2008 might be the year of the small cars in India

GM knows it's smart to get into the Indian car market. Ford is there, too, although perhaps they need to work on the marketing angle a bit. There are also plenty of domestic automakers like Tata Motors, which is about to launch its low-cost car. As BusinessWeek reports, the Indian small car floodgates are about to open.

We've written before how an huge increase in the number of vehicles sold in India might be a terrible thing for the environment there (alternately, it might not be that bad). As BusinessWeek puts it, when Tata Motors' $2,200 car launches (probably) in January, it'll face a lot of competition in the sub-$3,000 small car market. Here's how BW describes the coming show-down:

This very-small-car segment is shaping up as a major Indian battleground, thanks to the growth in the Indian middle class and its disposable income. Companies are counting on the small-car projects to push aspirations further. ... Leading the race are ambitious multinationals that lost prior opportunities to be in India and are now anxious to catch up.

As ABG reader Manu reminded us in July, the Indian government has adopted Euro emissions standards, so these new vehicles should be relatively decent on the emissions charts. Still, adding such a huge number of vehicles to a country cannot happen without some consequences.

[Source: Nandini Lakshman / BusinessWeek]

Share This Photo X