India’s auto industry is still unable to get rid of “Made in China”

India's auto industry is still unable to get rid of "Made in China"

The Indian government calls on the country’s enterprises to try to reduce imports from China. However, for India’s two major industries, automotive and pharmaceuticals, “it’s easier said than done.” “We import not because we like it, but because we have no choice,” said Bhargava, chairman of India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India.

In 2019, more than a quarter of India’s auto parts imports come from China. Mehta, director-general of the Indian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, said that some of these parts are essential and it is difficult to purchase them from other places immediately. “We cannot respond to this immediately, especially when we just got rid of the impact of the epidemic.”

Economic Daily-China Economic Net Comprehensive Foreign News reported recently, foreign media reported that the Indian government called on the country’s enterprises to try to reduce imports from China. However, for the two major industries of India’s automotive and pharmaceutical industries, it is “easy to say and difficult to do” to get rid of “Made in China”.

Like many countries, India relies on imports from China for electronic components, pharmaceutical raw materials and other products. Since these products cannot be produced at a lower cost or purchased from other countries, any restrictions on imports or higher import prices without alternatives will harm the interests of local Indian companies.

“We import not because we like it, but because we have no choice.” said RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, India’s largest automaker, “to attract foreign companies to produce locally, We need to reduce its investment costs in order to increase competitiveness.”

However, it was previously reported that the government of Maharashtra, India, has suspended three investments from China, including two automobile manufacturers, Great Wall and Beiqi Foton, and a hydraulic equipment manufacturing company, with a total amount of approximately RMB 467 million. The person in charge of Great Wall Motors declined to comment.

According to data released by the Auto Component Manufacturers’ Association of India, in 2019, more than a quarter of India’s auto parts imports (approximately US$4.2 billion) came from China, including engines and transmission components .

Vinnie Mehta, the agency’s director general, said that some of these parts are essential and it is difficult to purchase them from other places immediately. “We cannot respond to this immediately, especially when we just got rid of the impact of the epidemic,” Mehta said.

The data shows that in the fiscal year ending March 2019, India imported about US$70.3 billion of goods from China and exported only US$16.7 billion-this is the largest amount of India’s trade deficit. An official of an industry organization, who asked not to be named, said the Indian government is currently negotiating with companies to try to tighten import restrictions on 1,173 non-essential products. Most of these products are materials required by the automotive industry, including toys, plastics, steel, electronic products, and specific auto parts.

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