Desma

Believe And Hope
Apr 04, 2020

Believe And Hope

The whole world is battling the most devastating threat to life in modern history with the novel corona virus Covid-19 killing hundreds of people every day across the globe. While the cases in China, where the virus originated, are on a downturn, it is soaring high in almost all other countries. As a result, except for essential goods, medicines and healthcare-related equipment, the manufacturing industry, including automotive, in most of the countries has ground to a halt. The spread of the pandemic has blurred the divide between the poor and the rich. But the daily wage earners, migrant workers and people with limited resources are suffering under a real economic and existential crisis. An International Labour Organisation (ILO) report has said that the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting 2.7 billion workers globally owing to social distancing and lockdown. In India alone about 400 million workers in the informal economy face the inherent risk of falling deeper into debt and poverty.

Although in the affected list, the global automotive industry is manufacturing vitally needed ventilators and other life-saving equipment to support the fight against the pandemic. In India too, most of the vehicle makers and large components manufacturers have got involved in this fight by either manufacturing medical support systems or extending financial assistance to Union Government projects. It is estimated that the USD 104 billion Indian automotive industry may lose revenue of around $170 million to $197 million daily in terms of production losses. The auto sector contributes close to 7.5 percent to the country’s overall GDP, accounting for nearly 49 percent in the manufacturing sector. The State governments in the country are likely to adopt different methodologies to revive the economy. Nevertheless, the automotive industry would be one of the last to recover from this shock. But that may provide an opportunity for the industry to get into unexplored markets and into manufacturing those items that witnessed maximum disruption such as in smart manufacturing, IoT, Industry and mass customisation; cyber, physical and cognitive systems all bundled under Industry 5.0. In these uncertain times the only thing we can do is believe in new opportunities and hope for the best.

The Cover Story of this edition is: New Mobility Promises New Vistas. The global market for conventional passenger vehicles is expected to drop to 55 million units in 5 years from 82 million last year. This gap could be covered by Hybrids and Battery Electric Vehicles. However, India seems to witness a different growth pattern. This section contains reports from different OEMs and suppliers on their offerings to the New Mobility.

In addition, we have in-depth articles on several OEMs including Land Rover, Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW, Hero Electric, Kinetic, Bosch, Hanon Systems, and ZF.

 Happy Reading.

T Murrali     

Twitter: @tmurrali

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