During 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 yester years. Economic reforms and deregulation have transformed that scene. 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 where each firm is engaged in changing its processes and technologies to maintain the competitive advantage and provide customers with the optimized products and services. Starting from the two wheelers, trucks, and tractors to the multi utility vehicles, commercial vehicles and the luxury vehicles, the Indian automobile industry has achieved splendid achievement in the recent years.
“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, auto industry maintains a high-flying place. Due to its deep frontward and rearward linkages with several key segments of the economy, automobile industry has a strong multiplier effect and 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 fulfils 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 is reflective of the economic resilience of the country. Continuous economic liberalization over the years by the government of India has resulted in making India as one of the prime business destination for many global automotive players. The automotive sector in India is growing at around 18 per cent 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 per cent FDI through automatic route. Since then almost all the global majors have set up their facilities in India taking the production of vehicle from 2 million in 1991 to 9.7 million in 2006 (nearly 7 per cent of global automobiles production and 2.4 per cent 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 the period 2000-01 to 2005-06 was 32.92 per cent. 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.