Faisal Ali Khan

By on February 25, 2013

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…)

By on February 15, 2013

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…)

By on February 1, 2013

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…)

By on January 22, 2013

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…)

By on January 4, 2013

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.

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By on December 23, 2012

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…)

By on December 14, 2012

With the introduction of the new Range Rover already underway, next on the agenda is the smaller Range Rover Sport.

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By on December 13, 2012

Since ages, India has been receiving cars from UK manufacturers (MINI, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, etc) and it’s now time to return the favour. Renault has commenced exports of the Duster compact SUV to the UK markets. This entry level vehicle is manufactured at Renault-Nissan’s India facility in Chennai. The Duster is badged as a Dacia for the UK and is very similar to the one sold in India. The Duster is a massive hit in India, selling more than 5,000 units per month, which is more than 6 times that of the second best selling car (Scala, which is a re-badged Nissan Sunny) in Renault India’s portfolio. (Read More…)

By on December 4, 2012

Skoda is one of the oldest European car manufacturers in India, having launched its first product, the first generation Octavia, way back in 2001. Volkswagen, which owns Skoda, only entered India in 2007. Skoda launched the second generation Octavia globally in 2004. However, the Czech company did not want to discontinue the old Octavia in the Indian market. Thus the second generation Octavia was re-badged as the Laura, while the first gen model continued to sell, till there were no takers in 2010. It is getting worse. (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2012

Less than two months ago, Land Rover unveiled the new Range Rover in India. It is set to go on sale in other key markets later this year / early next year. Due to its pricing, the Range Rover barely sells in India. The vehicle is brought in as a completely built unit from the UK. CBU models are taxed at a hefty 110% plus, which results in the price of the vehicle becoming more than double. Thus the new Range Rover range is expected to start at a price of Rs. 1.5 crore ($ 270,562). For the record, the Audi Q7 costs half as much. The Q7 is brought in as a CKD, resulting in much lower duties. (Read More…)

By on November 17, 2012

While the Civic, CR-V and Accord rule the roost in developed places like Europe and North America, the situation is quite different in emerging markets like India. Sales of these vehicles is so low that Honda has indefinitely put on hold the launch of their next generation models. Instead, Honda has chosen to concentrate on  entry-level hatchbacks and sedans. The Brio was one such product which was developed for emerging markets (like India, Thailand, etc) and the Brio Amaze is the sedan version of the Brio hatchback. (Read More…)

By on November 4, 2012

Tata Motors is one of the biggest and oldest vehicle manufacturers in India. The company has been building trucks and buses for a long time now. The first passenger vehicle from Tata Motors came in the 1990s and there has been no turning back since then. Tata Motors sells many vehicles in Europe, Asia and Africa, including the Indica Vista, Indigo Manza, Safari and Aria (pictured above). However, these products haven’t shaken the market so far. (Read More…)

By on October 22, 2012

The Volkswagen Up! and Skoda Citigo are compact cars with a huge potential for emerging markets like India. As much as Indians love small cars, they are big fans of sedans too. Thus everyone wants to upgrade to a sedan as soon as possible. However, big sedans are priced quite high since they attract additional excise duty. In India, a car which is less than 4-meters in length and has a gasoline engine less than 1.2-litre capacity or diesel engine less than 1.5-litre capacity, is classified as a small car. (Read More…)

By on October 20, 2012

Chinese products have dominated almost every industry – except of course the automobile industry. But this could easily change. Chinese made cars are improving at a rapid pace and could soon challenge more established car makers. The Chinese invasion will soon start in India, with General Motors launching the Sail hatchback. The Sail is the brainchild of GM’s  joint venture with  SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), which is by far the largest Chinese car maker, and  which also happens to be GM’s joint venture partner for India.

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By on October 9, 2012

The Indian car market is a difficult one to crack, with frequent policy changes leaving automakers in turmoil. Volkswagen entered India in 2007 and hasn’t got a grip on the Indian market yet. The German automaker has invested heavily in assembly and manufacturing operations but availed little success. The Polo and Vento (Polo sedan) are doing average numbers and are not selling anywhere close to what the company expects. The reason for the poor performance can be attributed to the higher pricing of VW cars. (Read More…)

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