The automotive industry is one of the most lucrative and versatile industries in India. With a steady growth chart, the automotive market offers immense hope to all its stakeholders. However, besides growth in sales, there are several trends that significantly impact the revenues, costs and profitability of the industry. From consumer buying trends to environmental awareness, these diversified trends influence automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers on multiple levels and fronts.
Some major trends that are influencing the Indian automotive industry are:
1.Consumer Buying Trends:
As consumers in India are increasingly buying newer cars, we can see that people have started to replace their older vehicles every four to five years. Additionally, there has been a huge change in buyer statistics as we see an increasing share of young and elderly people going behind the wheel along with a substantial increase in the number of female car buyers, which stood at 10-15 percent in 2015 compared to the mere 5-7% in 2010.
Indians choose their cars conscientiously, they are the well-informed buyers who thoroughly research their options, such as model, fuel type, and, the type of accessories they want. Safety has also become a decisive factor when it comes to their car buying options.
In fact, Indian consumers now rate safety as one of the top three criteria when taking car buying decisions. We foresee that, the future vehicles would have systematic arrayed integration of passive (Seatbelts, Airbags) and active vehicular safety systems (ABS, ESP®) along with other features such as Driver Assistance systems.
Vehicles have become an extension of our personalities and an integral part of our lives. Nowadays, connectivity solutions in vehicles are not only limited to mid-segment or high-end vehicles. In anticipation to the changing needs of the market, car manufacturers are now offering several mobility solutions such as smartphone integration and navigation features in entry segment vehicles as well.
4.Vehicle Management Systems:
We see a host of solutions available in the market that enable drivers to reduce their running costs and increase ease of use and maintenance. They range from smartphone integration and satellite-linked navigation to a comprehensive connectivity platform solution which offers vehicle diagnostics and fleet management solutions.
Now with integrated data analytics, one can even achieve better efficiency and insights into their vehicle’s performance, maintenance, and driving behavior. Several other solutions available include tracking of vehicle location, vehicle health monitoring, and performance analysis. However, these solutions are not only limited to passenger cars and newly produced cars, they can be installed as an add-on retrofit solution in older vehicles. These solutions are also available.
However, these solutions are not only limited to passenger cars and newly produced cars, they can be installed as an add-on retrofit solution in older vehicles. These solutions are also available in commercial vehicles and off-highway vehicles.
5. Driver Assistance Systems (DAS):
With autonomous cars driving in the near future, we foresee rapid adoption of driver assistance systems such as parking assist systems etc. DAS are multi-sensor based assistance systems that are now being offered by OEMs to interested customers.
From basic functionalities like parking assist to more complex functionalities like parking steering control and side view assist these DAS solutions have the ability to deliver it all.
6.Concern for Environment:
With increasing innovation and environmental awareness, over the years we have seen a slow but steady adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) as another alternative to conventional vehicles. Today, EVs are considered a much safer, sleeker and exciting way of transportation.
Although EVs have been around for quite some time now, for it to stay and replace conventional vehicles, it would need to become affordable for all. The other factor that is deterring its adaptability amongst the public is the lack of supportive infrastructure. To see the substantial rise in adoption of electric vehicles in India, the government must build a supportive ecosystem along with the car manufacturers.
Industry players take notice of such trends and work upon them to introduce newer innovations into the market. Bosch has been a pioneer in this direction. Globally and in India, we been in the forefront of shaping things, whether it is in the automotive or non-automotive sector.
With over 65 years of presence in the Indian market, we understand the uniqueness of the market and the need for adapting global technologies to suit the needs of consumers in India. We not only work closely with OEMs to jointly innovate solutions but also develop solutions independently which can then be introduced into the market.
We are constantly working on developing innovations that make existing systems more cost-effective, thus allowing them to be installed in low-price vehicles in markets like India.
Published in ET Auto Logue (August, 2016)