Jul 22, 2013

5 Mahindra Centuro: Tough Times Ahead

Mahindra tries hard to make its mark in motorcycles in India with its's Centuro..

Mahindra is a big business conglomerate with business as varied as manufacturing and selling commercial vehicles, tractors, lifestyle SUV vehicles, real estate and even IT (Satyam), Mahindra has made it a habit to become successful in everything that they do.

The above exactly was the sentiment that Mr. Anand Mahindra conveyed at the unveiling of the Centuro a few weeks back. Mr. Mahindra also pointed out that Mahindra already has the R&D, sales network, manufacturing in place. Above all a well known and strong Mahindra brand is already there.

According to initial ride reports of auto journalists, it seems that Mahindra has indeed impressed them with the ride experience of the Centuro. With Mahindra's first attempt the Stallio, it was obvious that the journalist were not too convinced with the product. But with the Centuro Mahindra seems to have made a decent product. But the question remains, is it enough?

Tough (wrong?) Segment to be in?

According to me, the segment that Mahindra has chosen to operate with the Pantero and the Centuro is currently the most difficult one. The 100-110 cc motorcycle segment has been ruled in India by Hero (Hero Honda) for around two decades now. The tpical customers of these segment buy their products with eyes blind folded and go ahead by the established reputation of tried and tested models. I fail to understand why would someone in the market for a 100 cc commuter opt for something other than a Hero Splendor/Passion or at best a Bajaj Discover/TVS Star?

I know that Mahindra has provided some car like gizmos on the Centuro like Guide lamps: that lets the rider walk away by remaining on for a few seconds after the engine is switched off, a multi-function flip-open key with a bike finder feature: easy to find the bike in a crowded parking lot, a standard electronic anti theft alarm etc.

But seriously, does Mahindra really think that the hard core customer (the segment that they are playing with) is interested in these features?


What was that TV Commercial about?:

When I made my wife watch the following Mahindra Centuro TV Commercial, her query to me was, "Is Mahindra coming up with a new deodorant?"



While I'll agree that my wife certainly isn't the target customer for the Mahindra Centuro, but somebody tell me, what is a shirtless dude doing in that motorcycle ad?

This particular TV Ad probably sums it up that Mahindra still has a lot to understand when it comes to motorcycles in general.




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Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.





5 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Great point of view by Mahindra companies, 100 cc bike it was made by first hero honda company and ruled in india during the last two decade, rest of all other companies is focusing on that.

Akash said...

At first I thought the ad was an undergarment or deo advertisement :P

Anonymous said...

may be they are promoting all together, deodorant, soap and bike. . . :P

Mohammed Asrar said...

In your previous article itself, you mentioned how Honda slowly conquered Indian bike market. Likewise, Mahindra 2-wheelers too is targeting the same but their marketing strategy is different, they're targeting the youth whose population in India is more, and youth's while purchasing the vehicle look for tons of features, which is also reason for the success of Mahindra's flagship model XUV5oo. The Centuro too is following the same path and success with over 14,000+ bookings last-month.

Payeng said...

Mr. Asrar,

Honda can do it.. not Yamaha, Suzuki, TVS, Bajaj or Mahindra. The rest will have to act differently to suceed.

Times are changing Mr. Asrar.. Mahindra will only bleed itself by providing all the bells and whistles on commuter motorcycles at the least cost, at very low margins and with a high promotion budget.

In 2013 India is discovering Cars/SUV's/Features like it was doing for motorcycles in 2003.The market is totally different and this is what Mahindra has to understand.

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