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Chennai is home to around 35–40% of India's total automobile industry.
The Maruti Suzuki Dzire is produced and exported to international markets from India.
A Tata Motors next generation concept car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

The automotive industry in India is one of the largest in the world.[1][2].

Auto Expo 2014, Noida
Interior of Tata ConnectNext EV concept car at 2015 Geneva Motor Show
Tata Prima T1 truck at Buddh International Circuit
Isuzu's newly inaugurated manufacturing plant in 2016 at Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, India

HistoryEdit

 
A pre-Independence car showroom in Secunderabad
 
Indian Royalty were one of the largest buyers of luxury cars during pre-Independence British India
 
Kolkata street traffic in 1945

In 1897, the first car ran on an Indian road. Through the 1930s, cars were imports only, and in small numbers.

An embryonic automotive industry emerged in India in the 1940s. Hindustan Motors was launched in 1942, long-time competitor Premier in 1944, building Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat products respectively.[3] Mahindra & Mahindra was established by two brothers in 1945, and began assembly of Jeep CJ-3A utility vehicles. Following independence in 1947, the Government of India and the private sector launched efforts to create an automotive-component manufacturing industry to supply to the automobile industry. In 1953, an import substitution programme was launched, and the import of fully built-up cars began to be restricted.[3]

1947-1970Edit

 
The 1949 Hindustan 10 built by Hindustan Motors under license from Morris Motors, UK
 
Mine Protected Vehicle manufactured at the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur of OFB
 
The Hindustan Ambassador dominated India's automotive market from the 1960s until the mid-1980s and was manufactured till 2014
 
Fiat 1100D, built under license by Premier Automobiles later re-christened 'Premier Padmini' was the Ambassador's only true competitor

The 1952 Tariff CommissionEdit

In 1952, the government appointed the first Tariff Commission, one of whose purposes was to come out with a feasibility plan for the indigenization of the Indian automobile industry. In 1953, the commission submitted their report, which recommended categorizing existing Indian car companies according to their manufacturing infrastructure, with licensed capacity to manufacture a certain number of vehicles, with capacity increases allowable, as per demands, in the future. The Tariff Commission recommendations were implemented with new policies that would eventually exclude companies that only imported parts for assembly, as well as those with no Indian partner. In 1954, following the Tariff Commission implementation, General Motors, Ford, and Rootes Group, which had assembly-only plants in Mumbai, decided to move out of India.[4]

The Tariff commission policies, including similar restrictions that applied to other industries, came to be known as the "license raj", which proved to be the greatest undoing of the Indian automotive industry, where bureaucratic red tape ended up causing demand to outstrip supply, with month-long waiting periods for cars, scooters, and motorcycles.

Passenger Cars

Utility and Light Commercial Vehicles

Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles

 
Matang truck manufactured by the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur of OFB
 
Bhishma Tank manufactured at the Heavy Vehicles Factory, Chennai of the OFB

Scooters, Mopeds and Motorcycles

 
The Vespa 150 Sprint

known as Bajaj Chetak, by Bajaj became the largest sold scooter in the world

1970 to 1983Edit

However, growth was relatively slow in the 1950s and 1960s, due to nationalisation and the license raj, which hampered the growth of the Indian private sector.

The beginning of the 1970s saw some growth potential; and most of the collaboration license agreements came to an end, but with the option to continue manufacturing with renewed branding. Cars were still meant for the elite and Jeeps were largely used by government organizations and in some rural regions. By the end of the decade, some developments were made in commercial vehicle segments to facilitate the movement of goods. The two-wheeler segment remained unchanged except for to increased sales to the middle class in urban areas. There was emphasis on having more farm tractors, as India was embarking on a new Green Revolution; and Russian and eastern bloc imports were brought in to meet the demand.

