Top 10 Car (Automobile) Companies in India 2017

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: June 10, 2017

The Indian automobile sector has consistently shown an upward trend, and continues to do so. With the opening up of global economies, a lot of international players forayed in the Indian car segment as India is a lucrative market for sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs. Apart from international players, some of the top Indian car manufacturers have catered to Indian as well as global audience. The top car companies in India include names like Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors followed by Honda, Toyota, Ford etc. Here is the list of the top 10 car companies in India 2017 as per Units Sold and Market Share.

India has been a huge market for the largest car companies owing to the huge population having a high purchasing power. Over the years however, even the best automobile brands in India have gone global and captured a strong market overseas. India is one of the rare few markets where Indian as well as international vehicles sell equally well. The biggest car companies in India not only give attractive prices and EMI solutions, but have also prioritized on giving good after sales service to customers.


Quick Glance at Top Car Companies in India 2017

1st place: Maruti Suzuki

2nd place: Hyundai Motor India

3rd place: Mahindra and Mahindra

4th place: Tata Motors

5th place: Honda

6th place: Toyota

7th place: Renault India Pvt. Ltd.

8th place: Ford

9th place: Nissan Motor India

10th place: Volkswagen

For More details about rankings and parameters, read on.


10. Volkswagen

Volkswagen, a German automobile company, is known worldwide for their up-class German engineering and the European class that adorns all their car models.


Image: company website

Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd is a division and a branch of the Volkswagen Group India, which entered India in the year 2007 Some of its famous models here in India are Jetta, Vento, Beetle and Polo. With a vast distribution network of around 119 showrooms spread across 101 Indian cities, it is headquartered at Chakan in Pune, Maharashtra, also where their state of the art manufacturing plant is also located.

The Volkswagen Group in India is presented by 5 large automobile brands of the world – SKODA, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini and 1 motorcycle brand – Ducati. Highest sales by volume is of the Volkswagen in the group, which represents both, high class premium segment cars as well as high volume compact and affordable models, but each car manufactured by them is convincingly worthy of its place on the roads. With Polo and Jetta being the maximum selling car models in India, they are the kings of the roads because of their award winning TSI engine which has won “International Engine of the Year” for 8 times in a row. Their engines are known for their low fuel consumption, being environment friendly and giving out lesser emissions.

Lately Volkswagen was enrobed in an emission scandal where its vehicles were convicted of emitting more air pollution than the permitted levels, which did hit their market share but soon they coped up and gracefully came out of this controversy. The TDI engine badge that adorns this company tells of a powerful R&D arm that this company can boast of. With many modern German technologies like Auto Hold, electric sunroof, coming home leaving home lights, 12 way adjustable seat with memory, steering mounted audio control,  best transmission and air conditioning system, Volkswagen cars make their concept of Intelligent Mobility a reality. With safety features like Anti theft sensor and interior surveillance monitor, ABS and Airbags, their cars are not only modern but also the safest cars in the world. All its plants are vertically integrated, which have a local manufacturing or atleast and an assembly plant in each country to save additional costs borne in transportation and exports.  It does a whole lot of CSR activities in India and promotes sustainability by manufacturing safe, environment friendly and highest quality products.

Number of cars sold: 48820

Market Share: 1.63%

9. Nissan

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., a Japanese automobile company, is headquartered at Chennai, Tamil Nadu in India.


Image: company website

Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese giant, and it is marketed in India under two portfolios, Nissan and Datsun. Famous for its models like Nissan Mycra, Nissan Terrano, Nissan Sunny, it has a global alliance with Renault Automobiles, for sharing innovation and other resources, benefitting both the companies.  It entered India in the year 2005, and today they have produced a compact SUV that perfectly complements the lifestyle of today’s Modern Indian consumers.  Nissan does its marketing by sponsoring cricket matches through ICC and has a Motorsport division that provides enough adrenaline rush to become the TOMA of any sports lover who plans to buy an SUV. It participates in all major Vehicle exhibitions and Road shows across the world, to mark its presence and a presence that is way ahead of any other company if we talk about power, innovation, technology and passion. Being an automobile company, it believes in Intelligent Mobility, where it constantly upgrades all its models with state-of-the-art features.

