The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) hosted the third edition of the Auto Retail Conclave in New Delhi on the theme of ‘Thriving Through Disruption’. Participants included Indian and global automakers, industry stalwarts as well as FADA members from across India.
Chief guest, Union Minister Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Heavy Industries, inaugurated the conclave along with Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, who was Guest of Honour. Also present on the occasion were Kenichi Ayukawa, President, SIAM and Sunjay Kapur, incoming President of ACMA.
Union Minister of Heavy Industries, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, acknowledged the significant contribution made by the dealer community to the auto industry and economy. He said: “The auto industry should play a vital role in making India a manufacturing hub under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. The Indian government has been making efforts to promote India as a global business-friendly destination. We are promoting Clean, Green and Atmanirbhar Bharat campaigns in India and revitalising the green mobility movement.”
Vinkesh Gulati, President, FADA said, “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a marked impact on automobile dealers. Many dealerships are family-owned small, mid-sized businesses and partnership firms. The resilient industry has survived the pandemic by managing finances prudently and restructuring the overall dealer business. However, the pandemic and the exit of several prominent auto OEMS has hurt the dealers extensively. While the government has done a lot to promote the viability of the sector, we request it to consider protecting the auto dealers’ rights who have been impacted by the unexpected exit of MNCs with whom they had signed up as long-term partners. Giving industry status will create a sense of equilibrium in this industry.”
“The auto retail sector employs over 45 lakh people. It contributes Rs 95,000 crore in direct and indirect taxes and other levies to the Central and State Exchequers. The sector has a minimum set-up cost of Rs 150,000 crore, 60,000 acres of own land and an investment of Rs 225,000 crore. In fact the auto retail sector is the largest sector in the country and every state’s economy. The enormous size and potential of this segment of retail sector can be gauged from the fact that auto retail is three times the size of rest of the organised retail.”
Gulati added, “Industry status will give us better financing options in terms of priority lending from banks, financing from top lenders, private equity investments, easier access to domestic and global funds and more tax benefits. This will boost the confidence of the sector immensely and will result in the scaling up of infrastructure bringing in new investments to make the sector foster growth.”
The conclave witnessed panel discussions on optimisation, reinforcement and agility of the dealerships. The themes were ‘Strengthening our Relationship’ and ‘Future of Auto Retail’.
An awards ceremony was also held to honour the winners of FADA’s Dealer Satisfaction Study - 2021. The survey was conducted by FADA in collaboration with PremonAsia, a consumer-insight driven consulting and advisory firm based in Singapore.