State Of The Economy 2014

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Lower quantum of orders from OEMs is taking a toll on automobile ancillary companies in the Pimpri-Chinchwad belt

Force Motors

As one cruises towards Pune on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, one cannot help but notice that most hoardings — Samrat Publicity, Kohinoor Advertising, Asha Publicity, Satej Advertising and Shubham Outdoor, among others — are blank. The filled up ones either have banks offering loans or developers hawking villas or apartments. While one extremely aggressive developer promises access to ₹1,000 crore of annual income of 8,000 families on a 1.2-km road, conspicuous by their absence are automobile manufacturers. What could be a better place than the expressway to boast about a new car’s aesthetics, speed or fuel efficiency? Noticeably, it is not so and the prevailing sentiment among automobile manufacturers or their suppliers isn’t any better, as one discovers on reaching Pimpri-Chinchwad, India’s biggest automotive hub outside of Tamil Nadu. For most OEMs here, such as Tata Motors, Force Motors, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Fiat, most of their suppliers are within a 50-km radius.