Pune Centre To Expedite Decision-making : Arnd Franz

MAHLE Engineering, MAHLE IT and Sales shared services Centre in Pune, which is now wholly-owned by MAHLE, will help the German company to act faster on product development and investments. In an interview, Arnd Franz, Member of the Management Board, Corporate Executive Vice President, OE- Automotive Sales and Application Engineering, MAHLE, said India will see addition of two million combustion engines in passenger cars every year for the next five years. He also expects the Pune centre to grow in capabilities and manpower.

Q: MAHLE had a joint venture with Anand Group for engineering service. Now it is fully owned by MAHLE. What advantages will the company have?

Franz: We still have joint ventures with Anand Group for filter system and thermal system businesses. The only change is that we acquired the Engineering service business from their joint venture. Now the Engineering and tech centre is owned by MAHLE.

We took this decision because we felt that we have to make further investments in this entity in order to bring new technologies for electrification and combustion engines. For technology development we have to be faster, more agile, and more efficient than ever.

It is always easier if you have one shareholder instead of multiple shareholders. Since the newly-opened entity needs to provide services to all MAHLE entities in India regardless of their ownership and also needs to be a seamless component of our global tech centre network, we believed it will be good to bring this under Mahle Group’s control and ownership. Being the whole owner of the entity, we will be faster in decision-making and will have lower bureaucracy, clear ownership and communication with our customers.

Q: What will the company achieve through this centre?

Franz: Our customers from both the domestic and the global markets are aware that we are enhancing our capabilities in India. Cost efficiency in our products is one of our prime targets. We will mull on providing mobility solutions in future at affordable cost. We will also work on designs which fit in emerging markets like India which can be provided in other countries such as Brazil, South East Asia and even in the African markets which do not resonate the premium markets.

Q: What is India’s role in the development of combustion engines?

Franz: The Indian market will surely have a bigger role in the development of combustion engines. Volume will be the big driver. According to our projection, by 2024, India will have an addition of two million combustion engines every year, higher than in any other markets in the world, including China. These include only passenger cars. That was the motivation for us to put more combustion engine-related engineering and tech centre, which makes more fuel efficient and eco-friendly and affordable combustion engines.

Q: Will this centre work as a Frugal engineering centre?

Franz: The Pune centre will work for product development for Indian and global markets. The MAHLE engineering centre in India will have to bring global technologies and expertise into the Indian market and provide the expertise developed here to other projects in the world.

We expect the centre will have substantial growth in capabilities and manpower in future. Developments in engineering and services from the Pune centre will look into all applications of thermal management, powertrain, and cooling systems.

Q: Will the Pune centre have validation facility in future?

Franz: At present we have validation facilities in our plants, but we are looking forward to making investments in Pune for future validation and testing. But we don’t have any timeline for that.

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