With the Indian automobile industry facing an unprecendented sales slowdown for nine straight months and likely to continue for more, automobile dealers are experiencing troubled times, dealing with high levels of inventory, poor liquidity and financing issues. Now assurance has come from the country's largest bank.
At a meeting of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the country’s apex dealer body, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) and Mumbai Auto Dealers in Mumbai on July 29 to discuss the current state of auto retail, SBI has assured the dealer fraternity of easing of liquidity from the bank's side and an increase in credit repayment days on a case-to-case basis. SBI further assured FADA of taking the necessary steps to resolve various issues to reduce stress among auto dealers.
FADA was represented by vice-president Vinkesh Gulati; honorary secretary Manish Raj Singhania; Maharashtra State chairman Amar Sheth; Council member Sandeep Bafna and CEO Saharsh Damani, along with 30 dealers from Mumbai.
State Bank of India was represented by P K Gupta, MD, Retail & Digital Banking; Haridas KV, deputy MD – Retail Business; Devi Shankar Mishra, chief general manager – SME & SCF Corporate Center, along with other senior officials from SBI.
Speaking on the occasion, P K Gupta, MD - Retail and Digital Banking, SBI said, “The aim of the meeting with Mumbai auto dealers along with FADA was to understand the current industry situation and to take steps to ease the stress being faced by many dealers due to the slowdown in the auto sector. I am confident that the auto Industry will bounce back soon in the forthcoming festival season. We at SBI are always there for the auto retail Industry, specially our dealer partners to work in tandem with us in these tough times and beyond.”
Vinkesh Gulati, vice-president, FADA said, “We thank SBI and its senior officials for proactively engaging with the industry representatives. Interaction with the bank was very positive and it will help us in planning in sync with the long-term future perspective of the industry. Such steps from banking institutions and as initiated by SBI give us relief and confidence, which will help us to resolve our day-to-day issues and reduce unnecessary stress. FADA is highly satisfied with the steps taken by SBI and we hope that more such deliberations would continue to take place.”