‘Auto firms must manage supply chains better’

Industry must plan for risk, says TKM’s Vikram Kirloskar

Automobile industry has to manage supply chains better in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in China, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) vice-chairman Vikram Kirloskar, who is also CII president, said on Wednesday.

“We have to learn how to manage our supply chains, and plan for risk to supply chains,” he said in a brief interaction at the national launch of Toyota’s Vellfire luxury, self-charging hybrid MPV here.

On the impact on component supplies from China for the Indian auto industry, he said “some impact will be there, [but] I understand factories in China have already started [again],” he said.

It, however, was not the first time the automobile industry was facing such a challenge. “We have gone through this kind of situation… there was a fire in a factory in Japan in 1995, affecting production. We had Thai floods which affected us badly. Then, we had Japanese tsunami which also affected us,” he said.

On the how was automobile industry’s prospects expected to do this year, he said it was expected to stabilise on the completion of transition to vehicles conforming to BS VI emission norms. “It is stabilising,” he said, adding the bigger challenge was on account of the bank NPAs and NBFC issues. “We will get over this hump,” he said, adding the ease of doing business measures and GST were working well.

On the BS VI transition, TKM senior vice-president Naveen Soni said TKM began the process of curtailing production of BS IV vehicles from September and from January end, was only making BS VI vehicles. Toyota customers are also preferring BS VI vehicles, as was evident from the one-month waiting period for Innova and Fortuner, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 2:10:37 PM |

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