Auto manufacturers have been trying to cope with economical rough patch in last two years. Trying to boost sales and implementing cost effective schemes just wasn’t enough. They also had to cut many of their employees loose to stay somewhat balanced, in some cases. On a fashionable note, senior employees were asked to take voluntary retirement (not sure what ‘voluntary’ is doing in that sentence).
Tata Motors apart from giving customers attractive offers, gave 600 of their employees early retirement offers, last month. Ashok Leyland too offered 500 of their employees with irresistible retirement schemes, last year (pun intended).
Sales of Cars, SUVs, Vans, pick-ups, and entire commercial vehicle segment went south, with passenger vehicle market encountering first decline in the decade. But what saved the overall scenario was the two-wheeler market. It took 7.31% hike with motorcycle sales going 3.91% up and scooter sales riding 23% north. Export sales figures also contributed to somewhat saving the year with rise of 7.21%.
The downtrend left auto manufacturers with piled up inventory and stagnation. The interim budget announced in February, gave a minor boost as all vehicles prices were reduced marginally, but it hasn’t exactly helped boost sales yet. Automakers are expecting aid from the government’s new budget by way of further tax cuts.
Sales figures of March 2014 shows 12.83% overall growth also by means of increased two-wheeler sales. Commercial Vehicles have further dipped compared to March 2013 and passenger cars stagnating below the graph. However, overall production has increased by 9.95% comparing March figures of both years, suggesting auto makers’ confidence in ongoing fiscal to make better.
Launch of new A segment compact cars by various auto majors seems to be helpful in this economy, for customers as well as value chain entities. Maruti Suzuki finished top on podium with 42% share in overall car sales, followed by Hyundai with 15% share.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) expects a 6% growth over in the fiscal 2014-15, with boost in manufacturing sector, new investment and fresh capacities in the industry. Vikram Kirloskar, president of SIAM says, “Whichever government comes in…I am looking for stability in excise duty and some reduction in taxes. We are an over-taxed industry.”