They believe that quality must extend to the customer delight, throughout the life cycle of their products. Deep diving into all details, they give utmost importance to the safety of not only the driver but also the pedestrian, and now their vehicles are a benchmark in the industry for being safest vehicles.  Caring about the needs of this diverse nation, India where each state is equivalent to one country of Europe, they have mindfully crafted their vehicles with “Designs for India”.

Number of cars sold: 57315

Market Share: 1.94%

8. Ford Motors

Ford Motors, with world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit is an American Automobile manufacturing company.


Image: company website

Ford was founded by Henry Ford, incorporated in the year 1903 and it went on to become a world leader in car manufacturing. It entered India in 1995 to expand into one of the world’s fastest growing automobile market, primarily owing to economic liberalization. With head office and a completely integrated manufacturing facility at Chennai, it also operates one more plant at Sanand, Gujarat. Some of its award winning models includes Ford Ecosport, Ford Endeavour, Ford Figo, Ford Fiesta, etc. When its Sanand plant became operational, it nearly doubled its annual production of I.C. engines to more than 6 lacs and 4.5 lacs plus vehicles of all models. Ford also boasts of the iconic Ford Mustang, the classy retro car manufactured with world level performance.  With the push of Make in India scheme, Ford made India a hub to make small and compact cars and low cc engines, because small and economical are what sells here in India. It also exports Indian make vehicles to 40 plus markets in the world. Being one of the oldest automobile manufacturers of the world, it has a benign presence in all the 6 continents of the world.

It is a public company with listings on the New York Stock Exchange and S&P 100 and 500 components.  With its history dating as back as 1903, when Henry Ford opened up the Ford Motor company in a revamped factory, it had a USD 28,000 in investment from only twelve investors. Ford previously entered India in 1926, but went into a loss as India was under the Imperial rule and majority of its populace were downtrodden. So it re-entered India in 1995, on a 50-50 Joint Venture with Mahindra and Mahindra but soon when it became profitable, Ford India Pvt. Ltd. Separated and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. With Ford Credit, it made loan sanction to buy a vehicle really reliable and transparent at competitive interest rates than the market, with flexible terms, and an exceptionally good customer service. But it does not really focus on making profits by selling its quality cars; it really cares for its customers and strives really hard to go closer to them, by expanding their dealership network throughout the country. Presently, Ford owns more than 376 sales and service outlets spread across 209 cities in India. With many initiatives like Pan-India Roadside Assistance, Mobile Service Support and ensuring least total cost of ownership, it has made a closer connection with the Indian Diaspora.

Number of cars sold: 90230

Market Share: 3%

7. Renault

Renault S.A., with its headquarters in France, is a leading automobile manufacturer in the world.


Image: company website

It is present in as many as 118 countries of the world, majorly in the premium segment.  Being a multinational company, it is listed on many stock exchanges of the world, most prominent being the New York stock exchange and Paris stock exchange.  Renault India Pvt Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Renault S.A. and is currently offering five models in the Indian market and they are Scala, the premium sedan, the SUV Duster, the compact MPV Fluence, Pulse, the ultimate compact car and Kwid, a budget car. Being a right hand driven market, Duster, being a premium selling car of Renault is also exported from India to many other right-hand driving countries of the world.  With a world class facility located at Chennai, it is also headquartered at the same city.  Soon, Renault and Nissan entered into an alliance to tap the world market. Indian market gained a lot from this, not only in terms of better technology and better designs, but also affordability and popularity among the Indian masses.

Renault Duster was marketed by John Abraham in his movie Madras Café.  They have worked on many reliable technologies that focus on the safety of their customers, like optimized braking system with ABS and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), the ESP (driving) with control and CSV under steer chassis "Four Control" four wheels, that not only provide an ultimate driving experience to its customers but also it has an eye for the CSR activities in India, which focuses mainly on road safety and education.  It converts students into road safety ambassadors. Since its launch in India, it has focused on not only innovation, but also adding parameters that add more to the safety of its cars. It shares the spirits of all festivals like Diwali, Chrishtmas with unfortunate orphan children by giving them an opportunity to spend that one day in utmost luxury with normal families. Its focus on CSR activities is not just limited to environmental protection and road safety but also towards spreading more and more smiles.

