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Comparative Assessment of Indian and

Chinese Auto-component Landscape

August, 2007
ncreasing margin pressure on automotive OEMs in developed markets is compelling
them to source components from Low Cost Countries to reduce costs. This, coupled
with the growing domestic automotive demand, is expected to fuel the growth of the
Indian and Chinese autocomponent industries. Structurally, with presence of a large
number of very small players, the autocomponent industry in both these countries is
fragmented. While global tier-1 suppliers have limited manufacturing footprint in these
countries, several of them have technology tie-ups with large local players. A study of
the brakes segment shows that top manufacturers in both countries, while local, have
the quality capabilities to supply to global customers. Both countries have significant cost
advantage over western counterparts; they will however need to invest in R&D to emerge
as world class suppliers.
Background: from leading global OEMs and auto component companies
The automotive markets in China and India have witnessed across the entire value chain spectrum (from product design
healthy growth rates over the last few years. While sales of to integration and delivery). These investments along with
passenger vehicles in China have grown at a healthy rate of investments by local manufacturers are leading to rapid
over 40% CAGR from 2001 to 2006, India has grown at ramp up of capabilities in terms of product quality and
14% CAGR during the same period. technological sophistication.
Significantly, these markets have recorded As North American and European OEMs
phenomenal growth in passenger vehicle production and increasingly face revenue and profitability pressures, they
this trend is expected to continue. As shown in Figure 1, have turned to sourcing components from suppliers from low
Chinese passenger vehicle production is expected to grow cost countries. Over the last five years, as shown in Figure 2,
from 5.1 million units in 2007 to 9 million units by 2011 US autocomponent imports from China grew from US$1.8
(15% CAGR), while production in India is expected to billion to US$5.4 billion (CAGR of 32.4%); while imports
grow from 1.5 million units to 2.3 million (11% CAGR) from India grew from US$179 million to US$463 million
during the same period. (CAGR of 26.8%). The rising interest from OEMs and
The attractive growth rates in the Indian and Tier-1s in developed markets, is thus driving several suppliers
Chinese markets, especially in the context of stagnant growth in China and India to think beyond their domestic markets,
in developed markets, have attracted large scale investments and strive to emerge as global suppliers.

Figure 1: Passenger vehicle production and projected growth in China and India (MM Units)

PV Production – China PV Production – India

(Million units) CAGR=15% (Million units)
10 9.0 9

CAGR=23% 6 2007-2011
6 5.1 CAGR=11%
4 3.1 CAGR=21%
2.2 2.5 3 2.3
1.2 1.3 1.5
2 0.7 1.0

0 0
FY'03 FY'04 FY'05 FY'06 FY'07 FY'11 FY'03 FY'04 FY'05 FY'06 FY'07 FY'11

A.T. Kearney

Figure 2: US auto component imports from China and India For the macro analysis, we have assessed the size, growth,
(US$, MM) ownership profiles and fragmentation of the industry, as
6000 5,871 CAGR
India 26.8%
well as government policies. For the micro analysis, we have
assessed the brakes segment, which is characterized by high
5000 engineering value addition, assembly-level integration and
system design requirements. We have primarily compared
4000 the cost structures, quality and product development
capabilities of suppliers in both the countries.
3000 234 5,408 China 32.4%

