Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India on Friday sought increased lending support for two-wheeler buyers from the banks to help push demand. Yadvinder Singh Guleria, director, Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI), told reporters it was too late for a discussion over a proposed cut in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for two-wheelers and the focus should be on getting consumers’ confidence at the OEM level.“The confidence of our network is very high… we do hope that the upcoming festival should be a better one… based on the trends/momentum till now,” Mr. Guleria said.Replying to a query on the steps needed to boost demand for two-wheelers, he added that banking was one of the most important enablers for the industry. Along with measures by the RBI and the Centre, there were expectations of support from the banking system in terms of loans to two-wheeler buyers. However, this had not been seen till August.“So, we hope that with more money with banks and very low interest rates, considering the reverse repo rate, lending should be increased so that more and more customers come [in] and purchase at a lower rate of interest,” he said.‘Too late for GST cuts’“Let’s not talk about GST, it is already too late… we know the Centre is already struggling, so let’s not talk about that and focus on what is in our hands,” Mr. Guleria said, adding that if there was a proposal and no immediate action, it would only confuse the customer. In August, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said two-wheelers were neither luxury nor ‘sin’ products, and that the GST Council would take up the issue for discussion.
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