But after 1970, with restrictions on the import of vehicles set, the automotive industry started to grow; but the growth was mainly driven by tractors, commercial vehicles and scooters. Cars still remained a major luxury item. In the 1970s, price controls were finally lifted, inserting a competitive element into the automobile market.[6] However, by the 1980s, the automobile market was still dominated by Hindustan and Premier, who sold superannuated products in fairly limited numbers.[7] During the eighties, a few competitors began to arrive on the scene.

The OPEC oil crisis saw increase need to installing or redesign some vehicle to fit diesel engines on medium commercial vehicle. Until the early 1970s Mahindra Jeeps were on Petrol and Premier commercial vehicles had Petrol model options. The Defence sector too had most trucks on Petrol engines.

1984 to 1992Edit

 
First generation Maruti 800 launched in 1984
 
Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Reconnaissance Vehicle (CBRN-RV) manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Medak of OFB

From the end of the 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s saw no new models but the country continued with 2 decade old designs forcing government to encourage and let more manufacturers into fray.

In 1984, the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi established the Ordnance Factory Medak, near Hyderabad. It started manufacturing Infantry Combat Vehicles christened as Sarath, the backbone of India's mechanised infantry. OFMK is still the only manufacturing facility of ICVs in India. To manufacture the high-power engines used in ICVs and main battle tanks, Engine Factory Avadi, near Chennai was set in 1987. In 1986, to promote the auto industry, the government established the Delhi Auto Expo. The 1986 Expo was a showcase for how the Indian automotive industry was absorbing new technologies, promoting indigenous research and development, and adapting these technologies for the rugged conditions of India. The nine-day show was attended by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Post-1992 liberalisationEdit

 
Tata Indica, launched in 1998
 
Mahindra Scorpio was launched in 2002
 
The Maruti Suzuki Dzire and its hatchback version, the Suzuki Swift are the largest selling cars in recent years in India

Eventually multinational automakers, such as, Suzuki and Toyota of Japan and Hyundai of South Korea, were allowed to invest in the Indian market, furthering the establishment of an automotive industry in India. Maruti Suzuki was the first, and the most successful of these new entries, and in part the result of government policies to promote the automotive industry beginning in the 1980s.[7] As India began to liberalise its automobile market in 1991, a number of foreign firms also initiated joint ventures with existing Indian companies. The variety of options available to the consumer began to multiply in the nineties, whereas before there had usually only been one option in each price class. By 2000, there were 12 large automotive companies in the Indian market, most of them offshoots of global companies.[8]

Slow export growthEdit

Exports were slow to grow. Sales of small numbers of vehicles to tertiary markets and neighbouring countries began early, and in 1987 Maruti Suzuki shipped 480 cars to Europe (Hungary). After some growth in the mid-nineties, exports once again began to drop as the outmoded platforms provided to Indian manufacturers by multinationals were not competitive.[9] This was not to last, and today India manufactures low-priced cars for markets across the globe. As of 18 March 2013, global brands such as Proton Holdings, PSA Group, Kia, Mazda, Chrysler, Dodge and Geely Holding Group were shelving plans for India due to the competitiveness of the market, as well as the global economic crisis.[10]

Emission normsEdit

In 2000, in line with international standards to reduce vehicular pollution, the central government unveiled standards titled "India 2000", with later, upgraded guidelines to be known as Bharat Stage emission standards. These standards are quite similar to the stringent European emission standards and have been implemented in a phased manner. Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV), the most stringent so far, was implemented first, in April 2010, in 13 cities—Delhi (NCR), Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Kanpur, Lucknow, Solapur, and Agra—and then, as of April 2017, the rest of the nation.

Local manufacture encouragedEdit

India levies an import tax of 125% on foreign imported cars, while the import tax on components such as gearboxes, airbags, drive axles, is 10%. Therefore, the taxes encourage cars to be assembled in India rather than be imported as completely built units.[11]

SizeEdit

As of 2019, India is the 4th largest automobile market in the world, surpassing Germany in terms of sales.[12]

Indian auto market [13] was hit by a large drop in july 2019, registering 201.827 units (-30.2%). Maruti the leader holding 47.8% of share, declined 36.7%. The negative trends was held by the entire top 10, except for Volkswagen, which improved by 2.2%.

