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Old 23rd August 2013, 17:35   #16
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Agreed, one man I deeply respect in the auto industry. However, Carlos Ghosn isn't active in India. The market is too small for his time. Period.
Maybe in terms of absolute numbers for the group, yes its small. But from a growth perspective, i doubt any truly "global" manufacturer can ignore China & India.

Nissan currently ranks around 6th largest in the world i believe and here is a an interesting link that sums up what i wanted to say. So Goshn better pay some attention to how the group fares in India.


The report forecasts emerging markets will dominate global car sales by 2020, and will account for 65 percent of global sales, more than double in 2000.

China, the US, India, and Brazil will occupy the first four places, displacing Japan, which is currently the third largest market. Russia, which was ranked seventh in 2012, will surpass Germany, currently the fifth largest consumer and Europe’s largest economy.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 18:08   #17
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
  • Horrible Marketing & Promotions: Nissan's entire portfolio of cars is under-performing. There's nothing seriously wrong with the cars; the problem is that Nissan and its dealers simply aren't able to sell them! The Micra is a decent hatchback (especially the new Rs. 3.5 lakh VFM version) and the Sunny is a spacious, reliable & fuel-efficient sedan.
GTO, I'll have to disagree with you here. The main issue with all these cars are the way they look. In India, except for the entry level hatches, all cars have been good looking ones, be it Swift, Polo, Scorpio, Duster, EcoSport, i20. The Micra, Sunny and especially the Evalia fail on this front. The Micra fails to stand out in the crowd like the i20 or the Polo does. However good on quality, it lacks aspirational value than even the Swift is perceived to have, let alone i20 or Polo.

On the wafer thin dealership, Duster has changed my views completely. It is amazing how a mini-SUV changed the fortunes of Renault. I'm sure urban India is open to newer brands, provided, they see some value.

By creating New Micra and Micra active, they have killed the Micra product altogether. The old Micra owners are not happy; the prospective Micra owners are confused between New Micra and Micra Active and hence choose neither.

Nissan's way forward - They need to launch a good looking small car and not share the platform with Renault. It better look big from outside. Has to beat the competition on most fronts.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 18:09   #18
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Every car maker needs a "blockbuster" or "halo" product to build & re-inforce its brand. The one car which will make customers think of the brand in a positive (warm and fuzzy?) way, and will make them consider that and the other cars in the portfolio.

Maruti has Swift/DZire
Hyundai has i20/Verna
Ford had Figo, now Ecosport
M&M has the XUV5OO
Toyota has the Innova & Corolla
Renault has the Duster
Skoda had the Octavia, and will have it again (!!)
Honda has the City
Fiat has recognised that it doesn't have one, and is in the process of fixing that problem (in the form of Abarth & Jeep)
Tata had the Safari and has now lost it

Nissan have no such halo or blockbuster product. And to add to their woes, dealers are really terrible. I walked into Surya Nissan recently, and was poking around the Micra. For a full 20 minutes. There were 2 other customers and 3-4 sales persons. Nobody, including the security guard & receptionist, were bothered with my existence.

p.s. -> I have deliberately left out GM from the list. I think they also deserve one such "way forward" thread.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 18:24   #19
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

And work on the Brakes.for God's sake.ABS or no ABS, the brakes do not inspire confidence at all.

With the kind of brakes provided in the Sunny, even the "Experts" stand a meagre chance of avoiding an accident in case of a sudden manoeuvre by a vehicle in front of you.

My family is visiting this weekend, and I will have to take them to NICE Road so that my Dad and Sister can test drive my vehicle. With the kind of brakes provided, in no way can I allow them to drive the car on a bustling street in Bangalore.

Despite there being so many complaints about the poor braking capabilities, I am surprised that Nissan has not improved on it.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 18:48   #20
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

This post could prove to be prophetic, just like the similar Honda post, as the issues raised are actually happening on the ground.

Hover Automotive handles distribution and the dealers don't like it. Also, pressures are high as the Micra and the Sunny isn't selling very well. So, dealers who're in the game with a long view will be finding it tough.

Nissan is promising big volumes for the constantly expanding dealer network with the Datsun brand and the current dealers will accommodate Datsun cars too. If Datsun doesn't work in India, Nissan will be in a big spot of bother in the Indian market.

But, as Nissan could continue doing well due to the its export focus, the top management might be happy with the money coming in from the Indian ops.
So, the company might still be happy with India, from a low cost-high quality manufacturing base perspective.

Nissan has been unresponsive to the Indian car buyer, to say the least. The diesel powered Micra deserved ABS and better pricing in the first place. Nissan never bothered. The car still has a great chance to make for a fantastic city drive, what with that turbo lag free 1.5 liter K9K diesel.


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Old 23rd August 2013, 22:54   #21
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
There's nothing seriously wrong with the cars;
Excellent write-up!
Nissan like some other manufacturers adopted the top-down approach in India. Their initial launches i.e X-Trail & Teana just did not evoke any excitement among the public here. And one of the primary reasons for this was the way the cars looked! I mean seriously, no offence to Teana & X-Trail owners here but the cars looked ugly.

Completely agree with what Rehaan said about 'that one product that truly stands out'! Since the abovementioned cars didn't do well there was no brand perception created among the Indian public.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 23:25   #22
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

As a Micra owner, here is my take on the issues at hand with Niissan and their way forward. Nissan, if you care to listen.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
It simply outsourced the task to a master franchise called Hover Automotive. In effect, customers deal with Hover Automotive, and not Nissan. Likewise with the dealers, who ended up so frustrated with this arrangement that they stopped accepting new cars in December 2012!
The USP Nissan projects themselves is safety. And imagine how ironic it becomes when Nissan had been selling top end Micra diesels without an ABS all this time!

