Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Good afternoon to everyone… and a Happy New Year to you all.

On behalf of the entire leadership team of Ford Motor Company, I'm absolutely thrilled to be announcing our plans to expand operations in India – through an investment of $500 million US dollars – which will allow Ford India to achieve significant volume production of both vehicles and engines within the next two years.

It's the third major announcement within the last six months in our Asia Pacific and Africa region …and clearly shows the confidence that the senior leadership team of Ford Motor Company has in the extraordinary potential of the India market, and illustrates the significance of Ford India's role in the Company's continued expansion and overall strategy for the region.

This new investment considerably increases our total investment in India to more than $875 million… which will be used to execute a long-term strategic plan that we've developed for the future of our India business...and one that is tied to our overall global strategy.

I would like to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Tamil Nadu government… for their ongoing cooperation and support of Ford Motor Company…and for their understanding that our commitment to growth in India has never been stronger.

Our long term India plan is anchored on two major components – a new engine manufacturing facility… and the expansion of our vehicle manufacturing facility, adding a new production line that will accommodate our new small car offering for India, and solidify Ford's competitive position in the heartland of the India market.

Our new fully-integrated engine manufacturing plant will have the flexibility to build both Ford's next-generation diesel engine, and our petrol engines…and will be Ford's first engine manufacturing plant outside of Europe with the ability to build diesel engines.

We believe that the timing is now right to begin implementing a long-term strategy for India, and today's announcement marks a significant step forward for Ford in the Asia-Pacific and Africa region… and for Ford globally.

Lastly…I want to specifically call out the hard work and dedication of our Ford India employees and our many business partners in India…who over the past 10 years have helped us build the foundation on which this investment is being placed.

Thank you for your attention…and I'll now turn it over to Arvind Mathew to provide you with more details of our expanded operations and future of Ford India.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

India Must Set Target For 10% Fuel Consumption Cut by 2010

Will the current manufacturing boom meet a sudden death in the near future?
Dependence of the demand in the manufacturing industry on OIL


Fuel Price Hike Almost Inevitable: CII

No Softening of International Oil Prices Visible

Country Must Set Target For 10% Consumption Cut by 2010

Fuel Price Revision Must Be Moderate In Impact: CII

The International situation gives a grim outlook on Oil prices, where no significant softening seems to be in the offing. Current prevailing prices of International Crude at around USD 94 combined with India’s 70% import dependence is leading to an unsustainable situation on the pricing front, said a CII Press Release issued here today.

CII pointed out that historically there has never been a direct pass through of international prices into the Indian retail market for good reasons. However, given the current prices in the international market, this extent of insulation may no longer be possible for a variety of reasons. The two most compelling ones are that the burden of insulation for the government is becoming unsustainable, and the second is that eventually a play of market dynamics would be the best trigger for prompting conservation.

The CII press release said that India has to, over time, look at reducing its import dependency. For that, the Press Release, stressed on the need for comprehensive conservation measures being adopted by all sections of society including industry. CII has advocated pro-active conservation measures so that the country can look at a tangible target of reducing oil consumption. CII has suggested that the government set a target of curtailing domestic consumption by 10% by 2010.

The release went on to say that the current situation makes a revision in oil prices in India, almost inevitable. CII said that further delay in oil price revision is inadvisable, as it would only make the impact that much worse. However, CII has suggested that any such revision has to be in a manner such that no sector gets into any undue disadvantage, and that the industry and the economy has time to absorb and adapt to the effects of such a price revision

While recommending this, CII has also suggested that the duties and levies on petroleum products need to be carefully examined such that the impact of the potential price revision is shared between the government, the oil marketing companies and the consumers. From that point of view, the decision should be a mix of fiscal and price measures, such that the ultimate impact on retail price is moderate. CII has also asked for rationalization of taxes and levies on petroleum products.

In this context, the release added that current levels of low inflation and sufficiently high growth make it possible for the government to take a bold decision. However, it must not create a dent on the Indian growth story. CII said that this was also a good time to take a hard look at the subsidy imbalance and start taking steps towards correcting those over a period of time.

CII has come forward with calibrated suggestions spanning short, medium and long term time frame. For the short term, the CII recommendations include: (1) correcting distorted Petroleum Product Pricing in line with the recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee (2) Better traffic management, (3) switch over to piped Natural Gas in Metros, (4) Upgradation and revamping of refining operations, and (5) Organization of people awareness programmes on petroleum conservation, among others.

For the Medium term the 5 key recommendations include: (1) Technology upgradation at the future refinery augmentation, (2) Intensification of domestic Exploration and Production efforts, (3) Use of bio-fuels like ethanol doping of petrol and bio diesel; (4) Usage of CNG for public transportation, (5) Acceleration of the rural electrification programme.

The 5 key long term suggestions include: (1) strategic storage initiatives, (2) greater thrust for the coal sector; (3) Comprehensive Combined Heat & Power (CHP) Policy; (4) Further development and electrification of the railway network and systems, particularly in the freight corridors; (5) continuing R&D and commercialization strategy for pursuing technologies like coal-to-liquid, gas-to-liquid, underground coal gasification and hydrogen, etc.

