Maruti, tough to beat
Apropos of the interview, “After BR-V, we’ll keenly look at the small car space” (FE, November 21), the global head of Honda Motor says that “Our focus is always on the needs of a particular region. If a region shows strong demand for small cars, we will seriously consider the possibility—be it India or other countries … We have not yet made any specific plans on a full-fledged SUV for India. We may look into it soon.” While Honda’s plan for both a small car and a full-fledged SUV appears like a veiled threat to Maruti from Takahiro Hachigo, we are sure no company—at least not in the near future—will be able to give Maruti tough competition. Look at Hyundai, which has been selling cars in India for almost two decades now. While the Korean giant has some really good products—and news reviews do prove that some of their cars are better than Maruti’s—none of these models have been able to consistently outsell Maruti models. Even though Honda already has a small car in India, which is the Brio, it is a failure as far as sales are concerned. A good business approach for Honda should be to consider Hyundai as its prime competitor in India. Once it is able to give some decent competition to the Korean, should Honda focus on competing with Maruti. Hachigo also said that the company is “working on increasing development capability in India.” It is good news considering that, within the Honda world, India is still not an independent regional operation, which it should be.
BS Verma, Gurgaon
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