Manufacturing facilitiesEdit

The majority of India's car manufacturing industry is evenly divided into three "clusters". Around Chennai is the southernmost and largest, with a 35% revenue share, accounting for 60% of the country's automotive exports, and home of the operations of Heavy Vehicles Factory, Engine Factory Avadi, Ford, Hyundai, Renault, Mitsubishi, Nissan, BMW, Hindustan Motors, Daimler, Caparo, Mini, and Datsun.[14][15]

Near Mumbai, Maharashtra, along the Chakan corridor near Pune, is the western cluster, with a 33% share of the market. Audi, Volkswagen, and Skoda are located in Aurangabad. Mahindra and Mahindra has an SUV and engine assembly plant at Nashik. General Motors, Tata Motors, Mercedes Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Fiat, and Force Motors have assembly plants in the area.[16][17]

The northern cluster is around the National Capital Region, and contributes 32%. Gurgaon and Manesar, in Haryana, are where the country's largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, is based.

An emerging cluster is the state of Gujarat, with a manufacturing facility of MG Motors, Atul Auto in Rajkot, Ford, Maruti Suzuki, and Peugeot-Citroen plants are also planned for Gujarat.[18]

Kolkata with Hindustan Motors (inactive), Noida with Honda, and Bengaluru with Toyota, Volvo and Scania and Andhra with Isuzu and Kia are other automotive manufacturing regions around the country.[19][20][21]

Andhra PradeshEdit

Commercial and passenger vehicles
Two wheelers
Off-highway vehicles
 
Reva electric car sold as G-Wiz in UK

GujaratEdit

Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

HaryanaEdit

Two wheelers
Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

Himachal PradeshEdit

Two wheelers
Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

JharkhandEdit

Commercial vehicles

KarnatakaEdit

Two wheelers
Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles
 
A TVS Rickshaw in Chennai: India is one of the world's largest manufacturers of three-wheel vehicles.
 
Hero Honda CBZ one of the popular models
 
A Volvo bus
 
State Transport Corporation are the largest buyers for Buses in India
 
India is the worlds largest Tractor manufacturer by volume
 
Mahindra 3616 Four Wheel Drive sold in USA
 
L&T 752 Road Roller 2015

KeralaEdit

Commercial vehicles

Madhya PradeshEdit

Two wheelers
Commercial vehicles

MaharashtraEdit

Two wheelers
Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

PunjabEdit

Commercial vehicles

RajasthanEdit

Two Wheelers

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India – Tapukara[27]Hero Motocorp;Neemrana

Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

Tamil NaduEdit

Two wheelers
Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles
 
T-90S Bhishma Tank's engine manufactured by Engine Factory Avadi, Chennai

TelanganaEdit

Defence
Commercial vehicles

Uttar PradeshEdit

Two wheelers
Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

UttarakhandEdit

Commercial vehicles
Two wheelers

West BengalEdit

Passenger vehicles
Commercial vehicles

ExportsEdit

 
Mahindra Scorpio in service with Italy's CNSAS.

India's automobile exports have grown consistently and reached $4.5 billion in 2009, with the United Kingdom being India's largest export market, followed by Italy, Germany, Netherlands, and South Africa.[82]

According to The New York Times, India's strong engineering base and expertise in the manufacturing of low-cost, fuel-efficient cars has resulted in the expansion of manufacturing facilities of several automobile companies like Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Maruti Suzuki.[83]

In 2008, South Korean multinational Hyundai Motors alone exported 240,000 cars made in India. Nissan Motors plannned to export 250,000 vehicles manufactured in its India plant by 2011.[84] Similarly, US automobile company, General Motors had announced its plans to export about 50,000 cars manufactured in India by 2011.[85]

In September 2009, Ford Motors announced its plans to set up a plant in India with an annual capacity of 250,000 cars, for US$500 million. The cars were manufactured both for the Indian market and for export.[86] The company said that the plant was a part of its plan to make India the hub for its global production business.[87] Fiat Motors had announced that it would source more than US$1 billion worth auto components from India.[88]

 
A Tata Safari on display in Poznań, Poland.