The single most issue I see with Nissan is the relationship with Hover. My dealer's top brass himself has admitted that they are looking forward to a time when they can deal directly with Nissan! And according to him, that should happen in another 2 years time, when the contract with hover ends.

While typing this post, my 6 month old Micra is lying with the ASC for checking out a gas leak in the A/C plumbing, since the last 5 days!

I don't seem to have that much issues in cross branding or the focus on exports. The cross branded Rapid and Vento does not seem to have much complaints. And exports always add to the kitty, just that they should not just thrive on it, somewhat similar to what Fiat being happy with making engines than trying to capture the market.

Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
To get that word of mouth buzzing, you need at least one product that truly stands out. That's the only way you'll become a household name in India.
Exactly. Nissan, you desperately need a market first to get the ball rolling. The AT and 4x4 Terrano was a good chance, but you missed it. Now, there is the diesel Datsun Go for you to bring on.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 23:42   #23
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Awesome post GTO. Very logical and I sincerely hope the top heads of Nissan read your post and look deeper at their own strategies.

Having dealt with the Nissan dealership a bit I am personally not at all happy with their marketing process and sadly, knowledge of product availability.

I am not sure if we could put the entire blame on Nissan or Hover Automotive. But one thing is sure, customers and dealers would never get the idea of having a third party sitting between the auto manufacturer and dealers.
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Old 24th August 2013, 00:02   #24
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Thanks GTO for good analysis and recommendations to Nissan. Customer is the king in competitive marketing world. I wish we have more established companies like Maruti and Hyundai in India which will benefit the customers. I heard about Nismo last year. It is the motor sports and performance division of Nissan Motor Company. Do you think it would help Nissan in reaching out to youth and motor sports enthusiasts if it plans to introduce Nismo or similar idea in India. Many companies like Maruti, Mahindra and Toyota have motor sports event in their arsenal to reach out to target segment.
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Old 24th August 2013, 00:08   #25
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Should Nissan not bring in the leaf?
Will they dare direct the upcoming Indian Car market?
That is surely an electric rocket.
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Old 24th August 2013, 09:25   #26
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

I feel there biggest problem is this joint venture with Renault. For a new company, both the Sunny and Micra were doing decent numbers till Renault came up with the Pulse and Scala. Practically the same cars and hence the sales numbers would obviously get divided between the two. So if earlier there were 3000 Sunny sales per month, now it became 1700 for Sunny and 1300 for the Scala. Same happened with the Micra. So I am not sure if looking at the sales numbers is the right way to judge what Nissan is thinking ans doing here. We need to understand the logic behind such joint ventrue, which has eluded me till now. Might be possible that the money saved in R&D is more than what they would have made by selling those extra cars. It feels sad to see a very capable car like Sunny unable to do decent numbers.
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Old 24th August 2013, 09:53   #27
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

As Rehaan mentioned they need one killer product for sure. And it HAS to be in the mass segment. A more important thing is to have customer's confidence upped in their customer service section.

Another thing which I can see is the potential for a D-Segment SUV placed just above XUV. I was hoping that they would make the Terano into that range, with significant changes like (X-trail like build etc). But that did not happen. I see a huge potential lost.

Last edited by ampere : 24th August 2013 at 09:54.
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Old 24th August 2013, 17:23   #28
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Originally Posted by blue_pulsar View Post
The main issue with all these cars are the way they look.
Many thanks for this valuable point! Opening post updated with due credit.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
  • Unconventional Designs: The pre-facelift Micra looked too feminine, the Sunny wears oddball lines, the Evalia is too boxy and the X-Trail is plain ugly. Nissan's cars stand out, though not in a good way. The styling lacks mass appeal. Thanks to BHPian blue_pulsar for this point!
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Old 24th August 2013, 21:08   #29
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
[list][*]Confused Customers: The Micra, Sunny & Duster are shared between Nissan & Renault. The real difference between the two is a bunch of lights, radiator grille and, of course, price. What goes through the layman's head when he sees identical sedans, hatchbacks & SUVs, albeit wearing different (relatively unknown) badges? CONFUSION! As if cross-badging between two brands wasn't enough, Ashok Leyland will soon be selling a rebadged Evalia. Then, the upcoming Datsun Go is based on a Nissan Micra.
Very good point. When I was travelling with my colleague we just noticed a pulse ahead of us. My colleague (not a auto enthusiast) was completely confused when I explained to him that this is actually a Renault and not the Micra. He couldn't believe that Micra could simply be rebadged and sold as a premium offering.
Interestingly, our office is very near the Renault-Nissan business center and not far off from their factory. So we see a lot of their cars day in and out and my colleague has never noticed a 'Pulse' badging till that day. So much for differentiation!

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Old 24th August 2013, 21:39   #30
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Default Re: Nissan India : The Way Forward

In my view Nissan needs to revamp it's senior management. I was looking forward to the Micra launch and was very disappointed to find that the top end deisel variant didn't have ABS. Even Indian companies are offering ABS from their mid level variants. I ended up buying a Ritz VDI with optional ABS.

I was then waiting for the Terrano only to find it is a slightly better duster.. In our already croweded market place who needs another also ran car manufacturer. Mr. Ghosn, change your management team or pack and and leave. Let me give a a few small pointers to the dim wits in your senior management.

1) Put in ABS in top versions of your models.
2) Start assembling the X-Trail locally
3) Don't launch half baked Terrano to fight the Ecosport.
4) Revamp Ecosport interiors and offer AWD Variant.
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