Ford has recently unveiled a small car which it will make in India from next year. Renault has announced new plans for India by adding Nissan as a partner, after selecting Bajaj for a joint venture. Volkswagen will also introduce its small car next year. The country's car industry now ranks seventh in the world, with a four percent share of the 50 million global car market.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the car companies will invest Rs. 78,650 crore in the four year period between 2007 and 2011, more than what has been invested in the first six decades after independence. Maruti, Hyundai and Tata are the three market leaders with a share close to Rs. 10,000 crore each, followed by Mahindra and others, as Fiat-Tata, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan, Honda and Toyota are evaluating their prospects.
In spite of a slow start, domestic car sales will grow by 15 percent this year. Exports are also expected to grow much faster, with April-August quarter registering 37 percent growth over last year.
The car market has a long way to go with new highways and projects focussing on small towns and cities. The industry is all set to go on a big scale, as new car plants are coming up in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttaranchal.