Monday, January 16, 2012
By Manoj Kumawat
Is India ready to welcome more cars?
Indian auto market is sure first on the list of auto makers across globe as is revealed by the enthusiasm and number of national and international exhibitors who participated in the recently concluded Auto Expo 2012. Where auto biggies like Ford, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen to name a few had displayed some of their best offerings for the country, there has also been a significant increase in offerings by the domestic players such as Maruti, Tata and Mahindra besides other.
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The Auto Expo has given a glimpse of the future strategy of the car makers for India and the cars that will be launched in India soon. Though there were slipping sales in the last year with only 2.5 million cars sold last fiscal, experts believe that there will be a 14 to 16% growth in the passenger car sales by 2021. Then the annual car sales in India will be 9 to 10 million units. Whoop! That’s a big number. It is this tremendous potential in Indian car market that has attracted many car makers to pitch in their cars in the country.
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India is the seventh largest auto industry in the world. However, auto experts fear and question whether India really is ready for such an inflow of cars in India. Delhites and Mumbaikers and others in India feel the pain of traffic jams and shrinking parking space. As per a report there are only 100 car owners per thousand in Delhi and the traffic situation in the city is worse. What will happen when 450 people (average per thousand in the West) will own a car? It will be no less worse than a snail-paced traffic situation then. However, experts also believe that the infrastructure will be matched to hold such number cars then. But it is a far cry from here and looking at the tortoise-paced growth of the country, it would be quite unexpected if India is able to set up the infrastructure like roads, over bridges etc to enable smooth traffic.