Auto exporters under pressure as over Rs 1,000-cr GST refund gets stuck

Source: Business Standard, Nov 20, 2017

Passenger vehicle exports from India have run into a goods and services tax (GST) speed breaker as manufacturers have been unable to file claims since July and the pending sum has crossed over Rs 1,000 crore. Industry players said as the current GST system of making payments upfront and claiming input tax credit refund is not functioning properly, the working capital requirement for companies have increased and they could rethink on exports till the issues stay unresolved.

Moreover, Ford India CFO David Schock told PTI that the quantum of cash needed to meet compensation cess of 1-22 per cent under GST from 1-4 per cent as existed earlier has been a “steep increase”.

Elaborating on issues faced by automobile exporters, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Deputy Director General Sugato Sen said, “Companies which are exported-oriented are suffering because the current GST system of making payments upfront and claiming the refund is not working properly.”It is leading to accumulation of GST credit, which is hurting the exporters, he added.

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Luxury vehicle sales all set to scale a new peak this year

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 20, 2017

Sale of luxury vehicles, which took a hit due to the twin impact of demonetisation and diesel ban last year, is set to close at a record high this year.

With most uncertainties out of the way, luxury vehicle sales are estimated to grow in double digits in the ongoing calendar year to cross the peak of 36,000 units last achieved in 2015. Industry insiders reckon that if the momentum of the past few months continues into the last quarter, the market could inch closer towards the 40,000-units mark, given the flurry of new launches and better consumer sentiment.

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Rolls-Royce ties up with TCS to drive growth in India operations

download (3).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Nov 16, 2017

Bengaluru: Jet engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is looking at driving growth in its India operations through a partnership with Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), the UK-based company said.

The partnership with TCS will accelerate its digital transformation and innovation strategy. It will provide Rolls-Royce with digital platform capabilities that will allow it to capture, share and analyse data more easily across the engine maker. That, in turn, will give the company room to develop new products and services at a faster pace, Rolls-Royce said in a statement.

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India’s electric vehicle drive: Challenges and opportunities

download (1).pngNew Delhi: The year 2017 will be remembered as a significant one for defining India’s mobility architecture. From big ticket announcements on the marque Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed rail project to Hyperloop, India has seized its moment in the sun to announce big plans for finding next generation transportation solutions.

But nothing has caught the imagination of the industry and policy makers quite like the government’s ambitious plans for a mass scale shift to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030 so that all vehicles on Indian roads by then—personal and commercial—will be powered by electricity. While the transformative push for electric vehicles has become a cause célèbre for India and the world, it presents challenges along with opportunities.

With Volvo’s July announcement that it would phase out the internal combustion engine and manufacture only electric or hybrid vehicles by 2019, many believe India’s EV moment has arrived. It won’t be long before major automakers in India follow Sweden-based Volvo’s lead in phasing out internal combustion engines and electrifying their line-ups to meet the 2030 deadline.

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Ola, Microsoft join hands to build connected platform for carmakers

Source: Business Standard, Nov 07, 2017

New Delhi: Homegrown app-based cab aggregator Ola is partnering with global technology giant Microsoft to build a new connected vehicle platform for car manufacturers worldwide. As part of this strategic partnership, Ola on Tuesday announced that Microsoft would be a preferred cloud provider and that it would use Microsoft Azure to power its existing connected car platform Ola Play.

This would help transform driver and passenger experience with vehicle diagnostics, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, predictive maintenance of vehicles and more. Both companies would collaborate to take this platform to car manufacturers globally for integrating with vehicle systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Auto part firms line up investments in Gujarat to meet auto makers’ demand

Source: LiveMint.com, Nov 07, 2017

Mumbai: Gujarat, a preferred manufacturing destination for auto companies, is about to see the next wave of investment coming from auto component makers preparing to meet demand from automakers, particularly market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

The Hansalpur-based Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt. Ltd (SMG) unit in the state supplies vehicles to Maruti under a contract manufacturing agreement at cost price.

Some of the major auto component makers in the National Capital Region, including Krishna Group, Minda Industries Ltd, Lumax Industries Ltd and Subros Ltd, that count Maruti Suzuki as their biggest client, are pumping in a cumulative investment of over Rs1,500 crore over the next two to three years to feed SMG’s demand.

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FASTag mandatory for all new 4-wheelers from Dec 1

Source: Business Standard, Nov. 03, 2017

New Delhi: Come December 1 and it would be mandatory for all new four-wheelers to have FASTag devices fixed on front windscreens by automobile manufacturers or authorised dealers.

A FASTag is a device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it and is affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle and enables the commuter to drive through toll plazas, without stopping for cash transactions.

“…Motor Vehicles sold on and after December 1, 2017 shall be fitted with FASTag as may be specified by the central government, from time to time by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer, as the case may be,” a notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said today. Read the rest of this entry »