History of Cars in India

Car seems to be the best automotive suitable and preferable all over the world. Today India is having one the world’s largest automotive industry with an annual production of 23.37 million vehicles in FY 2014-15.The first motorcar was seen in the streets of India in the year 1897 in Mumbai (earlier Bombay).

In the year 1903 an American company started its taxi cabs service with a fleet of 50 cars. For about 50 years after first car arrive, cars were imported in India and till world-war I around 4000 vehicles were imported. During the years between wars a little production started in India with the establishment of some assembly plants in Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai. Later in 1940’s it was realized that it’s better to concentrate on progressive manufacture rather than assembly on imported components. Then only companies like Hindustan Motors and Premier Automobiles ltd. set up their factories in India. HM was established in 1942 but the actual production stated in 1949. In 1944 PAL was founded by Seth Wachand Hirachand and in 1946 it commenced the assembly of Dodge Desoto and Plymouth cars at Kurla plant. Also Read about Useful Car Accessories that you must buy.
car history in india

50 years following Independence HM and PAL together symbolized India’s car industry focusing on passenger cars at that time. Four wheelers were considered to be most suitable at that time for people and army as well. Hence Mahindra brothers manufactured world’s most popular four wheeler “American Jeep”. Now Indian automobile industry was recognized as the most important one and should be controlled and regulated by Government. Government appointed the first tarrif commission in 1952 and terminated the activities of assemblers that did not have any production program.

1954 can be said as a turning point in Indian auto history because most assemblers such as general motors and ford decided to leave India rather than to undertake manufacture. Upto 1956 the categories of vehicles were limited to 3 passenger cars 3 medium trucks 1 heavy truck. No new entrant was to be allowed even after having full-fledged manufacturing. In late 1960’s the stricter approach advised by the committee discouraged the acquisition of technology by foreign investment of the western world. The three decades following establishment of passenger car industry and early 1980’s were the dark ages for those whose choice was limited to only two models of Ambassador and Padmini.

There came a big revolution in automotive industry in the year 1985 when India announced its famous broad banding policy. In 1972 HM brought Vauxhall victor transplanting its aging ambassador engine into it and contessa was born.

In 1993 de-licensing of industry opened the gates for international auto makers into the world’s largest democracy. India was a much tougher market than they imagined. They underestimated Maruti’s hold on market and were unable to compete with it on price. Eventually this forced wide range of cars price fosranging between 500000 to 800000 flushed into the market till date.

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