The local unit of Delphi Corp., one of the world’s largest maker of auto parts, said it is in talks with two-wheeler companies to make more efficient engine systems that will also help drive its own expansion, as India gets ready to go green.
“We are in talks with leading two-wheeler companies,” to develop fuel injection systems, said Scott Bailey, vice-president, Delphi Powertrain Systems. Currently, 90% of motorycycles in India are equipped with carburettors, which are cheaper than a fuel-injection system. Fuel-injection systems are as much as Rs2,400 costlier than conventional carburettors. Still, the government’s fuel emission road map specifies stricter norms starting 2010 for two-wheelers.
Under these norms, two-wheelers powered by engines with a capacity of 150cc and above will have to use fuel-injection systems in place of the carburettors used now to meet the specified emission levels of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides.
Delphi estimates a market potential of $600 million (Rs2,460 crore) for two-wheeler fuel systems alone when the changes occur. But it says it will decide on the investment spend only when discussions are finalized.
“To invest for local products you need to make the decision two years before the start of production,” said Bailey. “But it’ll depend on volumes we get.”
Delphi makes around 700,000 fuel system units a year from its Manesar plant, and around 30% of this is exported. Its expansion will depend on whether the two-wheeler makers switch to the more expensive fuel-injection systems for lower capacity motorbikes as well.
Hero Honda Motors Ltd and Bajaj Auto Ltd have introduced them in only higher-end bikes such as the Pulsar. Royal Enfield, which makes the Bullet brand of motorcycles, is also developing fuel-injection systems for its bikes.Only about 650,000 or one in 10 bikes sold in India is from the premium category.
Bajaj didn’t respond to phone calls seeking comment and Hero Honda couldn’t be reached since it was shut down for May Day.