India fact of the day

One statistic above all explains the excitement India kindles: just 18 people in every 1,000 own a car. In China the figure is 58, according to the World Bank, while in most European countries it is more than 500. “India’s level of car ownership per capita is even lower than in Sudan, or Afghanistan,” says Tomas Ernberg, head of Volvo in India. “So in the long term there is bound to be growth, enormous growth.”

The market is also strikingly new. Barely 20 years ago India’s “Licence Raj” restricted aspirant motorists to two basic choices: the grand Hindustan Ambassador, an imitation of the venerable British Morris Oxford; and the boxy Maruti-Suzuki 800 hatchback, the country’s first (and then only) people’s car.

From the FT, here is more.


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