Naomi Ishii wants Toyota to address challenges facing India. This includes improving fuel economy and reducing both pollution and road fatalities. The assumption is that an automaker helping solve these problems will increase sales.
Hyundai had a 21.2% share of India’s car market in the year’s first three months, but its lack of light trucks left its share of total light-vehicle sales at 13.7%. New utility vehicles are meant to raise overall market share to 20% by 2020.
GMI’s shrinking market share and capacity utilization caught the attention of parent company CEO Mary Barra, who visited India in September to assess the affiliate’s options. She conceded GM did not have the right focus.
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.
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.
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.
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