Dr V Sumantran
Chairman, Celeris Technologies
Dr Sumantran is Chairman of Celeris Technologies and advisor to several Fortune 100 automotive, industrial equipment, and aerospace organisations. Until recently, Dr Sumantran also served as Special Advisor to Carlos Ghosn, Chairman Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, on alliance and global strategy.
He is the co-author of the book ‘Faster, Smarter, Greener: the Future of the Car and Urban Mobility’ (www.fastersmartergreener.com), published by the MIT Press in Fall 2017. Previously (2006-2014) he was Executive Vice-Chairman of Hinduja Automotive, UK, the auto and manufacturing sector holding company of the Hinduja Group, and Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland. Prior to this, Dr Sumantran was the CEO of TATA Motors’ Car business in its formative years, and before that, he had a 16-year career with General Motors in its R&D operations in Detroit, and in Europe.
Dr Sumantran holds a Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering (Princeton & Virginia Tech) and a Master’s degree in Management of Technology. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Dr Sumantran will deliver the Keynote Address. The topic will be Future Powertrains – Challenges and Opportunities. The automotive industry is facing fundamental transformation as pressures emanating from accelerated urbanisation, heightened concern for air quality and carbon emissions, and renewed tensions relating to supplies of fossil fuels are converging into a crisis.
Regulators and automakers, across the globe, face tough choices. Even as regulations predicate declining share of diesel in many markets, the rush to more efficient gasoline direct injection engines is also raising the spectre of particulate emissions – something that used to be the traditional bugbear of diesel engines. Recent trends in powertrain downsizing with increased power density are likely to see reversal as new homologation test protocols are being adopted. The ascendance of electrification in its various forms – IC-engine hybrids, fuel-cell hybrids and EVs – is being followed. These also bring with them challenges related to sustained access to key materials and hitherto hidden issues related to managing large-scale end-of-life disposition.