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Old 30th July 2006, 04:38   #1
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Default Thoughts on a rationalizing Maruti's Product Portfolio

Hi Team-BHPians,

Having lived outside of India close to 10 years in Germany(96-98) & the US (from 98), and having seen the automotive scenario pretty upfront, I feel Maruti as India's leading car manufacturer, should start rationalizing its product portfolio & cater to the increasingly maturing tastes of its customer base.
I felt a product portfolio featuring this lineup will be a good start, with both petrol & diesel engines with options like (ABS, SRS) across the board -

A) Entry Level Segment - Alto family only
B) Mid Range Segment - MR Wagon (the new design, albeit 5 years old in Japan)
C) Super Mini Segment - Swift
D) Value Segment - Upgraded OMNI & Versa (both currently appear dated in design & technology, but are very good VFM candidates for taxi/tour operators)
E) SUV segment - Upgraded Gypsy (Good Powertrains, Standard Safety Options) & Grand Vitara (at least the V4 powered ones)

I feel the current M800, Zen, Esteem models need to be discontinued, although many feel they still have a shelf life.
Also I think they still don't have compelling products in the subcompact (Civic/Corolla) and the Sedan class (Accord/Camry) to compete.
Having driven primarily Toyota Camry since 1999 as my personal vehicle & other marquees like on extended tour drives (BMW,Volvo,Nissan & Honda) I still feel Japanese vehicles tend to be better VFM candidates vis-a-vis their European rivals, due to their reliability & continued focus on improved refinement


NRK
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Old 30th July 2006, 09:56   #2
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What about the mid-size segment? They have the Baleno now and they can launch a new baleno in India now that it's supposedly doing well at the sales charts. Also they could launch the Verona(?) to take on Civic, Corolla, Elantra etc.

Also, since you are in the US, don't you think the one company that needs to rationalise their product range is GM? . They sell the same car with different names badged as chevy, pontiac, buick etc etc at different prices!

Last edited by amit : 30th July 2006 at 09:58.
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Old 30th July 2006, 11:46   #3
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GM is out of business, so is FORD. hehe, I can't wait !

Numbers dont lie.

Even civilized Americans dont buy Fords/Gm product anymore.
(Not that Indians have to copy what americans do)

It is funny how Fords are actually selling in India, Carbage like Ikon and Endevour SUVs.
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Old 30th July 2006, 13:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eflanker
Even civilized Americans dont buy Fords/GM products anymore. (Not that Indians have to copy what Americans do)

It is funny how Fords are actually selling in India, Carbage like Ikon and Endeavour SUVs.
You forgot to add the Fiesta
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Old 30th July 2006, 15:07   #5
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KUMAR, something to add here....JUST Imagine....

This forum has about 6000 members who make demands or suggestions.
Population of India is 1 Billion.

The reality is copanies dont make cars for the minority, but for the masses - and the masses are poor.

Companies are smart, consumers like you and meare not that smart. (well, if Indians were smart, India would be a civilized-rich country!)
Companies know what they are doing, and unfortunately, selling upgraded version of cars for a few thousand demanding indians dont make sense and will lead to failed product, hence - loss.

Things to take in consideration are - wether people in India can afford to buy expensive cars, if there is enough parkign space for SUVs etc.
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Old 30th July 2006, 15:28   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eflanker
GM is out of business, so is FORD. hehe, I can't wait !

Numbers dont lie.

Even civilized Americans dont buy Fords/Gm product anymore.
(Not that Indians have to copy what americans do)

It is funny how Fords are actually selling in India, Carbage like Ikon and Endevour SUVs.
same like the garbage sold by japanese and korean etc ..companies
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Old 30th July 2006, 17:23   #7
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i understand what NRKUMAR vbmenu_register("postmenu_266446", true); think.
yes, Maruti should release new car with new technology
or new grobal car that maruti sell in other country.
yep,Maruti should lauch new-grobal model like city, civic, aveo
,optra,accord.

and i'm 100% sure Maruti will do that but not for now.
they will do it in the future.because now is too early.

india's economy is better and better but maruti will lauch
when they think that the market is on peak.
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Old 30th July 2006, 20:12   #8
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The most important thing is, "Maruti" has created certain value in the market. People in India are now looking into cars higher than Honda City, Ford Fiesta etc.. If Honda is able to sell City and Accord then for Maruti its not that hard.. People here buy garbage as Alto n M800 (From safety point of view) then Maruti can even sell Accord n Corolla competitor.. People will happily buy such expensive cars as they know thay can fall back on Maruti After Sales... Maruti can not do it on its own though... Its Suzuki who is responsible for looking at higher segments than Baleno... I really doubt if suzuki has cars like Accord as they are being into small cars only..

