Style quotient low in Indian automobile designs: Official

New Delhi, Aug 28 ( Dilip Chhabria may have made a mark as a noted car designer but the style quotient is low in the country’s automobile sector, a top Indian official said here Friday.

“We have a deficiency in automobile designing in India. We need people to go abroad,” said Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Secretary Satyanarayana Dash.

“The trend is for small and compact cars and these require both good styling and should be environment-friendly,” Dash said at the annual convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Chhabria, who had once worked at the General Motors design centre in the US, is one of India’s most celebrated car designers, and had made the first prototype for the Aston Martin Vanquish, which appeared in the James Bond movie “Die Another Day”.

Dash was optimistic of the Indian auto sector’s growth, and referred to the two-wheeler and heavy vehicle segments.

“World over, the automobile industry has faced the worst recession ever but since February, it has been showing growth especially in India and China. While two-wheelers have shown a growth of 20 percent, bus and trucks have shown 19 percent growth and it’ll go further in the festival season,” he said.

The chief guest at the convention, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, said it was imperative that the auto sector lay stress on environment.

“One of the key issues to be identified by the automobile industry is the ability to be environment-friendly,” said Deshmukh.

The ministry is also in discussions with the commerce ministry for funds to help the ailing auto sector, especially the commercial vehicle segment, as “all other have shown some growth”.

“We are in dialogue with the finance ministry and we’ll see what can be done. There are new suggestions to create some funds but all of it is under consideration,” Deshmukh told reporters here.

The theme for this year’s annual convention was “Auto Industry: Revival, Restructuring and Sustainable Growth”.