Story by: Gunjan D. Bidani

India’s leading exhibition for auto components and automotive aftermarket, ACMA Automechanika New Delhi 2019, showcased new aftermarket developments and innovative products and technologies supplemented by insightful seminars focussing on market opportunities and Industry 4.0, all under one roof.

For the fourth edition of ACMA Automechanika New Delhi during February 14-17, had 515 exhibitors. The show was spread across 11 halls in 19,500 sqm showcasing an array of automotive parts and components, electronics and systems, accessories and customising, repair and maintenance, management and digital solutions and car wash, care and reconditioning. The four-day event kept the exhibitors and over 13,200 business visitors focussed on sourcing, networking and gaining knowledge.

ACMA Automechanika New Delhi 2019 was inaugurated by Leena Nandan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, the Government of India. “I congratulate the organisers of ACMA Automechanika New Delhi 2019 for putting up an encouraging show targeting the Indian aftermarket industry. It is overwhelming to witness that the organisers have brought the message on safety with the ongoing exhibition. The Government is concerned on the number of road accidents and has initiated a three ‘E’ Safety Policy primarily including Engineering, Education and Enforcement. The government is also closely working with industry associations for introducing Standards for aftermarket parts to help address the counterfeit market leading to road fatalities and injuries,” she said.

Ram Venkataramani, President, ACMA; Deepak Jain, Vice President, ACMA; Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, Olaf Musshof, Director, Automechanika Frankfurt and Michael Dehn, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, MesseFrankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd, and several other distinguished members from the industry were present at the inauguration.

The Indian automotive aftermarket, estimated at Rs 70,000 crore in 2018-19 is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% for the next few years and register Rs 98,000 crore by FY2023. The key growth drivers for the Indian aftermarket include the growing vehicle parc, enhanced average life of vehicles, improved road infrastructure and better sourcing of components by global auto giants.

About the future trends in the aftermarket industry, Ram Venkataramani said, “The future vehicles will become more complex and challenging for the aftermarket industry. With the increasing electronic content, penetration of IoT (Internet of Things), DMS (Dealer Management Services) and self diagnosis through online guides and shift to online, consumer behavior will accelerate the change in the industry. It is therefore imperative for the manufacturers, local garages, technicians and the mechanics to upskill and remain above the curve.”

The event also saw the unveiling of ACMA’s Buyers Guide 2019, the much sought-after compendium with details of Indian auto component manufacturers.

With 15 foreign contingents showcasing their best technologies, the event also had 4 international pavilions from China, Korea, Taiwan and the UK. The show also displayed a gamut of innovations and live demonstrations from leading companies and brands. Airboss Air Tools, Herrmann-Lack-Technik GmbH, Mato Industries, Oetiker India Pvt. Ltd, Atek, YamanEngitech Pvt Ltd, and Silkaans Electrical Manufacturing Company Pvt Ltd. were among the many companies that launched products and displayed the latest advancements. Other notable exhibitors included Mansons International Pvt Ltd, ACDelco India, Ample Auto Tech Pvt Ltd, Bosch, Liqui Moly GmbH, Delphi Automotive Systems, Elofic Industries Ltd, Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd, Minda Distribution and Services Ltd (MDSL), Him Teknoforge Ltd, Bosch Ltd, Valeo India, ZF India among others.

A Knowledge Forum was lined up alongside the show on the second day. It touched upon important and pertinent topics related to the industry. The session was themed “Indian auto component industry – Staying competitive with innovation and business transformation”. Siemens was the official ‘Knowledge Partner’ for the seminar. The one-day seminar highlighted the importance of digitalisation for smoother operations, insights from big data analytics and use of artificial intelligence. Some of the areas covered by the seminar were, Indian automotive aftermarket – fast tracking the growth, Indian auto component industry – staying competitive with innovation and business transformation and a panel discussion on the roadmap for Industry 4.0.

