayanan, President, Auto Business, RSB Transmissions (India), averred that they have developed strategies to help them deal with the challenges that arose over the last year and a half. He explained that his company has developed new products. Value added products that would reflect innovation and cost effective manufacturing capabilities. With major clients of the company being commercial vehicle manufacturers, Sankaranarayanan expressed that the most unpredictable is the commercial vehicle industry - where changes can take place suddenly, and with little notice as
OEs try to address exacting market requirements. RSB has developed flexible component platforms to address the JIT as well as the suddenly changing needs of its clients. Has invested in the requisite skill sets, and increased focus on other vehicle segments including the off-highway equipment sector it has had a presence in.
With an ability to address the exacting needs of clients, which can be very challenging, an issue that drew attention was shrinking margins. Many suppliers Automotive Products Finder spoke to at the 2014 Auto Expo expressed that margins are waning. Waning to a level where it may no longer be worth doing business. Expressed a supplier on the condition of anonymity, that there is a need to tell the OEs that squeezing on margins hurts the long term growth of the company - affects the complete ecosystem. Expressed Biswajit Choudhary, Senior Vice President, Aftermarket & Exports, Endurance Technologies, that two wheelers have been ensuring good growth. Pointing at suspension and an engine crankcase (casting), Choudhary said that they have received order from a world famous two wheeler company to supply high value parts, highlighting the abilities of an Indian supplier. Said Alessio Caputo, managing director of Triom, a Varroc Group company specialising in two wheeler lighting technologies, "In India we are instilling global ways of working; have thus invested in the best machines to address the need to offer highest quality products at optimal price."Also agreeing to the fact that there is pressure on margins, Caputo drew attention to the fact that India is a price sensitive market. It is a market with its own unique ways of working, and needs. With challenges in the area of logistics; especially when it is taken into account that margins are connected with volumes.
Spread across Hall 1 and Hall 6, and Hangars 1 to 8, the 2014 Auto Expo Components show was successful. In the words of Farooq Abdullah, CEO of Marvel Gloves, it was worth participating, and ensured a successful ROI (Return on Investment).