By on February 12, 2010

Hyundai are on fire at the moment. They’re posting good profits at a time of economic instability, their quality & reliability is winning them awards and customers like what they see in their showrooms.  However, that magic formula seems to be losing its lustre elsewhere in the world. The Hindu Business Line reports that Tata Motors have snatched number 2 position from Hyundai in the Indian market. Sucks to be third!

Tata’s snatching the silver was due to the growth of new models and refreshes of its existing. Tata sold 11,448 Indicas, which benefited from a new “Vista” range, a newly launched Indigo Manza, which sold 7,258 units and the good old/new Tata Nano, which sold 4,001 units. “The Indica sales were the highest this fiscal year, of which the Indigo’s share were in fact the highest since launch in 2000. The Nano volumes also helped. Full-scale commercial production for the Nano will start from April at the Sanand plant,” said a Tata company official. All in all, Tata sold 31,081 units in January 2010, which represents a 48% growth from January 2009. Hyundai sold only 29,601 units in the same period. However, Tata still have a long fight on their hands, if they want to go for the gold and supplant Maruti Suzuki as number one car maker in India.

For the same period, Maruti Suzuki sold a whopping 81,087 units, almost treble of Tata. As the sales figures show (to anyone with a brain in their head) India loves cheap, small cars. And if it’s one thing which Hyundai do well at, it’s cheap, small cars. So why are they being overtaken in the second most populous country in the world? Does this shift represent fundamental superiority on Tata’s part, even before Nano production goes in high gear?

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7 Comments on “Hyundai Says Tata To Second Place In India...”

  • avatar

    Hyundai has actually positioned itself as a higher premium company than Tata – and justifiably so. Hyundai is more aspirational, Tata is more entry level, but both have a place in India.

    While Tata has made great strides, their products are no where as refined, finished or trouble free as Hyundai’s. Hyundai also as good A.S.S. (After sales support/service). All this results in higher costs/better market perception/higher premiums for Hyundai cars in India.

    It is expected that Tata’s volumes will leap ahead even further (double?) as the Nano goes into full scale production over the next two years. However it remains to be seen how much this increase in volume will do for Tata’s bottom line. In the end this is what matters.

  • avatar

    Third place in a country with 1.1+ billion people is not so bad. Not that a high percentage can afford cars, but still, I’d take it. Lots of pent-up demand all things considered.


  • avatar

    ” India loves cheap, small cars”

    Really? Who would’ve thought so? So does Brazil, Russia, S. Africa…

    Case in point, when GM makes a promotion and offers special conditions its Celta beats out Fiat’s Uno for 3rd place in the market. When they insist on list price it falls to 4th or 5th place (FWIW the Celta is a nasty little car w/ few redeeming qualities, for that matter, so is the Uno, but it beats the Celta in price, space, practicality..). And there any number of cars in the Brazilian market that come to mind (Fiesta, Logan, Sandero, 207) all cars that don’t sell more unless they get special deals. Normal deals not so much. Funny how it doesn’t get into the makers’ thick skulls.

    As to Hyundai, guess this post just shows where you come from, Miss Corrigan. In Brazil, all Hyundais are imported and as such, come w/ interiors, engines and whatnot developed for 1st World. As such, they come across as near luxury vehicles. And much like Buick buyers of times gone by, are a favorite of doctors, lawyers and others well up on the well-to-do scale.

    Funny, but that’s just how the world works.

  • avatar

    I have a lot of respect for Tata for trying to design and build their own cars, but the word I got from Indians is Tata cars are crap. Most common to find broken down on the side.

    Saw a lot of Chevys there too. And lots of Honda Cities. Toyota was not that common.

    Also a ferrari, bentley, S class and an Audi Q7.

  • avatar

    Hyundai has done its time as a third-world mud-wrestler, and is clearly going after the Toyota end of the global car business. Can’t be all things to all people.

  • avatar

    1. Tata’s success stems from its newly launched sedan’ the ‘Indigo Manza’- less than half the price of a Civic, with Fiat power-plants, almost the same interior space, excellent ride quality. The fit and finish isn’t upto class standards, it looks like a bloated barge, the handling is crap – doesn’t really matter. Tata’s are cheap to repair, and, forgiving minor quibbles, quite reliable (lots of them ply around as taxis in the worst of terrain)

    2. Hyundai has its bases covered in the hatchback market with the decade old Santro (el cheap hatch – ‘Atos’ in some markets), the i10 and the i20. Trounces Tata’s ‘Indica Vista’, which is basically the ‘Indigo Manza’ minus a boot.

    Unless Hyundai brings in a ‘Manza’ fighter (the Accent/Verna are ageing), it’ll continue to lose to Tata.

  • avatar

    Tata jumping over Hyundai to become No.2 is hardly surprising when you consider that the Indica, over the past few years has become the go-to choice as the Indian equivalent of the North American fleet car. Most “call taxis” (i.e. dial-a-cab taxis) are Indicas, while Hyundais (in addition to their “premium” type positioning) are bought by individuals alone.

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