Long and Painful Road to Recovery for Automobile Sector: Bosch MD Soumitra Bhattacharya
Bosch India Managing Director Soumitra Bhattacharya feels that Indian automobile sector will need around 3-4 years to recover from the economic slowdown which Indian economy was facing before COVID-19 pandemic. And, with COVID-19 led lockdowns, the recovery for automobile industry has been pushed ahead by two more years, as per Bhattacharya. The pessimistic views from Bosch MD have not been shared by other automobile CEOs though. Maruti Suzuki management is quite optimistic and the leading automobile major in India is also confident that performance will improve with new models.
Indian automobile industry has been facing tough times since 2018 and industry was seeking help from Indian government. The steps announced by Modi government last year weren’t enough to lift the spirits of automobile sector. Even the stock market performance of automobile companies hasn’t been impressive while markets were trading at their all-time highs in February 2020.
As per a report published by the Hindu Business Line, Soumitra Bhattacharya said, “The whole industry has been affected, and we are not an exception. The recovery will take long time. We are affected, short-term, with all four segments of the automobile industry having shown decline. However, the long-term outlook seems good and we will bounce back. We are confident of growing our share further in the mobility space also. Overall, we target to growth faster than the industry.”
Bosch reported 26 percent decline in domestic sales in 2019-2020. The company also reported six percent decline in exports. The mobility business in 2019-20 was declined by 24 percent.
As per Bhattacharya, “Connected mobility is a growing segment. Battery, energy and sensors are interesting spaces. Artificial intelligene and internet of things are the areas where we will have more focus on.””
Bosch India currently employs 31,000 employees and 18,000 positions are for engineers as Indian facility is the second largest R&D facility for the company outside Germany.