1,937 Macro Analysis

2000 179
Overview of the autocomponent industry in China and
1000 India

Market size and growth
2001 2003 2005
With over US$50 billion in revenues in 2005, the size of
Objective and Scope of study: the Chinese autocomponent industry dwarfs the size of the
With the Indian and Chinese autocomponent industries Indian industry valued at US$11.3 billion. As shown in
assuming increasing global significance, do they have the Figure 3, China’s auto component sales has seen explosive
capabilities to capitalize on these opportunities? Have the growth of 42% CAGR over the last five years while the
suppliers in these countries acquired the requisite capabilities Indian auto component sales has witnessed a comparatively
in product design, manufacturing, quality and delivery? sedate growth of 23%. However, going forward, the growth
Are suppliers in both countries capable of only supplying in the Chinese market is expected to significantly slow down
components, or do they have the potential to graduate although China will still continue to slightly outpace India
to assemblies and modules? What are the competitive in overall growth (18% vs. 16%). This slowdown in growth
advantages of companies in these two countries in the auto can be attributed to three key factors:
component space? What is the relative competitiveness of 1. Sales of passenger vehicles is expected to cool down to
companies in these two countries? around 14% in China going forward (partly driven by
To answer these questions, A.T. Kearney the government to cool the economy)
conducted an assessment of the autocomponent supplier 2. Global auto companies are beginning to invest in and
base in India and China, to compare their emerging source from other LCC’s as a natural hedge to their
structure of the industry, supplier capabilities and current overexposure in China
relative competitiveness. For the purpose of the study, 3. Competitors from other low cost countries like India
we have assessed both macro as well as micro dimensions that ramp up in size and scale and become credible
of the industry. alternatives

Figure 3: Indian and Chinese auto component sales (US$, MM)

Indian Auto Components Sales (US$, Million) China Auto Components Sales (US$, Million)
25000 23,969 120000 115,593 (’05-’10P)

100000 29,437
20000 CAGR: 16% 8,079 Exports 34% CAGR: 18% Exports 22%

11,300 60000
10000 1,870 17%
CAGR: 23%
15,890 Domestic 11% 10,837 86,156 Domestic
40000 CAGR: 42%

5000 3,965 9,430

625 20000 39,408
0 0
2000 2005 2010 2000 2005 2010

A.T. Kearney

Supplier landscape global OEMs and tier-1 suppliers into the Chinese market.
The automotive landscape in China and India are similar to Over US$6.3 billion of foreign investment in the automotive
the extent that both are still highly fragmented with a large sector has entered China between 2002-04, resulting in
number of small players. As shown in Figure 4, while only significant investments in capacities and production.
12.4% (1,484 of nearly 12,000) of the auto component The easing of regulatory frameworks in both the
companies have revenues greater than US$1 MM in China, countries has “leveled the playing field” and there is no
the percentage is lower at 8.9% (443 of nearly 5,000) in discernable difference in government policy between India
India. and China in most major areas like foreign ownership,
Relatively, fragmentation is higher in Chinese localization, import tariffs and incentives for R&D.
autocomponent sector vis-à-vis India. Top 10 suppliers in
India accounted for 31% of the market while in China
they accounted for only 18% of the market. This is due Figure 4: Market share and auto component supplier turnover
to a scattered geographical OEM footprint and greater Cumulative market share
fragmentation in the OEM market in China. In India, (Top 10 autocomponent suppliers)
Top 2 passenger car OEMs account for over 60% share of 31%
the market, while in China, they account for only 22% of 
the market. 
 18%
Government policy 

Government regulations in both countries have played 
a significant role in driving growth of the local supplier India China
base. Import duties on vehicles and components in both No. of Auto Component Suppliers with Turnover >US$1 MN
countries were initially maintained at very high levels, 1,484
encouraging local production. However both governments
have progressively reduced import duties (10% in China 
- down from 50% pre-WTO and 12.8% in India - down  443
from 44% in 2001). Both the governments have also been 
actively encouraging foreign investments in the automotive 
and autocomponent sectors. A significant part of China’s India China
Note: (1) Market share based on share of organized sector revenues; for India, 498 suppliers registered
recent automotive growth has been driven by its entry into with ACMA have been considered as part of the organized sector; China market share is based on share
of Top 10 suppliers in revenues of all suppliers registered with China Auto Association and with
the WTO in 2001, which has resulted in the entry of several turnover greater than US$1 MM

Figure 5: Comparison of government regulations

India China
Foreign • No restrictions on foreign ownership or minimum size of • No restrictions on foreign ownership for automotive suppliers
ownership and investment • Minimum investment required for establishing a facility
• Automatic approval of 100% FDI for automobiles and – Minimum US$190 MM for engine production
entry barriers components – Minimum US$64 MM for R&D center
• Auto components FDI must be approved by PRC commercial
Domestic sourc- • No government regulations mandating localization • No government regulations mandating localization, but parts localization
ing/ localization encouraged through tax incentives

