During the early 60s & 70s, automobiles came largely in twos.
In scooters, you had a Lambretta or a Vespa.
In motorcycles, you had a Bullet or a Java.
In cars, you had to choose between an Ambassador and a Fiat.
In trucks, it was either an Ashok Leyland or a Tata.
In tractors, it was between a Swaraj and a Mahindra.
This situation reflected the India of yesteryears. Economic reforms and deregulation have transformed that scene. The automobile industry has written a new inspirational tale. It is a tale of exciting multiplicity, unparalleled growth, and amusing consumer experience – all within a few years. India has already become one of the fastest-growing automobile markets in the world. This is a tribute to leaders and managers in the industry and, equally, to policy planners. The automobile industry has the opportunity to go beyond this remarkable achievement. It is standing on the doorsteps of a quantum leap.
The Indian automobile industry is going through a technological change. Each firm is changing its processes and technologies to maintain its competitive advantage and provide customers with optimized products and services. Starting from two-wheelers, trucks, and tractors to multi-utility vehicles, commercial vehicles, and luxury vehicles, the Indian automobile industry has achieved splendid achievement in recent years.
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“The opportunity is staring in your face. It comes only once. If you miss it, you will not get it again.”
On the canvas of the Indian economy, the auto industry maintains a high-flying place. Due to its deep frontward and rearward linkages with several key segments of the economy, the automobile industry has a strong multiplier effect. It is capable of being the driver of economic growth. A sound transportation system plays an essential role in the country’s rapid economic and industrial development. The well-developed Indian automotive industry skillfully fulfills this catalytic role by producing a wide variety of vehicles: passenger cars, light, medium, and heavy commercial vehicles, multi-utility vehicles such as jeeps, scooters, motorcycles, mopeds, three-wheelers, tractors, etc.
The automotive sector is one of the core industries of the Indian economy, whose prospect reflects the country’s economic resilience. Continuous economic liberalization over the years by India’s government has made India one of the prime business destinations for many global automotive players. The automotive sector in India is growing at around 18 percent per annum.
“The auto industry is just a multiplier, a driver for employment, for investment, for technology.”
The Indian automotive industry started its new journey from 1991 with delicensing of the sector and subsequent opening up for 100 percent FDI through automatic route. Since then, almost all the global majors have set up their facilities in India, taking the production of vehicles from 2 million in 1991 to 9.7 million in 2006 (nearly 7 percent of global automobiles production and 2.4 percent of four wheeler production).
The cumulative annual growth rate of production of the automotive industry from the year 2000-2001 to 2005-2006 was 17 per cent. The cumulative annual growth rate of exports during 2000-01 to 2005-06 was 32.92 percent. The production of the automotive industry is expected to achieve a growth rate of over 20 per cent in 2006-07 and about 15 per cent in 2007-08. The export during the same period is expected to grow over 20 per cent.
The automobile sector has been contributing its share to the shining economic performance of India in recent years. With the Indian middle class earning higher per capita income, more people can own private vehicles, including cars and two-wheelers. Product movements and operated services have boosted the sales of medium and sized commercial vehicles for passenger and goods transport.
Side by side with fresh vehicle sales growth, the automotive components sector has witnessed big growth. The domestic auto components consumption has crossed rupees 9000 crores and an export of one half size of this figure.