A conference, along with International Purchasing Office (IPOs) Forum, on ‘Aftermarket Global Trends and Opportunities’ at Hotel Shangri-La, New Delhi, was hosted on the same day. The conference shed light on the sourcing strategies of global OEMs for aftermarket as also aftermarket opportunities in the US, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

Automechanika around the globe is known for fostering genuine products causing disruption with its initiative ‘Messe Frankfurt against Copying’. With the help of ACMA’s initiative called Safer Drives, the organisers together campaigned against counterfeiting in the industry and promoted the use of genuine products. A conference by the All India Automobile Workshops Association (AIAWA) was also held during the show.

Raj Manek, Executive Director and Board Member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holding Ltd. shared, “India is slated to become one of the most significant shareholders in the global automotive industry. With notable strides with every edition, ACMA Automechanika New Delhi has become synonymous with ‘genuineness’. The show, once again, has successfully attracted the automotive market leaders from all around the globe, reinforcing our commitment to promote genuine and quality products.”

Event for the aftermarket

On showcasing the latest and best in technology at the fair, Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA said, “I think Automechanika, New Delhi is the only of its kind of an event that focuses on the aftermarket. So, we are the nodal trait helper in it and we are very happy the way the trade fair has grown over the last three editions. This is the fourth one and a highly successful. We can gauge the growing eminence of the event from the quality of the displays that has become much better than what it was when we started. Right now we are constrained by the fact that there is no more room to grow. We do not have a venue. Pragati Maidan with its limited number of halls is only what we can use and we are 100% occupied.”

With the growing demand from OEMs for components, there would be a growth in the aftermarket sector, Venkatramani said. He is confident of the growth of the industry and highlighted the challenges. “There are 2 aspects where automotive components have a direct impact – safety and pollution. MoRTH is committed to have standards for safety which will soon be followed by standards on pollution.” Condemning the use of spurious parts, Venkatramani added, “ACMA is interacting with MoRTH to ensure that there is a reduction in the usage of spurious parts. Messe Frankfurt has a programme on anti-piracy. So, I think there is a lot of effort being done to bring awareness among the users to ensure that they only fit original parts and a discouragement not to fit spurious parts. I think with increase in duties as well as the awareness coming in among the mechanics and customers, there may be a reduction in spurious parts. We have already seen reduction in the sale of spurious parts over the last few years due to better awareness, he said.”

Michael Dehn, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India said, “In the first edition, we started with only nine thousand square meters and today it’s 19,000. We had only 200 exhibitors then. This year it was over 500. The number of visitors also has doubled.”

New products on display

Market leaders and innovators such as ACDelco India, Ample Auto Tech Pvt Ltd, Bosch, Delphi Automotive Systems, Elofic Industries Ltd, Mansons International Pvt Ltd, Minda Distribution and Services Ltd, HIM Teknoforge Ltd, Bosch Ltd, Valeo India, ZF India were among the leading brands who were seen at the fair. They showcased an interesting line-up of new products. The key highlights were:

ZF Car Connect which offers telematic solutions for passenger car fleets; A unique Air impact wrench with twin hammer mechanism by Airboss Air Tools; A one-of-a-kind IONSTAR anti-static pistol for painting workshops or body shops that requires no power supply via cable, no batteries or battery packs by Herrmann-Lack-Technik GmbH; Rivets & Riveting Systems introduced by Silkaans which replaces the traditional chisel and hammer method for repairs; Newly launched technology for Common Rail Tester by Mato Industries; High-performance biking chains by Makino Rk Takasago that offers specialised lubrication and noise free operation; Augmented reality based training concept for car repairs by Bosch; and Heavy duty V-profile clamps for commercial and industrial vehicles by Oetiker India Pvt Ltd.

Bosch Ltd: The advent of stricter emission norms set to be implemented in April 2020 may pose a threat to the aftermarket component industry, specially unorganised players such as workshop or garage owners who deal with most services for vehicles after their lifecycle of free services or warranty expires. To cope up with the upcoming norms which would involve more electronic components and revised maps for ECUs in the vehicles of the future, Bosch Limited showcased their workshop concept, BCS (Bosch Car Service). A unique concept, it deals with modernising of the unorganised workshops using electronic equipment and augmented reality.

