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…)
Ad Age is reporting that Ford’s advertising agency, JWT, has fired the ad agency staffers behind a pair of offensive ads showing bound and gagged women in the back of a Ford Figo hatchback. Ford is not, however, looking to change advertising companies over the fiasco. The images were created by JWT staffers in India and then uploaded to the ad agency’s website. Such ads are often created without client approval as a way for ad designers to bolster their portfolios and were never intended to become part of Ford’s official campaign to promote the Figo.
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 revived Datsun brand will get its first plant in India. Renault-Nissan announced plans for a new factory in India, and will invest 250 million euros to build the plant.
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…)
Now that almost all official data for the Full Year 2012 is available (Middle East is still to come in my books), and just as we are starting to get a feel for what 2013 could look like, I thought I would do a little summary for you of what happened in 2012 in the biggest markets in the world. We have gone through the Chinese, European and Russian markets already, now let’s have a look at India….
India not your thing? That’s ok, you can check out the best-selling models and brands in 171 additional countries and territories on my blog. Enjoy!
Back to India.
And like every single member of the BRICs, 2012 was a record year for the Indian car market. Whoever came up with that BRIC expression should be hailed as a modern day Nostradamus if you ask me….
I believe that it was over text message, three years ago, that my then-girlfriend proposed we take a month-long trip to India together. To a Westerner, life on the Indian subcontinent is a feast for the senses, rife with sights, smells, sounds, and tastes that bear no comparison prior to visiting. For her, the trip would be something of an opportunity to clear our heads and devote attention to a relationship that was based on spontaneity and excitement, as well as to take in the redolence and beauty of Indian culture.
For me, however, it was much simpler. Fresh into my career as an automotive journalist, it would, naturally, be all about the cars.
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.