HISTORY & EVOLUTION OF THE INDIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Exhibit|Anniversary Issue 2020
Take a trip back in time and see the evolution of Indian automotive history!
Yashvi Poonia

The Indian car industry, in both sales volume and production, is one of the largest in the world.

Have you ever wondered how the automobile industry began and grew into a giant today?

On this crystal anniversary, let us look through the success of this industry over the years.

The first car on the Indian roads was driven by a Calcutta resident in 1897. Until the 1930s, cars were imported directly from the foreign markets, but in scanty numbers. Jamshedji Tata was the first Indian to own a car in 1901.

Do you know who made India’s first car?

It was Hindustan Motors who produced the first car in India in 1942 before the independence of India. In the 1940s, an embryonic automobile market developed in India. Shortly after the independence of India, the Indian Government aimed to improve the industry by promoting local car manufacturing as opposed to the erstwhile import culture.

The automotive industry officially started in 1952 when the first tariff commission to indigenize the automobile industry was formed by the Government. In 1952, passenger cars were also introduced in the country. Manufacturers such as Hindustan Motors, Premier Automobiles, and Standard motors came to prominence. Mahindra and Mahindra, Bajaj, Standard Motors, etc. have now begun producing SUVs. Seven makers, including Ashok Motors, Simpsons and Co., Premier Motors, and others, produced bulky and medium-sized commercial vehicles. Bajaj Auto, Escorts Group, Royal Enfield, Automobile Product of India, Ideal Jawa, etc. produced two-wheeler vehicles, such as a scooter, motorcycle, or mopeds.

Who’s not fond of the Ambassadors?

We all used to love it at one point in life.

To me, having an Ambassador in your house was a privilege. It also represented power, as it was also used by government officials and if I’m not mistaken, some still use it today.

Well! The Ambassador Car was built by Hindustan Motors which was commonly used as a taxi cab and as a government limousine. This car was based on the British car Morris Oxford from 1954. In 2014 Ambassador production officially stopped.

Premier Automobiles was founded in 1944 as another Indian company.

The firm first began manufacturing vehicles under license from Dodge and Plymouth. In 1951, Fiat 500 models were made for the Indian market. This was followed by Fiat 1100 in 1954. The Fiat 1100 was renamed the ‘Premier Padmini’ in 1973 by Premier.

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