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Automobile industry: A sector of numerous opportunities

The opening up of the Indian economy has resulted in the entry of global automobile giants. They are looking at India as a big market and as a production base. Automobile giants like Hyundai, Fiat, Ford Motors, TELCO, Maruti Suzuki, Hindustan Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra and Escorts, to name a few, already have their production plants in the country.

This has opened up numerous opportunities for persons with an automobile engineering, mechanical engineering and technical diplomas in this area. Mechanical engineers, electronics engineers, electrical engineers and those specializing in automobile engineering are involved in the assembly, testing, design, servicing and even marketing aspects of the automobile industry. Students of mechanical engineering can also opt for automobile engineering as an optional subject in many engineering colleges. Those who clear sections A & B of the Associate Membership Exam of the Institution of Engineers ( India) are also eligible for jobs on a par with engineering degree holders.

An automobile engineer is a key personnel of the automobile industry and is responsible for repairs, maintenance, designing and manufacturing of self-moving vehicles, such as cars, trucks, buses, vans, tempos, mopeds, motor cycles, scooters and tractors. An automobile engineer is concerned with the up-keep of vehicles to ensure their proper, efficient and economical running. At times, he may overhaul the vehicles by dismantling their assemblies and reassemble them after cleaning, removing defects and repairing or replacing worn-out parts.

An automobile maintenance engineer exercises general supervision over mechanics and other workers in the workshop, factory or garage. He may in addition, design new models, keeping in view their performance, capacity, durability and cost of manufacture and maintenance. For this, he studies the data of working of previous models, introduces fresh ideas, makes new computations and prepares working drawings of the new model. Once the model is thoroughly checked and tested, the final drawing for mass production is prepared.

Many private motor repair and maintenance service stations, automobile garages and workshops offer job opportunities to automobile engineers. Private transport companies, state road transport undertakings and defense services also offer a large variety of maintenance jobs.

With the establishment of many automobile and ancillary manufacturing and assembling plants, both in the private and public sectors, employment avenues are expanding in the fields of design and manufacturing of automobiles.

Insurance companies, covering risk on motor vehicles in addition, offer jobs as claim inspectors. Good opportunities exist on sales promotion side, as well as in the teaching departments of training institutions.

Diploma and post-diploma-holders are recruited for jobs on the shop floor in auto and ancillary manufacturing plants and for maintenance and servicing.

Automobile industry is a highly automated industry. Another development that is sweeping this industry is the introduction of electronic gadgets. With this there are growing opportunities and new challenges on the technical aspects in automotive engineering.

Therefore, one of the areas for employment is in computer-aided manufacturing and assembly line in the shop floor. Moreover, trained manpower is required in areas like computer aided design (CAD) and research and development. The level of emoluments is higher in this sector particularly on the shop floor where persons with a diploma are more technically suited whereas in other areas, graduates and post graduates with a mechanical engineering background and a research qualification are desired. In fact, the automotive industry is a multidisciplinary area that requires people in the areas of dual technologies like alternate technologies and combustion.

With the growth of the automobiles industry the numbers of new and used motor vehicle dealers is also increasing. They are the bridge between automobile manufacturers and the consumers. A full-service motor vehicle dealership provides service for its customers in four general departments: New vehicle sales, used vehicle sales, aftermarket sales, and service. These departments employ a wide range of occupations including managerial, administrative support, sales, and mechanic and repairer occupations.

With an increase in the production of commercial vehicles/ passengers cars, automobile engineers can expect to have a wide range of opportunities both for wage paid and self-employment ventures in the coming years.

An automobile engineer may start a repair workshop garage in a town or agro-service centre for the repair, maintenance and hiring of tractors and other agricultural machinery implements in rural areas.

Generally, engineers start with a salary ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 12,000 per month and diploma holders get between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000 per month.

The requirement of trained manpower is increasing in a big way. Therefore it has become necessary for academic institutes to mould their courses depending on the present and future needs by offering appropriate elective courses and developing special programmes that can keep the graduating engineers and diploma holders in tune with market needs.

In fact, the automobile industry is the barometer of the economic and social transformation taking place in the country. It is one of the major sources of employment and is likely to generate employment for thousands of new hands directly and indirectly, in near future.

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