In 2009 India (0.23m) surpassed China (0.16m) as Asia's fourth largest exporter of cars after Japan (1.77m), Korea (1.12m) and Thailand (0.26m).[89]

In July 2010, The Economic Times reported that PSA Peugeot Citroën was planning to re-enter the Indian market and open a production plant in Andhra Pradesh that would have an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles, investing € 700M in the operation.[90] PSA's intention to utilise this production facility for export purposes however remains unclear as of December 2010.

 
The Maruti Ertiga, a model exported by Maruti Suzuki, India.

In recent years, India has emerged as a leading center for the manufacture of small cars. Hyundai, the biggest exporter from the country, now ships more than 250,000 cars annually from India. Apart from Maruti Exports' shipments to Suzuki's other markets, Maruti Suzuki also manufactures small cars for Nissan, which sells them in Europe. Nissan will also export small cars from its new Indian assembly line. Tata Motors exports its passenger vehicles to Asian and African markets, and is preparing to sell electric cars in Europe in 2010. The firm is planning to sell an electric version of its affordable car the Tata Nano in Europe and in the U.S. In the 2000s, Mahindra & Mahindra prepared to introduce its pickup trucks and small SUV models in the U.S. market, but canceled its plans. As of 2019, it is assembling and selling an off-road vehicle (Mahindra Roxor; not certified for road use) in limited numbers in the U.S.[91] It is also sold in Canada. Bajaj Auto is designing a low-cost car for Renault Nissan Automotive India, which will market the product worldwide. Renault Nissan may also join domestic commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland in another small car project.[92] While the possibilities for the Indian automobile industry are impressive, there are challenges that could thwart future growth. Since the demand for automobiles in recent years is directly linked to overall economic expansion and rising personal incomes, industry growth will slow if the economy weakens.[92]

Top 10 export destinationsEdit

India exported $14.5 billion worth of automobiles in 2014. The 10 countries below imported 47.8% of that total.[93]

Rank Country Value (US$) Share
1 United States 1.2 billion 8.4%
2 Mexico $1 billion 6.9%
3 South Africa $888.8 million 6.1%
4 United Kingdom $637.4 million 4.4%
5 Sri Lanka $596.9 million 4.1%
6 Bangladesh $592.1 million 4.1%
7 Turkey $580.4 million 4%
8 Nigeria $546.8 million 3.8%
9 United Arab Emirates $433.6 million 3%
10 Colombia $428.9 million 3%

Passenger vehicles in IndiaEdit

India is the 4th largest passenger vehicle producer in the world. In 2018-19, it produced 4.06 million Cars.[94] Currently , there an estimated 30 million cars in India.[95]

This list is of cars that are officially available and serviced in India. While other cars can be imported to the country at a steep 105% import duty, car-makers such as Alfa Romeo,[96] McLaren,[97] Pagani,[98] Cadillac,[99] SSC,[100] Zenvo,[101] SEAT,[102] Smart,[103] Daihatsu,[104] Infiniti,[105] Acura,[106] Spyker,[107] Lotus,[108] Ariel,[109] Caterham,[110] Peugeot-Citroën,[111] Mazda,[112] Kia,[113] GAZ,[114] and Proton[115] are in various stages of official introduction into the Indian automobile industry.

Indian automotive companiesEdit

Models currently manufactured by Indian companiesEdit

 
Maruti Swift in India. Maruti Suzuki is a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan
 
Mahindra XUV500, one of India's best selling indigenously developed SUV

Defunct Indian automotive companiesEdit

Foreign automotive companies in IndiaEdit

Hyundai, Renault, Nissan, Datsun, Mitsubishi, Ford, Fiat, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and MINI are the foreign automotive companies that manufacture and market their products in India.

