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Old 20th March 2012, 21:53   #31
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

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Originally Posted by romeomidhun View Post
Those who were teens and above when Maruti came to India, are now 40+, and they are the main fans for Maruti nowadays. They are the ones who, at those times, experienced what quality and style is, when compared to HM and Padmini. They keep their affection towards Maruti even now.

But the current young generation are seeing the quality and style of the new entrants, and equally preferring them along with Maruti. So, after some 10 / 20 years, Maruti may lose the current advantage position, IMO.

(Note: All the above mentioned things are not applicable for Maruti Swift ).
My friend who is very young, energetic, very fashionable and serious told, today people dont look at Maruti. Youth want fashion and life style and only older generation are preferring Maruti and not necessarily the youngsters.

But the point to note is he does'nt know a four wheeler driving.
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Old 20th March 2012, 23:08   #32
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

With rising incomes, customer preference has moved from safe/reliable to fun/appealing/exciting. The future lies with the manufacturer who can have a balanced portfolio: sturdy workhorses for the commercial segment and fun yet reliable for personal use. Maruti appears to be working on the bling factor: look at the swift, alto k10, shortened dzire. Their ads also communicate the same idea of fun: swift, sx4, alto and even the estilo. I feel they are going in the right direction, and their dominion is here to stay
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Old 20th March 2012, 23:59   #33
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

I owned a maruti in the past and though I dont own one today, and the only reason is because they dont have an offering in the segment I was shopping for- My reasons are as below

- For middle class, buying a car involves huge sum of money and hence we not only want maximum value for money, but also peace of mind in the long run. Maruti provides this assurance.

- After sales service. Irrespective of whether you are an alto owner or a kizashi owner, you will be treated the same way. I used to get very good attention whenever I take my car in for service, and would always return back home with a smile. They may not exactly have expert technicians, but they go the distance to please you. With the volumes they are selling, this is no mean feat. They literally pamper the customer.

- Maintanence costs - very reasonable for the segment they are competing in. Though hyundai has good reputation next to maruti, they arent exactly cheap to maintain.

- The company is very approachable and receptive to customer complaints. The regional service manager for south personally contacted me when I had outstanding complaints on the car and saw to that they are appropriately addressed. Give the service center a negative rating and they'll come running behind you to address the problem. Show me one another manufacturer who do so.

- Word of mouth publicity - I recommend to my colleagues/friends to opt for a maruti for peaceful ownership experience and its no surprise that there are so many people who dont look beyond maruti simply for this reason. If I were to buy a small car today, Maruti will be my first choice. period.

Again, what I said is based purely on my ownership experience of owning a swift for 4 years. Agreed that not all service centers are good and their cars arent the best around, but they give you enough choices if you arent happy with one service station and want to move on to the other. There is a competition amongst the service centers to attract new customers (new business), so they offer lot of value added services free of cost (pick-up/drop service at your doorstep, drop in the shuttle to the nearest bus terminus, etc).

Ultimately customer is the winner at the end of the day.

Last edited by bala80 : 21st March 2012 at 00:02.
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Old 21st March 2012, 08:09   #34
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

Once I gave -ve feedback to Maruti and they made almost 5-6 calls to know exactly what happened and they promised to inspect the car and repair if they had missed when they did the service.
*** is the major plus for Maruti. Their R&D is not doing too bad either. I believe they will dominate in future too.
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Old 21st March 2012, 09:06   #35
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

Maruti definitely had the first mover advantage. And they had a no-competition run for around 15 years, and also the backup of the Indian government during the initial years.
  1. With which manufacturers did Maruti had to compete against during their initial years? The Ambassadors and the Fiats. As a Japanese brand, with proper engineering, they were able to provide the reliability which was unheard of during those times. (I still remember the journeys on Ambassadors which required cooling every 50 odd Kms). People associated the Maruti brand with reliability.
  2. When other manufacturers came to India, the comparison was with Maruti and with the Ambys or Fiats. People have an inertia against change. The only way others could eat into the market of Maruti was providing something more than reliability, which Maruti already offered. Many of them started offering more contemporary models from their stable and it indeed forced Maruti to introduce better and more modern alternatives.
  3. The maximum sales for Maruti is from the small car sales as they have countless offerings to choose from, which is a good thing for the customer.
  4. Regarding safety, I beg to differ with many here. Just take the case of the new Swift. ABS was an optional extra in the V model earlier, but they removed this option on the new Swift. Now, people who want the feature has to opt for the Z model. And brands like Honda, Toyota and even Hyundai is offering safety features on more than one model. But, instead of criticizing Maruti, I would put the blame on the people. If the people want it, any manufacturer will offer it. Maruti gives products which the people like to have, simple.
[Disclaimer: My post is not intended for brand bashing. I myself am going to book a Wagon R for my parents shortly]
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Old 21st March 2012, 09:22   #36
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

