Although the Indian auto sector may have been able to tide over the recessionary pressures owing to surge in auto sales, small-scale auto parts vendors in Kolkata are still to witness green shoots. Undoubtedly, recessionary pressures are ebbing, thereby providing cheer to the citys auto SME vendors but the ride is still far from being smooth for them.
Kolkata-based SME auto parts manufacturers and suppliers are still struggling to stay afloat and looking for ways that can help them recover their business losses suffered during the last financial year, due to the global economic slowdown. Not many city-based small auto components manufacturers foresee a complete turnaround before the beginning of the next financial year.
Worst over, but problems still persists
SMEs in Kolkatas auto parts sector expect a complete recovery not before March-April 2010, when hopes will be pinned on the annual budget with the expectation that the government will initiate series of measures to help the industry emerge from the crisis.
The worst is now over, but we are still to gain the momentum that we enjoyed before the crisis. The losses incurred during the recession are huge and we hope to recover most of it with the help of government support, said Dharmesh Gupta, proprietor of Dayal Auto Services, a small-sized auto parts supplier in Kolkata.
Even though sales have improved this year as compared to last year, problems for the citys auto parts sector seem to have compounded. Many of the SME auto parts manufacturers had expanded their capacities in the hope of gaining contracts from the Tata Nano factory in Singur. However, the Nano-exit from Singur has left them in a quandary.
Most of the small-scale auto vendors in the city purchased new machineries, while many expanded their production facilities in hope of supplying parts to Tata Nano factory. Now, they are clueless as to how to use their enhanced capacities, said Sanjay Mehta, proprietor of Supreme Auto Motors, a small-sized auto parts supplier.
Although the market demand has picked up and sales have soared following the rise in business sentiment on both global and domestic fronts, ground realities for Kolkata-based SME auto parts exporters and suppliers still remain weak.