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Old 4th October 2018, 15:08   #1
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Default The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

After going through this thread - https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ive-scene.html (The Biggest Blunders in the Indian Automotive Scene)

I thought, why not start a new thread stating the smartest move by the Indian manufacturers!

Let me jot down few of the smart moves, I can think as of now.


1) Maruti 800

In mid 80's when the Ambassador and Premier Padmini ruled the road, Maruti came up with its iconic small car named as the Maruti 800. This car created history and made such an impact on Indian customers that till date Maruti holds more than 50% of the Indian car market share. This car made Indian's trust Maruti eyes closed. Since then Maruti's strategy of launching new models in every segment has helped them to be the market leader till now. But it all started from this little wonder car.

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2) Maruti Omni

Till date this must be the most unsafe car on road but if we see the utility, it's unparalleled. Dimension-wise its similar to the Maruti 800 but this car was hugely spacious. Could carry 8 people on board, used as an ambulance, used as a pull car in schools and even kidnappers used to love this car in the Bollywood flicks!
This was one of the cheapest people mover. In late 90s those who couldn't afford to buy the bigger cars like Sumos or Boleros, used to buy the Maruti Omni 8-seater blindly.

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3) Introduction of Nexa

When people were considering Maruti as common man's car maker, whereas Honda, Toyota used to enjoy the premium tag. That's when Maruti came up with Nexa. Maruti tagged Nexa with a premium tag and it was an instant hit.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-nexa_workshop_baner_pune_n.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2018 at 21:13. Reason: Typos fixed. Extra apostrophes removed.
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Old 4th October 2018, 15:41   #2
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Default re: The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

4) The entry of the tall boys-

In the late 90s the tall boy's were first introduced in India. After the low slung cars like Zen, Esteem, M800 and other's this came as a welcome change for the tall people and the elderly people who found the ingress & egress to be much easier. The Santro and the WagonR were gladly accepted by the Indian market.

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5) The Honda city Saga

The Honda city was first introduced in the late 90s. The old gen Honda City with the 1.5l VTEC is still a popular car among car enthusiasts. Since the birth of the Honda City in India, Honda face-lifted this model at regular intervals and till today it's a hit in the market.

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6) Maruti Swift

This car brought a revolutionary change in the Indian hatchback section. This was the right product at the right time.

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Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2018 at 21:14. Reason: Typos fixed. Extra apostrophes removed.
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Old 4th October 2018, 15:44   #3
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7) Tata Indica

The product might had a lot of glitches in its initial days but it was a success. Tata advertised this product as a made in India car, which definitely was a smart move and that appealed to many Indians. This was Tata's entry with the first small car and in the last 20 years they have really come a long way.

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8) Toyota stopping the production of Qualis, when they launched Innova.

The Qualis was a market hit. But to stop cannibalism and push the Innova, Toyota stopped production of their Qualis. That forced customers to buy the Innova. At the launch Innova was priced around Rs. 7l . Once Indian buyers got the taste of this MUV, there was no looking back for Toyota. At this point they sell the Innova Crysta at Rs. 20l and still it has a great demand in the market.

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9) Phasing out the old Esteem and introducing the Dzire and later selling it as a Sub 4-meter sedan.

The Esteem was a wonderful car and i liked it much more than a DZire but when Maruti found the Swift to be a hit, they phased out the Esteem and added a boot to the Swift and introduced the Dzire. With time Maruti upgraded this product only to make it better day by day. Tata showed the sub 4-meter way with their Indigo CS, Maruti promptly implemented this to the Dzire and tasted success.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-new-folder2.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2018 at 21:17. Reason: Corrected typo -> Sale to sell. EDIT: Typos fixed.
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Old 4th October 2018, 16:22   #4
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Default re: The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

10) Tata Sumo

Around 1995, there were no comfortable people movers. The Mahindra Commander used to do the duty. The introduction of the Tata Sumo in the open market was a smart move by Tata. People used to swear by Sumo. Starting from metro's to villages, this car was a hit everywhere.

