Wednesday, October 19, 2011
By Pranjal Gera
Mahindra, Tata and Maruti working on to reduce vehicle weight
A new chase in the Indian automotive industry is about to begin and this time it is not the typical one like the price reduction of a vehicle to boost sales, which ends up in low profit making of the automaker.
But things will not be as usual this instance as the auto manufacturers in India are coming up with such an endeavor that will not only favor car maker and benefit the consumer, but also be kind to our environment. The automobile majors in India, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors are in race of getting their vehicles lose weight.
If we look into the past the cars were bigger and lighter in weight as compared to what we have nowadays which are compact and strong but much heavier than the earlier.
In a car these days we get a compressed but heavy weight engine that works automatically for power and fuel distribution in a vehicle. With entertainment and advance multi-media features the once mode of transportation has turned into an extension of home or office. The vehicles of today pose more comfort and luxury than in any other era, along with better safety equipments. Such features were not a part of yesterday’s car, but are a vital element for the automobile of today. Hence, it all has helped the cars gain weight, this backfires us in low fuel economy as one requires powerful engine; which of course carries weight to it, to pull that extra weighty vehicle loaded with gizmos and gadgets.
The solution arrives in the form of decision taken by the auto companies to manufacture low-weight engines. As one cannot move back by eliminating the latest device outfitted vehicle, but can surely provide an alternate to hefty engines.
As per a report Maruti is already in this race and has made a saving of INR 147 Crore by reducing one gram weight in its components, as the company wants to offer lighter vehicles which consumes minimal fuel and causes less harm to the environment. Some in demand models like Swift, DZire and SX4 were a part of this operation.
Tata Motors are considering all-aluminum engines for their vehicles in near future that will benefit the consumer as well as the manufacturer. The vehicle will run faster with lighter power-train and components resulting in good fuel economy and low on emission.
Another homegrown utility major Mahindra and Mahindra is working on a mission to manufacture an SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) that weighs less than a ton. The company has recently launched its Global SUV XUV500 in India.
Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) which will be an alternate to steel as it is high strength and light in weight as compared to former. This step is a commendable approach towards creating new bench marks for the Indian auto industry.