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Old 15th March 2013, 00:39   #16
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

GM is losing the plot by not introducing the Sonic hatch and sedan in India. Just tracking 12 month sales of hatches and sedans in the same price range shows that people are not just looking for "cheap and bigger" cars. A fresher and more dynamic range that started of with the Cruze & Beat would have made the brand more lively.
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Old 15th March 2013, 04:35   #17
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

Here's a question for chevrolet. What's your USP? I can name one are two for most competing brands but I always draw a blank when it comes to chevrolet. Example?
Tata - big huge spacious, comfy, cheap
Maruti - Service, cheap, brand
Toyota - Comfy, reliable, service, brand
Honda - Sporty, reliable, brand
Hyundai - Looks, ease of drive, gizmos
Fiat - Sporty, Looks
Ford - Sporty, different models have different USPs

Chevy - Beat has polarizing looks, FE diesel and Cruze has power, looks and gizmos. Notice that those two are Chevy's more successful models. The others, like spark or Sail are not particularly good or bad in reliability, sportiness, service, cost to run, or brand recognition. And the market punishes that, even though the Sail is quite a good all rounder for the price. The market will forgive a few faults if the car does some things particularly well. Customers tend to ask "Why should I buy this car?" before they ask "Why shouldn't I buy this?".

India's not a market where cheap/FE alone can sell a car. Check nano sales for proof. India's a rising market - people who buy cars like to show they've "arrived" but don't want to spend too much either. Too much being key. Price it too high and it will fail. Old fabia and Jazz for examples. i20 is an exception - thank it's looks and insane kit for that. Image matters. There's a reason why manufacturers are chromifying their cars, or that a horribly overstyled car like the XUV500 is loved for it's looks.

The market's priorities have changed. Maruti gets this and Hyundai most definitely gets this. Honda and Toyota get it to some extent. Tata doesn't. Chevrolet doesn't either.

Chevy should have brought the Sonic/Cobalt here instead. The hatch is 4039mm and they have both a 1.2 petrol engine and a 1.25 diesel ready. That car is practically made for our regulations, is new, has looks and gizmos and would have made a splash in a crowded segment. There's a ready made sedan too - with a 1.4 petrol which would let it sneak under gov regulations for sedans.

And talking about brand building - Chevy should have the easiest time ever. They make the Camaro. People don't need to know muscle car history. It looks futuristic and everyone who's seen Transformers can recognize it. It's cool. Bring it in small numbers as one or two trim levels with the V6 and both transmissions to compete with Camry/Accord/Superb. That is an image conscious segment. It has no competition whatsoever. Enthusiasts, people who want to add to their more boring German cars and those who want to drive it to fancy parties will buy it. It still may not sell in huge numbers but that's okay. People will take notice and mindshare is as important as market share. It's an easy halo car.

I dunno - GM could do a whole lot better. They don't seem to have much direction...

Last edited by nukeblitz : 15th March 2013 at 04:46.
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Old 15th March 2013, 05:56   #18
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

GM India seems to be clueless on what they are doing and unless the investment in india is designed around it being a production hub for global sales, there is no logic in investing the amounts they have with their sales here.

This brings up the question of whether they understand the Indian market and mindset at all or not. Judging by the vehicles on sale, one has to say they don't have any clue what makes the Indian buyers tick. If they continue with this mindset, they will keep churning out the same manure and wind up with further and further losses. At some point they will have to stop. Unlike in America, they don't even have their loans and lease business to generate cash flow but in the larger scheme of things the losses are minor compared to the US operations, so I guess the are persisting in the hope that they will stumble upon a hit by luck rather than planning. Weird plan, but then things have only been downhill since Karl Slym left. At least he had that whole 3 year don't spend a rupee on maintenance plan.
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Old 15th March 2013, 06:43   #19
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

Sonic- Camaro - ...

Its fascinating how when there's blood in the water, everyone turns an expert. Its like how on xbhp everyone talked about Yamaha's superbikes being needed to turn their fortunes. In reality it was the volumes provided by the FZ16 that worked for them.

Their bread and butter models (SAIL, Beat and Spark) are flailing at the moment. That's the only fact. The rest of it is our opinions. And its fascinating to see the diversity in the "solutions"
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Old 15th March 2013, 06:46   #20
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

And the person who was in charge of this brand positioning (messing-up) is now in charge at Tata Motors. TML will need a miracle now to come out of its mess. JLR generates a lot of cash which it immediately consumes in capital expenditure. So no financial help from that stream for Slym!!
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Old 15th March 2013, 08:51   #21
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

Why is Captiva in such a dismal state? It is a well priced and brilliantly packaged vehicle. Where is it losing out to it's competition?
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Old 15th March 2013, 10:05   #22
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

My two cents...

When you enter the Indian market you either enter as a mass brand (read Maruti) or a premier brand (read Honda/Toyota).

