TMurraliThe auto industry is upbeat about the road ahead, thanks to the emerging positive sentiments, pull from festive seasons and, last but not least, increasing proactive support from the government. There is a clear sense of involvement and commitment from the government and this is evident in more ways than one. At the Annual Convention of Automotive Components Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) held last month, Union Ministers, though speaking on different aspects, had much in common, basically involvement and commitment. Besides, the Ministers also volunteered to approach their colleagues in other ministries to expedite work requirements; this is vital adrenaline for the fast recovery of the auto sector. One of the Ministers threw down a challenge, “Whether you convince me or I convince you, things should move on. . .” These statements have encouraged both the apex bodies of the vehicle makers and components manufacturers, as they feel the industry is heading for good times. The industry is presently preparing a blueprint for the Automotive Mission Plan 2026, which will look at challenges arising from more expensive fuel imports and increasing traffic conditions. These considerations are relevant as the country might become the key market in the world, next to China. Therefore, players in the auto sector need to focus sharply and continue to specialise in their core competencies rather than become weary of wearing many hats.

The cover story of this issue is ‘Evolving Electronics.’ Irrespective of the segments, vehicles are becoming technologically sound to support OEMs’ requirement in terms of performance, safety, emission regulations, and also the ever changing end-user demand for increased comfort and convenience. Vehicle manufacturers achieve this by largely resorting to more use of electronics. While this phenomenon creates immense potential for the electronics, semiconductor and software industries, there are challenges that come along like potential safety and environmental hazards that include recyclability and reliability. We have attempted to discuss the evolution and the current status of electronics in vehicles, besides showcasing opportunities and challenges in the future, and the need for the players to be specialists and continue to be more focused. For the first time we have carried tractors in the Technology & Innovation section. We have not tested the tractor ourselves but were witness to certain tests carried out on Mahindra’s new tractor – the Arjun Novo. The new tractor was the result of the company’s focus on developing a specialised tractor to plough deeper into the agri market.

Hope this issue is of specific interest.

Your feedback will encourage us to grow. Please do send us your comments.

T Murrali


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