Wednesday, January 18, 2006

VISION 2025 : Maruti buys out GM for $82.7 billion

Maruti buys out GM for $82.7 billion!


Maruti Udyog Limited inked an agreement late on Sunday night to buy out General Motors lock, stock and barrel in a deal valued at $82.7 billion. The deal is expected to be announced at MUL’s AGM on Monday, TOI has learnt from reliable sources. The buy-out, the largest in the automobile industry for decades, will give MUL a 62% share of the world passenger car market. MUL outbid Chinese arch rival Dong Feng Motor Company, which was also keen on acquiring GM. Also expected at Monday's AGM is an announcement about MUL hiving off its loss-making Japanese subsidiary, Suzuki Motors. The Japanese car unit has been making losses for several years now, and senior officials at MUL said it was only a matter of time before this had to happen. The company officials also said that concentrating on the Indian market, now the largest in the world and accounting for 20% (and growing) of all cars sold globally, was a priority. The GM deal will give MUL a stronghold over the American car market, increasing its share from 45% to an even healthier 74%, while strengthening its position in China, the second largest market after India. Rumours of the impending deal had driven the benchmark index of the Delhi-based Indian Stock Exchange up to an all-time high on Friday. Secondary markets such as the BSE and the KSE also rose to all-time highs.

Purchasing power and glory


You’ve heard it so many times - Mumbai’s been the “business capital” of India for as long as you can remember, and Bangalore is the new face of India’s globalisation - but amidst all that tom-toming, Delhi’s where the biggest show of India Booming is being scripted. All you’ll ever really hear about Delhi from elsewhere is how good the roads here are, and that’s only because it happens to be the National Capital. In reality, the roads are great, but there’s much more to Delhi than meets the eye.

Though Mumbai is every immigrant’s dream and Bangalore is attracting talent from all over the country, the fastest growing metro in the country over the last couple of decades is Delhi.

Between 1981 and 1991, Delhi’s population grew by almost 47%, ahead of Bangalore at 41% and far ahead of Mumbai at 33.7%, Chennai at 26.4% and Kolkata at 19.9%. In the decade that followed, Delhi grew even faster, at an astonishing 51.9%. At the same time, between 1991-2001, growth rates actually declined in the other four cities, with Bangalore growing next-fastest at 37.8%.

It isn’t just the population burgeoning, though. Delhi is also clearly tops when it comes to purchasing power. Take the automobile market. Delhi accounts for 15% of all automobile sales in the small car segment, by far the highest in the country. Mumbai accounted for 10%, Bangalore and Chennai together accounted for another 10%, and Kolkata clocked 5%.
When it comes to the bigger car segments, Delhi’s even further ahead of the rest. Honda, for instance, sells more cars in Delhi than it does in all the other four cities put together. Delhi’s has a 33% share in Honda sales, while Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata have a combined share of 27%.

Delhi also leads the field in mobile telephony. An estimated 2.6 million mobile phones were sold in Delhi in 2005. That’s more than the number of phones sold in Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore put together. Kolkata bought 1.25 million phones, Chennai 0.75 million and Bangalore 1.1 million. Mumbai came closest to Delhi with 2.4 million.

Delhi has also emerged as the largest market for colour televisions. ORG data shows that as many as 35 lakh TVs sell in India’s 35 largest cities. Delhi alone accounts for as much as 18.5% of those sales, while next-best Mumbai is a fair distance behind, accounting for only 13%.

It’s the same story with fridges. Of the 13.3 lakh fridges sold in the 35 largest cities, Delhi accounts for 16.3%, with Mumbai trailing yet again with 13.4%. To put Delhi’s consumption figures in perspective, it helps to remember that Delhi has a population of 12.9 million people, about 20 % lower than Mumbai’s 16.4 million.

To drive home the point of Delhi’s ascendancy in India’s business hierarchy, take a look at figures from the latest National Council of Applied Economic Research survey on household incomes.
When in comes to households with moolah, there’s no beating Delhi. Delhi has more households earning in excess of Rs 10 lakhs every year than Mumbai and Kolkata put together. While Delhi accounts for a huge 30% of all such households in the country, Mumbai has only 22.6%, Kolkata is much further down at 5.5%, with Chennai at 5% and Bangalore at 2.4%.

