Not just phones, India’s vendors want China tech for auto parts too
Most Indian auto part makers have imbibed technological innovations brought by Japanese OEMs
New Delhi: Taking a cue from the domestic mobile phone industry, a group of automobile component makers visited China earlier this month to get acquainted with the technology related to electric vehicles.
The group of 10-12 tier-one automotive component manufacturers and representatives of its lobby group Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) met executives of Chinese companies such as Beijing Dynamic Power Co. Ltd, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and BYD Auto Co. Ltd to get access to electric mobility technologies through joint ventures or any other form of partnership, said two people with direct knowledge of the development.
The group also visited an electric vehicle show in Guangzhou. This is the first time a group of Indian automobile manufacturers has visited China for technology related to automobiles. The Indian automobile market is predominantly Japanese-dominated and most Indian component makers have imbibed technological innovations brought by Japanese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
The Indian team comprised executives from Lucas TVS Ltd, Minda Industries Ltd, NRB Bearings Ltd, Wabco India Ltd, Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd, Sterling Tools Ltd, Alicon Castalloy Ltd, JBM Auto Ltd, Denso, J.K. Fenner India Ltd and Anand Automotive Systems Ltd.
Their main purpose was to get access to technologies for charging infrastructure, lithium-ion batteries and power electronics.
The executives first met their counterparts from Beijing Dynamic Power, which makes inverters, UPS and DC power systems. They also met executives from CATL, which specializes in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
Subsequently, a meeting with top executives from BYD Auto—one of China’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturers—was also held at its headquarters at Shenzhen. BYD has already forayed into the Indian market with its electric buses.
“This is the first time a group of automakers has been to China and met executives of Chinese companies specializing in manufacturing components of electric vehicles. Most of these manufacturers are looking to get access to the technology through a joint venture or by any other form of partnership. China is now the biggest market for electric vehicles. So it makes sense,” said one of the two persons mentioned above.
Most of the component manufacturers are looking to invest in manufacturing charging stations, electric motors and lithium-ion batteries in the long term.
Chinese bus manufacturers and component makers are keen to get a foothold in India as the government has made clear its intention to promote electric mobility.
The group of component manufacturers also visited the Electric Vehicle Expo 2018 in Guangzhou which was held earlier this month.
“Chinese companies like BYD and CATL have the technological know-how about electric vehicles and are present across the world. If they choose to invest in a joint venture with some of the India companies, then it will help the manufacturers here. The Chinese companies are also very much interested in investing in India because of the size and potential of the market,” said the person mentioned above.
With the second version of the FAME (Faster Adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles in India) scheme expected to give incentives to manufacturers of components for electric vehicles, some parts makers are planning to invest or have made initial investments in certain aspects of electric mobility in the next decade.
“China has placed its bets on electric mobility and Indian companies have to tie up with the Chinese companies if they have to get the technology, otherwise they will be left behind. Also, some of the Chinese OEMs want to invest in India or expand their existing operations. So, for the component manufacturers, it is good to know some of their potential customers,” said Sridhar V., partner, Grant Thorton Llp.
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