The release said that CII will engage in pro-active measures to suggest and facilitate implementation of various conservation measures in the user segments, in order to bring about significant demand side management, which would include measures like: (a) policy on alternate fuel usages (like bio-mass, bio-fuel); (b) energy efficient furnaces and boilers; (c) energy labeling for oil fired systems and gas stoves; (d) extensive awareness campaigns to promote oil conservation in small and medium industries and domestic sector; (e) Cogeneration and other energy conservation measures; (f) Use of solar water heating systems, wherever possible; (g) 100% switchover of captive steam generators from fuel oil to alternate sources; etc.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A new book from Dr. Shigeo Shingo the co-creator of the Toyota Production System (Lean manufacturing)

Toyota claims two pillars for their success:

1. JIT or the elimination of all non-value adding wastes.
2. “Respect for people.”

Discussions about Lean normally relate to the tools to eliminate the wastes. Very little is ever mentioned about the second pillar.

“Respect for people” is developing all workers to their maximum creative abilities and Toyota does this in a number of ways:

1. Jidoka – empowering everyone to “pull the cord,” to stop working, to stop everyone around them from working, whenever they detect a problem or a possible problem. Getting to the root cause of the problem is a wonderful learning and growing experience.
2. Asking every worker to come up with small creative ideas to make their work easier, more interesting and to build their skills and capabilities. I call this Quick and Easy Kaizen. The average Japanese company receives 24 ideas per year per employee and saves $4000 per year per employee. Ask yourself are you doing this and if not why not?

The secret to all of this is teaching people how to “see;” how to identify and then how to solve problems.

Mr. Ohno and Dr. Shingo were masters in teaching us how to see. Dr. Shingo in his latest book teaches us how to identify and how to solve problems. It is a great book.

To see for yourself. Go to and read a chapter from Dr. Shingo’s book.

November 24, 2007 Vancouver, Washington

Announcing a new hardcover Shigeo Shingo book, Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking. Once again Dr. Shingo will amaze you. Along with Taiichi Ohno, Dr. Shingo co-developed TPS (LEAN) with his deep understanding of how to improve the overall process of production. Dr. Shingo reveals how he taught Toyota and other Japanese companies the art of identifying and solving problems.

Many companies in the West are trying to emulate Lean but few can do it. Why not? Possibly, because we in the West do not recognize, develop and support the creative potential of every worker in solving problems. Toyota makes all employees problem solvers. Shingo gives you the tools to do it.

It is an easy to read brilliant book!

Dr. Shingo presents six unique models, the sum of which he calls the Scientific Thinking Mechanism. These frameworks allow groups to deconstruct problems and rebuild them into powerful improvement ideas. This concept is central to TPS and provides the necessary foundation for any Lean Initiative to be built upon.

Download a chapter of the book from:

“Dr. Shingo was a master of Kaizen, he had the scientific training and innovative genius to deeply understand processes and the humility to realize that he needed the operators to take ownership. We are fortunate to have this new opportunity to gaze deeply into the thinking of one of the true geniuses behind TPS. —Dr. Shigeo Shingo.” – From the foreword by Jeffrey K. Liker, Ph. D., New York Times best-selling author of The Toyota Way

“This book contains a myriad of case studies taken from of ce examples as well as shop oors. It is a gold mine of improvement ideas that cumulatively must have saved millions, and could still do so today!” Don Dewar, President & Founder Quality Digest Magazine(

“Kaizen and the Art of Creative Thinking is a revealing book and is the genesis manuscript to the Lean Manufacturing mindset. It captures the fundamental thought process to structure problem solving activities and is the foundation to all essential aspects of the Kaizen philosophy. Truly a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and frameworks to embolden you to change existing practices!” - Michel Mestre, Ph.D. Professor, School of Business Northwest University

“For those of us who have revered the work of Dr. Shingo, this is an exciting work. More so than any other of his books - Bill Kluck, President Northwest Lean Network

“Practicing Kaizen (the habit of making small improvements) eludes many people. Dr. Shingo’s Scienti c Thinking Mechanism replaces the hope of the ash of creativity with a reliable and learnable habit-building approach. Thanks for making this Rosetta Stone for Kaizen available to the world.” - Hal Macomber, Principal Lean Project Consulting, Inc.

“This book teaches managers to be problem solvers instead of problem chasers.” – Collin McLoughlin, co-publisher

Dr, Shingo’s earlier books were: A Revolution in Manufacturing: The SMED System, Study of the Toyota Production System: From an Industrial Engineering Viewpoint, Zero Quality Control: Source Inspection and the Poka-Yoke System, The Sayings of Shigeo Shingo: Key Strategies for Plant Improvement, The Shingo Production Management System: Improving Process Functions, Non-stock Production: The Shingo System of Continuous Improvement

Saturday, November 24, 2007

SME Toolkit : DIY Press Releases Are Important!

Press Releases Are Important! (DIY: For the benefit of SME's & companies not supported by professional Public Relation consultants)

Press releases are an important part of the marketing/communications effort. They communicate the latest news about your company and its products.

