The numbers can make you dizzy. India is, with 1.3 billion inhabitants, a giant in terms of population, not yet in terms of consumption. But the mass effect is such that with the middle and upper classes alone, the Indian market managed to exceed 25 million units during the last financial year. What arouse the greed of foreign manufacturers who see, after China, India awakening in turn.
Dominated by small vehicles and, it must be emphasized, by the historical specialist of the genre Maruti-Suzuki which monopolizes half of the sales, the Indian market is set to explode. While two- and three-wheelers are counted in automobile sales and represent 76% of the total, they create a pool of customers for the near future favorable to the automobile. To help this, the average household income has tripled between 2010 and 2020 and the very young population (25 years of average age forecast in 2025) intends to live and consume differently from their parents. Like in China.
With 72 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants envisaged for 2025, the margin for progress is colossal compared to Western countries stalled at 500 and more per 1,000 inhabitants. And these are now stagnating, which justifies the interest of foreign brands in taking advantage of Indian growth and using low-cost industrial facilities to water all of Asia. With a challenge, not to be manipulated as was the case in China where the government played skillfully in order to capture Western know-how and, this objective achieved, to get rid of it in order to play solo.
If the promise of an inexhaustible Chinese market eludes Westerners, India appears as a compensation alternative. Renault-Nissan can, in line with the recovery program announced last week, reorient its strategy. And with an announced program of six vehicles - three for each brand in Siamese mode - set a date for the future.
Already present for fifteen years in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) where Renault has reached the milestone of 100,000 vehicles sold per year, the Alliance will invest 600 million US dollars and create 2,000 new jobs. There is also an R center
In this, the two manufacturers are counting on a resolute policy of support from the Indian government for the purchase of electric vehicles. But they intend to offer larger SUVs (compact C segment) which, it is hardly original, correspond to the global preference of motorists.
"The new models will not only be aimed at Indian customers, but will also mark a significant increase in exports from India, which will increase the plant's utilization rate to 80% and secure several thousand jobs for RNAIPL plant in Chennai for years to come," the statement reads. It also evokes an exemplary industrial hub since it will be the first to move towards carbon neutrality. But as Tamil Nadu's Minister of Industry, S Krishnan, proclaims, "It really brings the Make in Tamil Nadu and Make in India for the World initiative to life."