Microeconomic Factors in Automobile Industry in India

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
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Automobile Industry Hailed as ‘the industry of industries’ by Peter Drucker, the founding father of the study of management, in 1946, the automobile industry had evolved continuously with changing times from craft production in 1890s to mass production in 1910s to lean production techniques in the 1970s. The Asian countries, mainly by Japan, China and India, registered a 9% increase in production over last year, constituting 35. 9% of the global production. In fact China and India posted positive growth rate over 2003.

This supply mainly catered to meet the demand from households where the automobiles constituted the second largest expenditure item next only to housing. Thus the global automobile industry dominated by Europe, US, Japan, and of late by China and India, continued to have a significant influence on economic development, international trade, foreign direct investment and environment-friendly practices. Total Sales Trend of Four-wheelers in India Demand Factors

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Auto industry observers cite car loans as the biggest driving factor for the expansion of the Compact Car segment. At present, almost 85 per cent of all new car sales are backed by auto finance, compared to 65 per cent five years ago. Interest rates on car loans have come down drastically in the past four or five years, which helps prospective buyers, take the plunge. The growth of the CC-segment in the past few years can be mainly credited to factors such as rise in income levels leading to increased affordability and simultaneous reduction in interest rates leading to lower EMIs. The drop in interest rates usually helps very few people to probably shift from the base model to a deluxe model. A larger shift happens if people are willing to take long-term loans, like five years instead of the earlier three-year loans.

Advertising And Marketing

Due to the advertising techniques adopted by all the manufacturers in the CC-Segment the sales have risen drastically. It is all due to because the companies now days are using even aggressive selling techniques for which they are even coping with the Film celebrities and Cricket stars, like Maruti has contracted Irfan Pathan as the brand ambassador of Zen and for Santro Hyundai has contracted for Shah Rukh Khan.

And the companies are even trying to approach to the customer as to their demand for a vehicle at special interest loans, etc. They are using data according to the customers return and earning capacity for attracting the customers for their vehicles.

Price of the Car

One of the major factors that affect the demand of any commodity in the market is the price of the commodity. As the law of demand also states that with an increase in price the demand of the commodity decreases and vice versa.Since, in the compact car segment market even there are very less competitors there is stiff price competition. Like the price of Zen in 2001 was Rs. 3. 93 lacs which increased to Rs. 4. 01 lacs in 2005, but still the sale of the Maruti brand keeps on increasing it was due to the company’s reputation with the customers.

Income of Consumer

Buyer The income of the consumer or buyer of the car is a very important factor of demand. In recent time we have seen that due to increase in the Income of the general public, there has been a shift from the Lower CC-segment cars to the Upper CC-segmentcars. Due to the recent increase in the number of multinationals in India, the income level of the employees have risen drastically and has made CC-segment cars an entry level car for a lot of people. The average age of a CC-segment car owner has also dropped from 35 years to 31 years in India.

Increase in Affordability

The demand for passenger cars is driven mainly by greater affordability, which in turn increases the aspiration level of the customers. Today with high amount of disposable income in the hand of Indian youth, who forms major portion of the population, P-marker has larger addressable market.

Demographic Drivers

Cars being aspirational products, purchase decisions are influenced by the overall economic environment. Increase in per capita income increases the consumption tendency of the customer. Growth in per capita income and rising aspirations and changing lifestyle is leading to increased preference for cars over two-wheelers, which is also having a positive rub off on car demand.

Availability of Easy

Financing Options A majority of PV purchases are financed through financial institutions. Over the past4-5 years car industry has been benefited through significant increase in affordability due to the decrease in EMIs. Car finance rates dropped from 17% in 2000-01 to 11%in 2005-06. However it has increased and averaged at 13. 75% in 2006-07. The current hardening of interest rates is expected to affect demand by reducing affordability.

New Offerings Car sales increase when a new model hits the market. Due to escalation in competition in Indian car market, frequency of new model launches has increased. In the past one year only the Indian car market has seen many launches namely SX4,Swift Diesel, Zen Estill, Spark, Logan, etc.


