The automobile industry in India holds seventh rank in the world and has produced over 2.6 million units in the year 2009. India has been recognized as Asia’s fourth largest automobile exporter in 2009 following Japan, South Korea and Thailand. More than 100,000 units of passenger cars were sold out in February 2009 only making India is adequately capable to capture the market of small cars sale. The country is one of the largest manufacturers of small cars in the world. As per one estimate, it is expected that India would become the largest automobile manufacturing country in the world by the year 2050. By then, it would be manufacturing around 611 million vehicles.
With the economic liberalisations and the resulting economic growth, automobile industry was successful enough to sustain the growth though they had to face competition and restrictions on its way. Many manufacturers were able to expand their operations both domestically and internationally like Tata Motors etc. This economic growth is the reason behind the expansion of the automobile market and it is a significant reason for the multinational manufacturers to invest in Indian market.
The development of Indian automotive industry can be said to be started long back in 1940’s. The Government along with the private sector after independence put in immense efforts to launch an automotive component manufacturing industry which could supply parts to the automobile industry. Unfortunately, in 1950s and 1960s the growth was retarded because the nationalisation movement impeded the private sector of India. The growth that took place after 1970 was basically in tractors, scooters and other commercial vehicles. Cars at that time were a matter of luxury which everyone couldn’t even afford. At that time, the manufacturers of Japan entered the Indian market and succeeded in establishing the Maruti Udyog. Indian companies then started coming in the automobile sector forming joint ventures with various foreign organisations. In the period of 1980s, the Government of India thought of choosing Suzuki to enter into joint-venture for the production of small cars. Since then, Indian automobile industry has been working hard to fulfil its both export and domestic demands. The reason behind the expansion of the manufacturing facilities of various companies in Indian is due to the fact that the expertise for producing fuel-efficient and low cost cars as well as engineering base are very strong in the country.
The list of largest automobile manufacturers in India, according to the sales made by them, is Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Mahindra, GM Chevrolet, Honda, HSD, Ford, Fiat Motors, Skoda. Hyundai Motors exported around 240,000 cars manufactured in India in the year 2008. Similarly, General Motors has planned to export 50,000 Indian manufactured cars by 2011 and Nissan Motors has planned to export 250,000 such vehicles by 2011.