Vol. 8 No. 6 June / July / August '2001

From the President's Desk

Dear Member,

As the ACMA Annual Meet draws near, I would like to look at briefly the developments in the auto industry in the last twelve months and the immediate road ahead.

There has been a very definite and sustained slowdown almost a recession. This has been led by the commercial vehicle industry, followed closely by the tractor industry. The demand slump has also coincided with the removal of all QRs on the automotive industry.

ACMA has just published the findings of its Business Outlook Survey for 2001-2002. Expectedly, the results are only cautiously optimism. More member companies have moved down the ladder to a lower level of capacity utilization. Those with low levels last year have slid further down. There were some sparks, albeit faint, of expectancy. Many members felt or should I say hoped that the year ahead would be better than the one gone by, in terms of order booking. However, this optimism now seem to be eroding, as the first quarter has actually seen the component industry register negative growth for the first time in fourteen years.

All this once again reinforces the fact that the only route to survival is through exports.

In the first quarter, export performance has also declined. This fall is attributed to the recession in the US and Europe but I believe this reasoning is true only at standstill levels of market access. Maybe, all of us should engage in some soul searching as to whether exports have received the priority they deserve in our agenda. We need to examine what we can do individually and collectively to increase our market penetration so as to raise the overall level of exports. I would leave this thought with you.

As I lay down office, I would like to thank each and every ACMA member for all the support, advice, co-operation and inputs provided during my tenure as President.

My best wishes to all of you for a bright and successful future.

L Ganesh