Sep 24, 2009|
Indian auto: The next big hope
There was a time during the height of the license quota raj when the average Indian got to see new cars and bikes only in the movies. A single model or two dominated each auto category. Be it the Ambassador car or Bajaj scooter or Luna.
India's auto sector has indeed come a long way. Nowadays Indian auto companies come up with more models that we can keep count of. And they don't shy away from acquiring foreign brands or foraying into the overseas markets. International auto majors also look at India as an important destination both as market and as an export hub.
Recently there has been a flurry of activity in the premium bikes segment. Now, Ford Motor plans to make India its manufacturing hub for its recently unveiled small car Figo. As per Mr. Alan Mulally, Ford's president and CEO, the global market is shifting towards smaller cars and India has a predominant advantage with a 70% market for compact cars. In fact, he believes that the small car market in India will double in the next decade. As per a leading business daily, the company has set a target of 200,000 cars for India by 2010 and plans to export a large number to the countries in the Asia Pacific and African region. Clearly, this is one industry to watch out for in the days ahead.
Now you can keep your number
Mobile users have a strong reason to stay on with their current service provider even if they are unhappy. After all, it is a pain to relay your new number to all your contacts. No longer. As per a leading business daily, from December this year, mobile subscribers in major cities and towns will be able to keep their mobile numbers even if they switch to another service provider. This facility termed as mobile number portability (MNP) will be available in the rest of the country from March, 2010. However, users will be able to switch operators only after 90 days and that too within the registered circle. They will also have to pay the new operators 'porting charges' for the service. The switch should take about four days at the operators end.
Although this notification by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) comes a year late than expected, it is positive news for users. Given the industry churn rate of about 4.5% per month in India, it will increase the bargaining power of buyers and add to the pressure on telecom majors to improve service and customer care.
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