Indian Auto Industry Set To Quintuple
India's auto industry currently accounts for five percent of the country's rapidly-expanding Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the Economic Times of India, the government has set the sector a new goal: quintupling its size by 2016 (the red-hot Indian economy is set to merely double in the same period). By then, the auto industry should be a $150b+ segment, making up ten percent of India's GDP. The Times says economic liberalization– allowing unrestricted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and removing foreign currency neutralization and export obligations– has been the key to India's automotive boom. India currently builds 11m vehicles per year. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sees the car biz as ambassadors for "Brand India;" he's courting a further $35b – $40b in FDI for the industry. That's 16m Tata Nanos, in case you're wondering.
The Tata Nano really is a shitbox. Top speed is 65 MPH (105 KPH), for starters, with a 0-70 KPH (43 MPH) at 14 seconds. You get what you pay for. However, it sure as hell beats trying to jam your entire family on a motor scooter or one of those three wheel propane powered thingys they have over there. The Nano competes with those, not with actual cars.
Be fair, Geotpf. You're looking down the wrong end of the telescope, man! The Tato Nano may be a "shitbox" to you - but you youself admitted how much better it would be than "trying to jame your entire family on a motor scooter or one of those three wheel propane powered thingys they have over there." True true true. Look at the microcars which were popular in Europe and Great Britain after the ruination of World War II. The Goggomobile, the Lloyd, the Bond, AC and Reliant 3 wheelers of England, the BMW Isetta, the Messerschmitt, the tiny Fiats, the NSU 600, etc. etc. I bet had you lived back then, you'd have derisively called them "shitmobiles" too, but just like now in India, these microcars were a huge step up from a small motorcycle and sidecar or a scooter. India is about where Western Europe was 1/2 century ago. They're going to go through their microcar phase, and if the oil holds out, they'll gradually move towards "proper" cars just as Europe did. I think the Tata Nano is a heck of an engineering accomplishment, in fact. I'd love to be able to take a spin in one, but alas, I don't suppose the Michigan State Police would "be amused" if somehow I could get one here and take it to the road. But I love simplicity and love cars whether they be large, small, or micro. In fact, I was lucky enough to see the Lane Microcar Museum in Nashville this January, and enjoyed it.
Quintupling its size in the next eight years. So much for reducing gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions. I wonder what the ecofreaks will have to say about that and how the Indians will reply.