General Motors India has appointed Arvind Saxena as its President and Managing Director with effect from 1st March, 2014. Arvind Saxena has a great amount of experience in the Indian auto market and he has worked with a number of leading manufacturers like Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Fiat, Hyundai and Volkswagen. He had a great stint at Hyundai India when he introduced feature-loaded vehicles to the market.
Hyundais are always known to be full of goodies and he was the man behind all this. He also had a good experience working with Volkswagen but the thing that the German automaker lacks in India is good pre-sales and after-sales support. Anyway, Arvind Saxena will now head GM India and things are looking really optimistic for the company.
General Motors entered India in the 1990s with the Opel brand. The company launched the Astra, Vectra, Corsa and Corsa Sail. All these vehicles were quite good but the company went wrong when it came to after-sales support. Buyers realised that these cars are expensive to maintain and hence sales declined. Both the companies bid goodbye to India soon. Then entered Chevrolet which brought in the Optra, Captiva and then Spark. Chevrolet also introduced the “Chevrolet Promise” which promised customers a free maintenance scheme for three years.
The Chevrolet Promise really helped the automaker generate sales and the company was getting decent numbers from almost all its vehicles. Chevrolet then hit another high after launching the Beat and Cruze in 2010. However, problems soon started arising related to servicing costs of vehicles. There is a general perception among buyers that Chevrolet cars are expensive to run and maintain and it is true but only up to a certain extent. The company is also following a not-so-good marketing strategy and hence capable models like the Sail U-VA and Sail sedan are not sailing well against competitors.
Further more, GM has really skimped on quality control with a plethora of recalls happening by the company in India which has really hit their brand value. After the massive Tavera and Sail sibling recalls, GM will soon announce a recall for the Enjoy. This has made prospective buyers lose faith in the American brand.
Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and others don’t produce extraordinary vehicles. They have just managed to instil a lot of trust among buyers and hence their vehicles always succeed. Chevrolet vehicles also seem to be less feature-loaded and the company should surely work upon this. With the help of Arvind Saxena this might be possible soon but the most challenging task for the company will be to improve the after-sales service and win a good amount of trust from buyers. Also the prices of the Sail twins need to be corrected and the Sonic siblings need to be launched in India in the near future.