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INDIAN AUTOMOBILE MARKET:

The Indian market confounds global carmakers simply because of


the way it is segmented. In the West, automobiles are generally
segmented according to platforms -- that is chassis-engine
combinations. Price plays a factor but only up to a point. In India,
though, price plays the primary role in segmentation.
Consider first the segments in the European or American market.
At the bottom, you have city cars' -- which include the Daewoo Matiz,
the Hyundai Santro, the Maruti 800, Alto, Fiat Uno, the Zen as well as
the Wagon R. Next come the budget minis -- which would include cars
like the Suzuki Swift (our own Esteem). The next segment, the
superminis, would take in cars like the Opel Corsa, the Ford Ikon.
Above the superminis are small family cars -- which include models like
the Opel Astra and the Ford Escort. Medium-sized family cars are
bigger and include cars like the Opel Vectra and Peugeot 406. Compact
executive cars are small but immensely prestigious and include the
BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C class. Executive cars embrace their
bigger brothers -- the BMW 5 series and the Mercedes E class. Only a
handful of cars are classified as true-blue luxury cars namely-- Jaguar
XJ8, the BMW 7 series. And of course there are the niches like
sports, sports utility, and exotics.
The Indian market, of course, is quite differently segmented.
The Maruti 800 and Zen fall in a class by their own -- and are referred
to as the sub-Rs 2.5-lakh cars. The next is the Rs 3-4 lakh segment --
which includes all the other cars that would normally be classified as
city cars in Europe. Strictly speaking, the Tata Indica should fall in the
super-mini category because of its specifications -- but because of
price, it competes in the same segment. Above Rs 4 lakh and all the
way up to Rs 10 lakh is the luxury car range. It is loosely divided into
two halves -- with Maruti Esteem, Ford Ikon, Hyundai Accent, Daewoo
Cielo, Opel Corsa and Honda City 1.3 falling in the bottom layer, and
the Opel Astra, Honda City 1.5 and Ford Escort in the upper range. The
last segment is of premium car segment, which includes cars like
Mercedes Benz and BMW.
Scooters India Ltd (SIL), US-based Amerigon and Bangalore-
based Maini Group are negotiating a joint venture to manufacture an
electrical passenger car. Priced at Rs 1.75 lakhs, the car will target the
segment between two-wheelers and petrol/diesel based cars. Assembly
from imported Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits will start as soon
as an agreement is finalised among the partners. This venture
represents a major manufacturing shift for SIL, a public sector
enterprise, which so far has only produced two- and three-wheelers. It
also plans to introduce an electric three-wheeler model, already in use
in Nepal, into the Indian market.
Bajaj Auto has introduced its diesel three-wheeler in Hyderabad.
The vehicle has a 416 cc engine and is priced at Rs 83,000, lower than
its nearest competitor the Greaves Garuda, which is priced at Rs
85,000 (in Hyderabad). Bajaj’s petrol three-wheelers already account
for 85 per cent of the India market. Its new product, consequentially,
could erode its own base.
Indian Automobile industry has become more competitive in the
export market due to its technological and quality advances, so much so
that in quality conscious markets such as Europe and America, Indian
automobile industry is emerging as a major player judging by its
performance. India today exports: Engine and engine parts, electrical
parts, drive transmission & steering pats, suspension & braking parts
among others.
Opportunities for the Automobile Industry:
Global automobile companies are setting up manufacturing
facilities in India. Also, many Indian automobile manufacturers have
announced their plans to increase the export of vehicles from India.
The year 2002-03 has already seen a significant 65% increase in
export volumes during the period April to March. This trend is
expected to continue with more global OEMs sourcing vehicles from
their Indian plants.
Additionally, the introduction of newer technologies such as
Electronic Diesel Control Systems to reduce emission levels, safety
devices such as Air Bags, Anti-lock Braking Systems, etc. augur well
for the Company and the automotive sector as a whole. These
technologies not only offer increased safety for drivers and
passengers, but also result in greater comfort and better drivability.
While there exist many opportunities for growth in business,
there are also quite a few factors, which act as an impediment.
In my last year’s speech I mentioned about the need for a well
thought out and clearly defined policy on emission norms. It is now
fairly certain that Bharat Stage II norms (equivalent of Euro II
norms) will be implemented countrywide starting 2005. It is important
that this plan is implemented in time in the interest of a cleaner
environment. Technology is available to meet the advanced emission
norms using gasoline and diesel fuel; Bosch and many other companies
have proved this worldwide. There is no need for the authorities to
specify the type of technical solution required for this purpose as long
as the end objectives are met.
The spurious and reconditioned goods market, which I also dealt
with in detail in my speech last year, continues to be a worrying factor
as it directly affects our market share. The Company on its part has
intensified the anti-spurious operations by conducting several raids
across the country with the help of local regulatory authorities. Large
quantities of spurious and fake products have been seized and legal
action has been taken against those indulging in such activities. The
Company believes that continued focus and concerted action against
spurious activities would improve safety and fuel efficiency of the
vehicles and at the same time help in expanding our market share in
the Aftermarket. The Company is also continuously educating the users
about the benefits of using genuine spares in place of spurious and
reconditioned spares.
The lack of any significant change in the labor law reforms also
continues to be a matter of concern. It is essential that legal reforms
be put in place at the earliest to provide more flexibility in
manufacturing operations and enable the industry to quickly adjust the
work force in line with fluctuating market conditions.

