The third edition of Commercial Vehicle Forum (CVF) was recently held in Pune, where speakers deliberated on various subjects around the truck, bus and transport industry. According to the organisers, CVF 2018 attracted the highest participation till date, with around 350 delegates attending the conference. This year, the theme of the forum was “Transporting The World’s Largest Democracy”, which saw 60 speakers addressing the delegates.
Chairman of CVF 2018, Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director & CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) kicked off the proceedings with his keynote address. Nesselhauf highlighted the various challenges that the automotive industry is facing and how those prevented it from fulfilling its potential. He also elaborated on the upcoming BS VI standards and the opportunity it brings to companies like DICV to make sales breakthroughs they have long sought.
The keynote address was followed by a presentation on ultra-high strength steels and their role in developing new-generation chassis. A panel discussion deliberated on the performance of the CV industry last year as well as the prevailing challenges and opportunities for the coming three years.
The subsequent two panel discussions were focussed on BS VI norms and Phigital (Physical + Digital) supply chains. The first panel talked about peculiar problems that OEMs are going to encounter, of which some will be unique to India alone. There was also talk of manufacturers facing a dilemma with regards to investing simultaneously in BS VI combustion-engine and electric powertrain development, given the government’s series of policy flip-flops on the latter.
CVF 2018 witnessed wide-ranging perspectives on issues affecting the CV industry today, for which it split the conference into two parallel tracks. One focused on core industry topics such as BS VI, electric vehicles, and vehicle ergonomics and safety, while the other focussed on end-user applications – tech transforming supply chains, digital connectivity, and the possibilities afforded by GST and the rapid expansion of road infrastructure.
Other presentations at the conference included topics on policy and regulatory-led growth for commercial vehicles, as well as one on heavy duty diesel engine oils. The participation of speakers as well as delegates of CVF 2018 was a combination of experts and representatives of OEMs, as well as suppliers, in addition to ancillary and analysis firms. The conference brought together the entire CV ecosystem that discussed the real issues and challenges that the automotive industry would face in the near future, and discussed some of these issues with relevant solutions.
(Auto Tech Review was a Media Partner at CVF 2018)