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11) Mahindra Bolero

Following the suit of the Tata Sumo, Mahindra came up with the more rugged Bolero. In 2018 Tata sumo is almost on the verge of being phased out, whereas the Bolero is still selling in numbers.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-bolero_lx_4wd_blackpearl_sumitro_8.jpg

12) Mahindra Scorpio

The Bolero, Sumo were more of bare-bone people movers. Then Mahindra came up with the Scorpio which had all the creature comforts (though it never had a plush ride) with the ruggedness of a SUV and a 4x4 model, which was easily available to customers. At that time it's only competitor was the Tata Safari but many owners reported niggling problems in their Safari.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-img_1625.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2018 at 21:18. Reason: Typos fixed. Extra apostrophes removed.
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Old 4th October 2018, 16:45   #5
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Default re: The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

13) Ford EcoSport

This was the smartest launch by Ford to sustain in the Indian market. When there were no similar products, Ford launched the EcoSport, tagging it as a sub 4-meter SUV in an affordable price range. This car had the looks, reasonable performance, good ground clearance with decent fuel efficiency. With time Ford also improved there after sales service and reduced the price of the spare parts. The result was an instant hit in the market.

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14) The lifestyle vehicles - Mahindra Thar/ Isuzu V-Cross

With the travel enthusiast young generation, these cars are gaining popularity. The Thar and the V-Cross are such vehicles which has no haters. Everyone will love to have one in their garage. Though the sales figures are low for these vehicles, eventually they will gain popularity.

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15) Fiat lending the 1.3L diesel engine to different car manufacturers

The sale of Fiat's own cars are really feeble in India. But if we look deep into it, majority of Indian cars run with an engine from Fiat. This 1.3l Multijet engine has gained so much popularity that we call it as our national engine. Diesel cars from different brands like Maruti, Tata, Chevrolet use the same engine.

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16) Hyundai was the first company to introduce the CRDI engine

The CRDI engine brought a revolutionary change in the performance & reliability factor.
Hyundai was the first to introduce it in India in their Accent.

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Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2018 at 21:18. Reason: Typos fixed. Extra apostrophes removed.
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Old 4th October 2018, 16:51   #6
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Default re: The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

16) The gearless scooters

In the 90s the only gear less scooter was made by Kinetic. Kinetic Honda enjoyed a monopoly in the market. When Bajaj and Vespa didn't have the gearless option, Kinetic smartly conquered that market.

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17) Hero Honda to come up with the 4 stroke bike

The time when 2 stroke bikes were a monopoly, Hero Honda came up with their first 4 stroke bike, the CD100 followed by the Hero Honda Splendor. We all know how smart this move was from Hero Honda!

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-dsc00971.jpg

18) Honda parting way from Hero Honda

This was indeed a smart move. Once the partnership deed with Hero ended, Honda decided to enter the Indian market. They entered with the iconic Activa. Till date people swear by Honda Activa.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-activa.jpg

19) Introduction of performance bikes like CBZ and Karizma in late 90s by Hero Honda

When the market was concentrating on 100cc commuter bikes, Hero Honda came up with bikes like the CBZ and later the Karizma. These came as a welcome change for the youth.

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20) KTM

The entry of KTM was like a storm in the biking segment. They gave bikes with more than 40ps power in a very affordable price range. The young generation who wanted performance but lacked the fund of buying a super bike bought these bikes.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-img_20170624_113442.jpg

Disclaimer - All the above pics are not taken by me, i have saved the majority from Team-BHP & a few from Google.

Special thanks to SS-Traveller for giving me few pointers and GTO to give me the go-ahead to start this thread.


I have jotted down around 20 points and there are many more such smart moves from the manufacturer's, hope other BHPians to add on their points.

Last edited by aah78 : 9th October 2018 at 21:21. Reason: Typos fixed. Extra apostrophes removed.
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Old 4th October 2018, 22:30   #7
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Default re: The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th October 2018, 23:26   #8
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Default re: The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers

Maruti satiating the Sedan-owning aspirations of the middle class with a Dzire'able (pun intended) sedan created out of the Swift hatchback (Yes, the design esp. the rear was so incoherent, even a kid with a pencil sketch could do better at designing a sedan, but Maruti just was too lazy to go beyond stretching out the third box, i.e., the boot)

No matter how much any enthusiast worth his salt hated the design, but Maruti was the one laughing all the way to the bank with the Swift Dzire.

