vibhor

A year of disappointment for automotive industry!

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"A promise is a promise," said Ratan Tata while unveiling the Nano at the beginning of the year, putting India on the global automotive map. However, the year 2008, which began with a bang, ended with a whimper, with controversy and the downturn dogging the auto industry.

The world's least priced car, the Nano, was supposed to start carrying the common man of India by Durga Puja, but the Singur controversy ensured it won't happen till next year.

High interest rates and lack of retail finance, coupled with rising input costs, threw plans out of gear for automakers and in November the industry saw the worst ever monthly vehicle sales with a decline of 17.98 per cent.

It, however, was not a year without its share of bright spots. The Nano of the Tatas inspired global auto majors like Renault, along with Bajaj Auto and Hyundai, to choose the country as their ultra low-cost car hub, while Japan's Honda launched the first hybrid car -- Civic Hybrid -- in the country.

Proving to be the star attraction of the 9th Auto Expo, the Nano helped the biennial fair draw 1.8 mn people, generating a record business of about Rs 20,000 crore through 2,000 exhibitors, including over 65 vehicle manufacturers worldwide. Of about 35 model launches, the Nano was the cynosure of all eyes -- domestic and foreign visitors alike.

Other car manufacturers like General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Toyota and Honda jumped into the compact car bandwagon after the government reduced excise duty on small cars to 12 per cent from 16 per cent in the Budget.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki, on the other hand, unveiled the 5th global model of parent Suzuki, hatchback A-Star, which would be manufactured only in India. (cybersteering).

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Ya but still we cant say that it was year of dissappointment..

Although sales dipped down in some months but in 1st 8 months i suppose sales were good.. There were many new launches which helped sales like i10, Swift dzire, A-star, etc..

This year even saw the return of 2 big manufacturers like Fiat with its Linea(it delayed only due to mumbai terror attacks) and Mitsubishi with its Outlander.

Even 2 indian manufacturers aimed at global companies with the products like Vista which is much improved tata and upcoming Xylo which is again aimed at Innova and looks promising too..

Inshort this year saw many new products and promises from Global manufacturers like Renault, Nissan, VW, etc..

This year was also good for luxury manufacturers like Mercedes and Audi for their C class and A4 resp.

Means inshort although recession is there but for customers who were interested in buying, this year proved very good due to many good launches and thus increasing competition ..

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Yes, the Indian auto industry has really faced a very tough time this year. The year started with a big bang and ended with woes. However, in the month of December, some of the car manufacturers have experienced good sales because of the lower car prices in response to the reduction in excise duty. Others are awaiting the New Year splash with a huge bunch of new car launches next year.

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Of course like vibhor quoted its disappointing year for auto industry in terns of sales in third quarter but still we were able to get fresh new projects like Daimler Hero,Mahindra Navistar, Renault - Nissan, AshokLeyland Nissan.

There may be some delay in these projects due to global Economic Sunami but still they will drive the Indian Auto Industry and keep the pace going in the upcoming years.

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From the customers part, its not satisfactory....i think so. bcoz, new models are all postponed from 2008 to 2009(xylo, linea, punto, i20(finally launched yesterday))...swift's(it has its own cons) d only satisfied model with modern day looks, but its too not updated for last 2 years. still, same m800(25 yrs last long...still on), alto are best selling cars. overall, it gets boredom, in customer point of view..

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No i dont agree with you msankar..this year was a blast for customers..the old models you are talking about will be on in next year also coz this is India buddy, until the vehicle isnt ban by our govt companies will not phase out especially MSIL..And punto isnt delayed it was scheduled for mar-april 2009 only and ya Xylo and Linea are delayed but then there is some reason and yes Mumbai is one of the biggest market and they cant ignore it, so there decision wasnt wrong..

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I wud say this is the biggest year for customers as there was a sharp drop in tax structure favouring customers.

for msankar - facelift of swift and tat too ur saying its aready two years. Wat I feel its only two years and this is the model which received minor face lift even with in two year of product launch.

Other models favouring this season may be i20,i10 kappa,A star, Altis, City,C Class,Outlander to name a few

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I wud say this is the biggest year for customers as there was a sharp drop in tax structure favouring customers.

for msankar - facelift of swift and tat too ur saying its aready two years. Wat I feel its only two years and this is the model which received minor face lift even with in two year of product launch.

Other models favouring this season may be i20,i10 kappa,A star, Altis, City,C Class,Outlander to name a few
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How can you call this year to be the biggest year for car manufacturers? Though this year started with a big bang in the industry but in the later part of the year, car sales fell drastically. Yes I known that the tax structure also fell down, but were the car consumers able to get car finance? No they could not get because of the tight credit crunch in the market. What about the heavy loss Indian auto component manufacturers experienced because GM and Ford cut down their orders of car components. However, the sales was pretty high in mid December because of the reduced excise duty but then, the overall year was definitely a curse for the Indian car market.

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