Celebrations Over - It is Now Time for Reflection

Dear friends,

It is heartening that FADA’s Golden Jubilee was celebrated at a grand scale. I am overwhelmed by the congratulatory messages pouring in from the industry leaders, members of automobile dealer fraternity and others connected with automotive business.

The entire Golden Jubilee Celebrations event was impeccable. We, perhaps, could not have asked for more. However, the highlight, to my mind, was the release of Coffee Table Book tracing the 50-year journey of FADA and auto sector. Chronicling the landmarks and milestones, the Coffee Table Book profiles and recognises the pioneers of industry and auto retail trade. The book, in a way, is FADA’s tribute to these stalwarts.

I salute the automobile dealerships that have been in the auto retail business for over 50 years and still counting. It is a no mean achievement that they have stood up to the changing dynamics of automotive business for over 50 years. There is something special about these groups of dealerships, which the Coffee Table Book recognises. 

It is a memorabilia that every member of automobile dealer community would like to treasure as a collector’s item.  This exquisite book is worth gifting to your business associates and near and dear ones.

Copies of Coffee Table Book can be made available to the interested members at a nominal cost of Rs. 1,250 per copy (including courier charges of Rs. 250). The cost per copy to FADA is much higher, though.

With celebrations over, it is time now for us to reflect on what further can be done to make FADA more meaningful to its constituents. We are working on a number of new initiatives in this direction. Digitalisation of FADA and making FADA’s website more up-to-date and interactive is one of the measures, which is high on our agenda. A group of FADA members is working to give shape to this initiative. Members’ inputs & suggestions are welcome.

We are simultaneously working on strengthening the FADA Academy programme. Needless to mention, major issues of concern to automobile dealers such as viability & profitability of automobile dealerships and manufacturer-dealer relations continue to engage the attention of FADA Council.

Adverting to the automotive market, I understand from my fellow dealers that sustained recovery is still elusive. Though the wholesale numbers dished out by the manufacturers look decent on the face of it, the retail sales are not commensurate with the wholesale numbers. As a result, a large number of automobile dealerships are saddled with huge inventories. The situation in two-wheeler market, in particular, is not something to write home about. The erratic monsoon last year and unseasonable rains during March and April have dented the two-wheeler sales, especially in the rural markets.

Macroeconomic indicators, though stable, do not inspire much confidence in the auto market. The petroleum prices are on the rise again. The petrol prices have been hiked by roughly Rs. 7 per litre during the month of May 2015. While inflation is steadily climbing down, the industrial production is not displaying any significant, sustained pick-up. Exports are going downhill and have witnessed negative growth for the last four months. 

With inflation easing and industrial production growth slowing to 2.1% in March 2015 as against 5.0% in February 2015, we expect the RBI Governor to reduce interest rates. 

We, in auto retail business, are counting a lot on the good Monsoon this summer, though forecast by the Metrological Department is not enthusing. I am sanguine that the auto market will witness turnaround in its fortunes sooner than later, defying odds.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

K V S Prakash Rao 




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