By Varun Sharma:
The behemoths have woken up from slumber and the war has been declared. This time, The Allied consists the early birds Maruti, Tata, Hyundai and the likes. On the other corner is The Axis with Nissan, Volkswagen and others in the wagon. This time the war is not about killing people but about winning people and the territory is none other than India.
India is the burning destination for the biggies of the car industry around the world. India, as most of them are blabbering, is large enough to provide for everybody. The billionaires making to the Forbes list, the money chasing youth and last but not the least the aspiring middle class. India has it all. So, looking at companies like Rolls- Royce setting up offices in India doesn’t come as a shock but as something which was destined to happen.
While the new bees are betting their money keeping their fingers crossed, the old monks are busy revamping everything to keeping themselves afloat in the coming storm. Maruti and Tata enjoy strong customer base and have spend a lot of time banging their heads on making approximate calculations about otherwise unpredictable nature of Indian customer. So, it will not be wrong to say that they have an upper edge. But the newcomers will not take it as a red card. Most of them are placing their bets on providing Indians the taste of better technology and comfort their machines have on offer.
The smart middle class in India offers a lot of space for the small car segment. So, the recent launches of Volkswagen polo, Ford figo and Nissan micra doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The likes of Toyota, Hyundai and Ford, who have seen seasons change in India, will definitely don’t want to be blown away with this new wave and are ready with their own arsenal. While Hyundai is all smiles with its new dashing SUV Santa Fe, Toyota is ready with Etios to be launched in the coming December.
The trend, as it has been noticed, has shifted gears. Indian consumers are more experimental and want to get their hands on better products even if it sheds some ounces from their wallet. Sales curve of luxury brands like Mercedes, BMW have seen an upswing. This clearly indicates that consumers have started looking beyond the mileage quotient.
The customers on the other hand just can’t help grinning. Honchos of auto world are ready to offer the best in the world at the lowest of prices. Keeping in mind the growing customer base India have on offer, even this doesn’t seem a bad bargain for the companies. The number of sales will cover for the profit margins. Firms are happy to make necessary modifications in the products to suit them to the conditions prevailing in India. Now that the cards have been dealt, it will be interesting to see who walks away with the bounty.
Image courtesy: http://a4auto.blogspot.com/2010/08/2010-nissan-micra-hatchback-car.html