Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brand India : Automobiles

Brand India #3 : Indian Automobile Sector - Humble beginning to Global Domination

Previously on Brand India
  1. Brand India#1 : Introduction
  2. Brand India#2 : Lijjat Papad
India was one of the late entrants into the automobile sectors, although the earliest foray into this sector being in 1899 with Castrol India. The Indian automobile sector with a global presence has been a major power pusher for Brand India. In this post I have compiled the information of the major Indian automobile industries in a timeline view from TVS motors in 1911 to maruti in 1981.

The History of the Automobile sector

Karl Benz is generally acknowledged for as the inventor of the modern automobile. In 1879 Benz was granted a patent for his first engine, which had been designed in 1878.His first Motorwagon was built in 1885 and he was awarded the patent for its invention as of his application on January 29, 1886.In 1896, Benz designed and patented the first internal-combustion flat engine, called a boxermotor in German. During the last years of the nineteenth century, Benz was the largest automobile company in the world with 572 units produced in 1899.The large-scale, production-line manufacturing of affordable automobiles was debuted by Ransom Olds at his Oldsmobile factory in 1902. This concept was greatly expanded by Henry Ford, beginning in 1914.

Indian Automobiles and their global presence (According to timeline )

1911 :Early beginnings

TVS Motors

TV Sundram Iyengar and Sons Limited (TVSs) is the holding company for the TVS Group of companies engaged in the manufacturing of almost all kinds of automotive components, two wheelers and a few other industrial products. They are also into the financial services sector. The turnover of the entire group was close to $2 billion in 2003. TVS was founded by T. V. Sundram Iyengar in 1911. Sundaram Iyengar proved himself as a forward thinker when he got his daughter T. S. Soundaram, then a teenage widow, remarried, under the auspice of Mahatma Gandhi. TS Soundaram then involved herself in the Indian independence movement along with Gandhi. She was later honoured with a postal stamp released in her honour.

1945 : The Big Bang year for Indian Automobile sector

Bajaj Auto

Bajaj Auto is a major Indian automobile manufacturer. It is India's largest and the world's 4th largest two- and three-wheeler maker.Over the last decade, the company has successfully changed its image from a scooter manufacturer to a two wheeler manufacturer. Its product range encompasses Scooterettes, Scooters and Motorcycles. Its real growth in numbers has come in the last four years after successful introduction of a few models in the motorcycle segment.Bajaj Auto came into existence on November 29, 1945 as M/s Bachraj Trading Corporation Private Limited. It started off by selling imported two- and three-wheelers in India. In 1959, it obtained license from the Government of India to manufacture two- and three-wheelers and it went public in 1960.

Mahindra and Mahindra

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited is part of the US $6.7 billion Mahindra Group, an automotive, farm equipment, financial services, trade and logistics, automotive components, after-market, IT and infrastructure conglomerate. The company was set up in 1945 as Mahindra & Mohammed. Later, after the partition of India, Mr. Ghulam Mohammad returned to Pakistan and became that nation's first finance minister. Hence, the name was changed from Mahindra & Mohammed to Mahindra & Mahindra in 1948.

Initially set up to manufacture general-purpose utility vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was first known for assembly of the iconic Jeep in India. The company later branched out into manufacture of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and agricultural tractors, rapidly growing from being a manufacturer of army vehicles and tractors to an automobile major with a growing global market. At present, M&M is the leader in the utility vehicle (UV) segment in India with its flagship UV, the Scorpio (known as the Mahindra Goa in Italy).

The big daddy arrives

Tata Motors

Tata Motors Limited, formerly known as TELCO (TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company), is a multinational corporation headquartered in Mumbai, India. It is India's largest passenger automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturing company. Tata Motors is a part of the Tata and Sons Group, founded by Jamshetji Tata and J. Baker. The company was established in 1945 as a locomotive manufacturing unit and later expanded its operations to commercial vehicle sector in 1954 after forming a joint venture with Daimler-Benz AG of Germany. Tata Motors started its commercial vehicle operations in 1960 with the manufacturing of first commercial vehicle (a copy of a Daimler Benz model) in Pune. It took five years for the company to begin the commercial production of heavy commercial vehicles.

In 2004, it bought Daewoo's truck manufacturing unit, now known as Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle, in South Korea. It also, acquired a 21% stake in Hispano Carrocera SA, giving it controlling rights in the company. Tata Motors launched their much awaited Tata Nano, noted for its Rs 100,000 price-tag, in January 2008.

In March 2008, it finalised a deal with Ford Motor Company to acquire their British Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) business, which also includes the Rover, Daimler and Lanchester brand names. The purchase was completed on 2nd June 2008.

1956: The Cycle revolution

Hero Group

The flame kindled by the Munjal brothers in 1956 with the flagship company Hero Cycles; Mr. Satyanand Munjal, Mr. Brijmohan Lall Munjal and Mr. O. P. Munjal continue to carry the torch and are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the Hero Group. The saga is being continued with the same zeal by the second and third generations of the family and by the large working force of the Hero Group. In 1963 it pioneered bicycle exports from India - a foray into the international market. 12 years later, in 1975, Hero Cycles Limited became the largest manufacturer of bicycles in India. After entering into the motorbike sector in 1985, it got its name in the guinees book of world records in 1986 as the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world. Two years later it reached the pinnacle among all motor cycles in India.

The Gandhi initiative

1981 :Maruti Suzuki

After starting as private company Maruti technical services private limited' (MTSPL) on 16tgh november,1970, with the aim of getting the technical know-how for building an indeginious car, the company went into liquidation in 1977. Sanjay Gandhi, who became the managing director of the company in 1971 was caught in the maruti scandal. One year after his death in 1981, the Indian Central government at the behest of Indira Gandhi salvages Maruti limited and starts looking for an active collaborator for this company. In 1982, the most unlikely competitor Suzuki motor corporation convinces the Indian government and a License and Joint Venture Agreement(JVA) was signed between Maruti Udyog Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corp of Japan. In 1983 796 cc hatchback, India’s first affordable car, is released in the market.

Previously on Brand India
  1. Brand India : Introduction
  2. Brand India : Lijjat Papad
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