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AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRYThe automobile industry in Indiathe tenth largest in the world with an annual production of approximately 2 million unitsis expected to become one of the major global automotive industries in the coming years. A number of domestic companies produce automobiles in India and the growing presence of multinational investment, too, has led to an increase in overall growth. Following the economic reforms of 1991 the Indian automotive industry has demonstrated sustained growth as a result of increased competitiveness and relaxed restrictions. The monthly sales of passenger cars in India exceed 100,000 units

Tata Motors launches its first truck in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz.

HistoryIn 1953, the government of India and the Indian private sector initiated manufacturing processes to help develop the automobile industry, which had emerged by the 1940s in a nascent form. Between 1970 to the economic liberalization of 1991, the automobile industry continued to growPage | 1

at a slow pace due to the many government restrictions. A number of Indian manufactures appeared between 1970-1980.Japanese manufacturers entered the Indian market ultimately leading to the establishment of Maruti Udyog. A number of foreign firms initiated joint ventures with Indian companies.

Challenges faced by Indian Automotive Industry in the new ageThe Indian automotive industry has been facing new challenges due to the rapid changes taking place during the last decade. This article discusses those challenges and initiatives taken by the government to overcome them. The Indian auto industry is changing rapidly. During the last decade, many international auto manufacturers, either by themselves or in partnership with Indian companies, have started manufacturing activities in India. The ancillary industries have also grown in tandem. The quality of production in small- and medium-scale industries has improved to such an extent that they started exporting products to international manufacturers. The major breakthrough of recent years is the unveiling of "Nano" by Tata Motors during the auto expo 2007. This has received worldwide attention and proved that India can not only design an automobile of international standards but also execute the project at a much lower cost through innovative choice of components, materials, engine design etc. These developments in the auto sector have given new confidence to everyone related to the auto industry and specifically to the government which resulted in the announcement of the Auto Policy 2006-2016 by the Ministry of Heavy Industries. According to the Auto Policy, the Indian auto sector is expected to grow to US$ 216 billion by 2016 and add 2.5 million new jobs to the economy. Every year two to three million people are expected to purchase new vehicles. Several million vehicles and components are expected to be exported to both developed and developing nations. To achieve these goals, it is important that the present GDP growth rate, which is more than 8 per cent, continues to remain at the same level for the next 8-10 years. The government isPage | 2

also giving some concessions to the auto industry. To realize the above growth predictions, it is important to overcome various challenges the industry is facing currently. Two of the foremost challenges are the spiraling cost of fuel and the paucity of highly skilled manpower.

Rising oil priceInternational price of crude oil has crossed US$ 120 per barrel and is rising at an alarming rate. The forecast of market experts that the crude oil price will plateau around US$ 100 per barrel has been proved wrong. The skyrocketing crude oil price rise will affect the economic growth of most of the nations of the world including India. The prospects of India and China of becoming economic superpower will be seriously affected. Also, the rise in oil prices will impact the growth of global automotive industry. Unless the use of alternative fuels increases, it is very unlikely that the situation will change for the better. This necessarily means that more and more investments should be directed towards R&D, establishing mechanisms to translate R&D results into products and their efficient manufacturing. This will also require radical redesigning of engines.

Human resourcesThe second major challenge is the creation of highly skilled human resource required for the auto industry. Auto industry, like many other industries is facing severe shortage of skilled technical as well as managerial manpower. This challenge becomes all the more daunting because faults lie at a more fundamental level of training infrastructure and the social perception.

SummaryThe growth of auto industry in India will be contingent not just on domestic demand, but also equally on exports. Therefore, the present projections will become a reality if thrust is given to original research that will yield breakthrough results. These results help in addressing the currentPage | 3

global concerns such as environment, fuel efficiency, need for alternate and renewable fuels and materials etc. This can happen only through a consortium approach where various auto companies and academic institutions work together as in the case of IT hardware industry. The consortium approach should be extended to address the trained human resource shortage as well. The government should act as a facilitator by bringing about necessary changes in the current laws that will encourage private participation. Finally, there should be mechanisms in place that will ensure that there is a balance in the pool of human resources comprising research scientists, managers, engineers, designers, technicians, and skilled and semiskilled workers.

HISTORYHonda Motor Company, Ltd. ,is a Japanese multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Honda is the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume. Honda surpassed Nissan in 2001 to become the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer. Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand in North America with the debut of Acura in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, amongst others. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000. They have also ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 Honda Jet, scheduled to be released in 2011. From a young age, Soichiro Honda had an interest in automobiles. He worked as a mechanic at a Japanese tuning shop, Art Shokai, where he tuned cars and entered them in races. A self-taught engineer, he later worked on a piston design which he hoped to sell to Toyota. The first drafts ofPage | 4

his design were rejected, and Soichiro worked painstakingly to perfect the design, even going back to school and pawning his wife's jewelry for collateral. Eventually, he won a contract with Toyota and built a factory to construct pistons for them, which was destroyed in an earthquake. Due to a gas shortage during World War II, Honda was unable to use his car, and his novel idea of attaching a small engine to his bicycle attracted much curiosity. He then established the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan, to develop and produce small 2-cycle motorbike engines. Calling upon bicycle shop owners across Japan to take part in revitalizing a nation torn apart by war, Soichiro received enough capital to engineer his first motorcycle, the Honda Cub. This marked the beginning of Honda Motor Company, who would grow a short time later to be the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles by 1963. The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck.Powered by a small 356 cc straight-4 gasoline engine, it was classified under the cheaper Kei car tax bracket. The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car.Its chain driven rear wheels points to Honda's motorcycle origins.

Honda is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Their shares trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, as well as exchanges in Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, London, Paris and Switzerland. American Honda Motor Co. is based in Torrance, California. Honda Canada Inc. is headquartered in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario, and is building new corporate headquarters in Markham, Ontario, scheduled to relocate in 2008; their manufacturing division, Honda of Canada Manufacturing, is based in Alliston, Ontario. Honda has also created joint ventures around the world, such as Honda Siel Cars andPage | 5

Hero Honda Motorcycles in India , Guangzhou Honda and Dongfeng Honda in China, and Honda Atlas in Pakistan. Honda is the 6th largest automobile manufacturer in the world as well as the largest enginemaker in the world, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. As of August 2008, Honda surpassed Chrysler as the 4th largest automobile manufacturer in the United States. Currently, Honda is the second largest manufacturer in Japan behind Toyota and ahead of Nissan. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, three of the strongest vehicle companies in the world, were still not immune to the global financial crisis of 2008, as these companies reduced their profitability forecasts. The economic crisis has been spreading to other important players in the vehicle related industries as well. Honda spends about 5% of its revenues into R&D.

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PHILOSOPHYHMSI operates on a principle, which is followed worldwide by all Honda companies. Maintaining a gl