30 percent YOY growth in sales of automobiles in Assam-FADA State Chairperson

Priyanka Chakrabarty

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The Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) recently stated that there is a 9% growth in the domestic automobile retail sector. Business Northeast conducted an exclusive interview with the State Chairperson, Arvind Goyal (AG), who explained the automobile sales scenario in Assam.

BNE: Please tell us about FADA and its operation Assam.
AG: FADA is an organisation that is basically related to automobile dealers. It was established in 1964. FADA has got 15,000 dealers under its fold that cater to around 26,000 dealerships across India. The basic motive of FADA is to become a bridge between the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and the dealerships. Regarding its operation in the North East, FADA is an all-India organisation where dealers of entire India are members of FADA. For anything related to automobiles, or the OEMs or the dealerships, FADA becomes the bridge between the dealership and OEM companies. The operation in the North East is similar to the entire country. So, FADA has got a state chairperson. I happen to be the chairperson for Assam. Similarly, FADA has got state chairpersons in the entire country.

BNE: FADA recently stated that India's automotive retail sector witnessed a notable 9 percent growth in August. Please let us know how and why this survey was conducted.
AG: FADA conducts surveys to determine what kinds of sales are happening in all the different sectors, be it two-wheelers, three-wheelers, private vehicles, commercial vehicles or Electronic Vehicles. Every month, FADA releases data combined from the Vahaan portal to find what is it that at all India levels we are standing at in reference to sales of different automobiles. So, this is not actually a survey which is compiled by the FADA in total and then handed over to the entire country. This is what exactly the sales are. This recently started 3-4 years back we had a system where OEMs used to release wholesale data wherein anything that has been sold by the OEM to the dealer which is an inventory to the dealer was considered as sales. Today, in the last 3-4 years, FADA has changed the system and now the entire OEM fraternity plus the dealer fraternity plus the Press fraternity, everybody is considering the retail Vaahan data as sales.

BNE: What is the status of automobile sales in Assam?
AG: If you consider Assam, thanks for the policies by the Government of Assam and the implementation of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR). There are a lot of things in CMVR in which Assam has been the pioneer. There are many things like registration being printed online by dealers and no postal RCs which are being sent. From September 1, it is declared that there will be no printing of RCs and everything will be digital. Some of the policies have helped us as dealers to improve sales in Assam. The policies of the government for the dealers and consumers and the type of fund that has come up led to the increase in sales in Assam. If you compare year-on-year growth for the entire automobile industry, we have been growing by 30% approximately. This is one of the best figures in the entire country.

BNE: What kind of automobiles are sold most in this state?
AG: If you consider the entire India, the category of vehicles that will be sold will be two-wheelers. The reason is that India has a 70% rural market. However, in both rural and urban markets, the first vehicle we all buy is a two-wheeler. If you think in terms of numbers, I think two-wheelers will be much higher than any of the categories of vehicles. 

BNE: Can you tell us of the status of EV automobile sales in Assam? 
AG: Thanks to the central government’s FAME II subsidy, which is a consistent amount when you are buying an EV vehicle. The state of Assam has been very proactive in releasing EV subsidy for the state of Assam. Combining the two subsidiaries, the EV sales have been improving. Taking this into account, newer policies and charging stations are coming in, the EV sales are increasing manifold in the coming times.

BNE: Recently, a meeting was conducted in September, the first of its kind in this state. Please tell us about the meeting and by when it will be conducted next?
AG: For the first time in history, FADA has conducted a State Chairman’s meeting in Guwahati. FADA president Manish Raj Singhania and CEO Saharsh Damani were in town. We had a discussion on how we can improve the CMVR Act that is implemented in Assam and the entire northeastern region. Assam has been very proactive. So, we have a maximum of the CMVR things as laid down by MoRTH, now being implemented in Assam now being implemented in Assam. The remaining of the six sisters out of seven are yet to implement it. So, the President urged the remaining Chairpersons to take this forward. 
FADA plans to conduct a Vyapar in Guwahati Assam in February 2024. It happens to be a flagship programme of FADA wherein we will invite all the cities and state dealers of two, three and four-wheelers plus the government machinery. There will be one-on-one talk about how we can improve the automobile sales and how can the automobile sector put in more to the exchequer.

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Priyanka Chakrabarty