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Truck & Bus Builder


SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 23 to Truck & Bus Builder (February Vol.35, No.2) on Commercial Vehicle Developments in India

Agreement / Ownership

Mahindra & Mahindra to take sole control of Mahindra-Navistar joint venture

Mumbai / USA - Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (Mahindra) of Mumbai, India, and Navistar International Corporation (Navistar) of Lisle, Illinois, USA, in December announced that an agreement had been reached between them for Mahindra to purchase the whole of Navistar’s stake in both Indian joint ventures - Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd (MNAL) and Mahindra Navistar Engines Pvt Ltd (MNEPL) - for a sum of INR1750m (USD33m). Following the purchase, Mahindra would take complete ownership of both MNAL and MNEPL operations and would continue to sell MNEPL and MNAL products. The agreement allows Navistar to continue sourcing components from India, and for Mahindra to continue to provide engineering services to Navistar. Navistar would continue to support Mahindra through a licence agreement and extend all necessary support to MNAL and MNEPL for the purposes of business continuity. For the sale or purchase agreement to proceed, regulatory approval in India must first be achieved. It is subject also to the conclusion of definitive agreements; the transaction, however, is expected to be completed within the next few months. Navistar’s decision to sell its interests it the Mahindra Navistar joint ventures is due to the need to recoup large losses of some USD3bn incurred in 2012 – failure to comply with EPA10 emissions with its non-SCR engine strategy met with high costs in regulatory fines – and its subsequent needed to refocus its business efforts and priorities, as indicated in its accompanying statement: “As part of its “Drive to Deliver” turnaround plan, launched in August (2012), Navistar has been conducting an analysis of all of its businesses and programs to determine their return on invested capital (ROIC) and identify areas for improvement. Based on

this business environment, Navistar has determined that it needs to redirect its efforts to other initiatives that can contribute more quickly to the company’s goal of improving its ROIC (Return On Invested Capital).” Reiterating this point, Troy Clarke, president and chief operating officer of Navistar, said: “While the Indian market has not expanded as we had originally expected and industry challenges there continue in the near term, we still see promise in India going forward. But given Navistar’s 2013 priorities, our capital and focus needs to be allocated to other business opportunities in the near term.” Commenting on the company’s plans for its heavy duty truck division, Dr Pawan Goenka, president, Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, said: “Since it was established in 2005, Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd has created a niche for itself in the Indian CV industry. MNAL has set up a world class dealer and service network for trucks,” Goenka continued, “which, coupled with synergies with Mahindra’s dealer network gives us a significant opportunity to grow our presence in the truck market. In addition, the product has been well accepted as is evident from our high-ranking in the TNS customer satisfaction survey. Mahindra & Mahindra is committed to the success of the truck business. We acknowledge the contribution made by Navistar to this venture thus far, and appreciate their support for business continuity after they exit the business.” Navistar and Mahindra entered into the MNAL joint venture in late 2005 to manufacture trucks and buses in India, source components and provide engineering services for the design and development of Navistar vehicle products. The MNEPL joint venture was formed in 2007 and began producing engines in 2010.

New Company / Joint Venture

Deccan Auto spearheads Zhongtong’s move into India

Hyderabad / China - From September this year, a new company formed in October 2011 under the name of Deccan Auto Ltd, plans to start assembling a range of coaches for the Indian market built from CKD and SKD kits supplied by Zhongtong Bus Holding Co Ltd of Liaocheng, Shangdong Province in China. At Busworld India in Mumbai this month, VN Ghadi, manufacturing head for Deccan Auto, said Deccan Auto, which has the financial backing of Mr P Prasad, the owner of steel and cement company, Reddy Chenchu Lakshmi Steel & Cement, was currently building a new factory that was situated some 30km from the city of Hyderabad. It is the intention of

Deccan Auto to complete the construction of the new factory by September this year in order to be able to start producing coaches for the intercity / commuter market and tourism sector in India. Three coaches were displayed at Busworld India, they were an 8m and 12m two-axle coach in different floor heights and seat configurations, and a luxury 13.7m high-deck coach on three axles, with restroom and service area. All were semi-monocoque designs fitted with Weichai engines meeting Euro III emission standards. Ghadi said that Deccan Auto’s arrangement with Zhongtong was that of a collaboration agreement; details of the plant were not disclosed.

Letter from the editor

Dear Reader,

The development of the Indian truck and bus markets are moving at a slower pace than expected, yet there are encouraging signs in certain segments. See, for instance, the viewpoint of Scania on the on-highway truck and bus segments in this issue. The bus code is slowly making its way forward and the bus industry is waiting to hear about the second phase of investment under the JNNURM programme. However, with or without financial programmes to boast the sector, K. Krishnamurthi, managing director of ACGL, suggests that with the average age of the majority of buses in the market today being far more than ten years old, replacement demand should soon cause a surge in orders.

JIM GIBBINS editor and publisher

Standards & Regulations

Deadline looms for accreditation by bus body builders of Bus Code

India – March 31, 2013 is the deadline when all body builders, wishing to continue to participate in the body building industry in India, has to be accredited by the various standards agency and certified as capable of building to the new bus code, according to Mr Balraj Bhanot, management consultant, chairman of the Vehicle Inspection & Certification Regime India Committee and former chairman of the Bus & Truck Body Code Committee, speaking at Busworld India last month. Bhanot said that this was the final deadline of the first stage in the adoption of the Bus Code Standards of India, which, he said, were very similar to ECE bus build standard regulations. He explained that the Bus Code was first discussed and proposals drawn up a decade ago, with agreement to the standards to be adopted established back in 2007. Bhanot stated that there were more than 500 bus body builders in India and that accreditation by officials from a number of inspection authorities (ARAI, CIRT, IKAD and others) had taken time and that the deadline for completing this assessment work, had already been postponed twice; once, two years ago, to December 2012 and then again just recently to March 31, 2013. Designs must now meet the bus code and builders have to show and obtain type approval certificates by October 2013 – this is effectively the second stage in the process. This stage is followed by a third stage of Conformity of Production (COP): This stage requires inspectors from the licensing authorities to visit the factories to ensure that the vehicles are, in fact, being built to those approved standards.