In the BCS, the technology showcase included AC servicing machine, nitrogen tyre fillers, however, the centrestage was taken by the VCI (Vehicle Communication Interface) and handheld devices. The latter devices, according to the exhibitors, speak to the vehicle’s ECU in order to understand the problems in a vehicle, enabling a workshop mechanic to pin point the exact problem. This will also result in rectifying the problem without any errors, according to a BCS representative. BCS will also upskill the existing mechanics, irrespective of the organised or the unorganised market. As the current skills would not be able to cope with the electronics, BCS’ workshops would ensure optimum usage of its products. Augmented Reality (AR) would be a part of the workshops in the future wherein it would enable a mechanic to take a more informed and error-free decision on a problem with a vehicle. These vehicles will include all BS-VI emission norm compliant models which include four-wheelers, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles.

ZF Aftermarket: The transformation of the automotive aftermarket is in full swing with alternative drive concepts, digitalization, connected cars, autonomous driving and changing customer expectations. These are just some of the huge challenges faced by market participants. With its innovative products and individual service concepts, ZF Aftermarket has established a successful position as both architect and pacemaker for tomorrow’s mobility, and a reliable and competent partner for customers.

To ensure that vehicles move efficiently, safely, dynamically and reliably, ZF products are the first choice in driveline, chassis and safety systems for passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles. With its guiding principle, ‘see. think. act.’, ZF has secured a strong global position by mastering the interaction of sensors, control units and vehicle motion control. The Aftermarket Division of the leading automotive supplier is fully involved in developing tomorrow’s mobility and from this derives the appropriate agenda for the future of the aftermarket.

Vijay Khorgade, Head of the ZF Aftermarket India, explained how the opportunities offered by digitalization can be realized: “On one hand, it requires a readiness to question familiar business models, identify the potential of vehicle and user data, derive attractive business opportunities and implement them. On the other hand, market participants have to align even more strongly with customer expectations by offering more individualized mobility services. Here, comprehensive understanding of the systems and technical know-how remains the most important foundation.”

With its tailor-made solutions for the after-sales market and established product brands ZF, Lemförder, Sachs and TRW, ZF Aftermarket is well-positioned. At ACMA Automechanika, New Delhi, a particular product highlight was the fleet management tool ZF Car Connect, and the Sachs CDC shock absorbers for high-end European passenger cars which was introduced in India for the first time.

Pacoline Industries: The Pune based component manufacturer, Pacoline Industries, which supplies Tier I safety products to OEMs is now gearing up in the aftermarket sector as well. At the display, innovative mirror assemblies and side repeater lamps for CVs were showcased. With a stake of over 80% with OEMs, the company’s focus is to triple their aftermarket share in the next four years from 10% in the domestic market to 30% and from 5% in exports to 15%. The aim of the company has been to de-risk itself from the cyclic nature of the OEM space and in order to do that, Pacoline has been rigorously working towards increasing its products in the aftermarket space. “Over the past three years, we have focussed to look beyond OEMs to have a suitable balance in our business by expanding to other segments including aftermarket and export,” Muzammil Shaikh, Director, Pacoline Industries, said.

This move will also introduce a wider portfolio in the aftermarket sector making it more profitable for the company as well as introduce quality products in this sector.

ARB Bearings: The Delhi-based ARB Bearings displayed its extensive portfolio of products at the ACMA Automechanika. Catering to the aftermarket, OEs, direct consumers and exporting to 22 countries, ARB Bearings has four manufacturing facilities and is producing more than 1,500 sizes of bearings in India. The company is primarily manufacturing bearings, industrial grease, clutch and universal joint cross. For a longer bearing life, the company displayed their newly-launched Red Gel Grease which protects the bearing against the rust and enhanced resistance to water wash-out.

