KPIT-Honda Deal Much Bigger In Scope Than Renault One, CEO Says

KPIT Technologies and Honda have expanded their partnership to accelerate the transformation towards software-defined mobility.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The new Software Engineering Centre of KPIT Technologies in Munich. (Source: Company Website)</p></div>
The new Software Engineering Centre of KPIT Technologies in Munich. (Source: Company Website)

KPIT Technologies Ltd. has expanded its partnership with Honda Motor Co. Ltd. to accelerate the Japanese automaker’s transformation towards software-defined mobility.

That’s a big deal, much bigger than the one KPIT struck with French automaker Renault SA last year, CEO Kishor Patil told BQ Prime’s Niraj Shah during an interaction on Wednesday.

"Undoubtedly, the Honda partnership is much bigger than Renault, with similar complexities and similar programmes. It is bigger in terms of engagement," Patil said. "The partnership in the mid- to long-term will expand to over 2,000 KPIT professionals powering Honda’s SDM roadmap until 2030 and beyond."

In comparison, the Renault deal has KPIT serve as a strategic software-scaling partner for the next-generation software-defined vehicle platform.

The scope of the Honda deal, however, will see KPIT get involved in all aspects of future mobility, abbreviated as CASE—Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric. As the software integrator, Renault will also deploy its SDM platform at Honda.

"The (KPIT-Honda deal) goes beyond the vendor-client to a strategic partnership. The onus is on delivering in that spirit. In terms of scale, the partnership is much bigger. And will keep on increasing every year," Patil said. "It is a very significant deal, both in terms of scope and also in terms of volume."

Global original equipment manufacturers are increasingly looking to own, or at least control, the software that goes into their vehicles. And Indian IT services firms are emerging as their partner of choice in that endeavour.

Over the past 4-5 years, OEMs have attempted to enter large, multi-year, fully involved tie-ups, KPIT President Sachin Tikekar said after the Renault-KPIT deal last year.

"It's just the cleanest and the simplest structure to understand, and it’s fully committed. From that perspective, it is a great template to follow," he said. "My suspicion is that, looking at other OEMs, they are actually following the same model. We'll see more and more of that coming out as we get into 2023."