In a move that could help the industry’s prospects in the country, the country’s top auto makers have announced that they will cease production of luxury cars in the coming months.
The announcement was made by the India Automobile Association (IAA) in its annual general meeting on Tuesday, which also saw the launch of new luxury brands like Vemma and Kaleesha.
In a statement, IAA chief executive N. Raman said the industry had a very long way to go before it would be able to meet demand for premium cars, and that the end of the production of the luxury brands will mean a significant loss of jobs in the industry.
“As our industry moves into a more competitive environment, the IAA is confident that this is the right time for our industry to go back to the production phase,” Raman told reporters at the conference.
“We need to take this opportunity to provide jobs to our people and the new industries that will come out of this will have a strong impact on our country,” he added.
Ramaman was responding to an open letter penned by a group of luxury car manufacturers and manufacturers’ unions in March to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee, calling for the end to the manufacture of luxury vehicles in the nationalised economy.
In the letter, the companies argued that the manufacture and sale of luxury models in the private sector would be a boon to the economy and will create new jobs.
The industry had been reeling from the sudden drop in domestic demand for the products and services it was supplying to the country.
According to industry body India Automotive Industries Association (IAI), in 2016-17, there were 1.9 lakh private sector jobs in India.
The manufacturing sector, meanwhile, employs more than 40 lakh people in India and accounted for more than half of the countrys total economic activity in 2016.
The IAI has long warned that the manufacturing sector would soon be in a crisis if the private-sector sector did not find new ways to generate more revenue.
“Our industry needs a lot of support.
It has been hit by an unprecedented decline in demand, and the market is now going through a cyclical downturn.
The Government’s decision is the best thing to do for the industry,” said V.S. Ramakrishnan, general secretary of the IAI.
“The IAI’s call to end the manufacturing phase in favour of new sectors will help it in reaching the level of profitability that it needs,” Ramakriman said.
Ramankrishnan added that the industry is in a transitional phase and it is imperative that the Government do something to support the industry by making it viable.
“India is a country of a few lakhs of workers and this is where the manufacturing should focus, not the other way around,” he said.
“If the Government wants to help, it will need to help manufacturing.”