Story by: Sukhpreet Singh

The proposal of introducing electric vehicles in India has been a disruptive move to curb the tailpipe emissions. However, in the current state of taxation and norms on EVs, the consumers are skeptical, and they have many apprehensions. The manufacturers of key parts for internal combustion engines (ICEs) are also pessimistic about their future. Still they are getting ready for the change of the consumer mindset to the electric vehicles.

At the recently-concluded ‘Clean India, Green India’ initiative, NGK focused on new products for ICEs that would reduce emissions, before being phased out in a couple of decades. Keisuke Makino, Managing Director, NGK Spark Plugs India, and Sudipto Sanyal, Vice President, NGK Spark Plugs India, said that the future of IC engines is cleaner and with their majority market share, NGK would focus on quality components to bring down emissions.

When enquired about the BS VI emission norms Makino said, “New technologies for diverse products could lead to new spark plugs, so we are launching them. Our future plans are that we want to bring more products suitable for BS VI emission norms which contribute to the environment. One has to understand the impact of IC engines on the environment.” Alongside NGK, the company also plans to introduce its second subsidiary, NTK, with products for the mass market products. Makino believes that in terms of technology, NGK has an upper hand as it brings out quality products at competitive prices.

About the global market share of NGK and how he sees India in the global market of the future, Makino said that in the Asian countries, NGK has a history of over 14 years. In India, it is just a little over 10 years. “India is a very important market for NGK. And our endeavour is to bring the highest quality product suitable for the new generation of vehicles and the new norms. Our effort is to bring in products to create a better driving experience to the customers,” Sanyal said.

The products from NGK include the recently introduced spark plug for CNG three-wheelers, though there is no requirement of CNG- specific spark plugs. All the products offered by NGK can be used for CNG vehicles also. The new sensors, to be introduced with the BS VI emission norms, will be one of the flagship products of NGK. The company plans to promote its NTK brand as well. The new brand will be leading in the market requirement for new sensors once BS VI comes in to place, he said.

Sanyal said that NGK has invested Rs 100 crore in the new facilities and plans to expand the spark plug facility as well. In the next 5 years, NGK plans to employ close to 600 people contributing to the employment in India. With the recent demand for alternative fuels for the commercial vehicles, Sanyal is very positive about bio-fuels and other options.

With the consideration by the government for alternative fuels in three-wheelers, spark plugs and sensors will have major roles to play in curbing pollution and in making BS VI successful,” Sanyal said.

Although the move towards electric vehicles will happen in the future, what would be more important for brands like NGK is to be prepared for new emission norms and to bring out products compatible with alternative fuels.

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