Back on its road to recovery after a prolonged downhill journey for most part of 2014, the Indian auto industry is looking ahead for a smoother ride in 2015 while building upon an estimated $5 billion investment announced in the year passing-by.
“This year has been the year of turnaround. We have started witnessing growth after a long slowdown. We can say we have bottomed out and started to move towards recovery,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told siliconindia.com.
“By the end of the fiscal, we would see the growth coming back to the industry. We are looking forward to fundamental changes in the economy to support better sentiment which has evolved lately,” he added.
For the country’s car market leader Maruti, this was a year when it was forced to seek minority shareholders approval by investors over its plans to let parent Suzuki own and invest at its proposed Gujarat plant.
Yielding to the demands of the auto industry for support in the form of excise reduction, the previous UPA government, however, announced duty cuts to 8 per cent from 12 per cent for small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; 24 percent from 30 percent for SUVs; 20 percent for mid-sized car from 24 per cent and 24 per cent for large cars from 27 per cent.
Major car makers passed on the benefit to customers by reducing product prices and helped the auto industry post some good months in terms of sales.