Another name for a press release is a news release meaning that it is new news. You need to evaluate your press release in terms of newsworthiness. The purpose for your press release is to inform the market of you new or improved product or service.

Avoid writing a press release that reads like an advertisement that gives the impression that you are trying hard to sell a product.

The important steps to writing a successful press release

Preparing to write a press release

Here are some questions you should answer in your press release:

  • What is newsworthy about this release? Who will find the news item important?
  • What features of the new product or service will have an impact on the current market? What improvements are significant to the industry you serve? What problem does it solve & what solution does it provide?
  • Is there sufficient support or justification for the information in the release?
  • What is the tone of your release?
  • What do you want readers to take away from your release about your new product or service?

Writing a press release

The important key to writing a press release is keeping it concise and to the point. Readers come across hundreds of articles/releases every week. Make sure your release does not read like a sales pitch.

Headline: The first item on a press release that a reader will see is the headline. To grab the reader's attention, the headline should give a mountain-top view of the entire story. It should be concise (7 – 10 words) and descriptive. If the release is on a new feature, or an update to an existing product, state that information in the headline.

Example: "Asia MotorWorks launches Global Truck series in Bangalore" or "Automotive Fuel Tank Manufacturing Facility in Chennai" or "IRONCAD V10 Released"

First paragraph: After the headline, the first paragraph of the release is the most important. The first paragraph should answer the following questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, How

In some cases, it may take two paragraphs to accomplish this, but never more.

The rest of the press release supports the first paragraph.

Critical guidelines:

A reader wants to be informed, not sold. It is important that you are factual and honest with your statements about the product. The document should provide supporting information to substantiate any claim made. You should avoid marketing "hype."

Avoid unsubstantiated claims in your release. The credibility of a release based on the back-up information provided with each claim.

When describing your product remember Feature, Function & Benefit.

Engage the busy reader: If you are not excited about your product, you cannot expect a reader to be. A release should supply the answers to potential critical questions about your product. Do not write in continuous blocks.

Short and uncomplicated: Most stories about new products tend to be one or two paragraphs in most trade magazines. Try to limit it to one and a half pages or less

Avoid the temptation to use industry terminology and jargon. Write in a conversational style using conversational English. However include keywords and key phrases, commonly used by your customers, in the headline and first paragraph of your release.

The last information in a release is about your company and the important contacts as it relates to the product. The company information should describe your business and the industries you serve. Include the contact phone number, fax, Email address, Web address and mail address. You can also issue your release on company letterhead to give it a professional appearance.

Have someone you trust proofread your work. Typos, spelling and grammatical errors will hurt your credibility.

Supporting Documentation: Pictures & Images, Specifications Sheets / Product Brochures should be included with the press release, whenever available.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

German machine tools develop from positive development of the Indian economy

India’s economy is exceeding even the most optimistic expectations and, seen on an international scale, it is one of the most dynamically growing boom nations. Forecasts for India’s industry are also indicating growth ahead, especially for the automobile and mechanical engineering sectors. But even such important customers as the electronics production, aerospace and medical engineering industries are making huge investments.

India is the fastest-booming automotive market in the world. There is no doubt at all that the automobile industry and its supplier industries represent an important yardstick for all national economies throughout the world when it comes to measuring the economic development of the nation itself. In order to help further boost this economic development, the most modern manufacturing technology is required. This need can be partly catered for by India’s own machine tool industry, which itself is currently expanding. Nevertheless, the great demand for machine tools within India’s industry is to a large degree catered for by imports. The machine tool consumption in India last year was more than three times as high as domestic production, whereby Japan and Germany have, for years, been the most important supplier nations for the Indian market. In 2006, Germany, with a share of 23 per cent, was the most important supplier of machine tools.

For the German machine tool industry, India has developed into an exceptionally dynamic market over the past years – a market which is very important for us, and one which we take very seriously!

German machine tool exports to India have continued to grow at an annual two-figure rate since 2002. An increase in exports of 23 per cent was registered in the first half of 2007 compared to the same period last year. This positive trend is continuing, and incoming orders for the first half of the current year have risen by a significant 99 per cent over against the figures for the same period last year.

In 2006, exports of machine tools to India totaled 193.7 million euros, with the share of metal-cutting machine tools at around 71 percent. In 2006, India took 11th place in the global ranking list of our most important export nations. After the first six months of 2007, it had already moved up to the 10th position.

The major part of these exports to India consisted of machining centres, grinding, honing, lapping machines, gear cutting machines, lathes and milling machines, presses and other metal forming machine tools.

Looked at the other way around, Germany has, over the past four years, imported machine tools from India to a value of between 3.52 and 5.82 million euros annually, whereby this figure showed a growth of 8 per cent in the first six months of 2007 compared to the same period last year. The Indian machine tool industry can look ahead optimistically into the future, since domestic production is on the rise and high growth figures are expected to continue in the years ahead.

Statement by Carl Martin Welcker, Chairman of the VDW and managing partner of Alfred H. Schutte GmbH & Co. KG, Cologne, on the oocassion of the press conference at the “Machine tools and Manufacturing Systems from Germany” symposium in Bangalore on 15 November 2007