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Old 14th May 2015, 15:38   #16
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Good riddance I would say.

Ashok Leyland's expertise is within commercial vehicles where it is a strong no. 2. They don't need such unnecessary distractions.

To an extent, yes, especially for cosmetic bits. Mechanically though, she is identical to the still-on-sale Evalia.
Having read the Team-BHP review of Stile, I fully agree with GTO's comment about good riddance. Though it has a big and van-like appearance, the seating capacity is no more than Ertiga / Mobilio. Also, the egress is difficult. So it is difficult for this product to survive, especially with the fleet oriented LCV dealership network, mostly located at the outskirts in the big cities.

But, IMO, in principle, AL shall aim for a share in MPV market with proper product and dealerships. It shall also aim for a reasonable share of 407 category market with a good product. Stake holders would like to see AL with some versatility, if not with a "most comprehensive product portfolio".

If they want to focus only on the CV market, they need to consider the serious and noticeable position earned by Eicher, also the efforts of M & M, AMW etc. Compared to TATA / Eicher / AMW, AL products are not percieved to be the state-of-the-art.

IMO, a good MPV or 407 category product in the domestic market will yield much faster financial results compared to CV in overseas markets.
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Old 14th May 2015, 16:54   #17
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Omni and EECO....
I agree to some valid points you have made. For instance, the customer acceptance of sliding doors in Omni, Eeco is high but at the price point on offer, I believe that Indians have a mental block similar to the one where we don't like Estate versions. (or even Versa could not break the mould and re-priced Eeco could which is why I am assuming)
For service centres, please take a look at their network for Light Vehicles. Image taken from their website. Just look at the numbers. 116 outlets for servicing. Just 2-3 in Delhi NCR which is a big market due to huge corporate requirement. Toyota has huge number for serving the customers albeit their focus on Passenger segment is evident. There is one more analogical explanation. When BharatBenz wanted to shake the CV industry, they understood that increasing the service network would be key to gain customer acceptance.
Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs-ashok-leyland-service-centres.png
Do tell the course of action you would have taken. If a product has failed phenomenally and any manager would like to revive it by asking more budget for marketing, I would
But seriously, this "mistake" of relying on old products and beating dead horses is a practice of Tatas. Look at Sumo (Sumo Gold/ Grande/ Grande MKII) or even the Nano now. The money is lost and won't come back by any measure taken.
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Old 14th May 2015, 17:24   #18
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by turbospooler View Post
I agree to some valid points you have made. For instance, the customer acceptance of sliding doors in Omni, Eeco is high but at the price point on offer, I believe that Indians have a mental block similar to the one where we don't like Estate versions. (or even Versa could not break the mould and re-priced Eeco could which is why I am assuming)
For service centres, please take a look at their network for Light Vehicles. Image taken from their website. Just look at the numbers. 116 outlets for servicing. Just 2-3 in Delhi NCR which is a big market due to huge corporate requirement. Toyota has huge number for serving the customers albeit their focus on Passenger segment is evident. There is one more analogical explanation. When BharatBenz wanted to shake the CV industry, they understood that increasing the service network would be key to gain customer acceptance.
Do tell the course of action you would have taken. If a product has failed phenomenally and any manager would like to revive it by asking more budget for marketing, I would
But seriously, this "mistake" of relying on old products and beating dead horses is a practice of Tatas. Look at Sumo (Sumo Gold/ Grande/ Grande MKII) or even the Nano now. The money is lost and won't come back by any measure taken.
Well, regarding the service centers being few, I already pointed out that Ashok Leyland had started mobile service vans which would come to the customer site and provide service, so the fewer number of service centers is not really an issue.

What would I have done in this situation? Well, I for sure think that this product could notch up very decent volumes if they had better brakes, better interiors and better marketing. This is not an old tired product, Read through the Team BHP review to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this product. I really think it had the potential to create a new segment of passenger vans, which is prevalent in many other countries, but not so much in India.

I have some questions for you too:

1) What marketing efforts did you see for this product?
2) Did you see any advertisements anywhere, even 3 months after the launch?
3) Did you see any sales push at all for Stile?
4) You keep talking about lack of service centers, have you come across any issues around service for Stile?

Cheers!