Challenges for the Indian automobile industry:


As we move into the new millennium, the Indian Automobile
Industry faces some tremendous opportunities and also great
challenges. The growth in automobile sales has been impressive for the
past ten years since liberalization began. However, with liberalization,
the Indian customer has been presented with a wide range of choices
in automobiles, to suit every requirement and budget. The market has
turned into a buyer’s market where the customer is being wooed by the
manufacturers and the dealers with a range of freebies unheard of
before in India. Financing has become so easy that an automobile is
within every aspirant's reach.
Competition has meant that manufacturers' margins have been
squeezed severely and they are all under pressure to cut costs to be
profitable and competitive. Some of the older manufacturers like
Premier Automobiles (manufacturers of Premier cars), Automobile
products of India (manufacturers of Lambretta scooters) and Ideal
Jawa (manufacturers of Jawa and Yezdi motorcycles) have closed
shop. Hindustan Motors (manufacturers of Ambassador and Contessa
cars) is in trouble due to the declining sales of its car’s, as most
customers prefer the newer models available in the market. Even the
dominant player Maruti has seen its market share decline rapidly due
to its models being old and jaded and is in addition facing labour
problems in its plant.
To add to the problems, come April 2001, under the WTO
agreement, India will have to permit import of fully built automobiles,
which hitherto was not permitted. The foreign manufacturers such as
GM, Ford and Daimler Chrysler will almost certainly import vehicles
from their large portfolio of models and makes, further segmenting
the market into niches, although how competitive they are in terms of
price remains to be seen.
The challenge before the industry is to figure out the strategy
for survival and growth. It is clear from the picture painted above that
the industry will have to increase volumes in each segment to achieve
lower cost of manufacture. One way to achieve this will be to go for
exports in a big way. Maruti is already exporting vehicles, as are
Mahindra, Telco, Daimler Chrysler and more recently Daewoo. The
overseas markets will have to be exploited more aggressively, but this
will mean the companies will have to invest more in Research and
Development of new models with better features.
The second opportunity is to become contract manufacturers for
overseas companies. A number of Japanese and Korean companies have
been following this strategy very successfully. Hindustan Motors is
said to be considering this option. The third opportunity is to overcome
the vulnerability of the automobile market to oil prices by designing
vehicles, which can offer lower fuel consumption. Recent reports
suggest the government is exploring the possibility of introducing
Gasohol, which is a mixture of Petrol and Alcohol. Gasohol has been
very successful in Brazil. Since Alcohol is a by-product of the Sugar
industry (of which India has the worlds largest), this is a very logical
step that should have been taken many years ago. Even a small
percentage reduction in the consumption of petroleum per vehicle can
make a big difference to the balance of payments.
The industry must focus its R&D efforts in line with the global
trends, which is to build vehicles that are considerably more fuel
efficient and less polluting. With growing awareness among the public
about pollution and the effective campaigns carried out by the NGO's,
this will increasingly become an important selling feature. It was
surprising to see how the industry kept stalling the introduction of
pollution norms for vehicles on the pretext that they needed more
time to get the technology. Even Maruti despite its foreign affiliation
was caught off guard when the Supreme Court finally ruled that all
new vehicles should strictly adhere to the Euro II norms.
The inadequacy of road infrastructure in India is well known. This
is compounded by the fact that traffic management is very poor or
non-existent and the drivers are mostly ill trained and in disciplined.
As more vehicles come on the road, this will become a major
bottleneck. The industry will need take initiatives firstly to train all
drivers in safe driving and proper road discipline and manners. They
will also need to assist government agencies in better road design and
in building of multilevel parking lots. Training of police personnel in
better traffic management and advising them on better equipping
themselves to deal with various problems will also have to be done.
In terms of the world averages, India's vehicle density is very
low and if we have to achieve those density levels, the industry can
look forward to a bright future. However in the industry's interest
care must be taken to see that we also achieve the safety and
convenience levels of using automobiles.
The Challenges:
 External Level :
✔ Integrating into Global Supply Chains
✔ WTO – Multilateral trade regimes
✔ FTA’s (i.e. Bi-lateral Trade)
 Country Level :
✔ Infrastructure
✔ Cascading effect of Taxes
✔ Cost of Capital
✔ Cost of Power
✔ Inflexible labor laws Inflexible labor laws

