- Pioneer Corporation is looking to source several components from India.
- After Japan, India has become the second country to house its R&D capabilities.
Among a list of components Pioneer India is looking to procure locally from India, camera sensors, System on Chips (SoCs), memories, and displays rank at the top. Siva Subramanian, Chief Innovation Officer at Pioneer Corporation, in a conversation with Electronics For You, mentioned that the company has also finalised a contract manufacturer for producing its new products in the country.
“There is a strong possibility that we will set up a manufacturing facility in India five years from now. This will also depend on various factors. For now, we will concentrate on innovating new products for India,” he said.
Till now, the products it sold in India were either imported from Vietnam or from Thailand. Notably, the company has recently expanded its Research and Development (R&D) operations outside Japan, and India has become the first country to host its R&D capabilities outside its home country.
Shiro Yahara, President and CEO of Pioneer, had earlier stated, “We are confident that we will be able to provide new mobility experiences not only in the Indian market but also globally by establishing a system to deliver products and services promptly in the fast-growing Indian market.”
The Bottom-Up Approach
While many Tier One automotive suppliers rely on the “Technology Adoption Curve” to enable new segments in passenger vehicles (PVs) today, Siva believes Pioneer will primarily follow a bottom-up approach in India. For example, dashcams in cars and commercial vehicles have become popular in the country even though they are not offered as factory-installed features by many original equipment manufacturers.
“You see many people getting dashcams fitted onto their cars through the aftermarket route. Only recently have many OEMs started offering it as a factory option,” he explained.
Displays in rear-view mirrors, he further elucidated, are another example of the same trend. As part of its new strategy, Pioneer Corporation will not only focus on the aftermarket but also on supplying directly to vehicle OEMs in India.
“Perhaps the technology we are working on today won’t see the light of day three years from now. But we have that technology, and I’m confident we can help consumers benefit from it through the aftermarket route,” he added.
According to him, this approach will also allow Pioneer Corporation to “test the waters” for new technologies, validating and demonstrating these technologies to OEMs, thus reducing the OEMs’ risk.
Beyond Cars and Commercial Vehicles
The fact that new-age two-wheelers are being launched with large screens (in some cases touch-enabled) and speaker systems has also prompted Pioneer Corporation to initiate discussions with two-wheeler OEMs. The recently launched TVS X, featuring a 10-inch infotainment screen, is a prominent example of the direction the two-wheeler industry in India is heading.
“Two-wheelers in India present a challenging environment. We are discussing with some of these OEMs to explore how we can leverage our infotainment and sound expertise and collaboration in the two-wheeler sector,” he shared.
While this isn’t the first time Pioneer Corporation has collaborated with two-wheeler OEMs, their presence in this space isn’t particularly strong. Similarly, new-age three-wheelers, especially electric ones, interest Pioneer Corporation, as most OEMs equate them with all-in-one infotainment solutions.
“At the appropriate time, we will also ensure we expand into this area. It’s about capturing one market segment, then moving to the next, and so on. I believe that’s our strategy for India,” according to Subramanian.
And, what Has Encouraged This New Strategy for Pioneer Corporation?
He answers, “India is not only growing in population but also in technology and skill sets. The economy is performing well under the current administration. Moreover, India is in the midst of the AI revolution, and I think it’s the right time for us to ‘Make in India.'”
According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the Automotive Infotainment Systems Market is estimated to be worth $25.34 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $34.08 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.10% during the forecast period (2023-2028).