IN PURSUIT OF SPEED TOWARDS THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY OF INDIA
It all started with the invention of the wheel all those centuries ago. Transporting heavy objects from one place to another was a bug hassle for the caveman. And then one fine day, out of the blue, the wheel was invented. What started off as hand-pulled carts by man, journeyed through the discovery of animals being assigned with the task of the pulling (or was it more of an invention?), and has now reached cars as we see them today. And nostalgic as we are as a race, now that we have engines, we still use the term ‘horsepower’ when talking about the car’s strength and speed. That’s the thing about cars, though. They’ve been around for centuries, in one form or another, and they’ve made life so much simpler for the common man. Once a thing of luxury, cars have become more of a necessity today. And it is not uncommon to find a family owning more than one of the beloved vehicles.
The automotive industry in India is one of the largest automotive markets in the world. It was previously one of the fastest growing markets globally, but it is currently experiencing flat or negative growth rates. In 2009, India emerged as Asia’s fourth largest exporter of passenger cars, behind Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, overtaking Thailand to become third in 2010. As of 2010, India was home to 40 million passenger vehicles. More than 3.7 million automotive vehicles were produced in India in 2010 (an increase of 33.9%), making India the second fastest growing automobile market in the world, after China. India’s passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturing industry recently overtook Brazil to become the sixth largest in the world, with an annual production of more than 3.9 million units in 2011.From 2011 to 2012, the industry grew 16-18%,. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, annual vehicle sales are projected to increase to 4 million by 2015, not 5 million as previously projected.
With such fabulous statistics, the prevalent car craze in the country only makes sense. And this is just talking from the financial aspect; the passion that goes behind the automobile industry is a whole different story. If you, like us, are enamoured by the age old tradition of automobiles, you are going to have a fantastic time perusing through this issue. Because a car is not just a car; it is an entire world encompassed in a moving black of metal. The mechanics of its engine, the creativity of its design, the strategy of its business and the humane aspect of making it environment-friendly; a car is all of it and more. Come along with us on this detailed perusal of India’s automobile industry, as we attempt to break down & assess everything that a car is and can be.
THE ART OF ENGINEERING CARS
ENGINEERING A CAR IS NO SMALL FEAT. IT INCLUDES A PLETHORA OF DETAILS THAT COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A FULLY FUNCTIONING AUTOMOBILE. SO WHAT EXACTLY IS AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING? AND HOW DOES ONE LEARN IT? READ ON TO FIND OUT
WHAT IS AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING?
Automobile Engineering is a branch of engineering which deals with designing, manufacturing and operating automobiles. It is a segment of vehicle engineering which deals with motorcycles, buses, trucks, etc. It includes mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety elements.
The job profile for automobile engineering is basically divided into three parts – design, research and development and production. These further include:
• Designing and producing visual interpretations of automobiles and their components using computer-aided design packages.
• Applying mechanical, thermodynamic, pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical principles to resolve engineering problems and find appropriate solutions.
• Building prototypes of components, developing test procedures and conducting tests using software packages and physical testing Engineering a car is no small feat. It includes a plethora of details that come together to create a fully functioning automobile. So what exactly is automobile engineering? And how does one learn it? Read on to find out methods.
• Researching, designing and developing machinery and systems for automobiles.
• Supervising and inspecting the installation, modification and commissioning of mechanical systems in industrial facilities or plants.
• Investigating mechanical failures or unexpected maintenance problems.
• Supervising technicians, technologists and other engineers, and reviewing and approving designs, calculations and cost estimates.
• Liaising with suppliers and handling supply chain management issues.
• Taking responsibility for individual projects, managing associated budgets, production schedules and resources (including staff), and supervising quality control.
• Inspecting and even test driving vehicles and checking for faults.
WHAT ARE THE ENTRANCE EXAMS TO BE TAKEN TO GET ADMISSION IN AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING COURSE?
The automobile engineering career option is fast paced and very creative. It is one of the most preferred careers by engineers. Thus students vie for a seat in the following entrance exams:
• All India Engineering Entrance Exams
• Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT)
• Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examinations (IIT JEE)
• University of Delhi Combined Entrance Examination (CEE)
POST GRADUATE LEVEL
• Bharath University M.Tech Entrance Exam
• Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
• JNTU M.Tech Entrance Exam
• Vellore Institute of Technology Engineering Entrance Exam
Automobile engineering is a huge industry. There is great number of employment opportunities in the following fields:
1. Private national and multinational automobile companies
2. Service stations
3. Private transport companies
THE EDUCATIONAL ASPECT OF ENGINEERING CARS
WE TALK TO MR. NARESH SHIMPY. HOD OF AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERING AT SVP POLYTECH. MUMBAI ABOUT THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF STUDYING CARS
Can you tell us a little more about what a diploma in automobile engineering entails?
Automobile Engineering is a branch of engineering discipline which studies the operating principles of the automobiles by incorporating various elements of engineering such as mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering. The study of automotive engineering is to design, develop, fabricate, and testing vehicles or vehicle components from the concept stage to production stage. Production, development, and manufacturing are the three major functions in this field.