Maruti does offer ABS and Airbags on its cars, however they aren't the only ones to skimp of safety. Every other manufacturer does the same. ABS at the price bracket where Maruti dominates is a huge cost maybe upto 10% of the total(approx). Most customers, including the so-called educated ones would go for bling alloys on a Swift rather than pay for ABS(earlier model).
Direct competition with Maruti is not in the horizon, even the financially strong VW is says it can't be present in the lowest end of the segment - translated, they cannot compete on cost. VW is a mass manufacturer they have no other excuse if they are unable to compete directly with MS.
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Old 21st March 2012, 09:34   #37
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

I'm sorry but I do not understand the premise of this thread. Absolute Domination - Where??? Their market share is diminishing constantly, their adventures in the luxury segment failed glaringly like the Iridium project and their cars are as good looking as a goat and a camel.

I hope you understand that Maruti Suzuki got the initial lead, which lasted for decades together, because of the fact that they were a government backed enterprise with some really strong and sane management at the helm. Before Maruti was incorporated, cars had to be imported in India. Hence they were either unaffordable and/or difficult to maintain due to availability of parts. It was a good decision on the part of Mr. Sanjay Gandhi to give our country a car company to call our own (and a steady income to himself) with the help of a Joint Venture. Suzuki was chosen from a host of competitors and the rest is history.

Maruti, till now, had never had to face real competition and over the years they grew because Indian economy grew and also because Suzuki took advantage of the low cost manufacturing facilities in India. The contempories of Maruti in those days were nothing to write about. Premier Motors failed because of its own problems and might be because of its choice of wrong partner as well. Peugeot left India and Indians in a mess and the great grand daddy - Hindustan Motors - has always been a sleeping entity (sleeping with the government, that is). What choice did you have here?

If you think it was Suzuki that did wonders to Maruti, you're mistaken again. Indians buy Maruti not because it has technological brilliance of Suzuki behind it. Damn, 40% Indians wouldn't even know Suzuki is Japanese and what else do they manufacture apart from cars (my roommates don't know that and they are the educated lot). Look at the glorious sales figures of their bikes in India. Is the technology any different? The Gixxer sells by the boat load elsewhere in the world. You would say the scooterrete Access sells. But isn't is ALWAYS the second choice as the Honda Activa has a huge waiting period?

Let's give some credit to the management at Maruti Suzuki. They steered the company in the right direction. We should all be proud of the fact that there are a handful of public sector companies that do not bring nightmares to it's stakeholders. Kudos to them.

When on one hand I do think that Maruti or Suzuki India will continue to sell more cars than any other brand currently because of several things going in their favour - established manufacturing, sales, service base in India, very little or negligible reliance on foreign technology or parts - only exception is the diesel engine, PERCEPTION of Indians that Maruti is still a government company and finally the skillful management that knows that all this country cares for is Fuel Efficiency.

But on the other, I feel for sure that this lead or domination or whatever is gonna leave Maruti very soon. Till then Maruti can enjoy the fruits of it's past management's hardwork and go ga-ga over it.

I for one didn't even consider Maruti while buying my first car. Why should I buy a tin box for the same amount when I can get a solidly built European beauty that looks and drives far better?
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Old 21st March 2012, 09:37   #38
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

I am writing my opinions on the domination shown by Maruti:

1. Service : We Indians go by the notion of "If it's not broken, don't fix it". Yes, we believe in breakdown service, rather than preventive maintenance. It is this mentality of the masses that Maruti has really worked upon. The reason behind the wide service station network is this, simply put! We don't count the number of times we visit the station, but the distance / time it takes to reach it.

A change in our approach to vehicle maintenance will change the scenario of service stations coming up.

2. Cost of Spares : It is well known that the cost of spares is less compared to others. But cost of spares usually goes with the life built with it. Cost of an simple engine oil rated for 5000kms change to that of 10000kms change is almost double, on per km basis both might be same. But do we really see that? By this I am accusing / propagating against Maruti, it's just to pin point how they have derived their business model based on the Indian mentalities & sensibilities.

3. Small is Big : This is again our thought of owning a low priced car that can carry a lot of people (reason behind some of the top sellers - Omni, EEco, etc.). Indians are more family oriented and are traditionalists. Owning and maintaining one car itself is a huge thing for many. Hence the affordability of cars is crucial here.

