Reliable Indian team
Despite the coronavirus crisis, pre-series production of the new ŠKODA car has begun in Pune
s part of the INDIA 2.0 project, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) is preparing four new models for the Indian market: two SUVs and two ŠKODA and Volkswagen sedans. “For us, these cars are the future of the local market. Thanks to this project, we are able to double our production capacity in Pune”, says Stephan Walden, who is in charge of Launch Management at the Pune plant. Although the spread of the coronavirus complicated the situation, preparation of the ŠKODA SUV on the MQB-A0-IN platform has already entered the pre-series phase. “We won’t let anything – not even a virus – stop us on our path to success in India”, adds Walden.
Without respecting local values and using local resources and people’s skills, success would have been impossible. Therefore, we decided to produce 95 percent of the components in India.
Head of Launch Management at the Pune plant
The Indian market is highly diversified with fierce competition and has been growing rapidly in recent years. The demanding local customers mostly value the cars’ useful features, assistance elements and connectivity, but they also want an affordable price. Consequently, cooperation with Indian suppliers plays an important role.
The start-up team offensive
The problems started when work in China was interrupted. Tools and moulds like sheet metal stampings are produced there that are used to make parts in India. Next, the pandemic affected Europe, from where the Pune plant receives professional support from experts who were unable to travel. The difficult situation in India continues, where it has led to an occasional shortage of manpower and outages in the supply of parts, as well as production. A solution has been found – the key role was played by the exceptional personal commitment of experts from all professional departments and, at the same time, the use of new modern communication methods, such as Skype conferences or video transmissions. Given the current situation, the start-up team became active linking the required professional departments and preparing the necessary steps to manage the pre-series phase. “Another, no less important task with the start-up team was to train the supplier of weldments for production according to the carmaker’s standards”, Walden adds, defining the 30 most important processes to facilitate the pre-series phase. These include the implementation of ŠKODA AUTO standards within the supply chain and a structured product optimisation process. Rani Tolimat
A new era of quality
Pune’s modern car testing centre has been providing all activities under one roof since the spring
he aim of the INDIA 2.0 project is not only to introduce new models and technologies but also to keep pace with customers’ increasing requirements and the demands of the local market. This is why SAVWIPL has opened a new Quality Centre in Pune this year, which combines all analytical and testing activities in one spot. “For the Quality Management area, this is a milestone that means a transition to a higher level of local capabilities and options. Analytical capacities with precisely defined goals will enable us to succeed within a competition focused on customers and services”, says Pavol Zaic, head of GQ1 – PL Quality Management SMALL.
When producing or developing cars, the carmaker relies on local suppliers, and establishing a new top facility is similar. Thanks to these steps, costs are significantly reduced. One example of a facility involving local suppliers is a watertightness test facility equipped with a device for testing inclined vehicles. The lab has received special equipment for acoustic and noise tests from Europe and even has a darkroom for calibrating lights and a device for axle geometry adjusting. Cars for the Indian market have to withstand specific conditions. Customers are using them more frequently in more demanding terrain or during the monsoon season on roads impacted by the downpour. ED
Let’s Help India
ŠKODA AUTO and the KOVO Trade Union have launched a fundraising campaign to help the home and school for blind girls in Pune. You can contribute with a one-off contribution from your salary via the @SMART Employee fundraising Campaign application or by sending a donation to the ŠKODA AUTO employees’ charity account with the transparent account no. 8610022/0800. The carmaker and the trade union will then double the collected amount. The fundraising runs until 25 September.