Time to Take Stock and Reflect

 

Dear friends,

By the time, this issue of FADA Journal reaches you, I shall have completed one year in the office of President of this august organisation.

It is, therefore, about time that we take stock and reflect on the year gone by. The last one year has been a mixed bag for the auto market. While it was refreshing to see the Passenger Vehicle and M&HCV segments returning to growth path, LCVs continued to go downhill, suggesting that the economy, though displaying a semblance of improvement, is yet to gain traction. What was discomforting was that the two-wheelers that had hitherto bucked the trends and stayed on course in the face of economic slowdown, slipped into deceleration mode. 

It is heartening to see that the economy is slowly gathering pace and so is the Indian auto market. The current macroeconomic indicators are encouraging. The retail inflation at about 5.0% is under control and within the comfort zone. The commodity prices including petroleum prices, are on downward spiral. The factory output has clocked over 4.0% growth in the last two successive months, viz. July and August. Interest rates are also gradually climbing down. With inflation remaining benign, we expect RBI to cut further the key policy rates at its next review of monetary policy scheduled on 29th September. The infrastructure development, especially road building, has got a boost with the installation of current Government at the Centre last year.

While the economy is still facing headwinds as reflected in the bearish stock market and weakening Rupee, I feel that Indian economy is better placed and has resilience to swerve back to the fast lane of growth.  In tandem with the uptick in economy, the Indian auto market will soon witness turnaround in its fortunes, I hope.

Regarding the activities of FADA during the last one year, it is a matter of satisfaction that we in current FADA Council were able to maintain the pace and momentum. FADA not only promptly took up the issues of concern to the automobile dealers for redressal by the concerned authorities, it also worked proactively to address the emerging challenges. FADA Academy training programme continued to make a steady headway and a series of training & development were organised for the benefit of automobile dealers and their senior managers in partnership with Prashaste in various parts of the country.

The highlight of the year was the celebration of FADA’s Golden Jubilee in a style and grandeur never witnessed before in the history of FADA. A grand function organised on 17th April 2015 at Mumbai saw the release of a Coffee Table Book, which tracks the history and important milestones in the journey of Indian auto sector, auto retail business and FADA spanning over 50 years. The grandeur and scale apart, the event went a long way in securing further recognition for FADA from the Government, the industry and the society at large in terms of its contribution to the growth & development of auto sector in India, employment generation and revenue generation for the Central and State Governments. It was also an occasion for FADA to remember and recognise the singular contribution made by the stalwarts of auto industry and auto retail business in steering the Indian auto sector to glorious heights. I am thankful to Network 18 and its team for organising and making impeccable arrangements in connection with FADA’s Golden Jubilee function.

I also express my gratitude to my colleagues in Council, our Past Presidents and my fellow dealers across the country for their unstinted support and guidance.

I shall be failing in my duty if do not acknowledge the support extended by the Government, the OEMs and the chambers of commerce, especially SIAM.

While we have done out bit, I do realise that a lot more needs to be done to iron out creases for the sustainable growth of auto retail trade.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

K V S Prakash Rao

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