These are famous late entrants into the Indian car market but Renault Nissan, Volkswagen and Peugeot are showing signs that they are getting ready for the battle.
To make up for lost time, the pace of new launches is intense. Nissan said it would launch over 10 cars in the next 6 years and is aiming to become the number 1 Japanese manufacturer in India. Since that effectively means overhauling Maruti's gigantic shadow and become the overall number 1 itself, no mean task.
"Being a first mover is not a guarantee that you would be the number 1 player forever," said Andy Palmer, executive vice president, global planning and programme management, Nissan Motor Co. "We were late into China as well but we are now the number one manufacturer from Asia there. We hope to replicate it in India as well."
German auto giant Volkswagen that is aiming to become the largest carmaker worldwide by 2018, also neglected India for a very long time. Even then, it intends to be in the big league and is not content playing an also ran.
"Currently, the group's market share is quite low but we are working to increase it," said Ulrich Hackenberg, head of technical development at Volkswagen. "Our share is less than 5 per cent and we are expecting that we would be able to increase to 10% by 2018."
French carmaker Peugeot however, is the most disadvantaged. Having announced its Indian entry only last year, its first locally assembled car would hit the roads only by 2014.
Between them Maruti, Hyundai and Tata account for nearly 70% of the near 2 million units per year car industry in the country leaving as many as 16 companies to fight for the remaining 30%. While that pie itself is increasing, some of them however are bound to fall by the wayside.