Import duties • High import duties on CBUs (60%) restricts significant imports • 25% import tariffs on vehicles (down from 70-80% pre WTO)
and promotes local production • 25% import tariffs on SKD
• No special concessions extended for SKDs (import duty @60%) • 10% import tariffs on vehicle components (down from 15-50% pre
• Import/ Customs duties on Autocomponents have fallen to WTO)
12.8% in FY’07 (From ~44% in FY’01) • Import quotas phased out
• No import quotas exist
R&D • Fiscal and financial incentives to promote R&D (150% tax • Fiscal and financial incentives to promote R&D (150% income tax relief
relief on R&D), planning to be extended for another ten years on R&D expense, may be carried forward for 5 years)
• Euro III emission norms implemented nationwide by April • Environment protection and energy saving technology
2005 – Adoption of Euro III in 2007 and Euro IV before 2010
Others • VAT has recently been introduced replacing multiple state taxes • Import duty is exempted for production machinery of auto engine,
on raw materials and sales assemblies, and auto electronics products
• VAT Tax refund for product export (13% of COGS)
• Bonded warehouses are not allowed to store imported cars since 2005

A.T. Kearney

Micro Analysis – Brakes Segment having revenues greater than US$1MM, the top two Indian
The supply base in the brakes segment in both countries was companies are larger than their Chinese counterparts as
profiled along two dimensions: shown in Figure 8.
• Supplier landscape assessment
• Supplier capability assessment 
Figure 6: Number of players in brakes segment
Supplier landscape assessment No. of brake and brake component manufacturers
with revenues >US$1 MM
The brakes segment is characterized by high engineering
value addition, and typically commands higher margins.  38
Globally most large brake suppliers are enhancing their 
system design capabilities (complete brake assemblies to  15
front corner modules) to gain a competitive advantage
in this segment. As suppliers in low cost countries gain
maturity in this segment, North American and European 
India China
OEMs are increasingly looking at opportunities to source
Note: (1) Only Organized sector brake suppliers have been considered (In case of India
brake components and some sub-assemblies from LCC – this refers to suppliers who are registered with ACMA)
The sophistication of the brake market in India
is slowly catching up with that of developed markets as Figure 7:
Level of consolidation among brake companies
indicated by the increasing penetration of Anti-lock Braking 
Systems (ABS) units in passenger vehicles. Electronic No. of brake and brake component manufacturer
Stability Control (ESC) is expected to be introduced in which 
account for ~80% of the market
mass volume cars in a few years. Chinese brake market is 
also witnessing greater penetration of ABS and ESC. 
The brakes segment is typically associated with high 
barriers to entry – restricting the market to large organized 5
players. Due to the high safety and hence product liability
concerns associated with brakes, capital requirement for 
India China
setting up testing and validation facilities for complete
Note: (1) Only Organized sector brake suppliers have been considered (In case of India
brake systems is high. Continuous innovation in the brake – this refers to suppliers who are registered with ACMA)
system market with introduction of new products like ABS,
ESP etc. requires a high level of technical sophistication,
which smaller players do not have. Figure 8: Key Indian and Chinese brake manufacturers
Chinese automotive brake and brake components
market has more than double the number of companies Indian brake and brake Chinese brake and brake
vis-à-vis India with revenues greater than US$1 MM. The component manufacturer component manufacturer
Indian market is more consolidated as indicated by the fact Revenue Revenue
that the top 5 companies in India account for 80% of the Company (2005) Company (2005)
market, whereas in China, Top 12 companies account for US$ MM US$ MM
80% of the market as shown in Figure 7. Brakes India Yatai Brakes
191 100
The Indian brake industry is a near-oligopoly Ltd(1)
with the top two companies – Brakes India and Robert Robert Bosch Hongyu Brakes
114 88
Bosch Chassis Systems dominating the complete brake India Ltd.
system market, accounting for more than 60% of the Sundaram Mando Brakes
84 83
market. Moreover, three of the top 5 Indian brake and Clayton Ltd.
brake component manufacturers are controlled by a single Rane Brake Wanxiang
42 45
promoter family – the TVS group. Linings Ltd.
In revenue terms, the size of the top 5 companies Sundaram Brake ASIMCO
36 37
are comparable in both the countries. It is also interesting to Linings Ltd.
note that although China has a higher number of companies Note: (1) FY’04 data for Brakes India Ltd. Revenues from brakes division ~US$119 MM

