Automotive Electronics: Is India a Sleeping Giant?
Automotive Electronics: Is India a Sleeping Giant?

Dec 01, 2017

Syrma’s CEO, Sreeram Srinivasan, was invited to deliver the welcome address at the Confederation of India Industry (CII) 3rd Edition Conference on Automotive Electronics held on December 7th.  Attended by notable leaders of the Indian electronics community, this one-day forum spotlighted the nation’s expanding role among global automotive industries. Srinivasan noted the automotive sector’s substantial role within what’s already been termed the 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, the game-changing impact of smart technology upon next-generation products and manufacturing. [1]

He cited the words of General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who predicts the next 5-10 years will bring more change to the auto industry than it’s seen over the previous 50, with advanced electronics driving the transformation. Anyone who’s done any recent car shopping knows where technology is delivering quantum-leap innovations. The newest models of smart vehicles are literally computers on wheels, packed with modern advances, from on-board diagnostics to safety features such as adaptive cruise control and automated parking assistance.

Additional features include ambient lighting, built-in Wi-Fi, touchscreens, and voice controls. Electronics represented less than 5% of a new car’s value in 1980; it’s expected to exceed 35%, over a third, by 2020. This increase translates into a projected 50% rise in profits for global automotive OEMs over the same timeframe. [2]

India, The Detroit of Asia

India plays a leading role in the automotive sector in Asia, with a major concentration of name-brand OEMs in the Tamil Nadu automotive corridor, producing tires, parts, and finished vehicles. Yet, Srinivasan pointed out a troubling paradox, as electronics become increasingly important in automobiles, an estimated 65-70% of electronic materials and subcomponents are currently imported into India from China and Taiwan. Most of these parts arrive in CKD (completely knocked down) form, imported materials to be assembled into finished units in India.

This reliance on imports is attributed to a perceived lack of infrastructure for automotive parts, development, and manufacture within India itself. The Government of India is trying to correct these parts/manufacturing imbalances through its ambitious Automobile Mission Plan, 2016-2026, released in conjunction with the broader Make in India initiative. Objectives of AMP 2016 over the next decade include: [3]

  • Solidify India manufacturers’ foothold in the top third of vehicle and parts production.
  • Raise output of the automotive sector from 7.1% of India’s GDP in 2016 to a target of 12% by 2026.
  • Generate 65M new jobs.
  • Develop affordable, eco-friendly vehicles, as well as public transportation options.
  • Export as much as 45% of manufactured vehicles and parts.
  • Establishing India as a major export hub of the world’s automotive industries.

As automotive electronics have long been among our prime market focuses, we’re particularly excited at the government’s expanded efforts to catapult India to the forefront of this vital worldwide industry. We look forward to leveraging our world-class engineering and manufacturing resources to meet the expanded demand for automotive OEMs through the next decade and beyond.

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets. We look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home Indian market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs in entering the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport. Additional road and rail connectivity links to the rest of India and beyond and infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force flexibility, both technical and manual, to scale to demand rapidly.

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