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Old 29th March 2016, 11:47   #166
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Default Re: Missing in Action Cars

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What's confusing is that even large global players are skipping India completely - Alfa Romeo, all of the GM subsidiaries, Mazda, Kia. Is it the red tape or the poor auto industry standards and policies that are keeping these giants away?
.
Slightly different note, but I would hardly call Alfa Romeo a large global player any more. You would be hard pressed to find an Alfa Romeo Dealerships even in Europe these days. 10-15 years I could have named at least 10 different Alfa Romeo Dealers in a 50km radius from where we lived in the Netherlands. Every single one of them, has since, closed down. Today I wouldn't even know where the nearest Alfa Romeo Dealer is to my home town.

Big brand reputation amongst petrol heads, very few models and even fewer cars on the road these days.

Jeroen

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Old 29th March 2016, 11:57   #167
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Default Re: Missing in Action Cars

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As per his claim, India is among the top 10 markets in the world.
Perhaps. But the market is also very skewed towards budget, family cars. It's in the recent past that most urban families have multiple cars. Even then, the focus is towards utility cars, not hobby cars. The market will truly "evolve" only when the masses look at cars for more than getting them point A - point B.

Eg. A typical family of four in the US has three cars: a sedan, a truck for hunting/lake trips and a van. This kind of diversified need promotes a wide ranging playing field for manufacturers. In our market, that need is very concentrated towards fulfilling the utility of transportation.
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Old 29th March 2016, 12:41   #168
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Default Re: Missing in Action Cars

A few factors that come to mind:

1. In the global scheme of things, Indian car market is not that big. China is already at 8X of India and still growing at 9% plus. (Source: Autopunditz). Its getting a lot of attention from the global auto makers.
2. Infrastructure in big cities is already bursting at the seams. Delhi is implementing odd-even scheme, and has banned registration of large diesel vehicles (supposedly temporarily). Other big cities could also follow suit. Such measures make a new car buyer hesitant.
3. Government's propensity to treat cars as a luxury item and keep on raising taxes on them. Recent budget was decidedly unfriendly to the auto industry.
4. Entrenched market leader (Maruti) with lion's share of the small car market, hard to dislodge.

Given #2 and #3, I am not sure if Indian car market's growth rate of even 7.9% from last year is sustainable. For global auto majors looking to enter or expand in India, I don't think the market looks actually lucrative from the outside.
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Old 29th March 2016, 12:57   #169
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Recently there was a comment from the Toyota Kirloskar MD that the company needs more smaller cars to capture market share and the Etios range has not helped the cause.

While it was an honest admission, I'm not able to fathom why are the Vios and Yaris not being sold in India. As per his claim, India is among the top 10 markets in the world. If these cars can't be sold here due to their price constraints, then look no further then the Baleno, i20 and Jazz. Even the Polo has raked in decent numbers.

A similar story is available across manufacturers and car segments. The examples being Civic, Fabia, Tiguan, Golf, Citigo and countless others.
.
The issues are - Toyota want to be the best in segment and we want it cheap

Qualis/ Innova - Toyota exploited and conquered a large niche - started with value but now a bit of a premium.

Yaris - too expensive unless totally localized. They decided on the Yaris which was designed to a price. not a bad car but very spartan compared to the equivalent Hyundai

Vios - Needs to be heavily localized. Honda have cracked this by the Amaze, Jazz, Mobilio, City sharing major components. Toyota need a series of productson a common platform to make the vios viable
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Old 29th March 2016, 15:26   #170
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While ideally it would be a dream for us enthusiasts if each and every popular car manufacturer start selling their products in India.
I personally believe there's plenty of opportunity each car manufacture specially in the hatchback segment. There are a lot of economical hatchbacks and sedans available globally and if they enter the Indian market can give the Maruti's and Hyundai's a run for their money.
I completely agree with all the above posts regarding the lack of infrastructure and need for localization to reduce costs.
However one of the key factors that plays a major role even before the infrastructure and localization is buying psychology of Indian customers.
Simply put every car maker has an analysis department that studies the market temperament and needs. And accordingly on basis of those studies a required car model is manufactured or imported (from its global list of products)and then manufactured locally.
What our growing and somewhat mature Indian car market lacks is experimental nature. Our temperament is such that we seldom go buy from a different brand. Our market has been in a way "Ruled" by Marutis, Hyundai's and Honda's.
Its always the same cycle. If its a small economical hatchback it has to be a Maruti. If its a sedan it has to be a Hyundai. If its a premium sedan it has to be a Honda. If its an Mpv/Suv it has to be a Toyota. We are so much smitten by this herd mentality that an average car buyer seldom even gives a thought of looking at other options.
Fiat/Skoda/Renault/Datsun/Nissan are ample examples of brands that have real VFM products in their lineup and yet despite being in Indian market since almost a decade are yet to find a decent footing. Most of them are just slogging aimlessly. One of the best examples would be Fiat. They are slogging with the same Punto/Linea since almost the time they re entered our market. Probably Fiat has lost all hopes by now and our market isn't of much value to them anymore.

IMO this psychological factor is one of the main reasons most car brands or their subsidiaries avoid entering our car market cause they will eventually be side lined by the existing automobile giants. No brand wants to invest millions of money in setting themselves up with factories marketing their brand and eventually get beaten by the cheaper products.
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Old 29th March 2016, 16:32   #171
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Just think of it this way.
The government policies are heavily skewed towards small cars, with lowest taxes on cars less than 4m and 1200cc (P) / 1500 cc (D) engines and then the taxes keep increasing. Now even the Insurance premiums (third party) have been penalizing with 6k+ premium for TPL for cars above 1500cc.

