Schaeffler opens technology centre in India
Automotive supplier Schaeffler has opened a technology centre in India to develop software and electronics solutions for electric vehicles. As part of Schaeffler’s e-mobility division, experts in Pune will now work closely with the e-mobility headquarters in Bühl, Germany.
The new centre in the western Indian metropolis of Pune is, according to Schaeffler, “a strategically important cornerstone of a strong international R&D network for the development of innovative software and electronics solutions for drives and chassis”. The supplier says it is investing around 10 million euros in the new location and plans to employ around 200 developers on-site by the end of the year. The 5,000 square metre centre houses software and electronics laboratories, among other things.
The German company says a further expansion of activities in India is already being planned. This will make Pune into a major location for software and electronics development at Schaeffler in the future. The background to this is the growing demand for certain supplier parts: “Advances in vehicles progress in vehicles is already being realised – and will be realised much more in the future – not through classic mechanics, but primarily through software and electronics,” Schaeffler emphasises. Software and electronics will become a central component of Schaeffler’s range of products and services in the drive and chassis areas in the future.
Yogesh Patwardhan, Director, Schaeffler Technology Solutions India Private Limited, noted, “In the last few years, we have witnessed fast-paced change in technology scape driven by consumer preferences. Schaeffler Group is committed to enable the transition towards sustainable mobility by harmonising our manufacturing competency with digitalisation, electric and electronics competencies. As a result, we leverage local strengths that the world has to offer, and India has long established itself with its vast engineering talent availability. Schaeffler has a strong base in India already, and this centre was a natural extension of our commitment to expand our local footprint.”
According to the ITA, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) contributes over 13 per cent to India’s GDP, noting that the ICT sector and the Digital Economy are major economic drivers for the country. The US agency notes that Pune is one of the major ICT centres in India next to Bengaluru (also known as the Silicon Valley of India) and others. In 2021, India’s technology industry recorded its highest-ever growth rate, with $227 billion in revenue.
Electric car companies are increasingly turning to software to increase the potential applications and earnings from their vehicles. Hyundai recently revealed its roadmap for software-defined vehicles, and Nio recently launched in Europe with software-defined vehicles, which can then be used for a plethora of mobility services, such as taxi fleets, subscription and use-to-pay use models. With its new Mobilize brand, Renault is also increasingly relying on software for mobility services, and it’s looking like General Motors will do the same with its re-entry into the European market.
Schaeffler is well-known for both its components and entire systems. The company says it acquired electromobility contracts worth 3.2 billion euros in 2021 alone. In the first nine months of 2022, the company garnered contracts worth 4.7 billion euros. The supplier said that two-thirds of these were for the systems business.
Uwe Wagner, Member of the Board of Managing Directors for Research and Development at Schaeffler AG, says that the centre in Pune will add competencies in mechatronics, electronics, and software that play “a decisive role” in Schaeffler’s company strategy Roadmap 2025. “In this way, we will actively shape the transformation toward sustainable and electrified mobility. As part of the Schaeffler global R&D network, the newly established entity Schaeffler Technology Solutions India Private Limited in Pune will here play a key role.”
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