Many youngsters dream of buying a personal vehicle immediately after they settle down in their careers. A car (also two-wheeler) is an aspirational item besides, offering functional utility to most of us.
With limited options post-independence, the passenger car industry had very little to offer in terms of models or technology. The industry hit the growth path only after the liberalisation of the Indian economy (1991). Multinational carmakers like Suzuki (Japan), Toyota (Japan), and Hyundai (South Korea) were permitted to invest in manufacturing activities. Technology up gradations brought new models, and the Indian consumer got a taste of world-class cars for the first time.
The new automobile companies in India changed the entire scenario. Mass manufacture and competition kept the prices reasonable, and the vast number of bookings at the launch of every new model indicated the level of pent up demand in the market.
India had suddenly become an attractive destination for global auto-majors. By the year 2000, about 12 auto-makers were operating in the country. The market continues to grow, and today you can buy all major automobile brands right here in India.
The word automobile is traditionally used to describe a car or a four-wheeler for passenger transportation. But in business, the automobile industry includes all types of vehicles, from passenger cars to two and three-wheelers, commercial vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles and automotive components. Therefore, to get the right perspective of the automobile industry in India, one must look at all vehicles operating in the country.
Let's look at some industry figures.
Domestic Market (2019-20) Share by Type of Vehicles (by production number)
(* Source: SIAM)
Indian Automobile Industry : Domestic Sales Trend (in Numbers)
** 2020 / 2021 are Covid pandemic years
Major Automobile Companies in India: A snapshot
1. Tata Motors Limited
Among the oldest automobile companies in India, Tata Motors was set up in 1945 to meet the demand for commercial vehicles. Today, Tata Motors manufacturers a wide range of automobiles, which includes trucks, buses, coaches, vans, construction equipment, military vehicles and passenger cars. Tata Motors is one of the leading producers of buses and trucks in the world.
Tata Motors is credited with launching the first fully-indigenous passenger car in India, the Tata Indica, in 1998. The company also introduced the much-discussed people's car, Nano, in 2008.
- Manufacturing locations: Pune (Maharashtra), Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Lucknow (UP), Dharwad (Karnataka), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand), and Sanand (Gujarat)
- Passenger Car brands: Nexon, Hexa, Safari, Tiago, Indica, Winger
Also Read: Car Brands in India
2. Mahindra and Mahindra Limited
Mahindra was founded in 1945 and, for a long time, was focusing on tractors. Today the company is a leader in the SUV segment with several popular models, besides being a leading producer of tractors.
- Manufacturing Locations: Chakan (Maharashtra) Kandivali (Mumbai, Maharashtra), Nasik (Maharashtra), Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Hyderabad (Telangana)
- Leading Brands: Scorpio, Bolero, XUV 500 / 700, Thar, KUV 100, Treo Zor, Cruzio.
3. Bajaj Auto Limited
Bajaj Auto is going to complete a century of existence shortly, in 2026. In the initial years, the company used to sell imported two / three-wheelers in India.
Bajaj Auto subsequently revolutionised personal transportation in the country, and for decades, the Chetak scooter was a status symbol of the Indian middle class. Then, in the '80s, Bajaj Auto expanded its product portfolio and forayed into the export market. As a result, Bajaj scooter soon became a significant global brand. Bajaj Auto, in turn, became one of the most valued automobile companies in India.
People remember Bajaj as the most prominent three-wheeler producer, providing cheap and convenient transportation to millions across various cities in India. Bajaj Auto is the largest producer of three-wheelers in the world.
- Manufacturing Locations: Chakan and Waluj (Maharashtra), Pantnagar (Uttarakhand)
- Leading brands: Pulsar, Dominar, KTM
Also Read: Best Tyre Brands In India
4. Ashok Leyland Limited
The journey began in 1948 as an assembler of the British Austin cars in India. Several takeovers and mergers later, the company is the flagship of NRI group, Hinduja, based out of London.
Ashok Leyland today is a significant player in both the light commercial vehicles and buses segment, and also manufactures specialised defence systems.