Last edited by Lalvaz : 14th May 2015 at 17:26.
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Old 14th May 2015, 17:42   #19
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Ashok Leyland entered the MPV segment in India in October 2013 when it launched the Stile - a rebadged Nissan Evalia. The vehicle has not been very successful and has not met the expectations of the company. As a result, Ashok Leyland has decided to take the Stile off the production line. With this move, the company has exited the MPV segment.
I think, AL if they are serious on this should come up with their own as based on what I understand DOST has a fair share of its market and compared to others in the segment (Tata Ace, Mahindra offerings) it looks far advanced in terms of quality and on road performance.
(Note : I havent driven anything except for TATA ACE, opinions are based on my interactions with people who use these LCV's)

I think the offering should be on the same lines of DOST, as DOST typically resembles some Van like our old Mitsubishi Voyager with a goods bay. Vehicles like these would sell well like what Magic Iris, and would appeal far better in rural areas.
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Old 16th May 2015, 02:15   #20
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Omni is the cheapest in its segment, and it has no competition either. Even the base version of the Stile costs a whopping 9 lakhs on the road in Mumbai (unbelievably, the top-end crosses 11 lakhs). There's no base for comparison with the Omni, or even the Eeco which isn't priced too far away from the Omni.
One cannot compare or equate the Omni or even Eeco with the Stile, that's true. I mentioned it as an upgrade from the Maruti Suzuki duo, and a substantial one at that. The price is much higher, but so are its capabilities. Let's ignore the passenger version for a moment, as there are plenty of petrol & diesel MPVs/MUVs that are an upgrade from the Omni & Eeco.

Ashok Leyland & Nissan shot themselves in the foot by not releasing panel van & combi van versions of the Stile with split side-opening tail doors. A basic non-A/C version (with power steering) of such a van could have been priced starting at 6.5 lac rupees ex-showroom, going up to 8 lac rupees for a combi van with creature comforts such as A/C, split foldable second row seats, power windows etc.

There is a huge gap in the panel van market between the small petrol/LPG/CNG powered Omni & Eeco and the large diesel powered Traveller. The Stile would have slotted in perfectly in that space. The load bay of such a Stile panel van could carry two Euro-sized pallets, a commendable feat considering its footprint.

The combi van market (two rows of passengers & panel van rear area) has been stupidly ignored by Indian manufacturers. This is of substantial size in Europe. In India, this demand is met by aftermarket bodybuilders making combi-like contraptions out of Mahindra Bolero & Genio double-cabin pick-ups, Tata Ace Magics & the likes. Their workmanship & materials are way lower than factory standards. Leyland-Nissan could have taken over this market easily with a Stile Combi.

Worldwide, the NV200/Evalia is a big success because of such variants, along with taxi specials. Leyland-Nissan failed to capitalise on the versatility of the platform. Need I mention a Stile Ambulance? It's almost ideal for this country - large enough for a fully equipped emergency response vehicle, but small enough (with a car like turning radius) for congested lanes & narrow streets that characterise the "old areas" of Indian cities and towns.

From the monthly sales threads, the Omni easily sells an average of 6000+ units a month, and the Eeco does 4500+ units. With all the variants on its versatile platform unleashed, the Stile could sell in the range of at least ~ 1500 units per month. With similar variants, a Leyland-badged NV350/Urvan could do ~ 700 units a month. That would be 2200 potential units a month gone abegging for the Leyland-Nissan JV. And the market has been robbed of Japanese quality & reliability in this space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senna4Ever View Post
Panel van version of Stile/NV200 could have had great potential in CV market through institutional sales (specially courier companies like DHL, FedEx etc.).

I believe, with right marketing and pricing, it could have even scooped market share from LCVs. Currently, LCV is the only next viable option for customers looking for larger storage capacity than say, an Eeco. Stile could have proven otherwise and hence, provided AL with increased foothold in this segment.
Precisely! A fully factory-made panel van or combi van is that much more sophisticated and secure than a small pick-up with a shoddy add-on aftermarket body.

I do hope Carlos Ghosn makes them reconsider this decision, when he comes here to unveil the Renault Kayou. If they have already decided to bid adieu to the Stile for good, then there's no point in flogging a dead horse.

Last edited by RSR : 16th May 2015 at 02:35.
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Old 16th May 2015, 05:24   #21
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

AL has an option of developing a MPV based on the four wheeled version of their Partner mini truck. It is a modern mini truck with car like features, aiding driver ergonomics. The partner is powered by an advanced 3L ZD30 DDTi Common Rail Diesel Engine.

