US auto major General Motors on Monday said the new government in India should retain the excise duty cut for the sector as announced in the last budget.
"The automobile industry in the country is in bad shape registering a de-growth in the last four months of 2014. The new government in its budget should continue with the excise duty cut as announced in the last budget," GM India vice-president P Balendran said.
Narendra Modi-led BJP government will take charge this week following a resounding victory last week in general election. It is expected to announce the Budget 2014-15 within a couple of months. The interim budget was announced in February by the outgoing UPA II government.
Balendran said that the buyer sentiment was poor due to high interest rates and inflationary pressures. "It will take at least six to nine months for the automobile industry to be back on tracks," he added.
The industry's growth during 2014 is expected to be in single digit, 4-5 per cent, he said. "We hope to grow at par with the industry."
Earlier, GM India had announced that the company would start exports of its products from later part of this year.
"We are yet to finalise the export strategy. But it will be done soon," he said.
So far, the company had been exporting to Nepal and Bangladesh in a small way, he said. Yet to reach break-even, GM India made operational profits in 2004 and 2005.
"Once the demand picks up, the company is ready to ramp up production at its Halol and Talegaon plants," he said.
Both the plants have a combined capacity of 2.82 lakh units per year.