Technical Translations and India’s Competitive Car Localization Industry

The localization race between Renault, Hyundai and Ford

Technical Translation RaceMany businesses are investing in localization and technical translations to gain an edge over their competitors in foreign markets. When companies release offerings in unfamiliar regions, they must overcome local and international competition in the area.

In the car manufacturing industry, localization is commonly applied when matching features with the needs of the target demographic. For example, European car makers have been known to release vehicles without heaters to markets in South East Asia, where temperatures rarely dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also applicable during manufacturing, when local parts and labor are used to decrease production costs.

The Race Towards 100% Localization

Renault, a French multinational automobile manufacturer, is a global brand with decades of localization experience. In India, the group released a special model of its popular Duster crossover- a version designed for the local region. The company set a localization level of 70 percent and will push for 80 percent by the end of this year. Other competitors in the field, such as Hyundai, reportedly has a localization level of 90 percent.

“The Duster facelift offers 32 changes and the most important of which is India’s first Easy-R AMT (Automated Manual Transmission). Other noteworthy changes include a revised headlamp, grille, bumpers, taillights, new alloy wheels, piano black center console with automatic climate control system in top-end variant, new seat fabric, and updated platform components and electric architecture,” said The Hans India.

Ford, a leading US-based car manufacturing brand, is also expanding its presence in India. However, it is lagging behind due to a delayed entry. In 2012, the business revealed that is at 80 percent localization for the EcoSport, which arrived in the country three years later in 2015. To boost its car localization efforts, the company opened an independent technical training center in Manesar. The 18,000 square-foot facility has the capacity to train roughly 13,500 candidates annually. The trainees will be educated on Ford’s product portfolio, service standards, as well as updated technical specifications for its current and upcoming vehicles that will be launching in India. This marks the seventh training center that the group built in the region, which signifies the establishment’s long-term commitment to localization.

Technical Translations in India

Another aspect of localization is the translation of various technical documents, such as car manuals, service procedures, training material and replacement parts specs and packaging. It is important to consider that India has over 14 official languages, creating the need for a streamlined technical translations process. An efficient way to go about completing this aspect of car localization would be to partner with a company that specializes in technical translations.

“Unlike the nation’s traditional channel marketers, India’s digital marketers have largely focused on English language content. But the fastest growing digital demographics are non-English speakers, and overall English proficiency remains relatively low – an estimated 10% of the total [Indian] population,” explained Ashwath Ganesan, national head of planning at OgilvyOne in Mumbai.


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