Victoria State eyes India potential

The Australian State recently sent a business delegation to India to explore varied opportunities in India’s automotive sector. Autocar Professional met the mission head.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 20 May 2011 Views icon1535 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Victoria State eyes India potential
The Australian State recently sent a business delegation to India to explore varied opportunities in India’s automotive sector. Brian de Souza met the mission head. India’s booming automotive sector has attracted the attention of a clutch of companies from the Australian State of Victoria who were in India recently to meet with carmakers and suppliers in several cities including Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. Led by Barry Comben, the mission which was on an exploratory visit included suppliers such as Futuris and Davies, Craig which have entered the Chinese market and now want to foray into India.

Comben himself chairman of AutoCRC, a Cooperative Research Centre under the Australian government’s CRC and on his first visit to India, said: “The specific expertise that we have is in lightweighting but more generally our delegation has a seatmaker and a company involved in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and power train cooling.”

According to Comben, the Mission comprising nine companies was in India to build on the successes of a previous mission that had come to India in 2010. He pointed out that that visit produced two key success stories: One company, MtM now exports to Mahindra & Mahindra and the other, Davies, Craig which developed and patented a water pump has been able to secure a contract also with M&M for the Scorpio destined to be headed to the US market.

In his comments about the potential of the Indian market and the auto sector in particular, Comben said that India is highly attractive for Australia and, for Victoria, in particular, as exports from Victoria have grown from $650 million in 2005 to over three billion dollars last year. “In the auto sector, we are relatively small and we do not have the kind of growth that India has. We have a saturation level of 700 per 1000 people. So India has plenty of scope for growth.”

In response to a question as to whether the mission is rather late on its India fact-finding visit, Comben said, “We are here to explore and understand the market here. Why now and not before? Well, our resources are limited and we have to accept that. We cannot be everywhere at once.

While there has been a focus on China and that has been successful, the time has come to turn our attention to India. In addition, we are here as the Victorian government has supported us in this endeavour. So we have assembled a group of suppliers and researchers and my own company, a broad range of representation in the hope that we can find some matches with Indian companies.”
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