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at © All copyright is reserved – Truck & Bus Builder Publishing Ltd 2012. AXLES


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November 2012

Trial / Product

Operators in India trialling Scania on- road / highway trucks and tractor units

Bangalore / Sweden – November saw Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd of Bangalore launch a new range of on-road trucks and begin trial runs of the trucks with customers on roads across India. Scania said it had undertaken extensive research into the Indian market prior to launching the new truck models. Scania said its move into the on-road

haulage segment in India was completely customer focused with the aim of providing reliable, fuel efficient transport solutions whilst reducing its impact on the environment. Scania plans to focus on the specialist and growing needs of the industrialised segments such as long haul container handling operations, steel, chemical, special bulk transportation and over dimensional cargo (ODC) transportation. Henrik Fagrenius, managing director, Scania Commercial Vehicles India, speaking at the launch, said: “Today is an important milestone for all of us

at Scania. We believe that Indian truck buyers will

have the benefit of an added choice – trucks with outstanding fuel performance and reliability that offer them value for their investment.” The new trucks include the following Scania heavy- duty models: P 360 4x2, P 410 6x2, G 460 6x4 and R 500 6x4. Scania is offering two trucks for heavy duty tractors

for ODC (oversized dimensional consignments) heavy

haulage transportation operations. The Scania R 500 6x4 is a heavy-duty tractor powered with Scania’s 500hp V8 engine, offering a high low-speed torque rating, and matched with Scania’s automated gearbox, Scania Opticruise. The Scania G 460 6x4 heavy-duty puller is powered by Scania’s 460hp 13-litre engine, which is also equipped with the Scania Opticruise that will help the driver to cruise with ease and comfort. The Scania P 410 6x2 tractor unit has been designed for long haul transport, says Scania. It is

suitable / adaptable for a multitude of tasks and is fitted with a 410hp engine, a lift-able tag axle and

designed to optimise fuel and total cost of ownership. The Scania P 360 4x2 tractor / truck is offered with

a 360hp engine, which Scania states, is a specially

engineered for high power and torque and is fitted with rear air suspension to serve best the needs of critical and fragile cargo transportation operations. Speaking at Busworld India this month, Fagrenius said that with the big improvements in Indian roads,

trials of these trucks show that the efficiency of its trucks has more than doubled on the interstate roads, with average speeds having increased from just 15km/hr to 39km/hr. Furthermore fuel consumption,

he said, had decreased by 16%. The removal of the

GST (Interstate tax) and interstate border controls in

2014/15, would increase transport efficiency further and justify use of higher horsepower modern trucks and tractors. Since July, 2012, Scania has been constructing a

truck manufacturing facility on a 14 hectare site in the Narasapura Industrial Area, near Bangalore (25km),

in southern central India. When in operation, the

new plant is to become a completely knocked-down

(CKD) assembly unit for truck and bus chassis for the Indian market, whilst being built to global standards

of the Scania Group. Building bodies for city buses

and coaches is also planned in this facility. The first

vehicles to be produced at the plant are scheduled

to begin in May.

Scania, back in July said it was committed to investing INR1.5bn (USD27bn) in establishing the facility and INR2.5bn (USD45m) in total over the next five years. Scania also expects to employ up to 800 people in this facility within the next five years. Scania expects around 2000 heavy haulage trucks and 1000 inter-city buses and coaches to be assembled from this plant within five years.

Research / Partnership

Tata Steel working with Newcastle University to develop low carbon lightweight components

Mumbai / UK - Tata Steel UK of London,

a subsidiary of the Tata Group, has, since

November 2012, been working with academics at Newcastle University through an official partnership agreement to develop a low-cost electric motor and transmission. The research and development partnership forms part of the group’s wider strategy to assist in maximising the efficiency of future low carbon vehicles and to yield a new generation of electrical and gear steels for traction motor and transmission systems. Jaap Piso, sales and marketing director – Automotive at Tata Steel, remarked: “We are committed to advancing low carbon vehicle technologies by identifying the optimal electrical and transmission steels required for lightweight, efficient gear-drives. Together with our partners at Newcastle University, we are set to develop a high quality, affordable technology that will suit volume production of low carbon vehicles.” The aim of the partnership (which has been on- going unofficially for some time) is for both electric motor and gearbox research design engineers at

Newcastle University to work with Tata Steel’s

materials experts to design a new electric motor and transmission system that is highly durable, reduced in size to current equivalent drives,

can be recycled easily and is cost effective. The combination of this expertise to date, says Tata Steel, has enabled the development of a high performance 130kW (174hp) drivetrain, delivering more than 3000Nm at the drive wheel, for a projected mass and volume very similar to that

of today’s leading 80kW designs, but, at much

lower cost. James Widmer, from Newcastle University’s Centre for Advanced Electrical Drives, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to look at the design of electric vehicle motors and gearboxes from the ground up. Working with Tata Steel has allowed us to propose the development of steels with new properties which allow us to develop a smaller, more efficient electric drivetrain.” Tata Steel’s collaboration with Newcastle University is one of a number of high technology partnerships established by the company to advance the development of technologies for low carbon vehicles. This follows on from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in


Ratan Tata retires and Mistry named successor

Mumbai – December 28, 2012 saw Cyrus P Mistry take over as chairman of the Board of Tata Motors Ltd of Mumbai on the retirement of Ratan Tata, as sanctioned by the Board of Directors of Tata Motors. The Board conferred on Ratan N Tata the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

Expansion / Investment

MANN+HUMMEL opens new filter plant in India

Bawal / Germany - To add to its overall engine filter capacity, Mann+Hummel GmbH of Ludwigsburg, Germany, has opened a new and second components plant in Bawal, near New Delhi to produce filter systems for the air and fluid management of engines. The new plant, which is mainly for passenger cars, LCVs and industrial applications, represents an investment of more than INR1bn (EUR14m). The Bawal plant is to cater to Mann+Hummel’s customers in the Northern, Western and Central part of India, which are currently serviced from the plant in Tumkur, near Bangalore, which was itself established in 2006.

Safety / Testing / Investment

ARAI invests in new seat head restraint test rig

Pune - A Head Restraint Performance Test Rig, designed in accordance to standards of the USA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 202a regulation and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) R17, IS 15546 regulatory and non-regulatory requirements, has been installed and commissioned at the Automotive Research association of India (ARAI) in Pune. Seats, seat belts, seat belt anchorages, and so on are safety critical items for the passenger in case of sudden acceleration / deceleration and accidents. ARAI stated that head restraints were integral and adjustable parts of automotive seats and their main purpose was to limit rearward displacement of an adult occupant’s head in relation to their torso in order to reduce danger of injury to the cervical vertebrae in the event of an accident and during rear impact crashes. The test rig consists of six long-stroke, servo-hydraulic actuators with standard SAE back / head forms and dedicated PC-based controller with a loading profile editor and post processing software for reports with graphs. Three independent loading stations to do test on all types of automotive front facing seats having single, two and three head restraints. It also has twelve depth of field movement (DOF) movement through servo-electric motors to position individual loading stations based on seat mounting. With this new rig, ARAI can carry out head rest performance test and seat back strength tests as per regulatory and non-regulatory requirements.

September 2012 between Tata Steel UK and car transmission engineering and research specialist, Drive System Design of Southam, Warwick, UK, to share knowledge and best practice in developing high strength, lightweight transmission steels.

Warwick, UK, to share knowledge and best practice in developing high strength, lightweight transmission steels. BRAKES


Warwick, UK, to share knowledge and best practice in developing high strength, lightweight transmission steels. BRAKES
Warwick, UK, to share knowledge and best practice in developing high strength, lightweight transmission steels. BRAKES

November 2012

Education / Training

VECV signs up two more institutions to aid industry skills and learning

Gurgaon - VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd (VECV), a 50-50 joint venture between the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Ltd, has signed up two more educational institutes to encourage greater collaboration between industry and academic institutes for the development of skills in the automotive sector. The two new educational institutes with whom VECV has established new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are SRM University in Chennai and Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalaya in Coimbatore. These new MOUs are part of VECV’s Industry-Academia Collaborative model, for which VECV has already established four centres with state of the art automobile labs at prominent institutes in India. With the two additional MOU’s, the total number of centres set up by VECV is to now total six in India. The first centre was set up at ITI Kubernagar in Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Government of Gujarat. The second was established at National Institute of Engineering in Mysore, while the third and fourth were established with the Rayat Bahra Education Group in Mohali, and the MCKV Institute of Engineering in Howrah, respectively. The fifth centre, to be set up in association with the SRM University in Chennai, is to offer ITI (industrial training institute) qualifications, diploma, degree, post graduate and doctoral programmes in automobile engineering once the centre is fully established. It is also planned that it will offer research and development facilities in due course to undertake research projects for and behalf Indian and global automotive industry. VECV says SRM University is one of the best universities in the country with excellent infrastructure facilities, well established laboratories and use of modern teaching techniques, as well as strongly established affiliations with many reputed overseas universities for exchange of knowledge and teaching

methodologies. SRM University has campuses in Chennai, Meerut and Trichy. The new automotive

centre is to be based on the Trichy Campus. The sixth centre at Ramakrishna Mission Vidhyalaya

in Coimbatore is among the oldest institutes in the

country and was founded in 1930. The foundation

stone of the institute was laid by the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. It offers vocational training and diploma courses. These training and education resource centres are urgently needed according to Vinod Aggarwal, CEO

of VECV. At the time of the announcement, Aggarwal

said: “The automotive industry is facing acute shortage of skilled man power with the automotive mission plan envisaging requirement of additional 25 million people by 2016. The Industry-Academia collaborative model has been established by VECV as a pioneering initiative in the CV sector to look into this critical gap. The setting up of automotive centres across the country would contribute to meet the growing needs of the Indian CV sector.” “The signing of MOU with two prestigious institutes

today is a small step in the right direction and we would continue to take such important steps in the future also”, he added. “The courses in these institutes will educate students on the latest automobile technology covering modern manufacturing techniques, supply chain management and customer service management. This will help students to be industry ready on completion of the course and be absorbed in organizations with minimum orientation and training. The automobile labs in these Institutes are equipped with modern training aids like dynamic cutaways, practice units, multi-media training aids and technical publications, which are both comprehensive and pictorial. They aid in teaching the students latest in automotive technology and scientific way of repair maintenance and overhauling


commercial vehicles.”


Ashok Leyland turnover up 12% for first half of year

Chennai - Ashok Leyland reported a 12 per cent rise in turnover in the first half of fiscal year 2012-13 (H1 FY13) to INR63.03bn (USD1.17bn), up from INR56.28bn (USD1.05bn). Strong sales and gains in market share within the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment corresponded to this increase in revenues, said the company, and this was despite a fall in total industry volume (TIV) by 13 per cent. The sales turnover was also bolstered by the continued successful run of Dost, which, Ashok Leyland claims, is now the number two brand in its 2–3.5t category with an all-India market share of close to 19 per cent. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), was up 2.5 per cent in H1 FY13 at INR6.12bn (USD114m) compared with INR5.97bn in the same period 2011/12, but higher interest and depreciation costs resulted in a slightly lower profit after tax of INR2.1bn as against INR2.4bn in the first half of the previous year. Commenting on the company’s performance at the fiscal half way mark, Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland, said: “To have gained market share in a falling market is indeed

reflective of a good sales performance. This can

be attributed to enhanced performance from our products, resulting in better profitability for our customers, robust network expansion program, and aggressive brand building efforts. Exports struggled with drop in our primary markets of SAARC but made up to a large extent with entry into many new markets across the world. Our LCV product, Dost, continued its strong run, becoming the number one brand in all the markets where it was launched. Engines and Spare Parts business enhanced their performance substantially.” Looking forward at the third quarter, Dasari remarked: “The market has been extremely volatile but we are hopeful that there would be new initiatives in the areas of infrastructure development, mining and construction that would improve the macro-economic outlook and buoy up sentiments. For Ashok Leyland, in particular, the coming few months are very critical as we have

a slew of new product launches on the anvil, and

need to continue the pace of brand and network building across the country, as well as push into new markets across the world.”

Truck & Bus Builder



Ashok Leyland offers twin-speed rear axle technology

Chennai - Just ahead of the market introduction of the 3718il truck model, Ashok Leyland launched two other MAV models onto the market: These were 25 and 31 tonne trucks in both, 6x2 and 8x2 configurations, and both was fitted with twin speed rear axles. The vehicles have Ashok Leyland’s own custom designed drivelines and the new Twin Speed Axle in conjunction with other modifications, Ashok Leyland claims, the trucks have the potential for enhanced fuel efficiency of up to 10 per cent. Ashok Leyland says that the twin speed rear axles are ideal for open highway conditions as the technology allows the driver to shift to fuel- economy mode, while cruising, just by pressing the ‘Twin-Speed’ button. Lower noise is another significant advantage of the twin-speed axle. The Twin-Speed technology is to be offered with a number of flagship models in the multi-axle range, such as the 2516IL, 2516XL, 3116IL and 3118IL, for applications such as cement, tankers and general cargo transport. These vehicles equipped with twin-speed axles are being launched across the country in a phased manner. Ashok Leyland plans to extend the twin-speed axle technology to other vehicles such as its 4x2 haulage trucks and bus range. Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland, remarked: “It is our constant endeavour to seek ways to improve our customers’ profitability and what better way than to reduce their burden on fuel cost. After all, fuel cost is the highest component in the cost of operating a vehicle. We are confident that our customers will find in this new technology an excellent value proposition.”