Automobile Engineers are mainly divided into three streams such as production or design engineering focuses on design components, testing of parts, coordinating tests, and system of a vehicles; Development domain is concerned with performance, durability, and speed of the vehicle; and Manufacturing domain deals with the creation and assembling the whole parts of automobiles. The automotive engineering field is research-intensive and involves direct application of mathematical models and formulas.
What is the scope for automobile engineering in India?
In 1993, India was ranked second largest manufacturer of two wheelers, fifth in commercial vehicles and fifth in passenger cars (beating Thailand, one of the toughest competitor in this sector). In the last seven years the volume in auto industry of the country grew by 11.6% making it one of the top contributor of GDP. As of 2010, India is home to 40 million passenger vehicles. More than 3.7 million automotive vehicles were produced in India in 2010 (an increase of 33.9%), making the country the second (after China) fastest growing automobile market in the world in that year. India has attracted many foreign giants like Hyundai, Suzuki, BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Fiat, Honda, Chevrolet (of General Motors), Toyota, Lamborghini, Jaguar, and Eicher. Apart from them we have TATA, Mahindra, Hero Moto corp who has good reputation even outside India. India has roughly 3700 factories across the country. An average firm makes an annual revenue of US$6 million with a profit closing to US$400 thousand.
We are also one of the top exporters of automobiles and auto products just behind Japan and South Korea. India keeps on exploring in this field. There is also components manufacturing, which once again a huge area. So yes there is a huge scope for automotive engineers in India.
From an education perspective, what are the essential characteristics for someone pursuing a diploma in automobile engineering?
A career as an automobile engineer is for people who are driven and passionate about cars or bikes. They must have considerable understanding and interest in mechanics, electronics, and mathematics as these are vital skills required for this career path. Automobile Engineers must have aim goal of his life. There should be vision which helps them to achiev etheir goals. Automobile engineers must be organized individuals who are able to work in a methodical manner. Automotive engineer jobs need constant up gradation of skills to keep pace with technological advancements. Many of automotive engineering graduates also join defense services of the country. Some even setup own business venture or take up traditional teaching profession.
Can you tell us a little about your student’s accomplishments?
Arpit Desai and Punit Shanghavi (AE6E) got first prize for paper published in the event “Integreat” organized by L&T Institute of Technology in the Academic Year 2012-2013.
In the current academic year 2015 – 2016, Monil Shah and RahilModi published a paper on vehicle safety International Journal for Scientific Research & Development. Our current academic year students are focusing more on identification of alternative fuels for vehicles.
THE AUTO CONCEPTION
DO YOU FIND YOURSELF SKETCHING OUT CARS AND BIKES OUT OF YOUR VIVID IMAGINATION IN YOUR FREE TIME? DO YOU LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT A CAR OTHER THAN HOW IT LOOKS AND THEN QUICKLY COME UP WITH ALTERNATIVE DESIGNS IN YOUR MIND? IF THIS IS A USUAL OCCURRENCE WITH YOU. TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE CAREERS IN AUTOMOBILE MODIFICATION AND PRODUCT DEIGNING
Car design courses are offered through many programs, including bachelors’ and master’s degrees in car design, industrial design, vehicle design, mechanical engineering and transportation design. Some schools offer car design classes in postgraduate certificate programs or full certificate programs in the field. Here are a few fun things you would learn as part of this degree:
3-D modeling is a vital skill in all future car design courses. 3-D modeling involves transferring 2-D
images into three-dimensional models. This includes working work with a variety of materials and learning the essentials of a three dimensional representation.
CAR DESIGN HISTORY
To understand modern car design and the future possibilities of the field, it is important to understand car design history. Car design courses teach students the origins of car design and where it has led over the last century. Special topics include designing for different purposes and populations, changing cultural aesthetics and modern design trends.
COMPUTER AIDED STYLING
This course takes students through the essentials of using digital design programs for car design. Students will become proficient in different car design software programs, including Rhino, Alias Sketchbook Pro and LightWave 3D. The course takes students through a number of different projects, including designing specialty cars, production cars or concept cars
RACE CAR DESIGN
Car design courses, such as this one focused on race cars; give students the opportunity to create their own cars from scratch. Some programs require that as part of this car design course, students create vehicles that run on solar power, and they all require that students think of a design and put it together, including designing and assembling parts such as the power train, the fuel injection system and painting the vehicle.
Vehicle branding courses address specific ways to make cars easily recognizable as your specific design, which makes marketing and advertising easier. Students learn how different manufacturers brand their vehicles and characteristics of those brands that make them remarkable and memorable.
A few institutes that offer this course in India are:
• MIT Institute of Design, Pune
• Industrial Design Centre, IIT Mumbai
• National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
• DSK International School of Design, Pune
• DYP-DC Center for Automotive Research and Studies, Pune
A few institutes that offer this course internationally are :
• Arizona State University
• Ohio State University
• University of Washington
• California State University
• Virginia Tech
ITS ALL ABOUT THE LOOK
IN CONVERSATION WITH PRAKASH GILATAR. A MECHANICAL ENGINEER HOLDING A MASTER’S DEGREE IN TRANSPORTATION DESIGNING. HE IS CURRENTLY A VEHICLE DESIGNER AND HRS WORKED WITH MAHINDRA AND MAHINDRA IN THE PAST
What is the national and international scope for automobile modification and product design?
