Monday, August 16, 2010

Car Sales and Production Delays

Last few months have been really good for the car Industry, we have seen record sales happening(July saw a 38% growth). With India becoming the fastest growing automobile markets in the world, this is in the backdrop of the sales stagnating in the US market. The growth is fueled by the series of new models launched by car manufacturers, especially in the B segment of the market, demand from rural markets, and with the Indian market entering the beginning of the festive season I think the next few months are going to be even more exciting for the automobile industry. Most of us get into the serious shopping mode only during the festivals and companies also wait to launch best of their schemes during this period, or is it the other way round ...a chicken and egg situation!!!!

But what surprised me was the news that both Maruti & Hyundai will not be able to match the demand due to capacity constraints. It is a window of opportunity for the many other players in the market who have always been wanting to get that extra market share, but seeing it from the number one and number two car makers in India, seems strange, because this growth is something which has been happening for some time now and suddenly you do not have production to cater to the demand?? Loyalty for a brand is good thing to bank on , but how long will someone wait for a car , especially in an era where we have got used to the off-the-shelf availability across many categories.

And once a consumer switches and picks up a car from some other manufacturer , he may never give you another chance. I think Maruti & Hyundai need to watch out ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Brand India - Impact of CWG Scam and Super Bug Controversy

The last few weeks have been bad for Brand India, and the reasons being the way Common Wealth Games are been handled and the Super Bug origin theory.

Coming to the first issue of the Common Wealth Scam, though the full reports are awaited and like many other scams they might also be pushed under the carpet after the conclusion of the games. But the impact that this scam on the overall image of the country is a very high price to pay , and hopefully we should be able to salvage some pride by conducting the games successfully. It is shameful that our neighbors used the opportunity of hosting the Olympics to showcase the country's entry into the next league and our people here .......

Coming to the second controversy, attributing the origin of the super bug to India, and even naming it after the capital New Delhi-Metallo -1 (NDM-1) is something which will again go a long way in damaging the reputation of the country. There are many sides to this story and maybe it might turn out that the reports were doctored to suit the interest of a few companies or people in other countries, but my feeling is that the damage is done.

Both these incidents reinforce the idea of India being a corrupt and developing nation with poor facilities is not a good news on the 64th Independence day.

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