Tata Motors’ revenues leap 24%

Mumbai Tata Motors Ltd reported consolidated (overseas subsidiary interests included) revenues (net of excise) for the half year ended September 30, 2012 (H1 FY2013) of INR867.26bn, an increase of 24.8 per cent over INR694.86bn for the corresponding period in the previous fiscal year. Consolidated profit before tax for the half year totalled INR62.71bn compared with INR46.16bn, whilst net profit totalled INR43.2bn, a growth of 11.4 per cent over INR38.77bn, recorded in the previous half year. During the 2012/13 half year period, the company reported domestic sales of 251,063 units, a three per cent gain on 243,312 units reported in the same half year of the previous period. Production was also marginally higher for the period at 279,882 compared with 278,520 units. Exports of Tata trucks and buses for the 2012/13 half year period, reached 27,863 compared with


Commenting on the market, Tata Motors said:

‘Weak macro-economic outlook and sluggish industrial demand coupled with diesel price increases have impacted M&HCV sales. Further, competitive pressures on pricing in certain segments and weak product mix, impacted the operating margins.’

and weak product mix, impacted the operating margins.’ A market leader in products that provide superior

A market leader in products that provide superior performance, efficiency and reliability.




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Bus production at Ashok Leyland JV in UAE hits 150 units a month

Chennai / UAE - Ashok Leyland (UAE) Ltd (AL UAE), a joint venture between Ashok Leyland of Chennai, India, and the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, two years on from its formation is producing around 150 buses a month, based on an output of approximately six a day, said K M Mandanna, vice president, manufacturing at Ashok Leyland UAE. It builds front engine standard floor buses from completely knock-down (CKD) kits from India meeting Euro III emission standards using Ashok Leyland’s J-Series engines. The vehicles range in length from 8m to 11m and are marketed for sale in the six, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of Bahrain, Kuwait Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to Mandanna, the six gulf countries represent a market of around 5,000 buses a year.

Mandanna claims that AL-UAE is the only supplier of pre-approved school buses in the region and now that legislation requires that school buses must have air conditioning, the number of buses that AL-UAE fitted with air conditioning in the region has mushroomed from around 30 per cent to around 70 per cent. Up to now its focus has been on the left hand drive markets of GCC countries, but plans, he said, were being drawn up to expand its market to exporting to North African countries sometime in the future. Production of the Czech-based Ashok Leyland Avia trucks had also just begun, said Mandanna. He said that it was building up truck capacity at the 20,000 sq m plant (site 100,000 sq m), which has a capacity currently to build some 2,000 buses and trucks.

Product / Market

Ashok Leyland’s new five-axle 10x2 37t rigid hits the market

Chennai - Ashok Leyland has begun the commercial launch of its new five-axle 10x2 37t gross rigid truck with payload capacity of up to 25 tonne on the Indian market, matching other native manufacturers (Tata Motors and AMW) offering such models, in order to meet demand that is fast emerging for heavier-duty, higher payload rigid, multi-axle trucks for cement, coal and steel markets across India. The 3718il has five axles made up of two steerable front axles, two rear-dual wheel axles and a self- steerable pusher lift axle, in front of the two rear axles in the middle of the chassis. The lift axle gives the vehicle, says Ashok Leyland, better balance, greater efficiency and ability to carry more load. It also lifts automatically when the vehicle is running empty to save fuel and tyre wear. The 3718il is powered using an H-series 180hp engine with in-line fuel injection pump, matched with a nine-speed gearbox. The chassis frames have deep sections to ensure a higher load carrying capacity, states Ashok Leyland; while a loading span of 29.5ft enables it to take loads of almost any density or dimension. The 10x2 configuration, also gives superior manoeuvrability compared with articulated trucks, Ashok Leyland adds. Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland, at the launch, said: “The 3718il has been designed and engineered carefully to meet a specific customer requirement for higher capacity rigid trucks that can carry more loads translating

into better operational economics. With the rated payload regime gaining significant ground because of stricter implementation and the quantum of loads increasing, our 3718il is just the vehicle with enhanced load carrying capacity more economically to enhance our customers’ profitability. Our 3718il has been strategically positioned as a segment splitter: it will be attractive for the hitherto 31-tonne truck customers owing to its fuel efficiency and extra load carrying capacity, while the tractor trailer customers will find it attractive because of better manoeuvrability, lower operating and maintenance costs.” Ashok Leyland adds that with more than 430 full service centres, positioned at every 75kms on all major highways across the country, it is able to offer its TatkaAL promise, that ensures service within four hours on any major highway and restoration of the vehicle within 48 hours. In the instance of a delay, the company, says it promises to pay a penalty of INR1,000 (USD18.5) a day to the customer. It is also offering a full range of services such as annual maintenance contracts and two and three years’ extended warranties on its range of MAVs. Ashok Leyland is continuing to invest heavily in new service centres to expand its network presence and only last month, it opened three new dealer outlets today at Rajkot, Jamnagar and Morbi. This takes the number of full service outlets to 29 in Gujarat including 13 Authorized Service Centres (ASCs).


New breakdown service aids Tata’s competitiveness


Mumbai Tata Motors Ltd of Mumbai has invested in a new 24hr highway breakdown assistance programme for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, called Tata Alert. Tata Alert is an assistance programme, which is to be available on all national highways in India, to provide drivers with on-site breakdown assistance within four hours of dialling a toll-free helpline

number. Furthermore, Tata Motors says that the

helpline number. Furthermore, Tata Motors says that the 24x7 Tata Alert service will ensure that a

24x7 Tata Alert service will ensure that a vehicle is back on the road within 48 hours from the time restoration work begins. In case of major repairs and the vehicle carrying perishable goods, Tata Alert is to provide load transfer assistance. One could argue that this service is in response to increasing competition from manufacturers of western Europe, where aftersales services of this kind have been standard for many years.


November 2012

Education / Partnership

Tata Motors’ partnership with Britain’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers making progress

Mumbai / UK – This month will see the partnership between Tata Motors Ltd and Britain’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers of London, UK, reach a six month stage.

