Global car makers announced ambitious plans to take over a bigger wedge of India's growing car market. Japan’s Suzuki Motors released its Concept Car A-Star, while latest low-cost specialist Tata plans a passenger range. Germany's Volkswagen promised to increase its Indian production. But Tata’s ‘People’s Car’ continued to lure the crowd on the day of its launch at the Auto Expo. This rear engine car aims to trade against two-wheelers in India; it also has created a sensation for ultra-cheap cars amongst big car makers like Nissan and Renault.
Japan’s big name in the car industry, Suzuki, would launch one new model each year in India to be in the good books of all car lovers’. Suzuki targets to make at least 30 percent of the three million cars Suzuki aims to sell worldwide. The global car manufacturers and car component manufacturers perhaps see India as the best export hub, since India provides a low wage market and tax benefits.
“Maruti is ready to play a global role in Suzuki's global operations,” said Nakanishi, adding that the company would “launch more world strategic models (from India) to boost exports to Europe and the rest of the world.”
Auto top brass, Hyundai Motor, Ford, General Motors, and Volkswagen have been looking towards India and other emerging markets to make up for slow sales in the West. “We're in a starting phase for India”, Volkswagen India president Joerg Mueller said. It also aims to introduce a small car in the country by 2010. Even Ford announced to invest $500 million to increase its productivity in India and begin a cheap small car project soon.
India's car market is a huge draw because car penetration is just seven per 1,000 people compared to 550 per 1,000 in countries such as Germany, said industry official Dilip Chenoy.