Sudhakar Shah

Sudhakar
Shah
Correspondent,
WardsAuto

Sudhakar covers the Indian auto industry from his base in Mumbai.

Articles
Inconsistency a Constant for Indian Automakers
Automakers are responding to market demands in the short term by offering discounts and incentives, and in the long term by increasing their retail presence in rural communities.
Automated Manual Transmission in High Gear in India 
Magneti Marelli executive Saju Mookken says it took him three years to persuade Maruti Suzuki to offer AMT, and now he is unable to meet the demand.
Toyota India Product Push Aims to Rebuild Share
The automaker’s small-car offerings were not competitively priced owing to a low level of parts localization and the need to import relatively costly components, exacerbated by the depreciation of the Indian rupee against the U.S. dollar.
Honda Reaping Benefits of Getting Serious in India 
Honda spent its first 17 years in India in the backwaters of the market but became more responsive, and began its rise, after ending its 12-year-old joint venture with a local manufacturer in 2012.
Maruti Suzuki Not Standing Still Atop India Market 
This year’s rollout of new vehicles will be the largest in Maruti’s 32-year history as a Suzuki subsidiary. They include a mini-truck, a segment to which the automaker is a newcomer.
Keeping Pace With Market Keeps Hyundai India in Front
The automaker’s 10 brands combined claim 21.6% of the local market, second only to Maruti Suzuki, and it is India’s leading exporter with a 40% share of sales. It is utilizing nearly all of its annual 640,000-unit capacity.
Luxury Automakers Not Discouraged by India Slump 
Luxury-segment sales are expected to grow from about 32,000 units in 2013 to nearly 50,000 this year, according to IHS Automotive.
Growth Opportunities Elusive for Indian Parts Makers
Chinese components are priced so low that Indian manufacturers are seeking anti-dumping duties. But India also has a free-trade agreement with the ASEAN trade bloc that allows duty-free imports of parts made in those countries.
Indian Road-Safety Proposals Get Automaker Pushback 
Automakers object most strongly to a rule that would require the recall of a vehicle if 100 customers complain of any defect that could harm a driver, passenger or pedestrian.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman Bhargava OK With Plant Delay 
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.
Diesel Demand in India Rises, Falls With Pump Prices
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.
Indian Automakers Taxed by Regulatory, Duty Disputes 
Fines, penalties and demands for unpaid excise taxes against the automakers total Rs49.5 billion. Some cases date back a decade or longer.
Savvy Hyundai Shines in Gloomy Indian Car Market
Hyundai India’s advantage lies in its diverse portfolio, its ability to adjust its product mix on short notice and capacity to revise export volumes as needed.
Zest Compact Not Enough to Halt Tata’s Long Decline 
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.
Mercedes Ups Ante in India’s Luxury-Vehicle Market 
‟Last year we were dubbed as selling fathers’ cars,” CEO and Managing Director Eberhard Kern says. ‟We are now selling sons’ and daughters’ cars.”
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