From the President's
As the ACMA Annual Meet draws
near, I would like to look at briefly the developments
in the auto industry in the last twelve months
and the immediate road ahead.
There has been a very definite
and sustained slowdown almost a recession. This
has been led by the commercial vehicle industry,
followed closely by the tractor industry. The
demand slump has also coincided with the removal
of all QRs on the automotive industry.
ACMA has just published the findings
of its Business Outlook Survey for 2001-2002. Expectedly,
the results are only cautiously optimism. More member
companies have moved down the ladder to a lower level
of capacity utilization. Those with low levels last
year have slid further down. There were some sparks,
albeit faint, of expectancy. Many members felt or should
I say hoped that the year ahead would be better than
the one gone by, in terms of order booking. However,
this optimism now seem to be eroding, as the first quarter
has actually seen the component industry register negative
growth for the first time in fourteen years.
All this once again reinforces the
fact that the only route to survival is through exports.
In the first quarter, export performance
has also declined. This fall is attributed to the recession
in the US and Europe but I believe this reasoning is
true only at standstill levels of market access. Maybe,
all of us should engage in some soul searching as to
whether exports have received the priority they deserve
in our agenda. We need to examine what we can do individually
and collectively to increase our market penetration
so as to raise the overall level of exports. I would
leave this thought with you.
As I lay down office, I would like
to thank each and every ACMA member for all the support,
advice, co-operation and inputs provided during my tenure
My best wishes to all of you for a bright and successful