Dear Friends,

Auto sales continue to be in the negative territory in the month of January, except for 3W, with many consumers still not concluding on their decisions. Ongoing Transition of BS-IV to BS-VI was also a factor in delayed purchase decision.

Budget 2020, although an inclusive budget with growth drivers for the mid to long term, did not have any direct measures nor any immediate growth Spurring initiatives for the Auto Sector.

For the first time FADA has given Registration Figures for the Tractor Segment, thereby covering the entire mobility spectrum. Tractor numbers will also give a brief insight into Rural Demand Situation.

Coming to FADA Activities, FADA organised Dealer Day on 6th February 2020 to facilitate dealers in peacefully visiting the 15th Auto Expo.  Also, for the first time FADA had taken a stall in the Expo Grounds to provide Lounge facility to its attending friends. More than 1400 dealer friends visited FADA stall over the Auto Expo Days.    

FADA’s 11th Auto Summit on the theme ‘Thriving Amidst Disruption’ was held on February 7, 2020 at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi. The Summit  not only addressed the disruptions that are affecting Automobile sector be it be in terms of regulations, compliances or technology but how these could be used as spring boards for exponential growth not only within the auto retail community but in society at large. 

The Summit saw an overwhelming participation from amongst the dealer community since 10 am in the morning till the conclusion late in the evening. The Sessions were both informative and engaging keeping the audience enthralled all through.

I am grateful to all our esteemed guests and speakers and in particular to Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport & Highways and MSMED who in spite of Parliament being in session took time off from his busy schedule to encourage the Auto Retail Industry and helped the industry take Road Safety pledge to keep roads safer. His Declaration of Approval of Scrappage Policy by the Govt within Few Days at Our Conclave, was a Morale Booster. My immense gratitude to Mr Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group who not only accepted the Award on Exemplary Contribution to the Indian Auto Industry conferred on him by FADA on behalf of the Auto Retail Community but also send his video message for the Auto Retail Fraternity. Mr Anand Mahindra is the first recipient of this Award. FADA office bearers received the Award on his behalf from the Hon’ble Union Minister and shall be presenting the same to Mr Mahindra in person.  Another award introduced for the first time was ‘Exemplary Contribution to Automobile Dealer Fraternity’ and was conferred on Mr Nikunj Sanghi, Past President FADA by the Hon’ble Minister. I would not be doing justice if I fail in thanking our motivational speakers- Sadhu Gyanvatsaldas Ji & Mr Kapil Dev, Former Captain of Indian Cricket Team.

I express my gratitude and appreciation to other eminent Speakers at the Summit- Mr Ankit Jain, Co-Founder, Ola Electric Mobility; Mr Malind Kapoor, Sr VP - Marketing, CBT, Product Strategy - Piaggio Vehicles; Mr Nagesh Basavanahalli, Managing Director, Greaves Cotton; Mr Sanjay Krishan, Founder, Lithium Urban Technology; Mr Sohinder S Gill, CEO - Global Business, Hero Eco and Director General, SMEV; Ms Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Founder & CEO, Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions; Mr Rajeev Chaba, President & MD, MG Motor India; Mr Hardeep Brar, Director - Marketing & Sales, Great Wall Motor; Adv (CA) Jatin Harjai, JHA Legal; Mr Manohar Bhat, Head - Marketing & Sales, Kia Motors India; Mr N Raja, Managing Director & CEO, Toyota Financial Services India; Mr Rajesh Goel, Sr Vice President & Director – Sales & Marketing, Honda Cars India; Mr Santosh Iyer, Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Mercedes Benz India; Mr Veejay Nakra, Chief of Sales & Marketing, Mahindra & Mahindra Auto Division; Mr Amit Mohan, Sr EVP & Business Head - CV, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Mr Anuj Kathuria, Chief Operating Officer, Ashok Leyland; Mr Bharat M Sanghvi, Past President, FADA; Mr John K Paul, Immediate Past President, FADA; Mr Satyakam Arya, Managing Director & CEO, Daimler India; Mr Pranav Shah, Director, Innovative Motors; Mr Sajeev Rajasekharan, Managing Director, H-D Motor Company India; Mr Sanjay Bhan, Chief Business Officer, Ola Electric Mobility; Mr Y S Guleria, Sr VP - Sales  & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India; Mr Nikhil Bansal, Industry Head - Auto, Google India; Mr Colin Couchman, Director - Global Automotive Sales Forecasting, IHS Markit; Mr Anso Jacob, Managing Partner & Lead Consultant, BodyShopGuru; and Mr Harish Kothari and Mr Tarun Gandhi, Founders, Spare Care Solution.

We would have not been able to organise such a mega event without the support of our Partners- Great Wall Motors, ICICI Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, MG Motors, Mahindra Finance, Ashok Leyland, AU Small Finance Bank, Ingenico, Nayara Energy Limited, New India Assurance, Raheja QBE, Reliance General Insurance, Orbitsys, Axalta Coating Systems, BharatBenz, Ford India, Honda Cars India, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Mahindra Insurance Brokers, Spare Care Solutions, Tata Motors, BodyShopGuru, Castrol, CDK Global, Goodyear, Gulf Oil, Indian Oil, KENT Cam Eye, Permagard India, PPG Asian Paints, Universal Sompo General Insurance, Jalesh Cruises, and Interactive Bees Pvt Ltd.

I express my gratitude to my colleagues in the Managing Committee, Governing Council Members, State Chairpersons & Regional Directors who supported me unstintingly by taking time out of their busy schedules in helping in making the 11th Auto Summit a truly memorable and great experience in all aspects for everybody.

Dovetailed with the Summit was FADA Awards 2019 Presentation ceremony in the evening at the same venue. Here, I wish to express my sincere thanks to Grand Jury Members - Mr Arun Malhotra, Ex-MD, Nissan India, Mr Avik Chattopadhyay, Co-Founder, Expereal; Mr Jagdish Khattar, Founder, Carnation Auto India & Ex MD, Maruti Suzuki; Mr Rakesh Batra, Ex-Partner, EY; Mr Hormazd Sorabjee, Editor, AutoCar India; Mr Puneet Gupta, Associate Director, IHS Markit; and Mr VRV Sriprasad, Ex-MD, Volvo Buses - in helping us at recognizing and rewarding excellence in automotive retail in India at FADA Awards 2019. In all, 30 awards were given away. Special thanks to EY – our Evaluating & Knowledge Partner, for helping in maintaining neutrality and transparency in the evaluation for FADA Awards. 

Special thanks to my dealer friends in coming in large numbers in showcasing the strength of Dealer Fraternity.

As in the past, this time also FADA took a small delegation to attend NADA Convention 2020 in Las Vegas which took place from 14th February to 17th February 2020. On the sideline, dealership visits were organised - Norm Reeves - Ford, Hyundai & Honda dealerships, Body Repair Outlet : Caliber; Quik Parts Auto Salvage in LA and AutoNation in LV. It was a huge learning experience to all and special thanks to Mr Albert Gallegos, Director - International Affairs, NADA and his team for taking out time to explain the nuances of every aspect of dealership business in US.

Coming back to some serious discussion, FADA’s Appeal in SC for Extension of Sale beyond 31st of March for Dealer stock was not Considered by the Hon’ble Court. With the Weak Demand Situation, Liquidation of Complete BS-IV Inventory is the Top Focus for Us and FADA has already appealed to all OEM’s to Switch Over Completely to BS6 Despatches to Dealers.

The last 14 months has seen the one of its toughest times in auto sales. FADA has therefore requested our OEM’s through SIAM that any BS-IV Vehicle Billed, which are not against specific customer orders, to be on returnable basis to avoid financial loss to Our Members.

FADA will also Co-ordinate with Banks and NBFC’s to Ensure Financing of BS-IV Inventory till the SC mandated date of 31st of March to ensure Liquidation of the BS4 Stocks and Smooth Transition to BS6 without any Financial Implication to any stake holder.

With Continued weak consumer sentiment and the overall economic situation, as well as the Upcoming BS-VI Transition, the near-term Demand situation will continue to be dynamic. We appeal to the Government to continue announcing positive measure, specifically for the Auto Industry, as well as for the Overall Economy which will help us return to growth Trajectory at the earliest.

All of us at FADA, your Regional Directors, State Chairperson, Governing Council Members and the Executive Committee including me, are available for any help you might require in ensuring Liquidity of your Inventory. FADA will put in all efforts to ensure a ZERO LOSS Transition to BS-VI for its members in these Challenging Times.

Wishing You and Your Family as well as your Team Members a Very Happy and a Colourful Holi.

Happy Selling,

Your truly,

Ashish Harsharaj Kale

President - FADA

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