Stork Rubber Products: Focussing to expand its aftermarket business, Gurugram-based Stork Rubber Products displayed control arms, control arm bushes for premium cars, anti-vibration parts, air-springs, leaf spring bushes, mounts, exhaust parts and mechanical control cables. “This year, our focus is to demonstrate our capabilities. We’ve displayed a very comprehensive range. This year, we have changed the theme and we wanted to show the market what we do and the entire idea of our display is to make it interactive.” said Arjun Rangar, Executive Director -Business Development, Stork Rubber Products. Catering to passenger cars, two-wheelers, commercial vehicle, and the farm segment, Stork Group has four manufacturing units in Gurugram and Manesar, Haryana.

Mark Exhaust Systems Limited: One of the key suppliers of exhaust components to major OEMs such as Maruti Suzuki India Limited, Honda Scooters and Motorcycles India Limited and Suzuki Motorcycles, Mark Exhaust Systems Limited made its presence with Mark Xtralife, a two-year old aftermarket division of the parent company. The Mark Xtralife brand has a portfolio in suspension components such as ITR, OTR, SBJ, controller arms, boot lifters and stabiliser joints. At the ACMA Automechanika 2019, Mark Xtralife was focussed on gaining a sizeable market share in the aftermarket component industry. Looking beyond suspension parts, Mark Xtralife is also entereing into aftermarket water pumps for petrol and diesel engines. Between one and 1.25 litre engine capacities for both engine options, the water pumps will be available in the high-volume, mass-market segment, Brij Malhotra, Senior Vice President, Mark Exhaust Systems Limited, said. The acquisition of the UK-based Quinton Hazell has enabled Mark Xtralife to make this move. The company is already supplying its oil pumps to Maruti Suzuki with current production capacity of one lakh units annually. Mark Xtralife is also planning to increase the production of this oil pump provisioned in the K12 petrol engine by four times by 2020 spending Rs 20 crore.

Valeo India: Primarily focussing on potential customers visiting from neighbouring countries at ACMA Automechanika 2019, Valeo India displayed its import range. The company deals in powertrains, thermal management, vision systems, comfort and driving assistance systems. It supplies from the comprehensive portfolio to players in the Make In India programme ranging from entry-level products to premium vehicles. This is the second time that Valeo Service is participating at ACMA Automechanika. The last time when Valeo participated, it received a very good response. This year the focus of the company has been in the aftermarket sector and is expected to grow with its R&D staff project to increase to 5,000 engineers by 2023.

Elofic Industries: “The one product that we are showcasing and has taken centre-stage is our Elofic Raahe car air purifier. This is our latest product which was introduced last year and has gone through 2 seasons. It has been receiving good response and Elofic’s core business is filtration. This air purifier had to be a natural extension of our product portfolio. This is a patented product which gets installed on the dashboard of a car and one sees a very drastic reduction in the PM 2.5 levels,” asserted, KD Sahni, Vice Chairman and Joint Managing Director, Elofic Industries, said. “Filtration is our core business and we want to be in every field where filtration is required,” M B Sahni, Chairman and Managing Director, Elofic Industries, said.

Being the pioneers in the filtration industry and catering to automotive, agriculture, earth moving, industrial, heating, petrochemical sectors. The company is planning for new investments including expansion of their manufacturing capacity and R&D. Currently, Elofic has 6 manufacturing plants located in Faridabad, Hosur and Nalagarh. The company is also looking at a further penetration in the commercial vehicle segment apart from its large presence in the passenger vehicle and the two-wheeler segments. Trends that would be witnessed is higher grade of filtration with the introduction of BS-VI emission norms however, according to the company, there would be no negative impact for them. The filtration sector will continue to witness growth due to its high consumption as well as requirement. In order to de-risk itself from the cyclic nature of the OEM sector, Elofic Industries is also looking at diversification into multiple segments and is keen to maintain its 30% OEM, 30% export and 40% aftermarket stakes in this segment.

