In a recent interview about the Indian auto industry published by India Knowledge@Wharton, John Paul MacDuffie says:
Hyundai is the real surprise. They came in relatively [recently] and built a plant that was almost an exact duplicate of a plant in Korea. This included lots of automation, which you wouldn’t expect. They made the Sonata, which is a fairly mid-sized upscale car. But they also then brought in some small cars and managed to bring the price point down enough so that they have had really spectacular growth. And they have done some savvy things with their marketing to align their products with some iconic Indian images and people. In a way, they are the biggest success story of all of the newcomers in the Indian market and they are going to be tough competitors.
I vividly recall that day in October, 2004 when Vinayak and I walked into the Trident showroom full of confidence that we would never ever buy the Hyundai Santro. Three years later, I am a fanatic campaigner in favor of the Hyundai Santro. In my opinion, it is the best car that you can own for driving around in Bangalore (or insert-your-city here). Hyundai’s one company that read the market absolutely correct.
- If you’ve got some spare time on your hands today, I’d suggest that you read the 2005 and 2006 editions of Warren Buffett’s Letters To Berkshire Shareholders. They’re mind-boggling.