Auto Serve 2018, one of the largest automotive trade expos in India with a complete focus on the aftermarket and organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), opened in Chennai on November 23. The three-day conference and exhibition has over 100 local and overseas exhibitors displaying their latest product and service portfolios. There are also separate pavilions dedicated to tyres, batteries, accessories and auto components.
The key areas covered in the biennial exhibition includes a comprehensive range of garage equipment covering cleaning systems, engine tuning, repair and maintenance tools and equipment, paint booths, garage systems for commercial vehicles, long-distance buses and auto air-conditioning.
Some of the prominent exhibitors include TVS Automobile Solutions, Mahindra First Choice Services, Lucas Indian Services, TVS Tyres, Brakes India, Indian Oil and Amco Batteries.
The opening day saw CII host a conference on the theme of ‘Synergizing Mobility for a Sustainable Future’ which brought together various stakeholders of the automotive aftermarket including some industry veterans along with some new-age start-ups to learn, deliberate and understand emerging technologies, the automotive aftermarket business value chain, global developments, new collaborations, telematics, intelligent transportation system innovations and also solutions providers.
Speaking at the inauguration of the expo, Thiru K Pandiarajan, Minister for Tamil Official Language, Tamil Culture and Archaeology, government of Tamil Nadu said, “In the automotive aftermarket sector, the geographical presence determines the market share. Tamil Nadu is one of the best-connected states in terms of quality of roads and infrastructure.
Today nearly 42 percent of automobiles and 48 percent of auto components in the country are made in Tamil Nadu. The government is very pro-industry in terms of taxation, registration, ease of doing business and supporting facilities for the automotive aftermarket sector.”
The minister urged industry to work closely with the state government which has a strong interest in the automotive aftermarket industry as it is one of the largest employment generating sectors in the state. “We need to have a world-class aftermarket industry in India which should transform the borders and create outlets in every part of the world,” said Pandiarajan.
Aftermarket as an employment generator
In his welcome address, R Dinesh, chairman, Auto Serve 2018 and joint managing director, T V Sundram Iyengar & Sons, said: “The automotive aftermarket industry provides 4 times the employment of any other sector in manufacturing and many of the manufacturing companies survive on the profitability which they drive from the aftermarket. There are 500,000 garages in the country which provide employment to 7.5 million people; it is important that their skills are upgraded to a secure future. This year, Auto Serve has representation from 10 countries like the UK, USA, Germany, Japan and China which are supporting us in translating our vision into action.”
Sriram Viji, Member, National Executive Committee, Auto Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and deputy managing director, Brakes India, said, “The Indian auto components industry has a turnover of US$51.5 billion with a growth rate of 18 percent annually. Around 40 percent of the automotive aftermarket represents the unorganised sector and there is an urgent need to evolve an enduring manufacturing and distribution chain. We are closely working with the road transport department for standards and safety in the aftermarket segment. We request the government to consider uniform 18 percent GST for all automobile components.”
Autoserve, which remains a strong platform for the aftermarket industry, saw CII release its report on ‘Transformational Shifts in Mobility and its Impact on Aftermarket’.