After witnessing a “huge impact” due to demonetization in November, homegrown auto major Tata Motors says it is seeing signs of recovery since the second half of December.
“It was huge in both businesses (passenger and commercial vehicles) but not only on us but had huge impact on industry as well,” Tata Motors Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Guenter Butschek said on the impact of demonetization.
However, he said: “Since the second half of December we have been seeing some clear signs of recovery and we are pretty optimistic for the fourth quarter. Let’s keep fingers crossed.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced that the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes would be invalid and were replaced with new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes.
Elaborating on the impact on commercial vehicles (CV) business, Ravindra Pisharody, the Executive Director Commercial Vehicles of Tata Motors, said, “This fiscal has been a bit up and down. We had a strong start to the year…We had a good festival season which may have continued but then we had the demonetization impact.”
He added, “In November the impact was 35% as compared to October. In December it grew half way. This month we expect to match both October and last January.” When asked about outlook for the next fiscal, Pisharody said: “This quarter we expect to be steady because of the pre- buying which might take place as we are moving to BS-IV.” Depending on the quantum of pre-buying during the quarter,
the next quarter may be slightly weak but with GST coming in later part of the year, the company expects second half of the year to be strong, he added.
He further said the company is in the process of “getting ready” its medium and heavy commercial vehicles to comply with BS-IV norms.
Tata Motors, which is a leading CV player in the country, also aims to climb up to number three position globally by financial year 2019.
“We have set the target for this year too and clarity would be there after fourth quarter..Last two quarters have not been representative for what the CV segment can accomplish in India,” Butschek said.
As 85% of the company’s CV volume is sold in India, the growth in the market would help propel to third position globally by financial year 2019, he added.