As the multinational automobile companies in the United States and Europe are off shoring their research and development operations to India, hopes are high that this could turn the country into a virtual research and development powerhouse. Skyrocketing fuel costs and general recessionary trends are compelling carmakers overseas to move away from big cars to compact cars, opening a huge business opportunity for domestic and international carmaker in India such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, GM, Ford, Toyota, etc. Their research centres in India are believed to be focusing on competencies, two-and three-dimension modelling, computer-aided drafting and add-ons to existing products.
Hyundai India has recently established a dedicated research and development centre at Madhapur, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. The centre, set up at an investment of US$ 40 million will be involved in providing the engineering services through Computer Aided Designing (CATIA)and Computer Aided Engineering (Hypermesh) tools in designing the automobiles parts and will be fully utilised by its parent company, Hyundai Motor Company, and Kia Motors Corporate of Republic of Korea. It is to be mentioned that Hyundai and Kia together have such centres in the United States, Europe, and Japan apart from the global research and development headquarters at Ulsan, Korea.
Unconfirmed media reports suggest that the current strength of employee is around 200-250 people in various fields and having rich experience in the field. It is envisaged that in near future the company is going to employ 800 in a period of 2 years for undertaking the widen job scope in research segment in full swing. The company’s main objective is to undertake the basic, application oriented and strategic research in information and communication technologies including software, telemetric, and simulation systems, for all kinds of vehicles and drive systems. However, the company’s upcoming small car, which would be smaller than Santro, is currently being developed in Korea.
Of late, ‘The Economic Times’ has exclusively reported that engineers at Maruti Suzuki are working on improving their CNG-fuelled engines, the aim being to reduce/eliminate the loss of power that’s associated with the use of currently available CNG fuel to the engine; MPFI will allow CNG to be injected into the engine via multiple, fine, high-pressure streams, which will improve combustion efficiency, eliminate loss of power and even improve fuel efficiency.