Rico Auto: Auto component manufacturer Rico Auto displayed clutch assemblies, break shoe and oil springs at ACMA Automechanika. At the launch, Abhishek Kulshrestha, Vice President, Corporate Materials and Aftermarket Business, Rico Auto, said, “Clutch Assembly is our USP. Other companies are not producing high-quality assemblies which we make because we are the masters in the assemblies and we have invested a lot of quality parameters for this. For the aftermarket exclusively, we have purchased approximately Rs 5 crores of testing equipment for assemblies.” After having supplied in the Indian market since 35 years, Rico Auto has forayed into the aftermarket business in August 2017. On the response from the aftermarket, “This is the first year actually of our business in aftermarket. Having initiated around 14-15 products now we have more than 500 products that too with the 62 distributors. Plus, we have the system to establish distributors in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh and we are expecting revenue of Rs 25-30 crore in the first year itself. I always feel very happy and blessed that Rico has been treated as a premium brand.” Going forward, Rico Auto projects revenue of over Rs 100 crore by 2020.

Mansons International: Headquartered in Mumbai, Mansion International is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of components for OEM, Tier-1 and independent aftermarket. At ACMA Automechanika, Mansons focused on components for NVH, Driveline and Cabin categories. Gautam Khanduja, Director, Mansons International, said, “ACMA Automechanika New Delhi allows us to meet most of our customers and discuss new product developments and showcase our plans for the coming year. We can communicate with our entire customer network with focused meetings which are fruitful for both parties here.” The company manufactures and supplies components predominantly for the Commercial Vehicle segment apart for supplies for the Bus and Van segment. Operating for 62 years, the company caters to both domestic market and exports to more than 63 countries. The company has 7 manufacturing locations which are certified under the ISO:TS16949 standards. The product range includes more than 8000 parts for Indian, Japanese, European and American Truck and Trailer market.

Minda Silca: At this year’s ACMA Automechanika New Delhi, fully owned subsidiary of the Spark Minda group, Minda Silca introduced a shop-in-shop concept. Under this method, making duplicate keys or locksmithing work, which is currently extremely unorganised would be offered proper skill sets and training to enhance their method of working, according to a company official. The overall benefit to a person who is being trained will be a better value addition of skills to them. The company also introduced two new machines, one of them automatically duplicates a key, while the other station is for fine side cutting of the key. Minda Silca also introduced their four-wheeler, three-wheeler, two-wheeler and commercial vehicle locks.

In order to increase their brand recognition and brand visibility, Spark Minda is working towards better marketing strategies and new mergers. Apart from showcasing their products in which are mainly supplied to OEMs, the company also has a sizeable share in the aftermarket sector. At the ACMA Automechanika New Delhi, the company’s focus while showcasing its products was on getting better visibility in the aftermarket.

Marathwada Auto Compo Pvt Ltd: In partnership with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Marathwada Auto Compo Pvt Ltd. (MAC) has developed Electronic Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) for A-segment cars and small commercial vehicles in India. This marks as the first product for the passenger cars segment as the company is into manufacturing front suspension for two-and three-wheelers. The product is expected to launch in India by early 2020 in the aftermarket itself. Currently, EPAS is being manufactured by foreign players like ZF Friedrichshafen (Germany), Nexteer Automotive (U.S), NSK Ltd. (Japan), TRW Automotive (U.S), and JTEKT Corp (Japan) and now MAC (India).

Highway Industries: A Hero Motorcorp group company, the Ludhiana-based Highway Industries is all set to target the Indian and global automotive aftermarket with its forged and machine parts. Presently, the company manufactures for the OEMs of two-wheeler, passenger car, commercial vehicle and farm equipment segments. Producing from three plants in Ludhiana, Highway Industries has monthly production of over 3,000 tonnes of forging. The company aims to cross Rs 1000 crore revenue by 2021. The company is planning to foray into Electric Vehicles’ components. The company makes steering, precision forging, transmission, and suspension parts for two- wheelers, PVs, CVs, white goods, farm equipments and primarily catering to Hero Motor Corp, GKN, Magna and Bosch.