 Firm Level :
✔ Export as a “mind set
✔ QCDDM – equation taken for granted
✔ Logistics
✔ Warranties & Liabilities

 Challenges for CEO’s:
✔ Dilemma of Investment
✔ Addressing fast Global Business Environment
✔ Changing mind set of teams
✔ Developing & employing people with “right “right skills”
skills.
SERVICES:
Automotive PR undertakes a wide range of corporate
communications consultancy services for its clients. These services are
designed to help clients promote their businesses and protect their
interests through all channels of contact with customers, suppliers,
distributors, shareholders and employees. Services provided, either as
a long-term co-ordinate activity or on an individual project basis,
include:
• Corporate communications counsel
• Strategic public affairs planning and implementation
• Government and political relations
• Product PR and marketing services
• Event management and product launches
• Presentation and speech writing
• Crisis communications management
• Internal communication support
• Strategic marketing advice and guidance
• Media monitoring and evaluation
In addition, and in order to create awareness, generate
sales and establish customer loyalty for clients' products and services,
Automotive PR is able to provide high quality marketing communication
support in areas such as brochure production, annual reports, design,
photography, internet marketing support and advertising.
In the highly specialised area of media relations Automotive
PR provides a complete press and broadcast service including the
writing and accurate placement of news releases, articles and case
studies that editors will want to publish as well as maintaining
effective, positive contact with journalists to identify new editorial
opportunities.

By analysing media coverage for our clients we measure the


extent to which the opinions of key audiences may have been
influenced and the possible impact that this media coverage is having
on the company's reputation. Our major objective of course is to
maximise the level of favourable publicity in key publications, achieved
through contributed articles, news releases, editorial briefings, visits,
interviews and press launches.

PR TEAM:
The Automotive PR team has a range of talents and expertise
gained from experience within the motor industry communications
arena. This gives APR unique insights into what is required from both
the client and media perspective.
APR's reputation for providing informed, relevant editorial
matter is hard-earned and our team gives clear guidance to clients on
what will work and what will not. We have the confidence, based on
real, daily contacts with key automotive journalists throughout Europe,
to create and place stories of real value.

PR SERVICES TO THE MOTOR INDUSTRY :

A PR operates from offices in central London and works on behalf


of a range of clients, from the largest multinational corporations to
one-man businesses, all focused on reaching customers in and for the
world's largest engineering-based industry - the automotive business.

APR undertakes a range of promotional services but its principal


specialisation is in effectively developing and managing hard hitting
media relations programmes on behalf of its clients.

NATURE OF THE WORK:


public relation managers coordinate their companies' market research,
marketing strategy, sales, advertising, promotion, pricing, product
development, and public relations activities. In small firms the owner
or chief executive officer might assume all advertising, promotions,
marketing, sales, and public relations responsibilities. In large firms,
which may offer numerous products and services nationally or even
worldwide, an executive vice president directs overall advertising,
marketing, promotions, sales, and public relations policies.
➢ Public relations managers. Public relations managers plan and
direct public relations programs designed to create and maintain
a favorable public image for the employer or client. For example,
they might write press releases or sponsor corporate events to
help maintain and improve the image and identity of the company
or client. They also help to clarify the organization’s point of view
to their main constituency. They observe social, economic, and
political trends that might ultimately affect the firm, and they
make recommendations to enhance the firm's image on the basis
of those trends. Public relations managers often specialize in a
specific area, such as crisis management, or in a specific industry,
such as healthcare.
In automobile industry, public relations managers may
supervise a staff of public relations specialist. They also work with
advertising and marketing staffs to make sure that the advertising
campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is
trying to portray.
In addition, public relations managers may handle internal
company communications, such as company newsletters, and may help
financial managers produce company reports. They may assist company
executives in drafting speeches, arranging interviews, and maintaining
other forms of public contact; oversee company archives; and respond
to requests for information. Some of these managers handle special
events as well, such as the sponsorship of races, parties introducing
new products, or other activities that the firm supports in order to
gain public attention through the press without advertising directly.
Work environment.
public relation managers work in offices close to those of
top managers. Working under pressure is unavoidable when schedules
change and problems arise, but deadlines and goals still must be met.
Substantial travel may be required in order to meet with
customers and consult with others in the industry. public relations
managers travel to meet with special-interest groups or government
officials.
Long hours, including evenings and weekends are common. In
2008, over 80 percent of public relation managers worked 40 hours or
more a week.

