Monday, November 13, 2006

Tata Ace - Marketing Success?

Tata Ace is one product which I have been eager to talk about for along time. First look at the vehicle will not show anything special about it. It will look like any of the umpteen ubiquitous small transport vehicles which ply around the roads in the country. The only thing different is apparently the fourth wheel which is added to it. Though it looks very commonplace, but it has had phenomenal success in the market place.

To start with a brief about the product, the company Tata Motors calls it the India's first mini truck. The 0.75 tone Mini Truck from Tata is powered by a small and efficient 16bhp 700 cc IDI diesel engine. It is priced between 2.2 Lakhs to 2.35 Lakhs. It is suitable for both rural and urban use. The company has a dedicated website where more information can be got, .

The impact of the launch can be seen from the dip in the sales of the cargo three-wheeler maker, a 9% drop for the six month period April-Jan 2006 in favor of Ace, whose sales grew by 117% .The company has doubled the manufacturing capacity of Ace seeing the market response. It has achieved all this without a pan country presence.

The question which is worth raising is that why could Tata Motors see an opportunity in developing a four-wheel version of the Mini Truck and none of the dominant players could see the opportunity. Is it that market leader become complacent with their existing success and they cannot see beyond their existing products. This would actually be a level lower than even Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Myopia". Now all major players are planning to come up with a four-wheel mini truck and enter the segment in response to the success of Ace.

Indian Market - Is the Elephant running?

The first blog on marketing in India is driven by fact and figures which I have been reading in the newspapers lately. We are in the middle of the festive season, which begins in September with Ganesh Chaturthi and other festivals and runs till end Jan including Christmas and New Year. This is the time where most of the promos, new product launches are packed in and sales people across the country keep their figures crossed to reach their sale targets. But this October we have seen phenomenal sales figures, though the monthly figures are still trickling in , a sample of the sales of few brands and comapnies,

Nokia sold 4 lakh handsets on 19th October, which is it's highest record sales that the company has achieved anywhere in the world. In total all mobile companies put together have added over 6.6 million subscribers in October, compared with a total 1.6 million subscribers in 2000.

Coming to another brand, ALTO of Maruti sold 22,294 units in October, which is a record sales for any model and make in India. The overall industry growth was also very good the mini and compact cars grew by over 19%, vis-à-vis the same period last year,

In the two wheeler segment , most of the motorcycle manufactures have seen good growth in October , most of them have seen a growth of more than 20%. Hero Honda alone has sold over half a million two-wheelers in October, which is record even for the world's No.1 two-wheeler company.

I can go on and on for different brands and segments, but the point is that we are entering a phase of unprecedented growth and challenges for Indian Marketers. The blog will try to bring the readers updated with the latest development and changes in the Indian market place.


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