The partnership was formed to encourage and develop the professional registration of engineers in India, through structured training and skills development. This association is focused also on providing opportunities for engineers based

in India, to achieve an internationally recognised

standard of excellence. Dr Tim Leverton, head of Advanced and Product

Engineering at Tata Motors, speaking at the time

of the announcement in August, said: “We are

delighted that the professional development

of Tata Motors Engineers can now be formally

accredited under the worldwide recognised framework, offered by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Tata Motors and the Institution will also work together to build networks in industry and academia that can contribute to raising the standard of engineering across the subcontinent.” More specifically, Tata Motors and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers plan to encourage the professional registration of engineers, in accordance with Engineering Council requirements; the institution will help to train and support Tata Motors’ engineers, while Tata Motors will encourage its engineers to undertake programmes

of Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

The Institution is to conduct regular workshops and sessions for Tata Motors’ engineers on Professional Registration, Academic Assessment, Assessment of Competence and Initial Professional Development (IPD) and Professional Review. The Institution is to also support the company to ensure compliance with UK-SPEC for engineers working towards chartered, incorporated or technician status.


Scania launches new mining truck for India at IMME conference in Kolkata

Bangalore / Sweden – December saw

Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd

of Bangalore, and its service partner, Larsen &

Toubro, extend its range of mining trucks in India with the launch the new P 410 truck at this year’s IMME conference in Kolkata. The P410 has a new frontal styling encompassing

a one-piece solid steel bumper that protrudes 130mm to give greater protection to the cab and driveline, which, said Scania, was an additional 80mm compared with the previous protruding bumper. Furthermore, integrated in the bumper

is a strong tow pin with a capacity of 35 tonnes,

allowing the vehicle to be towed out of trouble without the need to unload in most situations. The new 410hp engine is more robust, said Scania, and that it has been optimized for low engine revs and thereby improved fuel efficiency. This is matched with Scania’s Opticruise automated nine speed transmission with off-road mode.

improved fuel efficiency. This is matched with Scania’s Opticruise automated nine speed transmission with off-road mode.
improved fuel efficiency. This is matched with Scania’s Opticruise automated nine speed transmission with off-road mode.

November 2012


Truck & Bus Builder


ACGL’s business turn-around delivering strong profits

Sattari – Three years ago, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2010 (FY10), bus body and specialist vehicle maker, Automobile Corporation of Goa Ltd (AGCL) of Sattari, made a loss of INR20m on a turnover of INR2.38bn, but in just ten months of tenure, the then new managing director, Mr V Krishnamurthi said, in an interview with Truck & Bus Builder at Busworld India in Mumbai last month, he had turned the loss making operation around and that it was continuing to improve in all aspects of the business. Turnover mushroomed to INR3.71bn a year later (FY11), and the company returned to deliver a profit before tax of INR400m. In FY12 turnover shrank but remained substantial at INR3.33bn and profits were proportionally as high as the previous year, delivering a profit before tax of INR370m. This year (FY13) vehicle volumes would be down but profitability would be up, stated Krishnamurthi. A key action to this change in profitability was to hold no chassis in stock and thereby reduce the cost of chassis storage; when Krishnamurthi arrived the company had 700 chassis in stock ready for bodying and so subsequently, he moved to a just-in-time operation. This involved the development of a body design and manufacturing operation that would permit the body to be built ahead of the incoming chassis, so when the chassis arrived, the body could be mounted on the chassis immediately. He said that by using this system, it was offering a unique service to its customers by reducing average bodying time from several weeks to just nine days and in some cases just nine hours! ACGL said its cash flow had been further improved by requiring operators to pay the cost of 50 percent of the body up front with the remainder being paid just prior to delivery.

Another change saw ACGL in FY10 ramp up production of its own buses built on all makes of chassis for sale by ACGL domestically. Until FY08, ACGL had almost exclusively mounted bodies solely on Tata Motors chassis built for the export market only. At that time it had a 30,000 plant capacity

based on two plants and two shifts. In 2010, the two plants were split in terms of function; one plant would build bodies on Tata chassis for Tata Motors’ export markets and the other would build on all chassis makes (including Tata Motors) for domestic operations. The ramp up of its own buses in 2010 saw numbers grow from 32 and 49 in FY08 and FY09, respectively, to 400 buses built on chassis supplied by other manufacturers

for sale directly to the domestic market by ACGL. This

growth continued – see table below - and this year (FY13), Krishnamurthi expects ACGL to build around 4,000 units, some 1,700 buses on all-make chassis for sale by ACGL to the Indian State Transportation Undertakings and 2,300 for export by Tata Motors. Krishnamurthi pointed out that whilst the number of total vehicles built over the last five years had not risen significantly, the profitability had and that cash reserves had increased in the past three years by 33 per cent from INR1.223bn (FY10) to INR1.628bn. Performance

figures and ratios of the past three years have also been improved massively. ACGL has produced a booklet of these measures: For instance, average labour per bus has fallen from 27.3 at its peak in August 2009 to just two as at December 2012; the proportion of material costs to turnover have been lowered by 11% since March 2010, fuel cost per bus have been lowered in just eight months by 75% (diesel: INR2655/bus in April 2012 to INR588/bus), inventory costs per bus has fallen by 26% since March 2011. Krishnamurthi said that ACGL’s capacity was much greater than its current production and was open to the prospect of cooperation with other commercial vehicle builders in terms of building vehicles under contract or as a joint venture. As well as a full range of buses and coaches, it manufactures stampings such as radiator brackets, window frames and locking systems, oil pans, cylinder block plate stiffeners for the local market (eg Cummins India) and for export (Navistar USA and Cummins USA). ACGL is a publically owned company in which Tata Motors holds the largest minority interest of 43 per cent - the remaining shares (57 per cent) are held by private and public investors.

