The Indian automobile industry needs to penetrate the export market as the country cannot be dependent on domestic demand to drive its growth trajectory, according to G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant. Kant was speaking at the sidelines of the 63rd ACMA (Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India) annual convention. During the event, he also laid emphasis on the use of green hydrogen technology especially in the commercial vehicle segment.

"I am a long-term believer that if India has to grow in terms of manufacturing, then the automobile component industry has to be really the key driver for its growth. The automobile industry is really the heart and soul of manufacturing in India," says Kant.

"It is not possible for India to grow only on domestic demand, but it is necessary to penetrate the export market. Every time India has grown at high rates, it has managed to grow only on the basis of exports. And therefore it is necessary for India to penetrate global markets. And the automobile sector must be the champion in penetrating the global markets," he adds.

According to Kant, in order to drive growth, India has to shift its focus towards manufacturing.

"Without manufacturing it is not possible for India to grow at a rapid rate. No country has grown at the back of its services sector. It is important that we drive manufacturing. If 46% of our population is dependent on agriculture, then we need to shift that population from agriculture to manufacturing," says Kant.

Speaking on electric mobility, Kant states that the country has a huge opportunity to helm the electric vehicle manufacturing segment. However, he says that the commercial vehicle segment will have a huge opportunity in terms of green hydrogen. "In four-wheelers, there will be a huge push towards biofuel to an extent of 20%. And while two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers will be battery-driven, the long-distance transportation of lorries and buses will have a huge component of green hydrogen," says Kant.

Kant also emphasises that the green development pact, which has been discussed during the recently held G20 Summit under India's presidency, will have a major implication for the domestic automobile industry.

Notably, a day earlier, the union minister Nitin Gadkari said that alternate fuels especially biofuel and hydrogen will be the future of the automobile industry.

Meanwhile, during the event, Hisashi Takeuchi, MD & CEO, Maruti Suzuki says that the biofuel alliance and the mega India- Middle East-Europe shipping and railway connectivity corridor will have consequences of great importance to all industries, and specifically to our industry.

"The alliance in the biofuels area is of the highest importance in our efforts to lower emissions. The mega connectivity corridor will open a range of opportunities for India," Takeuchi says.

According to Takeuchi, the annual passenger vehicle market size will expand to 6 to 7 million units by FY31.

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