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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | For India, we are developing eAxle for emobility requirement
For India, we are developing eAxle for emobility requirement
New loading norms transforming commercial vehicle axles market
India topped the charts of 2020 vehicle exports to South Africa
To tap the electric vehicles segment, Automotive Axles Ltd (AAL) - a joint venture of Kalyani Group and Meritor Inc, USA - is gearing up to launch a solution called eAxle. The prototype will soon be tested on Indian roads as well, says Dr N Muthukumar, President & Director, Automotive Axles Ltd, in this interview with Rakesh Rao.
How has been the performance of AAL in the past two years?
The last two years were strong operational years for us. Our constant focus on new product development, forward integration with the customers, adherence to stringent quality standards including Built- in Quality (BIQ), agile manufacturing, strict adherence and continuous focus to meet the customers delivery performance were the key drivers for our continuous growth. On the demand aspect, we cater majorly to medium & heavy duty commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment, also to intermediate CV, defence and off-highway applications.
Has the recent sluggishness in auto sales impacted the axles demand?
The auto industry faced challenges due to higher fuel prices, high interest rates, liquidity crunch, low festive season sales, etc. The M&HCV segment in specific faced uncertainty and challenges posed in terms of axle load rating changes, liquidity bottlenecks, etc. These did affect the axle demand but our presence in diverse segments of the industry and exports business ensured that the business performance remained largely unaffected.
How is Automotive Axles helping OEMs to overcome challenges of new emission norms?
All OEMs are gearing up responding to the axle rating change and readying themselves to supply BSVI compliant vehicles. We are closely working with all our OE customers on these areas by providing the necessary offerings in terms of technology and new product launches. Our recent new product launches and developments underway are aimed at customers gaining the best-in-class performance advantage with our products in their CVs. Also, significant capacity ramp-up activity is on improving our agility in catering to the market demands. How is your company preparing for electric vehicles market? On the e-mobility front, Meritor globally rolled out the new Blue Horizon brand that encompasses the emerging platform of advanced technologies centered on electrification, efficiency, and connectivity solutions for heavy and medium-duty commercial vehicles. Blue Horizon will offer a product pipeline that meets accelerating global demand for efficiency, connectivity and electric solutions across multiple applications. Currently, we are working on 22 truck electrification programs with global OEMs. For the Indian market specifically, we are developing a solution called eAxle to cater to the emobility requirement of the market, the prototype will soon be tested on Indian roads as well.
How is AAL tapping new market trends?
Currently the CV industry in India is going through lot of active developments in the form of recent government regulations on axle load rating increase, BSVI implementation from April 2020, e-mobility gaining momentum and the scrapping policy which is on cards for taking over 20 years old vehicles off the roads. We have recently launched our Mission 22 strategic growth plan, a holistic strategy that equips us to take on these developments in the industry and market.
Mission 22, Meritor’s business growth strategy for next 4 years focuses around six pillars like - growing revenue, enhancing profitability, manufacturing excellence, customer satisfaction, product strategy, and highly engaged people.
What are your growth plans for boosting axles business?
Our growth is driven by new product launches, increase in share of business with customers and strong operational performance. Our commitment to meet customer expectations in terms of quality, delivery, new product development is what is enabling us to achieve this kind of steady growth year after year.
Electric Vehicles Segment
Kalyani Group And Meritor Inc
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