Vehicles currently manufactured in IndiaEdit

 
Manufactured only in Chennai, India, the i10 is one of Hyundai's best selling globally exported cars.

Opel was present in India until 2006. As of 2013, Opel only provides spare parts and vehicle servicing to existing Opel vehicle owners.

General Motors India stopped producing passenger cars for the Indian market in late 2017. It however continues to produce vehicles for export to other markets.

Vehicles currently imported into IndiaEdit

 
Suzuki Kizashi. Kizashis were sold by Maruti in the Indian market
 
Honda Civic MugenRR
 
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

Commercial vehicle manufacturers in IndiaEdit

Indian brandsEdit

Joint-venture (JV) brandsEdit

Foreign-owned brandsEdit

Electric vehicle and Hybrid vehicle (xEV) industryEdit

During April 2012, the Indian government planned to unveil the road map for the development of domestic electric and hybrid vehicles (xEV) in the country.[194] A discussion between the various stakeholders, including Government, industry, and academia, was expected to take place during 23–24 February.[194] The final contours of the policy would have been formed after this set of discussions. Ministries such as Petroleum, Finance, Road Transport, and Power are involved in developing a broad framework for the sector. Along with these ministries, auto industry executives, such as Anand Mahindra (Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra) and Vikram Kirloskar (Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar), were involved in this task.[194] The Government has also proposed to set up a Rs 740 crore research and development fund for the sector in the 12th five-year plan during 2012-17.[194] The idea is to reduce the high cost of key imported components such as the battery and electric motor, and to develop such capabilities locally. In the year 2017, An Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh based Electric Vehicles manufacturing company called AVERA[195] New & Renewable Energy started electric scooters manufacturing[196] and are ready to launch their two models of scooters by the end of December 2018.[197]

Electric cars are seen as economical long-term investments, as one doesn't need to purchase gas, but needs only to recharge the battery, using renewable energy sources. According to the United States Department of Energy, electric cars produce half as much CO2 emissions as compared to a gas-powered car.[198] According to The Economic Times, 60% of Indian customers expect fuel prices to go up in the next 12 months and 58% expect to buy a new car in the same time frame. Most consumers are looking to buy a car which gives good mileage. According to the same source, 68% of Asian drivers expect higher mileage from their cars due to the higher fuel prices. This has encouraged 38% of Indian automobile consumers to switch to electric or hybrid cars.[199] Due to this change in the market, many companies, such as Toyota, have planned to introduce electric vehicles in India; and Suzuki has tested almost 50 electric prototypes in India already, according to Mashable.In 2019 Hyundai Launched India’s First Electric Car Kona Electric . [200]

Electric car manufacturers in IndiaEdit

Driverless Technology in IndiaEdit

While there is controversy on possibility of driverless cars in India,[206][207] many startups are working on this technology:

  • Flux Auto
  • FishEyeBox
  • Hi Tech Robotic Systemz
  • ATImotors
  • Netradyne
  • Swaayat Robots
  • Auro Robotics
  • OmniPresent Robotics
  • SeDrica 1.0[208]

In Auto Expo 2018, Hi Tech Robotic Systemz launched an artificial intelligence-based driver behaviour sensor technology called Novus Aware in partnership with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV).[209][210]

