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India eyes SAE World Congress to strengthen grip in auto

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 29 (UNI) The four-day SAE World Congress beginning April three at Cobo Centre in Detroit in the US will provide a platform for the 55-strong Indian delegation to boost Indian auto exports and technology partnerships through networking and business tie-ups.

Announcing this at a press conference here today, SAE India Senior Vice President M S Kumar said India's strength in product design and manufacture of components to world-class standards at low cost was attracting global majors to have a foothold in India.

''Japanese quality at Chinese prices is the driver for destination India,'' he said, highlighting the numerous advantages the country had in the auto component sector.

India's automotive exports were projected to grow up by over 30 per cent to touch 0.85 million units in 2005-06 from 0.6 million in 2004-05.

SAE India former President and India Pistons Director R Mahadevan said the auto component industry was on an upswing with a robust compounded annual growth rate average at 20 to 25 per cent.

The growth rate in India was higher than in any other country the worldover and at least one component of the latest models was being produced in India, estimated to be a eight billion USD market compared to the global industry size of 700 billion USD.

He said the auto component contribution to the GDP had also seen a rapid growth from 1.1 per cent to the current 2.5 per cent. With the engineering, design and services activity increasing tremendously in the last five years, the 'India story' was getting more and more focus.

Also, the cost pressures were enormous with auto majors actively wanting to move to low-cost nations and so India was not only proving to be a sourcing point but also a production base.

Another key factor was the tendency of Indian companies wanting to become global and the exposition offered a chance to bring into focus technology advancements.

SAE India was the largest affiliate outside the US, Ashok Leyland Advanced Engineering Head Aravind S Bharadwaj said adding that the event envisaged an opportunity to network with the Indian diaspora, link up with NRI specialists to get the research and development culture into perspective.

The Congress, where over 1,500 SAE technical papers would be presented on topics like powertrain/propulsion, environment/emisions, materials and safety, would also serve to accelerate the pace of interaction between the industry, academia and the government besides fostering the R and D culture, he added.

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