ACGL – Financial and performance figures for FY 07 - 08 to 11 - 12


FY ‘08

FY ‘09

FY ‘10



Turnover (INR in Cr)*






Profit before tax






Total Units built






Bodies - Tata export






ACGL buses






Source: ACGL


Tata Ace sales pass swiftly through one million

Mumbai - Tata Motors Ltd of Mumbai, the company that recognised a market need for the one tonne capacity truck, has seen sales of its bespoke product, the Tata Ace, topple one million in just over seven years. The Tata Ace came to market in May 2005 as India’s first mini-truck, and this was followed by the Tata Magic, a passenger transport vehicle or minibus, introduced in June 2007. Together the


Bhutan, Congo, Djibouti, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe but also Bangladesh, Italy, Nepal, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. There are currently ten variants based on the Tata Ace platform: Under the Tata Ace itself are the Ace HT, the Ace EX (with stop-start technology), the Ace CNG, the Super Ace (1 tonne) and the Ace

two products crossed the one-million sales mark in August 2012. Tata Motors says that every fourth commercial vehicle sold in India in this

Zip. The Ace Zip is the latest model in the portfolio, introduced in 2012; it is a micro-truck with a payload of 600kg for door-to-door goods deliveries.

segment today is a Tata Ace (2011-12 industry


broad range of applications arrange the ACE

sales: 892,349) or a Tata Magic (2011-12 sales:

platform such as are tankers, tippers, cargo vans, mobile retail vans, cafe-on-wheels, high-lift cherry

It is worth pointing out that Tata Motors, through

Tata Motors says that at least 60 per cent of Tata Ace / Tata Magic owners are semi-educated youth first-time users that have launched goods or passenger transport operations with their vehicles. Today 1,346 showrooms sell the two vehicles, and some 50 per cent of the Tata Ace / Tata Magic sales come from semi-urban and rural India, where

pickers, mobile hoardings, high security cash vans and taxi and school applications. Tata Magic portfolio includes the Magic HT, the Magic CNG and the Magic Iris. The Magic Iris was launched in 2012 as a 3-4 seat four-wheel passenger carrier.

the company is establishing dedicated sales and


Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, is competing

marketing network.

increasingly in the aftermarket and service segment.

Production capacity of the Tata Ace has grown


of mid-2012 it introduced an extended warranty

commensurately. Production started in Pune in


12 months or 36,000kms, over and above the

2004-05 when a capacity of just 30,000 units per year was planned. The dedicated plant in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) today has a capacity of 500,000 units per year. Exports started in 2006, and now both the Tata Ace and the Tata Magic is available in 24 countries, primarily African countries such as Angola,

existing warranty, for a nominal fee on its Tata Ace and Tata Magic models. It has introduced also an electronic-workshop manual to enable technicians and channel partners to access latest information on the different products in 3D format. It has launched also the Dynamic Order Pad to improve the accuracy of spare parts ordering.

Milestones in development of Tata Ace


Tata Ace truck milestones


• Tata Ace, India’s first mini-truck, launched

• Production started in Pune


Launch of Tata Ace HT

• Tata Ace in Sri Lanka

• Tata Ace received the BBC-Top Gear’ Design of the Year 2006 award


• Roll out of 100,000th Tata Ace

• Tata Ace in Nepal

• Launch of Tata Magic, for passenger transportation


• Dedicated plant at Pantnagar (Uttara- khand) commenced production.

• Launch of Tata Ace CNG


• Introduction of the Tata Super Ace and Tata Ace EX


• Tata Ace became India’s first 1-lakh-per- year brand in goods CVs

• Tata Ace family sales crossed 5,00,000 mark


Launch of Tata Magic IRIS, mini-passen- ger carrier and Tata Ace Zip, a 600 kg micro truck.


• Dharwad plant commenced production of Tata Magic IRIS and Tata Ace Zip

• Tata Ace family celebrated 1 million sales in just 7 years, from launch

Source: Tata Motor

1 million sales in just 7 years, from launch Source: Tata Motor Driven by more than

Driven by more than 100 years of forward thinking.



Truck & Bus Builder

Product / Manufacture / Expansion

New Scania coach range for India marks milestone in company’s coach manufacturing history

Bangalore / Mumbai / Sweden – Scania Metrolink, the name of a new coach for luxury intercity or charter travel, designed and built specifically for the Indian market, saw its world premiere at Busworld India in Mumbai this month (February 1-3) by Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd of Bangalore, India. Perhaps of greater significance is that Scania Metrolink will be the first Scania coach not only to be designed by Scania but also built 100 per cent by Scania, stated Henrik Fagrenius, the outgoing managing director of Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt Ltd at the vehicle’s launch at Busworld India; he added that from early next year the coaches would be built locally (chassis 20% and body 100%) for the Indian market and this would represent a significant milestone in the company’s coach building history. Three Scania Metrolink coach models were launched at the show: Two were on display - a 12m

semi-sleeper seats (or 57 without calf support). It has the Scania 13-litre 410hp Euro 3 engine, Scania Opticruise 8-speed automated gear changing and again, a third axle that is hydraulically steered. The vehicle is 2.6 m wide, 3.7 m high and fitted with a 465-litre fuel tank. Fagrenius, who has been integral in the initial development and establishment of Scania’s on- road commercial vehicles business in India for the past three years, said Scania was really committed to India. Just over three years ago Fagrenius was charged with assessing the potential for Scania in India and for carrying out a study / appraisal of India for the Scania main board of directors. Early on, Fagrenius said, he concluded that there was most definitely more potential in India for Scania, and made recommendations to the board about developing a Scania operation in the on-highway truck and bus sector. At the show he said Scania was investing INR2.5bn

and 14.5m variant (both built by body builder partner

(USD48.5m) in the production, service and support


Malaysia), and all three are based on a system

of on-road trucks and buses at a new facility that is


chassis modules in two or three-axle form and

being constructed in an industrial area, 40km east of

with modular bodywork. The coaches have been designed specifically for the premium commuter segment and to be sufficiently durable and robust

Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka state in southern India. The industrial operations are to consist of final assembly of trucks with bodywork and building of

to meet the demanding conditions of India’s road network. Initially, for the first year, until the factory in India is fully operational, the chassis will be shipped from Sodertalje, Sweden and the bodies supplied as kits by its Malaysian partner; thereafter it is Scania’s intention to source body and chassis components locally as much possible. The three specifications are as follows:

complete coaches with bodywork. The head office of Scania’s Indian company, complete with a service workshop and a central parts warehouse, are to be housed at this facility. Production of trucks is expected to start in May this year, said Anders Grundstromer, the newly appointed managing director of Scania Commercial Vehicles India who took over from Fagrenius as of February

Scania Metrolink HD 45-seater - This is a 12-metre 4x2 model with 45 seats, a Scania 9-litre 310hp Euro

1, 2013. (Fagrenius is moving to take up a new role in the company as executive regional director for the


electronically controlled engine, matched Scania

Southern African, Asia and Oceania region).

