NEW DELHI: Automobile industry leaders on Wednesday asked the Indian government to provide clear and stable policy framework, saying it should not “become a crisis for the industry” whenever there is a regulatory change.
Heads of Maruti Suzuki India, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors were of the opinion that having short, medium and long-term policy road map will help automobile and component makers plan capacities and align capital investments accordingly.
Speaking at the annual convention of Auto Component Manufacturers of India (ACMA), Mahindra & Mahindra Managing Director Pawan Goenka cited examples of BS-VI emission norms adoption and implementation of BS-IV across India to highlight how regulatory changes can impact the auto industry.
“Regulatory environment will remain very aggressive. We have seen that already and it will not change. Whether it is safety or emission or even other things, and at times the change is expected within a time period that we in the industry do not consider enough lead time,” he said.
Asking the government to provide a long-term road map “so that we can prepare for these changes”, Goenka said, “Every change that happens (it) should not become a crisis for the industry.”
He further said the government needs to consider the fact that the rate of change and rate of adoption of new technology has impact on localisation and the number of jobs that are created in India.
Earlier in the day, Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa also expressed similar sentiments and stated that having clear and stable policy framework would enable the automobile industry to prepare for future mobility.
“Technologies are big ticket investments for original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) and auto component manufacturers,” he said.
A short-term, medium-term and long-term policy road map will be useful to plan capacities and align capital investments, Ayukawa added.
Stressing on the need for a well defined road map, he said, “A clear and stable policy framework for the new technologies will give confidence to the principal investors in OEMs and component manufacturers.”
Tata Motors CEO and Managing Director Guenter Butschek also stressed on the need for support from the government with active policies to meet the challenges ahead.
He said such support would help the auto industry to “very carefully prioritise” and put “rightly resources behind” going forward.
On automotive technologies of future, Ayukawa said, “Imperatives for India are different; hence, to meet the energy security goals, India may need a technology neutral approach.
“Let us keep all options open — electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids, CNG, methanol and ethanol.”
The next phase of mobility will bring in several new technologies like EVs, hybrid electric vehicles and connected cars, he added.
Seeking support from the government of India for the development of new technologies, he said, “Adoption of any new technology needs adequate infrastructure to take off and attain critical mass.”
Ayukawa further said efforts are needed to set up a complete ecosystem from procurement of raw materials to charging infrastructure and recycling of the batteries.
“Similarly, connected cars will require special infrastructure at another level,” he said. MSS RKL MKJ