Supporting sectors like components, aftermarket, accessories, equipment and tools made their presence felt at the 10th Auto Expo
The launch of new and exciting two wheelers, cars and com-mercial vehicles may have hogged the limelight, it was, how-ever, the tier suppliers, OE and aftermarket suppliers and other supporting industry players, which made up for serious business at the Auto Expo 2010. With cars like the Volkswagen Polo flaunting up to 50 per cent of local content to start with, supported by suppliers like Lear and Visteon, it was the tier suppliers who put up impressive displays highlighting their capabilities and technological prowess. Those who had put up outdoor displays included tier suppliers like ANG Auto (supplier of trailer and trailer components among others) and Bosch, which put up a large exhibit of its aftermarket business, among others. Flexing muscles to the maximum, Bosch also had an indoor display that highlighted its work in the OE space. Neighbouring the impressive Volkswagen exhibit, which included the top-end Phaeton, which the company launched for Rs 75 lakh at the show, were tier suppliers like the Samvardhana Motherson Group, Mark Exhaust, GGB India, GKN Driveline, Sriram Pistons, Sona Koyo, Sigma Group, Metalman Auto, Anand Automotive Systems, Mahle Filters, Spicer India, Continental, Dow Corning and many others. The UK Trade and Investment was also located in this hall. Located at the far corner of Pragati Maidan was Hall 18, consisting of suppliers like ARB Bearings, TVS Group, Sheller, Neolite ZKW, Raunaq Automotive, Pricol, Setco, Mansons, Veethree, Endurance Technologies, Elofic, Talbros, Remsons and more. Federal Mogul and AMW components arm chose to put up an outdoor display besides Hall 12, which contained Volkswagen as the largest exhibitor. The C section of Hall 12 saw Jay Cardium exhibit its ware. The same hall also saw a section of China Pavilion. The other sections of the China pavilion were spread across Hall 14A and 14B, not very far from the Maruti-Suzuki exhibit. Country pavilions also housed a number of prominent suppliers. The Canada pavilion, sharing space with two wheeler manufacturers in Hall 7 hosted companies like Litens, LP Automotive Group, Novo Plastics and others. Outside Hall 7 was Magna Steyr's outdoor exhibit, displaying among other technological developments, an interesting hybrid concept vehicle employing a compact and light weight Li-ion battery pack and a 4WD drive system. While companies like Faurecia highlighted the French participation, attracting good participation from the European Union, was the presence of German companies under the German pavilion. The largest international participating country at the show - Germany, with over 80 companies - had a pavilion that occupied the front end of Hall 1 and spread out to hangars close by. Displaying their might were companies like Brose, Witzenmann, Hrischvogel, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Schaeffler Group, Formel D Group, Edag, Norma group, VDA-German Association of the Automotive Industry, Mann and Hummel Filter, Victor Reinz, Jost and others. Italian participation came in the form of companies like Autostudl, Mabiel, Redat, Scanferla Bruno and more. Most were participating from the Torino-Piemonte region of Italy.Apart from the first section of Hall 1, which hosted German companies under the German pavilion, the second section contained companies like OE/aftermarket players like Almighty Auto Ancillary, Avtec, Calex Auto, Emdet Jamshedpur, Highway Industries, Imperial Auto, Munjal Auto, Prabha Engineering, ARAI, MEC Bearings, Turbo Bearings and more. Hall 1C housed the China pavilion. Hall 1 D housed auto enterprises like Alkon Plastics, Cadence Design Systems, Dashmesh Automobiles, Fortuna Engineering (Nashik), Kohli Auto, Preet Forgings, Sikco Automotive, TKW Fasteners, Tata Elxsi, Wipro Technologies, KK Metals, Neelkamal Enterprises, KPIT Cummins and more. Hall 1 E and F housed garage equipment specialists like Manatec, Protech, Chicago Pneumatics, Rai Automotive, Madhus Garage Equipments and others. Rising up to the strategy of being closer to its customers, Eaton put up an outdoor exhibit besides Hall 2. Keeping company were International Tractors and TRF Ltd, a Tata Enterprise. Hall 6 contained exhibitors like Associate high pressure technologies, Dassault Systemes India, JPM Group, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions and others. The B part of Hall 6 housed accessories pavilion. While Hall 6A housed D Design and BSA Motors, Hall 6B and C housed exhibitors like MapMyIndia, Kansai Nerolac Paints, V-Kool Films, Nanofilm, Excellon Software, IIT and educational institutions like IIT Delhi, Ispat Industries, SAE India, etc. Hall 6D housed prominent component suppliers and design and development companies like AHK Brakes, Avdel India, Bluechip Automation, Dell'orto India, DVS Industries, Escorts Engineering Division, Galaxy Bearings, Igus India, KMP Manufacturing Co., Kramaski Stamping and Moulding India, Lakhani Rubber, Marathwada Auto Comp., NSK India, Pix Transmissions and others. Yokohama of Japan was probably the only tyre manufacturer at the show. Neo Wheels put on display its alloy wheel line-up, close to Yokohama outside Hall 7. Away from Yokohama, and an interesting part of the show was the alternate fuel pavilion, design and IT pavilion, engine pavilion and accessories pavilion. The design and IT pavilion showcased vehicles designed by various vehicle design companies. A large number of student teams from engineering colleges put up their concepts. The diesel planet at the show saw the participation of companies like Cummins, Tata Motors and Bosch. They displayed clean diesel technologies including the NOx emission reduction technologies using urea based SCR system.The enthusiasm of exhibitors at the Auto Expo was evident in their displays and arrangements, may it be automotive component modules by Brose, suspension systems and transmissions by ZF and Eaton or hand tools by Venus. Apart from an underlying note of caution, almost every participant pointed towards a brighter future ahead. An interesting common tread connecting the participants in the supporting sector, may it be the educational institutions, design and development companies, manufacturing centers or centers of excellence was the growing awareness towards sustainable growth and the need to seek green technologies. With most auto makers embarking on the green route, supported by the development of alternate fuel technologies like fuel cell, hybrid and electric, it were the tier suppliers at the show and even those in the aftermarket, which were seen speaking of a move in that direction with equal enthusiasm and excitement. Some of them seemed a bit apprehensive about the lack of standardisation in new alternate fuel technologies, but spoke of complete commitment towards the development of greener technologies and practices. Apart from green tech, a large number of industry leaders, decision makers and engineers chose to share the fact that recession taught them many valuable lessons - lessons in costs and leaner practices. Having installed leaner cultures and procedures to ensure sustainable growth, the most valuable interaction at the show was arguably a focus towards higher growth and strong numbers - something, which the year 2009 failed to offer.