India is fast emerging as a major automobile market, regarded as second only to China in terms of volume. Recently, GM launched Chevrolet Aveo ahead of its US and European markets, Lamborghini formally announced its foray with launch of its best selling model ‘Gallardo’ and even Kia Motors plans to make India manufacturing hub, further indicating India’s growing significance. India’s total automobile market crossed the 8.03 million unit mark, grown by 12% in Apr – Feb period of 2005-06 compared to 7.17 million sold in the same period previous year, as per figures released by the apex body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). India produced 8.8 million vehicles of all categories at a growth of 15% over 7.6 million units manufactured during same period last year. India’s automotive export has also shown vertical growth 13% with 733,339 units shipped to the international market against 557,457 units last year.
Indian car market is largely dominated by smaller hatchbacks, however, size of the mid -size and luxury segments has also grown significantly. India’s cumulative car sales reached to 771,116 units against 730,455 units in the Apr – Feb period of 2005-06. While 933,577 cars produced in the mentioned period compared to 864,826 units previous year same period. India’s car exports clocked 7% growth, exporting 156,861 units (145,984). Suzuki’s Indian JV Maruti Udyog remains the market leader, riding mainly on the hatchback versions, it sold 404,347 units (+8%, 373,359). Hyundai Motor India Ltd is distant second with sales improved to 136,215 units (125,556) at a growth of 8%. Tata Motors grew marginally by 3%, sold 133,298 units over 129,187 units last year, other significant players recorded positive trends are Honda Siel Cars India and Skoda Auto by selling 34,896 (+13%) and 8,615 (+38%) units respectively. While Ford India, Hindustan Motors, General Motors India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Daimler Chrysler India recorded fall in sales at 21,359 (-2%), 12,964 (-2%), 9,752 (-31%), 8,389 (-11%), 1338 (-7%,) respectively. Fiat India lost considerable ground in the Indian market with sales reduced to merely 943 units, down by 83%.
Hyundai Motors emerged as the largest car exporter, exported 94,578 units, up by 27% over last year export of 74,739 units. Tata Motors recorded excellent growth of 152% by exporting 16,341 units (6,472). Whereas, Maruti faced reverses in the international market, exports down 28% at 31,675 units (43,890).
Utility vehicle (UV) segment has also experienced positive growth trends in the last half decade and with domestic players Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Tata Motors dominating the segment. M&M continue to dominate by sheer volumes as it sold 74,416 units at a 4% growth and Tata Motors recorded 10 % growth by selling 32,948 units. Toyota Kirloskar is another major player recorded positive trends, sold 32,499 UV’s, grown by 15%. The total size of the UV segment reached to 171,320 units against 155,442 units at a 10% growth over the previous year. India’s UV export recorded marginal growth of 1% at 3,798 units.
Motorcycles has emerged as the largest two-wheeler sub-segment in all categories of vehicles as sales of bikes reached whooping 5.27 million units over 4.52 million, at a growth of 17% and exports of bikes reached 348,720 units, witnessed 45% growth