ManufacturingIndia: News and Views-2

1. Bajaj Auto has developed a quadricycle, RE60. The quadricycles can ply now as public transport vehicles within municipal limits. I fail to understand why some big names in industry are trying to discourage this innovative product when Nano got so much of applause though has failed to be a commercial success.

2. Daimler, the world leader in commercial vehicles, recently announced that its Indian operations — Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) — will manufacture trucks for export markets under the brand name ‘Fuso’ and will start exporting five models from June to 15 countries in the Asia and African regions. Is it an indication that India is becoming a manufacturing hub?

3. With eight NIMZ under consideration as part of DMIC, cooperation between the defence ministry and DIPP will yield rich dividends. The Defence Procurement Policy is a step in the right direction but has many audits to undergo before it can contribute significantly to defence production. DMIC may help India to become a manufacturing power. I wish the government could invite someone like Ratan Tata to help India in becoming a manufacturing power.

4. Construction equipment manufacturer Tata Hitachi, a joint venture between Tata Motors and Hitachi Construction Machinery of Japan, plans to make the Kharagpur plant in West Bengal a global source for small and medium sized excavators. Can Tata Hitachi be the largest in India?

5. Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, VECV has invested Rs 1,300 crore in India since the JV’s formation in 2008. The plan is to infuse another Rs 1,200 crore till 2015 to meet the requirement of ongoing projects, in setting up an engine manufacturing unit, a bus body building facility, in developing new products and in expanding capacity expansion by 45 per cent to 8,000 units a month by 2015. Here is another competitor to Tata and Ashok Leyland for commercial vehicles.

6. It pays to listen to your employees, literally. Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest car maker, could save a handsome Rs 354 crore in FY13 by paying heed to their workers’ suggestions to improve productivity and cut wastage.During the last financial year, it received over 396,000 suggestions from its employees, which eventually resulted in the savings. In the previous year (FY12), there were 320,000 suggestions, which led to cost savings of over Rs 294.2 crore. I get reminded of the Suggestion Schemes and Quality Circles of our days in industry. The Japanese had been the leader in the world in participative management with its production management practices.

7. Tetra Pak, a food processing and packaging solutions company has invested Rs 700 crore in Chakan facility near Pune and will have a straw production unit, a processing systems workshop, a filling machine renovation and a technical training academy. India is expanding manufacturing in every field.

8.Here is another good news:Pilgrims to the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for Sikhs, once took long journeys by foot to the site in Amritsar, in Punjab, northern India. But now plans are in place to allow them to travel there in a fleet of driverless cars, the first of their kind in India. The driverless cars, also known as pod cars, are set to run on a dedicated double-decker roadway around Amritsar by mid-2016, according to Ultra Fairwood, a tie-up between a U.K-based and an Indian company, which is developing the cars for the city.

9. Voltas and LG are the top two AC makers in India, according to industry estimates. Smaller companies such as Haier and Carrier Midea are also contributing significantly. Air coolers are also making progress.Experts say the Symphony brand, market leader in the air cooler category with a 45 per cent share, grew ahead of the industry on the back of a range of products priced between Rs 6,000 and Rs 15,000. Kenstar and Bajaj, other key players in the air cooler market, also saw brisk sales this summer.

10.Apollo Tyres Ltd, India’s second largest tyre maker by market value, has agreed to buy Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. for $2.5 billion (around Rs.14,575 crore) to gain access to the US, the world’s second biggest auto market. After the acquisition of Cooper Tire, to be carried out through Apollo Mauritius Holdings Pvt. Ltd, Apollo Tyre will become the seventh largest tyre company in the world. Its turnover will rise almost three times to $6.6 billion from $2.4 billion in the year ended March. The company will also gain access to markets in China, Africa and Latin America, besides brands that include Cooper, Avon, Roadmaster, Mickey Thompson, Starfire, Mastercraft and Chengsan.

I wish the politicians make their own contribution. However, I doubt if they will change.

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