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Old 5th November 2015, 15:32   #16
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

I see so many of you going hammer and tongs at GM India and how they are so ignorant, nincompoops, careless, so on and so forth. Let us sit back and reflect a little more on this rather than responding completely with the emotions in the controlling seat.

The fact is
* No business hires idiots to run the show
* No business really likes to see itself going down
* No one loves to lose money and rave about it, least of all the business that invested their money

Where GM finds itself today is a culmination of multiple of their decisions over the years which are probably proving hugely wrong now. That may not mean that they don't care or that they are very happy about it. As a result of those decisions GM today has a very shaky business here. I am sure they are doing something internally but obviously they will not rue their decisions in public.

In my opinion, they did not stick around long enough with their original Opels or brought in the true Chevys. A little digging around would have told them that in general Indians don't have very opinion about Chinese built hi-tech things except for a stray cases. In automobile space all past Chinese forays in India ended in disaster. They would have also figured that generally Indians believe German/European engineering is really good (without going into the merit of that belief). Opels that ways should have been a good bet any day over the decision to go Chinese. They just needed to stick around and invest in brand building and fine tuning.

Second big problem was the life cycle cost. No one likes their vehicles to be white elephants. If most people dread their vehicles going in for service and running up huge bills without any major reason then you as a manufacturer also should be worried. Word spreads fast. On top of that if you throttle the parts availability for the secondary market and try to force people to go to the A.S.S. for every small thing particularly when people dread that the most you have another problem at hand. Again, GM fell into that vicious cycle. They probably wanted to enhance the earnings of their dealers through the service of those vehicles. As a result of which they kept the costs high to give high margins and also later throttled the parts availability outside of the dealerships. I know this because 2 years back I got a Cruze worked upon by Mahindra First Choice multibrand garage, at half the cost. A few months back when another Cruze within my friends' circle was taken to the same garage for a much smaller work it was returned back with a comment that they do not take GM cars for service any more because they can't get any part for the GM cars.

My thought is that GM took some initial bad decisions and then later to support those bad decisions they took a few more equally bad decisions that slowly took them down the current path.

However, unlike some others who have a more uphill task GM should not find it impossible to turn themselves around. Some of the things they should look at are,

1. The General has a pretty good overall image. How to tap into that and make people to connect with the overall legacy of General Motors and what it stands for? Advertise the different sub brands and the legendary cars in the General Motor stables. Let people know who you are

2. They have some legendary cars in their stables. Most may not sell as volume cars but they can be brought over as limited editions on display and sale and build modern showrooms around them, using these as pull factors

3. Look into their stables to see if there are one or two cars that they can bring here with suitable changes and then localize to a very high degree to bring down the lifecycle costs. I do not want to own, say an Aveo that blows its AC in regular usage and your Service Center gives me a Rs.95000 quote to repair the same (actual case of my colleague)

4. No one likes to buy a product on which the manufacturer has so little faith. This is about the hilarious warranty for the new Cruze they are advertising. It is for 3 years and 45000 kms whichever is less! Now for a diesel car with a big heart, you are saying 15000 kms per year is the maximum that one should drive? Heck, most diesel car owners may actually end up clocking close to 20k a year and a good few others a little more than that. They need to check the warranty numbers for Mahindra or even Hyundai. XUV came with 3 years and 100,000 kms warranty for me out of the box. On top of it I bought another 2 years to make it 5 years with 150,000 kms as warranty.

5. Finally, figure out how to exercise better control over your dealerships. Current state is such that they are the only ones who seem to think very highly of GM as a brand and rub off their customers the wrong way in any negotiation. As it stands most things about these guys are over the top. And then when your dealerships throw that "we are GM and we are different" line you are only alienating your current as well as prospective customers further

Enough said, I think... Hope the senior leadership at GM will work towards changing their sinking brand image. It is still retrievable.

Last edited by Zappo : 5th November 2015 at 15:39.
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Old 5th November 2015, 15:44   #17
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

I've said this before & I'm saying it again. Chevy need to Sail away from the Spark in order to Beat the heat. For them to Enjoy this Cruze, they need to Captivate the Indian buyer.
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Old 5th November 2015, 15:53   #18
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Expected

Poor Product Mix - Average Product with nothing unique and exciting about them.

Poor Marketing. - Spending tons on marketing the cruz right now when their cash crows are Beat and Sail Twins.

