India’s emerging middle class and car fleet: charging ahead?

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Report summary

India's car fleet outlook is crucial as it underpins demand of oil, metals, petrochemical products and etc. Based on our proprietary models, emerging middle class is a key driver of car ownership growth. Since India is still at a very early stage of motorization characterized by high income elasticity of vehicle penetration, will it see a rapid take-off of car ownership similar to China 10 – 15 years ago? Usually infrastructure limitations come into play late in a country's development stages, where urban population density prohibits further road-building, and car penetration saturates. But unique to China and most other developing countries, India's infrastructure is becoming an issue now. In conclusion, India's car fleet in the next 20 years will still grow rapidly. Although with infrastructure acting as a drag, it will not keep up with income growth, unusual in such an early stage of a nation's car fleet development.

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