Ample Auto Tech: A manufacturer and exporter of steering and suspension parts Ample Auto Tech launched a control arm range along with our new-generation vehicle range for the Indian market. Within 10 years of the inception, the company has established themselves as a brand that prides in excellence in quality. With a range of over 4000 products, Atek caters to over 30 countries with steering and suspension parts that are adaptable to numerous models of buses, cars, trucks, tractors & SUVs. Currently, Ample Auto Tech supplies automotive parts for European, Japanese, Korean, Indian & American applications.

Lumax India: Expanding its footprint in the aftermarket sector, UK Jain Group, Lumax India introduced a new range of lubricants for the two-wheeler market dedicated to be sold only in the aftermarket. The company will sell these new lubricants through its 200 distributors and 12,000 retailers in the country. Remaining as a majority stakeholder in automotive filters, the new entry of lubricants would cater to entry and mid size two-wheelers. The engine oils in Lumax’s portfolio are offered in mineral and synthetic formats complying with API/SN and JASO MA2 standards. The lubricants will be sourced from the company’s vendor in Mumbai who will also take care of bottling the products. “The two-wheeler maintenance segment forms a huge chunk of the Indian aftermarket and hence, we would only be relying on organic growth over the next six months before going ahead and striking any marketing strategies for this new product line,” Ashok Shukla, Business Head, Automotive Care Products, Lumax India, said.

ACDelco India: One of the most popular component trader in the Indian automotive component industry, ACDelco India, showcased its existing line of products. The centre-stage for the company was taken by its tropical, glycol-based coolant apart from its popular product range. As one of the pioneers in trading, a company official said that none of the goods anywhere are manufactured by them. That stated, there are specific programmes which ACDelco deals with in order to train suppliers. The new range of coolant has been upgraded from erstwhile specifications.

Him Teknoforge Limited: Into various products for commercial as well as passenger vehicle applications, Him Teknoforge Limited was present at the ACMA Automechanika New Delhi. The company showcased its latest addition, the Swaraj 855 Bevel Kit for 22 tonne category vehicles. According to Mrinal Aggarwal, Director, Him Teknoforge Limited, “Only one percent is doing good at all structured level. So we’re doing some sort of a technology transfer through an overseas firm. The samples of the new products are almost ready and we are speaking to an OEM. After full swing, the cost of manufacturing will come down considerably. It is a superior quality product. We keep adding about 5 or 6 parts every month.” ACI

Highly successful event, says Vinnie Mehta

The fourth edition of ACMA Automechanika has witnessed a larger list of exhibitors from the aftermarket component sector. Pragati Maidan was packed with visitors as well as exhibitors tapping on potential customers for their business at this platform. We got into a conversation with Vinnie Mehta, Director General, Automotive Components Manufacturers Association, to understand how ACMA Automechanika has grown and what are the benefits for the exhibitors.

Q: What is the growth of ACMA Automechanika as a business platform for the aftermarket player over the years?

Mehta: ACMA Automechanika, New Delhi is the only of its kind of an event that focuses on the aftermarket. So we are the nodal trait helper in it and we are very happy the way the trade fair has grown over the last three editions. This is the fourth one and a highly successful. We can gauge the growing eminence of the event from the quality of the displays that has become much better than what it was when we started. Right now we are constrained by the fact that there is no more room to grow. We do not have a venue. Pragati Maidan with its limited number of halls is only what we can use. Now we are 100% occupied. So, we just hope that for the next edition in 2021 Pragati Maidan will be fully ready and we will be able to have a much bigger show, maybe 25% bigger than this edition.

Q: How is the partnership with Messe Frankfurt?

Mehta: Great. What’s very interesting is that we are the only organisation anywhere in the world where Messe has a formal tie-up. So, the show is co-branded with us, you know, where in the world you have a co-branded show so we feel very happy to be growing together.

Q: So, is there any specific theme in this current edition?

