Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Chevrolet Tavera : Family car or Taxi?

Brand : Tavera
Company: Chevrolet ( GM)
Agency : Enterprise Nexus? or McCann?

Chevrolet Tavera was launched in 2004 by GM to tap the emerging segment in the Indian Automotive market : the SUVs. The brand has a good start and helped GM to project the much needed growth interms of volume.

Tavera was pitted against Qualis when it was launched. Tavera was better in styling and other features, while Qualis was the ugly duckling. So naturally Tavera with its aggressive pricing became the choice of families.

Tavera was initially positioned as a comfortable family car. It was slated to dominate the Multi- utility vehicle segment with a potential even to eat into the C-class segment dominated by Hyundai Accent, Ikon and City.
But nothing happened. The sales of Tavera was dipping and contrary to expectations, this product is not setting the market on fire.

India is a good market for MUV or rather large vehicles. Although parking can be a major problem, the psychographic profile of Indian families need such a large mode of transport. We Indians like to take the family together on trips, films outing etc. Most of the cars can accommodate 4 or maximum 5. If you have kids, they need more space to enjoy the drive. Iam not kidding because we think that kids need less space so we cram them up in small cars . Really they are uncomfortable sitting in Mom's lap or fighting with the sibling for the window view.

Tavera sought to eliminate all that. The car is large, price is good, reviews about handling and comfort is also good, but something somewhere is missing. The part which is missing is right positioning.

The car which was initially positioned as a family car is now marketed as a Taxi. The baseline is now changed from ' The comfortable family car" to " To drive your business ahead". GM wants to play the volume game. It is perfectly working and I am seeing lot of Tavera Taxis. It is the same story as Qualis.

GM needs to learn from Toyota, how they position the Innova as the family car despite the vehicle being used as taxis. Tavera is yet to decide on the strategy. It wants to be a family car and taxi? Can a brand be every thing to every one?

The dilemma is evident in the new campaign with Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan playing cricket in Tavera. One of the most ridiculous thing I have seen in promoting the product. If you are talking to family, then cricket is not the right media. If you are talking to business people, then talk about car features not cricket. Any way you look at the campaign , it is absolute waste of money. The company is also changing its agency and when ever the agency changes, expect the positioning also changes.

Tavera have to decide where it want to go. Family or business. If it is family, then the volume will take time to come and if it is business, spent money on direct selling rather than spending money on Irfan or Zaheer.

With excellent product qualities and price, Tavera have all the potential to survive in Indian market If only .......