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Demonetisation: Auto industry gears up for slowdown as footfalls fall and 2-wheeler sales stall

first_imgOn November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcement that the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 rupee notes will cease to be legal tender from midnight. This sent the nation in a tizzy. Some called it a big move towards curbing black money, corruption and terror, some hailed it to be terrible farce. Love it or loathe it, but you can’t get away from it. Such is also the case of the auto industry. So how will, or how has, the demonetisation affected this particular industry?Also Read:Toyota working towards increasing sales of hybrid vehicles in IndiaFirst and foremost, the ones primarily affected are the two-wheeler manufacturers. A dealer of a prominent motorcycle manufacturer told us that most of their sales come in the form of cash. This mainly comprises of entry level two-wheelers sporting a pricetag of upto Rs 65,000. This segment can also be hailed as the ‘bread and butter’ segment on which most manufacturers rely. This segment relies very little on finance and seem to have been hit the hardest. Two-wheelers above this price bracket move into the ‘financed’ lot and hence are not affected that much by huge margins. The only catch here is the fact that the use of cheques and plastic money in making the down payments has seen a rapid increase.Also Read:Corolla, Toyota’s car for the masses, turns 50As far as four-wheelers are concerned, the problem isn’t that serious. According to a prominent web portal, the research of new and used cars dropped sharply by up to 30 per cent thus indicating a slow down. However, dealers claim that although there have been problems in customers being able to make the down payment, thanks to flexible finance options, things have not gone out of hand. This does not come as a surprise as up to 80 per cent of the vehicles sold in our country are financed.advertisementAlso Read:Bajaj Chetak to make a return as a premium scooter?But the rural market is where the damages are more prominent thanks to the fact that it is mostly cash driven. Considering that 35 per cent of the total car sales and 50 per cent of two-wheeler sales are rural market driven, the industry is going to witness a slowing down and there is likely to be a long-term damage to the industry due to the government’s demonetisation move.Also Read:Maruti Suzuki to soon introduce ISOFIX mounts on the CiazLast, but not the least, the used car market has also witnessed a sudden slump. While exact figures are not available, the used car market in mostly cash driven. Used car dealers have reported lower foot falls and are offering heavy discounts to move their existing stock. Overall, there is bound to be a negative effect on the auto industry due to demonetisation. The exact damage done to the industry will be evident when the official sales figure come out and a month-on-month comparison is done. Stay tuned.Also Read:Upcoming launches: New cars that will be launched in India by March 2017last_img read more

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Valverde Focused on Barça’s Defense for Game vs. Atletico

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ernesto Valverde has a message for his players before Barcelona hosts Atletico Madrid on Saturday in a match that will go a long way toward deciding the Spanish league title.Mind the gap — in defense.Barcelona’s back line was exposed on several occasions by Villarreal on Tuesday, when Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez each scored late to rescue a 4-4 draw and limit the damage to Barcelona’s lead over Atletico atop the standings.Valverde is now hoping to use that poor team performance, in which it was bailed out by the brilliance of its strikers, to ensure Barcelona keeps Atletico in check at Camp Nou Stadium.“The other day we didn’t play well. We were disorganized in attack and that made us suffer in defense,” Valverde said. “Any adversary who watched the match saw a way to attack us by looking to play long balls into space behind our lines.”Barcelona will be boosted by the return of its best defender, Gerard Pique, who rested against Villarreal so he wouldn’t risk picking up a fifth yellow card and thus a suspension against Atletico. Replacement Samuel Umtiti, who is far from his peak fitness after missing most of the season with a knee injury, struggled to keep up with the pace of Villarreal’s speedy forwards.Against Atletico, Barcelona will face Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata in attack. Both are players who thrive in open space and don’t need much to generate scoring chances.“We are going up against quick players, and (Pique) will help us a lot,” Valverde said.Valverde expects Atletico to pick its moments to pressure up the field to try to provoke a costly passing error by Barcelona near its goal, and then alternate that tactic with holding back and waiting to surprise on a counterattack.“They pressure very well — sometimes they do it at the start of the match, other times they wait,” Valverde said. “Sometimes they let you think that you are dominating them with the ball so they can strike on the break. And they have great passers to start a counterattack in Koke or Saul (Niguez). We will see both options.”But of course, if the match turns against them, Barcelona always has Messi.The club’s all-time leading scorer has been spectacular recently. He leads the league with 32 goals through 30 rounds and has nine goals in his last five games, including scoring from free kicks in his last three outings.“The word isn’t fear. It’s respect,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said of Messi. “He is pure quality. There are moments when you need to elevate your precision, and that is what Messi is doing.”Atletico’s greatest achievement under Simeone happened in 2014, when it beat the odds by winning the Liga title after earning a 1-1 draw at Barcelona in a winner-take-all showdown in the final game.Otherwise, Barcelona has been a source of frustration. Atletico hasn’t won in 18 consecutive visits to the Catalan capital.Barcelona leads Atletico by eight points with eight matches remaining, so it is practically a must-win for Atletico if it wants to keep alive its title challenge.“The only realistic option we have is to win tomorrow,” Simeone said.By: Joseph Wilson, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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