sujith3120

Is Maruti suzuki complacent?

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HI folks,

I'm not saying that Maruti is going to lose its no 1 sales tag, but I sense that the gap between maruti and the rest of the players, especially hyundai and chevrolet is going to reduce significantly. I'm just highlighting a few of the strategies that went horribly wrong:

SX4--Initial sales were very good and it was in fact touted as the honda city beater, but one-two yrs later, its no where close to the ANHC and infact other cars like linea are doing better. I doubt if the sx4 is matching up to linea's 1.2k monthly figures. There is no diesel in sight for the SX4 and i think it may just die a slow death like the baleno. Traditional maruti buyers are now buy other products. My friend in chennai has just booked a linea petrol-dynamic version for 7.2 lakhs OTR which is way cheaper than the SX4 vxi and in fact has more features! is maruti being beaten in its own price war?

A-star--Global alto replacement was a lakh costlier than the alto in india! and that is the main reason for its failure, in spite of a great engine and decent driving dynamics.

Estilo--I dont think even the k-series engine nor the face lift is doing it any good.

Ritz--Doing decent numbers, but I'm not sure if it will be consistent.

Swift--Its most successful model, but why has maruti not given it a mid life facelift?? Launched in 2005, i think it deserves some new features / facelift!

Dzire--Currently market leader in entry level sedans, purel due to its diesel engine, lets wait for the Manza's first yr numbers.

You see, my concern is that Maruti has been doing great for the past 15 odd yrs, but they have not invested in great engines nor new models that they should have done, having so much cash at their disposal! They have taken the indian consumers for granted and i think they are going to pay a price! even the new wagon r is supposed to be just a facelift! the estilo is decade old model from japan! so nothing new has been done FOR india except may be for the dzire.

Hyundai is developing a new 800cc car and I'm sure it will eat up the alto's share quickly. The next gen swift is not gonna be here until 2011, and that means punto, polo, vista will gain good advantage by then. They are too dependent on the 1.3 mjd. Toyota, Honda are fast catching up and evn they will be atleast 15-20% more expensive, people will be ready to pay for them.

Is maruti complacent?

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i would not exactly call that complacency, but yes, its sad to see that MSIL hasn't really introduced an all new model for the Indian market. The only reason MSIL cars are so very popular is that they have fabulous A.S.S. and Customer Satisfaction. And to some extent their engines too. But their cars mostly lack a killer point, an advantage which only they enjoy. Thats probably why many customers are now looking towards other manufacturers like Hyundai. Maruti must do something about this.

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I can agree with you to some extent; MSIL hasn't given any really new model in some time. It's largest market is India and still you don't get new model's as and when they are launched in the international market. Whereas, Hyundai first launched the i10 here in India and then the world, that definitely says a lot and goes to tell it's buyers that it's really serious about the Indian market.

The Wagon R is also a "defunct" model being brought here from Japan and passed off. MSIL has to concentrate on build quality and real new model's. If you can't even give the latest kei model's and engines in your largest market then theres something wrong with you.

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While I agree that Maruti is slightly lagging behind in giving their best to the Indian Market, I find the fault lies more with their much acclaimed ASS.

There is no doubt that the Maruti's ASS is well spread out all over India.  But, the quality of their service is certainly not better than any other's.  Moreover, in my last 14 years of owning Maruti vehicles (Omni-E and Esteem VX), I found that their ASS centres have become lethargic and have become immune to the needs of the customers.  Their attitude is not so great and is nohing to write home about.  The spares management is also not upto the mark.  For example, when I wanted two critical parts for my Esteem, they could not give me any solution for the last 3 years.  Yes.  3 Years.  And, I had to look for salvaged parts from accident vehicles to get the needed spares.  I am certainly not happy with the treatment I got.  I can see the ASS quality constantly going down.  Instead of servicing the vehicles, they have started milking the vehicles. 

I do not think that Maruti Suzuki `controls' the ASS any longer.  They seem to be having their own way of treating the customers, cars and spares.

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There is one area more than ASS and Customer satisfaction and recently its one of the main reasons for MSIL success. This area is the Group Buying facility. MSIL provides huge discounts in many Govt and Private sector offices across india. These discounts are not temporary and irrespective of new models or not. Even our car was bought in a Group along with 35 other Alto almost six years back and each owner was provided almost 40K discount. Hyundai and GMI also started this recently but could not match MSIL dominance. So sometimes it does not matter whether a new model or facelift is introduced or not.