A.T. Kearney

Most Global OEM’s have still not penetrated enough in these two large markets except Robert Bosch in India and Mando
brakes in China. Most of the top Indian and Chinese companies are controlled by local players. Historically, many of
the local suppliers have entered into technical collaborations and JV’s with global Tier I suppliers as a means to acquire
technology and basic product design capabilities.

Figure 9: Ownership profile of brake and brake component manufacturers

Indian brake and brake component Chinese brake and brake component
manufacturer manufacturer
Ownership Ownership
Company Company
(Technical Collaboration) (Technical Collaboration)

Brakes India Ltd. Indian family controlled (Technical alliances Yatai Brakes Chinese owned; Limited MNC technical
with several foreign Tier 1s (TRW, Tokico collaboration
ltd, Akebono Brake Ind. Co. Ltd, Meritor

Robert Bosch India Bosch Subsidiary (80% owned by Bosch) Hongyu Brakes Chinese owned; also has JV subsidiary with
Ltd. TRW; (15% product technology licensed
from Tokico and TRW; 85% product
technology developed by Hongyu R&D
center (mainly reverse engineering))

Sundaram Clayton Indian owned (Technical and financial Mando Brakes Foreign enterprise (Korean parent company)
Ltd. alliance with WABCO, UK)

Rane Brake Linings Indian owned (Technical collaboration with Wanxiang Chinese owned (Acquired technology from
Ltd. Nisshinbo Industries, Japan) subsidiary JVs, Bosch, and Korean supplier)

Sundaram Brake Indian owned Asimo Chinese owned (Licenses technology from
Linings Ltd. Bosch)

We also notice that most of the global MNC’s have their presence in both the countries only through technical tie-ups and
not through a large manufacturing presence. Even the companies that have manufacturing subsidiaries in these countries
are not large in scale, except for Bosch in India.

Figure 10: Presence of global MNC’s in India and China

Global Brake
India China
Bosch Subsidiary - Robert Bosch Chassis Systems Subsidiary - Bosch Automotive Products (Suzhou) Co. Ltd.
(Earlier Kalyani Brakes India).
TRW Technical collaboration with Brakes India Ltd. Wholly owned subsidiary - TRW Automotive Components
(Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (TACS)
Continental Technical Collaboration – with Mando and JV - Shanghai Automotive Brake Actuation Co. Ltd. (SABA)
Anand Group JV (Mando Brakes India)
Aisin Seiki Not Present in the Brakes Segment in India • Subsidiary - Hosei (Fu Zhou) Brake Industry Co. Ltd.
• ADVICS (global brake/ brake parts supplier with a 40% Aisin
Seiki stake) has 2 subsidiaries in China
Wabco Technical collaboration with Sundram Clayaton Subsidiary - WABCO Jinan
Delphi Subsidiary – Delphi India Subsidiary – H Delphi Dynamics & Propulsion
Meritor Technical Collaboration with Brakes India JV with FAW group in China
Tokico Technical Collaboration with Brakes India Technical tie up with Hongyu; also present directly through a
Akebono Technical Collaboration with Brakes India Subsidiaries in Guangzhou and Suzhou

