Autocar Professional’s April 15 issue: lock(down), stock & double-barrel

by Sumana Sarkar 15 Apr 2021


Maharashtra, which is home to several leading automakers and suppliers, has just announced a fortnight of complete lockdown to combat the pandemic. Other states are following suit. How is India Auto Inc coping with the break in momentum, just when the green shoots of recovery had been sighted?

Our comprehensive cover story is all that and much more. We speak to captains of industry and stakeholders to find out how they are gearing up for Lockdown 2.0, the lessons learnt from last year and the forward planning that is underway. Most importantly, how are companies creating a future-proof plan of action.

  • Most OEMs say that digital initiatives and implementation of safety procedures has eased operation despite the challenges.
  • Component manufacturers are concerned that the second wave can exacerbate supply-side issues and impact raw material prices and core inflation too.
  • Dealers are worried that the deliveries earmarked for festivities including Gudi Padwa and Ram Navami may suffer.
  • Transporters too raise the red flag about the pace of recovery and are seeking loan deferment provisions.
     

Moving from Resilience to Resurgence
Meanwhile, a recent study by McKinsey India clearly indicates that the growth potential of Indian automotive industry is clearly spelt out despite the challenges including Covid-19. The findings highlight the importance of –

  • Growth
  • Resilience
  • Promoting disruptive trends

Skilling is an important part of this resurgence story as well. Nikunj Sanghi, Chairman of the Automotive Skills Development Council, says the pandemic accelerated the pace of digitisation in the Indian auto industry and even as ASDC is doing its bit to bridge the tech-divide fast, there’s plenty more to be done to bridge the yawning skills gap.

Passenger Vehicles on a roll


Down in the first half of FY2021, the PV industry has fought back and how.

  • While it is set for a growth year in FY2022 after two straight years of sales decline, it will still be playing catch-up to the FY2018-FY2019 highs.
  • Hyundai Motor is betting heavily on SUVs with the six- and seven-seater Alcazar.
  • Buoyed by the success of Triber and encouraging response to Kiger, Renault India targets deeper inroads into rural markets. Country CEO & MD, Venkatram Mamillapalle stresses the need to maintain quality consistently.
  • We take you the assembly lines inside Nissan’s Chennai plant as it starts to buzz again on the back of the Magnite’s success.
     


 

Global CV players focus on India

  • Truck and bus major, Daimler India sees big opportunities in the backdrop of the global truck business being hived off. DICV boss Satyakam Arya believes the expertise within the Indian operation will be leveraged even more as the company looks to push the envelope in mobility.
  • India is high on the radar of Czech off-road bus maker Torsus as it scouts for a suitable partner to match synergies. Co-founder and CEO, Vakhtang Dzhukashvili tells Autocar Professional that it is already seeing keen interest for purchases from India’s mining and tourism sector.
     

ACMA Automechanika goes digital
Given the surge in Covid-19 cases, ACMA Automechanika 2021, the leading B2B aftermarket expo, will bring together component and aftermarket players through its integrated digital platform. Our preview details what you should expect.

There’s plenty more to read in this mid-month issue. Find out how IIT Mandi and RBEI researchers are optimiing IC-engine efficiency. We’d love to tell you more but it’s best if you get your hands on this exciting edition.

How you can read this issue 
Autocar Professional magazine is also available through all good newsagents and for download from Magzster. You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar Professional magazine – contact Ganesh at ganesh@haymarketsac.com. Alternatively, never miss an issue – subscribe to Autocar Professional magazine today