The share of exports from domestic production is currently at 12-13%, which is much lower than current export hubs. Currently, India’s share of global passenger cars export volume stands at less than 1%. But India is fast emerging as a manufacturing hub for leading global car makers, and several manufacturers have already firmed up plans for setting up manufacturing bases in India, which will also be used for exports.

Supply Factors

Presence across Segments Manufacturers with presence across various product segments can ensure higher volume and better capacity utilization by using the common manufacturing capacity.Typically a customer upgrades from one segment to higher segment and the presence across various segments ensures that the company retains its existing customers.

Efficient Operations Competition in PV segment is very intense and this requires the existing players to initiate steps to reduce their cost of production. Effective and successful operation methods like platform commonality, reduction in vendor base and workforce rationalization can help a company immensely.

Wide Dealer Network and Availability of FinanceA wide dealer network helps the company serve customers over wide geographical area. For e. g. Maruti has used its available wide service network as point of difference over competitors. The companies are tying up with the financial institutions having rural presence to provide additional financing options to customers in such areas.

Access to Latest Technologies

Indian PV segment is highly competitive with as many as 14 players operating in it and more than 80 models on the offering. But still any new model launch meets with increase in sales volume for the company.Moreover in a time when a substantial portion of Indian customer is looking to upgrade in higher segment, companies with latest technologies and latest models will catch more attentions

Price of the Car

Price of the car is one of the major factors that affect the supply as well as the demand of a car. If the price of the car is high in the market, the manufacturer or the supplier will want to supply more units in the market so he can earn more profits. In the automotive industry where the market type is oligopoly, if one company drops its price for the car, there is a huge impact on the sales of the other cars as well as the same car.

In the market the price of one car is inter-related to the price of the other cars in the same segment. The best solution is that market equilibrium should be achieved so that the amount of the quantity demanded should be equal to the amount of the quantity supplied to achieve maximum profits. A Market Equilibrium is achieved at the point of intersection of the demand line and the supply line. The point is the equilibrium point where the quantity demanded is equal to the quantity supplied.

Factors of Production There are some factors of production which influence the supply of a car like Cost of Raw Material Labor Cost Machinery Input Cost. These factors influence the supply of a car largely. If the cost of the raw material (Steel, Spare Parts, Rubber) increases there will be an increase in the cost of production leading to decrease in profit margins. Costs like labor costs, machinery and input costs also influence the supply with the increase or decrease in these costs.

Government Policies and Taxes

If there is a change in the government policies regarding the increase in the road tax charged or the tax which is to be paid per unit sold, the supply of a car will fluctuate with the nature of the change.

Recently the government has reduced the custom duty on inputs and raw material from 20% to 15% which has increased the supply. Conclusion Market economies are assumed to have many buyers and sellers, high competition and many substitutes. Monopolies characterize industries in which the supplier determines prices and high barriers prevent any competitors from entering the market. Demand and supply refer to the relationship price has with the quantity consumers demand and the quantity supplied by producers. As price increases, quantity demanded decreases and quantity supplied increases.

On the other hand, elasticity tells us how much quantity demanded or supplied changes when there is a change in any of the factor. The more the quantity changes, the more elastic the good or service. By studying various demand and supply factors affecting the automobile industry we can conclude that an upturn or downturn in this sector is due to an aggregate effect of multiple factors. These together govern the economies of automobile sector. Porter’s Five Forces Analysis of Indian Automobile Sector Industry Rivalry Bargaining Power of Customers

Bargaining Power of Suppliers Threat of New Entrants Threat of Substitutes Industry Rivalry Bargaining Power of Customers Bargaining Power of Suppliers Threat of New Entrants Threat of Substitutes

Industry Rivalry

Industry Concentration: The Concentration Ratio (CR) indicates the percent of market share held by a company. A high concentration ratio indicates that a high concentration of market share is held by the largest firms - the industry is concentrated. With only a few firms holding a large market share, the market is less competitive (closer to a monopoly).