People who really evaluate cars before buying are only few in number. So you, me and other car enthusiasts may search for alternatives and weigh the cars but  rest does not and that rest is huge in number. MSIL made a rather smart move for these buyers.

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maruti does not sell cars on their face values, they have built a reputation for reliability and real VFM. They started shifting from that VFM value starting with a-star. Their designs, barring a few, was never outstanding; but they sold on ease of ownership.

Until other manufacturers try to match that, there would not be any severe dent in Maruti zone; Hyundai has made very good progress in bigger cities in both cars and sales; then again, I don't think Maruti holds a 50% market share in those cities

They are certainly not complacent, but their latest cars seems to be a bit radical, love-it-or-loathe-it style, earlier they used to make safe designs.

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I agree with you to some extent but not fully.

SX4

SX4 has established itself at the no. 2 in the segment strongly. It is doing 2000 units a month post facelift and that is just with the petrol engines. It suffered low sales only during the last 6 months before the new VVT engine launch.

Other cars like Fiesta and Verna occasionally have larger sales but those are mostly diesel engined.

Estilo

Regarding this I will say it is selling low only by MS standards and is losing its sales only to its brother Wagon R. Maruti's thinking might be that as long as money is coming in the family, all is well.

A-Star

Yes this was an unexpected flop, though a huge hit abroad. You are right, the pricing was such that there was Swift on top and Wagon R below, causing sales to move away.

Ritz

5000 a month may not exactly be of the "Swift" sales the company would ave aimed for, but it is pretty good considering that it is losing sales only to its brother.

Swift

I have to disagree with your point about Swift. They updated with Steering remote controls, and some bumper and taillight modifications in 2008. And now they are getting the K Series which I think will bring in more changes and then in 2011 the new Swift will come.

Also Suzuki has developed the K Series engine very well and they are incorporating it in all there models one by one.

Maruti has said that it will have the entire Suzuki lineup here by 2015 so I think the next 5 years shall see a lot of launches.

Development work has also been carried out nicely. The Indian engineers were part of the team that made K Series engine, they designed the A-Star, now the stunning rIII MPV.

What I think MSIL is doing here is getting the max profit it can. It is selling old models, but like hotcakes, and on the sidelines introducing new ones as well.

And also this is not the only company doing this. Santro was replaced with i10 worldwide. Verna(Accent) is nowhere in sale except India.

The main thing if you see in the top 10 list, there are always very few new cars. i10, Swift, Ritz, Dzire. Rest 6 are old cars, which means new cars have not gained that reputation as the older cars.

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The problem is same with both the biggest manufacturers of INDIA, the maruti suzuki and hero honda. Unless and until there is transfer of technology , the indian counterparts are left stranded . They are solely dependent on the japanese counterpart.

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My issue is not about After sales and service. Considering the no. of Marutis on road, I think they are doing a good job.

My point is that if India is its largest market, then give it the reqd. importance!

@rahul1810--w.r.t swift's facelift in 2008, maruti never even advertised this as a 'new' swift coz there were hardly any changes. The only visible change was that the taillights had a slight change and that was it. The ZXI version which may be only about 5% of swift's sales got the steering mounted contol. Considering swift's success couldnt they have risked to bring in a 100bhp petrol engine?? When Fiat could do this with the poorly selling Palio, why cannot Maruti?

Look at the i10--its got 2 engines, along with an automatic! Even though automatics are not great sellers, this trend is slowly beginning to change and I have personally seen many women opting for the i10 automatic inspite of it costing as much as the Swift zxi. The old Zen used to have an automatic version, so why cannot the super selling Swift have one?

BornFree2010-01-17 11:43:34

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@Sujith

The reason for the above post is, the extra ordinary success of Swift. What ever Maruti give, people will buy it.

Thank god, swift is a monoquoc design, if not, Maruti would have sold its Chassis seperately, like our Buses/Lorries, even then people will buy it.

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Gud News for Maruti lovers,

The SX4 has been approved by various state Govt authorities for their MLA's & for Employees of other High Rank Authorities field usage alongwith the ANHC, Toyota Innova, Corolla ALTIS, Camry over the previous older HM Ambassadors

Their explanation over this was that if the people around them roam in expensive cars, why they settle for the old Ambys.

And also the latter's Long fuel & maintenance bills overruns the govt budget restricted for them..

So, SX4 is still having a long-life ahead.....

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