As the aspirations and demands of people for better cars & motorcycles rise in India, the scope for automobile design is bound to grow too. In fact, many auto companies based abroad are coming to India for designers. Indian auto companies have also set up studios. Besides, foreign companies hire Indian designers to modify their (foreign) car designs to suit Indian tastes. Automobile modification industry is rapidly growing in India, today owning a car or motorcycle which is unique and resembles your persona has become a style symbol and hence there is a huge business scope in the future.
Can you give us an idea about the skills required to pursue modification and product design?
Design and materials shape the world around us. But designers can do much more. Good designers always think from the customer point of view. They can think about how to improve aesthetic but also functionality of the product. Creative thinking on functions can improve the product concept. Design is a way to communicate quality & expresses care and dedication to the product. Apart from these,a few basics skills are also required which will help to bring your idea in to the real world, such as sketching, rendering, Photoshop, 3D modelling software and understanding of manufacturing processes and materials.
What are the current trends and highlights of the automobile design industry?
The automotive industry is always on the move. It is a world of constant change and improvement where design is a sign of the times. Automotive Design is influenced by trends with often a much wider base than the world of products. They can reflect social developments and feelings around emancipation, sustainability or economics. There is a relation with fashion on the one hand and with technology on the other. There are short lived trends and trends of today that will continue long into the future. According to me, the following are a few trends which are driving the automotive industry crazy.
Individuality: Today’s youth not only want ‘a’ car, they want ‘their’ car. Individually styled to their taste as a means of personal expression. Individual, low volume, body shapes are enabled by modern production technology and platform based architectures. Further individualization & customization can be done by extensive option packages and individualized color and trim.
Light Design & LED technology: Lights are very important styling elements on the exterior of a car. They started as true add-ons, mounted on a bracket, were then fluently integrated in the body shape and today stand out as true eye catchers dominating the front end. The design is no longer the shape of the body, but in the interior of the light the bulb, the lenses.
Sculpted surfaces: Surfaces are no longer nicely curved and integrated to make a nice overall form. German design was traditionally characterized as ‘aus eimem Guss’ until Chris Bangle set BMW design upside down by creating complex surfaces with sharp lines and a mix of convex and concave shapes.
Materials: Use of bio plastics is the new innovation. The technology to produce bio plastics started with degradable materials and has advanced to the point that is possible to make parts up to automotive standards.The future perspective is a widespread use of composites to deliver the substantial weight reduction cars are waiting for. The most promising in this respect is carbon fiber.
SO YOU’RE PLANNING ON STARTING A NEW CAR BUSINESS OR BECOMING A PART OF THE AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY? WELL YOU’RE IN LUCK. WE HAVE ENCOMPASSED A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU WOULD NEED TO KNOW FOR THE SAME
The auto manufacturing industry is considered to be highly labor intensive and requiring major capital. The major costs for producing and selling automobiles include the following: Labor: While machines and robots are playing a greater role in manufacturing vehicles, there are still substantial labor costs in designing and engineering automobiles. Materials: Everything from steel, aluminum, dashboards, seats, tires, etc. are purchased from suppliers. Advertising: Each year automakers spend billions on print and broadcast advertising; furthermore, they spent large amounts of money on market research to anticipate consumer trends and preferences.
AUTO PARTS MANUFACTURING:
The auto market is thought to be made primarily of automakers, but auto parts makes up another lucrative sector of the market. The major areas of auto parts manufacturing are:
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs): The big auto manufacturers do produce some of their own parts, but they can’t produce every part and component that goes into a new vehicle. Companies in this industry manufacture everything from door handles to seats.
Replacement Parts Production and Distribution:
These are the parts that are replaced after the purchase of a vehicle. Air filters, oil filters and replacement lights are examples of products from this area of the sector.
Rubber Fabrication: This includes everything from tires, hoses, belts, etc. In the auto industry, a large proportion of revenue comes from selling automobiles. The parts market, however, is even more lucrative. For example, a new car might cost $18,000 to buy, but if you bought, from the automaker, all the parts needed to construct that car, it would cost 300-400% more.
Over and above the labor and material costs, there are other developments in the automobile industry that you must consider when analyzing an automobile company. Globalization, the tendency of world investment and businesses to move from national and domestic markets to a worldwide environment, is a huge factor affecting the auto market. More than ever, it is becoming easier for foreign automakers to enter the markets of other countries.
Fleet Sales: Traditionally, these are high-volume sales designated to come from large companies and government agencies. These sales are almost always at discount prices. In the past several years, auto makers have been extending fleet sales to small businesses and other associations.
Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of Sales (SAAR): Most auto makers experience increased sales during the second quarter (April to June), and sales tend to be sluggish between November and January. For this reason, it is important to compare sales figures to the same period of the previous year. The adjustment factors are released each year by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Sales Reports: Many of the large auto makers release their preliminary sales figures from the previous month on a monthly basis. This can give you an indication of the current trends in the industry. The sales reports are released monthly. Watch out if sales inventory climbs significantly above 60 days worth.
THAT CAR AND BUSINESS LIFE
WE SPEAK TO WELL KNOWN AUTO ENTHUSIAST AND ENTREPRENEUR, MR.MOHAN MARWALA WHO HAS BEEN THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE WELL ESTABLISHED AUTO HANGAR (I) PVT. LTD. WHICH HE SET UP IN 1994
What is the difference between automobile franchisers and car dealership?
Car dealerships largely focus on only the sales aspect of the vehicle. An automobile franchiser or partner focuses also on representing an image and identity as an extension to the parent brand/ manufacturer. It speaks the same language, tone and is also a reflection of the ethical practices of the partner.
What was the reason for choosing the dealership of Mercedes Benz?
Why Mercedes? Of course the brand name and a huge aspiration value for consumers, a company which constantly evolves its product lineup. Globally Mercedes is known to spend more in product research and development and safety than any other luxury partner. Why Autohangar? Passion for Automobiles, ability to invest capital in infrastructure and people, accumulated experience and expertise in retail and servicing of affluent customers, ability to maintain high customer satisfaction and retain customers, technical an sales knowhow to meet Mercedes Benz standards. Autohangar initially started out of a garage servicing vehicles in the luxury segment with the tools of knowledge. We started and still remain, Grease Monkey’s, that is who we are. We have only grown bigger in business, as we have in our family of employees. Our network just like our dreams. And we still dream big.
What are the major challenges faced by an automobile dealership?
For an automobile dealership, the cost of real estate and people intensive investments can be some key challenges. Rental cost of real estate especially in Metros is a big challenge. Training and retaining people is a big challenge , high import duty cost and registration cost and overall cost of doing business as well. Constantly changing norms, grey areas in regulations can be more of a hindrance to operations and can end up costing a partner some serious financial set backs.
What does it take to develop a car dealership business?
You need to have a passion for cars and machines , have the ability to invest in real estate, showroom, inventory, plant and machinery. Ability to attract talent and develop a professional team in sales , after sales and CRM, should be able to relish competition and thrive. You also need to have a keen sense of customer satisfaction and retention.
What would you advice someone who aspires to own a car dealership?
Be hands-on and decisive, have a keen sense of business fundamentals, and the ability to negotiate with all stakeholders and keep them happy.
MAKING CAR TRADE SIMPLER
ALONG WITH PORTALS FOR CLOTHES. GADGETS AND EVERYTHING ELSE UNDER THE SUN. COMES AN ONLINE PORTAL FOR AUTOMOBILES. WHO WOULD’VE THOUGHT THAT WE WOULD BROWSE THROUGH CARS ON THE INTERNET FOR REASONS OTHER THAN JUST CHECKING OUT WHAT’S NEW
What seemed like something we would never possibly do is now a reality. Not one or two, but there are a dozen online car portals active in our country today. You need not spend time making a trip to the showroom just to have a look at your options. You can now do that whilst sitting on your couch and ofcourse, with good Wi-Fi. Online car portals aren’t the only thing that’s making buying cars easier today. If you’ve always wanted to own a Mercedes or an Audi but the prices were kind of steep, well, now you can. Be it an Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche or BMW, each of the cars being sold are subjected to a grueling series of quality and performance tests before being put up for sale.
As the 10th largest automobile industry in the world, India is becoming a major global industry in the coming years. Also more foreign firms are already starting their production plants in India to acquire their share in the growing market.
ONLINE CAR PORTALS:
Some of the online portals where you could get a good deal on wheels are:
5. Top Gear
6. Team BHP
A certified pre-owned car differs from other used cars by having been inspected, refurbished, and certified by a manufacturer or other certifying authority. They also typically include an extended warranty, special financing, and additional benefits.
USED CAR CERTIFICATION
Some dealerships that make it easier to own a pre-used certified luxury car are:
1. Mahindra First Choice
2. Audi Approved Plus
3. Hyundai H Promise
4. Tata Motors Assured
5. Honda Auto Terrace
6. Maruti True Value
7. Toyota U Trust
Mercedes-Benz launched its new Pre-Owned car brand, ‘Mercedes-Benz Certified’ in India in December 2014 by the simultaneous inauguration of 12 new ‘Mercedes-Benz Certified’ outlets across India. The new brand will provide the pre-owned car customers an experience equivalent to a new car purchase, offering high-end facilities, infrastructure, tailor-made financing options, warranty and service packages. This new brand is designed specifically for the Indian market. Although the Indian market is seeing a growth in the purchase of pre-owned cars, this trend dates back to the 1990’s when Luxury marques Lexus and Mercedes-Benz were among the first to create CPO programs in the 1990s.
Although buying a vehicle today is made more convenient thanks to development in technology, there are still a few pointers you need to keep in mind while making a purchase:
1. Check the pricing online or with the dealers on the car you intend to buy, used or new. Look at related variants to know about other options if you are willing to spend more or less.
