EV boom hits Indian auto component industry
December 29, 2023 7:35 pm
India’s auto component industry is being influenced by EV proliferation and global demands. This sector in the automotive space showcases potential and is poised for robust growth.
The auto components sector contributes about 2.3 per cent to India’s overall GDP, and the automotive sector contributes 7.5 per cent to the Indian GDP. However, the auto sector generates more than half of the manufacturing GDP. The workforce employed contributes to innovation and is instrumental in establishing India as a global manufacturing hub for auto components.
Auto components growth
The automotive industry is poised for substantial growth, fueled by several converging factors. The outlook for the future of the auto component industry seems bright, given its strong connection to the growth of the automotive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) sector. Forecasts suggest a positive path over the next decade, with significant opportunities emerging from India’s continuous expansion in automotive and transportation, offering substantial potential for growth.
The auto parts sector is closely linked to car sales, and India is seen as a highly promising global market. As India aims for a $5 trillion economy and with favourable conditions in financial markets, there is an expected rise in individual vehicle usage. This is boosted by a growing preference for higher-end cars, leading to increased demand for different car parts.
India, aiming to become a $5 trillion economy, stands to raise personal mobility. It will lead to more demand for many auto parts. The future of the auto component industry hinges on the growth of the automotive OEM sector. Forecasts predict a positive path for the next decade, with substantial opportunities arising from the ongoing expansion of India’s automotive and mobility sector.
Anish Agarwal, Director at Sterling GTake E-Mobility, expects sustained growth in the two-wheeler segment, projecting figures of approximately 25-30 million units annually by the decade’s end. Experts foresee India’s potential to manufacture 12 to 15 million cars yearly for the next two decades. This expansion will create opportunities for the auto component industry to meet current demands.
This will necessarily pave the way for localisation, particularly in electric vehicles, battery packs, fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen technology, and general automotive electronics. One can count upon the environment for the Indian auto component industry to diversify and flourish.
E Rajiv, Executive Director at the International Automobile Centre of Excellence, highlights two primary factors driving industry growth in India. Firstly, the rise in cars and improved road infrastructure leads to increased wear and tear, necessitating more replacements and driving up component demand. Secondly, the advent of EVs, advanced technologies, and electronics will introduce new requirements within the existing ecosystem, such as enhanced functionalities requiring additional components like sensors.
There is a global trend towards adopting circularity practices, and efforts have begun in this direction. Plastic material in the automotive industry presents challenges due to its limited biodegradability. The emergence of EVs brings specific challenges in managing battery disposal and handling additional e-waste.
EV penetration hits the auto component industry
While electric two-wheelers see increased adoption for city commuting, the growth of the EV industry introduces new elements that boost component manufacturing volumes. Over time, this phase of manufacturing components is expected to become even more profitable. As more players enter the EV market, the component manufacturers accelerate demand from the fastener industry, thus expanding the ecosystem.
The fastener industry is versatile, finding applications in automotive manufacturing, among others. Anish discusses the materials used in producing fasteners. Market demand primarily focuses on automotive fasteners, utilising low-carbon, medium-carbon, and alloy steels to meet the specific requirements of automotive OEMs.
While the fundamental nature of fasteners within the automotive sector has maintained a standard for the past two and a half decades, a shift is emerging. This shift reflects the evolving demands of an industry. With increasing electrification, there is a race for innovative solutions to create lighter and more efficient vehicles.
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Considerable investments are directed toward electrification and autonomous vehicles within the automotive sector. The potential of 3D printing in the automotive industry has yet to reach a level comparable to traditional mass production techniques such as castings, forgings, and injection mouldings. While there is optimism that 3D printing could play a role in certain automotive applications in the future, it is seen as a technology that needs more time to become a choice for mass production in the industry.
Injection moulding holds great significance in moulding various plastic components for vehicles. Within the automotive industry, injection moulding machines are crucial for producing most plastic parts found in cars. This process involves CAD modelling, followed by CAM programming, the creation of injection moulds, the actual injection moulding process, etc., and ultimately integration into the vehicle.
Auto component fuelling growth
The auto component industry holds a significant position, contributing approximately 7 to 10% of India’s total GDP, which accounts for around 45 to 50% of the manufacturing GDP. This sector is a key indicator of the manufacturing health of the country. Looking at domestic prospects, there is substantial growth potential for passenger cars and two-wheelers over the next two decades.
On the global stage, opportunities have arisen for the Indian component industry to export IC engine components to Europe and the US. India is poised to continue production until at least 2032-35. This presents a window for supplying IC engine components to global markets. India stands to export electric two-wheelers to Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines for EVs. This demand again reflects a boost for auto component growth.
The Auto component industry is inclined to EV growth and its multiplier effect. Localisation and globalisation are bound to impact the auto component space to meet the demand. Focusing on local production, numerous joint ventures and skilful collaborations must align with technological developments. The auto components sector is a part of the EV manufacturing supply chain. While India can handle assembly processes by importing these essential components from neighbouring countries, true localisation of electrification in India propels a shift toward producing these key sub-components locally. This is crucial for sustainable growth in the EV sector. It is an optimistic assumption that some of these specifically designed auto components will be produced locally in India by the decade’s end. However, these initiatives are viable through joint ventures involving Indian investors and prominent global players. The entry of more major players will create more opportunities for more small players to enter the market, as increasing EV demand is linked to auto component growth and production demand in the automotive industry.
Shatyabrata Das, Sr. General Manager, IAC-International Automotive India Pvt. Ltd.
“Injection moulding machines are essential in the automotive industry as they produce most plastic parts inside a car.”
E Rajiv, Executive Director, International Automobile Centre of Excellence.
“The component manufacturing space is becoming lucrative each year, with the aftermarket playing a substantial role in this upward trajectory.”
Anish Agarwal, Director, Sterling GTake E-Mobility
“Looking at domestic prospects, there is substantial growth potential for passenger cars and two-wheelers over the next two decades.”
Akshay Kalyanpur, Director, Sridevi Tool Engineers Pvt. Ltd.
“With current technologies, 3D printing achieves injection mould-level quality and strength, enabling medium to small-volume production of components and parts.”
Vineet Seth, Managing Director – South Asia & Middle East, Mastercam APAC.
“The demand trends for lightweight materials and the push towards electric vehicles is paramount for moulds of automotive components to the evolving industry requirements.”