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Old 14th April 2017, 16:22   #31
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Exclamation Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

A very offbeat and interesting thread, so congratulations to GTO and fellow Team-BHPians! (5 Stars!)

Without commenting further on what has already been told, I would like to comment from a perpendicular standpoint...

Areas of Improvement:

Maruti: Yet to show maturity in bringing out contemporary designs with consistency. While they have shown character in making good progress in this area in the last decade, Ignis could have been designed to go a little softer on the eyes. Cockpit style, rear cramped A-Star; unconventionally bold rear Ritz, poor adoption of the name Zen by Estilo are examples which limited their potential.

Baleno, Ciaz, Brezza and the to-be-launched Dzire are examples of how design can actually tap the potential without over exploitation

Hyundai: Design-wise they are good even if we were in the year 2020. Soft-technology-wise too they are good, what with their feature loaded cars! The same cannot be said of their mechanicals though - engines, components and costs of spares - definitely room for improvement! Not that they aren't doing it - but when they do it sparingly - it becomes a Verna, a Creta - which is priced above the competition at least by a couple lakhs!

Honda: Was good when they were Honda. The moment they sarted trying to be a Maruti, a Hyundai - barring the City, they don't seem to be clear on where they are headed. Brio, Mobilio, BR-V - Honda are we? Be a Honda!

Tata: I seriously don't have much to say here. Without a strategy towards marketing and sales, they were poor. Now with a substantial overhaul in their strategy which started with Bolt and Zest, the market took notice, but the sales remained poor. A little early to comment on the Horizonext launches - Tiago, Tigor, Hexa!

See, this is what I mean when I said "dont have much to say here". No one knows when Tatas can sell 25K cars per month! Have a target!

Ford: Ikon came, stayed and went away. Figo came, stayed and went away. Hope the next launch of Ecosport-all-new happens differently so that we don't say "Ecosport came, stayed and went away". Do not change what is already working!

With absolutely no offense meant to their cars or the owners, Chevrolet and Fiat have been very clear in terms of how they sell - if they can, they sell, if they can't they don't! Trial and Error - Chevy is all trials and errors, Fiat is no trials and a few errors!

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Old 14th April 2017, 23:02   #32
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Smile Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

Excellent Thread. It summarizes the evolution of the indian auto sector quite well. IMO, the most surprising "evolution" has been that of Toyota. Considering the presence it has globally and the portfolio it has, its just ridiculous that we are stuck with the Liva and the Etios after all these years. Add to that a HUGELY mis-priced Altis. India is the perfect market for the Yaris and the Yaris Sedan. Wonder what is stopping Toyota from launching these 2 models.

Also, as mentioned by GTO, Ford also needs to up its game in India considering the portfolio of cars and the tech at their disposal. Would love to see the Ford Focus (especially the Hatchback) and the Fusion Sedan (gorgeous as hell). Renault should also look at bringing in the new Koleos. Its quite a stunning change over the odd looking earlier generation. It could really give CR-V, XUV-500 and the Tucson some sleepless nights.

That being said, it would be nice to have some more manufacturers in the Indian market. We have a pretty limited range of manufacturers and models currently . Couple of names that come to mind immediately are Kia and Mazda. Both make some fantastic cars (Kia- better designs; Mazda - fantastic handlers and great designs too). But I guess, Im being greedy now. Oh well !
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Old 15th April 2017, 01:54   #33
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

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Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Maruti and Hyundai are the oldest players in the post liberalisation scenario. First they encashed the increased purchasing power of a middle class indian, now, with a wide service network, they are also targeting premium segments. Others are going opposite. They launch premium cars, then they realize the market's potential of budget cars, then they launch budget cars. Public doesn't trust cheap cars from premium brands( they will rob us in spares) e.g. ford. And the funny thing is that they also loose the few premium customers they had before because of this new budget car brand image.
Not really, my friend. I agree with Maruti's case - they are the oldest players in budget passenger car segment. However, coming to Hyundai, lets check some facts below
  • Fiat entered India with Uno at the same time as Hyundai in 1997. In fact, Hyundai was a totally new name in the market but Fiat was a well known name, thanks to its previous innings and alliance with PAL.
  • Honda entered India more or less in the same time and had a much more brand recall than Hyundai. Honda was known for Japanese quality, reliability and premium.
  • Tata Motors also entered the pure passenger car segment within a year (1998) with Tata Indica - but the Sierra and Sumo were there much before Hyundai came in. And Tata, being a household name in India, definitely had a much greater advantage than Hyundai.
  • Mahindra has also been making Armada SUVs since early 90s and has been making Jeeps even earlier, if I am not mistaken. So, they were established players even before people heard of the name Hyundai.
  • Ford entered India even before Hyundai 1995-96 time frame with Escort and Ikon was launched in 1999. Ford is a trusted name all over and the same goes with India as well. I am sure anyone would have trusted the famous American than a newbie Korean.