2. You must determine how much you can put down in cash and plan for repayment of loans and/or insurance that you will incur by this purchase.
3. You must ensure that there are maintenance services for that car available at your location and that you are picking a model whose spare parts are easily available.
4. Ensure the paper work: It may be possible that you are lured into buying a stolen auto by a tempting price. This makes it important to ensure the paperwork is done properly before finalizing the deal.
5. Inspect the car: An individual may allow you to get the car checked from a mechanic but a dealer may not be that interested. In those cases don’t refrain from checking the car on your own.
WE SPEAK TO MR. ABHISHEK KUMAR. THE COO OF AUDI MUMBAI SOUTH. ON HOW THE IDEA OF CERTIFYING USED CARS AND SELLING THEM CAME TO LIGHT AND HOW TO BE WELL EQUIPPED WHILE MAKING SUCH A PURCHASE
Where did the idea to sell used certified cars stem from?
As M square group dealers for Audi in Mumbai South, Nashik and Aurangabad, we started our operations in January 2013 and being non-industry were very excited with the new project, but in the span of one year we started realizing that there are a large number of customers who are aspiring to buy a luxury car but were not able to do so because of a tight budget and were not considering used cars as there was no guiding source for them to help select a car as per their need or were afraid of the after sales expense. That is when we realized the potential of this segment and started our Audi Approved Plus division where we sell cars with a certification and service plan and trained sales team who can guide them and help them buy their first luxury car with a warranty back up and finance options and giving them a complete peace of mind under one roof.
How has the response to such an initiative been?
The response for the luxury car market has been increasing with the growing Indian economy and so for the used cars also we have been seeing an upward trend. Today, the Indian consumer has woken up to the positive value equation of pre-owned cars, and rightfully so. Pre-owned cars give higher flexibility and reach to prospective car owners, whether first-time buyers or repeat, due to the price advantage they offer. The economical prices of pre-owned cars help all types of buyers. Other factor responsible for the increasing popularity of used cars is the multitude of quality choices available coupled with an increase in income. All this has created a situation where people want to upgrade their vehicles more frequently. The paradigm shift from buying new cars to used cars can be attributed to the increasing organization of the pre-owned car player.
What should a customer look out for while buying a pre-used car?
There are many things to look for when purchasing a used car but one important factor is to buy a car which is physically checked before making your final decision. Here, then, are a few general pointers on how to physically check out a used car before you buy it.
• Make sure that the car is on a level ground before checking it out.
• Carefully check the paint job of the car, taking note of any rust spots, dents or scratches.
• Check the trunk of the car to make sure it is still in good condition
• Check the tires
• Never buy a frame damaged car.
• Check to make sure the air-conditioning of the car is working well by turning it on.
• For a car that has an on board computer, pay attention to the warnings right when you start the car or when you turn the key or the start button.
• Check out the car’s service history which should give you some information regarding the performances, repairs, and problems of the car.
Can you tell us a little about the process of selling a pre-owned car?
Selling a pre-owned car is never a tough thing; the primary focus should always be on buying the right car at a right value which can be easily understood by going through the market trend. Someone who aspires to work in the pre-owned car market should always be updated with the market trend. In the automobile business there are certain products which are slow moving, so having the right knowledge of the products and the trend of their sale is very important. Another important thing is to understand the market where you operate and the needs and demands of the customer in that market. If an individual wants to sell his car directly, the most important thing other than the price,should be to identify the buyer first and make sure that the car does not go in the wrong hands as you can never judge anyone by their personality, you should always make sure that you complete the transfer formalities on your own on the buyers name and safeguard yourself from any future issues that may arise.
ANY AUTOMOBILE ENTHUSIAST WILL TELL YOU THAT AUTO EXPO SEASON IS THEIR FAVOURITE TIME OF THE YEAR. READ ON TO FIND OUT WHAT EXACTLY ENTHRALS THIS LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE. AND WHICH AUTO EXPOS YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT MISS
WHAT IS AN AUTO SHOW?
Automobile Trade Shows and Exhibitions are the most authentic way to get latest information on the technological development in the sector as well as new and user-friendly designs setting the trends in the industry.
An auto show, also known as a motor show or car show, is a public exhibition of current automobile models, debuts, concept cars, or out-of-production classics. It is attended by automotive industry representatives, dealers, auto journalists and car enthusiasts. Most auto shows occur once or twice a year. They are important to car manufacturers and local dealers as a public relations exercise. The Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles organizes most of the auto shows around the world, or at least holds the certification for them. They are the most renowned organization in this field.
INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOWS
The British International Motor Show was held regularly between 1903 and 2008, initially in London at Crystal Palace, Olympia and then Earl’s Court before moving to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in 1976 where it stayed until 2004 before returning to London.
Britain’s first motor show—for horseless carriages—was held in South Kensington in 1896 at the Imperial Institute under the auspices of Lawson’s Motor Car Club. The first British Motor Show organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) was held at Crystal Palace, London in 1903, the same year that the speed limit was raised from 14 miles per hour (23 km/h) to 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) by the Motor Car Act 1903 and two years before the formation of The Automobile Association.
