German speciality chemicals firm Lanxess, the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic rubber, which has production facilities for rubber chemicals from its subsidiary Rhein Chemie in Jhagadia, Gujarat, recently held a Rubber Day in India that was themed around green mobility.
Titled “High-tech Mobility and Emerging Trends”, the event focused on the potentials of India in terms of car production and consumption. India has moved up the sixth rank in the global automotive market over a period of 12 years, surpassing France, Italy and the UK, and today represents a growing market for the industry. India is the largest manufacturer of tractors, the second-largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and the fifth-largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles.
A panel discussion also ensued to ponder on timely topics such as “The Future of Mobility in India”, “Innovation in Rubber for a Greener Tomorrow”, “Technological Trends in Automotive Rubber Components”, and “Driving Growth and Delivering Safety”.
Dr Joerg Strassburger, Managing Director and Country Representative, Lanxess India, said that Indian consumers are demanding superior technology, better quality and safer vehicles and to this end the automotive industry had responded by producing increasingly more fuel-efficient models with lower emissions. “In the halls of government, policymakers have responded by developing a stricter regulatory framework for fuel consumption. And at Lanxess, we have responded by actively working to promote the sustainable growth of the Indian automotive industry,” he said, adding that the firm’s technology affects so many issues such as safety, fuel consumption and the environment.
MF Farooqui, Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India, also pointed out that the government had recently launched an electric mobility plan to allow it to be competitive in the global market.
A panellist at one of the sessions, Rajiv Budhraj, Director General of ATMA, said that changes can be driven by suppliers and/or the demand side. “Today’s consumer is extremely intelligent and looking for innovation at completive prices. Hence, suppliers need to respond to this. Rubber Day has become a great platform to bring diverse perspectives on the same panel.”
Lanxess manufactures polybutadiene rubber, butyl rubber and its speciality variants, as well as technical rubber products as EPDM, HNBR, NBR and chloroprene rubber; and specialises in rubber chemicals, polymer-bound rubber chemicals, additives and release agents.
At its greenfield site in Jhagadia in Gujarat, it has a Rubber Chemicals business unit as well as speciality products from subsidiary Rhein Chemie.