The government on Monday claimed that India has become the seventh largest vehicle producing nation in the world, six years ahead of the set target.
"When we were making the Auto Mission Plan (AMP) in 2006, we had projected India to become the seventh largest vehicle producing country in the world by 2016. We have already achieved this milestone good six years ahead of the set target," Secretary for Ministry of Heavy Industry BS Meena said here at a FICCI function.
He said that by 2020 the country will be among the top five vehicle producers.
Currently, China is the largest vehicle producer of the world followed by the US.
The AMP had aimed at increasing the automotive sector's turnover to $ 145 billion in 2016 and providing employment to 25 million people within 10 years. The turnover in 2005-06 was $ 34 billion and was employing 13.1 million people either directly or indirectly.
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the country vehicle production increased to 1,40,49,830 units in 2009-10, a jump of over 25 per cent from 11,172,275 units in the previous fiscal.
In 2005-06, the total vehicle production was 97,43,503 units.
Meena added during April-August 2009-10, the cumulative production of vehicles grew at 32.4 per cent over the year ago period.
"The passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and two-wheeler segments have all recorded impressive growth rates of 32 per cent, 49 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively, during this period," he said.
He further said that Indian passenger vehicle market is estimated to grow to 9 million units by 2020, while the two-wheeler market is likely to reach 30 million units.
"The realisation of these volumes would position India as one of the top five vehicle producing countries in the world by 2020 with the domestic consumption growing by 4-folds to $ 120 billion," Meena said.
The Secretary, however, cautioned that the most important challenge for the sector is to ensure that this growth is accompanied by strategies aimed at mitigating the adverse impact of vehicles on the environment.