Poor Product Introductions: A Company as big as nothing suitable for India? Cannot develop products that meet India needs? Can't refresh the Beat, Can't make the Sail exciting? Am actually amazed to see the Sail sell in the numbers it does considering how they are marketing it.
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Old 5th November 2015, 16:34   #19
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Thankfully I sold off my Beat just in the nick of time considering the meltdown process which had already begun a few months back when GM head had visited India.
They still have 3 dealers in Pune (Ocean Chevrolet, Singh Motors, Platinum Chevrolet) which may be comforting for Pune GM car owners because at the time I was purchasing my Beat in 2010, Talera GM had shut shop and Pashankar Auto was the only dealer left in the city
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Old 6th November 2015, 00:55   #20
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Hi everybody.
On 4th of November Times of India carried this news.
Here is the link to the article.
http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com//...04112015029030

"FROM 280 TO 223 OUTLETS - Dealers dump GM, say it's not viable to operate"
Near my residence in Mumbai we had two service stations viz Nikhil at Reay Road/Cotton Green and National at Pedder Road. National closed a long time back and Nikhil closed about a month back. Nikhil has a workshop at Kopar Khairane but that is way too far.
Time to think seriously about selling my May 2010 Beat, done 30000+ kms.
Can someone please give a ball park figure that I can expect? It is with power steering, AC and music system.
Regards

Last edited by GTO : 6th November 2015 at 16:04. Reason: Typo
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Old 6th November 2015, 16:17   #21
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motard_Blr View Post
If a car maker does not sell enough vehicles for a dealer to justify the cost of setting up an exclusive showroom and service facilities, then the only option for both dealer and manufacturer is to have a multi-brand outlet.
FANTASTIC thought process. The weaklings are anyway losing dealerships - the Nissan dealer closest to my place in proper Mumbai is 90 minutes away! A standalone dealer of a weak brand will never get volume, but if he gets 3 - 4 manufacturers, he'll definitely make a tidy sum.

From the POV of guys like Chevrolet, Nissan, Fiat etc., a multi-brand dealership in a great location is probably better than no dealership at all.

Will the dimwits please wake up and act on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
GM India is a subsidiary type operation of SAIL
You mean SAIC. No longer the case though. GM India has bought back a controlling stake. I doubt we'll see cheap Chinese launches now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
I got into conversation with the driver and he said that Tavera has huge demand and taxi drivers prefer to buy Tavera even today over other competition.
It's easy to understand why a driver who can't afford an Innova will buy a Tavera. It's cheaper, it's reliable, it's spacious, it has decent ride quality and has sufficient recall in the taxi sector where budget customers actually ask for a Tavera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
No business hires idiots to run the show
I can point out 5 idiots to you, Zappo . Not every leader is competent.

Quote:
In my opinion, they did not stick around long enough with their original Opels or brought in the true Chevys.
Sorry, but neither the Opels (small, expensive, pricey to maintain) nor real Chevrolets (big size, big engines, big price) would sell in India. GM's strategy of selling Korean products in India (from the ex-Daewoo R&D center) did work in its favour for a while. They botched it up with marketing, after-sales etc. There was NOTHING wrong with the Beat for instance.

Quote:
I know this because 2 years back I got a Cruze worked upon by Mahindra First Choice multibrand garage, at half the cost. A few months back when another Cruze within my friends' circle was taken to the same garage for a much smaller work it was returned back with a comment that they do not take GM cars for service any more because they can't get any part for the GM cars.
But this situation is applicable to many manufacturers, why single out GM alone? So many manufacturers restrict part supply, and it's a fact that independent workshops are 50% or more cheaper for repairs.

Quote:
My thought is that GM took some initial bad decisions and then later to support those bad decisions they took a few more equally bad decisions that slowly took them down the current path.
What they did 15 years back is history. It's irrelevant today - many have bounced back since. The problem with GM is that the company continues to make one bad decision after another.

Quote:
The General has a pretty good overall image
In whose eyes? Chevrolet today is a damaged brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by faustus77 View Post
Time to think seriously about selling my May 2010 Beat, done 30000+ kms.
If you like the car - which I assume you still do - start getting it maintained at an independent workshop. Look in the Team-BHP Directory for recommendations.
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Old 6th November 2015, 20:29   #22
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Why can't GM do simple things straight?
Get good products first.
Their poor market performance is due to their poor products.
  • For as long as the Tavera is sold, Toyota has sold both the Qualis and the Innova. (Just like the generations of Honda City while MSIL sold only SX4)
  • Cruze is a success to an extent, but irritating to drive in the city. Rear space was a joke
  • Beat was never refreshed
  • There was no mid size (C+ segment) sedan. The Aveo and Optra just died
  • I don't know why the spark failed.
  • Sail hatch and sedan were destined to fail as they hardly had any appeal in a segment that is dominated by Swift, Grand i10 and other extremely good hatchbacks

I'll compare GM and renault on 2 points:
  • GM don't have a car like Renault Duster that can bring some volume to feed the base line
  • GM aren't trying to develop a product like KWID. There's a waiting period for the car now. I checked the kwid in the showroom and it's excellent for an entry level hatch. Although I feel Renault missed on a few tricks. (That's another story though)
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Old 6th November 2015, 20:44   #23
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Thank God I did not buy my Sail with an intention of selling it within the first three years.

