“Auto design and engineering services is a huge emerging opportunity that India is well positioned to exploit – given the growing maturity of its automobile industry and proven offshoring capabilities”, says Arun Jethmalani, CEO, ValueNotes.
The automobile industry, especially in the US and Europe is facing intense competitive pressures – rising labour costs, shorter product cycles, dropping profitability and rapid growth in emerging markets. This has created a set of enabling factors, or drivers, that are forcing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and auto ancillaries to explore outsourcing and offshoring options.
Offshore Indian vendors stand to gain substantially, as outsourced engineering and design is set to witness double-digit growth for the next five years. According to a latest report by ValueNotes, revenues from automotive design and engineering offshoring are expected to cross US $1 billion by 2010, from US $270 – $300 million in 2005. Estimates also show that the industry employs 12,000 people in India and is likely to see 30 per cent growth every year for the next three years.
Offshore Indian vendors can be categorized into four groups:
- Captives – GM, Delphi, Ford
- Subsidiaries of Indian auto OEMs – Mahindra, Hero, Eicher
- Independent engineering design firms – Plexion, DC Design, Neilsoft
- Indian IT services firms – TCS, Wipro, Infosys
Of these vendor groups, apart from the captives, subsidiaries of Indian auto OEMs are best positioned to offer end-to-end design and engineering services. This is on account of their domain knowledge, and financial muscle to invest in organic and inorganic growth to build capabilities. Rather than piecemeal sub-contracting of design, engineering and manufacturing jobs, auto companies would prefer vendors offering end-to-end services or complete solutions in future. This provides an entry point for more Indian auto ancillaries to move from pure manufacturing to providing the complete range of solutions – from design to manufacture to delivery.
Independent engineering and design firms will be hot targets for mergers and acquisitions as companies with greater financial strength, primarily IT firms, subsidiaries of Indian OEMs and ancillaries look to acquire capabilities and clients. “Many of the independent design and engineering firms will look at this as an opportunity to exit, or align with a strong financial partner”, says analyst Neeraja Kandala.
The report is based on extensive interviews with key people at various automotive design outsourcing companies in India.
The report is designed to help:
- Automotive companies, OEMs and ancillary suppliers
- Outsourcing consultants evaluate and compare the offerings of vendors
- Automotive engineering and design service vendors to assess their competitive environment
- Venture Capital companies looking for investment opportunities
- Researchers looking for detailed information on automotive engineering and design outsourcing