Monthly Archives: August 2016

Driving Forces Automotive

The automotive sector is one of India’s largest and fastest growing manufacturing sectors. With a turnover of US$13 B, the automobile sector employs about 0.45 million people directly and 10 million people indirectly, including after-sales and servicing networks. This ranked India as the 11th largest passenger car producer in the world. In the category of motorcycles and scooters, India is ranked 1st and 2nd respectively. With India increasingly liberalizing its market place, many new joint ventures evolved, resulting in close to 2 dozen global auto manufacturers setting up shop in India

The auto component segment is equally robust, supplying the entire range of parts required by the domestic automobile industry and currently employs about 250,000 people. Although small by global standards, this segment is growing rapidly as a result of its low costs and rising quality. Sales turnover of parts is estimated to have reached US$8.7 B in 2004/05, 29% higher than the previous year. Noticeably, auto component manufacturers supply to two kinds of buyers – original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and the replacement market. Over 300 small and medium companies directly service the OEMs assembling vehicles in India. Downstream, close to 5,000 other micro firms are working for these Tier 1 suppliers, as well as for the replacement market

The sector can be segmented into 2. One is the automobile segment. The other is the auto parts segment. The key manufacturing areas for these 2 segments are well spread across the country.

The growth of India’s automotive sector is driven by the key forces below:

Import

Automotive related imports are largely in auto parts, accounting for a lion’s share of 85%. These imports will feed the manufacturing plants, producing vehicles for domestic market as well as export market.

As the demand from the domestic market increases with rising affluence, production will increase in tandem, hence requiring more imports of parts, especially those of higher precision which still cannot be done in India. Global players in India still need to import fairly large amount of auto parts for their automobile assembly as quality and technological standards of auto parts sourced from within India may not meet their high standards. The expected Increase in exports of India-made vehicles will also contribute to import growth of auto parts.

Export

Automotive related exports expanded rapidly in recent years. Automobile exports grew at a compound annual growth rate of 46% between 2001 and 2006. Export share of production increased from 3% in 2001 to 8% in 2006. The growth is boosted by these several factors such as India’s cost competitiveness in terms of labor and raw material; established manufacturing base; economies of scale due to domestic market; potential to harness global brand image of the parent company, as well as the global hub policy for small cars like Hyundai, Suzuki, etc

Most automotive exports go to developing countries in Asia, where inexpensive cars can find a market. Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria are important destinations for India’s automotive exports. More recently, as the quality and technology of India-made automobiles have improved and met stringent requirement of the international market, some cars have found buyers even in Western Europe.

Similarly for auto parts, exports have been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25% over 2000-2005. Share of exports in total production increased to 18% in 2005 from 10% in 1997. Foreign carmakers in rich countries are increasingly turning to India for parts, as low costs, relatively good technology base and access to cheap raw material make India highly competitive in its auto parts exports.

The main export markets are the USA, Germany, Japan, Sweden, the UK and Italy. Asia, Africa and the Middle East together take up 44% of India’s auto part exports.

Regulatory/Government efforts

Government efforts and regulatory frameworks are also key driving forces to the automotive industry in India. Currently, 100% foreign direct investment in the automotive industry, with no mandatory minimum level of investment is allowed. No local tie up is necessary since the sector has already been fully de-licensed and deregulated. This provides a strong impetus for global auto players to set up shop in India. Further, excise duty and custom taxes have also been kept competitive in order to make participation in the automotive industry conducive

On top of these, an Automotive Mission Plan is also being drafted to develop the domestic sector, as well as the export market. It aims to develop India into a premier automotive hub. Moving forward, India targets to become one of the top 5 automotive economies
International Agreements

Trade/economic co-operation agreements between India and the region or other international markets will boost India’s exports of both automobile and parts to the region/international markets. Going forward, the potential agreements are: TVS Group’s plan to invest in Indonesia to manufacture 2-wheeler; FTA between India and ASEAN (negotiation in progress) would also offer opportunities for direct trade and investment between India and ASEAN countries; FTA with countries like China, Korea, Japan, Chile, etc

Auto Repair Shop Management Systems

Running an effective auto shop is the way to make maximum profit each day and to build relationships with customers. That’s why many of today’s auto shop owners have automated their business processes which helps not only to save labor time, hold control of the business effectiveness of the shop but also business automation is a real opportunity to improve customer service and to increase at the same time customer return rate.

After having looked into the work processes of auto shop business the top software products available on the market were determined, here are the 5 best, in no specific order.