London Motorfair (London Motor Show) was an alternative London auto show to the British International Motor Show that was held at Earls Court biannually from 1977 to 1999. In 1993 when the event won the support of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and P&O Events changed the name from “Motorfair” to “The London Motor Show”.
A new London Motor Show is being launched in May 2016 at Battersea Park.
The International Motor Show Germany or simply International Motor Show, in German known as the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA – International Automobile Exhibition), is the world’s largest motor show. It is held annually, with passenger vehicles (including some motorcycles) being displayed in odd-numbered years in Frankfurt am Main, and commercial vehiclesin even-numbered years in Hanover, Germany.
The Auto Expo is a biennial automotive show held in New Delhi, India. It is Asia’s largest and the world’s second-largest motor show. The expo is organized at Pragati Maidan and is organized jointly by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The Auto Expo is accredited by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles.
THE AUTO EXPO SAGA
ASIA’S LARGEST AUTO SHOW. THE AUTO EXPO IS GEARING UP FOR THEIR MASSIVE 2016 EDITION. DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL AT SOCIETY OF INDIAN AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS (SIAM) TELLS US MORE ABOUT THE COVERED EVENT
How has the national and international participation for the Expo been so far?
Indian automobile industry is highly globalized, with local presence of most of the global automobile companies. Many global automobile conglomerates have set us manufacturing plants in the country to cater to the local market and to export from the country. All these companies have been actively participating in the Auto Expo and launching and displaying Next Gen products.
The first edition of the Auto Expo was conceived in 1985 and the first edition took place in 1986. It was directed more towards the homegrown companies with an intention to provide them the necessary platform to absorb the technologies being implemented globally. Since then the automobile industry in the country has grown in leaps and bounds. Numerous global companies have entered the market and broadened the overall prospect of the industry. This broadening scope of the expo has ensured manifold growth in the national and international participation.
This year we have more than 60 vehicle exhibitors. Out of these, 45 have their headquarters located outside India.
How many new automobiles will you be launching this year?
The vehicle exhibitors are solely responsible for the launches in the Auto Expo. We are yet to hear from them on this front. We would only get to know about the launches closer to the event.
How much new – age technology has been incorporated in these vehicles?
Over the years vehicle technology has improved substantially in India. Today’s vehicles are more fuel efficient, clean and safe, compared to vehicles of the past.
What is the reason behind organizing the Auto Expo?
The first edition of the Auto Expo in 1986 was essentially a window for technology transfers since it showed how the Indian Automotive Industry was absorbing new technologies and promoting indigenous R&D for adapting these technologies for the rugged Indian conditions. It has grown manifolds since then from being the much needed platform to the Indian automotive industry, to today a quarter century later, providing a platform to the Indian automotive industry to showcase its products, designs, capabilities, brand building and to connect with the customers directly.
Is the Auto Expo 2016 any different from Auto Expo 2015 apart from the new vehicles being brought in?
There has been a massive change in terms of infrastructure from the previous edition. India Expo Mart Limited (IEML), the venue for the Auto Expo- The Motor Show 2016. The venue has witnessed enormous construction in the form of additional six large halls with an additional carpet area of 37240 sqms complete with air conditioning and adequate power supply cabling. The gross indoor exhibition space has increased from 62,000 sqms. in the previous edition to 68,000 sqms.The venue previously had only 8 permanent halls measuring 27,648 sqms, as a result in the 2014 edition the remaining display was curated in temporary hangers measuring 32,400 sqms.
The entire venue has been booked well in advance and it is expected that there will be around seven lakhs visitors in Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2016 during the five public days, which will be almost 20% more than the last edition. The previous edition saw 55 exhibitors, which has already crossed 60 for the upcoming edition. Also, in terms of the exhibitors, we would have new brands in this edition like Abarth, BMW Motorrad, Jeep, DSK Benelli, Indian Motorcycle, etc. Also, there will be some exciting hybrid and electric vehicles displayed this time.
THE AUTOMOBILE ASSEMBLAGE
EVER WONDERED HOW BEAUTIFUL THE VINTAGE CARS LOOK WHILE THEY LEISURELY RIDE ALONG ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON. OR HOW PERFECTLY PLACED THE ROYAL ENFIELD’S LOOK IN CLUSTERS WHILE THEY ZOOM PAST ON A HIGHWAY. EVERY COUPLE OF MONTHS OR SO, A CAR CLUB OR A MOTORCYCLE COMPANY ANNOUNCES THE HAPPENING OF A RALLY. HUNDREDS OF ENTHUSIASTS GATHER AT THE GIVEN HOUR AND CRUISE ACROSS TOWN OR BETWEEN TOWNS WITH THEIR FELLOW RIDERS
Rallying itself can be traced back to the 1894 Paris–Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition. There are literally hundreds of rallies that you can enter around the world, many with unique qualifications and/or rules. Some take place on closed courses, others on the open road. Some involve foot-to-the-floor speed, while others reward much slower and precise time-to-distance driving. Apart from the normal car and bike rallies that are witnessed the world over, there are some that will completely take you by surprise. Some of India’s most fascinating rallies are:
The month-long Great Arc Vintage Car Rally sets off from Kochi, in the southern tip of India, and travels across 10 states and 3,106 miles to Missouri in the Himalayas. The route follows in the footsteps of the 19th century Great Arc Survey by William Lambton, a project intended to map a line from north to south India that would reveal the curvature of the earth and begin the task of accurately mapping the subcontinent.
