Gadkari urges Indian auto industry to shift focus from ‘cost’ to ‘quality’

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on November 24, 2020 Published on November 24, 2020

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari   -  PTI

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways & MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Nitin Gadkari on Monday urged the Indian automobile industry to move away from a cost-centric approach to quality-oriented one to serve the needs of the customers and the society.

“I have been telling this to the Indian manufacturers. Don’t be cost-centric and you should be quality-centric. Even a poor man in this country is keen to buy a quality TV irrespective of its economic status. So the industry should improve quality while finding the ways and means to reduce the cost at the same time,” he said addressing online the 9th edition of CII Autoserve 2020, an automotive aftermarket event that is happening on CII Hive virtual platform from November 23-December 22.

While stating that the Indian automobile industry has made significant achievements in developing global design and manufacturing capabilities, he urged the industry to adopt international vehicle standards for various vehicle accessories, spare parts, body framework and safety features and devices.

Road safety

Gadkari sought industry’s collective co-operation to reduce accidents on roads with more safety features. “Road accidents are serious things as every year we see 5 lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths. Our trucks and buses should move to European standards, he added.

He also took a dig at the bus bodybuilders in the country for their reluctance to upgrade standards.

“Some of the bodybuilders are not up to the mark. I have been giving time to improve their technology and standards. But they are not doing. It’s time they changed their mindset. Otherwise, we will not be able to tolerate the poor-quality type bus bodybuilding which is not good for the safety of the people and the country, he stated.

Fuel flexibility

Gadkari also expressed his disappointment over the lack of co-operation from the automobile manufactures in coming out the different engine options for running on alternative fuel like ethanol, LNG etc. “Same manufacturers offer flex-fuel engines to run on alternative fuel in countries such as US, Brazil and Canada. But they are not doing in India. Ethanol is a green fuel and help curb the pollution and manufacturers should offer flex-fuel engines,” he said.

He lauded TVS Motor and Bajaj Auto for launching two wheelers to run on bio-ethanol, outlining government’s plan to open ethanol pumps.

While highlighting various programmes including the latest PLI-scheme for the automotive sector, Gadkari urged the auto industry to focus on developing and producing all parts locally instead of relying on imports as it will be beneficial for all stakeholders in the future.

Earlier, Rama Shankar Pandey, Chairman, Aftermarket Committee, ACMA, stressed the need to organise, standardise and digitise the ₹70,000 crore Indian automotive aftermarket through a collaborative approach.

Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director & CEO, Ashok Leyland said digital technology could be leveraged to bring all partners and the entire value chain under one platform.

He asserted that the recent PLI-scheme allocation for the automotive industry, along with the earlier Atmanirbhar Bharat measures, would lead to more localisation, the rapid development of parts industry, further fillip to aftermarket and more job creation.

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Published on November 24, 2020
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