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.
Honda India dropped every model but the CR-V and refilled its portfolio with the popular Brio hatchback and Amaze compact sedan. The Mobilio is shaping up as India’s most successful MPV since the Toyota Innova.
Domestic automakers and global manufacturers’ Indian subsidiaries are exporting, or will export, both fully assembled vehicles and kits for local assembly in the importing country. Their market reach is worldwide.
Maruti Suzuki is campaigning to convince global and local investors of the benefits of parent Suzuki’s wholly owned India operation. But some Maruti Suzuki shareholders oppose the plan and regulators have questioned its legality.
Aiming for a 10% share of the Indian market by 2017, Nissan plans to introduce new products and start a common-module family series of versatile platforms. But the automaker first would like to give existing models a chance to succeed.
Maruti Suzuki has held its own during the industry slump but also is looking to improve. India’s No.1 automaker has set a challenging target of 9% to 10% overall growth in the current fiscal year, and 15% in rural areas.
Rising production costs, interest rates and sale prices, plus a decline in availability of financing, have damaged Indian automakers in the past 24 months. Investments have been delayed, jobs have been curtailed and worker unrest is widespread.
Automakers are working to expand not only by exporting but also by producing compact vehicles, increasing dealerships and promoting rural sales and service within India. The domestic manufacturers face the additional challenge of strengthening their technological capabilities.
Sales have plunged since jumping by triple digits in 2010 and 2011, with VW and SkodaAuto deliveries tumbling 19% year-on-year to 82,239 units in 2013, WardsAuto data shows. Indian production fell by roughly half.
While Mahindra has earmarked Rs40 billion next year for facilities and capacity expansion, Maruti Suzuki roughly will match its rival’s 2015 spending level to develop new models and marketing and upgrade R&D facilities.