Lead Story

The Big Small Wonder

Finally, India’s biggest small carmaker seems to have a serious competitor. Can the latter really build on its initial success? 

Photographs by Ra chandroo, Vishal koul; digital imaging: sachin gawde

In August last year, some 300 unsuspecting car buyers from across India trooped into a hotel in Noida. Each one had a personal favourite, but was indecisive on which model to drive home. What they were not aware of was that their collective preference would govern a global carmaker’s road map in India. It was fairly straightforward and standard market research fare. The individual would enter a room where three cars were parked. All the models would be covered and potential customers would stand four metres from each car. As the research staff questioned their expectations from a car, the identity of the three brands would gradually be revealed – Maruti Alto 800, Hyundai Eon and Datsun redi-GO.