So all in all, it makes these cars much more expensive than the companies can afford them to be able to sell to the aam junta.

Also to note is that there have been new entrants in our market but haven't been able to achieve much success, barring a model each Eg Nissan, Renault, etc. Their small cars have failed miserably.

Do note that this situation is only for the mass market segment.
There has been a lot of new Luxury & sports brands coming into India, for those small clientele who can afford them.

Net net, Most of those international brands and cars being referred to, will not be able to taste success in the mass market.
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Old 29th March 2016, 16:59   #172
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Given #2 and #3, I am not sure if Indian car market's growth rate of even 7.9% from last year is sustainable. For global auto majors looking to enter or expand in India, I don't think the market looks actually lucrative from the outside.
And therein lies the problem. Its such a shame that instead of making our large consumer base into a massive advantage, we are imposing more restrictions only to focus on transportation hygiene.
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Old 29th March 2016, 21:22   #173
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I think Toyota likes its premium image here and enjoys selling comparatively low number of cars with high margins.
Other brands like Mazda or PSA may not be interested since Indian market is full of herd mentality and its really difficult for a new comer to establish it self. During the years, Maruti and Hyundai have only got stronger and its not only because of their cars. Several brilliant cars have failed, probably because our mass market isn't mature enough.
Also indian market has its own unique preferences, for instance sub 4 sedans, hatchback on slits,gizmos over anything else, etc.
Alfa Romeo is a very niche car maker now but I'd love to see Mazda here! They are what EU Ford was decade ago.
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Old 30th March 2016, 11:09   #174
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Also indian market has its own unique preferences, for instance sub 4 sedans, hatchback on slits,gizmos over anything else, etc.
You are probably right but just don't not understand why existing players are not bringing their extended range to India. One fact is that the Indian market laps up anything that is new and priced well. I'm not able to understand that strategy of the manufacturers. Why not invest in expanding your portfolio rather than waste money on needless face-lifts and freebies to the dealers.
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Old 30th March 2016, 11:26   #175
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Default Re: Missing in Action Cars

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........What's confusing is that even large global players are skipping India completely - Alfa Romeo, all of the GM subsidiaries, Mazda, Kia. Is it the red tape or the poor auto industry standards and policies that are keeping these giants away?.........
Today Alfa Romeo is a minor subsidiary of the FIAT empire (like Ferrari & Maserati) and is not a mass-market player by any yard-stick (read expensive). GM's reputation in India is a debatable issue today with even its Daewoo-rebranded-as-Chevrolet efforts creating hardly a ripple.

While I sympathise with your hope of walking into any showroom in India to pick up the car of your choice - the ground realities are the bean counters' calculations. And they do not favour such a scenario.
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Old 1st April 2016, 02:01   #176
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[ every car maker has an analysis department that
Fiat/Skoda/Renault/Datsun/Nissan are ample examples of brands that have real VFM products in their lineup and yet despite being in Indian market since almost a decade are yet to find a decent footing. Most of them are just slogging aimlessly. One of the best examples would be Fiat. They are slogging with the same Punto/Linea since almost the time they re entered our market. Probably Fiat has lost all hopes by now and our market isn't of much value to them anymore.
.[/quote]


While your post may seem realistic to an extent but for the most part it exudes emotions rather than practicality. I may agree that India market is unique and is more vfm driven, but all these companies you mentioned had been given their fair chances by the humble (pun intended) Indian consumers. If they couldn't capitalise, it's their flawed strategy and not a flawed Indian mindset.

We have a mindset of our own as a consumer and need not have to be compared with eu or n.a markets. We are right in our own ways. To me that equation is ' those who know the game play the shots' and everyone else is only watching.
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Old 1st April 2016, 03:17   #177
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Default Re: Missing in Action Cars

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Slightly different note, but I would hardly call Alfa Romeo a large global player any more. You would be hard pressed to find an Alfa Romeo Dealerships even in Europe these days. 10-15 years I could have named at least 10 different Alfa Romeo Dealers in a 50km radius from where we lived in the Netherlands. Every single one of them, has since, closed down. Today I wouldn't even know where the nearest Alfa Romeo Dealer is to my home town.

Big brand reputation amongst petrol heads, very few models and even fewer cars on the road these days.

Jeroen
Agree with you there. But lately Alfa have increased their market presence as Alfas are now sold along with Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles in many parts of the world.

Also, the fact that they only make three models (MiTo, Giulietta and the 4C) isn't helping them. However, the number of 4Cs on the roads here are increasing - saw two just this morning (in red and yellow, the red looks stunning!).

(Spotted these two white cars last week, sorry about the bad picture quality of the first picture!)
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Old 3rd April 2016, 12:49   #178
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Agree with you there. But lately Alfa have increased their market presence........., sorry about the bad picture quality of the first picture!)
Gorgeous photos there, Jeeper 1941! As a vicarious admirer of pre-war Alfas, it is wonderful to see Alfa Romeo making such a comeback! But sadly, I must stick to my earlier observation, that these are niche market cars and not for members of the hoi polloi like me!
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Old 15th October 2016, 21:46   #179
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Default Re: Cars we wish manufacturers would launch in India

Bumping this thread as saw few cars in Nepal which would make sense in India.

# Toyota Hiace
# Kia Picanto [A tall hatch for practical purpose]


The Ford Ranger looks smashing.
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Old 19th November 2016, 19:08   #180
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The Suzuki Jimny. An absolute no
Brainer for Maruti to have launched long ago.

The Suzuki Vitara (as per the Spec seen in UAE) which is basically the Brezza in India but which has so much more than the foolish cosmetic Brezza. For example it comes with the AllGrip AWD system amongst other things.
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