IE: Your expectation from the sector during 2014-15.
P Balendran(PB):The automobile sector has been witnessing the most protracted slowdown during the past two years owing to macroeconomic headwinds such as high interest rates, high fuel prices and weak economic sentiments. Unless interest rates and fuel prices come down or even stabilise, the market is unlikely to turnaround in the short term. We do not expect any improvement till the election takes place and a new government assumes office.
IE: Your strategy for the current sluggish market conditions
PB: General Motors India has been continuously rolling out customer-centric marketing schemes to bring additional customers into its fold. We have recently launched various popular schemes such as round-the-clock free roadside assistance. We keep on conducting road shows for product awareness and customer education programmes on road safety/traffic rules. Meanwhile, we also keep refreshing our products in line with market conditions.
IE: A breakthrough that can revolutionalise the sector...
PB: Innovations are happening day in and day out and those are being tested by all OEMs for possible commercial applications. Technology is also fast changing and this will continue to happen. This can happen in the case of all fuel options and mobility solutions.
IE: Your investments in R&D...
PB: R&D related progress has gone up significantly in India in the recent years with the GM Technical Center India(GMTC-I ) expanding our operations across Asia. At the Auto Expo 2014, GM India unveiled the Chevrolet Adra Concept SUV, which has been designed and conceptualised entirely by our Indian designers at GMTC-I thereby demonstrating the strong capability of our Indian designers.