Signs of green shoots in PVs, two-wheelers: Exide CEO Gautam Chatterjee

Exide Industries — a market leader in batteries for auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarkets — on Tuesday said at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) that signs of green shoots were visible in passenger vehicles and two-wheelers segment.  

“The automobile sector was not performing at desired levels for the past two years. A similar situation continued during the nationwide lockdown. However, signs of improvement in demand are visible, particularly in the low-cost car and two-wheeler segments. There is an expectation of improved demand for the automobile sector in the upcoming festive season,” said Gautam Chatterjee, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO).  

Many OEMs have registered improved sales vis-à-vis the past couple of months, and these bring back a sentiment of resolve to the sector, he said. However, Exide’s dependence on auto OEMs was less than 20 per cent, and the aftermarket was also not impacted. Chatterjee said two auto companies — MG Motor (Hector) and Kia Motors (Seltos) — have been using Exide batteries.

Business volumes of other institutional segments were also gradually picking up; productions in factories were getting back to normal. Exide has a strong market share in most of the industrial business divisions except for the telecom sector. The company’s sales to the telecom sector were subdued as mergers and acquisitions of telcos led to a rationalisation of towers.  

The financial stress in the Indian telecom sector speeded up consolidation of the industry, and our country witnessed a number of shutdowns and mergers of telcos and tower infrastructure firms, Chatterjee said.