MG Motor and KIA India entry Strategy

The Overseas wheels are turning to India. The development of cogs brings along advancement in channel partners, communication, and global connections. India’s crowded automobile market is difficult to crack yet the fast-paced overseas automakers fall no short of choices. Withstanding the fact that the Indian automobile industry is ferociously competitive, still, there are options in abundance with respect to automakers as well as vehicle variants with new ones popping up every second. Thus, if any venture/brand is to succeed and stay strong in today’s automobile market, it has to be distinctive to be striking. 

Overseas Automobiles Entering Indian Market:

The lure for luxury cars is mainly reserved for the affluent car aficionados. The remaining community of car buyers is supposedly obsessed with three things - Technology and Value of the car. 
With 2019, the auto nation saw two international automobile brands entering the market – the Korean KIA Motors and the Chinese SAIC Motor, through its subsidiary MG Motor India. Interestingly, both the rival brands have announced their foray into the market with SUVs, clearly illuminating the priority and preference of Indian buyers in today’s times. Although their products would be positioned differently in different segments, both these companies have been able to get attention in the market accounting for Vows and Wows they both put forward.

Finding the Right Spot:

With that said, India remains to be a baffling ground to bet on. A great number of European automakers are witnessed withdrawing their mark from the country. However, the multinational Japanese automotive manufacturers like Toyota and Maruti Suzuki have found a way to establish and endure their huge consumer base & success in the Indian market.  A lot of customer conceptions have to do with the way brands are marketed. How many of us actually buy a laptop or phone based on just the specifications? A variety of factors are being considered.

that play a crucial role in a customer’s buying decisions. Companies with a strong vision put in execution strong marketing strategies and thus have sustained in the utterly competitive Indian market. It is nevertheless thrilling to understand the tricks behind this multi-faceted industry.                                          
This article focuses on the brand strategies used by two front-runners of the automobile industry, to educate, aware and perhaps even convey the brand’s message through persuasive brand marketing. 

Strategy For Indian Market:

MG Motor:

While Hyundai Co.-owned Kia Motors is introducing a mid-sized SUV, the Chinese-owned British carmaker MG Motor is debuting with its SUV Hector launched followed by an electric vehicle in 2020 in India.
One of the companies in focus, a company that has stood the test of time, and has been reinvigorated, is the nucleus of the British automotive-manufacturing industry –MG Motor. With India emerging to be one of the most promising markets for automakers, the MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd. is strategized to keep adding products to its portfolio every year. 

The Unspoken History of MG Motor:

In the year 1922, a 94-years-old British marquee brand Morris Garages appointed Cecil Kimber as the General Manager. By the year 1930, MG motors began to enter into the arena of car manufacturing. MG cars by then were believed to be not just selling automobiles, but an idea, the British dream— of the freedom of voyaging past thin-tapered roads with fences on either side. However, this freedom was short-lived. The years between 1989 – 1972 encountered a period of recession in which MG motor had to withdraw from the market, leaving the sports car market unchallenged. Later in 1992, a team of experts from Rover decided to bring life back to MG Marque, showcasing its merits of romanticism yet being daring and dynamic. However, following the failure of the MG Rover, the Chinese automaker Nanjing Automobiles took possession of the company acquiring it the year 2006. The very next year, 2007, a Chinese automobile manufacturing company SAIC Motors bought Nanjing Automobiles renamed as MG Motor UK Limited. Interestingly, SAIC Motors though earlier in 2005 has been outbid by the latter to obtain MG Rover. 

A company that has been changing ownership so often now rests in China, with the legacy of being a British-owned automotive company. The MG Marque is a name that continued to exist in the hearts of people since 1922, which is perhaps why the original name has been retained. That said, the name itself is not sufficed to satisfy the shopper. 

The Plan of Action:

In today’s market, it needs to be accompanied by major improvements in design, features, and technology to survive. With the introduction of the MG series, a spear-head brand strategy is needed to be executed. 
The primary element that plays a key role in deciding how its buyers perceive the product is— Product positioning. Initially, MG motors were positioned as a sports car, obtaining a fair balance between performance and affordability. MG Motor is well-known for its rich legacy, and that unquestionably needed to be preserved. It should be warded off to have been marketed as just another new entrant into the arena. It needed to be dissimilar to a dream.

