How Eicher aims to win customers in the BS6 era
Published On Mar 09, 2020
The company is promising not just trucks with modern technology but also taking a multipronged approach to serving its customers better by offering efficient and performance-driven trucks. To successfully do this, it has reskilled its service workforce, set excellence in retail network, and established ‘Uptime’ centre at its Pithampur plant to provide real-time support.
VE Commercial Vehicle is one of the prominent full-range truck makers aim to modernise commercial transportation in India. The implementation of BS6 norms in a few weeks from now is an opportunity for the company to just do that by the introduction of the latest generation, advance, powerful and safer trucks called ‘EUTECH6’ unveiled last week at its plant in Pithampur, Indore.
Vinod Aggarwal, MD & CEO and Rajinder S Sachdeva, COO, VECV unveiled the trucks
The company is promising much more with its EUTECH6 truck than only emission upgradation. EUTECH6 means VECV has over 6 years of experience in handling BS6 technology in India. VECV has been producing world-class BS6 engines right in India for over the last 6 years much before India decided to skip the BS5 emission standards and move straight away to much stringent BS6 emissions. The company so far has shipped over 100,000 BS6 engines to Volvo Group, which are running in more than 40 countries worldwide.
VECV’s EUTECH6 trucks are not just a high-quality product, but a lot of focus put on operating costs and the performance of its BS6 trucks. Eicher with its BS6 trucks is creating a standard with the combination of global technology and innovative support service. Eicher over the years is known for its promise of most fuel-efficient trucks, and it is confident that its BS6 trucks will carry forward this heritage to offer superior mileage against the market belief that the fuel-efficiency drop with new emission. Further, in making these trucks more reliable, extensive inputs and learning from the Volvo Group also sought, besides bringing innovation in offering unique solutions specific to Indian operating conditions. For example, the company is bringing duty-cycle based SCR systems making sure the customer benefit. The company is promising best fluid economy, lower fuel consumption and diesel exhaust fluid consumption. The new engines are tested for over 560,000 km with SCR technology.
The EUTECH6 trucks promise more than just new emission norms with high efficiency and productivity with superior customer experience.
VECV has developed a new engine family to power its BS6 vehicles comprising seven diesel and two CNG engines ranging between 2-10 liters with 100 to 350HP of power with higher torque of over 13-30% for its customers for superior uptime of vehicles and the highest productivity. This new engine family is adequate to serve the market in a variety of truck combination today and in the near future.
VECV has also worked relentlessly over the last year to get its after-sales network in place to support the customers once the BS6 trucks start to spread across the length and breadth of the country.
VECV's E474 BSVI 3 liter, diesel engine with 120 140 hp range likely to deploy in the MTD range of trucks. The company has total of 7 engines family with 5 diesel and 2 CNG engines.
To ensure a greater customer experience with higher vehicle productivity, VECV has come up with first of its kind concept in the Indian CV industry, which is an ‘Uptime’centre. Set-up at Pithampur plant it is a 24x7 support system to the customer on a real-time basis. The company is also deploying 340+ GPS enabled service van for round the clock service.
‘Uptime’- means ensuring the trucks stay on the road most of the time, transporting good and ensuring that the customer uses his vehicle effectively for his transport business to earn a higher return from his asset. VECV promises the highest uptime for its customers with its BS6 trucks by ensuring serving a truck anywhere in the country with the minimum time possible time and importantly at an affordable cost.
The uptime centre started in April 2019 has consistently increased its efficiencies in resolving cases and now ready to move in second phase post BS6
Why uptime is important?
Over the last 5-7 years, trucks in India have undergone tremendous change as more and more technology is getting into trucks, the higher power-to-weight ratios, increasing electronics and digitilisation, etc further made trucks more tech-savvy. Also, the customers are now far more informed than in the past, this is further complemented by improving road infrastructure. This means modern, efficient, reliable and profitable trucks become norms rather than the exception, and Indian trucks have indeed become global. Increasing truck prices also mean the truck owners are looking to earn more from their trucks, and hence the TCO becomes exceptionally critical.
Call center part of the Uptime center to support customers 24x7 on a realtime basis in various regional languages ensuring the vehicle issues are addressed and put back on road at the earliest.
What is the Uptime centre?
The ‘uptime’ concept has been successfully implemented by the Volvo Group globally and VECV is now bringing it to India to serve its customers better. Spread across 2400 sq.me with 65 plus agents, this centre is a co-located facility supported by-product, quality, and warranty teams of the company. This is a one-stop-shop for a decision to be made to put a vehicle back on the road at the quickest possible time by comprehensively working on a real-time basis on data analysis.
The key element of Uptime I is changing the company’s dynamics of support to customers from a reactive mode to proactive. This means if a customer is seeking help, the company does check on the truck’s overall health and status proactively by giving support to the customer through technicians. The active management is ensuring the vehicle is on the road most of the time by diagnostic support, parts availability, etc. The uptime centre started working in April 2019 and since then, the performance has improved with 708 cases getting handled with 98% efficiency within 8 hours.
Training on wheels a special vehicle full-air-condition van equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment to imparts BS6 skills to mechanics at dealerships. Each van has a dedicated trainer and driver.
Uptime 2.0 is the most crucial role of the whole promise. The telematics fitted into the heavy-duty BS6 trucks will facilitate predictive management through various sensors in the trucks. Thus to launch efforts towards potential failure on the truck, making sure to detect an early failure before the vehicle breaks-down. Already 35 customers with 600 vehicles are being tracked through predictive maintenance for a proof of concept and roll-out of the predictivity management for heavy-duty trucks in the first quarter of next year.
The Uptime centre will drive key features such as
-field support service
-on-site support service
- Eicher on-road service
-Vendor support service
A special area within the plant is created to showcase the preparedness for BSVI 'call as BSVI learning zone' equipped with all the driveline products to explain the nuances for the technology.
VECV believes a great truck needs an eco-system to deliver the benefits to the customer at the last mile. This includes excellent service and to achieve this, VECV is upscaling dealers for superior customer experience to gain customer loyalty and brand awareness. Each dealership is being certified for Uptime services by stringent quality requirements for a greater customer experience.
Speaking to Trucksdekho, Vinod Aggarwal, MD & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicle said, “As far as BS6 products are concerned, we are confident and a much better position than other players. We will have an edge in going into the new emission norms, and that’s why we have name our trucks differently as EUTECH6. With these trucks, we are offering more than just BS6 emission regulations.”
Master drivers undergoing critical training at the plant
Elaborating on the industry performance and how VE Commercial Vehicle has done this fiscal year, Aggarwal said, “This industry is going through challenging time, the anticipation of the pre-buying in the last three months hasn’t happened. In fact, in February, the total volume was among the lowest and the M&HCVs are down 50% and 5-15T segment down more than 35% as compared to last year.”
However, he expects the absence of pre-buying in this fiscal may help the industry in the first quarter of FY21 in the hope that customer who has postponed their purchases will come back to market April onwards.
Mechanics sourced from various dealerships are trained at the Pithampur plant with 9 weeks program who then go to the field to train mechanics across the country
VE Commercial Vehicles has done incredible work in getting ready with its new BS6 trucks. The company is now fully geared to launch its EUTECH6 truck in the market. Now it is up to the customers!