Indica V2

Indica V2. That is how they branded the Indica when they came back in the market with a debugged product and wanted to tell the customers that they had something more to offer in the product.

The message was simple, and claims were backed by actual product improvements. The strategy clicked, and the Indica entered a new phase in its lifecycle. Today, it is the largest selling car in its segment.

What Indian car market is witnessing today is also a new phase after five most eventful years in the history of Indian automobile industry, the car segment in particular. These five years have changed the way we looked at car business: 'We the Industry Wallahs' and 'We the Customers.'

These years brought in new products, new brands, new campaigns and a lot of noise at the marketplace. But behind all these hullabaloo the biggest challenge in front of carmakers was the creation of a robust sales and service network across the country to service lakhs of new and would-be customers.

Due to the image of the car dealership business created by the good old shortage days, many local businessmen flocked in to open up car dealerships. Many entrepreneurs came in, apart from the ones who were already in the automobile dealership business. Even manufacturers encouraged these freshers for their bad experiences with old dealerships and the aggressive, market-savvy approach of these entrepreneurs. Then began the number game and the race to become the market leader, the segment leader, and so on. The results, we all know.

Now, after the dust has started settling and the segmental growth has flattened — due to a sluggish consumer sentiment — the task ahead of carmakers is to differentiate themselves. The difficult part here is that the products still are halfway on their lifecycles and, hence, do not leave much scope for completely new offerings.