Garel Rhys, Professor, Cardiff University Business School

Darius Lam speaks to Professor Garel Rhys of Cardiff University Business School and one of Europe’s recognised thought leaders on the automotive industry on his recent visit to Mumbai to promote trade between India and the UK.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 03 Oct 2007 Views icon3926 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

How do you view the growth of the Indian auto sector and how is it different from China?
Your automotive sector is fundamentally very sound since it encourages competition and ensures that companies operating in it have a solid foundation. Indian companies like Mahindra and Tata are as big and competitive as any Chinese company in their sector. On the other hand the Chinese are encouraging a form of 19th century hard capitalism where only the strongest survive and as a result a lot of car companies there may not survive in the long run.

Do you think India should aim at becoming a global small car hub?
I think it’s dangerous when the government says that the local car industry should specialize in a particular kind of product. Only the market can dictate what type of cars will be most popular so you are restricting growth by focusing on only the small car sector.

What are the urgent priorities facing the global auto sector?
The biggest and most urgent priority is for carmakers to come to terms with society’s concern for the environment. In fact the industry is slowly realizing that car buyers are getting more and more focused on this issue. The debate is also becoming more mature as it moves from the hands of passionate environmentalists to the auto industry.

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