Though the penetration of Chinese companies in the car, SUV and two-wheeler space may be low the bus segment has been witness to unprecedented levels of involvement.
Indian companies such as Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are facing the toughest competition from Chinese companies or China-backed India companies in the bus segment. More on this later in the copy but here is what made headlines in the automotive space this week.
Bajaj goes past Hero in revenues
Bajaj Auto clocked revenues of nearly Rs 30,000 crore during FY20 to become the highest income generator in the two- and three-wheeler categories sailing past Hero MotoCorp.
Bajaj’s fall of 1.4 percent in the revenue from operations to Rs 29,919 crore during FY20, as compared to FY19, was lower than Hero’s which reported a drop of 14 percent in revenue from operations to Rs 28,836 crore in FY20 compared to FY19.
Tata Motors stops sharing wholesale numbers
Vehicle sales data should be based on registration and not on those bought by dealers, the country’s fourth largest carmaker Tata Motors has maintained despite concerns by proxy advisory firms that this could possibly lead to insider trading.
The Mumbai-based manufacturer of cars, trucks and buses has declined to share vehicle sales information for every month unlike many of its peers who do so on the very first day of every month. While April was a washout month with zero sales Tata Motors did not share sales data for May.
Maruti Swift completes 15 years
Launched in 2005, Swift heralded the start of the premium hatchback segment in India and has created a glorious legacy, MSI said in a statement.
Tata Motors to abort projects to save costs
Weighed down by the massive loss at home, Tata Motors has decided to abort projects midway which it thinks could become a drag due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The Mumbai-based company is looking at savings of Rs 6,000 crore in the standalone entity which looks after the truck, bus, car and SUV business, along with some international businesses.
A scooter that runs at 15 paise per km
With fuel prices hitting new highs, Greaves Cotton-promoted Ampere Vehicles has launched an electric scooter Magnus Pro at Rs 73,990 (ex-showroom) that will run at 15 paise per km.
The scooter will be available across 200 dedicated showrooms of Ampere across 200 cities and towns starting with Bengaluru. The scooter can run for a maximum of 100 kms in the eco mode and 80 kms in the cruise mode at a maximum speed of 55 km per hour.
Chinese bus makers gained a foothold in India
Last year Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland, India’s third largest commercial vehicle maker lost an order for supply of electric buses worth Rs 48 crore to an Indo-Chinese joint venture company.
BYD in partnership with Goldstone Infratech (since renamed Olectra Greentech) bagged the order for supplying 25 electric buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and six other buses to Mumbai’s Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). Six of the seven companies who had shown interest in the HRTC order for the bus supply along with chargers and annual maintenance contract were Indian companies.
The then managing director of Ashok Leyland Vinod Dasari (now CEO of Royal Enfield) said in an interview to Moneycontrol that prices quoted by Chinese bus makers were half compared to Indian rivals.
BYD has become one of the top three names in the electric bus segment in India which also features Tata Motors. The Tata Group company was one of the earliest among India companies to start work on battery electric buses.
But due to absence of a battery cell producing facility in India companies are forced to import them from China. China had a near monopoly in large scale battery manufacturing for electric vehicles. More than 90 percent of all electric buses made in the world come from China.
“It is impossible for Indian companies to match the prices we provide. This is very simply because we have mastered the pricing game due to several years of experience. Also the fact that most of the components come from China Indian companies are left with very little to play with”, said a sales head of one of the companies who have a tie-up with a Chinese manufacturer.
Since then several electric bus orders floated by a variety of states have been bagged by Chinese companies or Indian companies backed by China.
Haryana-based PMI Electro Mobility Solutions, for instance has bagged a supply contract for 1,000 electric buses, as per a release. PMI has a technical tie-up with Beiqi Foton, one of world’s largest manufacturer of electric buses based in China.Gurugram based Mozev, an electro mobility solutions provider, imports bus chassis and electric powertrain from a company in China. In addition to other orders the company is to supply 50 electric buses to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. Mozev also became the first company to supply an intercity luxury electric bus that ran between Mumbai and Pune.