The recent downturn in the indian automotive industry didnt suprise many people as they had seen this coming.This made me think of times when big brands and sometimes established ones failed to be successful in India.
Altough the Psa group has tied up with Csk Birla in bid to bring back Peugeot to india with various enthusiasts and automotive publications spotting the 208s in India. Intially Peugeot started brightly with the luanch of the 309 consumers loved the car due to its engine and handling and european looks.However this is where the trouble began Peugeot had partenered up with pal to assemble and sell spares for the car .Due to labour issues 40,000 coustmers never even recived a car after paying the intial deposit of 25,000 rupees.Even the ones who had a car where having problems with finding spares for the car.Problems followed as Peugeot exited the inidan market in 1997 after 3 years of entering india .The companys directors Mayetria Doshi and Aravind Doshi were even facing possible jail time in 2017 after they had still not refunded the customers .
Opel was GM's first forray into the indian market ,they luanched the astra in 1996.The car was well engineered and had premieum feeel to it.However it failed because it was too costly ,had poor fuel efficency and was expensive to repair and service.The marketing strategy was also very poor as they failed to showcase german quality (the astra didnt even have colored bumpers) and instead came off as something unnecessarily expenisve with poor efficency.
The next car which opel launched in India was the Corsa ,which was their most successful product in terms of sales.It had two engine options a 1.6 litre and 1.4 litre ,it also had a sedan ,hatchback(corsa sail ) and a station wagon (corsa swing ). altough they did better than the astra it still failed to compete with its contemporary rivals ,the Maruti esteem and Hyundai accent .
The corsa still lacked the efficency which would have made it competitve in the indian market and depending on the region service had also detriorated .The same year opel also luanched the vectra ,which was a powerful and comfortable car and altough it was a great product indian consumers were not ready for it.It only sold about 500 units in India and was the final nail in the coffin for GM's opel experiment in india. GM decided that they would replace opel with chevorlet in may 2006 .As of 2019 GM is still the 13th biggest corporaton in the fortune 500 but still had to sell of Opel and sister brand vauxhall to the PSA group in 2017 due to complications with the Eu labor & contract laws and the declining demand for GM products Europe.
After the faulire of opel in India General Motors decided to discontinue Opel and luanch chevorlet instead .The idea behind this was to start a fresh since opel had tarnished GM's reputation in India .GM actually entered the indian market in 1990 during india's economic librealisation,In 1994 GMIPL(General motors india private limited) was formed as a joint venture, owned 50 percent by hindustan motors and 50 percent by General Motors, to produce and sell opel branded vehicles. GM bought out the Hindustan Motors interest in 1999.The cars would be manufactured at Halol in Gujrat. However Chevorlet had a bumpy road ahead ,cars like the Aveo,Srv,Optra,Forester(rebaged Subaru) had poor sales record the main complaint with them was these were not cars fit for India.This could have been because GM did not do any special R&D for india .The only car which was successful was the Tavera which was based on the isuzu panther chasis and had a 2.5 litre turbocharged desiel engine.
Since cars like aveo ,optra werent upto the mark chevorlet launched a hatchback in 2007 called the spark.it saw relative success as it was comepting with the alto 800 and hyundai eon.There was also a competitor for the swift and i10 called the beat ,which did better than the spark but sales were still upto the mark.GM did tried to replace all thier models which were failing but these cars were imported from china ,The Sail u va,Sail,cruze (replaced optra in the lineup),over the course of GMs 23 year stay in india they introduced more than 20 models .The cars still suffered from the fact that they werent tailored to the needs of the indian consumers and its most successful car the tavera also faced contreversy when it was found ou they were using engines which had failed emisson tests but were still reused and Gm had to recall over 1.4lakh taveras .
In 2017 GM finally called it quits in india and decided dicontinue the brand but still produce cars for export in halol.It was a final screw you to indian chevy customers as soon after this annoucement the resale value of chevorlets went downhill .Dealerships with stock were forced to sell cars at massive discounts .
Daweoo is south korean car company which launched in india in 1995 it saw limited sucess but the sales werent bad .Intially they seemed to be competing well but a lot of coustmers ended up cancelling thier booking due to long waitiing periods ,hence daweoo ended up making losses from thier first quater in India. Daweoo later launched the matiz which was a 800cc hatcback and did well in sales .However daweoo internally had a lot of issues and went bankrupt in 2002 ,daweoo decided to branch out and shut thier indian divison. Daweoo was eventually sold of to general motors in 2002 .