Besides India, Ashok Leyland is a leading brand in the Middle East and other Asian markets. Thus, being a leading exporter, Ashok Leyland is at the forefront among all automobile companies in India.
- Manufacturing Locations: Ennore and Hosur (both in Tamil Nadu), Alwar (Rajasthan), Bhandara (Maharashtra) and Pantnagar(Uttarakhand)
- Leading Brands: Comet, Tusker, Titan
5. Hero Motocorp Limited
A joint venture between the Hero Cycles group and Honda of Japan led to the establishment of Hero Honda in 1984. Stylish, fuel-efficient motorbikes were the hallmark of the company. The new generation 100 cc bikes took the market by storm in the early 80’ sbecause of their long mileage to a litre of petrol.
By the end of 2010, the ownership pattern changed, and with the dissolving of the joint venture, Hero Motors became the lead promoter. The name of the company changed subsequently to Hero MotorCorp.
- Manufacturing Location: Dharuhera (Haryana)
- Leading Brands: Splendour, Glamour, Xpulse, Passion, Maestro
6. Hyundai Motor India Limited
The South Korean auto-major established its Indian subsidiary in 1996. Almost an unknown brand in India, Hyundai offered the first effective challenge to Maruti’s free run as the frontrunner of the passenger vehicle segment in India.
The company takes pride in developing the most advanced production and quality testing capabilities among all the automobile companies in India.
- Manufacturing Locations: Irungattukottai and Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu
- Leading Brands: i-10, i-20, Santro,Verna,Creta, Alcazar
7. Maruti Suzuki India Limited
The company was formed in 1981 as a Government of India (GOI) unit. In 2003, the GOI sold its stake to Suzuki Motors of Japan, and Maruti Udyog became a public limited company.
Maruti is credited with changing the face of the Indian passenger car industry. Consumers got the first taste of a technologically developed product. Maruti has maintained its grip on the market and every second car sold in India is a Maruti. Therefore, it is not surprising that people remember Maruti as the leader of the automobile companies in India.
- Manufacturing Locations: Gurgaon and Manesar in Haryana, Sanand (Gujarat)
- Leading Brands: Alto, Swift-Dzire, Vitarra, Baleno, S-Class
There are several other leading automobile companies in India like Honda Motors, Eicher, Force Motors, Volkswagen, Nissan, MG, Renault and the latest entrant, Kia Motors.
The high level of competition benefits Indian consumers immensely in terms of technology, design and pricing. With the present trend continuing, the market is sure to see a few more global names make it to the growing list of automobile companies in India.
Stay updated with new business ideas & business tips with OkCredit blogs in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi & more!
Download OkCredit now & get rid of your bookkeeping hassles.
OkCredit is 100% Made in India.
Q. Which is the largest car company in India?
Ans. Maruti Suzuki is the undisputed market leader in the passenger car segment with almost 50% market share.
Q. Why are most global carmakers entering India? Is India a vast market?
Ans. Car sales are growing fast and demand is likely to increase in future too. Therefore, India is an attractive destination.
Q. Why are so many new car models launched every year?
Ans. New models are launched to create sub-segments and niches which will attract specific sections of consumers. In addition, with rising income levels, many people are regularly upgrading their cars every three to four years.
Q. How do Indian cars compare in quality terms with foreign ones?
Ans. In 2018-19 and 2019-20, passenger car exports from India were over 6 Lakh units. This fact clearly explains that there are no issues with the quality of Indian cars.
Q. What is the status of manufacturing electric vehicles in India
Ans. All major automobile companies in India are at an advanced level of R&D with electric vehicles. However, few brands are already in the market. As issues like charging point networks, taxation, and battery costs are resolved, the market is expected to grow further.
We hope our article turned out to be useful for you. For more such informative content, you can visit these linked articles as well:
|Biodiesel Manufacturers in India||Plywood Manufacturers in India||Cosmetics Manufacturers in India|
|Electric Vehicle Manufacturers in India||Lithium Battery Manufacturers in India||PCB Manufacturers in India|