# RoWriter
Pros: RoWriter is relatively easy to navigate after figuring everything out, has a rich list of features any repair shop would need.
Cons: The software contains some spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and comparing to some other applications RO Writer could have run faster.
Key features:
-Draft fast, easy estimates, schedule work orders and future maintenance, accept payments
– Inventory management, auto parts ordering
-Time scheduling, employee time-clock management
-vehicle / customer information tracking

# AutoRepairCloud
Pros: AutoRepair Cloud feels very intuitive and easy to handle. Excellent system that is cost efficient and works well. It helps to manage customers, inventory, and keep track of your annual/monthly budget.

Cons: It lacks integration with any of the labor times guide providers, and requires effort at the beginning to set labor times manually.

Key features:
-Easy vehicle/customer management
-Appointment scheduling
-Inspection reports, estimates and invoices
-VIN code scanner/decoder
-Mobile application to shares workflow with the customer
-Payment processing

#MaxxTraxx
Pros: The MaxxTraxx Editions Affordable and Easy-to-Use software designed for use in Automotive, Heavy Truck, RV, Motorcycle, Bicycle, Marine, Restoration and Specialty repair shops, with multiple editions for all business sizes.

Cons: The interface appears to be a little outdated, and repair order creation is rather intricate process for the beginners.

Key features:
-Repair order history, vehicle/ customer tracking
-Appointment schedule
-Electronic auto parts ordering, inventory management
-Integrated marketing tools (letters, post cards, reminders)

# AllData
Pros: ALLDATA Manage Online was developed to provide shop owners with tools to run their business effectively. It provides very reliable and bug free software and automates a lot of the customer service.

Cons: It is rather overpriced for small and medium-sized business budget, charges additional fees for using complementary mobile versions of the management application. At the beginning configuration setting-up takes some time and effort.

Features:
-Track customer histories
-Look up the complete 17-digit VIN from a license plate using QuickVIN
– Online Parts Ordering
– Easily track and assign jobs to technicians and bays
– Print or email with parts and labor organized estimates

#AutoFluent
Pros: AutoFluent is very easy to maneuver and forgiving for those of us that are not so tech savvy. Great reports, quick response time with customer support.
AutoFluent is designed to help you improve how you track and manage your customers, employees, sales, inventory and suppliers.

Cons: The reports for customers, vendors, and inventory are a bit cumbersome to use and their options are limited, there is no option to save reports you might use repeatedly. Also, once an invoice is confirmed there is no chance to adjust the pricing or add any charges.

Key features:
-Review and search customer and vehicle information by phone, address, vehicle, invoice number of
-Customized invoices
-Email marketing automation
-Comprehensive sales reporting for profit, commission, productivity, and more
-Bar/VIN code scanning, use CARFAX data to load vehicle data with a license plate or VIN, view vehicle service history
-Labor guides from AllData, Mitchell1, Real Time Labor Guide and Motor

Check Engine Lights

You’re driving along and suddenly your Check Engine Light comes on. What does it mean? Check Engine Light, Check Engine Soon Light, Service Engine Soon Light, Engine Light, Engine Management Light, “whatever” you want to call it, simply means that your vehicle’s computer system has detected a problem.

Depending on the year, make, and model, it may be related to the engine, the transmission, even the brakes and suspension. There are literally hundreds of reasons a Check Engine Light may appear. The following questions and answers discussion will clarify the truth about Check Engine Lights…

Service Engine Soon Light FAQ:

1) Can the car be driven?
The general rule is: if the Service Engine Soon Light is on, and the car seems to be running ok, you can drive it. However, you should have it checked at your earliest convenience.

If your vehicle is running poorly—bucking, stalling, hesitating, or you just don’t feel safe, tow it. When in doubt always tow it!

2) The check engine light went out by itself. Is it ok now?
Probably not. Check Engine Lights often come and go. Even if the light is out, your vehicle’s computer system will retain information that will allow the problem to be diagnosed. To avoid potential long term issues, get it checked out.

3) My check engine light stays on. What should I do?
If your check engine light stays on constantly, follow the instructions above, under “Can the car be driven?” Don’t panic.

4) Can I disconnect the battery, or pull a fuse to reset the service engine soon light?
Maybe, but I wouldn’t. Removing the battery cable or an ECM or PCM fuse may clear the code, but it is not universally recommended in the industry. Most manufacturers advise against it. See the Best Way to Reset Check Engine Light Codes below.

5) What is the Check Engine Light?
The Check Engine Light is a warning light for multiple systems operating in your vehicle. In simplest terms, it’s like an engine management warning light to alert you of a problem. Just like your computer pops up with an “error message window” saying that something’s wrong, your service engine soon light pops up to warn you that it has detected a malfunction: mechanical, technical, software, or otherwise.