Opticruise 8-speed transmission which automated gear changing. The vehicle is 2.6m wide, 3.7m high and fitted with a 465-litre fuel tank. Scania Metrolink HD 49-seater – This is a 13.7-metre 6x2* 4 model with 49 semi-sleeper seats

Coach chassis and body production was expected to start on a trial basis from September, stated Grundstromer, with series production of Scania Metrolink complete coaches expected in early 2014. On-road trials of all three models would start now,

(or 53 without calf support). It has a Scania 13-litre 360hp Euro III engine, Scania Opticruise 8-speed transmission with automated gear changing and

he stated, with the aim of completing whole vehicle type approval or homologation certification approval in April or May this year.


third axle that is hydraulically steered for easy

Scania’s ambition is to sell about 2,000 trucks

manoeuvring. The vehicle is 2.6m wide, 3.7m high and is fitted with a 465-litre fuel tank. Scania Metrolink HD 53-seater - This is a 14.5-metre high-capacity 6x2* 4 model featuring 53

and 1,000 coaches per year in the Indian market within the next five years. Grundstromer added that the premium coach segment in India had grown to around 1,000 units a year during the last decade,

November 2012

but, with the golden quadrangle now built, roads north to south and east to west between the cities

finished and other significant road projects completed

or underway, he suggested that the market segment

could grow significantly. As the opportunity for more intercity coaches grows because of improved and increased road networks between cities, this growth, he said, could reach some 4,000 to 5,000 units a year within the next five years.

It is worth pointing out that Scania supplied some 6,350 coach and bus chassis to body builders worldwide. Around one thousand, of which were complete Scania vehicles; such as its citywide bus

range built in Slupsk, Poland or the Higer Touring, but built to Scania standards by Higer in Suzhou, China, said Grundstromer. Scania is also looking

at the market for high-end low floor city buses

but the timescale for this is not certain – its focus, initially, will be fully on the intercity and travel tourism sectors. Should Scania’s sales rise to 1,000 buses and coaches in five years effectively, India may in future account for a significant percentage Scania’s global sales. Asked about the opportunities in India for alternative fuels, Krister Thulin, said that Scania believes that the future is bio-fuels – ethanol in the commuter / intercity coach sector and biogas or biodiesel in city bus applications. There is an abundance of waste

in Indian cities that could be used as a source of

biogas for city buses, said Thulin. Scania said it has been represented in the Indian market since 2007, when a partnership was initiated with Larsen & Toubro (L&T). L&T has successfully established Scania’s trucks and services and has developed a close partnership with customers in the mining industry. L&T currently operates about ten Scania service workshops at various mining sites in

the country. In addition to this L&T has been working with Scania in research and development of the new trucks and coaches. However, L&T remains involved

in supporting Scania for the mining trucks only and

will not be involved directly in the on-highway CV business, said Grundstromer; production and sales

is to be the responsibility of Scania – the aftermarket

support is to be managed via a network of partner service agents thorough out the country. It was in 2011, Scania established the company

Scania Commercial Vehicles India in order to boost


presence through sales of commercial vehicles


additional segments of the Indian commercial

vehicle market. Two months ago Scania launched

a new range of on-road haulage truck models

specially adapted for the Indian market - the R 500 6x4, the G 460 6x4, the P 410 6x2 and the P 360 4x2 – see article in this issue on page 2. This was followed by its P410 8x4 mining tipper, which was launched in December 2012.

Investment / Production

Thermo King to move bus and train climate control business to Chennai


Chennai – To take advantage of more space and one dedicated to air conditioning systems, Thermo King India of Gurgoan, New Delhi, will move its bus and train climate control business from a dedicated air compressor factory in Ahmadabad to a new plant in Chennai during May / June this year. Announcing this at Busworld India in Mumbai this month, representatives of the company said that with the introduction at the show of its XRT- 900 Advantech bus air conditioning unit – its most lightweight and fuel efficient yet – Thermo King is

capable of offering controllable air conditioning

King is capable of offering controllable air conditioning systems in India for all bus and coach

systems in India for all bus and coach applications. Its XRT-Series models are modular one-piece units, are lightweight with brazed aluminium micro channel condensor coils and are managed for fuel efficiency by Thermo King’s own CANAIRE microprocessor controller. It is worth pointing out that whilst the air conditioning market has not taken off in bus and coach as was expected (the market is only at around 3,500 to 4,000 units), it is now expected to get a real boost when the JNNURM programme second phase is introduced as it is likely that all buses (estimated at 30,000) will be required to have air conditioning systems.


Investment / Expansion

Isuzu starts LCV operations

Chennai / Japan - Isuzu Motors Ltd of Tokyo,

Japan, through its new, wholly-owned subsidiary

in India, has started production and sale of light

commercial vehicles in the country. The new company, which is called Isuzu Motors India Private Ltd and based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, is now in operation. It is understood it began

importing both knocked-down kits and fully built- up N Series light duty truck from its production facility in Thailand from December 2012.

Its sales target is to sell 1,500 trucks in 2013. Longer term plans are to build its annual sales up to some 100,000 units, once a full-scale manufacturing operation is established along with

a local network of component suppliers.

100,000 units, once a full-scale manufacturing operation is established along with a local network of component

November 2012

Truck & Bus Builder


Expansion / Investment

Corona Bus expanding factory in Pune to meet rise in demand for monocoque bus range

Haveli - Claiming to be the only integral bus builder in India, Corona Bus Manufacturing Pvt Ltd is expanding its manufacturing facility in Haveli, Pune by adding an additional 50,000 sq ft of production space to the current 20,000 sq ft of factory. Rohit Krishna Parigi, vice president of Corona Bus said that it had recently been accepted as a manufacturer of buses meeting the requirements of the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) programme and that it had received subsequently a number of major orders for its current bus range. This included 50, 12m buses for Indore, the largest city in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, and one hundred 12m mid-height floor city buses and one 18m articulated bus for Ahmedabad. The latter is believed to be one of the first articulated buses in the city - the articulation is being provided by global specialist, Hubner. Delivery of both contracts is to begin later this year. Parigi said its monocoque design was one tonne lighter than any other bus available today in India. It has been adapted to the Indian road conditions over the past ten years. It offers the widest of gangways at the front of the bus, the floor is one continuous piece with a slight slope to the rear – which is better than a step floor as this severely restricts the head height of the passengers, said Parigi. Corona Bus displayed its 900mm floor height city bus at the show, which, Parigi explained was also available in floor heights of 740mm and soon, 650mm. He pointed out that all three versions were and would be fitted with driveline components made up from a combination of well-known suppliers such as Cummins with a Bharat Stage III 245hp diesel engine (Euro IV if required), Allison six-speed automatic gearbox (T280R), ZF steering, Voith retarder and Meritor drive axle and independent front