Feel bad for this company which actually makes decent cars not being able to deploy some creativity and imagination in both their product line up and advertising.
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Old 6th November 2015, 22:08   #24
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

The sad thing is that GM has got a lot of breaks in our market, something which makes their current state of affairs totally not acceptable. They found good number of customers with the Spark, Beat, Tavera and Cruze. Even the latest offering Enjoy has got some level of acceptance in the market. But they just didn't do anything from that point on. No brand building, no improving after sales, no refreshing the models, absolutely nothing. And that is why their failure is not excusable at all IMHO.

Last edited by drmohitg : 6th November 2015 at 22:14.
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Old 6th November 2015, 22:49   #25
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

I feel bad when good 'competent' products are rendered useless by certain other (maybe unknown!) factors/company policies. I still am and will remain a GM fan, atleast for my Chevy Spark. GM has made the term 'Poor sales' look like an understatement. These 'poor sales' now reflect in every segment and every product of theirs. Will the Trailblazer make a mark? I don't know ! Taking the weighted average of poor sales vs good sales, i feel the scale is simply in favour of 'poor sales' and its turning into a black hole. Looks like GM itself is waiting and wanting to give in.
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Old 6th November 2015, 22:57   #26
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

My suggestion to these big boys who are struggling in India: concentrate solely on the S/UV space and pull out of all other segments - especially the economy segments.

While Maruti, Honda and Hyundai have to develop new platforms to be able to offer UVs for India, these biggies already have adaptable platforms/existing products that can fill an entire country - many times. THAT would likely be their USP.
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Old 7th November 2015, 00:51   #27
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Being a proud owner of Chevy Beat D, and having driven other cars like Swift, Figo, Zen, 800, Alto, i10 (old), I can say that the Beat D is a brilliant package suited for City Dwellers like no other. The build quality, interiors and mileage need a special mention apart from its looks.

What worries me time and again are service centers. I used to frequent the Trident Chevy on Mysore road, heard it is closed now. The only other option is Kropex which has got bad reviews. My latest service experience at Kropex, Near Marathahalli was also very average.

I find myself in a situation that if I intend to change my car in the next two years, its best to sell it off now before Chevrolet becomes a failed brand like Opel or before their inept service center ruin my car with sub-par service.

Chevrolet has managed to give me a good product, but by virtue of their failure to compete in India, my overall ownership experience is sub-par.
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Old 7th November 2015, 01:02   #28
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Companies like GM make other brands increase their value in the eyes of a normal car buyer. For instance, my dad and I were discussing this issue about GM and how difficult it will get to service the car in coming years. He quipped 'Hmmm, Next time buy a Maruti or Hyundai, don't get into these Fiats and Renaults !'

Now, to think about it, in the last five years, our Chevrolet car has never had any major issue, the distance between our home and service center has been a concern of late but the service itself has always been satisfactory (not exemplary) with no cheating of any sort. Now, a new dealer showroom 'Ocean' has come up right in front of my home so till the time it is there, I hope it has a good service center as well. The car herself is fantastic. I have no problem with the car or the service right now. But as she gets older, problems will grow and there will be a time when I will need a good trustworthy service center with spare part availability. Who guarantees that ? So my dad's argument of not getting into such companies has nothing to do with their product but with the concept of TRUST.

I wonder if this thought ever occurred in the minds of GM's higher management that trust is something you cannot gain easily once it is lost, you might launch a ground breaking product and gain some traction in sales for some time, but who will buy your products if at the back of his mind the customer always has a nagging feeling that you will close your shops later ?

Thank you GM, you gave me a great car. The Beat is an amazing product, next year I am planning to upgrade to a seven seater MUV but I am going to rule out the Spin as I just dont know if you will stay afloat in India, I will be losing a lot of money selling off the Beat and I wont repeat the mistake again
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Old 7th November 2015, 09:32   #29
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksameer1234 View Post
I had been to Srinagar on vacation and was surprised to find Tavera out-numbering its competition by 4:1! I got into conversation with the driver and he said that Tavera has huge demand and taxi drivers prefer to buy Tavera even today over other competition. Compared to Innova, I did find Tavera to be as spacious if not more. I never felt like a vehicle from another era.
May be if GM bothered to upgrade the Tavera to BS4 standards, it can rake in better numbers by being on sale in the major 13 cities. The Tavera was known as a very fuel efficient vehicle and a good successor to the Qualis, but GM does not seem to be interested in developing the age-old platform any further.
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Old 9th November 2015, 00:54   #30
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Default Re: General Motors loses nearly 60 dealerships in India

Hi everybody.
Saturday's ( 7/11/2015 )Economic Times had an article titled:
Saturday Special - Flight's Fully Boarded: Top GM Team in India to Drive Sales.
Link to the article:
http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com//...07112015001075
Rgds
PS: Thanks your suggestion. The FNMechanic takes good care of it. In the last 5 years I have driven the car once to Leh, twice to Delhi, once around the Kutchh region and a few times to Dahanu. As all my trips have been alone wanted a dependable car. More so when I drove to Leh I was 67 + years old. This has been that.Icing on the cake: it has given me between 23/26 kms per litre (without AC). Rgds
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