To truly understand India’s burgeoning automobile industry, all you need to do is walk through one of Mumbai or New Delhi’s tony neighbourhoods. You will feast your eyes on all manner of German sedans and British SUVs, Indian hatchbacks and Italian sports cars, jostling for space with rickshaws, rickety taxis, chugging scooters and the occasional cow. It’s often hard to imagine how far we’ve come in the last two decades. Back then, the choice was limited and the trusty Ambassador, was often our best bet. Now, we’re spoilt for choice. Estimates indicate that the Indian automobile sector churns out an average of 25 million vehicles annually. Interesting, though, to note the recent developments in the market — international carmakers localising their production, the introduction of India-specific models and increased presence in the Indian hinterland.
In fact, today, you are more likely to spot an Audi Q7 or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class in a small nondescript town in, say, Punjab or Kerala, than in glitzy Mumbai or New Delhi.
This issue’s India Car Report 2018 is a roundup of the key players in this segment, and just what they’ve been up to in the past 12 months.
We also look at how technology is enhancing the traditional airport experience through different means. Don’t forget to read our feature on Cuba, how cuba’s economy is coping under its new president.
We also get on board one of Singapore Airlines’ freshly minted A380 cabins as well as decode a much-loved wardrobe staple — the trench coat.
Lastly, enjoy, with our compliments, the VisitBritain supplement, where we travel to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and London, to explore these quintessentially British destinations as hubs of culture, arts, fine dining, design, architecture and heritage.
Enjoy the issue and drive responsibly!