New players will revolutionise market in next 5-6 years

When Mahindra Navistar entered the market two years ago, it faced a big challenge. The truck segment was dominated almost completely by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. However, in two years time, by offering a different product, Mahindra Navistar has managed to gain a foothold in the market setting the platform for future growth. The company's managing director Nalin Mehta believes that new players and more world class trucks will revolutionize the market in the next five to six years. Mehta shares the company's journey and his views on the market in an interview with Debabrata Das.

There is a big downturn in the medium- and heavy commercial vehicle market, how is Mahindra Navistar tackling it?

One of the immediate impacts of the downturn was that stocks at the dealer end piled up. The bigger players could afford to give discounts to clear these stocks. But we didn't want to go down the discount route. We stuck to our pricing policy, which is slightly higher than the competition. Yes, the downturn is a major downturn but slowly the sentiment is changing and I do think by the fourth quarter of the fiscal things will improve.

I still think in 3-4 years Mahindra Navistar will achieve sales of 50,000 in heavy commercial vehicles and 20,000 in light commercial vehicles.

The industry will keep growing at a CAGR of 8-9%, despite taking in the blips like this year.

When Mahindra Navistar began sales two years ago, the market was dominated by two players. How did you manage to get your share of the pie?

Two years ago, we started in a small way with eight dealers. But we had the advantage of setting up a world-class plant in India to offer world-class products. The products were developed in India, tuned to the Indian needs. Despite the product quality, we didn't price our products high as we didn't want to be the niche player.

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