India's journey that started with Maruti 800, now takes Rolls Royce into business

Tuesday 29 November 2011, 12:40 PM by

Studying the present state of the country, one can realise that among the primary changes that have surfaced within the small-town India, the automotive metamorphosis can be considered as the most noticeable and large-scale change. The remote towns are now witnessing the presence of concrete buildings, crowded streets and clattering vehicles. As a matter of fact, farmers and school teachers, at present, can afford a car.

The actual period of transformation began to crop up during 1991, when the government was debt-ridden and witnessed extremely low foreign exchange reserves, coming its way. In a bid to save itself, India separated itself from socialist beliefs and welcomed globalization, eventually coming out as one of the world's fastest-growing economies today.

Big Dream Car

20 years ago, the per capita income of the country was $350, which is one-quarter of what it is today. As a matter of fact, two decades ago, the small middle-class could purchase a car only in its dreams.

Moreover, at that time, people had two choices in case they could afford a car; the Ambassador, an outdated sedan whose design was inspired from 1950s Britain, and the Maruti 800.

However, what started in the year 1991 has given India a strong and advanced economy, with more than 250 million people living under the middle-class category. The country has built more than 500,000 miles or 800,000 km of roads in the last 20 years. Moreover, the car production and sales have witnessed a great upward trend, helping India to compete with immense aplomb and strength.

It is important to note that small-car giant Maruti sells the most number of cars in India, but auto makers like Mahindra, Ford and Hyundai, to name a few, have infinite factories in the country. Customers today can undoubtedly think of buying a $2,700 Tata Nano and even a $712,000 Ferrari FF.

Indian buyers are quite enthusiastic when it comes to buying cars, as 2.5 million cars were sold last year, which comes out be 25 per cent more than the year before.

Even amidst depressing trends currently, the Indian auto market refuses to give away its coveted position and has a number of effective tools to offset any such situation. In the U.S., a poor year can bring car sales down by more than 15 per cent. However, in India, a bad year still results in a growth of 2 to 4 per cent, to say the least.

Thus, the time has brought in a lot of new things for the Indians to experience, but the development of the automotive sector would irrefutably be the best gift for the people of the country and the economy.

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