September 21 2017
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Make in India pitched to Auto Industry at the 5th Annual ACMA conference

The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) represents the automotive industry and is as close to an Automotive Industry Consortium as we can get. The 55th Annual ACMA conference took place today with a wide range of manufacturers such as Suzuki, Ashook Leyland, McKinsey and Company and Shiram in Attenddance along with the Union Minister of Finance, Jayant Sinha and Minister of heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Anand Geete pitching the ‘Make In India’ campaign to the auto industry.

So, what is the vision laid out at this year’s ACMA conference? Well, we have put out a simple Q &A explaining that.

 Who does ACMA represent? What is its role in the auto industry?

ACMA represents 700 companies, including both large scale and small scale manufacturers. The automotive industry has been on a growth trajectory, but ever since the 2008 downturn has faced severe crisis and only now has started recovering from the shock, generating 11.1% growth in 2014-15. Exports though have seem to have been stabilized owing to a greater reach of the Indian Automobile industry. But, despite this growth, the Indian automotive industry still has imports than exports, which is something the Make in India campaign seeks to address. Asia has been the largest automotive importer and this needs to change. Taking manufacturing local not only creates employment in India, but furthers sustenance and lowers cost of production. It also leads to a better impact on the global market and attracts global investors.

What is the vision for the Indian auto industry?

The Indian automotive industry has contributed significantly to the Indian economy, yet it has still a lot of ground to cover, whether it be the reach to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, or setting up local manufacturing or in fact, quality manufacturing.

India severely lags behind in Automobile technology vis-a-vis countries such as the United States, Japan and Germany. How can that be addressed?

The larger picture states that engine technology would be the driver for the future. This is something the Indian industry lags behind in, and yet the only way to go forward. India is slowly becoming a low-cost destination for automobiles, yet we still lag behind manufacturing giants such as Japan. As ACMA has shown us, all the resources are here, yet there is a long way to go. Greasing the wheels of the automotive industry expansion in India is possible with competent technology in the driving seat. The Indian automotive industry needs a push, such as the one the space industry has got with Managalyaan, which has given it its unique identity as a low-cost space launch destination. Many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates move out of the country rather than contributing to the domestic industry. The solution suggested for this problem was to create ground-up solutions for the industry in the long term, a tie-up between suppliers and manufacturers. The motivation and resources have to be created by the client for the supplier. In simple terms, the client should be involved in supplier chain R &D to make it viable.

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What is the auto industry’s response to the Make in India campaign?

While the Make in India campaign focuses on skill empowerment and industry consolidation, but focus on manufacturing technology is yet to pick up.

What is the future vision for the auto industry under Make in India?

The Government of India and the Indian Automotive Industry have formed the Automotive manufacturing Plan 2016-2026 to create a roadmap for vehicle, auto-components and tractor Industry growth. AMP 2026 seeks to define the trajectory of automotive growth in India, including government regulations and policies, import, export and manufacturing.

The McKinsey report puts a realistic take on the Make in India campaign and points out that the burgeoning growth in this industry is still way behind global standard.

The panel discussion at the event took place between Dr. Pawan Goenka,  Executive Director & Group President (Automotive & Farm Sector), Member of Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mr Anant Talaulicar, Chairman & Managing Director, Cummins India, Mr Harish Lakshman, Managing Director, Rane TRW Steering Systems, Mr. Claude d’Gama Rose, Managing Director, Continental Automotive Components (India), Mr Vinod K Dasari, President, SIAM & Managing Director, Ashok Leyland and Dr Rajan S Katoch, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India. 

While there were brands such as Bosch at the event, there were some other interesting brands that had set up stalls at the event. Some worth mentioning were – Mira Technology Park, which acts as engineering consulting with a main vision geared towards transport, Stratasys which services the auto industry through parts manufactured via 3D printers and Salalah Free Zone, which set up their stall to impress upon Indian Auto manufacturers to set up plants in Salalah Special Economic Zone in Oman.

Overall, the ACMA 2015 was a meeting of minds from the auto industry geared towards hard truths, future visions and practical solutions geared to make India an automobile manufacturing in real terms and lend the whole concept of Make in India some practicality and vision.

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