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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | AxleTech’s Pune facility plays a role in our global component strategy
AxleTech’s Pune facility plays a role in our global component strategy
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In March 2016, AxleTech, a leading manufacturer and supplier of drivetrain systems and components for on-highway and off-highway heavy-duty vehicles, opened its first manufacturing facility in India at Pune. Demand for our products in India is a balance between commercial and defense segments, and growing with the country’s economy, says Daniel Chien, Vice President of Business Development, AxleTech, in this interview with Rakesh Rao.
How has been the progress so far of your India business?
One of AxleTech’s key initiatives is to grow our global market presence. From our new Pune plant, we can support our global OEM customers as they build their Indian operations as well as directly serve our Indian customers for their ‘India for India’ plans or for their export strategy. We have embraced ‘Made in India’ with our latest commercial and defense product technology, advanced engineering processes, and even our latest developments in electric vehicle powertrain systems. At this point in time, we have a very balanced portfolio of products and customers comprising the top tier of who’s who in the Indian defense vehicle, and commercial construction and material handling vehicle market space.
Our Pune operations, in coordination with our Engineering Technical Center (ETC) in Bengaluru, just released our first wholly developed medium-duty front drive steering axle for the mobile loading pick-and-carry crane market. This is just the first of many products we expect to develop in India. Our Pune facility also plays a role in our global component strategy. For example, we are building hydraulic and wet disc brakes for export to our EU, NA, and Asian locations.
How is the demand for your axles in India? Which vehicle segments are driving the demand?
Demand for our products in India is a balance between commercial and defense segments, and growing with the economy in India. We see long-term upside in our core commercial construction and material handling markets as the Indian government continues to invest in infrastructure. We are also benefiting in the defense market as the IMOD modernises their light and medium tactical wheeled vehicles, as this drives demand for our world-class high speed planetary axles and independent suspensions.
How different are needs of axles in electric vehicle compared to internal combustion vehicle (ICE)?
Very different. An axle in an ICE vehicle has the basic functions of creating tractive effort, supporting vertical loads, provide braking, steering, and suspension among other duties. An e-axle for an EV does all of this as well as replace the functional scope of the diesel engine and mechanical transmission. We see the entire powertrain now between the drive wheels of the EV.
What are your company’s plans to tap electric vehicles market?
We at AxleTech have fully embraced the electrification revolution that is now taking place in our industries. We have current programs in every major market sector, including defense, independent suspension, material handling and construction. We have added the necessary new skills, such as control software, tribological cooling, systems
integration, all required for the advanced e-axle product development.
How is AxleTech preparing for EV trend in India?
We have invested heavily in electric powertrains for electric vehicles (EV) in both North America and Europe. We are bringing this state-of-the art technology to our Indian customers, via our Bengaluru ETC and our operations in Pune. We just launched our global EV product strategy for off-highway markets at the Bauma Expo in Munich in April 2019. This strategy will be applied to all of our markets through our local development centers.
What are your growth plans for boosting business in India?
Our market strategy is to leverage our entire global off-highway and defense product line to address all Indian commercial and defense vehicle markets. We endorse the ‘Made in India’ mantra with fully staffed operations in Pune with complete product development staff and technical customer support out of our Bengaluru ETC.
Commercial And Defense Segments
Electric Vehicle Powertrain Systems
Drivetrain Systems And Components
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