Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) saw titans of industry highlight the huge untapped potential for British businesses to tap into the ever-growing Indian market.
The conference took place at WMG, which recently saw the soft opening of the National Automotive Innovation Centre, a £150 million facility, the largest single automotive facility in Europe, now renamed as Lord Bhattacharya Building in honour of the founder and chairman of WMG.
Lord Bhattacharya has made extraordinary contributions to the regeneration of British industry over the last four decades. He was also instrumental in the acquisition of JLR by Tata Motors, in addition to supporting several well known Indian automotive companies in their R & D strategies.
Speaking at the conference Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya stated that Tata Motors and JLR specialists are working together with academics and experts from WMG to develop the cars of the future, and the soon to be opened centre will become an innovation hub, setting a new benchmark for the world.
Prof Dr Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover stated, “Ten years ago, Ratan Tata had the vision to bring Jaguar Land Rover into the Tata family. Since then, JLR has grown to become a global player in the luxury, premium and performance marketplace, an exemplar of British invention and engineering excellence.”
“For many years at the helm of Tata Group and now as chairman emeritus, Ratan Tata has encouraged group companies like JLR to continuously rethink about how we do business, how we innovate.”
“In automotive, we will see more change in the next 5 years than in the last 50 as autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles, what we at JLR call ‘ACES’ are becoming real. At JLR, we call this future mobility as Destination Zero: zero emissions, zero accidents, zero congestion; and our journey towards Destination Zero has already started. The Jaguar I-Pace, the world’s first premium electric SUV, is the latest step.”
“Collaborations are vital – for no company alone can deliver destination zero. This is why JLR, Tata and WMG have together now invested £150 million in the largest single automotive technology facility in Europe, now officially named as Lord Bhattacharya building.”
“In skills, India leads the way, producing more qualified engineers than anywhere else in the world. In technology, I think of the Indian graduates who were drawn to Silicon Valley in the 1970s and 1980s. They have since been at the forefront of the digital revolution that has defined California – and changed the world for the rest of us.”
“India is well positioned to respond to the rapid pace of change because it has innovation embedded into the fabric of its society. The opportunity for today and tomorrow is to harness India’s rich expertise and skill in a new mobility ecosystem. Not just to Make in India, but to Make with India and to Make for India.”
“Prime minister Modi said ‘Make in India’ is a lion’s step. From the home of the British Jaguar, we encourage and support you in taking this Indian ‘Lion’s step’.”
Vinnie Mehta, Director General, Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (ACMA), India stated that Indian auto-component industry is poised to become the third-largest in the world by 2025, and the automotive sector currently contributes seven per cent to India’s GDP and 49 per cent to the manufacturing GDR.
The expert panel comprising of Prof Lord Bhattacharya, Prof Dr Ralf Speth, Amo Kalar, Vinnie Mehta, and Kiran Khatri engaged with the audience, replying to their queries on the prospects of UK-India partnership in automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors.
The conference was jointly hosted by WMG, CWLEP, and Consulate of India as part of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Festival, supported by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the CWLEP Growth Hub.