Compared to all players listed above, Hyundai was in the back foot when it started in 1997. Now, in 20 years, it is No. 2 and it has been so for at least the last 5 years. It did a really remarkable job in pushing all of them behind and leading the pack with only Maruti ahead.

So, it is not really about being the oldest players or encashing middle class purchasing power of middle class Indian. Remember, no one can succeed in India selling cheap products - recall why Nano bombed? It was marketed as the "cheapest" car and in prestige conscious Indian market NO ONE wants to buy a cheap product. It is all about Value for Money.

Hyundai did a lot of things right. Some of them are.
  1. Invest in Marketing - they roped in none other than SRK. For an unheard brand, endorsement by a super star is invaluable.
  2. Value for money - Great features at a reasonable price.
  3. Respect the Indian customer. Launch global models without much delay and keep updating the product line up
Their whole hearted effort and investment in India is what won them the market. If they can challenge Maruti and even beat them in certain segments, it is simply because they try to understand the pulse of the market and act accordingly.

Last edited by Vigkey : 15th April 2017 at 01:58.
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Old 15th April 2017, 09:41   #34
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

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Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
Not really, my friend. I agree with Maruti's case - they are the oldest players in budget passenger car segment. However, coming to Hyundai, lets check some facts below
  • Fiat entered India with Uno at the same time as Hyundai in 1997. In fact, Hyundai was a totally new name in the market but Fiat was a well known name, thanks to its previous innings and alliance with PAL.

  • As per my knowledge fiat uno was launched in 1998. Also the FIAT-PAL were quite infamous in the market with many consumer court cases. I agree that it was a well known name but on the negative side.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
  • Honda entered India more or less in the same time and had a much more brand recall than Hyundai. Honda was known for Japanese quality, reliability and premium.
  • Premium cars in the late 90s was not a good idea. Honda managed to be the segment leader but to be ranked as 2nd biggest you need to sell some serious no. of cars.
    I can remember that there was no honda city car in my whole town till late 2000s, it might be popular in big cities but the towns have emerged as the biggest car markets of india due to increased purchasing power.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
  • Tata Motors also entered the pure passenger car segment within a year (1998) with Tata Indica - but the Sierra and Sumo were there much before Hyundai came in. And Tata, being a household name in India, definitely had a much greater advantage than Hyundai.
  • FYI Tata motors has 714 service centres pan india and Hyundai has some 620 of them but the catch is
    most no. of the T.A.S.S. are for heavy vehicles. Tata services and parts availability was always an issue. Let's talk about indica, indica was launched in 1998 and got some serious buyers. But the car didnt age well and didnt deliver as advertised. Tata motors had to launch indica V2 which was very successfull. But TATA didnt have any other CAR in their stable for a long time and the indica has been labled as taxi.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
  • Mahindra has also been making Armada SUVs since early 90s and has been making Jeeps even earlier, if I am not mistaken. So, they were established players even before people heard of the name Hyundai.
  • No passenger car, no budget car. Mahindra was irrelevant.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post
  • Ford entered India even before Hyundai 1995-96 time frame with Escort and Ikon was launched in 1999. Ford is a trusted name all over and the same goes with India as well. I am sure anyone would have trusted the famous American than a newbie Korean.
Escort was a premium car and so was ikon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post

Compared to all players listed above, Hyundai was in the back foot when it started in 1997. Now, in 20 years, it is No. 2 and it has been so for at least the last 5 years. It did a really remarkable job in pushing all of them behind and leading the pack with only Maruti ahead.
Santro did beat M800 in terms of sale in 2004. So I dont think Hyundai has looked back since Santro.

Source: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-position.html (History rewritten - Santro takes NO.1 Position!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigkey View Post


So, it is not really about being the oldest players or encashing middle class purchasing power of middle class Indian. Remember, no one can succeed in India selling cheap products - recall why Nano bombed? It was marketed as the "cheapest" car and in prestige conscious Indian market NO ONE wants to buy a cheap product. It is all about Value for Money.
Nano was launched in 2008. The used car market was matured till then. Nano could have done wonders but the awkward looks and the auto like sound made everyone run away. Cheap in india is good but looks matters the most(Kwid, anyone).
M800 and alto ruled the market because those were cheap as well as not bad looking.