Number of cars sold: 135359

Market Share: 4.5%


6. Toyota

Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese company, headquartered in Toyota, Japan.


Image: pixabay

It is ranked at third position behind General Motors and Volkswagen, to be the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, primarily owing to the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011 or else it could have been at first position in the world. It is largest in terms of selling the highest number of hybrid vehicles in the world. Japanese technology advantage and many Operations management concepts like Just-in-time and Lean Manufacturing owe their existence to Toyota Production System. It is at first position in Japan. Any manufacturing technique that eliminates wastage of any kind, in terms of raw materials or time, is termed as being the Toyota way. Many Japanese concepts of OM like Kaizen, having the smallest correction facility, etc. because they believe in making it correct the first time.  TPS, the Toyota Production System, focuses on sustainable advancement of society through its environment friendly cars. Post World War II destruction, Japan rose to become the automobile hub in the world, next only to Germany.

It serves the complex hatch back market in Europe, as well as the sedan market of the U.S.A. continuously driving towards improvement in its technology and quality of its products. They back their cars with reliable customer post sales services and believe in giving their customers a firsthand driving experience than any other competitor. Employee focus is another important pillar of their foundation and they continuously work on building trust among them. Through constant improvement and priority for people, they strive towards entrusting whole of their resources for making world class products. Headquartered in Bangalore, Toyota Kirloskar in India, Toyota leads the way of future mobility. Protecting the environment has been their first priority, making eco friendly engines all the while.  At their heart lies constant innovation and transparency in all their operations worldwide.  With a presence in more than 160 countries worldwide, it works on a simple principle “Think Globally but act locally”, which makes it to suit and design their vehicles according to the local needs of that market.  They have partnered with many governments of many countries, ensuring overall development of that nation. Like any other responsible company, it has a strong Whistle Blower policy in place that protects any person who raises his voice against any corruption noticed within the boundaries of the company.

Number of cars sold: 137140

Market Share: 4.7%

5. Honda Motors India

Honda Motors, Japanese multinational automobile company, headquartered at Tokyo, Japan is one of the top car companies.


Image: pixabay

It is the world’s largest manufacturer of Internal Combustion engines (not only for automobiles, but also for ships, power equipment, aircraft) by volume.  It has its listings on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, as well as exchanges in Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, London, Paris and Switzerland. It has its presence on all the 6 continents of the world. Being Japan’s second largest automobile manufacturer (only behind Toyota), it is the world’s eighth largest manufacturer and seller of automobiles. The highest sales of its automobiles come from North America alone. Its two patented engines technologies – i-VTEC and i-DTEC, for petrol and diesel engines respectively, ensures maximum environmental responsibility with unparalleled mileage and high power production at least maintenance. Japan being a country where compactness plays more than spacious luxury, it was the first company to release a brand dedicated solely to luxury, Acura, in the year 1986. Apart from core automobiles, it has presence in other industries as well like power equipments, aircraft, personal watercraft, and through huge investments in R&D centers across worldwide, it has carved a niche for itself in the world of advanced technology, with involvement in Artificial Intelligence, robotics (ASIMO robots launched in 2000 which can walk like any human being independently) and Aero engines.

With an eye for the environment, it manufactures engines that work on flexible fuels, electricity, hydrogen fuel cells and has assembly plants across many countries across the globe, like Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, New Zealand, India and many more to save costs of transportation. Each country has its own headquarters and it is in Greater Noida in India. Honda's global lineup consists of the Fit, Civic, Accord, Insight, CR-V, CR-Z, City, Brio, Amaze, some vehicles specific to India. Honda, despite being known as an engine company, has never built a V8 for passenger vehicles although it planned to do so but it dropped the plan citing environmental and worldwide economic conditions as the reason. It installs a V6 engine in its luxury vehicles to maintain power with fuel economy. It is now totally focusing on vehicles that run on electricity, Hydrogen fuel and other renewable fuels.  Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) started as a partial subsidiary of Honda of Japan for the manufacturing and assembling, marketing and export of passenger cars in India. Honda today where it stands, tastes global success. Its founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda, had a vision with a challenging spirit at the core of which lied never stopping innovation and striving for world class quality and technology.

