Ashok Leyland market shares have grown in years transmission norms have changed: Gopal Mahadevan

Do you think the muted sales growth can be attributed to the high base effect and the deferred purchases during the elections?
I believe so. There was a high base effect in the fourth quarter. The industry de-grew marginally by about 4%. We have been flattish. We have gained market share. For us, it has been a good quarter in terms of our performance. You are correct that besides the high base effect, there was also a little uncertainty on the election side. We must also remember that the impact of the new axle load norms was being felt a little bit.

Overall, that is why this quarter’s volumes are a tad low. But this industry has grown by 15% over the last year. This is possibly the fifth or sixth year since the industry has grown consistently and posted healthy growth rates.

Experts say the volume growth is expected to recover in FY20, but we could see a decline afterward. Is it safe to say that we are nearing the peak of the domestic CV cycle? Is it already in the fifth year of its upcycle now?
I do not believe so because of the following factors: first, I am not going to profess to be a great economist, but if I look at some of the macros, one of the challenges is that the supply chain cost as a percentage of the GDP, is one of the highest in the world. You are at about 13% and 13.5%; globally, the standards are around 10%. There areare many costs that must be taken out from supply chain efficiencies for the country.

Ashok Leyland market shares have grown in years transmission norms have changed: Gopal Mahadevan 1

I am not talking about the company, and I am not talking about a sector. I am talking about the country because GDP growth can be driven much better if supply chain inefficiencies are reduced. For that to happen, what is essential is to have better roads and faster turnaround times. The government is stepping up the investment inroads. Why would the government be laying 21-25 km roads a day? Evidently, the commercial vehicle sector, be it trucks or buses, will benefit from the heavy investment in highways and infrastructure.

The second point I would want to share with you is if you look at the penetration of commercial vehicles per million of population, the global standards are at something like 1,000 to 1,100 commercial vehicles per million of population every year. We are far below it, and India is regarded as the highest-growth economy over the next ten years.

If you were to look at this overall scenario at a macro level, I would say a lot of good is holding forth for this sector. This is one part.

The second part is that I do not think the industry has peaked. It has been growing; we have not seen any major cycles coming in. That is because I believe this era of feasting and fasting is over. You will see sudden bursts of growth and then one or two-quarters of de-growth or flatness and change again. People are becoming extremely nimble-footed about their investments. Data is available very quickly today, open and a global economy today. So people can understand what the demand is going to be. They place orders for trucks and other commercial vehicles based on the market they foresee.

Duane Simpson

Internet fan. Zombie aficionado. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Alcohol enthusiast. Spent several months exporting UFOs in Jacksonville, FL. A real dynamo when it comes to exporting gravy in Tampa, FL. Spent 2001-2004 implementing saliva in Edison, NJ. Had moderate success getting my feet wet with junk food on Wall Street. Practiced in the art of building Virgin Mary figurines in Tampa, FL. Practiced in the art of marketing Roombas in Phoenix, AZ.

Related Articles

Back to top button