India's auto exports to reach $ 25 bn by next decade

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New Delhi, Sep 4 (UNI) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today said India's auto exports will reach 25 billion dollars by the next decade.

Assuring to provide "enabling policy framework", he urged the auto sector to take its advantage and leverage their strengths for international expansion.

Speaking at the annual convention of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) here, he said by the middle of the next decade, India should be the preferred estination for design and manufacturing of automotive components and vehicles in the world.

The Minister said; "The Indian automobile industry today is all about scale. Maruti hopes to have a capacity of 1 million cars by 2010; Hyundai is looking at 600,000 cars in another year; Toyota is talking about 200,000 cars by year end; the Nissan Renault venture is planning a capacity of 400,000 cars. GM and Honda are setting up new plants, as is Tata for its Nano." He listed developing a supply base with emphasis on lower costs and economies of scale and technical and human capabilities, overcoming infrastructural bottlenecks, stimulating domestic demand and exploiting export and international business opportunities as challenges for Indian automobile industry.

He commended the auto industry for keeping its spirits up despite the current slowdown caused by the high interest rates and escalating input costs. "I believe this is a passing phase. The auto sector's inherent strength coupled with the dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of its business leaders, we shall soon be motoring along well on our way to becoming a global automotive hub".

UNI SAA AK HT1915

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