The might of the aftermarket market came to the fore at the fourth edition of ACMA Automechanika trade show that was held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi from February 14-17. Touted as one of the country’s premier aftermarket shows, the ACMA Automechanika served as a platform for auto component suppliers and aftermarket players to showcase their diverse products and technologies. The four-day exposition attracted more than 550 exhibitors (300 domestic and 250 international exhibitors) from 16 nations, with country pavilions being allocated to South Korea, China, Taiwan and UK.
The 4th ACMA Automechanika harped on addressing road safety that has been a huge concern for the automotive industry. One of the highlights of the trade show was the ACMA Safer Drives booth, an initiative undertaken by ACMA to promote safety in holistic terms – drive safe as well as inculcate safety hygiene habits.
At the ACMA Safer Drives booth, NVH and telematics solutions provider Paracoat Products Ltd showcased a dash camera that can be fitted on the windscreen of a vehicle, and can detect how an accident happened. This dash camera monitors and records the driving as well as driver’s habits. In case of an unfortunate accident, this recording can help in faster and transparent turnaround of the claim process,” a Paracoat Products official said.
DOING AWAY WITH SPURIOUS PARTS
Over the years, the automotive aftermarket has been grappling with usage of spurious or sub-standard auto parts. Initiatives at the show highlighted this aspect, and urged consumers not to buy counterfeit auto parts – something that was accentuated by industry captains across various seminars and workshops held during the trade show. In fact, the auto industry and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) have been working towards building greater awareness so that consumers use genuine parts and their efforts have borne fruit with reduced usage of spurious parts over the last two years. As Ram Venkataramani, President, ACMA puts it, “The auto industry is witnessing a reducing trend in usage of substandard parts on account of increasing sophistication in vehicles that necessitate customers to opt for registered or authorised dealers.” In terms of value, spurious parts constitute about 30 % of the aftermarket in India, he said.
Another key perspective that emerged from the trade show was framing of policy decisions that would influence consumption of original parts – for example, an increase in import duties on auto components will prevent traders from buying parts from low-cost destinations and pushing it to the Indian aftermarket market, Venkataramani pointed out.
The industry used the ACMA Automechanika platform to press for long-standing demand for rationalisation of GST rates of all auto parts. Currently, 70 % of auto components are in the 18 % GST category, while 30 % of components are in the 28 % GST category, and the industry wants the government to bring all items under the 18 % GST bracket. Such rationalisation will ensure auto parts become more competitive and also pave the way for usage of original parts.
INCREASING ELECTRONIC CONTENT
Electronics and connected technologies also grabbed centre stage at the 4th ACMA Automechanika. ZF India, for example, exhibited a fleet management tool called ZF Car Connect. Based on a smart and open connectivity platform, ZF Car Connect works independently from vehicle manufacturers. An on-board diagnostics (OBD) dongle collects and transfers the data. The telematics and diagnostic unit reads 74 specific signals straight from the vehicle's OBD interface, among them fuel level, braking response and error messages. As ZF Car Connect not only registers but also interprets this data, the platform significantly contributes to safe driving and optimal steering of fleets, claimed the company.
Vehicle telematics was on display with Samvardhana Motherson showcasing its Rollr Mini device. This device is equipped with an in-built prepaid and preconfigured telematics-grade SIM and all the data that is gathered from the vehicle as well as on-board sensors is transferred to the Rollr’s servers in a secure/ encrypted way. The device transmits the live location of the vehicle, in terms of location accuracy as well as maintains a complete history of where the vehicle has been plying along with other events that unfolded during a trip. The device also showcases the route taken by the car and the duration it took to complete that distance – all these information is available for end consumers in a smartphone app/ web app.
Aisin Seiki Company Limited and Makino Auto Industries showcased their range of clutches, while Bosch and Delphi Automotive Systems exhibited their braking components. Wabco showcased a dual transmission that has a unique switchover from manual transmission to automatic transmission for heavy commercial vehicles. It enables the driver to switch over to automatic transmission if he is tired. Elofic Industries exhibited its range of filters such as oil filters, air filters, fuel filters, and hydraulic filters, among others.
The 4th ACMA Automechanika also saw the unveiling of ACMA’s Buyers Guide 2019 – a much-sought-after compendium offering details of Indian auto component manufacturers. Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, said the aftermarket will continue to be driven by growing vehicle parc in the country, enhanced average life of vehicles with improved road infrastructure and enhanced sourcing of components by global auto giants.
Gracing the inaugural function as Chief Guest, Leena Nandan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), while acknowledging the growing stature of the Indian automotive industry, stressed the need for India to be part of the global value chain. She added that India must learn the best standards, technologies and innovations from overseas and build it in their programmes so that it is aligned with world standards.
Olaf Musshof, Director, Automechanika Frankfurt, said the fourth edition of ACMA Automechanika only reflects the robust relationship and deeper trust between ACMA and Messe Frankfurt. The Indian automotive aftermarket is estimated to be at Rs 70,000 cr in 2018-19 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5 % over the next few years and expected to reach Rs 98,000 cr by FY 2023.
TEXT: Suhrid Barua
PHOTO: Bharat Bhushan Upadhyay