Pune: Chakan near Pune will soon see one of the world’s biggest car manufacturers setting up a manufacturing facility. DaimlerChrysler has acquired 100 acres at Chakan to set up an assembly line that should be up and running by the end of 2008.
BMW Group is also set to roll out its first set of cars from the Indian plant which is set up in Mahindra city near Chennai, beginning March 29.
Volkswagen and General Motors have a large presence in China and that is one of the reasons for their high profitability.
Competition has severely dented Volkswagen’s China market share, which has fallen from 60% in the mid 1990s to just 18% in 2006.
Despite its established production base, investments in China remain high for the Group between 2007 - 09. It will invest 1.9 billion euro in China which will come from internal funds of the auto major’s local joint ventures.
In India and China, with populations of more than a billion each, fewer than 20 in the 1,000 driving-age inhabitants owned a car in 2006. This compares with 900 car owners per 1,000 inhabitants in the US, which is the world’s largest auto market.
With purchasing power forecast to grow above 7% per year in India and by more than 10% in China over the next five years, cars sales are expected to grow enormously.