BLIND MAN CAR RALLY
India is clearly the home of unusual road races; this one has more than 70 blind drivers being directed around the streets of Mumbai by partially sighted navigators reading Braille maps. The 40-mile race is used to highlight the various issues affecting the blind and visually impaired in the country.
INDIA/ASEAN CAR RALLY
The India-ASEAN Car Rally is conceptualized with the aim to strengthen India’s relations with the South- Asian countries. The rally aims to promote trade and tourism between India and ASEAN. The first India- ASEAN Car Rally was acknowledged by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh from Guwahati. The rally witnessed 250 participants from India as well as South-Asian countries in 60 vehicles and rallied across Assam, Nagaland and Manipur before entering Myanmar.
WOMEN CAR RALLY BY NGO
The Women Car Rally was organized by an NGO called Uthaan in partnership with Ibis, Power Grid, Indian Oil, Radio Mirchi, Desert Trails and Avenues Travel Services. This rally was an initiative of the NGO to create and spread awareness n social segment. Women Car Rally was considered as one of the National Record Creating Events.
The Women Car Rally was organized by an NGO called Uthaan in partnership with Ibis, Power Grid, Indian Oil, Radio Mirchi, Desert Trails and Avenues Travel Services. This rally was an initiative of the NGO to create and spread awareness n social segment. Women Car Rally was considered as one of the National Record Creating Events.
HIMALAYAN CAR RALLY
The Himalayan Car Rally is another India’s most important and challenging rallies. The car rally started at New Delhi and concluded in New Delhi only. The rally was concentrated on the mountain terrains of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.
IN CONVERSATION WITH SHREESHA RAO. OWNER OF A ROYAL ENFIELD. AN AVID BIKE ENTHUSIAST AND ALSO A PARTICIPANT OF BIKE RALLIES ACROSS TOWN
What do you like most about the Enfield Riders rally that takes place in the country?
It is the diversity of people that you get to witness at these rallies. Geographically you’ll find riders from almost all parts of India most of them from Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Chennai also, everyone finds time out of their hectic schedules and commitments to do what they love the best,that is to ride and explore. Personally, I have met riders who professionally are investment bankers, chartered accountants, techies, game designers, doctors and students, so you feel the diversity I am talking about and all of them come to a single platform ,all enthusiastic about the ride.
What attracted you to the Royal Enfield?
Right from my childhood I’ve been fascinated about two wheelers. Thanks to my folks, my first ride was when I was 3, on a BMX. Going down memory lane, I remember when we used to travel, I would sit on the suitcase and drag it for the whole length of Pune Station thinking it was my Yamaha. It was a rage back then. My dad owned a Yezdi Classic Twin Silencer which I could never get a hold on since I was too young. Thus, given the initiation, owning a Royal Enfield was a natural choice. A combination of the old school feel, raw power & thump makes it a winner.
What are the usual number of participants in such rallies and how diverse are they?
Usually rides on tougher terrains would see lesser number of participants but this depends majorly on the organizers so you would expect to see about 40 to 50 riders, whereas, destination events attract a lot of participant numbers going into a couple of thousands.The only advice I would give a bike enthusiast is to enjoy and ride safe.
IN CONVERSATION WITH RISHAD KUNDANMAL. WHO RUNS THE KUNDANMAL CAR SERVICE STATION WHERE HE LOOKS AFTER AND MAINTAINS HIGH END MARQUEES AND ALSO RESTORES VINTAGE CARS TO THEIR FORMER GLORY
What got you interested in retro wheels?
Ever since I can remember I used to be crazy about cars. When I was 7 years old I found my dad’s 1939 Austin 8 and told him I wanted to fix it up. At first he informed me that the car was never lost, but was just parked away. He then laughed and encouraged me to go ahead and to restore the car with the help of some of his technicians.
What are the skills required for someone dealing with vintage cars and which are the most popular ones?
More than skills alone, one needs to have a passion for these beauties along with knowledge and understanding of how and why a particular system was placed on the car and as to how these cars have evolved over time. It is difficult to specify which would be the most popular brands, but since India was under the British for almost 200 years, consequently most of the cars in India are of British heritage.
Do you participate in the vintage car rallies in the city? Tell us alittle about your experience.
Participating in Vintage runs smoothens my nerves and keeps me at peace. More than just Vintage and Classic rallies a group of my friends all of whom share the same interest, meet almost every Sunday at 7 am for coffee and breakfast to sit and discuss the various aspects of each ones cars. A group of 30 then jump into our respective cars and drive in a convoy 70 to 90 miles on that Sunday morning. The morning run has become so successful from the time it first started with 4 cars doing the runs that has now expanded to 30 cars where each one of us has a great time cruising across the country.
