The Logan was launched by Mahindra Renault as a grand entry of M&M into the Car market, and also marking Renault’s entry into India. Tagged as the widest car in the market, Logan did give its competitor a thing or two to worry about, but all does not seem to progress in the long run. I happened to read Hormazd Sorabjee’s column in Autocar’s August 2007 issue I neither won’t type out the article to quote, but shall present it in points form.
- The Logan outsells Fiesta, Verna, Indigo and the City despite being sold only in 11 cities.
- The high sales figures initially are attributed to the novelty factor that’s associated with any new car launch.
- The Diesel Version is overpriced.
- Not really ‘Love at First Sight’. Reasons: Boxy looks, basic interiors.
- The car is very frugal in nature, will allure many mileage conscious buyers.
Reasons for the slow start, this is where the real substance comes into picture, Read on.
- Badly planned launch, there was a huge media presence, but the plant wasn’t prepared to deliver the cars. So waiting period right from the start.
- Mahindra Renault asked for a fat booking deposit.
- Only top and bottom end versions available. No intermediate version option. So they followed up with variants later.
- Production quite slow, and works on one shift, limiting the nation wide sales.
As Sorabjee says, and I duly agree with him is that this happens because of lack in experience in selling volumes car. He quotes the example of the SX4 launch, which Maruti as handled very well. Maruti has their dealers equipped with the car the moment the car was launched, so you could go and book one the very next day, unlike the Logan launch, only in 11 cities, and a long waiting period.
The Logan is sold 11 cities which include cities like Mumbai, Delhi, etc. The Logan should have been also been launched in more towns and Renault should have used Mahindra’s existing dealer network to sell the cars. Or they could have dealt with setting up their own network prior to the launch. But that would have consumed a lot of time.
The basic boxy styling is what I would like to object, if the company does really want to sell in huge numbers. Earlier Maruti’s came in such box type cars (see Esteem, Baleno), but now they too are going through a image makeover with defining products like Swift and the Sx4. We also have other car manufacturers like Ford and Hyundai who are more aggressive on the style market. Ford who was struggling to get a considerable market share has set it right with the Diesel Fiesta, with their TDCi technology (common rail). Hyundai too gave a complete makeover to the product line up with the Verna, the strong points of the car being aggressive styling and an incredible diesel engine. However, Tata hasn’t launched any new cars in the segment recently, but the Indigo has some new versions against the Logan in the same price range. Tata too faces some reliability and engine refinement issues too tackle, but are known for utmost customer comfort.
I personally would choose the Ford Fiesta Diesel TDCi amongst these cars, if I had the cash to buy one.
To sum it all, Mahindra Renault have to do more in terms of their product to get a considerable share of the Indian market. They need to design the cars specifically for India, rather than using adapting a car that’s sold in almost all European nations. Yes Suzuki does that, but they get it right. And the Mahindra Renault has to build their dealer network stronger and the production must be ramped up to deliver as fast as possible, and cut the waiting period short. They also need to get their logistics right, if at all they need to stake a claim at Maruti’s share.
And yea, next time bring in some better looking cars. You do sell a bunch of them in France.
This post is based on the column written by Hormazd Sorabjee, the Editor of Autocar India, in the August 2007 issue. The facts and data are referred as is from the article. I claim no responsibility for the correctness of the data. However the opinions, based on the data are entirely mine and are not, by any means linked/sponsored/endorsed by any organization or individual.