The Indian car industry has grown to become the 4th biggest in the world which makes a lot of people think that it must’ve been 100 years old. But that isn’t true and here is a glimpse into its history.
This is a great video for all those who wish to learn about the history of the Indian car industry. India gained independence from the British in 1947. Hence, it was around this time that Indian automobile players were established. However, the first cars on the Indian roads plied a long time back. Those were direct imports by the Britishers that were living in India since the 1800s. But the proper Indian carmakers began their journey post-1945.
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Indian Car Industry History
The video mentions almost all the prominent milestones in this journey. Between 1942 and 1948, the companies that were established included Hindustan Motors, Premier, Mahindra, Standard and Tata Motors. Post-independence, the government of India decided to lay the foundation for the OEM industry to supply the Indian carmakers to commence production of indigenous vehicles. At the same time, there were tariffs imposed on importing cars from outside to promote the local brands.
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In 1957, the first Indian car was born known as the iconic Hindustan Ambassador. Shockingly enough, the production model remained active until 2014. 7 years later in 1964, the rival Premier launched the Padmini which also became quite a popular alternative to the slightly larger Ambassador. However, the market remained small during the 60s but agricultural and off-roading cars gain popularity. That is when Mahindra and Tata sold a ton of tractors and trucks. In 1973, Maruti Motors was given the license by the government to manufacture cars along with 2 other companies. A joint venture between Maruti and Suzuki was signed back in 1982 and the rest is history. The Maruti 800 was launched in 1983 as a result.
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In the early 1990s, India opened to privatisation leading to the introduction of carmakers like GM, Hyundai and Toyota into our market. At the same time, Tata Motors launched the legendary Sierra. There were tie-ups between various other companies like Hindustan-GM and Premier-Peugeot. The first Indian car, Tata Indica was launched in 1998. In 2008, Tata bought the Jaguar Land Rover and also launched the cheapest car in the world, the Nano which ran until 2018. Currently, the top players in our industry include Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Mahindra, and Kia. In fact, the Indian carmakers have taken their first steps into the electrified future too. Needless to say, the future of mobility in India looks bright and exciting.
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