Automakers in India today saw SIAM’s 56th annual convention as the ideal industry platform to seek clarity from the government on policy and regulations affecting the automotive industry. The theme for the event was ‘Building the Nation, Responsibly’.
Whether it is the ban on diesel engines above 2000cc in Delhi-NCR or the leapfrogging of BS V norms to attain BS VI standards in a short span of less than four years, the automotive industry feels it is on the backfoot when it comes to policy. At stake are thousands of crores of rupees in investment already done and thousands more to come.
Policy stability is vital for companies looking to invest in the Indian growth story and in the absence of a clear roadmap, growth will be stunted and not achieve its potential. The ambitious Automotive Mission Plan 2026 targets sales of Rs 1,211,500 crore (US$ 200 billion) with exports contributing Rs 462,500 crore (US$ 75 billion) which is 35-40% of its overall output for 2026.
Important, automakers and SIAM have appealed to the government to have only one ministry formulate technical regulations. This is much needed for sustainable development.
Chief guest Anant G Geete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, said: “After the Prime Minister gave the ‘Make in India’ call, the auto industry has played a key role in this programme. The environment is one of the biggest concerns for the sector. We have therefore allocated Rs 14,000 crore for the FAME scheme for promoting hybrid and electric mobility, which will save Rs 60,000 crore fuel, thereby benefitting the environment.”
Reiterating the government’s support to the industry, the minister added: “India is looked upon as the world’s youngest nation because we have the most people below 35 years. We should use this youth power by giving them jobs. The auto industry has the biggest scope for providing these jobs. If jobs fall in agriculture, only industry can make good this shortfall.”
In the inaugural session, Vinod K Dasari, president, SIAM, said: “We appreciate the support from the minister and the Ministry of Heavy Industries. We also welcome the government’s efforts in passing GST but request that there be no more than two rates for the automotive industry. The Indian automotive industry is facing new challenges in providing sustainable mobility for the masses. We have sought a long-term roadmap on safety, emissions and fuel efficiency norms. In order to make practical and rational regulations, we seek a single ministry, single window for the industry. We would also like to thank the government for accepting SIAM’s suggestion of the fleet modernisation scheme. Industry will be happy to offer further incentives to customers to supplement the government’s incentive for purchase of a new vehicle against a scrapped vehicle.”
He added, "We need specific measures for public transport upgradation and rural connectivity."
John Moavenzadeh, Head of Mobility Industries, World Economic Forum on Global Trends in Mobility, USA, said: “We are witnessing the fourth industrial revolution and the shifting automotive game. The fourth industrial revolution is not categorised by one single technology but by diverse technologies. The global auto industry is in the midst of a more profound transformation not seen in the past 100 years. Automotive demand is undergoing a seismic shift between developed and emerging economies. The automotive game is changing from volume to value; from the customer’s focus on the product to the mobility experience; from customer-driven vehicles to software-driven ones. By 2026, the Indian automotive industry will be among the top three in the world in engineering, manufacture and exports of vehicles and components.”
Pawan Munjal, chairman, MD and CEO of Hero MotoCorp, said: "The Indian automotive industry is conscious of its responsibility to provide cleaner & safer mobility. The industry will see a transition from horsepower to processing power."
In a televised address, Nitin Gadkari said: “The government is working on a scrappage policy for heavy commercial vehicles.” He also invited industry to open driver training centres across the country to train a new generation of safe drivers.
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