Driverless Cars Essay

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BusinessLine
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

AMP 2026: Get the ecosystem in place first
As India seeks a greater role in the auto
space, some basic challenges need to be met
MURALI GOPALAN

Suzuki Motor recalls 453,225
minivehicles in Japan
Suzuki Motor Corp issued a recall for 453,225
minivehicles in Japan, to fix flaws in the blower
fan motor of the air—conditioning.
The Japanese carmaker also issued a recall for
hundreds of minivehicles in Hong Kong, but
did not specify the exact figures.
Defects in the automobiles have led to three
fires, but Suzuki says it has received no reports
of crashes or injuries related to the issue.
The recall covers ...view middle of the document...

Some participants at the convention wondered why there
was such a rush to get this new
vision statement in place. Given
that some important targets like
the projected turnover of $145
billion will be missed, was there
really a compelling reason to announce AMP 2026?
On the brighter side, this vision statement perhaps reflects
India’s intent to be recognised as
an automotive powerhouse,
next only to China, during the
course of this decade and the
next.
Leader in waiting
The country is projected to produce nearly six million cars by
2019 which will make it the third
largest after China and the US.
China is already rolling out over
15 million cars from its factories
and this number is expected to
double by 2025.
The coming years will see a
greater global role for India in
the auto space (both in exports

of vehicles and spares) thanks to
its inherent strengths in costs
and quality. Yet, there are constant challenges to cope with
like road deaths, poor roads and
growing traic. A global auto
power just cannot aford to turn
a blind eye to these issues.
In addition, as demand for vehicles grows, it only puts an additional strain on the country’s
fuel requirements. The import
bill last fiscal was a whopping
$150 billion.
Though things look better this
year with crude prices cooling
of to levels under $100/barrel,
there is no telling what could
happen in the near future. After
all, it was barely six years ago
when crude spiralled to $148/bbl
and had the oil sector
shell-shocked.
The Government has already
deregulated petrol prices and it
seems only a matter of time before diesel follows suit. For long,
the auto sector has complained
that there is no fuel pricing policy in place and this will help
them plan better in the years
ahead.
Companies could be hardpressed otherwise to cope with
unusual demand spurts which
arise from artificial pricing. This
was especially evident in 2011-12
when almost everyone queued
up for diesel cars thanks to the

public sector companies were in
the midst of a liquidity crunch
arising from the crude price
crisis.

Get set go India is projected to produce nearly six million cars by 2019 but still needs to work on supporting
infrastructure like roads, bridges and flyovers. PTI

fact that it was considerably
cheaper than petrol.
New alternatives
It looks as if fossil fuels will continue to dominate the Indian
landscape in the years to come
unless the Government plays a
proactive role in promoting alternative options. If electric cars
have to become popular, there
needs to be a roadmap in place
which includes fiscal incentives
and creation of infrastructure
like charging points. Till these
are in place, electric mobility will
remain a pipedream.

MURALI GOPALAN

Mitsubishi Motors Corp is leading a $600
million investment in Indonesia to build a
factory and develop a new car, as the Japanese
auto maker seeks to expand in a growing and
increasingly...

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