Business Overview (Introduction)

Automotive industry is the key driver of any growing economy. It plays a pivotal role in country's rapid economic and industrial development. It caters to the requirement of equipment for basic industries like steel, non-ferrous metals, fertilisers, refineries, petrochemicals, shipping, textiles, plastics, glass, rubber, capital equipments, logistics, paper, cement, sugar, etc. It facilitates the improvement in various infrastructure facilities like power, rail and road transport. Due to its deep forward and backward linkages with almost every segment of the economy, the industry has a strong and positive multiplier effect and thus propels progress of a nation. The automotive industry comprises of the automobile and the auto component sectors. It includes passenger cars; light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles; multi-utility vehicles such as jeeps, scooters, motor-cycles, three wheelers, tractors, etc; and auto components like engine parts, drive and transmission parts, suspension and braking parts , electricals, body and chassis parts; etc

In India, automotive is one of the largest industries showing impressive growth over the years and has been significantly making increasing contribution to overall industrial development in the country. Presently, India is the world's second largest manufacturer of two wheelers, fifth largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles as well as largest manufacturer of tractors. It is the fourth largest passenger car market in Asia as well as a home to the largest motor cycle manufacturer. The installed capacity of the automobile sector has been 9,540,000 vehicles, comprising 1,590,000 four wheelers (including passenger cars) and 7,950,000 two and three wheelers. The sector has shown great advances in terms of development, spread, absorption of newer technologies and flexibility in the wake of changing business scenario.

The Indian automotive industry has made rapid strides since delicensing and opening up of the sector in 1991. It has witnessed the entry of several new manufacturers with the state-of-art technology, thus replacing the monopoly of few manufacturers. At present, there are 15 manufacturers of passenger cars and multi-utility vehicles, 9 manufacturers of commercial vehicles, 16 of two/ three wheelers and 14 of tractor, besides 5 manufacturers of engines. The norms for foreign investment and import of technology have also been liberalised over the years for manufacture of vehicles. At present, 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) is permissible under the automatic route in this sector, including passenger car segment. The import of technology for technology upgradation on royalty payment of 5% without any duration limit and lump sum payment of USD 2 million is also allowed under automatic route in this sector. The Indian automotive industry has already attained a turnover of Rs. 1,65,000 crore (34 billion USD) and has provided direct and indirect employment to 1.31 crore people in the country.

The growth of Indian middle class, with increasing purchasing power, along with strong macro-economic fundamentals have attracted the major auto manufacturers to Indian market. The market linked exchange rate, well established financial market, stable policy governance work and availability of trained manpower have also shifted new capacities and flow of capital to the auto industry of India. All these have not only enhanced competition in auto companies and resulted in multiple choices for Indian consumers at competitive costs, but have also ensured a remarkable improvement in the industry's productivity, which is one of the highest in Indian manufacturing sector.

The Department of Heavy Industry, under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, is the main agency in India for promoting the growth and development of the automotive industry. The department assists the industry in achievement of its expansion plans through policy initiatives, suitable interventions for restructuring of tariffs and trade, promotion of technological collaboration and up-gradation as well as research and development. The department is also concerned with the development of the heavy engineering industry, machine tools industry, heavy electrical industry, industrial machinery, etc.

The automobile sector recorded growth of 13.56% in 2006-07. During the year 2007-08 (April-December), the industry decelerated at 3.49%. The automobile exports crossed the US$ 1 billion mark in 2003-04 and increased to US$ 2.76 billion in 2006-07. The industry exported 15% of its passenger car production in 2006-07, 10% of commercial vehicles production, 26% three wheelers and 7% two wheelers. Similarly, during the year 2006-07, the auto component industry continued its high growth path and emerged as one of the fastest growing sector in Indian engineering industry by clocking 21% growth in output during the year. This industry crossed a total turnover of over US $ 15 billion (Rs. 64,500 crore), with exports of US $ 2.9 billion (Rs. 12,643 crore) during the year. Investment in the industry also grew by over Rs. 4500 crore during the year as the industry continued to invest in capacity enhancements and new greenfield sites to cope with the increasing demand. The auto component industry’s export growth was 15% in 2006-07. While, the total imports was US $ 3.3 billions (Rs. 14,644 crore). On the quality and productivity front, auto component industry maintained its leadership with more than 95% companies being certified as per the ISO 9000 system standards and more than 70% of the companies are certified as per the ISO/TS 16949 standards. It has also the distinction of having the maximum number of 11 Deming award winning companies.