"Why should the industry be dependent only on one market? You should be global. At some point in time there will be a slowdown sometime in every market," he said.
The ongoing slowdown may be one of the worst India Inc has experienced in recent decades but it is not the right time yet for the corporate sector to take out the begging bowl, feels Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of welcoming the Chetak riders into Pune, Bajaj said that it was the excess inventory in the market that became the root cause of the perceived slowdown.
"The auto industry is very big and I feel that at the drop of a hat (if) we take out our begging bowl, it does not suit our stature. So first we have to ask ourselves 'what we have to do better' and then if necessary, we can ask the government for help," said Bajaj.
As per data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the passenger vehicles segment (comprising cars, SUV and vans) recorded a fall of 24 percent in April-September period while the two-wheeler segment fell by 16 percent. Commercial vehicles fell by 23 percent during the same period.
SIAM has been advocating for a cut in Goods and Service Tax (GST) rate - to 18 percent from 28 percent - but the GST Council has not given its nod.
"In terms of facts the retail slowdown was only 5-10 percent. The 20-30 percent (fall) was only because of stock reduction being made by the manufacturers for several months. There is no business in the world which is growing all the time. Corrections (do) take place. If you cannot face 10 percent downturn in the business then you should not be in business," added Bajaj.
In the hope to see a revival in demand, manufacturers continued to pump in volumes into the showrooms despite early indications by the dealer lobby body of a supply glut. Thus, every manufacturer was forced to shut its factories to contain further build-up of unnecessary stock.
Volumes of car market leader Maruti Suzuki, for instance, was down 27 percent while that of Tata Motors was down by 43 percent during the April-September period. Hero Motocorp sales to dealers was down by 17 percent and that of Honda was down by 19 percent.
Bajaj also made a point about over dependence on one market for growth. As per SIAM data, the automotive industry exported only 17 percent of the total production till September. Bajaj exported 45 percent of its two-wheelers and three-wheelers until September."Why should the industry be dependent only on one market? You should be global. At some point in time there will be a slowdown sometime in every market and if you are spread across the world, then the slowdown will not affect you (even) if one or two markets are down," he said.Are you happy with your current monthly income? Do you know you can double it without working extra hours or asking for a raise? Rahul Shah, one of the India's leading expert on wealth building, has created a strategy which makes it possible... in just a short few years. You can know his secrets in his FREE video series airing between 12th to 17th December. You can reserve your free seat here.