The automobile sector in Andhra Pradesh has scope for exponential growth but it has to be content with small and medium servicing industries for the time being as the situation is considered unfavourable for vehicle and automotive component manufacturers to set up their units in the KGPG (Krishna-West Godavari-Prakasam-Guntur) region.
The State had neglected the sector when automobile giants were scouting for opportunities to set up their units in the late 1990s.
That was when automobile giants like Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen and home-grown ones like Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki had either undertaken major expansions or established new facilities across the country but not in Andhra Pradesh because of the lack of emphasis on automobile manufacturing in those years.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have since achieved phenomenal progress and the former went on to become south India’s automobile hub but Andhra Pradesh had ‘missed the bus’ when big Indian and foreign companies came calling with major ventures that would have at least placed the State in the same league as TN if not on a higher plank.
Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry Federation secretary Ch. R.K. Prasad told The Hindu that it was a golden opportunity that was squandered but what gave the State at least a foothold in automobile manufacturing recently was development of Sri City in Chittoor district and Tada industrial area in Nellore as an auto hub.
“Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motors have set up their two-wheeler manufacturing plants in Sri City, if Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India is also roped in, it will make the State an emerging auto hub,” Mr. Prasad observed.
Given the difficulty in attracting car and HCV (heavy commercial vehicle) manufacturers in the present circumstances, the government can welcome tractor and agricultural implement manufacturing units for which there is good demand in the region.
It will spur growth of ancillary units, Mr. Prasad said, adding the incentives that State government started giving on its own instead of waiting for Central assistance under special package, was a step in the right direction.
Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motors have set up their two-wheeler manufacturing plants in Sri City, if Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India is also roped in, it will make the State an emerging auto hub
Ch. R.K. Prasad