Friday, February 26, 2021

Interaction- Kenji Kawamoto, MD, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries- VST Diesel Engines Pvt Ltd (MVDE)

We are a leading engine partner for many OEMs today


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries- VST Diesel Engines Private Ltd. (MVDE), a joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI), Japan and VST Tillers Tractors Ltd, India was established in 2007 at Mysore. MVDE produces diesel engines for off-highway applications for both domestic and international markets. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNTIES, KENJI KAWAMOTO, MANAGING DIRECTOR MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES- VST DIESEL ENGINES PRIVATE LTD. (MVDE) speaks about the latest trends in the Off Highway Engines industry, impact of Covid – 19 and a lot more



Give us an over view on Off Highway Engines industry, latest technology trends and market dynamics. What are the types of engines currently in demand.

The off highway engine industry is categorized based on its end application. The key segments are power generation, agricultural machinery, construction equipment and marine power. In broader view, each segment is evolving consistently and growing significantly except subdued demand in power generation due to increased power availability across the country. Having said, the market of large Diesel generators (of above 500 kva) is keep growing, and still have the scope due to lot of infrastructure development left in the country. The demand for low & mid power – until 500 kva, was largely driven by intermittent power supplies& issues. However, in recent years, this demand decreased and the market is consolidating towards backup power. This could be bad temporarily, but in long term, we are heading to a healthy environment where diesel power only there for backup, not as an alternate.



What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business and what are your strategies to overcome these sluggish market conditions and expand market share.

Our factory in India mainly cater to the market of 50HP and below range of engines both in India & overseas. Q1 is testing time for us. But from Q2 there is a huge recovery from Indian market. The situation in overseas is still has to improve. Whereas the strong demand from domestic market, especially from agricultural machinery keeping us on toe. I believe the positive trend will continue in upcoming fiscal with the recovery of other underperforming industries.



What distinguishes your products from competitors.

High power to weight ratio - in simple terms, high power with less weight & space. It comes with a solid & rigid design to support the structure of tractors & heavy-duty earth moving applications. All of it accompanied with globally acclaimed quality & reliability. It is the key difference our clients appreciate in us. In addition, the expertise in changing emission norms across the globe is another advantage for the clients who are willing to export.



Are your products ready to comply with BS IV CEV emission norms, Please provide details on your emphasis on technology, research, design and innovation? What is your focus on technological up gradation in respect of your products? What are the advancements your have introduced or plan to introduce?

BSIV CEV is the latest norm in off highway industry. This will not affect our current product range. Next is BSV that expected from 2024. We have our products ready for BSV as well, until 19 kW power range. In fact, we export this range already to European markets directly as well as through our clients from India.

Above 19 kW, I foresee a shift in market. Consumers may prefer smaller equipment to reduce the total investment cost. Because there will be a significant change in total investment cost of equipment for the range above 19 kW, due to sophisticated after treatment system & its maintenance. We are watching this space closely to align our strategies.



Your strategy in this price sensitive market. To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost?

Our journey began in 2008 when the economy in recession. Still we are leading engine partner for many OEMs today. We never do a strategy in silos on how to be price sensitive. Because reducing price is an overrated & misconstrued phenomenon. It may leave behind the critical factors that actually determines the product value. Instead, we understand deeply on what our customers want to offer to their customers/end users.

Though I should agree every customer has a challenge for price, the collaborative approach is the key. It helped us to establish our product in a way customer finds value & competitiveness, without compromising either.



Future outlook on the industry and from your company’s perspective?

The off highway industry is started to recover soon than expected. The issues of immigrant labor & financial instability in lower end of supply chain is slowly settling down. This will set the tone for upcoming fiscal. As a whole, I believe the industry will do well in future. It is quite complex to figure out at what rate it will be, as it will be collective result of many industries. However, in my view, the main growth driver will be still agricultural machinery followed by construction equipment and others.

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