Taxes on automobiles in India, that are larger than in every other car manufacturing nation on the planet, have created affordability issue for many aspiring car homeowners, in keeping with Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman RC Bhargava.
If the contribution of producing sector to the nation’s GDP is to succeed in 25 per cent by 2025, then car gross sales have to develop quicker, he said whereas addressing shareholders within the company’s annual report for 2019-20.
Commenting on excessive taxes, Bhargava said, “Even before 2019-20, the tax on cars in India was far higher than in any other car manufacturing country in the world. In the European Union (EU), the VAT is 19 per cent and no other taxes. In Japan, taxes are around 10 per cent.
“Given the a lot decrease per capita incomes in India, this created an affordability issue for many aspiring car homeowners.”
He further said that in 2019-20, the increase in cost of acquisition of a car, coupled with other hurdles to be crossed to obtain a loan, led to a fall in sales. It was proven that the price elasticity of demand is a real concept.
“It is sort of obvious that if the manufacturing sector is to develop at a rate that may take its contribution to 25 per cent of the GDP even by 2025, car gross sales should improve at a a lot larger rate than up to now. The car trade constitutes about 50 per cent of the auto sector which contributes round 40 per cent of the manufacturing sector’s share of the GDP,” he added.
Passenger vehicles currently attract top GST rate of 28 per cent with cess ranging from 1 per cent on those less than four metres in length with petrol engine to 22 per cent on big SUVs longer than four metres.
Commenting on the impact of coronavirus pandemic, Bhargava said, “The woes of the auto sector have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic even earlier than the monetary year ended.”
The lockdown from March 25, 2020 led to disruption of sales plans of all companies as the last week of March is always important, he said adding, “there may very well be no manufacturing in April and in May 2020 manufacturing was very restricted extent due to the necessity to adjust to all laws and to make sure the protection of workers and prospects and June manufacturing was higher.”
Bhargava said MSI expects to “progressively improve manufacturing and gross sales because the state of affairs improves and employees return from their villages”.
On the outlook, he said the economy in the rural areas is quite robust, thanks to a good rabi harvest and the expected normal monsoons. Tractor sales are aly higher than last year.
“Our gross sales within the rural areas are rising quicker than within the city areas. We are hoping that within the second half of 2020-21, gross sales might close to the efficiency of last year and 2021-22 ought to be higher, particularly if the central and state governments recognise the significance of supporting quicker development of the car trade as a way of reviving the financial system and creating bigger employment alternatives,” he added.
On the current situation Bhargava said, “The market, at present, appears to favour smaller hatchbacks and petrol and CNG automobiles. Fortunately, we’re effectively positioned for such merchandise.”
He said the plan to shift the Gurugram facility had to be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The auto major said it may make a comeback in diesel segment if demand remains strong for such vehicles going ahead.
The company, which exited diesel segment with implementation of BS-VI emission norms, is also adopting a mix of powertrain technologies based on electrification and CNG in order to further meet the future CO2 emission targets, MSI Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said.
“We additionally note that costs of each diesel and petrol gasoline have now come a lot nearer. However, if for some motive, the demand of diesel automobiles continues, the company might have the pliability to carry back diesel know-how (1.5 litre) in its merchandise,” Ayukawa said.
He added that the company is making efforts to electrify its powertrain, ranging from smart hybrids to strong hybrids to electric vehicles.
The partnership between Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and Toyota Motor Corporation will help MSI gain access to hybrid technology, Ayukawa said. “SMC just isn’t solely offering its help for requisite know-how, but in addition partnering to placing up India’s first Lithium-ion cell and battery manufacturing facility,” he noted.
With government’s increased focus on increasing CNG distribution infrastructure across the country, he said demand for CNG vehicles could see an upsurge in the near future, and MSI is best placed to leverage this opportunity.
On COVID-19 situation, Ayukawa said sudden halt of business with the start of the lockdown put significant pressure on cash flows of some of its business partners like suppliers and dealers.
The company provided them with cash flow support to ensure they are able to pay salaries to their employees and meet other obligations, he noted. “After lifting of the lockdown, happily, we recognise that some demand is beginning to get better.
“However, the biggest challenge is to ramp up production of vehicles, amidst the shortage of manpower and the local lockdowns being observed in different states or cities affecting the supply of components and delivery of vehicles at dealerships,” Ayukawa said.
It is simply too early to guage whether or not demand is just pent up or actually beginning to get better, he famous. Ayukawa famous that India’s long-term financial prospects are promising, which augur effectively for the auto enterprise.
“Experience from the global financial crisis suggests that the Indian economy is quite resilient, and it may not be too far to think that the Indian economy may recover relatively faster this time as well. “The company is making all-round efforts to each take part and drive this restoration,” he added.