A.T. Kearney

Comparison of export of brake and brake products from in both markets spend less than 1-1.5% of revenues on
both these countries reveals a sizable lead for China in terms R&D. Some of the top suppliers in China are spending
of export turnover. Currently China is exporting nearly 10 on par with global standards at 2.5-3% of revenue while
times more brake and brake component parts globally as their large Indian counterparts’ spends are slightly lower
compared to India. China has consolidated its leadership at 1.5-2% of revenue. Still a majority of the Indian and
position in the export market due to its manufacturing head Chinese companies seem to be “part-to-print” suppliers and
start. Exports will continue to increase steadily in coming have not graduated to developing products on their own.
years as more Chinese suppliers, driven by intensifying
domestic price competition, develop or expand their Quality capabilities
overseas customer base. Exports from India have grown but As shown in Figure 13, majority of suppliers in both countries
are still behind the Chinese counterparts. are well outside the global quality benchmarks of less than
50 ppm. Relatively Indian Tier-1 suppliers are better with
Figure 11: Comparison of total exports of automotive brakes defects in the range of 50-200 ppm vis-a-vis Chinese tier-1
and brake components (US$ MM) suppliers who have much higher defects variation ranging
India from 10-350 ppm. This variation is attributable to the fact
 China 543 that some global MNC’s have been able to exceed global
 445 quality standards by producing brake parts for ~10 ppm in
China. Having said that, some leading Indian and Chinese
brake suppliers currently do meet global standards on
 quality. Most of the Top 5 Indian and Chinese suppliers,
 have a quality level of <120 defects ppm, a value that is
 51
acceptable for exports.
Almost all organized sector suppliers in both

  India and China are ISO 9000 certified, and most suppliers
abide by TS16949 requirements, which are mandatory
Supplier capability assessment requirements by global OEMs for exports. It is interesting
Value chain positioning to note that many Indian companies such as Brakes India,
Tier-1 suppliers in India and China are largely component Sundaram Clayton, Sundaram Brake Linings and Rane
manufacturers that have gained capabilities to assemble Brake Linings have received the Deming Award for quality.
complete brake systems typically through JV’s and technical
collaborations. No supplier has yet graduated to assembly Figure 13: Quality and certification levels of Indian and
of complete modules. Brake assemblers in both countries Chinese brake suppliers
are similar in that both have a large portion of indigenous PPM defects (Front Disc Breaks)
~10-350 ppm
manufacturing content. In addition, these companies

have developed strong engineering, product design and 300

50-200 ppm

integration capabilities. 200


Figure 12: Value chain positioning of Indian and Chinese 100

~50 ppm
manufacturers 0

Assembly of India China Global Benchmark

Components Assemblies Modules
India China
• TMC Booster • Brake system • Chassis corner
• Brake Caliper Assembly module Certifications • Almost all organized • Almost all Leading
• Brake Disc • Wheel to
sector manufacturers are companies have an ISO
• Brake Drums Wheel module
• ABS Parts • Brake Corner ISO 9001 and QS 9000 9000 certification, which is
• Brake Linings Module certified prerequisite for some OEMs
• Top 5 companies are also • Most suppliers have
Global Suppliers � � � ISO 14001 certified TS16949/VD6 certifications,
Indian Suppliers � � • Several suppliers have required by some global
Chinese Suppliers � � TS16949 certification
required by global OEMs

Awards/ • Brakes India, Sundram • No Chinese suppliers have

While the product development capabilities of recognition Clayton, Sundaram Brake won Deming award
suppliers in India and China are still evolving, a comparison Linings and Rane Brake
Linings have received the
of the R&D spend indicates that a majority of the players Deming Award for quality

A.T. Kearney

Cost competitiveness their cost advantage.

Assessment of key cost drivers indicate a marginal cost In order to estimate the overall impact of the above
advantage for China vis-à-vis India. The key cost drivers factors on unit cost, we have compared the Pre-VAT price to
include wage rates, steel prices, power tariffs and taxes. OEM of one front disc-brake module for B-segment (small
While India and China are comparable on raw hatchback) cars between the two countries. Our study
material costs, wage rates in China are 12% - 35% cheaper shows that the benefits enjoyed by the Chinese suppliers
(depending on skill level) than India. In addition, Chinese translate into an ~ 8% overall cost advantage (Pre-VAT) for
suppliers also enjoy a higher subsidy on power, adding to them vis-à-vis Indian players.