Competition has been able to tap this particular factor well. But, rest all it is total domination from Maruti, hence the bigger share of market.

Once things like safety (enforcement from Government laws, I believe we Indians will always put it in the last bin of priorities) it will be more competitive for Maruti in terms of pricing and some of their older models may find it difficult to meet them and might be discontinued.
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Old 21st March 2012, 10:35   #39
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

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Originally Posted by urajkumar View Post
The Midas Touch: Whatever they do, they find success.
The above point is debatable. They could not replicate the success of their small cars to sedans like SX4 or Kishashi.

Last edited by GTO : 21st March 2012 at 20:05. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 21st March 2012, 10:45   #40
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

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AjiGTI urajkumar;2719789
6) The Midas Touch: Whatever they do, they find success.

The above point is debatable. They could not replicate the success of their small cars to sedans like SX4 or Kishashi
true to a certain extent! Thought compared to a lot of auto manufacturers, thier success rate is much higher. I get a feeling they didnt give the attention it deserves till now!

Last edited by urajkumar : 21st March 2012 at 10:48.
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:11   #41
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

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Originally Posted by urajkumar View Post
true to a certain extent! Thought compared to a lot of auto manufacturers, thier success rate is much higher. I get a feeling they didnt give the attention it deserves till now!
Maruti can't sell anything above 7 lacs. The SX4 for is a sales dud; Kizashi and Grand Vitara are disasters.

Once you establish yourself as a cheap (VFM) brand, the rich would not want to be seen associating with that brand. So they move to Toyotas and Hondas.
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:41   #42
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

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Originally Posted by civic-sense View Post
Once you establish yourself as a cheap (VFM) brand, the rich would not want to be seen associating with that brand. So they move to Toyotas and Hondas.
Hello,

you are correct sir.

We are going to book Alto K10 as our first car soon. But my father dreams of owning a Honda Civic. When I ask him about SX4 he says "Nahi beta, tum Honda main baith ke dekho. Uska maja kuch aur hi hain. Bahut smooth chalti hain"

I don't think he has sat in a SX4 : but he does not believe that a company that makes good, cheap small cars can make good, expensive big cars.

He might be wrong : but SX4 sales figures prove him right

Thank you.
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Old 21st March 2012, 12:04   #43
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

Our first car was a Fiat 1100D. After twenty years we moved to a Maruti Omni. The difference was palpable. Where earlier I was replacing various odd bulbs every three months, checking the radiator and oil levels twice a week,etc, the Omni only asked for it's regular service at scheduled intervals. I never had to worry about coolant loss or leaking oil, and changed perhaps two bulbs in the seven years I had the Omni. That's the contribution Maruti made to the Indian car scene.
Thereafter I had a Ford and a Hyundai, and after owning these brands for six-odd years, went back to Maruti. Again the sense of reliability and good service is back. I also have the advantage that service is much closer at hand as they have such a wide network.
Though I'm a car nut, as I get older and my life gets more filled with family and work issues, I begin to appreciate what Maruti does for the car-ownership experience of the average Joe.
It's like the faithful and hardworking Indian wife, not always glamorous, but reliable, undemanding, and comforting to have in one's life.

Last edited by filcord : 21st March 2012 at 12:05. Reason: grammar and spelling
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Old 21st March 2012, 12:17   #44
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

After owning a few brands in the family we bought Zen and then a decade later i bought Baleno, both cars served us well (On is still serving). In the last six+ years it has stopped only once without notice and has had less problems then our other cars (In extended family) which includes Ford/Chevy/Hyundai.

Even today, all it needs is a little bit work on some scratches and a few repair work here and there, otherwise she is just fine and will continue to be in this state for next 3-4 years is what i believe.

What Maruti makes is cheap to own cars that last a lifetime. This is what makes a killer proposition.

Since the Baleno experience, i have kindof gotten smitten with Japanese reliability.
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Old 21st March 2012, 12:24   #45
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Default Re: Absolute Domination by Maruti

I think people are confusing the SX4 with Maruti's unchangeable fortunes in the C segment. The car comes with the baggage of european design, narrow cabin,limited space and overweight - all work aganst it, if Suzuki were to make the next generation more spacious and get a 1.6MJD, it will be in the reckoning.

Maruti can compete on price and in a market like India that advantage will remain for a long time. The whole idea of Maruti as tin cans is overplayed, its better to have a working tin can that a solid go-nowhere white elephant.
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