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Automobile Industry in India has witnessed spectacular growth in recent years. Read about the growth story of Indian Auto sector.

Automobile Industry in India

Automobile Industry in India has witnessed a tremendous growth in recent years and is all set to carry on the momentum in the foreseeable future. Indian automobile industry has come a long way since the first car ran on the streets of Bombay in 1898. Today, automobile sector in India is one of the key sectors of the economy in terms of the employment. Directly and indirectly it employs more than 10 million people and if we add the number of people employed in the auto-component and auto ancillary industry then the number goes even higher.

The automobile industry comprises of heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, tempos, tractors); passenger cars; and two-wheelers. Heavy vehicles section is dominated by Tata-Telco, Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Bajaj. The major car manufacturers in India are Hindustan Motors, Maruti Udyog, Fiat India Private Ltd., Ford India Ltd., General Motors India Pvt. Ltd., Honda Siel Cars India Ltd., Hyundai Motors India Ltd., and Skoda India Private Ltd., Toyota Motors, Tata Motors etc. The dominant players in the two-wheeler sector are Hero Honda, Bajaj, TVS, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Pvt.) Ltd., Yamaha etc.

In the initial years after independence Indian automobile industry was plagued by unfavourable government policies. All it had to offer in the passenger car segment was a 1940s Morris model called the Ambassador and a 1960s Suzuki-derived model called the Maruti 800. The automobile sector in India underwent a metamorphosis as a result of the liberalization policies initiated in the 1991. Measures such as relaxation of the foreign exchange and equity regulations, reduction of tariffs on imports, and refining the banking policies played a vital role in turning around the Indian automobile industry. Until the mid 1990s, the Indian auto sector consisted of just a handful of local companies. However, after the sector opened to foreign direct investment in 1996, global majors moved in. Automobile industry in India also received an unintended boost from stringent government auto emission regulations over the past few years. This ensured that vehicles produced in India conformed to the standards of the developed world.

Indian automobile industry has matured in last few years and offers differentiated products for different segments of the society. It is currently making inroads into the rural middle class market after its inroads into the urban markets and rural rich. In the recent years Indian automobile sector has witnessed a slew of investments. India is on every major global automobile player's radar. Indian automobile industry is also fast becoming an outsourcing hub for automobile companies worldwide, as indicated by the zooming automobile exports from the country. Today, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, GM, Ford and Mitsubishi have set up their manufacturing bases in India. Due to rapid economic growth and higher disposable income it is believed that the success story of the Indian automobile industry is not going to end soon.

Some of the major characteristics of Indian automobile sector are:
  • Second largest two-wheeler market in the world.
  • Fourth largest commercial vehicle market in the world.
  • 11th largest passenger car market in the world
  • Expected to become the world's third largest automobile market by 2030, behind only China and the US.
Note: The above information was last updated on 21-07-2007