Volvo to move hybrid vehicle assembling to India for two models
Volvo will be assembli...
The Swedish car manufacturer, Volvo, has announced it plans to locally assemble two new models in India by the end of this year.
Volvo will be assembling its XC60 model and the V90 cross country in a bid to compete with German luxury car manufacturers in the Indian clean vehicle market.
The move also attempts to prepare for the future of the automaker industry, as emission standards become stricter.
In October last year, the company had already started locally manufacturing the XC90 and S90 models at its facility in Bangalore.
Volvo says it hopes to expand its sales network in India, hoping to open one new dealership every month until the end of 2018.
Most parts are still shipped on demand from Sweden, but the company hopes that by opening a new central parts warehouse in India, it will not have to wait for shipping in the future.
Coupled with the expansion of the Bangalore factory, this will boost local production immensely.
Volvo Car India Managing Director Charles Frump said, according to The Hindu: “The biggest gap we have here is that we don’t have a small SUV and XC 40 fills that gap. Right now, we have 21 dealerships and we will get to 29 stores by the end of this year. So that will give us full coverage of India.”
"It is a not a question of if, but when we will start assembling hybrid vehicles in India,” Frump told the Economic Times.
“There are various studies going on and we are trying to convince the government on why hybrids are an important bridge towards complete electrification.”
Volvo India sold about 2000 units last year, enjoying year-on-year growth of 28%.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.