Toyota Kirlosker Motor is confident pent-up demand and need for personal mobility will help auto industry bounce back in times to come.
With lockdown restrictions expected to be eased in many states, Naveen Soni of TKM also underlines that vaccination and sustained economic recovery are crucial.
It has been a challenging past weeks for India with Covid-19 infections climbing to record numbers and forcing most states to enforce lockdown restrictions. These restrictions, although absolutely crucial to break the chain of transmission, are likely to have an impact on the economy and the country's automobile sector isn't quite immune. There may be a silver lining on the horizon though and Toyota Kirlosker Motor is hope it would light up the path ahead.
Current times of restrictions may have seen manufacturing coming to a standstill yet again and sales coming to a dip but Toyota Kirlosker Motor is confident the entire auto industry will be back on its feet - possibly running - once these restrictions begin to be relaxed. "We anticipate that factors like ‘pent up demand’ and the demand for personal mobility will continue to be quite significant once the markets open," Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President at TKM, told HT Auto in an email interaction. "Consumers will want to own their vehicles instead of using shared or public mobility options. Vehicles in the small to mid-sized car categories will see a spurt in demand from both rural as well as urban pockets."
Soni is cognizant of the fact that the pandemic in its second wave has been far more severe than last year, highlighting that this may have once again shown signs of derailment in expectations and sentiments in the auto industry. But he remains optimistic. "Although the scale of infections is many times higher this year, the restrictions and impact on economic activity however have been comparatively less severe due to regional lockdowns and some relaxations in various parts of the county."
Moving forward, Soni feels PV segment sales are expected to be better in FY21-22 than FY20-21, also because of a strong last quarter. "Vaccination drive and sustained economic recovery will facilitate the restoration of the entire value chain. Concrete and stable regulatory policies will further help the Indian auto-sector come out stronger post the pandemic," he further explained.