So the bottonline is, if Honda and Toyota can sell Accord n Corolla then Maruti-Suzuki can definately sell higher seg cars... Its now suzuki to look into it.. GM launched SRV which is same like "Suzuki Reno". If maruti wud have launched it, Maruti has certainly got a bunch of bookings... Even "Reno" could have been max localized then to lower down the cost... Anyways... lets hope after selling some garbage Maruti will launch some good higher end models... Personally I feel "Swift" is the only model from Maruti stable that has some internatioanl reputation..

Cheers
NeoOnWheels
Palio 1.2 Sport / 13 KMPL / AND IT ROCKS !!!

Last edited by neoonwheels : 30th July 2006 at 20:13.
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Old 30th July 2006, 20:18   #9
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nrkumar,

I agree with ur train of thought. I feel the "Value Segment" - point D in your post, should be the "Commercial segment". They should restrict the Omni and Versa to the commercial space only. I also agree that the M800, Esteem and Baleno should be stopped. They're well past their sell-by date. In the "Sedan/Lifestyle" segment should be their Aerio and SX4
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Old 30th July 2006, 21:00   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit
What about the mid-size segment? They have the Baleno now and they can launch a new baleno in India now that it's supposedly doing well at the sales charts. Also they could launch the Verona(?) to take on Civic, Corolla, Elantra etc.

Also, since you are in the US, don't you think the one company that needs to rationalise their product range is GM? . They sell the same car with different names badged as chevy, pontiac, buick etc etc at different prices!
Well Amit,

The Baleno in India was earlier sold by Suzuki in the US under 'Swift' name. Also since GM had a significant stake (around 10% +) in Suzuki and a bigger stake in Daewoo, this phenomenon of branding the same vehicle under different names is in vogue.
Ex: Chevy Optra (in India) = Daewoo Nubira = Suzuki Forenza
I have my doubts if Maruti will release a competitor to Chevy Optra in India. Also their bigger vehicle Verona, is not a competitor to the likes of Honda/Toyota/Nissan

I don't think we should consider GM as a good reference. Its marketing strategy has been a product to every conceivable segment. It has a cluster of mediocre brands like Buick/Chevy/Oldsmobile, slightly upmarket Saturn/Cadillac & ofcourse Saab in Sweden. It has always been plagued by lack of appelaing products, though the Saturn range has a good roadster & suv coming soon.
The rationalization of offerings will be a huge point when GM discusses their possible JV with Nissan-renault & I feel that may well turn out to be the deal breaker.
I personally feel currently GM & Ford are not paying much consideration to their cars, as their proft margins on their SUVs are pretty good. But this will change due to the price at the pump & eco-considerations.

My point is Maruti will be pretty much resigned to the position of being a leader in the mini car segment and lose out on the higher segments served by Honda/Toyota/Hyundai.
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Old 30th July 2006, 21:51   #11
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Maruti cant remove the Verona becuase GM will remove it in India as Magnus. The Verona is a D+ segment car which will take competition to the likes of the Accord. But GM was saying they are planing to get Cadillac out here.
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Old 30th July 2006, 22:03   #12
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Quote:
The Baleno in India was earlier sold by Suzuki in the US under 'Swift' name. Also since GM had a significant stake (around 10% +) in Suzuki and a bigger stake in Daewoo
I agree with you. In fact the Chevy Aveo is sold as Suzuki Swift in Canada! But I don't think GM and Suzuki are that close that they will decide not to compete with each other in any segment. Like you said they sell the Chevy Optra and Suzuki Forenza in NA, then why not go head to head in India too? As for Verona, I don't think MUL has the brand pull in India to take on Honda and Toyota.
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Old 30th July 2006, 23:08   #13
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NRK,

Versa ?? When people can buy entry level Innova at reasonable prices, nobody would pay for that monstrous excuse for a car/van.

I agree in principle that Maruti needs to cater to maturing taste of Indians and Swift is a perfect example of what Maruti needs to do more. In my opinion Maruti has the B and B+ segment covered. All they need is a decent car in C segment (Baleno is dated) and a sub 10 lakh SUV to challenge Scorpio/Safari. That will complete their product mix and is in line with their strategy.

Regarding Grand Vitara, I would wager that Maruti can't sell that. They (their Dealers actually) don't have the mindset/ability to sell cars in that segment.
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