If developed, this would be a full forward control MPV and would be in demand as a people mover.
.
The partner truck. The pic is of a 6 wheeled one but a 4 wheeler is available.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by rajeev k : 16th May 2015 at 05:26.
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Old 16th May 2015, 09:56   #22
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by RSR View Post
Ashok Leyland & Nissan shot themselves in the foot by not releasing panel van & combi van versions of the Stile with split side-opening tail doors. A basic non-A/C version (with power steering) of such a van could have been priced starting at 6.5 lac rupees ex-showroom, going up to 8 lac rupees for a combi van with creature comforts such as A/C, split foldable second row seats, power windows etc.
I see quite a lot of Tata Wingers on the roads. Even panel van versions.
However no combi version.
Ideally for most fleet owners this would be an ideal upgrade from omni/eeco.
I am sure spares would be much cheaper than the stile as well.
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Old 16th May 2015, 10:02   #23
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

However sad/funny/ridiculous the Stile story is & was - It IS commendable that a manufacturer got the guts to say 'we screwed up, I am going to stop selling this product for now and focus on something else'.

I mean, come on, how many duds are out there and for some God-Only-Knows-Reason car makers continue to heave-ho with those models and become the butt of jokes for years and years until that jokes becomes STALE!

May be TATA can take a leaf out of this story book!
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Old 16th May 2015, 10:09   #24
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

pretty unbecoming of the top management to discontinue a model and a segment within 15 months of launch, eroding their investment by about 40% in the bargain!!!
When you launch a new segment (from CV to passenger cars/vans), a detailed study needs to be done, to see how will you enter, how will you survive, scale up and maintain the new business, looking at this closure, apparently a study was not done.
What could be done is forage/merge the passenger segment into commercial space, by making panel van, transporter versions of the style, tie up with call center operators or fleet cabs, by offering aggressive discounts and gradually moved away from the private car owner space. That way the investment could be better protected IMO.
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Old 16th May 2015, 14:06   #25
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

It would be a real miracle if a company becomes a market leader with the very first product in the segment. Both Tata & Mahindra still working hard in passenger cars. AL should have modified the styling with aggressive pricing. AL definitely lacks the fighting spirit of Tata or Mahindra in this instance. I think AL Stile would have not been discontinued if Mr.Sumantran (Ex-vice chairman of AL-Nissan JV) would have been still there. He was the key person responsible for Ashok Leyland's entry into light Commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
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Old 16th May 2015, 14:42   #26
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

What were the guys at Ashok Leyland think ? They could sell a poor selling Evalia in another guise. Evalia and Stile didn't have any USP to get any respectable sales. It was a poor decision to enter MPV space with Stile. Good that common sense prevailed and they decided to exit rather than prolonging the inevitable.
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Old 17th May 2015, 10:22   #27
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post

Ahok Leyland invested 500 crs in the JV with Nissan. They have now written off 214 crs in 18 months. Actually even earlier, since production actually stopped about 4-5 months ago.

A good decision making team does not change its strategy in such a short span of time (14 months from launch to stoppage of production) and ends up eroding over 40% of its investment. At least not as per my school of thought.

Its a loss of shareholders money and a great opportunity to expand its product portfolio. Real shame since this was a good product and had great potential. In my opinion its been killed due to lack of features and marketing support.

The JV had invested 600 Crs in this project. This has been completely written off. The JV was 51:49 hence around c300Crs logically allocate-able to Ashok Leyland was written off in the JV books.

However the investment of Ashok Leyland was 500 Crs in the JV. This JV also produces other CV's. Out of this 500 Crs, 224 Crs was written off as lowering the value of JV in the books of Ashok Leyland standalone

This is explained in the notes to accounts in the FY15 year ending results. See A 4 and B 2.

http://www.bseindia.com/xml-data/cor...62C_082422.pdf

They had projected that the JV would have sales of 4000/month. Wishful thinking perhaps?

Ashok Leyland seems to be recovering financially and to be honest I am happy they are calling a spade a spade. Their future in this segment was suspect to begin with. With the lack of relevant sales and distribution set-up, gaining market share was an uphill task.
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Old 18th May 2015, 11:43   #28
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Stile axed as company plans to stick to CVs

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They had projected that the JV would have sales of 4000/month. Wishful thinking perhaps?

Ashok Leyland seems to be recovering financially and to be honest I am happy they are calling a spade a spade. Their future in this segment was suspect to begin with. With the lack of relevant sales and distribution set-up, gaining market share was an uphill task.
There is no doubt that the financial position seems to be improving, what with the debt coming down to Rs2600 cr from Rs.4600 cr last year, and turnover and net profit going up.

However, I think that they stood a good chance of entering a relatively untapped segment with the Stile, which they squandered. Anyways, the decision is done and dusted, so no point of discussing it now, but in my opinion, business strategy is a long term decision.

Internal debate should ideally happen before the decision to enter the LCV segment, and once taken should be consistent for a long term in order to yield results. Changing strategy every year is futile.

I also feel that there was a total lack of marketing support for Stile. After launch, I did not see any kind of support for this product.
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