Detroit automakers slow to adapt in India

Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) are still spinning their wheels in India with each claiming a market share of only around 3% in what is tapped to be the third largest automobile market in the world by 2018.

The Detroit automakers have been slow to adapt to local tastes for small sub-$10K cars.

The "big two" in the nation are Suzuki (SZKMF) and Hyundai (HYMLF) which combined account for over half of all automobile sales in India.

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Comments (3)
  • jsiracusejr
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
    If you have to sell a car for under $10,000, what kind of profit margin is there? Don't sacrifice making a reasonable profit just to gain market share. Buying a car isn't like buying a cell phone where you are buying into a system. When people can afford to buy Ford's and GM's they will.
    25 Mar 2014, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • xracer43
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    I've heard that Tata makes a car in India that sells for around $2,000. Tata also owns Jaguar now, bought it from Ford. If Ford wants to sell cars in India they should maybe bring back the 1948 British Ford Anglia (but with hydraulic brakes) using the old low tech simple flat head four cylinder engine. Basic transportation - light, cheap, economical, simple, reliable and cute.


    25 Mar 2014, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • starcorral
    , contributor
    Comments (1758) | Send Message
    India's market is simple transportation. Becoming profitable means building a minimilast platform. Serious sophistication is necessary to produce a utilitarian platform suited to a versatile core for a myriad of variation. Add the fact that we are invading the territory of Suzuki which simply did not "get it" here in the USA.


    Meanwhile in China Ford and GM have a serious following.


    Whoever plays catch up quickest - Ford or GM - will have the best chance of penetrating in the future what are now virtually primitive markets. While Ford has focused on the World Car concept, Indias roads are populated with things that can't even be sold in the US. India is the new wild west. Driving there is less dangerous than attacking a mountain lion with a water balloon. It will take a long serious commitment to understand the market, much less gain market share and profitability hand in hand.
    25 Mar 2014, 09:40 PM Reply Like
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