Indian middle class will determine automobile design: expert

Tuesday, 21 January 2003, 08:00 Hrs
Printer Print Email Email
AHMEDABAD: In the fast track world of automobiles, where style and affordability are the buzzwords, India's growing middle-income group is likely to determine future design.

The country's 300 million two-wheeler owners form a major chunk of this group for whom the choice of vehicles is rather limited.

Pradyumna Vyas, activity chairman, industry programmes and projects of the National Institute of Design (NID), said, "The highest priced two-wheeler is available at 50,000 and the lowest priced four-wheeler, at about 200,000.

"There is no option of a four-wheeler being available for 100,000 which the growing middle-income group can afford."

According to Vyas, the next generation automobile industry will be all about medium priced, small, four-wheelers.

"To suit Indian conditions, the vehicle has to be spacious with a powerful engine. It could also be used to carry gas cylinders or heavy luggage and, above all, it has to have good looks," said Mumbai-based designer Dilip Chhabaria.

"The Ambassador car manufactured by Hindustan Motors in 1942 has no match in terms of popularity in India. The car is spacious, has a powerful engine and looks appealing too," he added.

With these requirements in mind, Telco launched its small car "Indica" and mid-segment luxury sedan "Indigo". Both have spacious bodies and chic looks with powerful engines.

But the niche for vehicles for the growing middle-income group still remains to be filled.

The growing middle income group is believed to prefer vehicles in the medium price range that are liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-driven and made for city roads alone, have limited mileage, are made of fibre glass and other composite materials and look trendy.

In order to determine the shape of future cars, a group of 22 senior product design students from the National institute of Design (NID) participated in an in-house workshop with Telco engineers.

Vyas conducted the workshop with V. Sumantran, executive director, Passenger Car Business, and Ravi Kant, executive director, Telco.

Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group of industries, along with a high-powered delegation comprising Ravi Kant and Sumantran, held discussions with NID executive director Darlie O Koshy, on leveraging Indian designs to gain global automobile design leadership.

Telco and NID are developing concepts for medium range vehicles, which include light commercial vehicles, medium commercial vehicles, and special purpose vehicles.

Telco and NID propose to have an NID-TATA inter-design workshop for two to three weeks at the institute in which a multi-disciplinary group of designers from India and abroad will participate to generate new ideas for styling and form, inspired by global trends.

"The workshops will be thematic. Multi-disciplinary groups will focus on themes like safety, comfort, distance travelled and the economics associated with a four-wheeler," said Koshy.

This development assumes significance in the light of the growing numbers who would like to own affordable cars.
Source: IANS
Fossil Group sells smartwatch
Global watch and accessories maker Fossil Group has announced to sell its smartphone technolog..
SpiceJet plans aggressive
Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet plans to aggressively expand its international networks to fl..
Ola raises Rs 400 cr for electric
Leading ride-hailing cab aggregator Ola on Friday said it raised Rs 400 crore from its early in..
GST rate cut to spur Bengaluru
The realty market in India's tech hub is set to grow as lower Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate..