It is not surprising that Chinese smartphone brands occupy well over half of the Indian smartphone market, but this domination could soon extend to the autos market too as a host of Chinese car-makers are making a beeline towards India.
The success of SAIC with the MG brand along with its aggressive plans has made other Chinese car-makers take notice of our market. We already have talked about Great Wall Motors who are coming to the Auto Expo with their products and now yet another car-maker called as 'Haima Automobile' will also showcase its cars at the upcoming Auto Expo and gauge public response to its cars.
While Great Wall Motors will show their SUVs with the 'Haval' brand name it is still unclear what cars Haima Automobile will showcase.
Haima Automobile Co., Ltd. (referred to as Haima Automobile) was founded in 1988 and is amongst the top car-makers in China.
Its origins in China started with selling Mazda (a popular Japanese car-maker worldwide) cars in a JV but it lasted till 2006. From then on it has started making its own cars.
It makes a whole range of SUVs and sedans with its latest launch being the Haima 7X which made its debut at Guangzhou Auto Show. The 7X is an MPV (photo:above), rivalling the likes of Innova while the 8S is an SUV.
We expect the 8S to be launched first, as a rival to Seltos/Creta/Hector class of cars.
However unlike Haima, Great Wall has firmed up its plans towards India and is very serious about entering the Indian market. It has in-fact formed its Indian subsidiary and has zeroed in on the location for its India plant.
Just like the smartphone segment, Chinese car-makers will enter with an aggressive product strategy with cars which offer more value yet are cheaper than their competition. Value along with design and features and a clever strategy has helped SAIC gain significant traction with its Hector.
The same ethos would be followed by other Chinese car-makers in offering 'more for less'; something which the value conscious Indian car-buyer will lap up.
However unlike a smartphone which many change once a year or even less than that, a car is a much more significant purchase and more needs to be done to win the trust of Indian consumers.
Also, unlike the smartphone market, the automobile market also has some giants like Maruti, Hyundai occupying most of the space and now even Kia has become a biggie in no time. So competition would be tough. That said if anyone can break into the Indian market easily it's these car-makers and just like in the smartphone business, these three companies could soon have a strong grip!