A low concentration ratio indicates that the industry is characterized by many rivals, none of which has a significant market share. These fragmented markets are said to be competitive. If rivalry among firms in an industry is low, the industry is considered to be disciplined * High Fixed costs When total costs are mostly fixed costs, the firm must produce capacity to attain the lowest unit costs. Since the firm must sell this large quantity of product, high levels of production lead to a fight for market share and results in increased rivalry.

The industry is typically capital intensive and thus involves high fixed costs Slow market growth In growing market, firms can improve their economies. Though the market growth has been impressive in the last few years (about 8 to 15%), it takes a beat in even slight economic disturbances as it involves a luxury good. Aggressive pricing is needed to sustain growth in such situations  Diversity of rivals: Industry becomes unstable as the diversification increases. In this case the diversity of rivals is moderate as most offer products which are close to standard versions and the competitors are also mostly similar in strength Highly competitive industry: The presence of many players of about the same size little differentiation between competitors, and a very mature industry with very little growth were the features of a highly competitive industry. Higher the competition in the industry lower would be the profit margin. To remain ahead in competition, auto-makers were tempted to offer value added services to the customers incurring more costs

Threat of New Entrants

These are the characteristics that inhibit the entrance of new rivals into the market and in turn protect the profits of the existing firms. Based on the present profit levels in the market, one can expect the entrance of new firms into the market or not. The entrance is however also affected by the start-up costs Economies of scale: The Minimum Efficient Scale (MES) is the point at which unit costs are minimized. The greater the difference between the MES and the entry unit cost, greater is the barrier. Economies of scale are becoming increasingly important as competition is driving the profit margins to lower levels. Also being a capital intensive industry economies of scale have important consequence Government policies: Automobile Industry was delicensed in July 1991 with the announcement of the New Industrial Policy The passenger car industry was delicensed in 1993. No industrial licence is required for setting up of any unit for manufacture of automobiles except in some special cases The norms for Foreign Investment and import of technology have been progressively liberalized over the years for manufacture of vehicles including passenger cars in order to make this sector globally competitive * At present 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permissible under automatic route in this sector including passenger car segment.

The import of technology/technological upgradation on the royalty payment of 5% without any duration limit and lump sum payment of USD 2 million is allowed under automatic route in this sector .The automotive industry comprising of the automobile and the auto component sectors has made rapid strides since delicensing and opening up of the sector to FDI in 1991 . The industry had an investment of about Rs. 50,000 crore in 2002-03 which has gone up to Rs. 80,000 crore by the year 2007.

The automotive industry has already attained a turnover of Rs. 1,65,000 crore (34 billion USD) . The industry provides direct and indirect employment to 1. 31 crore people. The contribution of the automotive industry to GDP has risen from  77% in 1992-93 to 5% in 2006-07. The industry is making a contribution of 17% to the kitty of indirect taxes of the Government With all the policies regarding the FDI and Tariff barriers as mentioned above, it has become easier for the foreign players to enter the Indian automobile industry.

Threat of Substitutes

The replacement market is characterized by the presence of several small-scale suppliers who score over the organized players in terms of excise duty exemptions and lower overheads. . A product’s price elasticity is affected by the presence of substitutes as its demand is affected by the change in the substitute’s prices .The cost of the automobiles along with their operating costs was driving customers to look for alternative transportation options .The new technologies available also affect the demand of the product E. g. In case of Maruti’s products, the threat of substitutes is high. The competition is intense as several players have products in the categories given by Maruti. However, in the 800cc range it is the market leader and the threat of substitute products is low. Price performance comparison favors heavily towards Maruti in most product categories. Also the high availability and quality of services offered by Maruti gives the customer a better trade-off .

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Suppliers can influence the industry by deciding on the price at which the raw materials can be sold.

This is done in order to capture profits from the market. Steel is a major input in this industry and so steel prices have a sharp and immediate impact on the product price * The industry being capital intensive switching costs of suppliers is high, other than steel as raw material which is highly price sensitive and the firm may easily move towards a supplier with lower cost

Bargaining Power of Buyers

It specifies the impact of customers on the product * When buyer power is strong, the buyer is the one who sets the price in the market. Here there is purchases of large volumes * There is prevalence of alternative options. Price sensitive customers were some of the factors that determined the extent of influence of the buyers in this industry E. g. : In the case of Maruti, the sales volumes have shown increasing trend over past so many years. The customers are more or less concentrated in metros or other tier two cities. The industry is also concentrated in these regions mostly. Most of them are have good amount of knowledge about the product.

