Lumax Auto Technologies – Building a sustainable ecosystem for Indian OEMs
MOTORINDIA|January 2021
In an interview with Rajesh Rajgor, Vikas Marwah, CEO, Lumax Auto Technologies Ltd. (LATL) talks about adding value to Indian OEMs by bringing the right products at the right price and from the right location as well as about his company’s several JVs, market segmentation and medium to long-term plans
Rajesh Rajgor

How has been the last one year for Lumax Auto Technologies Limited (LATL) with respect to new product development, response and acceptance in market, especially at a time when we saw lockdowns and the transition from BS-IV to BS-VI?

As you rightly observed, we were on a major threshold of transformation from BS-IV to BS-VI when the lockdown happened in the mid of March 2020. However, by then, most of the OEMs and suppliers were ready. The milestones with respect to SOPs shifted a little bit. More or less April and May were complete washout, as nothing much was getting produced. With respect to migration of BS-VI to BS-VI, we were getting our products ready like adaptations of our plastic division at LATL to the new BS-VI modifications and design in sync with new vehicles weight, geometry, aesthetic and engineering point of view.

As far as the air intake systems were concerned, yes there were substantial changes that went on the exhaust and emission side as per OEMs need. We do deal with 5-6 domestic OEMs and 4 major global OEMs at LATL. We had also commissioned a manufacturing plant to locally produce oxygen sensors for the first time in India, as these products have now become mandatory in the BS-VI phase.

Only the roll-out of O2 sensor was impacted a bit due to the pandemic as the localized vehicle readiness in support with our overseas JV partner was pushed back a bit to the Oct-Dec period in 2020. I am happy to share that the facility in Gurgaon that these oxygen sensors come from is now ready and is an integrated one for the manufacture of heated as well as unheated oxygen sensors in partnership with FAE of Spain. The JV company is called Lumax FAE Technologies Private Limited. We can supply localized oxygen sensors for BS-VI regime and beyond that for the OBD2 norms to the vehicle manufacturers. The oxygen sensor business will continue to be a key focus area for the next 5 years at least for the two-wheeler segment. This high technology product demands concentrated focus on one particular segment and hence our focus is on two-wheeler segment with our JV.

In April to June, while there was definite shutdown and the capacities were lying unutilized, we saw the wheels gradually turning from July and by the time it was August, we were back to 75 percent capacity utilization. By October, we saw almost close to all-time high, 90 percent capacity utilization for all our LATL businesses. In terms of our hope for a V-shaped recovery, it was met during the months of Oct-Nov. We expect Jan-March (Q4) this year to be slightly better than it was last year. At this stage, because of our readiness and market conditions being favorable, we have made up for the lost ground substantially and things do not look as bleak as they were in June-July.

While your major focus is on two-wheelers and passenger vehicles, you also work with commercial vehicle OEMs. How would you want to focus and take LATL forward, with respect to clients and market segmentation in the CV and off-highway segments?

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