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BMW celebrated the 11th anniversary of its Chennai Plant. Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and students from the College of Engineering of Anna University, launched ‘SKILL NEXT»’, a technical skilling initiative. Together, they assembled a BMW engine and transmission at the main assembly line of BMW Group Plant Chennai to commemorate the beginning of the project.
In an attempt to support the developing automotive talent in the country, ‘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. ‘SKILL NEXT»’ will present an opportunity for engineering and technical students to get hands-on training on advanced technologies of BMW engine and transmission. BMW Group India 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 undertakings will ensure that the engine and transmission units are used inside the laboratories on campuses of the institutes for learning purposes only.
Mr. 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 engine and transmission provided will be the BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder diesel engine and the BMW eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. 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 BMW Group Plant Chennai – BMW 3 Series (320d), BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo (320d GT), BMW 5 Series (520d), BMW X1 (xDrive 20d), BMW X3 (xDrive 20d) and the upcoming MINI Countryman Cooper D. The BMW eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is presently featured in five cars locally-produced at BMW Group Plant Chennai – BMW 3 Series, BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, BMW 5 Series, BMW X1 and BMW X3.
Post-handover, a ‘Train the Trainer’ module will be devised for institutes where 40 Aftersales Master Technicians will conduct extensive workshops at BMW dealerships in more than 20 cities. The module has been devised by professional trainers from BMW Group India Training Centre and BMW Group Plant Chennai. The workshops will be a combination of classroom sessions and hands-on practical sessions using detailed training materials.
Dr. Jochen Stallkamp, Managing Director, BMW Group Plant Chennai said, “For BMW Group Plant Chennai, 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 the engineering field. ‘SKILL NEXT»’ initiative will facilitate the 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 the automotive industry in India.”
During extreme rain and weather conditions in Chennai in the past, a considerable number of engine and transmissions were water affected. As per BMW 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.
Mr. Sanjeev Srinivasan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Bharti AXA General Insurance said, “When BMW Group India approached us with the innovative idea of ‘SKILL NEXT»’, we were excited to be part of it. We at Bharti AXA General Insurance are always willing to explore ways that allow us to contribute towards the betterment of the society we live in. The contribution of engine and transmission units for educational purposes was a marvelous opportunity to do so. Vehicle insurance premiums amount to nearly 45% of Gross Written Premium (GWP) recorded by the General Insurance industry and is considered to be a growth generator for the category. We strongly believe that as leading players in our arenas, we have both the responsibility and the means to bring about change for good and upskill our future leaders to deliver efficiently. It is a pleasure to initiate this rare opportunity that can make a meaningful difference to the society.”
Dr. T V Geetha, Dean – College of Engineering, Anna University, who was present at the event said, “In engineering, clarity of concepts is fundamental for creation and innovation. In a fast-moving world where technology is constantly progressing, experiential learning plays a very important role. Reading about refined technology in books and getting a chance to experience it first-hand are completely different. With ‘SKILL NEXT»’, students will be able to use the BMW engine and transmission units to observe, practice, absorb knowledge and use it effectively in actual scenarios. This initiative will go a long way in motivating students and making them passionate about real and practical engineering aspects.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sachin Tendulkar said, “I strongly feel that initiatives like SKILL NEXT» will promote the development of automotive engineering skills in our country. It is an opportunity for technical students in every state and union territory to get directly trained on BMW engine and transmission. I could have never played cricket by just reading about it, I had to be hands-on with the game. Similarly, SKILL NEXT» will make it easier for the students to understand automotive technology through first-hand experience.”