NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki’s dominance of the India car market has left many international mass manufacturers struggling to establish themselves with the modest aspiration of a 5% market share eluding most of them.

But the figure retains a talismanic allure for auto marques – it is only the time frame that shifts.

Earlier this week, Volkswagen announced it was investing more than €1bn in India with the aim of achieving a 5% share of the market by 2025 between its VW and Skoda brands.

“The VW Group must be ambitious — which is why we have come with India 2.0,” said Bernhard Maier, global CEO of Skoda Auto, referencing past failure to achieve the expected breakthrough.

“We mean business,” he added. “We are going to be developing and producing cars in India with our Indian colleagues for the Indian customers.”

One of Maier’s erstwhile colleagues, Thomas Kuehl, has recently joined Nissan India, where he faces the same task of boosting an auto brand’s share to 5%, but within a shorter period.

The company recently told the Economic Times that “Nissan is growing steadily towards achieving 5% per cent market share by 2020-21.”

But the scale of the challenge facing both manufacturers is evident in industry statistics: VW and Skoda currently have a 1.91% share according to SIAM figures but Nissan’s stands at 1.38%

“The key challenge for Nissan over the next 2-3 years is to be relevant in the Indian market,” explained Kaushik Madhavan, Director, Mobility, MENASA, Frost & Sullivan.

“Nissan has struggled to bring facelifts and new models thereby adversely impacting brand recall and relevance. The existing line-up is showing its age and the models are not exciting enough anymore – which strangely goes against Nissan’s global market positioning,” he added.

Nissan has indicated its intention to introduce up to 8 new cars from the Nissan and Datsun brands by 2021, including the electric Nissan LEAF. It has also said it will boost its marketing investment by 60% to Rs 250 crore.

Sourced from Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff