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'Auto sector to grow in single digits'

The cars, trucks and tractors segment in the country is expected to grow in single digit next fiscal, which is a concern for the industry, Wheels India Managing Director Srivats Ram said today.

"Looking at the next year, we are expecting GDP growth at 6.5 per cent to 6.8 per cent. This would translate into single-digit growth in the car, truck and tractor segment in India.

"This is a concern as inflation remains at high levels and intense competition means that it will be a struggle to build adequate incremental volume build up to overcome the cost increases", Ram said.

He said that like in the previous years, the commercial vehicle industry is expected to see a large part of the sales in Q4 this fiscal as well. However, the tractor industry has visibly slowed down during the quarter and this is a cause for concern.

Ram said Wheels India, supplier to vehicles including cars, trucks and tractors will invest over Rs 70 crore this year on expansion. A significant part of the investment will be for growing the exports market.

The company has manufacturing plants at Padi and Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, Pune, Rampur, Bawal, and Pantnagar with a combined overall annual capacity of 15 million wheels, he said.

While over 80 per cent of the company's business came from the domestic market, he said exports for off-road construction equipment and agricultural applications to Japan, Korea, the US, Brazil, Belgium, South Africa, China and Indonesia.

Earlier this fiscal, Wheels India entered into a technical agreement with Topy Industries, a leading Japanese steel wheel manufacturer, towards process, design and development of steel passenger car wheels

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