So when we see Hyundai pitching its products to mainly dislocate Maruti, Volkswagen shows itself off as a premium brand.

Chevrolet which followed Hyundai's path, has decent cars but just nothing new.

The beat, spark and the sail twins are in the highly competitive zone, people wont be interested as long as its a radically different product (like the Ertiga, or the Duster) or radically priced.

So the spark loses out to the lesser priced eon, and similarly priced alto despite being a better car.

Whereas the Beat competes with the list of Maruti small cars, the Sail hatch has nothing extraordinary in favour of it, and where will the Sail sedan be after the launch of the Honda Amaze?

Even if they bring in the Trax it will be too late as the Duster and the (if well priced) Ecosport will already have a sizable presence in that segment. (considering Marutis XA alpha, and the Mahindra suv have not been launched.)

So what Chevy needs is something new, radical and aggressive. Maybe the volt (if the small Mahindra e20 generates interest in electric cars) or like a few have mentioned, the Camaro would be a good brand ambassador for Chevy.

They need to bring more people to their showrooms, the brand and service is not that bad after all its a century old brand.
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Old 15th March 2013, 14:22   #23
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

Losses of 1598 Crore, thereof 746 crore in period of Apr11-Mar12. What happened in this period so diiferent from previous years.
1. the industry grew but majority in SUV, MPV where GM has fringe presence through minimal volume of Captiva and the old horse Tavera. All other cars are also generally older than competition so probably more spend on discounting etc.
2. Diesel trend really picked up in this period than before, should have helped selling more beats than before, so negating point 1
Then what can explain such high losses,

Could it be some change in accounting practices due to change ownership?
Could it also be some recovery shown in GM worldwide by booking higher costs in subsidiaries?

i am just guessing but i think it should be something bigger than the obvious culprits like brand, boring product
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Old 15th March 2013, 14:56   #24
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

Heard from one of the sales executive of GM/Chevrolet that GM has a strange policy of only offering service outlets to those dealers who have sales outlet in one particular region. For example, the dealer who wants to open a service center in south Delhi should have a sales outlet here which is not the case of maruti/Hyundai/Tata/Toyota etc. For any brand to establish itself in India, has to have a service centre as well as a trained & Motivated workforce. Visit any Chevrolet service centre and you will see service advisors who will seem to be anything but happy. Had even written to Mr Karl slym twice about the pathetic quality of service centre and the attitude of service advisors. But bad luck seems to follow him even at TATA's. Even the sales is a bit of challenge. We visited Autovikas Chevrolet here in delhi when we were planning to buy a SUV in 20-25 lakh range. But there were no vehicles for either test drive or Display. Even the sales girl was anything but co-operative. In all these circumstances, it is rather impossible for any company not to incur losses.

Secondly, the spares are really costly and their availability is mostly a challenge. I have seen that the common spares like push screws/windshield/rearview mirrors are in short supply. I once had to get a small sound condenser box(only pastic part without any mechanicals) replaced because of a small accident. It cost me around 1000/-. The windscreen costs around 8.5K. Black coloured ORVM costs arond 1200. If GM looks into it, they will really benefit from it

Like everything, not everything is negative about GM/Chevrolet. Their products are really of good quality. Park a Maruti and a chevrolet and without being prejudiced about service, any person will pick up chevrolet at any given point of time for the quality of cars that they make. Even the cheapest car spark is much better in quality than Maruti wagon R or a Santro. Spark gives a somewhat premium feel wheras Santro is totally cheap plastics all around.

Definitely, Beat and Cruze feel really great in terms of looks but they also are not ageing. The diesel model of Beat is agr8 city car but lacks the grunt to go on highways. Do not understand this logic behind not launching our national diesel when GM & Fiat have collectively developed it. If Tata's can seel their taxi brand cars with this engine, definitely GM could have done a much better job with some good looking cars. Chevrolet Aveo was a beautiful sedan as per me but i never know why GM never pushed it.
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Old 15th March 2013, 15:31   #25
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

The thread title is not surprising considering the market share that GM Chevrolet has in India at present. If my memory serves me correct, GM was one among the very first manufacturers to enter India post liberalization. I think the first to enter at that time was Deawoo followed by Opel, Ford, etc. It is still strange to believe that GM hasn't made any significant growth in sales with a kiss of success with Beat and Cruze(thanks to Indians' favorite fuel DIESEL). Coming back they have had a tradition of launching old outdated cars in India, take for example their very first launch in the form of Opel Astra. It was old and outdated in other countries but was launched as a new car in India. Although the Opel Astra was quite advanced in its time in India compared to other models. They quietly killed the Opel brand and brought in Chevrolet brand the first model which was actually a Deawoo Nubira rebadged as Chevrolet Optra which was again an outdated product though good. I still dont understand why they had to kill the iconic Opel brand as there were a plethora of options from Opel's stable right from engines to hatchbacks, MUV's, SUV's, Crossover's, Sedans, etc. They could have achieved success had they launched new and fresh cars from Opel's stable by localizing spare parts as the high cost of spares and servcing were a deterrant for an average Indian buyer.

