After launching Super Six in 2018 and upgrading the product on the fuel efficiency and the load factor front, Schwing Stetter participated in the recently held bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2018. The company also plans to contribute to the government’s goal of taking off-the-road vehicles also on such fronts by 2020, according to V.G. Sakthikumar, Managing Director and Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd.
How has the performance of Super Six been? What prompted you to upgrade its version?
At the time we launched Super Six, the Ministry of Road Transport and Government of India came out with a circular saying 15 per cent more load is allowedon any truck and a further 5 per cent tolerance is allowed beyond this, aggregating to 20 per cent in total. Accordingly, three axle trucks in India which were originally allowed 25 tonnes of load can now carry 30 tonnes i.e.20 per cent more.Super Six, along with other 6-cubic metre products, suddenly lost lustre because if you can go up to 30 tonnes and calculate its equivalent cubic metre, it will come to 7 cubic metre. We did a reasonable job by quickly reacting to this and in two months we brought out in December the upgraded version of Stetter concrete transit mixer named as Super Seven.
With fuel-efficient norms coming in 2020, how has your progress been considering BS IV?
The engine that has been used in the Super Seven is upgradable to BS IV requirement. We are also a part of ICEMA and interact with the government on a continuous basis. Today, they are talking about off-road vehiclesunder BS IV by October 2020. From April 1, 2021, we should stop selling lower versions. So, the Super Seven engine is upgradable to BS IV requirement, and it will be much easier for us in this segment. We are already working with the engine manufacturers because lot of adaptations will have to happen.Parts will change and some additive accessories will come in and the cost of the engine will go up minimum by 25-30 per cent, resulting in a price hike.
Do you think the buying capacity will go down?
No, I don’t think so. Without this equipment, you cannot do the work.In 1999, when we came to India; our Stetter concrete truck mixerprice was slightly higher than the chassis price. To be more exact, the chassis used to be sold at around Rs10 lakhs basic and with duties and taxes we were selling at Rs. 11 lakhs. Now, we are at Rs9 lakhs and the cost of chassis has gone to Rs 20 lakhs, so the total cost of the fully built product has gone by 50 per cent or more. When we started manufacturing initially,we had many imported components. Over a period of time,we kept on indigenising the components. So, the basic cost came down which in turn reduced the cost for customers.
What is the targetfor 2019?
The target is to train 20 thousand people by July this year. In the last four to five months, we have trained about 5000 plus people. The main problem we are facing is the lack of mandate from the government making it mandatory to appoint only certified operators to ensure safety. While such kind of rollingout cannot be expected to happen overnight, operators can be certified gradually in stages.We are regularly interacting with the Ministry of Skill Development regarding the same and are also taking the help of NSDC to push our case. Today, driving is a profession but operating construction equipment is not considered as a profession. If they mandate that all of them have to have only certified operators, automatically that will become a profession. People will get trained on that which will give them a source of employment.
Cost of the engine will go up minimum by 25-30 per cent, thereby hiking price.
V G Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter INDIA Pvt Ltd