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PLI Scheme for Automobiles Gets One-year Extension

India Extends Production-Linked Incentive Scheme for Automobile Sector by 1 Year to Boost Domestic Manufacturing

Source and Citation: Excerpts from news article published January 2nd, 2024 by Economic Times Bureau in Economic Times.

Analysis of this News for a Layman

The Indian government has extended the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for the automobile and auto component manufacturing sector by 1 year. PLI schemes provide financial incentives to companies for boosting domestic manufacturing and exports.

The automotive PLI scheme was originally scheduled for 5 fiscal years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028. This 1 year extension will now make incentives applicable for 6 years till 2028-2029 instead.

Eligible automotive companies need to meet specified thresholds for increases in domestic production sales value year-over-year to receive incentives. With the extension, incentives can be claimed each year through March 2029 as long as thresholds are met.

If thresholds are missed in any year, companies lose incentives just for that year. But they can still regain eligibility by meeting a higher 10% growth threshold over the missed year’s target in the next fiscal year.

PLI Scheme for Automobiles Gets One-year Extension

Impact on Retail Investors

For retail investors, extending the automotive PLI scheme signals sustained government commitment to incubating domestic manufacturing, exports, and associated job creation. Boosting this sector provides underlying economic momentum.

Direct opportunities expand within auto manufacturers like Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, auto part producers like Motherson Sumi and other supply chain firms expected to utilize PLI scheme benefits. Further growth traction in two and three-wheeler focused firms like Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company may emerge as well.

However, incentives necessarily divert public resources from alternate uses. So investors should assess any indications of reduced government capital access for other consumer and infrastructure programs impacting demand.

Impact on Industries

The automotive sector itself will likely see the most direct first-order impact from a 1 year PLI scheme extension. Additional years for qualifying companies to meet production thresholds and claim incentives give more time for domestic manufacturing to scale up across vehicle segments.

The metal casting, machining, and processing industries crucial for auto part manufacturing also benefit from supply chain localization and export development under the scheme. Global automakers with India manufacturing like Suzuki, Hyundai, and Kia retaining access to incentives prevents offshore shifts.

But incentive costs strain government budgets limiting support resources for alternate priorities like electrification infrastructure, putting complex pressure on the nascent electric vehicle industry.

Long Term Benefits & Negatives

Longer term, the extra year allows the automotive sector time to cement durable domestic production ecosystems and export capacities. This builds manufacturing self-reliance. Upgraded engineering and R&D abilities also get transferred to other industries.

Geopolitical rifts find India well positioned to present itself as an alternative base for investor capital. Setting up such automotive manufacturing persistence makes that case stronger.

However, one extra year of incentives postpones rather than resolves needed maturation. If underlying cost structures don’t improve enough to offset phase-out of incentives thereafter, growth could yet reverse. Investments may also concentrate in western region industrial bases, exacerbating regional disparities.

Short Term Benefits & Negatives

Immediately, the incentive eligibility extension signals policy stability and continued state support to industry participants. This galvanizes execution timelines for capacity expansion and partnership building.

Stock prices and market sentiment get a fillip for automakers and supply chain companies expected to qualify and capitalize on the 1 year addition. Assured incentive access unlocks greater confidence in near term investment plans.

However, no new allocation accompanies the timeline extension. So unless budgetary resources are expanded in upcoming years, this only defers inevitable withdrawal. Market optimism outpacing ground realities may manifest in the short term.

And the focus stays firmly on combustion engines rather than electric. Incentivizing the former postpones the transition investors seek.

Impact of PLI Extension on Companies:

Indian Companies:

Gaining:

  • Maruti Suzuki: The largest car manufacturer in India, Maruti stands to benefit from the PLI scheme through potential incentives for increasing domestic production and exports of certain vehicle segments.
  • Tata Motors: Another major auto player, Tata Motors, could see boosted investments and production thanks to the extended PLI support, especially for commercial vehicles.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra: Strong presence in SUVs and electric vehicles makes M&M a potential beneficiary of the PLI scheme, encouraging further growth in these segments.
  • Auto Component Suppliers: Companies like Bharat Forge, Bosch India, and Sundaram Clayton, supplying components to major automakers, could experience increased demand due to higher vehicle production driven by the PLI scheme.
  • EV Startups: Ather Energy, Ola Electric, and other electric vehicle startups might see increased investor interest and potential eligibility for PLI benefits, accelerating their growth and market share.

Losing:

  • Low-cost Car Manufacturers: Companies primarily focused on entry-level cars with low Determined Sales Value might find it challenging to meet the PLI incentive thresholds, potentially impacting their growth.
  • Importers of Auto Components: Manufacturers relying heavily on imported components might face increased pressure to localize production to qualify for PLI benefits, potentially affecting their margins.

Global Companies:

Gaining:

  • Global Automakers: Foreign carmakers like Hyundai, Honda, and Ford operating in India could benefit from the PLI scheme to expand their local production and competitiveness.
  • Global EV Component Suppliers: Companies like LG Chem, Panasonic, and Bosch with expertise in electric vehicle components could see increased demand due to India’s EV push supported by the PLI scheme.

Losing:

  • Global Auto Exporters: Countries like Japan and Korea, traditionally exporting cars to India, might face increased competition from local production boosted by the PLI scheme.

Market Sentiment:

  • Positive for automakers, auto component suppliers, and EV companies with strong growth potential and potential PLI eligibility.
  • Neutral to slightly negative for low-cost car manufacturers and importers facing higher localization challenges.
  • Positive for global automakers and EV component suppliers investing in India’s growing market.

Remember: This analysis is based on limited information and specific company financials and strategies will play a crucial role in determining their individual benefits or challenges from the PLI extension.

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