The 59th ACMA annual session saw top industry leaders as well as leading auto component manufacturer coming together under one roof and sharing their opinions and insights pertaining to the current industry situation and also discussed what are the systematic and sustainable ways that all should adopt in order to ensure smooth sailing. The event also saw the release of ACMA-McKinsey Study titled Future of Mobility – Embracing the Discontinuity. Given below are key takeaways from the top industry leaders present at the event.
Rajan Wadhera, president SIAM and president – Automotive Sector, Mahindra and Mahindra said though this is not the first slowdown that the Indian automobile industry is going through, it is unique in the fact that it has lasted the longest. He further added that he is thankful to the Finance Minister for taking the required steps and is eagerly waiting for the revival of the industry. Wadhera also said that the transformation to BS-6 emission regulations currently stands as the biggest challenge that industry is facing and that both the OEMs as well as the component manufacturers have invested a significant amount in the same. He said that going forward, managing the BS-4 inventory is going to be highly crucial.
Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director, Maruti Suzuki India, on the other hand, stressed on the fact that the Indian component industry should enrich their capability focusing on quality and at the same time should invest more in research and development. Addressing the gathering of a plethora of component manufacturers, Ayuwaka urged for a more quality-oriented approached and said that it is time that India should start manufacturing zero defect products. He further added that the industry should pay heed to personnel training and skill development as half of the defects take place due to human error. He went on to say that the government should set-targets and give the freedom to the industry players in deciding the technology in order to achieve the end-goals.
Guenter Butschek, managing director and CEO, Tata Motors said that the current situation of the automobile industry is quite complex. The customer is confused and needs to be educated about the intricacies. He said that he is cautiously optimistic pertaining to the revival of the industry on the back of recent revival package introduced by the Finance Minister. He went on to say that in order for the industry to fully jump out of the crisis, uncertainties related to the BS-6 transition needs to be addressed along with clarity from the government on GST rate cuts as well as scrappage policy.
Dr Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra and Mahindra also acknowledged that the transition to BS-6 currently stands as the biggest challenge that the industry is going through. However, on a positive note, he also mentioned that what seemed like an impossible task three years ago, is now in its final stages. He went on to say that the “slowdown is a terrible thing to waste” and should be treated as an opportunity. He said that it is time for the industry to go frugal and save cash as much as possible but in a systematic and sustainable way.
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