Try making sense of chaos. Try predicting the directions in the middle of a sea. And try pooling in billions of dollars expecting car sales to propel in India. All of these seem synonymous. In the present scenario with all the loan facilities and low interest rates, any one can own a car. But not everyone can make them, let alone sell them at profits. What works in London and Italy might not work here. Sometimes what works in the neighboring country China too fails to hit big in India. Despite all the apparent chaos in the market, automobile companies still can not leave India. Because of the basic fact that there is a lot of potential. With the industry growing consistently, despite a few downfalls every now and then, the future prospects of automobile sales in India are high. Lower car prices, higher purchasing power and definitely more first time four wheeler buyers in the country, it should not come as a surprise to see two of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers, not accepting the situation in the country. The companies in discussion are Ford and General Motors. While both these companies are not late bloomers as they entered market and had been sustaining in the country for a while now, these giants are finding it hard to compete in India.
Talking about a company’s sales and ignoring its competition which is a direct reason to that factor is unacceptable. Indian consumers have specific favorites, Maruti, Tata, Hyundai and few others. While a good car can have a success anywhere, factors such as price and brand image play a major role in a company’s sales. GM and Ford failed to hit the Indian market big time because neither of the companies understood what needs to be done in India. They designed vehicles with all developing markets in mind, not India in particular. Indian consumers are not the everyday developing country consumers. Where there is a sale of Ford EcoSport, there is also a sale of Jaguar happening at some corner. People’s priorities and purchasing capabilities change over time. And keeping pace with the changing demand and the standard requirements of fuel efficiency and price is something companies need to adapt to.
While GM hit it big time with the relatively recent success of its brand Chevrolet, Ford is also seeing a decent success with its EcoSport and Figo performing well in the market. But these are not enough. While for any everyday company might find sales of a couple of cars from its garage satisfying, Automobile giants like GM and Ford, who have been pioneers in the industry over the decades, could not stand being seconds let alone honorary players in the market. Keeping this in mind, both the companies are relatively taking aggressive steps to correct the wrongs done so far.
To understand the Indian consumers better, GM for instance, got its next vehicle Chevrolet Adra designed in its Bangalore plant. This was unveiled in the recent Auto Expo as a compact SUV. While the company is known for its traditional sedans or recent trendy hatchbacks foraying into what seems to be the latest breeze in the automobile market is indeed commendable. In this regard though, Ford is a step ahead with its Ford EcoSport filling in streets ever so quickly. The company also unveiled a prototype of the Figo Compact Car.
GM recently announced that they plan to launch 20 new vehicles or variants in the Indian market within the coming six years. Currently claiming about 3% of the automobile industry in the country, these two giants are apparently ready to devote their energies into unleashing the capabilities of the Indian market. Till now the companies had their plate full with their debt crisis and were busy with international operations as a whole. But it’s a good sign to see them finally accepting the unique aura of a diverse nation like India. Though there is place for all companies to feed themselves happily, the prize is not easy to come. It takes some work, in fact a lot of work. And Ford and GM do not seem like the companies which would take that work for granted anymore. We wish them success and hope in this attempt they give the Indian roads more innovative vehicles thereby improving the standards of the automobile industry on a whole.