aci_march2015-1March 2015

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First Milestone

As we go to press, the Budget papers are still not ready to get into the holy satchel that Finance Minister Arun Jaitely would carry, to present the Budget to Parliament. However, the Minister would have presented the financial document by the time you read this column. Till the last minute, the auto industry was hoping to get some reasonable sops to augment the gradual growth it has witnessed over the last few months, albeit in bits and pieces. The expectations from the apex bodies of vehicle manufacturers and component counterparts – SIAM and ACMA – were mainly on not only implementing GST at the earliest but also that the rate should be at a reasonable level. The auto components industry has been seeking elimination of customs duty on alloy steel, mild steel and aluminium alloy, besides addressing the inverted tariff structure that curbs export performance.

Ever since the new government was formed with an absolute majority, perhaps after 3 decades, political pundits viewed the transformation as a harbinger of real change in every aspect of administration. A focused, open-minded leadership at the centre can give the ailing economy that much needed fillip to boost the country’s growth. People in general, and the business community in particular, had great expectations – I had mentioned this in these columns in the June 2014 issue – after the formation of the new government. However, things are not shaping up as expected. While the administration and its decision-making process seemed to be unique, the initial euphoria vanished very rapidly, and the country seems to be coming back to square one. The first full Budget of the government can be a significant and First Milestone if it addresses the critical issues that have been impacting the economy. Better not miss the bus.

Auto Components India, the voice of automotive suppliers, is stepping into the second year of its journey. The issue in your hands is the First Anniversary special. It is a momentous occasion for the magazine and the TEAM, as it evolved by covering industry trends as the cover story of almost all the past editions. This issue, the First Milestone, of the magazine has some unique attributes. We present the cover story with a theme – Looking Up; we asked captains of a few components manufacturing companies whether the good times are back for them? We have also sought their views on their experience during the slowdown, the way forward, and their shortterm and long-term plans. You can read their analysis in the cover story. In addition, we have covered Axalta Coatings Systems, based at Mt Clemens, Michigan in the US for the Shopfloor Sojourn section, yet again a First Milestone for this publication. Also, it has some interesting stories on vehicle manufacturers and components suppliers. I am sure you will enjoy this special issue.

Dear readers, the time has come for me to say goodbye to Auto Components India. Thank you for your feedback, which helped me understand and appreciate your requirements, to cater to you accordingly.

Wishing you much pleasure in reading. Do send in your feedback.


T Murrali


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