He also said that with political uncertainty now over after the Lok Sabha elections, the government should now focus on taking the economy on the growth path.
"Earlier import of tyres from China was a major factor for the domestic manufacturers. But now Chinese tyre makers are routing their products through Thailand. We see a spike in tyre imports from Thailand," Rajiv Budhraja, Director General, ATMA, told .
"The trade war between the US and China has forced the latter to go aggressive in other markets," he added.
Last fiscal, the import of truck/bus radial (TBR) tyres from Thailand stood at 267,087 units, accounting for 57 per cent of the total imports, up from 126,666 units accounting for 15 per cent of the imports in 2017-18, Budhraja said.
In the case of motorcycle tyres, the imports from Thailand last year was 183,602 units (9 per cent of imports) as against 102,378 units (5 per cent of tyre imports) in the previous year.
Speaking about the industry situation, Budhraja said the growth momentum has slowed down and lower sales of automobiles have affected the tyre companies.
Stressing that a continued slow down in the vehicle sector will impact greenfield investments in the tyre industry, Budhraja said the replacement market is not bright as the transporters are not coming for tyre replacement as they used to earlier.
The industry also expected demand picking up for farm sector vehicles like tractors owing to good monsoon. But it did not happen.
"I will not call it fall into a bottom-less pit. We are nearing the close end of the pit. The uncertainty relating to the political situation and the migration from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norm vehichels are now over. The government should now focus on taking the economy on the growth path," Budhraja said.
According to him, as in the past under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the Central government should not only address urban mobility, but also the last mile connectivity in case of goods transport.
"The government should look at scrappage policy now," Budhraja added.
(The writer can be contacted at v.jagannathan@.in)
( With inputs from IANS )