August 5, 2019

The crash of 2019 (automobile industry)

(Photo: Shekhar Ghosh)

The slump in the Rs 8.3 lakh crore automotive industry, which employs around 32 million people (directly and indirectly), is evident in the falling quarterly sales numbers and the closure of nearly 300 dealerships across India. For this to happen in an industry that was seen as a success story-with consultancy McKinsey & Co projecting just last year that India's passenger-vehicle market would become the world's third largest by 2021-has been a body blow to the Indian economy.

The entire automotive ecosystem-from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs, industry parlance for car manufacturers) to component suppliers to dealerships and aftermarket service providers-is saddled with idle production capacity and unsold inventories. And since this industry accounts for 22-25 per cent of India's manufacturing GDP, the slowdown threatens to destabilise the country's already-tottering economy. Underlining this, on July 24, Ram Venkataramani, president of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), said that if improvements do not materialise, around 1 million jobs could be lost-20 per cent of the total employment in that sector.


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