in a decade (almost 6% down to 18.3 lakh units in April-December FY14) and commercial vehicle volumes are in a two-year slump (down 18% to 4.7 lakh units). But most players believe that with the right India-specific products, growth is just around the corner. No more will global models modified for India work—this Auto Expo saw a frenzy of compact vehicles unveiled by Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, General Motors, Ford and Nissan, with every company either showing a new hatchback, compact sedan or a compact SUV developed specifically for India.
But the industry understands that only having the right products may not guarantee success. What was a common theme among all auto-makers is the fact that every company is waiting for the general elections later this year to give a stable government that can improve business sentiment, the country’s economic growth trajectory and thereby, put more money in the hands of consumers to spend on discretionary purchases like cars. It is felt that incentives from policy-makers are deemed necessary to give a jumpstart to the auto industry after two very slow years which the industry will build upon.