BMW India Skill Next was launched by Sachin Tendulkar at the brand's Chennai plant. 'SKILL NEXT>>' is a technical training initiative aimed at imparting quality practical skills to budding engineers. The event was led by BMW India Group President, Vikram Pawah.
Skill Next was launched by Sachin Tendulkar, along with students from the College of Engineering of Anna University as part of BMW India Chennai plant's 11th anniversary. The students were excited to see and talk to the legendary cricketer.
365 units of BMW's 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engines will be allocated for Skill Next. The same number of transmissions (eight-speed Steptronic automatic) will also be allocated.
Sachin Tendulkar, the brand ambassador of BMW India, talked about his interest towards automobiles. He also shared that Skill Next would help budding automotive engineers improve their practical skills in the best working environment possible.
Tendulkar also demonstrated a live session of Skill Next. The students also joined him. Dr. Joseph Stallkamp, Managing Director, BMW Group India guided them in ‘marrying' the engine and transmission, with the body of a BMW X1.
Post the session, a plant tour was conducted. The BMW Chennai plant currently locally produces six models: 320d, 320d GT, 520d, X1 and the X3. All these models employ the same engine and transmission allocated for Skill Next.
The plant also does operations with the other CKD BMW models. However, ‘M' cars are not dealt with at the BMW Chennai plant.
BMW Chennai plant staff guided the visitors through various sections of the plant. The tooling and equipment of the plant were of the best quality. The plant employees were also well-trained and organised. During the tour, the staff explained to the visitors the function of each plant department.
Monocoque shells of cars were stacked on large shelves. In a matter of days, these shells would leave the plant in the form of a complete BMW product.
The plant employees were also seen working on some of these body shells. From bumpers to interior fabrics, the car (BMW X1) was slowly getting ready to hit the roads. In every section, proper inspections are done to ensure that the ‘BMW quality' is maintained.
The routine functioning of the BMW Chennai plant itself had a lot of drama to it. Some sections had half-finished models being transported by cranes to the next section of the assembly.
The BMW Chennai plant has also got sophisticated equipment for all kinds of tests. One such example is the ‘Headlamp Aiming Equipment' -- A device used to check if both headlamps are perfectly aimed and aligned.
One interesting thing worth mentioning is how the team at the plant organise the tool trolleys. Since the BMW Group plant in Chennai is huge, and every operation requires a definite set of tooling, tools are kept in special trolleys. There would be a lot of such similar-looking trolleys across the plant and even in a single section. Hence, the plant employees have given each of them, a name. Here is a trolley named ‘Parrot'.
Likewise, certain bays were also named interestingly. The BMW India Chennai plant was unique in its own way.
It was evident that the manufacturing plant is maintained really well. There were no fluid stains, unattended equipment or under-performing employees. Like any BMW, the BMW India Chennai plant was also a benchmark.
Thoughts On Sachin Tendulkar Launching BMW Skill Next
The Skill Next initiative is definitely an opportunity for budding automotive engineers. Sachin Tendulkar, being an automotive enthusiast explained a lot about BMW Skill Next and why aspirants should make the best out of it.
Through BMW Skill Next, young minds can contribute a lot towards making products ‘Designed For Driving Pleasure'.