The Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), an industry body representing India’s
automobile sector, held its 58th Annual Convention titled “Building the
During the convention, the
speakers highlighted the need for a long term regulatory and policy roadmap for
India’s auto sector and moderating GST taxation, as it heads towards global
transition to electric vehicle and future mobility.
Rajan Wadhera is new SIAM President,
Kenichi Ayukawa is Vice President
SIAM has elected Rajan
Wadhera as its new President. He is also the President – Automotive Sector,
Mahindra & Mahindra. He succeeds Dr Abhay Firodia, Chairman, Force Motors
Ltd. Wadhera has been SIAM’s Vice President till now. The election for new
office bearers was conducted during the Executive Committee Meeting, which
was held after SIAM’s Annual General Meeting. The members of SIAM also
elected Kenichi Ayukawa, as Vice President of SIAM. Ayukawa has been Managing
Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited since April 1, 2013. Vinod
Aggarwal, MD & CEO, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) has been
elected as Treasurer of SIAM. He replaces Kenichi Ayukawa.
Welcoming delegates, Dr Abhay Firodia,
President, SIAM & Chairman, Force Motors urged the government to address
the need for a long term regulatory policy roadmap for India’s auto sector and
also moderate GST taxation. He, however, stated that the implementation of GST
has made taxation regime far more streamlined.
Dr Firodia said policies
changed in ad hoc manner, creates uncertainty in the industry and called for a
10-year policy roadmap of the sector which will give more sustainability and
growth to the sector as vehicles are no more a luxury good and are important
for driving economy.
He requested the government to
help bring down multiplicity of organization with which the sector has to deal
with. He said incompatible and contradictory regulatory environment could shy
away investments from the country. Vehicles are integrated, complex machinery
and are manufactured with technical regulations which are globally compatible
and follow international norms, he added.
He said in just four years of
moving from BS IV to BS VI emissions is very fast and given the fact that the
industry today is far more complex, there is a need to build an ecosystem and
the transition needs to be gradual than having a sudden disruption. He also
stated that IC engines are not going to roll over and die, and will continue
for a decade.
Ram Venkataramani, President,
Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) & Executive Director,
IP Rings said the quality of exports have changed significantly and provide job
opportunity to over 3.2 million people in India. “There is a significant room
for growth. More than 60 per cent of India’s exports go to matured markets in
Europe. We are committed to 2020 BS VI deadline and we move ahead to transition
to autonomous, connected vehicles,” he stated.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal,
President, CII & Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises said India’s competitive
weakness is struggling in design and product components in auto sector. The
sector is working on advancement of manufacturing sector technology,
up-skilling and reskilling workers and employment. “More has to be done for
sustainability, safety, new value propositions, increased software components
in car, in-depth alignment, working closely with supply chain, new technology
and be future ready,” he argued.
Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman,
NITI Aayog, who was the Guest of Honour said the auto sector is facing huge
disruption as it moves from IC (Internal Combustion) engines to electric
vehicles. He, however, insisted that the auto sector must invest more on
innovation and R&D.
“Let our R&D expenditure
go beyond one percent. Modern mobility, which is connected, shared and data
driven will reduce carbon footprint. We
have to plan this transition. And this has to be carefully managed. NITI Aayog
is open to new ideas and suggestions,” Dr Kumar asserted.
He further informed that the
NITI Aayog is finalising framework for auto industry and is coordinating with
state governments to form a task force and come out with a paper for future
Speaking at SIAM’s Annual
Convention, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, MAnant G
Geete assured that the government would soon come out with the new auto policy.
He explained that any policy shouldn’t be made in a hurry and that each and
every aspects of the industry would be discussed with the industry and
considered before finalizing the new auto policy.
“We understand your concerns
on GST. There should be no fear in the mind of the industry. While we are going
through a process of change, we also have to understand the need of the
consumer. The new policy will be industry, consumer and environment friendly. It
is important for us to move on and change according to time. If we don’t we
will slip back. We are here to work and ensure growth of the industry,” Geete
The Guest of Honour, Dharmendra
Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development
&Entrepreneurship gave his insight on BS-VI emission norms and its benefit
to the auto industry and assured that the government will ensure a level
playing field for the industry.
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of
Road Transport, Highways & Shipping and Water Resource, River Development,
& Ganga Rejuvenation, who was the Guest of Honour announced exemption of
commercial vehicles, buses, taxis and all vehicles running on alternative fuel
from the permit requirements. This, he said will open more businesses for the
industry. He also informed that any two wheeler can be run as a taxi in
non-metro cities and this will provide large employment opportunities for young
He also called upon the
industry to look at diversification and new economically viable businesses.
“You can explore water transport, which will not only be economical but also
provide open growth for the auto sector. We are adding more roads, highways and
industry is benefitting from it. The government is ensuring seamless, faster
traffic which will connect people and goods faster. More access to fast track
and electronic toll plaza is being given. We are also cancelling speed
governors. We don’t need it as we are developing good roads. There is no need
to limit the speed artificially,” said Gadkari.
He said the industry must
ensure better models, engines and produce high performance vehicles. “Our
government has given priority for development of bio-fuel. Our price centric
mentality needs to be cost and comfort centric,” he added.
Rajan Wadhera, Vice President,
SIAM & President – Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra while
concluding the session stated that India’s auto sector has grown in size and
stature and has plans to create 65 million additional jobs. However, the
industry faces massive challenges but despite all odds, it is working hard with
different stakeholders and the government to ensure sustainability and growth.
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