The Tata Nano is the world’s cheapest car but nowhere close to being a good seller. If you factor in the economics of demand and pricing, you will feel the Nano should have done better, much better. Sadly it hasn’t and there are several reasons for it. Firstly the car was positioned as the cheapest car in the world. Nobody (at least not in India) wants to drive the “CHEAPEST” car. Had Tata Motors positioned the vehicle as the most affordable car in the world, things could have been different for the Nano. Or so the theory goes. The truth is probably closer to the fact that people, once they have a little money, don’t want to drive a car that shouts “I can’t afford more!” That type of reverse snobbery is left to very developed markets, or Jay Leno’s garage. Read More >
Long feted as “the next China,” the Indian car market turned into a big disappointment: India’s annual car sales fell for the first time in a decade in the financial year just ended, Reuters says.
“Carmakers in India, two years ago the world’s hottest growth market after China, have seen high interest rates, rising fuel prices and prolonged economic gloom turn an industry recently growing at 30 percent a year into one plagued by huge discounts, showrooms full of unsold cars, and chronic overcapacity.” Read More >
A farmer from a village in Punjab recently paid Rs. 7,00,000/- ($13,000) to get the registration number PB-07 AK-47. AK-47 is the famous assault rifle, but what is shocking is the vehicle he got this number for. Read More >
General Motors entered India in 1996 and to this date, the company hasn’t been able to understand the market. The American car maker was among the first few to enter India after the economy was opened to foreigners in 1991, with majority of manufactuers entering India after 1998. GM has two plants in the country, both of which are under utilized (only 38% utilisation). The company initially entered with Opel branded cars (Corsa and Vectra), which were a nightmare when it came to repairs, since parts were imported from Germany, thereby costing a fortune.
While Volkswagen is soaring high in most countries, its India innings have been far from successful. Everybody keeps talking about China and India being the next big automobile markets in the world. The truth is, China has already peaked, while India has a long way to go. For instance, Volkswagen sold 2.8 million units in China last year, while in India, they sold less than 100,000 (which is their plant capacity).
Although Jaguar Land Rover has made tentative forays into building cars in India (such as building the Jaguar XF from CKD kits), the British luxury group, now owned by Tata, is apparently on the cusp of establishing full production in India.
The whole world is betting big on India and China. I don’t have much idea about China, but India definitely needs to move its game if it wants to become a biggie in the automobile sector. Scams, scams and some more scams is what India is becoming more famous for, resulting in a huge deficit for the government. This in turn results in hue and cry by the ministers, resulting in increased taxation. Read More >
The Honda CR-V might be a major success in Europe and America, but in India, it performs very poorly, selling in double digit numbers every month. Since the time of launch, Honda has sold 13,739 units of the CR-V in India. Honda launched the CR-V here ten years ago in 2003, and it still isn’t in the groove. India is d-d-d-diesel dominated, and SUVs and crossovers better be diesel or they are d-d-d-destined for d-d-doom. BMW recently launched its facelifted X1 in India, offering it with a diesel engine only. Yes, heresy, d-d-dat’s right. Read More >
The Bugatti Veyron is one of the fastest cars in the world and definitely the rarest car in India. The very few (single digit) Veyrons that have been sold in India make it a sighting as probable as Elvis. Now an Indian car designer (SF Carz) has taken a Maruti Suzuki Esteem (second generation Swift) and turned it into a Veyron. The result hasn’t turned out too bad. Although the smaller dimensions of the Esteem are immediately visible, the effort is certainly a good one. Read More >
Fiat is one of the oldest car manufacturers in India, having enteredat a time when there was no GM, Volkswagen, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai in the country. Today, Fiat is the second last in terms of market share, selling just less than a thousand units on a monthly average. The company below Fiat in terms of market share is Mitsubishi, which only sells SUVs in the Indian market. So how did Fiat manage to perform so poorly? Poor customer service, bad marketing and lack of new products has lead to Fiat’s slow demise in the Indian market. No more, says Fiat. Read More >
If there’s a better symbol of how much the world has changed since the fall of the British Empire than an Indian-made Jaguar, built by Tata, then I haven’t seen it.
Yes, the Jaipur court has issued arrest warrants against the Porsche CEO and eight board members for cheating. Porsche entered India a few years ago, appointing Precision Cars as their official importer. The local company made investments in 7 dealerships over the course of time and suddenly Volkswagen appointed itself as the new importer, thereby abruptly ending Precision Cars’ contract. According to media reports, likely sourced from lawyers, the German car maker did not give any prior notice and neither parties were able to come to a conclusion since April 2012. Precision Cars says it got in touch with Porsche several times but received no response from them. Precision Cars wants to see Porsche managers in handcuffs and a cell. Read More >
We had posted earlier about how the Duster was setting sales charts on fire for Renault. Now, the Duster’s commercial success has been matched with critical acclaim, as it has taken home the coveted Indian Car of the Year award.
While Ford has launched quite a few vehicles globally in 2012, the American automaker hasn’t launched a single new product in India this year. After the success of the Figo (a hatchback developed especially for India and now being exported to emerging markets), Ford announced its plans to launch 8 new products by 2015 in the sub-continent. The company promptly launched the first product, the new Ford Fiesta. It performed quite badly due to the high pricing. At the Auto Expo earlier this year, Ford created a huge wave among prospective buyers by unveiling the second generation EcoSport. Read More >
Last week, when talking about Volkswagen’s future $10,00o low-cost car, we said that “is rumored to work on something that costs about half.” Guess it is no longer a rumor. Reuters writes that Gerard Detourbet , the man behind Renault’s Logan program, is in Chennai, India, to work on a real budget car, costing about half of Volkswagen’s targeted price. India is the battlefield for low-cost cars. And that’s not because of Tata’s Nano. Read More >