All of this hasn’t happened overnight either. Delhi’s been where the action is for some time now. The last such survey, conducted in the mid-90s, showed that Delhi accounted for 37.4% of high-income families, with Mumbai accounting for 24.9%. While Delhi had about 13,000 more high-salary households in 1995, the current figures show a gap of 37,000 between the two cities. So perhaps it’s time everyone realised there’s a lot more to Delhi than just good roads.


Capital revolution: moving softly from local to global


Over the last decade or so, Delhi has been in the initial stages of an unheralded revolution. It has grown beyond recognition, creating the NCR region and becoming a poster-child for outsourcing and industry, designer labels and international brands. Malls have sprung up overnight and the metro has become the symbol of a city that has firmly turned its face towards the future.
Today, we stand at the tipping point. Waiting to be rocketed into higher orbit. Alongside world-class cities like New York, Tokyo and Paris. The road ahead is paved with challenges, no doubt. So was the one we covered till now. From the phasing out of the old 'phut-phuttis' (a dubious and yet apt symbol of all that Delhi stood for) and the introduction of CNG, to the building of new flyovers and the complete makeover of the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.

Backed with this confidence and riding on the buoyant, can-do outlook of young Delhiites, The Times of India is proud to champion Delhi's quest for super-city status through a three-month-long initiative titled, 'Chalo, Dilli: From Walled City to World City'. Over the next 12 weeks we will involve you to raise questions on issues that are tied to Delhi's future and seek answers from authorities, experts and citizens, while jointly celebrating the journey till this point.

A 'world-class' city is defined on parameters of living standards, education, commuting infrastructure, leisure and lifestyle avenues, sporting facilities, arts and culture as well as business environment.
New York, London and Hong Kong each have a fantastic business ethos that makes them powerhouses of international finance. Paris has a certain je ne sais quoi about it - that intangible essence that makes it the heart of international art, culture, cuisine, fashion and romance. Geneva and Sydney are among the world's best places to live because of a combination of a terrific infrastructure and low crime rates. Singapore, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur are symbolic of the coming of age of Asia — sleek and bustling yet clean and cultured.

How should Delhi evolve? What do we have going for us and what more will it take for Delhi to get there? We will evaluate Delhi on each of the above parameters (and more) every week, taking stock of where Delhiites believe we stand today and what should be done to achieve global standards.

Rest assured, it won't be an all-work-no-play approach. A spate of ground events will echo what we write - right from counselling workshops to cultural events. In everything that we do, we invite your whole-hearted participation. Besides writing to the paper, please join us on the microsite (http://chalodilli.indiatimes.com) and in cultural events that will span the length and breadth of the city - from Dilli Haat to India Gate, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and more.

Today, we stand at the tipping point. Waiting to be rocketed into higher orbit. Alongside world-class cities like New York, Tokyo and Paris. The road ahead is paved with challenges, no doubt. So was the one we covered till now. From the phasing out of the old 'phut-phuttis' (a dubious and yet apt symbol of all that Delhi stood for) and the introduction of CNG, to the building of new flyovers and the complete makeover of the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.

Backed with this confidence and riding on the buoyant, can-do outlook of young Delhiites, The Times of India is proud to champion Delhi's quest for super-city status through a three-month-long initiative titled, 'Chalo, Dilli: From Walled City to World City'. Over the next 12 weeks we will involve you to raise questions on issues that are tied to Delhi's future and seek answers from authorities, experts and citizens, while jointly celebrating the journey till this point.

And here's the best part: would you believe that Delhi is perhaps the best placed to emerge as 'The World City'? Most world-class cities are good at one thing or, at most, two. There is hardly a city in the world that represents the confluence of the most promising political, economic and cultural realms as perfectly as Delhi promises. We have more heritage than all most so-called 'world-class' cities combined. We have a resurgent and thriving tradition of painting, sculpture and the performing arts. Gurgaon and Noida are internationally recognised names in the outsourcing industry. It is the entry point for numerous visitors to the 'Golden Triangle'.

It's time we got together and made Delhi the super city it is longing to be. Chalo, Dilli!


(zapped?
If this has you totally confused, don’t worry. You haven’t woken up in a sci-fi novel. Check out the dateline above. It could be a day in Delhi 20 years from now. Over the next 12 weeks The Times Of India will be setting the agenda for getting there.)
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