Another S-M-A-R-T move on MSIL's part was to shoe horn the 1.3 DDis into the Swift/Dzire models.The diesel obsessed nation that ours is, just lapped it all up.So much so that at one point in time you had 3 year old Swift VDis in white depreciating as little as 25% in the 3 years in the used car markets down south.

On a related note, Fiat lending the 1.3 MJD to other manufacturers may not have been the smartest move on its part. The Punto /Linea sales might have been cannibalized due to this very move.Think of it, Suzuki tuned the engine-gearbox map/ratios and the dividends it reaped. On the other hand it sure was a smart move for Suzuki to negotiate the purchase looking at the Sift/Dzire D blockbuster sales (cant say the same for others who made use of the same engine).

Last but not the least(as far as Maruti is concerned), a point that most of us often overlook: smart moves for a manufacturer need not necessarily be limited to its product portfolio through launches. In the case of Maruti, the smart moves extended to tapping into the used car transaction margins through "Maruti True Value".Truly appealing to the middle class, who connected with the same trust and dependability image Maruti had built through its product portfolio , when they ventured into used cars sold by Maruti.

Last edited by octane1002 : 4th October 2018 at 23:53.
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Old 4th October 2018, 23:48   #9
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Bajaj marrying KTM is a masterstroke. They get tech, manufacturing rights and what not.

They did launch Pulsar after Pulsar, some with overlaps- but if you see it today- they have left Hero in the dust.
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Old 4th October 2018, 23:49   #10
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Bajaj Pulsar 150

Even though Hero Honda already had CBZ and Karizma in their portfolio by the time Pulsar was launched by Bajaj, they weren't setting the sales charts on fire, they were considered more of niche products more than anything else. Pulsar on the other hand with a cheeky tag line, 'Definitely male', was an instant hit. IMHO, it made all the other manufacturers to come up with their own 150 CC motorcycle, which resulted in Xtremes, Hunks, Unicorns, Apaches, etc..

It wouldn't be wrong to say Pulsar made the manufacturers realize that there is definitely huge market for premium motorcycles in India.
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Old 4th October 2018, 23:49   #11
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Nice thread. My suggestions as below -

1. Bajaj Pulsar - Even though CBZ was the first bike to introduce performance 4-strokes in the market, Bajaj made it mainstream with the Pulsar. The bike was a smart move right from Day 1, with its 'Boy' image.
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2. Yamaha FZ - Indians craved for big looking bikes, but couldn't afford it. Yamaha had a big success with the FZ series when it was first introduced - an international looking machine in a smaller package after ages. Together with the R15, this brought Yamaha back in the Indian market -
The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-yamahafz164.jpg

3. Jeep Compass - Going by FIAT sales, no one would have expected this one to sell more than a 100 units per month - but it has exceeded the segment expectations by 10 in the initial year. One of the rare smart moves from a company known to make all sort of dumbass decisions.
The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-2017jeepcompass03.jpg

4. Hyundai Creta - I see many discussions were people wonder what makes the Creta sell in such numbers at that price! Its simple - Hyundai just gave the segment a well rounded package that appeals to all and doesn't offend any. The only real competition back then was the Renault Duster and Hyundai hit a home run designing the Creta specific to emerging markets like India and China - and enjoying the fruits of it now.
The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-2018hyundaicreta02.jpg

5. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga - There was only one successful MPV in the market till the Ertiga came along. What makes it a smart move is how wisely MSIL avoided a conflict with the Innova by pitching its product well below it, thus establishing an all new segment for itself.
The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-marutiertiga01.jpg

6. Renault Kwid - Where Hyundai failed with the Eon, Renault had little chances to succeed against Maruti at its strongest segment in the market - but Renault played it smart with the Kwid. Mini Duster styling, segment first touchscreen audio system etc ensured the Kwid established its place in the market, poor crash safety ratings notwithstanding.
The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-renaultkwid11.jpg

7. TATA Marketing campaigns - Ok, this is not majorly product specific - but TATA Motors turned around most of their products with innovative marketing campaigns. They created powerful sub-brands like the Safari overnight with such brilliant campaigns, but sadly hasn't capitalised on the brand value it carries yet!



8. Suzuki Motorcycles partnership with Dhoom - Superbikes = Dhoom bike = Busa for more than a decade now, thanks to this one movie. BMW Motorrad tried to imitate this success later with Dhoom 3, but there is nothing like an original. Even after a decade of not much improvements - Suzuki is able to sell almost a dozen Busa a month, with not even test rides required to be provided!

