Sunday, November 2, 2008

Death of a Product - Maruti 800?

There is ample literature on how a product needs to be killed.There are prescriptions available on how the issue of retiring a product has to be carefully done keeping in mind the consumers who would still be using the product.

One product in India, about which we have been hearing the eminent death for a very long time is the ubiquitous Maruti 800. When Maruti Alto was launched, it was said to be a replacement for 800 and every one started saying it is time to be say goodbye to it. But then it was not withdrawn though even the company might have initially thought of it as a replacement for the aging 800. And the decision of not withdrawing it proved right as both Alto and 800 did very well in the market. Today i saw one more news item which said that phase-out of the model was more or less certain, link.

There are many reasons why 800 still continues to sell, it is still the cheapest car which can be bought in India and the company has made the investments long back and has recovered the money long back and thus continuing the production till the die lasts makes sense for the company. And in a country like India having presence in all possible price points make sense for a company and that too if the price point is the lowest in the market.

Though one does get a feeling that it maybe a time to say bye to a model which has sold 27,50,000+ since launch, as it is driven by the new emission norms which would come to force in the coming days, but then you never know......



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