Automotive Consulting

The growth of the Indian consumer class along with the growth of the economy has attracted global auto majors to the Indian market. While the world's major automotive manufacturers have been investing in India for a while, the supplier segment is now also attracting rewarding investments.

However, amidst the upside, the supply side of the industry is facing major challenges as well. The OEMs are constantly under pressure to lower their costs while maintaining and improving their quality, to deal with excess capacity, to cope up with ever increasing competition, and to cater to ever changing customer needs and preferences.

UC has helped clients in the auto and allied sectors tackle some of these critical challenges and identified significant opportunities for automotive OEM�s and component manufacturers to grow.

Recent illustrative engagements include identifying sales enhancement priorities for a leading manufacturer of hot forged rolled ring in India, creating growth strategies in South Asia, Europe and the US for current, core and new adjacent businesses, developing after market distribution model studies, landscaping the aerial work platform market in India, defining growth strategy in the material handling space, creating corporate strategy and corporate organisation for an auto ancillary company, identifying potential acquisition opportunities in auto and non-auto sectors, aligning an organisation with its strategy, addressing key strategic issues for a bicycle tyre company, creating a strategy to minimise consumption variances for an auto-component group, and developing a strategy to increase organisational effectiveness, among others.

Practice Areas

  • The downstream activities in the value chain demand an overhaul for automotive players. India is waking up to the huge potential to increase the profit pool of the company by defining again and in some cases for the first time, its retail, after market and service strategy and streamlining the processes and operations that will drive superior customer experience. Our experience suggests that the choices customers make in retail and after market environment differ greatly from branded to unbranded components. They have varying preferences for services in different regions in India and more importantly, the economics of the retail, after market and services is fundamentally different than in the developed economies, making it harder to learn from global experiences
  • UC assisted a company that specialises in auto electrical solutions and diesel systems, in short listing opportunities and defining business models to facilitate growth. UC conducted primary research on the LED lighting industry and assessed finishing contractor opportunities. UC assisted the company in deciding which of the two opportunities to pursue, based on the research conducted
  • A large auto distribution industrial conglomerate\'s group company which deals in rubber products, tyre services and coach building approached UC to assist them in accelerating their business growth. UC did a market sizing and studied the company\'s position in the market, and found that the major problem was the lack of a dedicated field force. UC suggested that the company build it sales network to improve its positioning in the market. We recommended that they consider including additional high profit margin products.

  • Automotive component players in India have been heavily impacted over the last three decades given the economic cycles. Our experience suggests that these players even today, have a long way to go when it comes to manufacturing, supply chain and distribution excellence. Given the fact that most of this industry focused on components where price was the only basis of differentiation, the underlying economics have had a negative impact on its fortunes. If sales grew, margins did not shrunk, if both declined, margins declined faster. In either situation these cycles have exposed the inherent weaknesses of the players. The need of the hour is to quickly realign the product strategies to migrate to a more profitable product mix wherein the basis of competition is technology and brand rather than price; focus on improving margins by taking inefficiencies out of the ecosystem; defining the automotive and non-automotive OEM customer mix that will allow the players to manage the short term better, substantially improving the productivity of its invested hard and soft capital; and undertaking experimental investments in different geographies, technologies, products and customer segments

  • A leading roller bearing company wanted to align its operations to achieve its vision of becoming a billion dollar company by 2020. UC understood the current processes and identified those for redesign, developed recommendations for redesigning the processes and standard operating procedures for processes where necessary, defined a detailed organisation structure at the corporate and at the plant level, prepared KPI/KRA and job profiles for each designation, and developed a vision scorecard for the organisation

  • UC defined the corporate strategy for a leading auto ancillary company that had a presence in 8 product categories and wanted to add one manufacturing plant every year and one product every two years. We defined capabilities of each business where the client was present, brainstormed with the core management team of the group to define the corporate strategy, developed a detailed transformation plan including a new organisation structure to enable the group to prepare for future challenges, and implemented the recommended strategy and a corporate organisation structure.

  • Automotive OEMs face three critical challenges for their profitable growth in India. First, offering newer vehicles that meet global standards or playing in multiple customer and vehicle segments and yet satisfying local price expectations. Second, effectively managing the after sales distribution and other service ecosystems that reinforce the brand value. Third, managing a tradeoff between global optimisation of platforms and technologies and developing locally customised platforms and technologies. The resultant capability development agenda demands a faster achievement of excellence in most of the value chain activities. We believe that OEMs must address these challenges head on to take the lead in the Indian market
  • UC identified niche opportunities for a leading Indian automotive OEM in the earthmoving equipment space by conducting a detailed assessment of each major application area of earthmoving equipment to understand the project lifecycle and to determine the equipment usage. We studied the rationale for choosing particular size and configuration of equipment, assessed the substitutability of the equipment currently being used with more specialised equipment, and identified possible tipping points for the greater adoption of specific equipment
  • UC landscaped the material handling equipment market in India for a leading Indian automotive OEM by conducting assessment of the individual segments of the material handling industry, with a specific focus on mobile, operator driven motorised vehicles. We triangulated primary and secondary research to obtain market size and future growth rates by product segment, developed summary snapshots for individual product segments, assessed customer segments and analysed competitor landscape, and defined a framework based on quantitative and qualitative parameters to short list attractive segments.

Case examples of our work

Please contact us at execution@universalconsulting.com for additional information