Nov 10, 2003
Indian wheels on foreign fields
For a country that was mocked for having clung to Britain’s Morris Oxford, circa 1950s and calling it the Ambassador, auto-India has motored many smart miles.
Indian automotive’s brand image is robust today thanks to some modest, but notable successes. Tata Indica is being badged as the MG CityRover for the UK market with a proud ‘Made in India’ claim.
This predictably brought on some snide put downs. But there were also vigorous defenders. One of them in a forum --
click this link and search for Rovertron—said: “.. so what if the CityRover is made in India? Many manufacturers make their cars in low labour cost countries; ever heard of Skoda?” The article also failed to mention that Indica V2 is one of only two cars in India with a waiting list for customers. The CityRover has also received very positive reviews by other car journalists placing Top Gear in a minority of one.... If you bothered to research the Pune factory you would realise that it is very modern and state of the art… For example, Pune does all the paint work for Mercedes and it holds the highest quality ratings for that work outside Germany.(Declaimer: GoodNewsIndia does not know if ‘Rovertron’ is an Indian. Also, Tata Safari has been widely panned. )
‘Hamara’ Bajaj is selling its scooters briskly in the USA. It has positioned itself as an ‘all metal scooter’. There’s a whole page of raves from it’s users which you can view here.. The Bajaj Scooter has even a Yahoo group where over 90% seem to be committed fans.
But by far the strongest showing is by Mahindra tractors in the USA. Its fairly low powered machines have many loyal customers. You can read them brag about their Mahindra at this page, or this, or this.
And hey before we go, did you know that the Ambassador too is exported? The clunky car is now an icon, has fans around the world and has broken into the niche dominated by erstwhile East Germany’s Trabant!