Asia's "biggest" auto show opens in India

An auto show billed as Asia's biggest opened in India on Thursday, with hundreds of automobile manufacturers from around the world exploring business opportunities and exhibiting their wares. Honda Motor Co., Ford and Suzuki Motor Corp. are among 1,000-odd companies from 22 countries participating in the weeklong exhibition of automobiles and auto components in New Delhi.

Y. C. Deveshwar, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, the event organizer, said it was Asia's biggest auto show. The show is being held at a time when the Indian economy is booming, with its gross domestic product projected to grow nearly 8 percent in the current fiscal year ending in March.

India has been among the world's 10 fastest growing economies since 1992, after it launched an economic liberalization program, opening to foreign competition and privatizing state-run companies. The policies in the past decade have helped create a large and affluent middle class, which has boosted demand for goods like mobile phones, televisions and cars.

Car sales have grown 20 percent annually in the past five years and demand for tractors and trucks has been buoyant in recent years. According to a recent study conducted by consulting firm McKinsey Co., India's automobile industry will grow to US$40 billion in 2015 from US$10 billion now.

A major part of the expansion would come from exports vehicles and auto components, which are projected to rise to US$20 billion in 2015 from the current US$2 billion, said A.K. Taneja, who heads the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India, reports the AP. N.U.

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