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Covid-19 impact on vehicle telematics

Telematics Wire spoke to Kirti Nair, Director Sales & Marketing at Unisem and Mr Anup Patil, CEO at Intangles; about their views on impact of COVID19 on Indian vehicle telematics industry and in general the automotive industry. Below are the excerpts from the conversation-

How will the COVID19 impact the vehicle telematics service providers in India?

Anup Patil: Post Covid 19, we believe that the vehicle telematics market will have a stronger acceptance by the fleet operators as more than ever there will be need for Operations Optimisation and Fuel Monitoring. With less resources at hand fleet operators will no longer have the luxury to deploy resources to manage the fleet. Better tracking of assets and growing push in the manufacturing sector will give a significant thrust to Logistics sector

Kirti Nair: The basic vehicle tracking device market will grow more than the feature heavy vehicle telematics device, as people buying habits may change in short run. However the AIS140 device compliant vehicle tracking device will have a surge with Govt consumption.

Do you think there will be shift in buying trend from the private transporters, fleet owners, state transport corporations other industry players?

Anup Patil: Private players will be cautious in buying new vehicles and it will take at least couple of quarters for the market to turn bullish, unless government announces few SOPs for the fleet operators

Kirti Nair: Usage in private transport may come down, but the logistics industry will grow by leaps and bounds within 8-9 months post lockdown. Retail customers may stay away from buying telematics device for their cars in the initial days but over a period of one year these things will get normalised.

What is bigger issue for the telematics service providers- disruption in supply chain due to break in manufacturing or TSPs stuck with inventory with no buyers?

Anup Patil: For Intangles it has been the break in supply chain of components and shutdown of manufacturers  due to lockdown.

Kirti Nair: That’s a challenge however the normalisation process may take 6-8 months there will be consolidation by large system integrators.

Will there be new normal for vehicle telematics industry or we will quickly get back to our previous order in a quarter or two?

Anup Patil: The market will take time to pick up the pace, but post first two quarters market will pick up pace in terms of orders.  Till then fleet operators will be more cautious in their spend and also focus more on meeting the tighter guidelines prescribed under social distancing

Kirti Nair: The market will restart with two-wheelers/electric vehicle telematics, the higher end automotive telematics which was the buzz word may take a back seat for sometime as self-driven  two-wheeler /small car market segment will grow.

Published in Telematics Wire

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