Bosch May Supply CRDi Technology for India “People’s Car”

Things are getting interesting in India

By Brendan Moore

08.11.2007

According to sources in the German auto industry, and echoed by Indian sources in New Delhi, Tier One component supplier Bosch is considering the task of providing inexpensive common rail direct injection (CRDi) technology for both the upcoming Tata 1-lakh car and the Renault-Bajaj $3000 USD car, important cars relative to the growth of the Indian auto industry (see India – The Future Auto Giant). All three parties have refused to comment on the reports.

If true, it means that Bosch will be supplying CRDi engine technology to Indian car buyers that only exists currently on CRDi hatchbacks that cost at least three times as much as the projected cost of either of the Indian cars. Any CRDi vehicle in India now brings a healthy purchase price as usually only large cars are fitted with the engine, the only exception being the Suzuki Swift diesel. But notwithstanding its size, the Suzuki Swift CRDi is at the top of the food chain in its class in terms of price.

Even at a price premium, though, the Swift is sought after, and other automakers have taken notice. The afore-mentioned Tata is preparing to launch a Dicot Indica CRDi this year, Hyundai is launching two small cars with CRDi engines this year, and it is an open secret that other automakers are considering their own CRDi cars.

Wolf Henning Scheider, president of the Gasoline Systems Division of Robert Bosch, announced two months ago the company’s intent to become “market and technology leaders” in the low price vehicle segment in what seemed to be a somewhat cryptic message at the time. But in those approximately 60 days since, the intent of the statement has become clearer.

Scheider said Robert Bosch is supplying “alternators, brakes and gasoline and diesel engine management systems for the Rs 1-lakh car from Tata” and in only four months, Bosch’s local engineers have “developed viable technical concepts and solutions” for the project. The CRDi technology fitted to a prototype engine reportedly returned fuel mileage in the 65-70 mpg range with an acceptable power output in initial tests, claim industry sources. In a first for the company, Bosch is developing CRDi systems at minimum cost to suit the configuration of an extremely low-cost vehicle. All these efforts add up to India possibly being the epicenter of low-cost CRDi technology in the future, and Bosch being the supplier to same.

Bosch’s involvement in the Tata project has also piqued the interest of the Bajaj-Renault joint venture, who is working like mad to develop their own version of a cheap “people’s car for India (see More on Renault-Nissan’s Global Plans for the Logan). Auto analysts say Bajaj-Renault may leverage Tata’s suppliers while doing their required R&D on its planned $3,000 car. In fact, it is believed they have already been in contact with Bosch about their future CRDi efforts for small cars in India. If Bajaj-Renault can sit back for a little while and let Tata do all the initial heavy lifting in terms of providing specifications for the inexpensive CRDi technology, they have got to figure that’s a pretty good deal for them.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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3 Comments

  1. I am just wondering how clean the engines will run with the cheaper technology. Will they pass the future EU emissions requirments?

  2. India needs cheap economical cars for the masses of people. I think this is very good for India.

  3. This car is aiming for the two wheeler owners in India. The price will not digest suddenly with the Western people because in their dream s a car with a price of 2500 USD will never come 🙂
    About quality : Pretty sure it will be a hit in India as well as all over the world!!
    Read more details of this car here
    meninweb.blogspot.com

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