To ” Shoot” List
The following list of vehicles are old designs and haven’t been refreshed recently, are no longer popular and sales are really down (under 3000 units per year). Don’t wait to let them die a natural death – shoot them in the head with a well placed bullet and put them out of their miserable sales cycles.
Teana (58 sold) – A refresh made it look nice but the price hasn’t been in the sweet spot for buyers. Getting into spitting distance of Mercedes/BMW/Audi. People are going in for those.
X-Trail (100 sold) – Again not a VFM or a great performer. Has to be replaced either by something with good mud crawling capabilities/looks.
Versa( 1440 sold) – this is to replace the Omni that is still selling 76K units ? Wouldn’t it make sense to kill the Versa and get an engine update for the Omni to make sure it is still compliant with emission norms.
Grand Vitara(270 sold). Maruti has to realize people do not think too much of large Petrol SUVs from Suzuki. Bring some refreshes to the Gypsy/Jimmy with the DDiS and at a good price. That will conquer the market.
Octavia(2910 sold). Giving a 70K discount on this old old model isn’t going to fool anyone. The Laura sold here is sold world over as the Octavia.
Camry(514 sold) – this has to have a price revision/ (be assembled in India) like the Accord to fight Honda. Else forget about the Camry sales.
Land Cruiser Prado( 109 sold). Just import these for the movie stars and do that through illegal means. Don’t bother publishing sales numbers and do cash transactions only :-).
Tuscon( 50 sold) – Hyundai hasn’t done well with SUVs anywhere. India is no different. Latest stunt – SRK to move around on one of these during IPL in SA ? Yuck.
Sonata(486 sold) – Time for a change in the flagship of Hyundai. The Sonata now looks very dated. The “Transform” hasn’t done much. Azera/Genesis anyone ?
Lancer(1570 sold) – Kill this one and bring in the EVO at this price – please. A lot of enthusiasts would gladly donate kidneys for this. (Especially the guy who runs www.virtu.in Madan you reading? )
CRV(2245 sold) – Guess the new shape isn’t to every one’s liking. Too futuristic ?
The following are low volume cars but as an enthusiast I think they should still be available in India:
BMW 7 Series(279)
Mercedes Benz S-Class(474)
“Die Another Day” List:
The following are models with huge sales % dips YOY. This has to be taken seriously unless the manufacturer wants them to be gradually killed. Most of these haven’t been announced as being chopped. I am suggesting this since these are good cars and have been successful in the past. they could still be given “mouth-to-mouth” of a refresh or value up-gradations and saved to “die another day” :-).
Ambassador – 5610 units ? Has dropped 34% from last year – it is beginning to look like death might be near for old Methuselah. 50+ years is a long run for model. Next year it may be on my “Let it die peacefully in its sleep” list. No more discounts/refreshes. Let it become the collector car it is destined to be. Only option – come out with a hot-rod type version with an unheard of amount of power, chopped and lowered. Do not let Dilip Chabbria near it though – some disfigured ugly thing like an ambassador hit by an asteroid (Ambierod) might happen.
SX4 – Down 55% – desperately needs the 1.6L diesel engine
Zen Estilo down 35% but still sold 32K units. Discounts and offers may be in order or a mild refresh.
Civic – Down 53% needs a refresh/ value package / discounts
Logan – Sales are down 48% and Mahindra Renault sold around 13K Logans. The refreshed Logan is needed immediately else Renault can close its existing plant as well. It isn’t helping to see a flip flop from Renault Nissan almost every alternate day on it introducing new models. A clear strategy is required and the models to be launched have to be announced. Buyers will wait if a good car is just a few months away. For. e.g. a lot of people are waiting for the Splash, Jazz, Grande Punto.
Getz – Sales now at 9K and down 44%. The price has to be reduced for the diesel. Then watch the Swifts take cover. Hyundai come on wake up at least now. It is still a popular car and I have personally seen people drool over the Getz and go in for the Santro since they couldn’t afford it. The high end Santro comes fully loaded while the base Getz is a tad sparse.
U-VA (6097 sold & down 47%) – The biggest crime of GM to keep the pathetic dated looking U-VA still around. The US has already gone through a refresh of it. am listing it here because of a large decline over last year.
Aveo– Needs a refresh and price adjustment as it sold only 4K and is down 25%. The Fiesta which was launched around the same time has had one refresh and several trim level updates already. Plus the Fiesta has a diesel engine which is still popular. Aveo – at least go get yourself a diesel engine.
Optra– Almost got into my euthanize list as it sold 3204 units and is down 47%. Needs to be reduced in price and space made for the Cruze. I hope the Cruze is as good to drive as it looks.
Tavera – down 35% and sold 13K units. Looks are very dated. Needs to be put out of its misery. Nowadays only cabbies seem to buy it.
The Palio Stile has shown an increase of 11% over last year but it is still selling a pathetic number – 3679. Am not sure what can be done – other than replace the Palio with something like the Grande Punto at a nice price.
Do you agree with this list ? Or am I smoking something really good ? Please let me know. If you like this post do subscribe to my feed through email or a feed reader.
PS: These numbers are taken from the May 2009 Issue of Autocar India.
For more slice and dice take a look at this PDF I put together to keep this post short.