Sudhakar Shah


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

JLR’s Smarts, New Models Help Tata Reinvent Itself
The mainstream automaker and its luxury division would benefit from significant exchanges of ideas regarding Tata’s market strategies and JLR technologies.
Luxury, Super-Luxury Models Enrich India Auto Market 
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.
Automakers to Appeal Fines in India Antitrust Case 
The automakers were accused of severely restraining the availability of parts, services and warranties, increasing costs for consumers and forcing many independent workshops out of business.
JLR-Driven Profits Belie Tata’s Domestic Distress 
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.
New Product Mix Regains Lost Ground for Honda India
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.
Export Markets New Combat Zone for Indian Automakers
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.
India Car Sales Show Fitful Upturn; Light Trucks Lag 
Car sales’ return to positive territory comes as customer interest shifts from entry-level and midsize small hatchbacks to premium hatchbacks and entry-level sedans.
Suzuki Faces Shareholder Pushback Over India Venture 
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.
Exports Key to Shoring Up Ford India’s Fortunes 
Outgoing Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s belief that Ford India can deliver as an export hub overshadows the automaker’s difficulties in its home market, where it has lost money for 16 of its 17 years there.
Nissan Staging Triple-Digit Comeback in India 
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.
Fiat India Pursuing Ambitious Growth Strategy 
Fiat India has nowhere to go but up. Its share of the country’s highly competitive light-vehicle market is less than 0.5%.
Rural Focus Helps Maruti Suzuki Battle Sales Slump 
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.
New Government Boosts Indian Automakers’ Optimism 
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.
GM India Looks Overseas to Shore Up Slumping Sales
The model chosen for export is the Chevrolet Beat, a small hatchback considered well-built, affordable and well-suited to city traffic.
Exports Picking Up Indian Auto Industry’s Slack 
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.
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