INDIAN AUTOMOBILE ON FAST TRACK - OUTLOOK AND DIRECTIONS 2000-01-1411
The Indian automobile industry is passing through a crucial stage. During the 1999 annual session (1)* of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), it was reported that the Industry Ministry of our Government fully appreciated the contribution of the automobile industry to the national exchequer and wanted the association to prepare a comprehensive draft on auto policy with a 10 to 15 years perspective. The Chairman of Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), Mr. Rattan Tata in his thoughtful address to the 39th Annual Session of the Conference of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) on Sept 6, '99 expressed his concern regarding the future of the Indian automotive industry in facing the challenges ahead as the industry is geared to merge with the fast track of global competition. He stressed the need for close cooperation amongst the countries in Asia and hoped for the development of a true Asian car. The background paper entitled “Learning through Global Experiences” (2) highlighted the outlook for India in terms of sales and production costs, impact of global pressures, WTO conformant policy and rate of market growth.
After mulling over the proceedings of these conferences, and considering the somewhat short history of the growth of automobile industry in India, this paper was prepared to give the author's perception of the short falls in our technology, impediments facing our industry and to suggest crucial directions needed for making the policy decisions for societal benefits. One of the important issues addressed in this paper is the wealth of human resource that is available in our country which is untapped. A brief account of the research activities in India in the field of I.C. engines over the past 50 years will be revealing. The next problem addressed is the impact of automobile industry on the environment, which is the most difficult societal problem. It seems that engineering educators and professional societies have a responsibility for providing, in convincing and understandable form, all of the information needed to make beneficial decisions both to the society and automotive industries in evolving appropriate indigenous technology. The observations made in this talk would surely be modified and expanded by the wisdom of the experts assembled in this meeting - a unique occasion for fulfilling the objectives of the SAE 2000 mobility conference.