6) How to Reset Check Engine Light?
This is a great question! I get it all the time. See the guide below.

Resetting Check Engine Light:
First, if your Check Engine Light is on, it’s on for a reason. The Check Engine Light indicates that your vehicle’s on-board computers have stored a fault code. There are hundreds of fault codes, any one or more could be stored in the computers memory.
Fault codes are critical for accurate diagnoses of the problem.

Sometimes the fault code points directly to a faulty component, allowing for a quick diagnoses and repair. Other times, the code may only indicate a problem circuit and thus extensive diagnostic procedures may be required.

By resetting the Service Engine Soon Light, it erases important fault code data that turned the check engine light on in the first place. Without this critical information, the root problem can not be discerned.

Unfortunately, there is no “universally” accepted way to safely turn off a check engine light. Even if there was, if the root problem is not addressed, it will come back on.

So whether it’s a Chevrolet Service Engine Soon Light, Camry Check Engine Light, Mighty Max Check Engine Light, or a 1993 Thunderbird Check Engine Light, they require individual procedures to diagnose, repair, and reset the check engine light code.

Following is a Safe and FREE way for resetting check engine light codes.

Best Way to Reset Check Engine Light Codes:
If you’re not interested in diagnosing your truck, SUV or car Check Engine Light, or it’s already fixed, and you just want the engine light out, visit any local repair shop. Most shops will have a universal Check Engine Light Code Reader that can quickly and safely reset, and check engine light trouble codes. It should take about 30 seconds.

Note: European models are better off with a specialist, and some older vehicles may require more time.

Here’s what to do:
Politely ask your local service center (ask a technician if you see one) if they could reset the check engine light with their Check Engine Light Code Reader. They may protest, arguing that the problem must first be diagnosed.

Tell the service representative that you understand fully, and that you appreciate his professionalism. But that you would just like to try resetting the Service Engine Soon Light, and if it comes on again, you’ll come back for a full diagnosis.

Be genuine. Service representatives respond positively to sincerity. If the service center wants to charge you just to reset your Service Engine Light, try another facility.

Alternatively, some parts store such as NAPA and AutoZone will reset your check engine light for free. Be wary of “diagnostic ideas” from parts representatives, however. Don’t let them sell you any parts to “try” to fix the problem.

IMPORTANT, check engine light repairs can be quite costly given their technical nature. Service centers can easily hide behind complex technical language to inflate the difficulty of your Check Engine Light concern.

CAR AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE

As the summer sets in, it is advisable to have your car’s air conditioner checked. The heat of an Australian summer can be really harsh on a car’s ac. Therefore, it is imperative to keep it in proper condition not only for the sake of your car’s health but your health as well. A timely car air conditioning service will enable to achieve maximum passenger comfort, especially on those sweltering afternoons, along with increasing the fuel efficiency.

Let us have a brief overview of how it works. It is a general misconception that auto air conditioner system blows cold air into the car to keep it cool. On the contrary, the system is designed in such a way that the refrigerant captures the hot air from within the car dispelling it to the atmosphere. The liquid used in the car for this purpose usually is R-12(Refrigerant -12).

The air conditioner system is dependent upon various components to function smoothly. The most important parts of a car’s ac are evaporator, compressor and condenser. These parts, just like other mechanical parts, are vulnerable to wear and tear. Regular maintenance through servicing safeguards them from breakdown.

More often than not, the car signals you about the various glitches in AC that occur due to lack of maintenance or otherwise. For instance, if you hear rapid clicking noises at the compressor when the AC is switched on, it indicates that your car is low on refrigerant. Similarly, if there are knocking sounds near the compressor when the engine is running and the AC is off, it could mean that the compressor clutch is not functioning properly and it’s time to visit your car technician.

The garage that you take your car to for car air conditioning service plays a vital role in the maintenance of your car’s air conditioning. It is advisable to visit only a reputed and authorized garage that has a team of skilled and trained technicians who are highly adept in providing quality car air conditioning service. The general items that are included in this service are Air vent temperature check along with inspection of drive bells, pulleys, valves, thermostats and filler. If any of these parts are found to be faulty, the mechanic will suggest replacing them immediately.

Also system line and components will be thoroughly examined to see if there is any leakage. Other aspects include cleaning of condenser fins and sanitization of the system to prevent it from harmful bacteria and fungus.

According to the experts a car needs a change in its air conditioning system every two years on an average for it to function properly. Therefore, if your car hasn’t had air conditioning service for more than two years or is showing any signs of trouble in the AC system, try visiting a trustworthy auto garage as soon as possible.