India is one of the biggest automobile market in the world, and it is the world’s fastest growing one also. It comes in as no surprise as India has the second largest population in the world, and a low base of car ownership (25 / 1,000 people) and a growing economy, India has become a huge attraction for car manufacturers around the world.
While automobiles were introduced in India as long ago as 1890’s, the manufacturing started only after 1970. The first mass produced car to be available in Indian roads is Hindustan Ambassador, which is based on 1950 Morris Oxford. Until 1980’s, as Premier Automobiles, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Ashok and Standard Motors were the only manufacturers in India. The revolution in the automobile industry started with the introduction of a people’s car from Maruti Udyog, a state owned company. The result was Maruti 800. It became popular because of its low price, high fuel efficiency, reliability and modern features compared to its competition at the time. Tata Motors exported buses and trucks. The liberalization of 1991 opened up India for the global automotive giants like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and others set up manufacturing plants. The economic growth resulted in high end automobile manufacturers to come to India like Rolls Royce, Bentley and Maybach.
Automotive design is the stream which deals with the appearance and design of automobiles, both exterior and interior. It’s an integral part of the industry. Automobile designers take into account comfort, appearance, as well as efficiency. An automobile designer should work with the technical team, so that the technical and design aspects of the vehicle will go in harmony.
As Indian automotive industry developed, many strong design facilities also grew up with it. This research goes through the history of automotive design in India.