In presenting this Award, Frost & Sullivan commends the company’s technological leadership in automated manual transmissions (AMTs) and its efforts to gain improved visibility in the OEM market.
By 2013, AMTs are expected to account for about ten per cent of the European powertrain market. As a result, the majority of transmission technology manufacturers are aligning their product portfolios accordingly.
“Apart from the passenger vehicle industry, Zeroshift is looking at commercial vehicles, marine applications and construction vehicles, which offer high potential for the application of AMTs,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Mr. Kaushik Madhavan. “Being one of the first entrants into these markets, the company is likely to have the leading-edge in terms of partnering with local OEMs for customised AMT applications.”
The company’s AMT functions on a dog box system, similar in construction to the racing transmissions used in the European market. The synchromesh unit used in conventional transmission is replaced by bullets and this has led to significant cost savings in line with the downsizing and cost-saving trends of OEMs.
The earlier generation of AMTs had a distinctive jerk during gear shifts and hence, had restricted application. However, Zeroshift succeeded in solving this issue with clever engineering. This brings AMT closer to conventional stepped automatics, where comfort is of prime importance. Costing less than the latter, AMT is now poised to challenge the domination of stepped automatics in the premium and luxury vehicle segment in the European market.
“The Zeroshift AMT can be applied to passenger vehicles irrespective of the type of engine used,” states Mr. Madhavan. “The technology is also applicable to hybrid vehicles, which are likely to gain significance, as the majority of European OEMs are turning toward micro hybrids in order to ensure compliance with the ACEA and EURO emissions norms.”
The company has featured in leading global automotive journals and magazines. It has also actively participated in international conferences, trade shows and symposiums, which have enabled it to gain increased visibility. Moreover, it invites research and consulting organizations to visit its manufacturing and engineering facilities in Milton Keynes (UK) in order to give prospective clients a first-hand experience of the transmission facility and technology.
“Zeroshift has presented its technology in the form of papers at various conferences worldwide,” says Mr. Madhavan. “This has provided it with an opportunity to showcase its technology in the European market, as well as in global emerging markets such as India and China.”
The company is involved in close talks with European and global OEMs for the supply of AMTs in passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle applications. It is confident of gaining an OEM customer for a serial production application by 2009-2010, although customers in the niche segments are around the corner.
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Company of the Year is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated excellence within its industry. The Award is based on numerous factors including the company’s business development, competitive strategy, and leadership within a particular Frost & Sullivan Industry Research Group (IRG).
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
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