public relation managers often serve as liaisons between the firm


requiring the advertising and an advertising or promotion agency that
develops and places the ads.
Training, Other Qualifications, and AdvancementAbout this section.
A wide range of educational backgrounds is suitable for entry into,
public relations manager jobs, but many employers prefer college
graduates with experience in related occupations.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING:


For public relations management positions, some employers
prefer a bachelor's or master's degree in public relations or
journalism. The applicant's curriculum should include courses in
advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking,
political science, and creative and technical writing.
Most public relation management positions are filled through
promotions of experienced staff or related professional personnel. For
example, many managers are former sales representatives; purchasing
agents; buyers; or product, advertising, promotions, or public relations
specialists. In small firms, in which the number of positions is limited,
advancement to a management position usually comes slowly. In large
firms, promotion may occur more quickly.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS:
Computer skills are necessary for recordkeeping and data
management, and the ability to work in an Internet environment is
becoming increasingly vital as more marketing, product promotion, and
advertising is done through the Internet.
Persons interested in becoming public relation managers should be
mature, creative, highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and
decisive. The ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in
writing, with other managers, staff, and the public is vital. such
managers also need tact, good judgment, and exceptional ability to
establish and maintain effective personal relationships with
supervisory and professional staff members and client firms.

CERTIFICATION AND ADVANCEMENT:


Some associations offer certification programs for these managers.
Certification—an indication of competence and achievement—is
particularly important in a competitive job market. Although relatively
public relation managers currently are certified, the number of
managers who seek certification is expected to grow. Today, there are
numerous management certification programs based on education and
job performance.
In addition, the Public Relations Society of America offers a
certification program for public relations practitioners that is based
on years of experience and performance on an examination.
Because of the importance and high visibility of their jobs promotions,
public relation managers often are prime candidates for advancement
to the highest ranks. Well-trained, experienced, and successful
managers may be promoted to higher positions in their own or another
firm; some become top executives. Managers with extensive
experience and sufficient capital may open their own businesses.

EMPLOYMENT ABOUT THIS SECTION:


Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations, and sales
managers held about 623,800 jobs in 2008. The following tabulation
shows the distribution of jobs by occupational specialty:
Sales managers 346,900
Marketing managers 175,600
Public relations managers 56,700
Advertising and promotions managers 44,600
Job OutlookAbout this section
Employment is projected to grow about as fast as average. As with
most managerial jobs, keen competition is expected for these highly
coveted positions.
Employment change. Overall employment of public relation managers is
expected to increase by 13 percent through 2018. Job growth will be
spurred by competition for a growing number of goods and services,
both foreign and domestic, and the need to make one’s product or
service stand out in the crowd. In addition, as the influence of
traditional advertising in newspapers, radio, and network television
wanes, marketing professionals are being asked to develop new and
different ways to advertise and promote products and services to
better reach potential customers.
Public relations managers are expected to see an increase in
employment of 13 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about as
fast as average for all occupations, as organizations increasingly
emphasize community outreach and customer relations as a way to
enhance their reputation and visibility. Especially among the growing
number of nonprofit organizations, such as education services, business
and professional associations, and hospitals, where many of these
workers are employed, public relations managers will be charged with
promoting the mission of the organization and encouraging membership
or use of the organization’s services.

RELATED OCCUPATIONS ABOUT THIS SECTION:


public relation managers direct the sale of products and services
offered by their firms and communicate information about their firm’s
activities. Other workers involved with public relations include the
following:

• Actors, producers and directors


• Advertising sales agents
• Artists and related workers
• Authors, writers, and editors
• Demonstrators and product promoters
• Market and survey researchers
• Models
• Public relations specialists
• Sales representatives.