THE GREEN CAR REVOLUTION
WITH AIR POLLUTION QUICKLY BECOMING ONE OF THE BIGGEST BANES IN OUR CURRENT ENVIRONMENT. THE TIME FOR THE GREEN REVOLUTION TO HIT THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY IS NOW
A green vehicle is a road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel, or one that uses certain alternative fuels. Green vehicles can be powered by alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies and include hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, compressed-air vehicles, hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles, neat ethanol vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, clean diesel vehicles, and some sources also include vehicles using blends of biodiesel and ethanol fuel or gasohol. As part of their contribution to sustainable transport, these vehicles reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to energy independence by reducing oil imports. An environmental analysis extends beyond just the operating efficiency and emissions. A life-cycle assessment involves production and post-use considerations. A cradle-to-cradle design is more important than a focus on a single factor such as energy efficiency.
IMPROVING CONVENTIONAL CARS:
A conventional vehicle can become a greener vehicle by mixing in renewable fuels or using less carbon intensive fossil fuel. Typical gasoline-powered cars can tolerate up to 10% ethanol. Brazil manufactured cars that run on neat ethanol, though there were discontinued. Another available option is a flexible-fuel vehicle which allows any blend of gasoline and ethanol, up to 85% in North America and Europe, and up to 100% in Brazil. Another existing option is to convert a conventional gasoline-powered to allow the alternative use of CNG. Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, India, Italy, and China have the largest fleets of natural gas vehicles in the world.
Environmental: Vehicle emissions contribute to the increasing concentration of gases linked to climate change. In order of significance, the principal greenhouse gases associated with road transport are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Of the total greenhouse gas emissions from transport, over 85% are due to CO2 emissions from road vehicles. The transport sector is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases.
Health: Vehicle pollutants have been linked to human ill health including the incidence of respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 13,000 deaths per year among children (aged 0–4 years) across Europe are directly attributable to outdoor pollution. The organization estimates that if pollution levels were returned to within EU limits, more than 5,000 of these lives could be saved each year.
Monetary: Hybrid taxi fleet operators have also reported that reduced fuel consumption saves them thousands of dollars per year.
THE ECOFRIENDLY INDIAN AUTOMOTIVE
MR. ARVIND MATHEW. THE CEO OF MAHINDRA REVA. TALKS ABOUT THE ONLY ECOFRIENDLY CAR IN INDIA. AND THE ADVANTAGES. CHALLENGES AND THE COUNTRY’S GROWING RESPONSE TO THE SAME
When did the concept of making an eco-friendly car strike?
As a student at the University of Michigan, the founder of Reva, Mr. Chetan Maini had the opportunity to be part of a team that raced a solar powered car across the United States. They also took the car on to drive across Australia. The idea of using a vehicle powered by green energy to cross an entire continent first led him to start thinking about bringing an electric car to India. In 1994, Reva Electric Car Company was founded. In May 2010, Mahindra Group acquired a majority stake in the company, as an exemplification of the Mahindra’s vision of the Future of Mobility – an automotive ecosystem that brings Clean, Convenient, Connected, Clever and Cost-effective (the 5 C’s) mobility solutions to customers across the world.
How has the market for ecofriendly cars grown in recent years?
Globally, nations and markets with strong government policy support have seen a significant uptake of electric vehicles. In India, the Ministry’s FAME Scheme is a great step to churn the growth for the EV industry, with focus on manufacturing, demand creation, technology and charging infrastructure.
What are the major challenges faced while manufacturing such a car?
The Electric Vehicle (EV) technology is new and it’s going through a learning curve. In the initial stages getting financial support for products like ours was a big challenge. Today the Government’s FAME (Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) incentive surely is an encouragement, but we still have a long way to go. Since we are the only EV manufacturer in India, some raw materials and components of our car e2o are imported. A major part of it is the battery that powers the car. This in turn makes the cost of the car high in a price sensitive market like India. However, we do have a lot more acceptance today than we had a few years back.
Do you think these cars have the potential to replace the modern day cars?
I think we are at the cusp of a huge shift in terms of how consumers look at personal mobility. There are consumers who believe that EVs are the right thing because of the economic and ecological advantage they offer. There is a lot happening around the world as far as electric vehicles are concerned and consumers are reading about it. With the announcement and implementation of the FAME scheme, we foresee substantial growth taking place in the Indian EV Industry soon.
• Don’t forget to strap on your seatbelt or put on your helmet.
• Be observant of the signal while crossing as well oncoming vehicles.
• Don’t drive to drink and you’ll never drink and drive.
• Its never advisable to jump a red light or cross speed limits.
• Stop at the stop line, leave the zebra crossing for pedestrians
• Give the road your full attention. Keep the cigarettes, your phone and iPod aside.
• Life is short, don’t rush it.
• Don’t drive over 60 kmph to save fuel
• stop the engine while halting over 2-3 mins
• always check tyre pressure
• get your p.u.c done and check for insurance validity
Volume 5 Issue 6