The Case Of Market Leadership

Jun 18th, 2015
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Making a passenger car against an individual order? Like a customised Rolls? Kumar Mahadevan was amused at the distance the Indian passenger car industry had traversed. As the CEO of Ashwin Udyog Ltd, the country's leading passenger car-maker, Mahadevan had led the change in the industry from the front. And yet, here was his counterpart at the Indian subsidiary of a Korean major talking of how the company would deliver its premium car at a week's notice, straight from the assembly line. ''The tables have turned,'' he said, addressing his team of senior executives, later in the day. ''When we started out in 1981, we set the trend on the twin planks of fuel economy and low maintenance cost. And made fossils of all the stodgy, fuel-guzzling models prevalent at that time.

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The Case OfMarket LeadershipCan Ashwin retain its market leadership in passenger cars? R. Nair of BusinessConsulting Group, V. Venugopal of Mahindra & Mahindra, and B. Palekar ofEureka Forbes discuss.By R. ChandrasekharMaking a passenger car against an individual order? Like a customised Rolls? KumarMahadevan was amused at the distance the Indian passenger car industry hadtraversed. As the CEO of Ashwin Udyog Ltd, the country's leading passenger carmaker, Mahadevan had led the change in the industry from the front. And yet, herewas his counterpart at the Indian subsidiary of a Korean major talking of how thecompany would deliver its premium car at a week's notice, straight from the assemblyline.''The tables have turned,'' he said, addressing his team of senior executives, later inthe day. ''When we started out in 1981, we set the trend on the twin planks of fueleconomy and low maintenance cost. And made fossils of all the stodgy, fuel-guzzlingmodels prevalent at that time. We got a resounding response from the burgeoningIndian middle class-at which Ashwin was targeted-at parameters like price, design,comfort, mileage, and, of course, the aspirations. We went on to corner over 80 percent of the market and bestrode the Indian passenger car market like a colossus forwell nigh decades."Today, we are in the same position as the companies we upstaged on our debut. Ascompared to four manufacturers of passenger cars in the country, offering a dozenmodels, in 198

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