Mehta: Well, you know one aspect has been that we wanted to see the Indian industry is not a very matured industry if I were to compare it to the automotive industry in other parts of the world, especially if you look at the US, Europe, Japan or Korea. Mostly, aftermarket is a very matured industry for Europe and the US, because it is backed by what is called as right to service and the market is grown as big as the OE market for Europe and for the US. In India, we are just a small fraction. We are just about 20% of the overall market. So why we got this show is to vindicate that the auto aftermarket was attaining a critical mass and it justified a show and we wanted to tell our members that apart from the OE supply, there is another option to be worked on, and another market opportunity to be tapped. I think we have delivered well for our industry. Though we do not have a specific theme, the show is more technology-oriented and the new technologies that will be coming in the market are showcased. So, the show has found its own people by itself without as mandating it.

Q: How is ACMA promoting the drive to improve quality of products and services from the aftermarket manufacturers?

Mehta: It is a huge effort in terms of the quality drive as a lot of it comes from the consumers and because at the end of the day the consumer pays based in the sense, not just the money part of it, he also faces the consequence of buying a spurious or a non standard component. So, to that level ACMA, SIAM, and MoRTH, together are running this huge campaign `Sadak Suraksha Jeevan Raksha’. That’s a big campaign that’s going on and sometimes it is in terms of 1,000 crore footsteps or sometimes in terms of human chains. That is how we are trying to reach out to the common man and give a message on safety and when a common man goes to the shop and says, I don’t want to compromise on safety, he isn’t going to buy spurious components. So that’s one way of driving standards and better quality product in the industry.

Secondly, we are working with the government to mandate standards for products sold in the aftermarket. And once you have standardised standards declared, then it will help you check a lot of this spurious and sub-standards imports. Once you have standards and they are implemented, mandated standards and their implementation mechanisms will make sure that these standards are implemented and then the substandard items are not sold anymore. So, it’s a time-consuming process, but, I guess we are making that effort and making standards. It is not an easy thing. It requires a lot of stakeholders engagement and involvement.

Q: We are getting lot of Chinese components, which are also affecting the Indian manufacturers in terms of both cost and quality. What are the efforts being made in these directions?

Mehta: I think when we are mandating standards, the customs are empowered. If the products are not meeting the standards they cannot allow that import. So, a better implementation is a right way of going about. Secondly the consumers should go and ask for genuine quality product. So that more often than not we are the ones who actually say that how would it matter. It is our callous attitude that needs to change.

I think the number of deaths in road accidents, if I am not mistaken, is the highest in the world at four lakhs. That is a matter of huge concern with the government. We need to take that extremely seriously.

Q: How Tier II and Tier III players will be benefit out of this platform?

Mehta: This is an aftermarket show, and aftermarket does not make distinctions between Tier I or Tier II and Tier III players. If you have a product which meets a customer expectation, you are there. To that level, the aftermarket is a very equal opportunity industry.

Bhargav TS

Interview

ACMA Automechanika will scale new heights, says Michael Dehn, General Manager Sales and Marketing, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India Pvt Ltd.

Q: What are your thoughts on ACMA Automechanika 2019?

Dehn: The First edition, we started with only 9000sqm and today it’s 19,000 sqm, we had only 200 exhibitors then and this year we have over 500. The number of visitors has also doubled. For us this is the true measurement of success.

Q: So how do you compare the Indian edition with other Global editions? What is the strength and also the areas for improvement?

Dehn: For us the world is our market. We try to be active and successful in every major market. I am very glad that in India, we are with a very strong partner, ACMA. From the global perspective what is very interesting to see is the changing trade relationships around the world. India is set to benefit a lot from the global events in terms of trade. I believe the Indian industry is ready in terms of quality to play a bigger role on the global stage and events like this facilitate trade. Many companies from the developed markets visit ACMA Automechanika to source products. Obviously that’s the true purpose of this event. The international buyers come here. They find Indian suppliers, they need to compare the quality, compare the conditions the commercial conditions and so on and after the show, they will have selected one and we’ll start the business. We facilitate this and also business within India.