Number of cars sold: 157313

Market Share: 4.8%


4. Tata Motors

Tata Motors, established in the year 1945 under the then name of Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co. Ltd. (TELCO), is headquartered in Mumbai.


Image: company website

Tata Motors is the India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturing company and fourth largest passenger vehicles manufacturing company.  It is also the world's fourth largest truck manufacturer, and the world's second largest bus manufacturer, which comes after Marco Polo.  It is a company known for its deep values and ethics, and the care that they have for all their employees, it also undertakes a wide number of CSR activities, from educational programs to being engaged in community and social initiatives on labour and environment standards in compliance with the principles of the Global Compact, as it is a member of the UN Global Impact of which several reputable organizations of the world are members. Being an Indian company, it totally understands the needs of the typical Indian customer, a fuel efficient car that also looks modern and has space to accommodate his family. While the world waited for Tatat Nano, world’s cheapest car, it brought comfort and safety of a car to thousands of families worldwide.

Tata Ace is another award winning and most sold commercial vehicle (a mini truck) that has made it number one in India. It is present across the length and breadth of the country, with manufacturing plants located at Jamshedpur (the hub of Tata group of companies in the Indian state of Jharkhand), Pune (M.H.), Lucknow (U.P.), Pantnagar (Uttrakhand) and Dharwad (Karnataka).  It is the first Indian company from the engineering sector that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This more than 60 years old company, not only understands the economic and other needs of the country’s customers but they also posses the desired ability to transform them into apt offerings in their products through their cutting edge R&D.

Number of cars sold: 172504

Market Share: 5.7%


3. Mahindra and Mahindra

Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) is an Indian company that spreads to multinational operations, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


Image: company website

It boasts of being the largest Tractor manufacturer and seller in the world, traded at BSE and NSE. Before independence it was set up as a steel manufacturing company and known as Mahindra and Mohammed, but when one of its founders, Ghulam Mohammed migrated to Pakistan after independence, it came to be known as Mahindra & Mahindra. With the largest share in the utility vehicle segment, it is not behind in the passenger vehicle segment and with its flagship model, XUV 500; it soon became a top seller in India. It had all, the luxuries of a car as well as the power of an SUV and its sturdiness. It made a path breaking entry in the Indian market with its Scorpio. It is mostly known to market SUVs, and majorly farm equipments. So their vehicles are known to be sturdy. Not only in India, but also in China, the U.K. and the U.S.A., it has its assembly plants that bring down its transportation costs. With a wide global presence, covering Africa and Europe above all, Mahindra started its passenger vehicles segment with the Logan in April 2007 under the Mahindra Renault joint venture-ship.  It has its presence in the Energy and the Defense sector with a keen focus on the eco friendly green power, by harnessing solar power (Mahindra Solar) through Mahindra Cleantech Ltd.  Not only is it big on size and innovation, but also it does give equal importance to building reliable, sturdy and energy efficient engines.

Mahindra Scorpio was India’s first urban SUV, which suited well both the urban as well as the rural roads; hence it soon gained a catch in the rural market as well.  Not only in the mechanical sphere, but also it is present in the IT sphere with its IT arm, Tech Mahindra. Also, not only does it provide communication means for the roads, but also through air and water, by its aerospace and marine engineering wing. Through a dedicated R&D center, they not only innovate ahead of the curve but also bring solutions for keeping their operations sustainable and earth-friendly. They believe in transforming engineering and design problems while keeping their relationship with the natural world. Keeping their focus on world class products, they give utmost importance to the quality of all their manufacturing processes, be it any small.

Number of cars sold: 236130

Market Share: 7.6%


2. Hyundai

The company was founded in 1967 with 32.8% shares owned in Kia Motors; Hyundai Motor Company has world headquarters at Seoul, South Korea.


Image: company website

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Company and it is the second largest automobile manufacturer in India, coming only after Maruti Suzuki both in terms of sales and production by volumes. South Korean company by origin, it has its registered head office in Kanchipuram, and also owns a research and Engineering facility in Hyderabad, Telangana. Hyundai Motor Company has its roots in the year 1967 when the company's first model, the Cortina, was released in cooperation with Ford Motor Company in 1968. It paved the path for the company to climb the ladder and become the third largest automobile company in the world, in terms of volume sales. When Hyundai entered India in 1996, it was not at all a know brand. Then the known sellers were Maruti, Hindustan, Tata, Mahindra and Premier. Ford and Honda had been there in india for less than a year and even they were struggling to carve a niche for themselves in the Indian Automobile Market.

