Delaying the plant will allow Maruti Suzuki to draw on its cash reserves and invest in marketing and sales, expanding the sales network and ‟making the right models,” Bhargava said during the automaker’s September general meeting.
Just 35% of the light-vehicle market in 2007, diesel’s share peaked at 58% in 2013. Diesels’ current share is 53% but that is expected to come down to 35% by the year 2016, turning a full circle over a decade’s time.
Tata’s weaknesses include product planning that fails to recognize changing markets, dealers’ lack of understanding of what buyers want and low profit margins. Management has given no clear indication that it is addressing these issues.
Volkswagen is reshaping its strategy in India, where combined VW and Skoda car sales through August were down 35.4% from a year earlier, according to WardsAuto data. Skoda India has put new investments on hold.
Toyota is refining its manufacturing practices to again ensure quality. New Managing Director Naomi Ishii has started the process for rapid localization of parts and is working to choose the right models in the right segments.
Mahindra has come to realize its products are out of sync with the compact or entry-level sedans and utility vehicles the market now demands. It plans new platforms and will launch three new compact SUVs over the next two years.
Buyers can choose from among 150 high-end models from five automakers, including the Indian subsidiaries of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and 70 super-luxuries from nine manufacturers ranging from Aston Martin to Rolls-Royce.
JLR sales increased 22% to 115,596 in first-quarter 2014, raising Tata’s overall operating margin to 20.3% from 15.8% year-ago, while the domestic business’s margin fell to -2.8% from 2.3% in the same period.
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