UK stutters, Japan stumbles as India leapfrogs in list of biggest auto markets

The Indian automobile industry is on an upswing with demand for passenger vehicles, tractors and commercial vehicles, in particular, witnessing a pers
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New players like BYD are looking at creating inroads in the Indian auto market. (Amit Sharma)
New players like BYD are looking at creating inroads in the Indian auto market.

The Indian automobile industry is the world's third largest after recently overtaking Japan and building a sizeable lead over traditionally strong markets like the UK, Germany and others. India is now only behind China and the US in this list, and a positive sentiment and a strong demand is more than likely to keep spirits up.

The Indian automobile industry is on an upswing with demand for passenger vehicles, tractors and commercial vehicles, in particular, witnessing a persistent boost. The introduction of new models, a gradual move towards electric mobility as well as better purchasing power in the aftermath of lockdown months are some of the factors credited for adding wind to the sails. But the story of Indian automobile industry faring strong is in sharp contrast to tales from countries like Japan and the UK where the sprint has turned into more of a stutter.

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Take the case of the UK. According to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders data collated by AFP, around 775,000 cars were made in the country in 2022. This is down 10 per cent from a year ago and is the lowest since 1956. Two manufacturers - Nissan and Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover - accounted for more than half of all cars manufactured. The biggest challenge in production has been the shortage of semiconductor while many other crucial components from China also caused supply-chain issues. As such, experts say the issue isn't as much about lukewarm demand but the inability to meet the demand.

Then there is Japan. New car sales in the country in 2022 were the lowest in 45 years. It was in 1977 when the industry saw similar sales figures. Domestic auto sales fell for the fourth consecutive year. And a resurgence in demand in the near future is unlikely. (Read full report here)

The charge then is being led by China, the world's largest automotive market, as well as the US where demand for larger vehicles remains strong. India too is likely to retain its third spot.

(With agency inputs)

First Published Date: 26 Jan 2023, 10:14 AM IST
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