HMIL successfully introduced Santro in 1998 which made it the second largest company in India in no less a time. Soon it also climbed to become the largest exporter of automobiles from India, exporting around 1 million cars to 87 countries around the world, from its manufacturing facilities in India only. HMIL presently markets 10 models - Eon, Grand i10, Xcent, Elite i20, i20 Active, Verna, Elantra, Creta, Tucson and Santa Fe (imported). After Santro made Hyundai a rockstar in India, Hyundai Motors' introduced other popular models like the Eon and then launched the "i" series, which were advertised by Shah Rukh Khan. Believing in technological upgradation at each step, it also houses overseas R&D centers located in the United States, Germany, Japan, Korea, and China which focuses on state of the art system and product designs. They believe in opening up new possibilities, by coming up with more forward thinking ideas and solutions. But they also care about the environment, societies and largely their customers’ safety. Their CSR activities revolve around community development, vocational training in driving, healthcare and energy conservation. With the “Clean Move, Green Move”, they operate all their processes in such a way that does minimal harm to the environment. Their “Safe Move” campaign aims at ensuring safety of not only the driver but also the pedestrian.

Number of cars sold: 676827

Market Share: 16.9%

1. Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Udyog Limited, with corporate headquarters at New Delhi, was registered and established in the year 1981, but started out in the year 1982 in Gurgaon, Haryana.


Image: company website

It underwent a Joint Venture with Suzuki Motor Corporation in the same year thereby forming Maruti Suzuki India Limited. It initially had a 74% stake owned by the Indian government and the rest 26% owned by Suzuki Motors. But by May 2007, the government of India sold its complete share to Indian financial institutions. Today, it stands at a 54.2%-owned subsidiary of the Japanese automobile and motorcycle manufacturer. It is a listed company with listings on the NSE and BSE. In terms of market share, it is the leader in the Indian landscape which has close to 50% of the 4-wheeler market in India. Some of its popular models include the Ciaz, Ertiga, Wagon R, Alto, Swift, Celerio, Swift Dzire and Omni.

The company started with the best selling model, Maruti 800 (a highly affordable car), which was based the compact and light design of Alto, hallmark model of Suzuki. With competitors as the Hindustan Ambassador and the Premier Padmini, it was the first modern looking car in India. Many famous oldies like Maruti Zen, Omni, Maruti 800, etc have been a path breaker of the Maruti Suzuki alliance which gained advantage of both ever increasing globalization and economic liberalization of that era. It faced little competition from others, because luxury brands haven’t still entered India and the common Indian also could not afford them. Maruti 800 suited well the requirements and pride of a striving modern Indian commoner. Right from inception, Maruti brought to India, a very simple yet powerful Japanese philosophy of cars being 'smaller, lighter, shorter and neater'. The same characteristics make their cars extremely relevant to the Indian customers, the Indian conditions of roads and the Indian way of living, i.e. spending less and saving more.  Product quality, safety and cost consciousness are deeply embedded into their manufacturing process, which they have inherited from their parent company, Suzuki motors.

Maruti had an image attached with itself of selling affordable and mileage cars, so to change its image, in 2015; it launched a completely different dealership network, NEXA to sell its premium models like S-Cross, Ciaz, Baleno and Ignis.  Today, the company has 1,800+ sales outlets spread across a thousand Indian cities and it aims to double its sales network to 4,000 showrooms. It has the largest penetration in the Indian market. It believes in training its local sales and service force to the Japanese standards of highest quality in minimum possible time.  They believe in their customer’s delight and ever increasing their shareholders’ wealth. With a high belief in good corporate governance, they are committed to making cars that have great performance, high efficiency, low cost of ownership and does minimal damage to the environment, all because of their creating value through innovation, quality, creativity and extensive partnerships at each end.

Number of cars sold: 1568603

Market Share: 47.3%


Ranking Methodology:

1. The leading car companies present in India were taken

2. Parameters like number of units sold, market share in India are taken

3. Based on units sold and market share the final ranks of car companies in India is taken

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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