BMW India celebrated the 11th anniversary of its Chennai plant interestingly. The company invited legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and students from the College of Engineering of Anna University, and launched ‘Skill Next’ a technical skilling initiative. Students assembled a BMW engine and transmission at the main assembly line of the plant to commemorate the beginning of the project.
Aiming to act as a catalyst in emerging automotive talent, ‘Skill Next’ will reach educational institutes and students in every state and union territory in India. Through the initiative, 365 BMW engine and transmission units will be provided for learning purposes to engineering and technical institutes at no cost. The initiative will present an opportunity for students to get hands-on training on advanced technologies of BMW. The company will also deliver the engine and transmission units to campuses of engineering colleges, industrial training institutes, polytechnics at no cost by end of 2018.
The handover of demonstration units will be done on a first-come-first-serve basis after due undertakings are submitted by the institutes. The undertaking will ensure that the engine and transmission units are used inside the laboratories on campuses of the institutes for learning purposes only.
Vikram Pawah, president, BMW Group India said, “The luxury automotive segment in India has witnessed tremendous growth in the last decade and with the growing number of cars on road, there is a high requirement of good technical talent in the industry. Skill Next will strongly promote the development of technical competencies in students across the country by enhancing their practical knowledge of advanced automotive technology. This initiative will also contribute in increasing the availability of skilled technical staff required at automotive dealerships in India.”
The state-of-the-art engineering unit including the BMW TwinPower Turbo in-line 4-cylinder diesel engine and the eight-speed steptronic automatic transmission will serve as a valuable learning tool for students. Since 2007, this engine has proved its mark in India by powering close to 50,000 units delivered to customers.
The engine presently powers six cars locally-produced at the Chennai, such as 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 and the upcoming Mini Countryman Cooper D. Post-handover, a ‘train the trainer’ module will be devised for institutes where 40 after sales master technicians will conduct extensive workshops at BMW dealerships in more than 20 cities. The module has been devised by professional trainers from the company training centre and the Chennai plant. The workshops will be a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on practical sessions using detailed training materials.
Dr. Jochen Stallkamp, managing director, Chennai plant, said, “Skilled workforce is the foundation to make finest cars of outstanding quality. The know-how of advanced technology and the confidence to work with state-of-the-art machinery and complex processes is a great asset in engineering field.” He added that, the skilling initiative will facilitate development of talent in the future generation of engineers. These skills will open up new doors for a workforce that wants to make a successful career in automotive industry in India.”
During extreme rain and weather conditions witnessed in Chennai in the recent past, a considerable number of engine and transmissions were water affected. As per the company quality standards, these parts could not be used in the vehicles. The parts were insured and Bharti AXA General Insurance honored the claims. BMW India proposed providing the engines and transmissions to educational institutes at no cost as they could be used as a learning resource to impart theoretical and practical knowledge to students. Bharti AXA General Insurance played a vital role by giving special approval to allow realization of the project.