Looking Forward to Auto Summit 2016 with Excitement & Bated Breath

FADA’s 9th biennial event, viz. Auto Summit 2016, scheduled for 7th February 2016 at New Delhi during Auto Expo, is round the corner. While there is an all-round excitement, there is also a little nervousness largely because Auto Summit has come to be recognised as one of the most prestigious events of automotive sector. The nervousness stems from the fact that previous Auto Summits set high standards in terms of quality of deliberations, stature of speakers, grandeur and impeccable arrangements. Each successive Auto Summit has been getting bigger and better. The Organising Committee has an onerous task at hand to prove equal to the enormity of preparations. However, we are trying our best to rise to the challenge and live up to the expectations generated by this mega event.

Personally, I am all the more excited as the Auto Summit 2016 will traverse an uncharted territory, i.e. Digitisation of business operations.  We, the members of automobile retail trade community, have no choice but to keep pace with the latest development & trends and adopt and use the technology to stay afloat in this fiercely competitive world. Needless to say, in today’s intense competition, we are competing not only with other brands but also with other members representing the same brand. It is a mad race where only the fittest will survive.

As for any other business, automobile dealers cannot afford to lower their guard and have always to be geared to assimilate and embrace new ideas, lest they are overtaken by the events. Auto Summit 2016 will be an ideal forum for the members of automobile dealer fraternity to enrich their experiences. The Summit will enable us in retail automobile trade to gear up for the challenges arising from the changing paradigm of automotive business, including the challenges posed by the newer technologies.

Also dovetailed with Auto Summit 2016 is the Automotive Dealership Excellence Awards presentation function, another important event of FADA. Instituted jointly by FADA and Network18 in 2009, this will be the 7th edition of awards. ADEA is an ideal opportunity for my fellow dealers get recognised for the new benchmarks set by them in various areas of dealership management. ADEA is not all about excellence in business but also about the singular work done by my fellow dealers in the areas of CSR and community welfare. The recognition raises the bar for individual winners and makes others strive for excellence, thereby promoting all-round excellence in the trade. It also enhances the stock of dealer community in the eyes of the society at large.

I am looking forward to the overwhelming participation and response at these two premier events of FADA and hopeful that the tremendous efforts and preparations, which have gone into these events will be rewarding.

Regarding the activities and development since my previous column, it is heartening to note that Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has taken a number of measures to provide immediate relief to the automobile dealers affected by the Hon’ble Supreme Court order on banning the registration of larger diesel passenger vehicles in NCR.

We understand that TKM has undertaken to support its dealers in NCR by bearing the inventory carrying cost and shifting the stocks of such vehicles to the dealers in other locations at its own cost. We also understand that TKM has also suggested to their affected dealers not to dispense with the sales personnel handling Innova and Fortuner sales and offered to pick up the tab on their salaries up to March 2016. What is gratifying is that TKM’s MD had a meeting with the affected dealers personally to reassure them of the company’s support. While complimenting the management of TKM for their timely support to their dealers, we fervently hope that other OEMS will also come up with similarly measures, which will go a long way in promoting healthier OEM-Dealer relations and sustained growth of automotive market in India.

With best wishes and looking forward to meeting you all at Auto Summit 2016.

Yours sincerely,

K V S Prakash Rao

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