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201306 May

Commercial Vehicle Summit

Shree Harsha, Business Consulting Director, Transport & Mobility, Dassault Systems, presenting his address on issues from design, technology to manufacturing


The 2nd Annual India Commercial Vehicle Summit recently concluded in Pune. The annual summit was held at the Westin Hotel from 4th to 5th April and provided a platform for various commercial vehicle and component manufacturers to come together to deliberate on the recent expansion plans and new projects in the commercial vehicle segment in India.


A slew of eminent speakers which included the likes of Thulin Krister (Director for Bus & Coach – Scania), Nitin Seth (Executive Director LCV for Ashok Leyland), Christian Kellner (Head of Truck Operating systems For Daimler India), Amit Kaushik (Principal Analyst), Rohit Chaturvedi (Director For Transport Segment – CRISIL), Thulin Krister, Director – Buses and Coach, Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd, and Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella Lighting among several others, presented their views and opinions on the various strategies required to enter the Indian commercial vehicle’s market with detailed discussions on government policies and manufacturing commercial vehicle for export.


Naresh T Raisinghani, CEO & Executive Director, BMGI and Event Chairman said, “Despite gloomy market sentiments, the condition of the commercial vehicle industry in India is not all that bad. The situation is likely to stabilize over the next couple of years and economic growth will remain the main driving force for the commercial vehicle industry.”



Representatives of JAC Motors who has flown in from China to take part in the 2nd Annual India Commercial Vehicle Summit


Some of the other key areas that were discussed were demand that drives the commercial vehicle industry, the emerging trends in the commercial vehicle industry, behaviour of different competitive forces, establishment and promotion of commercial vehicle environment and safety regulations.


Rohit Chaturvedi, Director – Transport, CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Limited feels, “That the government should continue investing systematically in the infrastructure to ensure growth in the commercial vehicle industry.” Although the pace of such investment is expected to be a bit slow.  


Sudhir Mehta, Director, Force Motors believes, “Conducive government policies, technological development and controlling diesel prices are some of the important factors that will determine the progress of the commercial vehicle industry in India.”



Nirmalya Banerjee, Business Head, BMGI India deliberating on Incubate Innovation for Exponential Growth in Commercial Vehicle Industry


Presently, India is the second largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles after China and even in years to follow, these two Asian giants are expected to continue to the largest manufacturers and consumers of commercial vehicles in the world.


Chinese auto manufacturer – JAC Motors has expressed their desire to enter the Indian market. Jina Kang, Senior Sales Manager, JAC Motors, who was present at the 2nd Annual India Commercial Vehicle Summit on behalf of the company said, “We are keen to extend our footprints into India. We are on the lookout for a strong partner to establish our business here and manufacturer world class trucks in India.” Currently, JAC Motors offers a wide range of passenger and commercial vehicles in China and has the distinction of being the largest suppliers of bus chassis in China for the past decade. 


“Road transportation will continue to dominate the load transport sector in comparison to air and rail. Therefore there is an immense opportunity for commercial vehicle manufacturers in India”, says Amit Kaushik, Principal Analyst, Truck Forecasting/Advisory, HIS Automotive. Presently, road transportation occupies 60 per cent market share in the transportation sector. The remaining 40 per cent is shred between air (10 per cent) and rail (30 per cent).


Kaushik went on to add, “Increasing competition, regulatory and emission norms, operating cost pressure, increasing customization and no scrappage policy are some of the challenges faced by the commercial vehicle market at present.”


With restriction on heavy and medium commercial vehicles from entering certain cities during the day time, it is the light commercial vehicles which are in the limelight. With a payload of upto 7.5 tonnes, the light commercial vehicles seem to be the way forward. Nitin Seth, Executive Director –LCV, Ashok Leyland commented, “Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) is the fastest growing segment in the commercial vehicle industry. Demand for LCVs is likely to grow steadily in the coming years. Locally manufacturing the vehicle and its components will hold the key to offer the LCV at a competitive price.”



Representatives of various commercial vehicles and components manufacturing companies engaging in a discussion during one of the networking sessions at the Westin Hotel, Pune


Thulin Krister, Director – Buses and Coach, Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd, voiced his concerns about environmental issues. He deliberated on necessity of commercial vehicles switching to biofuels and renewable sources of energy for a better environment.


As per this year’s union budget, Rs 14,872 crore has been allotted to purchase 10,000 new buses under the JNNURM scheme. This too provides a huge opportunity for bus manufacturers in India.


Personally, one of the high points the conference came in the concluding session of the final day when Ramashankar Pandey, Managing Director, Hella Lighting, spoke at length about the alarming number of road deaths in India and how raising awareness about road safety has become a necessity.


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