Indian component industry, which has recorded 18% YoY growth in FY2018 and surpassed $50 billion turnover for the first time, is bullish about sustaining the growth trend. The industry is also aware of the near-term challenges. Indian automotive industry has significant headroom for growth and a huge opportunity awaits the component industry. Though industry is happy with the support like the rationalisation of GST rates, it is asking the government for a research and development and technology acquisition fund.
The automotive industry is the prime contributor to ‘Make in India’. Despite the global headwinds, the highest exports recorded in 6 years were in FY2018. It is a cachet for the auto components industry, but the question is: what is next? To grow further the industry has to reinvent and think global. In the recently-completed 58th annual convention of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) in New Delhi, all the industry captains were lauded for investing in R&D and facing challenges by translating them to opportunities. A lot of emphasis was given to be technology-ready in terms of investment in new, cutting-edge technologies, developing best-in-class capability and capacity, while also being geared up with an aggressive xEV and BSVI-compliant portfolio.
In the entire event, optimism prevails in the automotive industry, especially among the component makers in spite of numerous challenges ahead. To face the upcoming challenges, the companies have to invest in new technologies and capacity. The immediate need is to increase road safety, reduce pollution and absorb the fuel costs. It is necessary for the industry to enhance safety of the vehicle but at the same time driving skill development needs to be addressed and the government has to take required steps to provide proper infrastructure.
Recent studies reveal that 30% of the Mumbai-Delhi stretch and 50% of the Mumbai-Chennai stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral are unsafe for vehicles, worse for two-wheelers and pedestrians, as there are hardly any facilities available. India’s road safety design inevitably needs to be tailored to local conditions and usage patterns. The government has embarked on a massive road building programme under the `Bharatmala’ project. This provides an opening to rethink about the traditional approach and find ways to improve road safety. Therefore, a 360 degree approach is required and let us shed more light on the importance of road safety.