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March 13, 2013

Eeco - New wine in a old Bottle!

Eeco from Maruti Suzuki is a refurbished Versa. It is new wine in old bottle.
Maruti Versa was stopped as it did not do as well as expected.  The maintenance cost was high and the price too steep.
The pricing of Eeco is competitive, 3.85 lakhs (5 -seater A/C) attractive for a family that dreams of a big car. The tagline – utility blended with luxury is perfect for this big vehicle. Eeco packs a powerful 1200cc engine with A/C which is an added advantage.
Unlike the Versa the Maruti Eeco does not have power steering and power windows. This was done to reduce the cost and also to justify the decrease in the price.
Eeco has also been released in a CNG variant thereby recognizing a good opportunity to increase the sales. Eeco has been positioned to penetrate the smaller supply chain and logistics sector where the amount of pay load is less. It is also a boon for bigger families . It has also become a first choice for the ambulances on roads.
Eeco faces competition from vehicles like Tata Ace in the supply chain sector as well as vehicles like Tata venture. Increasing petrol prices are a big threat to petrol vehicle sales. And TATA Venture adds heat to the segment, as the venture is diesel and its mileage efficiency is good when compared to Eeco.

Toyota India Qualis - When a two generation old brand becomes a best seller.

Toyota India stopped the production of Qualis when it was having its highest market share in Indian market.

Qualis was launched in India in 2000. Qualis was at least two generation old when it was launched in India. Qualis is Indian version of Toyota Kijang from Indonesia. Skeptics forecasted doom for Qualis.

Those predicted failure for Qualis had real logical reasons. First, Qualis was a dated model. Indian consumers are aware of global trends and may not accept an outdated model. Second was the design of Qualis. Qualis was not good looking.
But Qualis proved everyone wrong. For Toyota, Qualis was a brand launched to test the market. Qualis was a utility vehicle. The brand was competing with the Tata Sumo which was the market leader in the nascent Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment.
MPV's are used by businessman and self-employed and those who would like to take the entire family around. Sumo was more of a commercial vehicle rather than a family one. Sensing this gap, Qualis was launched as a family Multi-Purpose Vehicle.
Qualis was launched with much fanfare and the launch also saw some iconic advertising. The brand was launched with “Touch and Try" campaign which encouraged the customers to test drive the car. The brand initially focused on Space and comfort as the main differentiator.
Rather than the intended consumers, Qualis began to attract taxi and tour operators. From the initial 9% market share, Qualis dethroned Sumo and was the market leader with over 40% share.
The brand tried to bring back the individual consumer through a series of campaigns and variants. The brand had the following taglines "Touch the perfection " and " Live the Qualis Life". New luxurious variants were launched to attract businessman and individuals to buy this car. The Target group for Qualis was businessman/self-employed people with an annual income between Rs 600,000- Rs 800,000 who travels at least 40-50 Km per day. Qualis was known for Quality Durability and Reliability.
With Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment taking off, competition was getting hotter for Qualis. More than Chevrolet, it was Scorpio from Mahindra that worried Toyota most. The company felt that the intended consumers were moving away from Qualis. Market research suggested that consumer needs are changing and Qualis did not fit into the consumer's schemes.
Toyota had the company policy that a model should have attained leadership position before phasing out. Qualis has attained its saturation point. So the company had the challenge of retaining the leadership position in the segment and also to expand the market. It wanted to get out of the “Taxi " tag.
In 2004, Toyota announced the phasing out of Qualis. Interestingly, the month where the phasing out was announced saw record sales for Qualis. It’s difficult for a brand to succeed and even more difficult for a marketer to kill a successful brand. Qualis ' death was timely and paved way for a more successful Innova.
Edited and taken from:

March 08, 2013

World's Funniest advertisement - Quba Mobiles

I had written about Prince Phenyl advertisement made in the eighties that was so badly made that it becomes a cult classic.  I have moved heaven and earth but I could not get a copy of the prince phenyl advertisement.

Check out the blog posting at

Yesterday my friend from SSIM, Rhammdas Dasari shared a very funny advertisement of a mobile shop in Hyderabad called QUBA Mobiles. This funnily made advertisement has all the chances of becoming a cult classic in itself.
The advertisement opens with a girl talking on a mobile phone. Suddenly she notices some goons leering at her. Frightened by the goons the girl takes off. The goons chase her. The advertisement is full of gory scenes of the girl running and the goons in hot pursuit. The girl is finally trapped in an apartment block. The girl pleads with the goons. She implores the goons not to harm her.

One of the goons presumably the leader says “why are you yelling like that. We don’t want to harm you or do anything. We are just curious to find out from where you bought the mobile that you have in your hand”.
The shocked girl responds “Oh this mobile, I bought it from QUBA mobiles, Hyderabad”.

The classic ad ends here and the scene cuts to the QUBE mobile shop in Moghulpura, Hyderabad. The voice, coming from the deep crevice of a well or from a creaky gramophone record player (also sounded like the advertisements aired in Hyderabad exhibition) informs the viewers about the USP of the shop. The grinning and happy face of the owner of the shop is final shot. Wow this is the funniest advertisement that I saw. A very close second to Prince Phenyl.