Sudhakar Shah


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

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.
Bentleys, Porsches Mask VW Group’s Struggles in India 
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.
Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra Ratcheting Up India Spending 
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.
Thinking Bigger Key to Toyota Kirloskar Retrenchment 
Managing Director Naomi Ishii is drawing up a growth map for the Japanese automaker’s Indian affiliate based on midsize, executive and premium sedans and utility vehicles.
Ford India Workers Emulate Gandhi in Pay Protest
Recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation strategy that won independence for India in 1947, the Ford employees are showing up for work but are refusing the company’s offers of a free lunch and free round-trip transportation to and from their homes.
India Market Shifting to Automatic Manual Gearboxes 
Automakers are making automatic-manual transmissions affordable by simplifying the technology and overcoming the cost disadvantage. AMTs also save money in the price-sensitive India market by offering fuel efficiency equal to, or better than, manual gearboxes.
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