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Old 15th April 2017, 10:11   #35
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

Mahindra in my view has undergone most transformation in terms of design language and products. Moreover service aspect has also undergone change.

Least transformation crown has to go to FIAT.

Ford is somewhere in between, design looks better but service still needs to inspire confidence.
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Old 15th April 2017, 11:12   #36
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

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Mahindra in my view has undergone most transformation in terms of design language and products. Moreover service aspect has also undergone change.

Least transformation crown has to go to FIAT.

Ford is somewhere in between, design looks better but service still needs to inspire confidence.
True! Mahindra have been very smart over a decade. An underdog teaming up with Renault to learn and grow in passenger segment and Navistar in commercial vehicle segment have set a great learning curve for them.

They understood the systems, adapted processes and took quick decisions to tap the indian market opportunities over Tata.

Eg the launch of XUV500 was a great success story for them while Tata was struggling to launch the Storme in time. Priced the XUV below Aria back then to hit the hammer at the correct time and correct spot.

Ford service and spares were always working against them where now they have reduced their prices and making advertisements too to change the perception of the masses. The launch of the new Endy has certainly brought them back on track and the direction seems to be correct now.

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Old 15th April 2017, 11:49   #37
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

Nice article GTO. But in VW's comparison, you have posted the earlier model of Polo with earlier model of Polo GT under Now Section. Both the cars that you have shown are older generations (having older engines) of Polo. Just wanted to let you know. The new model has GT badge on the left side of the car (driver's side).

Last edited by navdeep.rana : 15th April 2017 at 11:50.
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Old 15th April 2017, 12:13   #38
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

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Ford is somewhere in between, design looks better but service still needs to inspire confidence.
Ford service is awesome and cheap. Just that people are stuck with the old reputation.
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Old 15th April 2017, 15:37   #39
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As per my knowledge fiat uno was launched in 1998. Also the FIAT-PAL were quite infamous in the market with many consumer court cases. I agree that it was a well known name but on the negative side.
I am not sure of the exact date, but Wiki says it launched in 1996 (CKD) in PAL partnership and from 1997 with Tata JV. In fact, Uno was initially a success in India but Fiat could not maintain the success due to the dealership attitude and ASS troubles.

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Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Premium cars in the late 90s was not a good idea. Honda managed to be the segment leader but to be ranked as 2nd biggest you need to sell some serious no. of cars.
I can remember that there was no honda city car in my whole town till late 2000s, it might be popular in big cities but the towns have emerged as the biggest car markets of india due to increased purchasing power.
Honda had aspirational value and was considered premium. But, it could not reap the success when it came to budget offerings like Brio and Amaze (initially did well though). Reason is, it did not give the users the Value for Money. No features or cheap feel were the reason for the Brio platform to not take off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
FYI Tata motors has 714 service centres pan india and Hyundai has some 620 of them but the catch is
most no. of the T.A.S.S. are for heavy vehicles. Tata services and parts availability was always an issue. Let's talk about indica, indica was launched in 1998 and got some serious buyers. But the car didnt age well and didnt deliver as advertised. Tata motors had to launch indica V2 which was very successfull. But TATA didnt have any other CAR in their stable for a long time and the indica has been labled as taxi.
Indica was launched and was considered a big threat for Maruti 800 and obviously Santro. Indica sold well initially, but again, could not retain the success and is not limited to the taxi market. Reason? You have mentioned it yourselves. Tata, in spite of having a large network and a lot of support from Government, could not do what Hyundai could. Primarily because, it did not respect the Indian buyers.

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Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
No passenger car, no budget car. Mahindra was irrelevant.
Hyundai started with budget Santro but has grown itself to do well in premium segments as well with cars like Creta, Elantra, Santa Fe. But Mahindra with all its history could not succeed in any other segment that the SUV. Reason? No Value for Money products and very less effort to consciously understand the requirements of budget buyer - may be they did not want to venture much into that pie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Escort was a premium car and so was ikon.
Yes, Escort was. Ikon was not. Ford was always one car wonder - Figo, Ecosport. Main reason why they did not succeed - they NEVER respected the local market demands. Their focus was export. They could have gained a lot of traction during Ecosport times and grown to a much bigger seller in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Santro did beat M800 in terms of sale in 2004. So I dont think Hyundai has looked back since Santro.
Even recently, Grand i10 has beaten Swift and Elite i20 has beaten Baleno and Creta thumps S-Cross. But, I am talking about the overall numbers.