MG series were designed in a way beguiling to uber-stylish men of the society, in their late 20s to early 40s, mostly single or childless men. Some of the strategies the company adopted facilitated them obtaining their distinguishable spot in the automobile market. 

The branding strategy adopted by MG Motors’ revolved around clear brand positioning, combined with brand broadcasting and global coverage. Their slogan “It's a human thing” helped to position the combination of technology and Emotions. But, what helped them achieve popularity in such a short span of time, even after having undergone a number of alterations since the year 1922 is – focus on a worldwide scale.MG Motor's story sure has certain aspects that companies should take inspiration from. It will be interesting to note the reaction of the Indian market to the introduction of “It's a human thing.”

MG Motor India in specific is being experienced by buyers. In the past decade, SAIC Motor has literally metamorphosed the company into a modern, imaginative, technologically sound, and ambitious brand
But as India is bidding yet taxing domain for automakers, 2019 is going to be different producers have blossomed, and so have products and consumers. Will SAIC Motor be able to duplicate its Chinese success in India or not? 

Kia Motors:

Another global trailblazer, Kia Motors made its announcement to enter into the Indian market in the year 2019. Kia Motors turned up its rhythm and found its niche in the global market. In a competitive market such as one of the UK, the company has managed to make its way and do so successfully. 
Co-owned Hyundai constitutes to 33.88% of Kia Motors share in India. Every company has a unique selling point and the reason for its success mainly owes to:
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Brand Promise
  • Product features, & Support, and
  • Advertising Strategy
The USP of KIA Motors’ remains in the competitive prices with quality vehicles compared to the other players in the market. Throughout the years, however, the company has aimed to change this identity of their brand to one with superior design and quality.  The brand connects its image with sports, Sports represent energy and young age.

This was done principally through sponsoring sports deals. Kia declared itself as the official FIFA partner and also sponsored 2002 FIFA. On all counts until the year 2022, they have secured sponsorship deals. Apart from this, the company obtained sponsorships in cricket and tennis. Futuristic thinking, a visionary leader accompanied by sports sponsorship assisted KIA Motor to change its brand image in favor of superior design and quality as opposed to solely known for competitive pricing. 

The Plan of Action:

Kia’s 7-year warranty on its products boosted the brand and further augmented the image of superior design and quality. KIA Motors India market strategy gained ground from creating awareness in their customers to captivating their attention, then triggering their impulse and ultimately, calling for action, thus persuading consumer’s buying choices in this way. Kia’s promotion techniques excel at all ordinary attempts simultaneously. Their focal point is only on grabbing the attention of their consumers through mass media; trade shows, electronic media, online blogging, broadcasting, brochure, flyers etc.                                                              
The company also took several steps ahead with its below-the-line promotional strategies including direct customer contact, direct mail campaigns, sales promotions, targeted SEM and sponsorships. 

Moreover, Kia motors have an online portal to establish and strengthen relations with customers online. Kia Motors also took a step towards creating awareness about environmental issues. They have an alliance with Trees in Cities, aiming to inculcate an urge among people for planting trees. However, some additional steps are necessary for a company to stay ahead of the chart.

Winning Market by Marketing Strategy of MG Motor and KIA India entry Strategy:

The two companies have their own designed plan of action to achieve a long-term or overall aim, and each works in its own way. One is the descendant of British patrimony, attempting to find its notoriety in the Indian market, displaying the intent of freedom and romanticism. 
The other, whose shares are partially owned by a company that already has a robust foundation in the Indian market, also has a brawny USP. Their focus on competitive pricing and customer delight has already gained them an esteemed position worldwide. Their brand positioning has won them brand recognition in addition to having progressively portrayed them as a company with great design and quality, which is backed up by the partnerships and sponsorships they have with sports. 

Each one, with its own eccentric signature, is now testing the Indian grounds, about to sink knee-deep. Their experience backed with expertise, in theory, should hold in the Indian market if the company holds its values and ideals close. It will be interesting to witness the future of these two companies in Indian soil in the coming year.