Even a few years back, the Japanese car majors Toyota and Honda were going rather neck to neck in the Indian car market. Both these car majors eyed only the premium segments of the country. Though the lack of more affordable cars in India ensured that these two companies got limited sales, they did not care much. These two companies wanted to remain as the revered premium car makers in India, while they concentrated more on the big developed global car markets.
However, the time seems to have changed rather rapidly, especially for the auto industry. While the major developed car markets of U.S and Europe are offering less or limited opportunities for the car makers, the fast developing car markets of the world such as India is posing as great potential markets. In last 5 years, the developed car markets have been more or less stagnant and have showed limited growths, while the real action has been taking place in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is now rather unanimously considered that the car markets of China and India will ultimately lead the global auto industry as the largest markets leaving behind the already established markets.
The Japanese car major Honda seemed to have taken notice of this fact quicker and took the right action to offer more affordable products such as the Brio hatchback and then more recently the Brio based Amaze compact sedan. Post the launch of the Honda Amaze, the rest is history which has made Honda’s story very different from Toyota’s in India. However, Toyota India has been pretty slow in realizing the real potential of the Indian car market. Even Toyota’s attempts with its entry level Etios sedan and the Etios Liva hatchback have not been so successful in India, which have ensured Toyota’s limited success in India.
Another very important thing is that sometimes the more affordable cars even ensure the success of the more expensive premium cars of a particular car maker. And this seems to be true for Honda as well. Though the Honda City was already a segment leading popular name, the real popularity of the City and the new Mobilio MPV came only after the success of the Brio and the Amaze. The high success stories of the several Honda cars in India got its straight into the limelight and made it stand next to the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai India in the country, while even a few years back it was lost into oblivion.
However, Toyota Kirloskar Motor India is still relying on its premium offerings such as the Innova MPV and Fortuner SUV. However, even these two great models are now struggling in the face of stiff competition. Thus, it is clear that if Toyota wishes to come forward in the line of Honda in India it has to think better than the Etios twins and only its premium cars won’t help. Now, it is really up to the Japanese auto giant how it can take advantage of the highly potential Indian market.
Tagged: Toyota Cars