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Bumpy ride for auto industry ahead

The bumpy ride through which the domestic auto industry has been passing through for quite some time now may not receive any reprieve in the New Year, industry captains feel.

autos Updated: Jan 11, 2009 14:45 IST

The bumpy ride through which the domestic auto industry has been passing through for quite some time now may not receive any reprieve in the New Year, industry captains feel.

"2009 is going to be a challenging year for us," country's largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki's Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi said at an award presentation ceremony here.

Mahindra and Mahindra President (automotive sector) Pawan Goenka, however, did not spell out in which direction the industry would head during 2009, but stated that the year bears some positive and negative strings attached to it. "New launches always excite the consumer and there are around 35 new launches during the year. This is a very positive sign," Goenka said.

Commodity prices are also going down and coupled with the Government's initiatives, things could look up in the year.

"Interest rates are not coming down. They should," Goenka said adding that this might lift up the consumers' confidence which was essential for generating domestic demand. Taking a cue from its global peers following recession in the US and Europe, the domestic auto industry too is now passing through a rough weather leading to even temporary closure of plans by the biggies.

Of the total production, India docks around 12 per cent cars and 25 per cent auto components in the export markets which has now come closer to a grinding halt.