N

issan had a picture perfect start
in India in 2010 with the Micra
launch. The youngest MNC here
invested in a huge capacity, had an ex-
port-led strategy to get quick scale
and manage costs while pushing num-
bers in India. The portfolio also looks
impressive, with the Terrano SUV, the
Datsun Go hatchback, the Sunny se-
dan amongst others covering 95% of
the market. Why then is market share
stuck at just under 2% for the past two
years? That’s disappointing for a com-
pany targeting a 10% share by 2017-18.
“I think it is everything — bad luck,
bad timing, bad marketing. I don’t
think Nissan’s HQ understands India,”
says Mohit Arora, executive director,
JD Power Asia Pacific. It has a complex
corporate structure with three enti-
ties — Nissan Motor India, Renault Nis-
san Alliance and Renault Nissan Tech
Centre. Ajay Raghuvanshi, V-P sales
and marketing at the flagship compa-
ny, says Nissan is working to improve
dealer connect and customer experi-
ence. That’s a start.
big story
09
AUGUST 10-16, 2014
M
&M’s market share has slipped from 10.74% in
June 2012 to 8.5%. And the decline continues.
July sales dipped by 5.3% even as the utility ve-
hicle segment, its mainstay, showed robust growth of
18.5% to touch 44,945 units. Between April and July,
sales dipped by 10%. So what’s going wrong with India’s
home-grown UV specialist? Its foray into sedans and
compacts with Verito and Vibe is not working. Its UV
territory is under attack from the likes of Ertiga, Mobil-
io, EcoSport, Duster and Terrano. “It missed the oppor-
tunity in the crossover and compact SUV segment. It did
not get the Quanto right,” says Ramkrishnan of Frost &
Sullivan. With no big launches in the past two-three
years, M&M has been busy restructuring internally and
building a product pipeline with Ssangyong. Next year it
will launch two compact UVs — one to take on Duster
and EcoSport and the other to counter Ertiga and Mobil-
io. It is also working on a compact crossover. The com-
pany says it has a robust pipeline until 2019.
L
ike the industry, Toyota Kirloskar Motor too
has bounced back. July sales were up mar-
ginally by 3.5%, just under the 12,000 mark.
But Toyota clearly has a problem in India, with
market share dipping from 7.03% in June 2012 to
5.49% two years later. Its foray into the mass seg-
ment with the Etios and the Liva has not delivered
expected results. And there doesn’t seem to be
much in the pipeline. With an eye on profitability,
the company has ruled out entering the mass sub-
`4 lakh category. Grappling with labour unrest,
plant shutdowns and recalls, the company used
the slowdown period to improve internal efficien-
cies. For example, inventory holding costs have
come down by 50% over the past one year, says N
Raja, director, sales and marketing. Now’s the time
to shift into higher gear.
T
he slowdown has been the toughest for the home-grown Tata Motors’s pas-
senger vehicle business. Its market share has more than halved from 10.8% two
years ago to 5% in June 2014. July sales have been worse with sales dipping by 15%
to 9,167 units. What is worrying is except for some models like the Sumo, the Aria, the Sa-
fari and the Grande, sales have dipped across all other categories, from the Nano (-57%), the
Indica, the Indigo (-9.4%) to the Manza (-34%). The company, which has posted losses in four of
the last eight quarters, has seen big management churn. It has high hopes on the Zest, a compact
sedan that launches next week, its first new offering in four years. The Bolt hatchback will debut later
this year. It plans to launch two models every year until 2020. Will this work? “Tata has a big problem,
of poor brand perception,” says Rathore. That calls for much more than zest.
HONDA
FORD
I
t was easily the biggest gainer dur-
ing the slowdown. As Jnaneshwar
Sen, senior V-P (marketing and
sales), explains, the tough times be-
gan much earlier for the Japanese
carmaker. First came the Fukushima
nuclear disaster in early 2011 fol-
lowed by floods in Thailand. Also, the
period between 2011 and 2012 was
when diesel engines became a rage
in India, and Honda stood exposed.
The launch of the Amaze, a sub-4 me-
ter sedan with a diesel variant in
April 2013, proved the turning point.
At its peak, it enjoyed a six-month
waiting period and recently reported
cumulative sales of 1 lakh units. At a
time when the industry was an-
nouncing plant shutdowns and lay-
offs, and offering hefty discounts,
Honda was struggling to meet de-
mand, adding a third shift to raise
output, and increasing staff count.
The uptick in the industry is doing
wonders for the just-launched MPV
Mobilio, which has notched up over
10,000 bookings in 15 days.
F
or Ford Motors, the slow-
down was difficult but not
devastating. Between June
2012 and 2014, it has marginal-
ly improved its market share,
thanks largely to one big winner,
the EcoSport which debuted last
year. Demand shot through the
roof, forcing Ford to stop taking
bookings. But the one-car won-
der company must worry on
multiple counts. Its July sales
have dipped by 3.5% to 7,592.
Other than the EcoSport, there is
poor demand for most of its
models. Its compact Figo’s de-
clined by 43%. Its Fiesta and
Classic have few takers and
have very low volumes, togeth-
er selling just 642 units in July.
Ford has three launches lined up
for the next two years: a sub-4
metre sedan, and the next-gen
versions of the Figo hatchback
and the Endeavour SUV.
SALES VOLUME
SHARE %
Jun 2012 Jun 2014
22,448
18,635
10.74
8.52
SALES VOLUME
SHARE %
Jun 2012 Jun 2014
2,667
16,316
1.28
7.46
SALES VOLUME
SHARE %
Jun 2012 Jun 2014
6,257 7,258
2.99
3.32
SALES VOLUME
SHARE %
Jun 2012 Jun 2014
22,551
10,999
10.79
5.03
NISSAN
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
TOYOTA
TATA MOTORS
SALES VOLUME
SHARE %
Jun 2012 Jun 2014
14,700
12,010
7.03
5.49
THE TOUGH GET GOING
LONG PIPELINE BUT RUNNING SHORT
TIME TO PUSH THE PEDAL
TO THE METAL
STUCK WITH THE SLOWDOWN
ONE-HORSE WONDER
CAN IT REGAIN ITS ZEST?
SALES VOLUME
SHARE %
Jun 2012 Jun 2014
4,167 4,362
1.99 1.99