End of the day, we are telling the same thing. Hyundai did a lot of things right which other manufacturers did not. What I am trying to convey is being the early player is not exactly the reason. How they made use of their customer base and how well they designed their products and kept themselves relevant and how they reinvented themselves time and again is what made them successful and stay right on top.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry_der View Post
Nano was launched in 2008. The used car market was matured till then. Nano could have done wonders but the awkward looks and the auto like sound made everyone run away. Cheap in india is good but looks matters the most(Kwid, anyone).
M800 and alto ruled the market because those were cheap as well as not bad looking.
Nano could have done wonders, even with that looks, if Tata did not play the "cheap" card and if the initial fire incidents did not happen. I know a lot of people who wanted to buy Nano but did not - simply because their neighbors will think they purchased a cheap car. Kwid is a success because it gives a lot of value for money - Micro Duster looks, good ground clearance, touch screen HU, etc. made people see value in it. Believe me, Kwid would have sold well even if it was expensive by 50k or even a lakh.

Well, Datsun Go is a much bigger and better looking car than Alto and is cheap as well. Why did it not sell?? It is not just the looks or price that drives the market. It is a very complex equation where people want to see value and only value.
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Old 15th April 2017, 20:19   #40
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The most remarkable transformation IMO is Hyundai. How they conquered sales numbers and design is history but what they did with Brand Perception is legendary. From being unattractive to being uber, the change in perception has been monumental. It has become so much of a premium brand that they can now officially launch their budget brand KIA in India and have clear product positioning.

Unfortunately, neither TATA nor M&M were able to pull it off as holistically as Hyundai. Ofcourse Tata and M&M had couple of strong products and innovations, but the brand perception hasn't really been altered like the Hyundai's.
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Old 24th April 2017, 00:01   #41
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Second this comment 100%. Branding theory is all about having separate brand identities and that is why we see so many competing brands owned by the same manufacturer. Maruti should be able to do this with Nexa as well
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The most remarkable transformation IMO is Hyundai. It has become so much of a premium brand that they can now officially launch their budget brand KIA in India and have clear product positioning.
Looks like Fiat is on the list to be acquired. VW could be a contender like we see here: http://www.thedrive.com/news/8309/vw...tential-merger
This could be a winner for VW as it can get Fiat's patents and technology
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Old 24th April 2017, 00:29   #42
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Default Re: How some car manufacturers have evolved in just 5 - 10 years...and some haven't

Excellent thread GTO!

Here is my personal take: 10 years ago I swore never to buy a Mercedes after the immense trouble our C180 gave in 2001. Today I have two Mercs in my garage simply because their product was far better than competition not to bring me back to the brand.

I was a hardcore BMW enthusiast in 2007, rightfully so as the E60 was perhaps one of the best models the company ever made. Perhaps the last "true" BMW. The current 5 doesn't thrill me one bit. They claim the next gen 5 has traits of the E60 but I doubt it. The king has left the building for good!

Maruti is one brand that I grew up with, but for 10 years if you asked me to buy one I wouldn't be able to pick a single suitable model that I would want to own. There was a big mental block as although it had a VFM tag, it also had the titles of being cheap, not the best of quality and low on safety. The Ciaz changed the game. It was the first Maruti in perhaps two decades that I wanted to own! And I did get two as our company cars which we are extremely happy with. The quality and features are leaps ahead of what it was 10 years ago.

Next 5 years: I think Maruti will continue to rule the game. In the luxury game rankings will change with JLR rising to maybe the second spot. They have a vast product portfolio and the two brands combine could give the Germans a run for their market share. The massive price cut on the Land Rovers is a step in the right direction, and an announcement of the intent that they are turning up the heat and we can expect some serious aggression in the coming years.

Last edited by Zappo : 24th April 2017 at 14:59. Reason: Edited for readability.
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Old 25th April 2017, 13:24   #43
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Maruti Suzuki has got one most important aspect right- customer service. And thatís why they continue to do major numbers with old designs as well (read Alto).



Tata is one company, I always want to see as No.1 in India. I donít know why they fail so often to do that. Tata had very good products (for that time) in Estate and Sierra. Sumo and Spacio did great numbers despite being not that great. Tata was the first company to launch a sub 4-meter compact sedan (Indigo CS). Every time they launch a new product, it makes me believe that now is the time this brand will do it. Manza and Vista were great products. Bolt, Zest, Tiago and now Tigor. Even Nano was not that bad. Give these products to MSIL and see how they turn them around.

I drive a 2007 Indigo CS and a 2016 Baleno.
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