Another important aspect of what we want to achieve is to have visitors from every part of India, even remote areas. For us it’s very important as they bring a lot of value to the table. They open the access to areas that companies may not be able to go by themselves. So we try to bring also those buyers here and they are harder to reach, harder to convince to come but over time, you will see that all of these numbers will grow and that’s something that I think also adds to the quality of the event and at the end the satisfaction of the exhibitors.

Q: So if you said you wanted to bring lot of people from the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where spurious parts a major role especially the availability of genuine parts is a concern. So how do you plan to reduce the usage of spurious parts in those areas and educate them?

Dehn: Well, when we look at the sale of fake parts, then I think first of all we have to distinguish between 2 different types of buyers. There’s one buyer, who knows what he’s buying and the second, the one who doesn’t know what he’s buying. So first of all, let’s take the buyer who doesn’t know who thinks he’s buying original but he’s actually buying fake. Let’s look at this buyer, I think because it’s a very difficult area. The industry has provided new solutions that make it easier for anyone to check. There are a lot of digital solutions that make it possible for anyone in the entire value chain or even in the supply chain to check whether this part is original. QR codes and so on where you can actually check on the website of the manufacturer whether this box that you just purchased or that you are about to purchase is original or not. We also communicate, educate and train to make sure that people know what they’re buying.

Now coming to the other side, those people that know what they’re buying, that is a bit harder part because here people commit a crime when they’re buying counterfeit. And that is the hard part to address because they know what they’re doing. And so you have to convince them somehow not to do that and that area is harder to address. If you buy fake brake pads that you are more likely to have an accident because they fail. They have to be told such things. But I think that is a harder route to changing behavior. But it will also change and make people change.

Q: Is it not possible for you or the manufacturers to tie up with an insurance company and if a vehicle fail or meet with an accident because of spurious parts, and if it is proved, the insurance company can deny the claim?

Dehn: I think this is something the manufacturers’ association would be able to do. As an organizer, we are not in that relationship which is more on the commercial end where we are not active.

Q: In general the Indian component industry has its unique challenges and disruptions. What would you like to say on that?

Dehn: The industry is known to satisfy the demands of the Indian market first and foremost. They also look for international markets. As you said the Indian market has its very own characteristics and challenges. There are already a lot of players in India that are at a level to supply to anyone. There are some new players in the market that are growing into that level. We hope that in the next few years we can assist and help to raise the bar for the industry. Automechanika, hopefully, is going to help them not only to reach the level but also to demonstrate what level they have reached and make that known to the international audience.

Q: As the automotive industry is moving towards electric or hybrid, the number of components are going to reduce. Will that affect your trade fairs across the globe?

Dehn: There are quite a few different views on that. Of course the most extreme view would be in 10 years time, the entire vehicle parc will be changed. I don’t believe in that as it may not be feasible, Therefore, that extreme scenario is not going to happen. In fact, there are not enough raw materials to build so many batteries. So there are limits to that. What will happen is clearly the electric vehicles will become part of the fleet and they will become certain percentage part of the fleet. Of course, there are parts that will not be used in electric vehicles. But there are many others that have to be used. So there are certain areas that might not be in demand as much as the remaining parts but I would say the impact at this point as far as I can see is not going to be that dramatic.

Q: Is there any gap still in ACMA Automechanika?

Dehn: Oh, well, certainly. We are never complete with a growing industry. You always have areas that you don’t cover. The challenge this time was that the venue was limited. So we could not put everything into the show that we wanted to.

Q: You’ve been seeing the Indian tradition of Automechanika. So what kind of new things that we can expect from the next edition?

Dehn: The next edition is in 2021. I always say that as organisers we know nothing about the market. Our exhibitors and visitors are the source of wisdom and knowledge for us and we always listen to them and let them guide us on what we need to introduce and what technology we need to focus on.

Bhargav TS

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