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Sonalika’s foray into passenger vehicles

Deepak Pandit (Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Fortune Institute of International Business, Delhi, India)
Shalini Rahul Tiwari (Department of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, India)
Arun Sahay (Centre for Research Studies, Birla Institute of Management Technology, Noida, India)

Publication date: 27 September 2018


Subject area

This case is most suited for the course on Strategic Management.

Study level/applicability

The case can be used for post graduate management students and executive education participants. It should be used in the section dealing with capabilities of an organization.

Case overview

Sonalika Group, situated in Punjab, India, started its operations in 1969 by manufacturing agricultural implements and equipment’s. By 1990, the firm graduated into manufacturing tractors. It gradually expanded its wings in countries like Nigeria, Argentina and Brazil and became the third largest tractor manufacturer of India in FY 2012. The year 2005 was a landmark year when it entered the passenger vehicle segment through its subsidiary International Cars and Motors Limited that launched a multi-utility vehicle (MUV) named Rhino. The vehicle was expected to fill up the vacant spot created by the withdrawal of “Qualis”, which was a highly popular MUV manufactured by Toyota. However, the enthusiasm of launching Rhino waned with time because its sales did not pick up as expected. After selling around 5,000 units of Rhino, the company stopped its production as the product had started showing up teething problems. The marketers and designers burnt midnight oil to bring out an improved version of Rhino. This version was christened “Extreme” and launched in 2012. Despite all marketing, sales and service efforts, “Extreme” also failed to take off. The group is wondering when it was so successful in tractors why it has not been successful in passenger vehicle category. It has to work out a strategy to be successful in passenger vehicle segment as well.

Expected learning outcomes

Expected learning outcomes are as follows: to analyse the external and internal environment for a business and understand its impact on business decision-making; to understand the relationship between operational capabilities and dynamic capabilities; to identify opportunities and match it with internal capabilities; to analyse the reasons for product failure and identify remedial measures; to understand the process of technology diffusion and thereby strategic planning.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.

Subject Code:

CSS 11: Strategy



The work on this case was completed while the First author was appointed as an adjunct faculty by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education at Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida India. We would like to thank AICTE for the grant and BIMTECH for providing the opportunity to complete this work.

Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognisable information to protect confidentiality.


Pandit, D., Tiwari, S.R. and Sahay, A. (2018), "Sonalika’s foray into passenger vehicles", , Vol. 8 No. 4.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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