Archive for May, 2009

Indian auto industry has some things to cheer about

May 15, 2009

The Indian auto industry has lately had some things to cheer about, while awaiting the economy’s revival. While a part of the Indian populace is debating if there would be sufficient space in the country to park Nanos touted as the world’s lowest-priced car, on the other side of the hedge, a variety of global auto manufacturers are making their presence felt already with jazzy variants in all—lower, middle and upper—segments. These majors are bent upon contributing to improvement in economic climate.

Market trends in April 2009 are indicative of the tilt of the consumers towards newer products, thanks to the government’s stimulus efforts and policies. The segment has, in fact, witnessed sales of almost 100,000 cars in April 2009, according to research information provided by industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

Incidentally, the variety now available due to the deluge of foreign direct investments into the sector by global majors such as Honda, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Ford, establishing businesses in India, is offering a lot of attraction to the buyers. No wonder, Jnaneswar Sen, marketing V-P for Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), is upbeat about the demand for Rs 700,000-Jazz. “The car will give a brand as well as a value proposition to customers. The idea is to create an all-new category.” With more than 70 per cent localisation of the cars currently, it is expected that these cars shall be produced indigenously in hubs located across the country.

We may also see Nanos helping Tata Motors to attain the second largest auto manufacturer position in the country edging out Hyundai. Industry experts feel that prospective two-wheelers buyers may end up leaning towards the Nano.

The luxury market players, Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen with its Polo and Jetta models and Honda—which sells its Civic model in the upper end—are all tapping many Indian millionaires, whose number has also risen parallely.