Friday, January 28, 2005

Marina takes Tata past Hyundai

The second position in the passenger car sellers pecking order has been nabbed for the first time in the liberalized era by Tata Motors. Before the entry of the Korean Chaebols, Puegeot (they were here too remember?), Fiat and Ford (the first wave of foreign entrants), Tata Motors (then Telco) held about 2% of the Indian market with their Tata Sierra and Tata Estate MUV's. The Amby and PAL held some equivalent amounts, while Maruti (with mostly just the 800 and the Omni) held the rest.

The entry caused a rapid erosion in market share for Maruti, and the Tatas then did not stand a chance unless they tied up with a foreign collaborator to license technology and manufacturing. They did not, and where they are today stands as a testimony for the viability of Indian manufacturing.

A quick note: Maruti has mostly been into licensed manufacturing (with less than 100% indigenization). They are talking about research only now ("Asian small car hub"). Hyundai's Santro (at least) is 100% indigenuously made, but no R&D happens here - only licensed manufacturing. Tata Motors, which rode up the charts with the Indica and other cars on the same platform, built its cars in the country from the conception phase.