Who else wants Success?

As clichés go, this one must surely rank somewhere at the very top- ‘Nothing succeeds like success’, but what if your success laid the seeds of a failure?

Take Honda Motors India and the car known as the “Jazz” .

This was supposedly a Honda Motors offering at the “premium compact “ segment. Popular in Europe , expected to address a niche where Hyundai had the i20 and Maruti-Suzuki –the Swift.

The Jazz launched, bombed and was quickly relegated to being a side show in the burgeoning Indian car market.

Why ?  Let’s just say that at Rs 800,000,( a price higher than some entry level saloons)  buyers just did not feel compelled enough to indulge in pre-dawn lineups  at  Honda dealerships!

But there were a diehard Honda fans  ( and to be fair, this was a good product) who even at this high a price went and bought the car.
Honda Motors , floundering, then decided to do a return act, so the Jazz was re- launched, same product , in fact with a few added bells and whistles , a much lower price ?( Rs 200,000 off) .

Presto ! Jazz –Act-II was a now a runaway success.

So much of a success that, there is 4-5 month waiting for the car and a walk into your local Honda dealership verifies the fact that the Dealership has zero interest in even discussing the Jazz, let alone trying to sell you one. Worse, the success of the Jazz has injected a lethargy where the dealership did not even make a feeble attempt to either up-sell or even influence the consumer buying decision.

So two points here;

  • what happens to the loyal Honda fans who forked out  a much higher amount.  How would their emotional angst be handled?
  • what happens to a fresh potential  Jazz  buyer when she interacts with a hugely  dis- interested , disconnected dealership?

That Honda had to crash the price was perhaps inevitable, given the market conditions, but should they not have reached out to these loyal customers and rewarded them, recognized them for having believed in Honda .

For every new potential buyer, can the dealership not be motivated enough to engage the intended consumer in an experience that ensures that she reconciles to the 4-5 month waiting period while ensuring that she happily opts to be a Honda customer ?

Or has the success of the Jazz on the back of a price cut, made Honda and the dealerships oblivious to these key challenges?

At 7:36 am

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