Home Articles Schaeffler unveils fuel-efficient concept car for India

Schaeffler unveils fuel-efficient concept car for India

Schaeffler unveils fuel-efficient concept car for India

The ‘Efficient Future Mobility India’ concept car features advanced drivetrain technologies


At a time when the rising cost of fuel is a cause for concern, here comes a new form of automobile technology that offers up to 10 per cent reduction in fuel consumption. This is in the form of a new concept vehicle by Schaeffler, a leading provider of rolling bearing and plain bearing solutions and of linear and direct drive technology as well as a supplier to the automotive industry of high-precision products and systems for engines, transmissions and chassis applications. Especially designed for the Indian automobile market, it features advanced drivetrain technologies that not only use lesser fuel but also makes way for better comfort and driving experience. The ‘Efficient Future Mobility India’ concept car is based on sub-compact hatchback and shows a range of Schaeffler solutions for optimising engine and transmission technology currently available in India.

The demonstrator vehicle has been unveiled at Schaeffler’s flagship technology-sharing and joint development platform – Innovation Days – a highly successful specialised event from Germany, being organised for the first time in India. All the solutions showcased in the car are cost-effective, close to volume production, and when integrated into a sub-compact vehicle, make a valuable contribution to improving its performance and fuel efficiency. “Schaeffler’s meticulously detailed work on drivetrains based on internal combustion engines offers significant potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” summarizes Prof Peter Gutzmer, CTO of Schaeffler AG.

In keeping with Schaeffler’s established concept vehicles, the Efficient Future Mobility India vehicle plays a key role in development and serves as a demonstration vehicle for the components and systems that are bundled within it. “Even with the efficient platform we selected, we still see further potential for optimisation here,” Gutzmer says. “The solutions on display take the market-specific demands and customer preferences in India into account,” he adds.

The Indian concept car, based on a current version of one of India’s most popular compact ‘Segment B’ hatchbacks, is an effort to bridge an increasing gap between demand for performance, comfort and economy and supply. The demonstration model highlights Schaeffler’s capability to fill this void through innovations that are accessible via a wide portfolio of products and solutions ranging from components, sub-systems and systems.

In January 2013, the Efficient Future Mobility North America was showcased at the Detroit Motor Show. Schaeffler is developing and testing these concept vehicles to present tangible, working solutions – matched to relevant markets – for demands and challenges of automotive industry today and tomorrow. “The Efficient Future Mobility India car is the result of Schaeffler’s intensive research and development towards optimising drivetrain performance according to peculiarities of driving conditions, patterns and behaviour as well as customer preferences in India.

This car reflects Schaeffler’s vision for the future of drivetrain in emerging markets,” says Dharmesh Arora, Managing Director and CEO, Schaeffler India. “Besides that, we are actively developing new concepts and technologies for the two-wheeler and commercial vehicle segment.

Our recent innovations include low-friction bearings and new range of clutches for motorcycles in India,” he adds.
Due to multiple factors like stop-and-go traffic situations, cost-effectiveness and customer habits, manual transmission is the most preferred version of cars in the sub-compact segment. The Indian concept vehicle features a combination of start-stop systems with manual transmission resulting in enhanced driving experience while reducing fuel consumption. This is made possible with Schaeffler’s electronic clutch management (ECM). The vehicle also features other advanced drivetrain innovations like dual VCT (variable cam timing), coated tappets, smart thermo management and shift detection. “Schaeffler is an established and globally-oriented development, industrialisation and manufacturing partner for automobile manufacturers,” explains Dr Juergen M. Geissinger, CEO of Schaeffler AG. “With a total of 180 locations in more than 50 countries and a global network of 40 research and development centres, we are true to our ‘in the region, for the region’ motto.

Our customers benefit locally from our regional strength.At the same time, Schaeffler’s regional expertise strengthens the
global network – which benefits our customers who also operate globally and to whom we provide decisive support in creating advanced solutions for modern, energy-efficient mobility.”

Schaeffler with its product brands INA, LuK and FAG generated sales of approximately Euros 10.7 billion in 2011. With approximately 76,000 employees worldwide, Schaeffler is one of the largest German and European industrial companies in family ownership. In India, three Schaeffler brands have had their strong footprints for more than 50 years.

FAG set up its first manufacturing plant in Vadodara in 1964 and produces a vast range of ball bearings, cylindrical roller bearings, spherical roller bearing and wheel bearings. Its second plant in Vadodara at Savli produces deep groove ball bearings and large-size roller bearings. INA has a state-of-the-art plant at Talegaon, Pune, to produce plastic and steel needle roller bearings, auto-tensioners and pulleys for belt drive, shift towers, chain drive system and precision engine components.

LuK operations in India are based at its plant in Hosur, which produces clutch release systems for passenger cars as well as clutch systems for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles and tractors.

Schaeffler chalks out Rs 550 Crore plan

Amidst a highly visible slowdown in the Indian auto industry, German supplier Schaeffler has announced that it is going ahead with its expansion plans for India. Investing in future systems, like start-stop technology, electronic clutch management systems, coding system, etc., the company has three entities in India – FAG, INA and Luk India. Supplying a variety of bearings, clutches and precision products to a number of OEMs, the company, through FAG and INA, is claimed to be the second largest supplier of rolling bearings in the world. It company caters to the need for players like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai India and others.

Growing at over 15% during the last few years, the company has already invested close to Rs 500 crore in 2012. The Rs 550 crore investment is a fresh investment the company plans to undertake expansion in the area of product portfolio, R&D and production capacity. Of the Rs 550 crore investment over the next few years, the maker of bearings and clutches is expected to invest 60% of its investment into FAG Bearings, 30% into INA Bearings and the remaining 10% into LuK India. India is also an important R&D centre for Schaeffler as far as motorcycles and tractors go. A larger role is however expected of this R&D centre, in the area of automotive and engineering. The company is said to be currently investing Rs 50 crore on further strengthening the R&D. This would also involve hiring of more engineers.

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