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9. Maruti's entry with AMT -

Now we enthusiasts might shriek hearing this, but there is no denying that fact that Maruti made automatics a household technology with the AMT. The numbers have seen an exponential rise ever since, and some of that effect has rubbed on to the sales of other automatics too. AMT users are also likely to upgrade to a better automatic later on in their purchase decisions - thus shifting the FE centric market gradually towards automatics.

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-maruticelerio07.jpg

10. Royal Enfield Classic - One look at the sales figures and you'll know why! Neither the sales growth, nor Eicher Motors sales had to look back once the Classic hit the market. Although RE has always been known to capitalize on tradition, things took a whole different level with the introduction of the Classics. Old became the new gold!

The smartest moves by Indian car & bike manufacturers-reclassicchromegreen.jpg

11. Skoda Octavia - To establish an unknown brand in the country in a segment against Honda and Toyota required something special, and Skoda managed to do just that with the Octavia. It had a brilliant advantage - a good diesel engine, coupled with solid build quality and European looks - it was just the product needed to establish a new unknown brand in the market. Even parent company VW is struggling to match up to the image built by Skoda in our market.


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Old 5th October 2018, 00:09   #12
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Introduction of AMT by MS

This was a fantastic move that has paved the way for AT penetration among the masses. Though not a conventional automatic, the AMT has increased acceptance. Lower input costs have encouraged other manufacturers to try it in entry levels cars thus making it affordable.

SHVS

Though MS has exploited a loop hole in the system, it helped the pricing of the Ciaz followed by Ertiga and the S Cross.

Creta

Hyundai has stumbled upon a gold mine with the Creta, the design, features, quality, safety with Hyundai's service back up has ensured that this Compact SUV has become a money minting machine for HMIL. Though over priced, the market sees value in the product.

Amaze diesel CVT

Honda has hit jackpot by mating the CVT with the iDtec. The car has become the highest selling Honda ever in India in a month clocking 5 digit volumes.

Compass

The compass has saved FCA in India. FCA had, for once, understood the market and brought in the favorite body style with an excellent engine. The overall package is good and the Compass at it's price point is a success. However sales have been declining off late. Hope they can maintain till their next launch, the renegade.

TATA's Resurgence

With the Tiago and the Nexon TATA have re-invented themselves. The Impact design language has certainly made an impact. TATA cars are now desirable in terms of looks, interior quality and performance.

RE Classic

The classic body design, a slight change from the conventional bullet - reduced ride height, split seats, fatter rear tyres and attractive color combinations have made this a run away success. Though there has been no mechanical changes the company keeps churning out variants - the Desert Storm, Squadron Blue, Redditch variants, Pegasus, Signals and keeps the interest alive. The Classic 350 is among the Top 10 bikes touching 50K volumes in a month.

RE 650 Twins

If launched at the speculated price points, the Interceptor & the Continental GT would replicate the success story of the Classic in the lifestyle biking segment.

Kwid

The SUV like design for a hatchback did wonders for Renault and were rewarded with instant success. The introduction of segment first touch screen increased it's appeal. However the sheen seems to have faded as the Kwid is down to 5K levels.

Last edited by Karthik Chandra : 5th October 2018 at 00:34.
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Old 5th October 2018, 01:35   #13
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Somehow, I don't agree that Creta is a master stroke. Renault took the risk and reaped the dividends initially.


Creta came in after the segment had been established. Not taking anything away from the wonderful product though.
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Old 5th October 2018, 02:23   #14
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I don't know if this step can be called the smartest, but one excellent move by Maruti was giving the old S-Cross, the ugly duckling, a proper make over and converting it into a smart looking vehicle. While the new S-Cross doesn't have any special about it(the old one had the 1.6), its affordable price tag, truckload of features and the Maruti brand was more than enough for people to accept it wholeheartedly.
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Old 5th October 2018, 08:52   #15
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The most recent would be Mahindra introducing the marazzo. It is slotted well in between Ertiga and Innova, taking a slice from both of their markets. It has already taking the third spot from TATA, and with increasing marazzo bookings looks like it's gonna keep the position.
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