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Old 16th September 2012, 02:51   #1
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Default GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

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Dear Team,

Just wanted to share few observations of mine with you all and wanted to know your thoughts.

About Me:

I am not a market research and analytics guy but I have a background of management. Also I work for a software company as a manager so I have a little bit understanding on how the big corporates react to the competition.

Coming to my observations on GM India -

1. No solid Product Portfolio:

They are in India for more than a decade, but could never make a product which has turned the market hot. If you see their competitors they had products which ran their sales registers quite well

- Honda City
- Skoda Octavia
- Toyota Innova
- VW Vento (a very lateral entry to Indian Market)

2. Product Marketing:

I see this is the place where GM failed utterly. They have products like Optra Magnum (though looks boring), Aveo (for me this is the prettiest sedan) but they could not get the desired success. Also I did not remember any segment leader from GM India.

3. Lack of Understanding and responding to the Market needs:
This is another place where GM India failed again. When Maruti can get instant hit with Swift and very odd looking Dzire by outsourcing engines from FIAT, I donít understand how on earth GM could not use their own engines. I came to know that GM is also a technology partner for FIAT in innovating the MJD and thus donít even need to pay any royalty for building that engine. If they could tune these engines for their Aveo siblings they would also got success there. They woke up very late. The success of Beat Diesel will tell them what they lost during all these years.

4. Laziness in taking strategic decisions:

This is the work which I could tell about GM India corporate. They are very late in taking decisions and responding to the market. Even if you see their website, it looks so boring and looks too older to me for the current standards of the websites.

With all above I wanted to understand is GM India, hopeless? Or Aimless? Or Both?
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Old 16th September 2012, 05:02   #2
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Except for just the two companies that have captured our market, Maruti and Hyundai, it is the same story overall across the board. Our people want a lot from their ride- great looks, high mileage, reliability, wide network, cheap maintenance all in one which many other players have missed in some or more ways.

Even other biggies in auto market such as VW and Toyota have been struggling to keep the sales ticking for many models they offer.

Though some of them had some bright spots like City, Innova, Figo etc, none of them have been able to straddle with a good product lineup.

Last edited by girishglg : 16th September 2012 at 05:09.
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Old 16th September 2012, 05:24   #3
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

GM has had Cruze as a market leader briefly.
Beat sells well for its obvious shortcomings compared to the competition.
They have phased out models which were at the end of their useful product lifecycle and have launched refreshed versions of the Cruze, Captiva and Tavera (not sure about Tavera)
Chevy Sail is being tested for launch.

So, its not all that aimless or hopeless in my opinion.
When you carry a baggage like Opel and across the board perception of high maintenance costs, the consumer will keep his distance.

Regarding the MJD, royalty or no royalty, only Maruti sells. Fiat and Tata cannot match the sales even though they have the same engine.
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Old 16th September 2012, 09:24   #4
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mik View Post
So, its not all that aimless or hopeless in my opinion.
When you carry a baggage like Opel and across the board perception of high maintenance costs, the consumer will keep his distance.

Regarding the MJD, royalty or no royalty, only Maruti sells. Fiat and Tata cannot match the sales even though they have the same engine.
VW entered in India when they were horrible stories on Skoda, but still they are performing fair.

About Fiat, no need to talk as it failed to win common buyer's confidence. And TATA screwed up the product by aligning VISTA with INDICA (Cab Image)

My take was, if GM was proactive in plonking the MJD in AVEO and U-AV and did the marketing they also would have got decent sales.

Their roadmap vision is not as quick as the competition. Being American I thought atleast they would be clear on that. But they are very late to responding to the market needs. That is the reason I am saying they are aimless.

From a company with 100 years of history I am expecting some benchmarking in the market, but they did not. So felt they are hopeless.
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Old 16th September 2012, 10:25   #5
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Chevy is primarily a US brand of GM and US is predominantly a large car market with minimum engine sizes in range of 2 Litres. Toyota Corolla, Cruze et al get classified as compact cars in US, Accord as mid-size family sedans. Hyundai Verna (Accent in US) is a sub-compact car there. These cars are simply not suitable for India if one wishes to become a volume player. Only option for Chevy was to purchase someone like Daewoo and rebadge their small cars as Chevrolets and thats what they have done. Now the ownership of Chevy India has been passed to GM-SAIC China and so we are going to see chinese products which have been rebadged as Chevrolets.

Japanese with their small cars and efficient petrols and Europeans with their diesels will always have an edge over their American counterparts while planning for products for Indi.
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Old 16th September 2012, 11:20   #6
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnidumolu View Post
VW entered in India when they were horrible stories on Skoda, but still they are performing fair.
Skoda was performing fair even with its horrible stories. Now VW is performing fair and it too has its own fair share of incidents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnidumolu View Post
About Fiat, no need to talk as it failed to win common buyer's confidence.
The fault was in aligning with PAL first. Then the fault was in not realizing that sharing space with the rather spartan tata vehicles, showrooms and service centers would spoil the Fiat experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnidumolu View Post
And TATA screwed up the product by aligning VISTA with INDICA (Cab Image)
And also because their USPs have revolved around cheapness/diesel/mileage/space and the like. Factors like performance, handling and safety are never hilighted, while these are the factors that usually influence enthusiast buyers and the image can sell the car a great deal (take the Swift for example).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnidumolu View Post
My take was, if GM was proactive in plonking the MJD in AVEO and U-AV and did the marketing they also would have got decent sales.

Their roadmap vision is not as quick as the competition. Being American I thought atleast they would be clear on that. But they are very late to responding to the market needs. That is the reason I am saying they are aimless.