An opportunity lost by GM is an opportunity won by other manufacturers. I still believe had GM Opel still operating in India by localizing spares, reduced service costs and launched fresh models GM would have survived and given a tough fight to other manufacturers especially Volkswagen.
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Old 15th March 2013, 15:50   #26
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

GM never got it right from day one. From the attitude of their executives, one of whom continues to enjoy a powerful position even today, to the shuttle from Opel to Chevy, GM got it wrong. Compared to Chevrolet, Opel had a very good chance of making it big in India. It was German, European, and a name many in India could relate to. American cars have never really made it big in India, right from the Maharaja times! Then, GM chose to get the Subaru Forester, and called it a Chevy. I have had an experience where I walked into a GM dealership at Jogeshwari (it is now closed) in suburban Mumbai a few years ago. A sales women rushed to me as I was looking at a sparkling new Chevy Sail Sedan (type 1) being readied for delivery, and even without wanting to know why I was there, started explaining about the car. "Sir, this car is sold. Do not touch it. This is one fine American car from the well known American Chevrolet brand. They make big and powerful cars". Wonder if she was ever told by the people who trained her that this was actually a Daewoo design badged as Chevy after GM acquired Daewoo passenger car business in Korea. If they had told her, she would have been more careful, and far more successful in convincing the potential buyer like me. Clients, or potential buyers can never be taken for granted. Not in a world, and an environment, where exposure to new developments is easier obtained.

To be successful in India, GM has much to learn from the Japaneses automakers. In doing so, they are more likely to find the mantra to succeed than to have some of their high placed executives to continue displaying attitude.

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Old 15th March 2013, 16:06   #27
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

Majority of the Indians have a feeling that Chineese Items are Cheap and Crap. Again Sail is a model derived in China and somehow holds back some people. I dont say the product is inferior i am just talking about perception in the minds of many Indians. Could that be a reason for low sales?
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Old 16th March 2013, 00:49   #28
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

One only has to look at Hyundai to see what it takes to make it in the Indian market. Every single Hyundai model, at launch in India, has been a global model available even in developed EU markets. Hyundai chose to treat Indians at par with global customers and it has paid off.

This would explain why the Cruze (big hit in the US market) did well here. Car makers need to stop giving us dumbed down cars for India such as the Toyota Etios or the Chinese derived Sail. To stand out, you need to be either excellent or dirt cheap (in terms of the segment). The Figo is an example of something noticeably cheaper than its immediate competition and it's done well. The Swift does well because of its Maruti lineage but also because it is a genuinely good car. Hyundai sell the i20 with many gizmos at a high price because it is a global quality product.

As far as I'm concerned any car launched in India that isn't up to EU standards will fail, unless it is something totally unique in a new niche/segment in which case it will sell till the competition picks up.
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Old 16th March 2013, 06:22   #29
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

GM India's problems are not really unique to India. Even in US, its home, Chevy's cars (sedans and hatches) struggle to put up a decent fight. Their trucks and crossovers still outsell their cars (sedans and hatches).

Part of the reason is, while they have strong 'brands' like Silverado, Camaro and the Corvette, they haven't quiet managed to create a brand like the Civic, Accord or Camry. Cruze is the closest they have gotten to building a 'brand' in cars that was acknowledged as being sophisticated. No doubt they have Malibus and Impalas, but they do really put up a fight to the Camrys and Accords.

In India too, their struggle is a reflection of the struggle they have back home in US, they are struggling to establish brands that can be worthy competitors to the leaders in respective segments. So while Chevy India either reinvigorated/replaced brands none of them really created a flutter and overall Chevy India's brand portfolio still lacks a recall.

But, I think this is a better problem to have than either say what Fiat is dealing with - their products win all the awards and still don't sell, or say what Tata is having - quality and customer perception which are far more difficult to overcome.
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Old 16th March 2013, 11:19   #30
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Default re: Chevrolet's losses at Rs. 1598 crores in India

I think marketing team is not aggressive. For a common man, it is a company which revived Matiz, laucnhed ultra premium Optra with sunroof, a sensibly priced diesel rocket Cruze and a diesel hatchback. UVA was a dud may be, but it was a good offering. Interiors were good. It does not matter to most of the people if a product sells for a decade, or is a chinese copy. They want the cars to be reliable and affordable. Definitely, these guys are not motivated. If they announce cars with 0% finance and some really good exchange programs, chevy cars will find more homes. If you don't empower your customers to feel comfortable, you as a manufacturer will lose.

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