The Mahindra Navistar Automotive Limited (MNAL), a wholly-owned M&M group company had an Auto Tech Review who recently visited the company’s Chakan plant in Maharashtra to gain first-hand experience and learn more about the country’s most modern CV manufacturing plants.
The visit to the plants gave an insight into the fact that MNAL is focusing on creating differentiators which would play a deciding role in the company’s growth in the future keeping in mind that Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are the two large players in the automotive industry.
MNAL has left no stone unturned in building a strong product, a robust product development team and a modern plant with the best of equipments with an aim of becoming the third leading player in the industry. For example, MNAL products now come with storage space under the driver seats and berths which earlier went unutilized.
Another key aspect at MNAL is the efforts being made on bringing down the cost of operations through improved fuel efficiency and flexibility to map and optimize the usage pattern. Mr. Kiran Vairagkar, Senior General Manager – Product Development brought to light the innovations on telematics and future models having improved functionalities like drain interval, reduction in oil capacity and use of small filters to ensure lowered cost of production.
The MNAL manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune is automated to the extent of 89%, with manual activities limited to processes such as sample inspections and checks. The MNAL press shop is flexible to accommodate panel work of all kinds of vehicles. At the press shop, a systematic methodology at the piercing station is followed which ends by a manual checking procedure of checking scratches, cracks and other defects to ensure zero faults.
In order to estimate improved efficiency, The Mahindra Quality System (MQS) is used in all parts of the automotive sector and frequent audits are undertaken which looks into the details of the sustainability aspect along with The Central Quality Assurance department which undertakes audits from a consumer’s perspective.
Mr. Nalin Mehta, Managing Director & CEO, MNAL believes that MNAL is set to take the next steps towards building a growth path on its own with M&M and its American joint venture partner Navistar International Corporation announcing that the Indian Auto major would purchase Navistar Group’s 49% stake in MNAL and Mahindra Navistar Engines Pvt. Ltd (MNEPL) for Rs. 175 crores.