The automotive industry is a wide range of companies and organizations involved in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and selling of motor vehicles. It is one of the world's most important economic sectors by revenue. The automotive industry does not include industries dedicated to the maintenance of automobiles following delivery to the end-user, such as automobile repair shops and motor fuel filling stations. Automotive industry is the key driver of any growing economy. It plays a pivotal role in country's rapid economic and industrial development. It caters to the requirement of equipment for basic industries like steel, non-ferrous metals, fertilisers, refineries, petrochemicals, shipping, textiles, plastics, glass, rubber, capital equipments, logistics, paper, cement, sugar, etc. It facilitates the improvement in various infrastructure facilities like power, rail and road transport. Due to its deep forward and backward linkages with almost every segment of the economy, the industry has a strong and positive multiplier effect and thus propels progress of a nation. The automotive industry comprises of the automobile and the auto component sectors. It includes passenger cars; light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles; multi-utility vehicles such as jeeps, scooters, motor-cycles, three wheelers, tractors, etc; and auto components like engine parts, drive and transmission parts, suspension and braking parts , electricals, body and chassis parts; etc.
The global automotive car market is growing at a rate of only 2 percent per annum and is not expected to pick up in the near term. Growth has dropped due to the increasing levels of saturation in the larger car markets of the world. Worldwide the trend is towards ensuring that one's products are superior in terms of quality.
This will enhance the useful life of cars and, hence, slow down growth in sales.The world car production has increased from 44.66 mn in 1996 to an estimated 48.3 mn cars in 1999. Japan, Canada and USA brought about the major increases, which contribute to 53% of the world's car production. The largest car market - the US market expects car sales to decline 8 to 9 per cent to 16 million cars in 2001, as compared to 17.4 million cars sold in 2000.
The USA and Japan are the leaders with around 42% of the total world market. However, since the last two to three years, the international passenger car industry has been witnessing an over capacity of more than 30%. The trend suggests that industry volumes may grow by just 2% or around 10 mn vehicles per year.
If this situation continues for the next few years the world car market may witness shakeout in the near future. Already signs towards this are being observed as the phenomenon of mergers catches on. The recent mergers in the international car market are Ford-Volvo, Renault-Nissan, Daimler-Chrysler. A few more players are expected to join the fray in the next few years so as to strengthen their hold in the world market. Among the top car manufacturing companies General Motors and Ford Motors group of USA lead with a contribution of 15.8% and 11.6%, of world car production, respectively. Volkswagen and Toyota stand third and fourth with more than 9% contribution each to the world car production.
The global domination of the larger automotive manufacturers is slowly on the wane and the trend in sales is shifting towards more "regio-centric" products. Automakers that have been enjoying a generally prosperous spell would have to rethink on the way vehicles are designed, manufactured, distributed or sold. With global consolidation in the car industry, it is expected that more international players will work closely to bring about operational efficiencies. By nature, the car industry is highly capital-intensive and vast amounts of money are being spent on R&D. With the players getting together to...
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