Tata Motors, M&M are top R&D spenders

Firms like Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars, however, rely on Japanese parents

Home-grown companies Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra were the biggest spenders on research and development in 2016-17 among the 25 automakers in India which together invested ₹6,344 crore, latest industry data showed.

The five biggest spenders on R&D were Tata Motors, M&M, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), Honda Cars India and Ashok Leyland, according to the data sourced from SIAM and CMIE.

While the home-grown players have to develop technology mostly on their own, the likes of MSI and Honda Cars India rely heavily on their Japanese parents for new products.

In 2016-17, Tata Motors invested ₹2,100.1 crore in R&D despite reporting a loss of ₹2,619.2 crore. Similarly, M&M invested ₹2,075.8 crore in R&D, which was 40.02% of its gross profit that stood at ₹5,187.5 crore.

The country’s largest carmaker MSI’s R&D spend stood at ₹640.4 crore in 2016-17, amounting to 6.44% of the gross profit which stood at ₹9,941.3 crore during the period under review.

Although the company has set up a centre at Rohtak in Haryana to scale up R&D activities in India, it is still heavily reliant on parent Suzuki Motor.

Likewise, Honda Cars India invested ₹549.7 crore in 2016-17 although it incurred a loss of ₹98.9 crore. Commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland put in ₹389.5 crore in R&D or 23.39% of its gross profit of ₹1,665.5 crore in 2016-17. VE Commercial Vehicles, a joint venture between Volvo Group and Eicher Motors, invested ₹268.6 crore while Force Motors spent ₹113.4 crore in R&D activities in 2016-17.

Two-wheeler makers

The leading 25 manufacturers invested a total of ₹6,344 crore in R&D, which was 35.04% of the total gross profit of ₹18,106.6 crore made by the companies in 2016-17.

In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp led the R&D investment in 2016-17 with ₹701 crore followed by Bajaj Auto which put in ₹367.6 crore.

TVS Motor Company invested ₹244.7 crore followed by Royal Enfield at ₹128 crore. The leading 15 two-wheeler firms put in a total of ₹1,479.1 crore for R&D during the year under review.


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