While Auto Dealers were preparing themselves for a good Navratri Season, the retails which we have seen this time is nowhere as per our expectations. With Navratri getting over, in spite of good schemes, Passenger Vehicle entry level category could not show enough traction as customers were keeping away. While there is high demand in mid and higher segment, there is a huge shortage of vehicles due to semi-conductor issues. In spite of new launches which is keeping the customer excited, lack of choice and availability is making things worse as deals are not getting closed. Normally in Festive, we also see fresh customers making instant decision of choosing and buying the vehicles adding to the kitty of already booked customers, which is missing this time, due to stock shortage, and non-committal of delivery date.
Talking about 2-Wheeler, we have seen very weak enquiry levels as customers are not willing to come forward and show interest in purchase decisions. Most of India is witnessing at least 25% less sales when compare to last Navratri due to impact of high vehicle acquisition cost (which has gone up by 30+% in terms of entry level category in last 2 yrs) , high fuel price and sentiments. The entry-level 125cc 2W inquiry level is still low. The 150cc and above segment has seen some good demand traction, but the shortage of semiconductors is impacting the 150+ cc segment as well.
The Commercial Vehicle & 3-Wheeler segment had witnessed growth which shows signs of economic recovery, however the growth is on a lower base for 2020. Both the sectors have been witnessing consecutive growth in last few months if compared to year 2020, whereas taken 2019 as base year the segment is still going through a degrowth. It is heartening to note that electrification of Three wheeler segment has seen a big jump and has now reached 40% + share in September’21 itself.
For the first time in FADA’s history, the Executive Committee met in Coimbatore to discuss Project Lakshya. Project Lakshya has come into existence keeping FADA and Auto Retail Community’s future in mind. As part of the meeting, we brain stormed on our vision of where FADA should be 10-15 years from now. To do this effectively, we also identified elements that will help us achieve this aspirational goal by creating couple of missions thus leapfrogging us in this direction. I will keep sharing with you our missions from time to time so that together we can achieve it faster.
Taking forward Federation’s objective of protecting Dealers, employees & customers interest in view of recent exit announced by Ford, I once again met Heavy Industries Minister Dr M N Pandey to apprise him regarding the important role being played by the auto retail industry. The adverse impact of sudden exit by OEMs like Ford have on the auto retail community and the need for having Auto Dealers Protection Act in place to avert such situations in future was discussed in length. Our suggestions were not only well received but we were assured that he will put Joint Secretary Mr Amit Mehta on the job to study this matter in detail. Post this, FADA CEO Mr. Saharsh Damani had a meeting with JS where JS assured that the Ministry will write to Ford India seeking clarity on the entire situation.
At the just concluded CII Round Table Meeting which was held under the aegis of CII-ASCON representatives of SIAM, ACMA & FADA had an opportunity put across our points of concern Infront of Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry Mr. Piyush Goyal. As Auto Retail, we requested for the following:
1. Implementation on CMVR Rules in all States.
2. Implementation of Vahan in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh
3. To digitize the entire process of used car vehicle transfer via Vahan.
I hope that we are successful in getting our concerns addressed which will ultimately benefit customers, employees at dealerships & auto retail community. All this will have the desired impact and soon government initiates action in this direction as well.
Earlier during the month, we organised joint meeting of State Chairpersons and Regional Directors to appraise them regarding steps FADA had initiated with regard to Ford exit and also to educate them about Auto Dealers Protection Act and how it will help protect dealer’s interests and bring about a more balanced OEM- Dealer Agreement. I have personally requested them to come forward and use their connections with influential people of the Society in expressing the importance of Dealerships in terms of employment, tax collection, local trade, CSR etc.
Ms Indira Menon had a meeting with Mr. Piyush Jain, Director MoRTH with regards to concerns of Dealerships - Trade Certificate- Online submission, renewal & issuance of TC; Extension of validity of TC to 5 years; TC to be issued for class of vehicle and not on model and variant basis; Rule 81 to be aligned with Rule 34 of CMV Rules; and One TC issued to dealer has to have validity across the State. He has assured that all the issues are being looked upon with a solution in next few months.
FADA is also seeking clarity from the department with regards to Section 192(b)(4) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules which has huge implications on dealers if an unintentional error takes place during punching information while registering vehicles online at dealer point.
Along with implementation of faceless & paperless registration of new fully built vehicle by all State Transport Departments, FADA is also working with the central Ministry to make registration of Used Vehicles online.
We are continuously working on many such matters which will mitigate the day to day challenges being faced by our community and thus will bring in ease of doing business.
You will be happy to know that I have been appointed as Treasurer – Automotive Skills Development Council. The Automotive Industry is known to be highly dynamic with ceaseless innovations pouring in from all over the world, changing the face of the industry as we know it. We at dealerships are playing an important role for skilling and upskilling our staff on regular basis and hence being associated with ASDC will help me to initiate many programs keeping dealer interests in mind and creating value for all our businesses. I seek your support in advance for helping all such initiatives to be a huge success.
Friends, as things are coming back to normal, I wish to meet all of you in person, to have one on one interaction and to actualise this we will soon be back with physical events post Diwali. We are currently planning state wise events. Soon I shall be able to share more details with you as programs get finalised.
While Navratri was not a good season for most of us, I hope that Diwali brings back the lost shine for entire Auto Industry. By the time, this issue reaches you, we would be at the fag end of the festive period. While wishing all of you a Very Happy & Prosperous Diwali, I will once again reiterate to please exercise caution and follow all Covid safety protocols while dealing with customers may be at showrooms or at workshops.
President – FADA