Countering Disruptive Innovation Strategy in Indian Passenger Car Industry: A Case of Maruti Suzuki India Limited


Origin of Indian passenger car industry dates back to the year 1928. First 55 years saw negligible to slow growth in this industry till Maruti Udyog Ltd, later named as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) was incorporated in 1983. The MSIL, through its wide range of cars across different segments spread over 15 brands and over 150 variants, became the leader of the Indian car market during the next two-and-a-half decades. Suddenly, the MSIL showed a significant fall from over half of its share (53.13 per cent) of Indian car market to a market share of 44.9 per cent in the fiscal year 2010–2011, despite robust growth of 21.6 per cent of MSIL in the fiscal year 2010–2011 and a faster industry growth at 34.3 per cent during this fiscal. This declining market share of the leader of Indian car market has been investigated by the authors using industry analysis and reports, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers' reports and publications, media coverage and other secondary sources available in print and web media, and MSIL's own source for the last five years from 2006–2007 to 2010–2011. The article thus tries to bring out the strategic perspectives of MSIL that helped it reach the top of Indian car market segment and does the environmental scanning to identify factors that dipped it to low. It is found that in the last three years has come about what has been popularized as the ‘disruptive innovation strategy’ in the passenger car industry of India occupying the centre of the wheel. With increasing loss in its market prominence and market share, how does MSIL propose to meet the challenges of survival and sustainability on product price, customization and customer service is the issue of this case.

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