Defunct motor vehicle manufacturers of IndiaEdit

  • Automobile Products of India or API - founded in 1949 at Bombay (now Mumbai), by the British company Rootes Group,[211] and later bought by M. A. Chidambaram of the MAC Group from Madras (now Chennai).[211] The company manufactured Lambretta scooters, API Three Wheelers under licence from Innocenti of Italy and automobile ancillaries, notably clutch and braking systems. API's registered offices were earlier in Mumbai, later shifted to Chennai, in Tamil Nadu. The manufacturing facilities were located in Mumbai and Aurangabad in Maharashtra and in Ambattur, Chennai.[212] The company has not been operational since 2002.
  • Escorts Yamaha - in 1984 Escorts formed a joint venture with Yamaha to manufacture motorcycles. In 2008 became India Yamaha Motor.
  • Hero Motors is a former moped and scooter manufacturer based in Delhi, India. It is a part of multinational company Hero Group, which also currently owns Hero Motocorp (formerly Hero Honda) and Hero Cycles, among others. Hero Motors was started in the 1960s to manufacture 50cc two-stroke mopeds but gradually diversified into making larger mopeds, mokicks and scooters in the 1980s and the 1990s. Noteworthy collaborators and technical partners were Puch of Austria and Malaguti of Italy. Due to tightening emission regulations and poor sales, Hero motors have discontinued the manufacture of all gasoline powered vehicles and transformed itself into an electric two-wheeler and auto parts manufacturer.
  • Ideal Jawa - motorcycle company based in Mysore, sold licensed Jawa and ČZ motorcycles beginning in 1960 under the brand name Jawa and later Yezdi.
  • Kinetic Honda - a joint venture between Kinetic Engineering Limited, India and Honda Motor Company, Japan. The joint venture operated during 1984 - 1998, manufacturing 2-stroke scooters in India. In 1998, the joint venture was terminated after which Kinetic Engineering continued to sell the models under the brand name Kinetic until 2008[213] when the interests were sold to Mahindra.
  • Mopeds India Limited - produces the Suvega range of Mopeds under technical collaboration with Motobécane of France.
  • Standard - produced by Standard Motor Products in Madras from 1949 to 1988. Indian Standards were variations of vehicles made in the U.K. by Standard-Triumph.Standard Motor Products of India Ltd. (SMPI) was incorporated in 1948,[214] and their first product was the Vanguard, which began to be assembled in 1949. The company was dissolved in 2006 and the old plant torn down.

Automotive Research Association of India - StandardsEdit

The Government of India felt the need for a permanent agency to expedite the publication of standards and development of test facilities[215] in parallel with the work of the preparation of the standards - as the development of improved safety critical parts could be undertaken only after the publication of the standard and commissioning of test facilities. The Ministry of Surface Transport (MoST) constituted a permanent Automotive Industry Standards Committee (AISC) . The Standards prepared by AISC will be approved by the permanent CMVR Technical Standing Committee (CTSC). After approval, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) [216] will publish this standard.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are globally proven systems to optimize the utilization of existing transport infrastructure and improve transportation systems in terms of efficiency, quality, comfort and safety. Having realized the potential of ITS, Government bodies and other organizations in India are presently working towards implementing various components of ITS across the country.

The first step taken for creation and implementation of ITS was holding a National Workshop titled "User Requirements for Interactive ITS Architecture",[217] which was conducted as a collaboration between SIAM and ASRTU on 26 & 27 February 2015. This was primarily focused on ITS in Public Bus Transportation. Nonetheless, the workshop helped to create the outline for "National Intelligent Transport System Architecture and Policy for Public Transport (Bus)", which was submitted by ASRTU and SIAM to the government

In the 44th & 45th CMVR-TSC, Chairman had directed - standardization activities to be initiated on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Vehicle Location Tracking, Camera Surveillance System and Emergency Request Button. The committee intended to extend the above user requirements to all public transportation namely –buses, taxis, etc. The current document covers the requirements for Vehicle Location Tracking and Emergency Button. The other ITS components like PIS, CCTV system, Fare collection etc. are deliberated and would be addressed in later phase and could be added as separate parts to the current document..

Based on these directions, the AISC Panel on ITS has prepared this AIS-140 titled,"Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) - Requirements for Public Transport Vehicle Operation". The panel also deliberated and identified the necessary elements for an effective implementation of vehicle level ITS system.

For AIS-140 Devices, in India, connectivity to report location, and Emergency Panic Button signal is though wireless cellular connectivity. There are device focused Cellular Connectivity Offerings like 'eSIM4Things[218]' available in India, which cater to connectivity requirements of AIS-140 devices.[219] eSIM4Things[218] is fully compatible with all AIS-140 devices and with a connectivity manager and a range of tariff plans.

See alsoEdit

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