Except the 800cc range in other categories brand loyalty is only moderate. Also it is difficult to measure since repurchases are rare. Product differentiation is high as there are many categories in the passenger vehicle segment. Buyers get incentives in the form of cost discounts and better after sales services * The major focus of Indian Component suppliers is Quality as suggested by one of the Japanese Quality focus firm. The Industry association ACMA reports that over 170 of its members have already received ISO-9000 certification and 23 have received QS9000 certification.

There are examples of Indian suppliers becoming single source global suppliers for leading OEMS (GM and Ford), and also becoming global leaders with Sundaram Clayton receiving the Deming award but there are few drawbacks as shown by A. T, Kearney survey which found that defect rates in India are in the range of 1000-2000 ppm against Japanese average of 100-200 ppm. The rising gasoline price is bound to influence the buyers Taxation India has a well-developed tax structure. The power to levy taxes and duties is distributed among the three tiers of Government, in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Constitution.

The main taxes/duties that the Union Government is empowered to levy are:- Income Tax (except tax on agricultural income, which the State Governments can levy), Customs duties, Central Excise and Sales Tax and Service Tax. The principal taxes levied by the State Governments are:- Sales Tax (tax on intra-State sale of goods), Stamp Duty (duty on transfer of property), State Excise (duty on manufacture of alcohol), Land Revenue (levy on land used for agricultural/non-agricultural purposes), Duty on Entertainment and Tax on Professions & Callings.

The Local Bodies are empowered to levy tax on properties (buildings, etc. ), Octroi (tax on entry of goods for use/consumption within areas of the Local Bodies), Tax on Markets and Tax/User Charges for utilities. Excise Duty Central Excise duty is an indirect tax levied on those automobiles which are manufactured in India and are meant for home consumption. The taxable event is 'manufacture' and the liability of central excise duty arises as soon as the automobiles are manufactured.

It is a tax on manufacturing, which is paid by a manufacturer, who passes its incidence on to the customers. Types of Excise Duties Basic Excise Duty: This is the duty leviable under First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 at the rates mentioned in the said Schedule. Special Excise Duty: This is the duty leviable under Second Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 at the rates mentioned in the said Schedule. At present this is leviable on very few items.

Additional higher & Secondary Education Cess of 1%, *National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) of 1 %, **16% on cars (up to 4000mm in length &1200cc for petrol & up to 4000mm in length & 1500cc for diesel) and 24% for rest National Calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD): Normally known as NCCD. This duty is levied as per section 136 of the Finance Act, 2001, as a surcharge on specified goods. Excise Duties and Cesses Leviable under Miscellaneous Act:On certain specified goods, in addition to the aforesaid duties, prescribed rate of excise duty and cess is also leviable.

Education Cesson excisable goods is levied in addition to any other duties of excise chargeable on such goods, under the Central Excise Act, 1944 or any other law for the time being in force. Customs Duty Customs Duty (Import duty and Export tax) is a type of indirect tax levied on goods imported into India as well as on goods exported from India. Taxable event is import into or export from India. In India, the basic law for levy and collection of customs duty is Customs Act 1962.

It provides for levy and collection of duty on imports and exports, import/export procedures, prohibitions on importation and exportation of goods, penalties, offences, etc. Basic Customs Tax Structure for Automobile Source: Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturing (SIAM) - Based on Government of India Notifications, *For Used Vehicle/New CBU/CKD & Components respectively, 1CVs = Commercial Vehicles 2MUVs = Multi-Utility Vehicles    Export duties are levied occasionally to mop up excess profitability in international prices of goods in respect of which domestic prices may be low at the given time. But the sweep of import duties is quite wide.

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Microeconomic Factors in Automobile Industry in India. (2017, Mar 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/microeconomic-factors-in-automobile-industry-in-india/

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