Introduction to Indian Four-Wheeler Industry
The Indian Four-Wheeler Industry is one of the largest in the world. Within the industry, the overall Passenger Vehicle (PV) segment accounts to a mere 14% market share as shown in figure[i]. The two-wheeler s segment, with 80% market share, is the leader of the Indian Automobile market. India has the fifth largest passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle market in the world.
Four-Wheeler Manufacturing Hubs in India
Its presence is predominant with four large auto manufacturing hubs across the country:
- Delhi-Gurgaon-Faridabad in the North
- Mumbai-Pune-Nashik-Aurangabad in the West
- Chennai-Bengaluru-Hosur in the South and
- Jamshedpur-Kolkata in the East
Car Manufacturing Plant in India
History of Indian Four wheeler industry
The need for faster and more efficient forms of transport has led to many inventions in automobile industry over the centuries. The 18th century, witnessed a revolution when the first cars were rolled on to the streets, and these are ‘Vintage Cars’ today!
Talking about the Indian four-wheeler industry, the first car rolled onto the streets of Mumbai in 1898, and the first Taxicabs in 1911. In the years between 1910 and 1920, Indian Automobile Industry set up assembly plants in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. And until 1920s, cars were only imported and in small numbers. In the years between 1920 and before Independence, Indian Auto Industry focused more on assembling of cars manufactured by different brands. In 1940, Hindustan Motors India (HMI) and Premier Automobile Limited (PAL) were setup and they dominated the vehicle market and automobile industry.
After Independence, in the year 1950, the Indian four wheeler Industry was more regulated and the government of India granted approval to only 5 car dealers to operate in India namely Hindustan Motors, Premier Automobiles Ltd (PAL), Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Telco and API(Automobile Products of India) In the same year, the arrival of Tata motors, Bajaj auto and Mahindra & Mahindra led to steadily increasing vehicle production in India. In the decade after 1950, the Indian government took the first step by formulating fiscal policies to encourage the manufacturing sectors within the country.
The automotive industry in India was heavily regulated until the 1970s. The automotive firms were obliged to obtain licenses from the Indian government for various activities. By the end of 1970 a diesel engine was launched by Hindustan. New models like ‘Contessa’, the ‘Rover’ and the ‘Premier 118 NE’ hit the market. In the 1980s the Indian car industry started seeing growth. There were many global automotive giants coming to India with intentions of building joint ventures. The automotive industry witnessed tremendous growth after the entry of Maruti Udyog in the 1980s. In 1983, Hindustan Motors and Premier Automobiles declared plans to manufacturing fuel efficient cars with latest & modern body styling. Later all major car brands sought entry into India to setup manufacturing plants which led to the growth of the Industry in India.
The Global major car brands which came to India along with the year is as shown in figure[ii]
Classification of Cars
After history, let us focus on Car Classifications. Cars can be classified based on
Production, Domestic sale and Export trends in India for Four-Wheelers
The figure shows statistics for the Automobile Production trends, Domestic sale trends and Export trends in India for passenger vehicles from the year 2010 – 2016[iii]
Near Future Brands coming to India
- The Electric Cars from Tesla Inc. will be introduced to India. Learn more about it here.
- South Korean, Kia motors is setting up its first factory in India by the end of 2018 or by the early 2019. Learn more about it here.
- Several Car Brands are exploring the possibilities of introducing driverless self-driven Cars for India.
- BMW plans to manufacture a local version of below-500cc motorcycle, the G310R, in TVS Motors Hosur plant in Tamil Nadu, for Indian Markets. Learn more about it here.
- Ford Motor Co. plans to build a global technology and Business Center in Chennai. It plans to manufacture in India two families of engines by 2017, a 2.2 liter diesel engine code-named Panther, and a 1.2 liter petrol engine code-named Dragon. Learn more about it here
- China’s biggest automobile manufacturer, SAIC Motor plans to set up manufacturing unit in India.
- Suzuki Motor Corporation, the Japan based automobile manufacturer has plans for setting up a second assembly plant in Mehsana, Gujarat. Learn more about it here.
- In a Joint venture with New Delhi-based CK Birla Group, Peugeot is returning back to India after 20 years. It will produce its cars from the Chennai-based assembly plant which currently makes some models of Mitsubishi, and has an annual production capacity of 12,000 vehicles.Learn more about it here.
- US-based car maker Chrysler has planned to manufacture Jeep Grand Cherokee model in Maharashtra. Learn more about it here
- Mercedes Benz has decided to manufacture the GLA entry SUV in India. The company has doubled its India assembly capacity to 20,000 units per annum. Learn more about it here
- General Motors plans to invest US$1 billion in India by 2020, mainly to increase the capacity at the Talegaon plant in Maharashtra from 130,000 units a year to 220,000 by 2025. Learn more about it here
- The first three models to be launched in India by Toyota luxury Brand, will reportedly are the Lexus RX, Lexus GS and Lexus LS. It may also introduce Daihatsu in India to challenge Maruti Suzuki. Learn more about it here.
The popular four wheeler Brands in India are
- Aston Martin
- Rolls Royce
- Renault, Nissan and Datsun
- Toyota and Lexus
- Mahindra and Ssangyong
- Volkswagen Group – Audi, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti and Porsche
- Maruti Suzuki
- BMW and Mini
- Mercedes Benz
- Land Rover, Range Rover and Jaguar
- Force Motors
- Hindustan Motors