suspension, fitted with air suspension front and rear. Corona Bus was set up some 10 years ago by the directors of Sai Service, a franchisee distributor of Mauruti-Suzuki cars, which held the vision that people would eventually move from cars to buses as volume of traffic and congestion became increasingly worse. The company started building a monocoque space-frame design of city bus with technology gained through a license agreement with Neoplan some ten years ago. Parigi said the current 12m city bus range have been

developed and tested over the past five to seven years, with some achieving more than one million kilometres

in operation during that period. Parigi added that that

it was currently developing a midi-bus (9m) version for

the feeder services to the Metro, although it was yet to produce a prototype. Parigi also announced it was developing a low floor monocoque city bus for possible introduction in a year. The increase in orders has given the company

a platform to invest in expanding its capacity and product range and operate independently and without the financial dependency on the distributorship. It now plans to increase its output significantly beyond the 20

or so units it previously built each year - this includes

a sleeper coach which it has been selling during the

last five years. Parigi added that Corona Bus was interested in

finding a foreign partner for investment and technology to take the company forward. He added that he saw strong opportunity for Corona Bus, now it was accepted as a contractor to JNNURN. The the last JNNURM programme involved 16 cities and some 18,000 buses, said Parigi, and this was expected to rise under the second phase of the programme

to 60 and some 30,000 buses; but when such an

investment occurs was dependent on the political elections in 2014.

New Company / Product

MG Group sets up automotive electronic components division

Zahirabad / Bangalore – The MG Group of Zahirabad, a new holding company for bus body builder, MG Automotive Ltd, has established a new subsidiary company, called MG Grey Engine LLP, which is based in Bangalore. This new subsidiary of the MG Group is focused on developing and manufacturing electronic components for the automotive industry. At Busworld India in Mumbai last month, MG Grey Engine launched a number of new products developed specifically for bus and coach sector. These were exhibited in a live display inside a city bus body built by fellow subsidiary, MG Automotive Ltd. The mission of the new company is to produce innovative and cost-effective products to meet the needs of the inconvenient automobile market. The products on display could be divided into five

areas of expertise: automotive infotainment, in- bus networking, automotive lighting, automotive navigation and intelligent transport system integration. Products include LED destination boards, a range of touch sensitive dashboard switches or panels, GPS data recording and surveillance system, touch control interior lighting systems, in- vehicle power inverters and electronic control units for door locking, operating the rear view mirror and GPS navigation system, as well as controls for the tail lamp clusters, headlights, wipers and instrument clusters. Sanath Reddy, of the design and development centre at MG Grey Engine in Bangalore advised Truck & Bus Builder at the show that the products were being launched at Busworld India with start of production scheduled for February/March this year.


Gibraltar sets up second facility in Kolkata

Kolkata - Gibraltar Airsprings Pvt Ltd of Kolkata is building a second facility in Kolkata in order to increase production 12-fold from 10,000

currently to a capacity of 120,000 air springs. Trial production has started this month and full

production is expected from April. The new facility

is equipped with fatigue testing, static test and

dynamic test facilities, which allows Gibraltar to

undertake all its own research and testing in house. Following a 15 year collaboration with Firestone established in 1992, it branched out in 2007 under

its own brand name of Gibraltar.


ACGL enters sleeper coach market

Sattari - Automobile Corporation of Goa Limited (ACGL) of Sattari, Goa, used Busworld India, which took place this month in Mumbai, to announce its entry into the sleeper coach market of India with a 12m long vehicle for up to thirty passengers. Suggesting that the interior of the coach could be adapted / designed to any configuration or requirement of the operator, the configuration of the show vehicle had 30 berths. The berth configuration was on two levels and split 1+ 1 on the driver’s side and fitted with a double mattress, and one berth on the passenger side, divided by the offset corridor. Each birth had a separate reading light, overhead air conditioning outlet with control nozzle, spectacle holder and mobile phone holder. The mattresses were all hard high-quality, designed to last many years and matched with memory pillows again of the highest quality. There were four mobile phone charging points at the front of the coach, although this number could be increased as an option. Safety features included a number of internal cameras, rear view camera for the driver, and separate emergency door for passengers as per regulatory norms. The drivers’ area includes two narrow bunks and co-driver foldable seat. V. Krishnamurthi, managing director of ACGL, said that the body could be adapted to fit on any make of chassis, and that, he claimed, AGCL was the only supplier of a complete sleeper coach. The market, he said for sector, was approximately 10 per cent of the total coach market in India, suggesting that in volume terms this amounted to 3000 units per annum


Spheros Motherson launches CityVent

Noida - Spheros Motherson Thermal System Limited of Noida, a joint venture company since 2006, owned by Spheros Europa GmbH of Neubrandenburg, Germany and the Sumi Motherson Group of Noida, used Busworld India in Mumbai this month to introduce a new ventilation unit specially designed for city buses, called CityVent. The concept, which was developed originally in Brazil as a low cost solution for the city bus market to provide ventilation for city bus operations in Brazil and other Latin American countries, has now been introduced to the Indian market. Christian Müller, managing director of Spheros India, explained at Busworld India in Mumbai last month, that through the use of specially-designed radial blowers a high air flow volume of 2,000 cubic metres per hour (m³/h) can be achieved. The unit, which operates with 100 per cent fresh air, subsequently produces a pleasant and uniform air circulation in the passenger compartment, even in stationary operation, stated Müller. Heat build- up in parked vehicles can be avoided without major energy consumption, he added. The design, Müller pointed out, also includes a highly efficient rainwater separator, which enables the CityVent to operate even in torrential rain. Another advantage is that it is quick to install and requires no maintenance.

even in torrential rain. Another advantage is that it is quick to install and requires no


even in torrential rain. Another advantage is that it is quick to install and requires no







• Proven fuel efficiency. Faster turnaround time.

• Advanced traction-on-demand. For all types of terrain.

• Resistant to bad weather conditions.

• For 4x2 dump application and 6x2 and 8x2 haulage vehicles.

MHVSIL is a joint venture between Meritor Heavy Vehicle Systems LLC, U.S.A and Kalyani Group, India. MHVSIL products are manufactured by Automotive Axles Limited, Mysore. For more information, visit


products are manufactured by Automotive Axles Limited, Mysore. For more information, visit ©2012 MERITOR, INC.