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Car makers unsure of revival

Companies are seeking long-term structural changes to boost demand

By Anasuya Basu in Calcutta
  • Published 6.01.20, 5:11 AM
  • Updated 6.01.20, 5:11 AM
  • a min read
Maruti Suzuki cars parked inside the Manesar plant. PTI

After a challenging 2019, car companies are wary of predicting a turnaround in the immediate future.

While most feel customers are reluctant to buy vehicles in the current scenario, some are seeking long-term structural changes to boost demand.

While the festive months of September-October 2019 brought some relief, the industry returned to the doldrums soon after despite manufacturers trying to create excitement with new products.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, which bore the brunt of the downturn, said 2019 was a “disruptive year”. The company’s MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa told The Telegraph: “At Maruti Suzuki, we took the current slowdown as an opportunity to look at fresh and innovative ways of doing business. Our partners, vendors and dealers pitched in to enhance quality and improve efficiency.”

Unsure about the industry’s recovery, Tata Motors CEO and MD Guenter Butschek said: “We are seeing a gradual improvement in consumer sentiment with retails picking up and increase in inquiries but it is difficult to ascertain a recovery timeline at the moment.”

Toyota Kirloskar Motor deputy managing director N, Raja feels long-term structural changes are needed to revive consumer sentiments.