Figure 14: Comparison of cost drivers between India and China

India China
Steel price per kg • Average steel price: ~US$ 0.4-0.6/kg • Average steel price: US$ 0.40-0.52/kg
• Cast iron: US$ 0.37-0.38/kg • Nodular cast iron: US$ 0.30-0.40/kg
Labour cost/ hr • ~US$ 2.4/hr • US$ 2.10/hr(1)
Skilled labour
Labour cost/ hr • ~US$ 1.3/hr • US$ 0.85/hr(1)
unskilled labour
Power tariff per KWh • ~US$ 0.09-0.1/KWh • Industry electricity price: US$ 0.05-0.085/
Indirect tax rate • Indirect tax/VAT: 12.5% • VAT: 17%
Other overheads (%) • ~7-8% (2)
• ~7-8%(2)
of revenues
Notes: (1) Based on monthly wages + fringe benefits, assume 22 working days per month, 8 hours/day, overtime cost not included
(2) Based on analysis of financial statements of Indian and Chinese brake and brake component systems suppliers; includes SG&A and other overheads (Excluding depreciation
and interest)

Figure 15: Pre-VAT prices to OEMs – India vs China (US$/ Front Disc-brake unit)

US$ 19.7
US$ 18.2
5.8 Brake Disc

12.4 Caliper Assembly

India China
Note: (1) Caliper Assembly consists of Caliper Piston, Sealing Ring, Sliding pin, Piston boot, caliper housing, brake pads

A.T. Kearney

Increasing competition due to stagnant automotive growth in advanced markets has resulted in OEMs
coming under margin pressure. This is resulting in OEMs forcing component manufacturers to
undertake progressive cost reduction, continuous upgradation in quality and more importantly setup
manufacturing base in Low Cost Countries (LCC) to cut costs.

Both Indian and Chinese autocomponent industries are expected to grow robustly to reach
US$24 billion and US$116 billion respectively by 2010, driven by the robust growth in the domestic
automotive markets and healthy exports growth. Enabling government regulations have played a
significant role in driving growth of local suppliers in both countries. They had been shielded with
high import duties in the past which have been progressively reduced to 10% in China and 12.8% in

A supplier landscape assessment of the brake and brake component segment indicates a relatively higher
level of fragmentation in China vis-à-vis India shown by the fact that the Top 5 companies account for
80% of the market in India when compared to Top 12 companies in China. However, a comparison
of the top 5 companies in both countries indicate a similarity in their sizes. Also, global MNCs have
limited presence through manufacturing facilities in these two markets but most domestic players have
technical collaboration with global majors.

Supplier capabilities indicate that Chinese Tier-1s show a higher variance on quality when compared
to Indian Tier-1s. This variance is attributable to the fact that some global MNCs have been able to
exceed quality standards by producing brake parts for less than ~10ppm in China. However, we have
also seen that top domestic players in both countries are on par with the best in the world and have the
capabilities to supply to global OEM’s today.

On the technology front, we find that the supply base in both countries lack the full product design
and development capabilities. Most suppliers in both countries are “part to print” manufacturers, and
depend heavily on their foreign partners for product development. Investment in R&D is imperative
for them to compete globally and emerge as important bases for off-shore design and engineering
(D&E) in the future.

From a cost perspective, while both China and India have distinct cost advantage over their western
counterparts, Chinese suppliers are nearly 10% less expensive than Indian companies on comparable
brake products. We believe that this price differential is due to lower wage rates and higher subsidy on
power tariff in China.

Based on our assessment of the supplier base in the brakes segment, we believe that Indian and Chinese
component suppliers have the potential to emerge as global suppliers. However, they should increase
their consistency in quality and invest in R&D to live up to this potential, and truly emerge as world
class suppliers.

A.T. Kearney

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