From a company with 100 years of history I am expecting some benchmarking in the market, but they did not. So felt they are hopeless.
To give GM credit,
  1. They handled the Spark very well. They took the risk of placing the next gen Matiz into a market where Matiz's maker Daewoo betrayed its customers. And they hilighted its low cost of maintenance. Too bad the spark did not last because soon after its launch the market started shifting towards Diesels.
  2. Beat Diesel was again a runaway success. It is the cheapest Diesel vehicle that has a proper safety pack (ABS and Airbags). The fact that they managed to get an ARAI mileage of 25.44 that is the highest from ANY car in India also speaks a lot.
  3. The awesome engine in the Cruze was another act of GM that did wonders to their sales.
So yeah, chevrolet isn't as hopeless or aimless as you make them look like, and considering the fact that the competition too has its own share of hopelessness and aimlessness, I think they are actually doing average to decent on a relative scale.
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Old 16th September 2012, 15:57   #7
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

I understand they didn't have a good leader at the top. See what Karl Slym has done for GM. Any company needs a leader who can foresee the market and align the company in that direction with the right products.

And I believe GM did the right by NOT plonking the MJD into Aveo & U-VA. It probably would never have given the ROI on product development costs. The cars / platforms are so old that people would have preferred to stay away from it, even for a diesel option.

See our threads on the Optra - almost everyone loves the engine, the major feedbacks suggest that people are put off by the age of the car & don't want to buy it mostly for the "age" reason!

Now the next thing I want to see GM doing is to bring in a diesel for spark as well, am sure it will garner some good sales too.
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Old 16th September 2012, 16:12   #8
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHG View Post
The fault was in aligning with PAL first. Then the fault was in not realizing that sharing space with the rather spartan tata vehicles, showrooms and service centers would spoil the Fiat experience.

To give GM credit,[list=1][*]
Fault with FIAT, too, is lack of farsightedness. They are at a greater loss after parting ways with TATA.

To GM list of credit, I think this list is too small for a company this big.

This thread should have voting options too!
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Old 16th September 2012, 16:21   #9
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
I understand they didn't have a good leader at the top. See what Karl Slym has done for GM. Any company needs a leader who can foresee the market and align the company in that direction with the right products.
Yup. Every company needs a leader who can understand what the market wants, what the market has, what competitors have, what the company CAN give and what the company CANNOT give and work with these constraints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
And I believe GM did the right by NOT plonking the MJD into Aveo & U-VA. It probably would never have given the ROI on product development costs. The cars / platforms are so old that people would have preferred to stay away from it, even for a diesel option.
Even an old platform, when priced right with the right features and cheap maintenance can sell well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
See our threads on the Optra - almost everyone loves the engine, the major feedbacks suggest that people are put off by the age of the car & don't want to buy it mostly for the "age" reason!
Optra Diesel competes with the likes of Verna, Vento, Rapid, etc. And its in the ~10L segment. Such a reaction is only expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
Now the next thing I want to see GM doing is to bring in a diesel for spark as well, am sure it will garner some good sales too.
Agreed. Pass on Beat's 1.0 MJD to the Spark, and upgrade Beat to 1.3 MJD
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Old 16th September 2012, 17:12   #10
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

GM's future line-up (unexciting Chinese vehicles) shows that GM is further losing the plot. I'm surprised one of the largest automobile companies in the world has no model of their own to offer in India.

If I want cheap and cheerful, I would rather look at Tata and M&M. You know what they say about known Devil being better than an unknown Angel!
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Old 16th September 2012, 17:18   #11
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Why this thread on GM alone? Others bungled too at one point or the other. If one looks at volumes to guage success, only Maruti is successfull. Even Hyundai is faltering. i10 and Eon sales are not what they used to be. Verna, even in new avatar, could never replicate the success the first gen Accent enjoyed. Vento and lower-segment Dzire stole Verna's thunder to a great extent.

As for GM, Cruze is an amazing car. It can embarass cars several notches up, in performance. Optra Magnum is no less potent if you can bring yourself to look past its dated looks. Beat D is doing relatively well. Wonder why Aveo did not click. A diesel engine under the hood would have done wonders for it. But not now. The public have moved on. Yesterday's cars do not sell today any more. Ford experimented with relaunch of Ikon diesel with Fiesta engine but failed miserably. But spark with a small diesel might just work. And it is about time they buried Tavera. This thing looked dated even on the first day of its launch.
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Old 16th September 2012, 21:12   #12
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Because GM being a 100 years old company and one of the global market leaders at a time does not have a clear strategy on products for India. Previously they depended on Daewoo models and now on Chinese. India is one of the largest emerging market and GM failed to address the needs at time and losing the ground. Their leadership team is a failure is what I can imagine.
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Old 16th September 2012, 22:30   #13
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnidumolu View Post
Because GM being a 100 years old company and one of the global market leaders at a time does not have a clear strategy on products for India. Previously they depended on Daewoo models and now on Chinese. India is one of the largest emerging market and GM failed to address the needs at time and losing the ground. Their leadership team is a failure is what I can imagine.
I'd like to blame it on the typical American sense of superiority and the associated complacency if I'm allowed to use stereotypes (Indians too are known to share this trait).

There is a reason the Japs have caught up really fast to the automobile industry and surpassed most others in all aspects despite starting late. They are known for their proactive approaches, a sense of practicality and sensibleness.
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Old 16th September 2012, 22:55   #14
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

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Last edited by GTO : 17th September 2012 at 11:51.
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Old 17th September 2012, 00:56   #15
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Default Re: GM India - Hope less? or Aim less? or both?

IMO GMs core line of products (read big cars) do not fit into the core line of products accepted by the Indian populace (read small fuel efficient cars).
Chevy has a very good sedan and truck line up from all its 4 brands in US - but the only small cars offered are Spark (Beat in India) and Sonic hatchback. Their strength are pickup trucks and large SUVs - which do not have a wide market in India.
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