South Asian countries in the report include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. According to CRI’s analysis, significant gaps remain in population and economic development among South Asian countries. By the end of 2016, the population in South Asia had exceeded 1.7 billion. India has the largest population of over 1.3 billion, while Bhutan has the smallest population of less than 1 million. In general, the economic development remains at a low level.
In 2016, Sri Lanka had the largest GDP per capita among South Asian countries, which was about USD 4,000. In comparison, Nepal had the lowest GDP per capita of less than USD 800 in 2016. Due to poor economic development, the minimum wage was lower than USD 100 per month in 2017 in South Asia. Sri Lanka has the lowest minimum wage, which was only USD 60 per month.
According to CRI’s analysis, South Asian countries vary greatly in terms of automobile manufacturing and market demand. India has become the most developed country in South Asia in automobile manufacturing. Apart from two domestic brands, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, some leading automobile manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Benz, Volkswagen and Hyundai have built factories in India. There are also a considerable number of automobile accessory manufacturers in India. In 2016, the production volume of automobiles was over 4 million in India; the sales volume exceeded 3 million. Meanwhile, India also exported hundreds of thousands of automobiles.
CRI’s analysis shows that vehicle manufacturing industry in Pakistan has formed a certain scale but it still has to import a certain number of cars every year. Nepal has only one automobile assembly plant with a small scale, HULAS. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan do not have automobile manufacturing. Therefore, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan are entirely dependent on import.
CRI predicts that though the economic development remains at a low level in South Asian Region, but it still has huge growth potential. Due to low labor cost, it is expected that the automobile accessory and vehicle manufacturing will develop fast in South Asian Region over the next few years. With the economic development, the market demand for automobiles will rise rapidly in South Asia.