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Old 14th June 2012, 21:58   #1
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Default Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

This thread is to get thoughts from Fellow BHPians on why 4X4 models are slowly being dicontinued.

The Pre-Facelift Bolero came with Factory Fit 4X4 (Check Price list). Now the bolero does not offer a factory fit readily (Check prices and there is no mention of a 4X4)

The "Pre Tata Sumo gold" Models came with a 4X4. Yes there were civilian Sumos available with 4X4, manufactured on requset but available. Now this option is not avilable.

speaking to Toyota dealers, Bookings of Auto and 4X2 TFORTS are more than 4X4s.

My Questions
  • Is there a decline in number of vehicles
  • Are sales so bad that companies prefer seling only 4X2
  • Is enthusiast category is coming down in india.
  • Almost all models are offering a 4X2 along with 4X4 (Aria, XUV, TFORT etc)
Other Observations:
  • Mahindra Xylo 4X4 was viewed through spy shots more than 2 years ago but we do not see the same launched
  • Ecosport & duster would have made good 4X4 for enthusiasts but none of them are offering 4X4.
  • Premier Rio could have offered 4X4 and swept the market, but did not do so.
What do you think is the constraint that 4X4s are not being launched in india.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 14th June 2012 at 22:01.
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Old 15th June 2012, 09:28   #2
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Default re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
What do you think is the constraint that 4X4s are not being launched in india.
You have answered the question yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Are sales so bad that companies prefer seling only 4X2
The same reason why manufacturers don't-

1. Offer estate versions of their cars in India.
2. Offer performance versions of their cars in India.
3. Offer nice premium hatchbacks etc etc.
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Old 15th June 2012, 10:19   #3
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Default re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

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Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
This thread is to get thoughts from Fellow BHPians on why 4X4 models are slowly being dicontinued.

The Pre-Facelift Bolero came with Factory Fit 4X4 (Check Price list). Now the bolero does not offer a factory fit readily (Check prices and there is no mention of a 4X4)
had been on the lookout for a new bolero, the face lifted version, and spoke to a guy from a mahindra dealership in rajasthan. he said that mahindra will be offering a 4x4 variant by later this year. for the rest , i have no answers. guess all we can do is keep modifying our vehicles into 4 wheel drives. price according to him was 7.50 for the bolero with the m2dicr with all wheel drive once launched.
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Old 15th June 2012, 11:08   #4
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Default re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

The Thar CRDe is selling pretty well. This alone may compel Tata, Maruti and whoever to introduce new 4x4 models into the market place. It looks like there is some demand.
Also, the sport shows some indication of growing in India.

Entrepreneurs reading the posts on this site may well make their contributions. Somebody with a little knowledge and guts might offer restore and modification services.

For example, I would love to buy a Thar DI and just turn it over to a shop who would add the following maybe as part of a package:

Good seats.
4:88 differentials or some other option.
heater
power steering
hardtop
paint (Not that blasted ice cream truck white, please!)
manual locking differential.
serious rubber

My guess is that a person and/or shop doing specialization work like this would make money hand over fist.

We also have B.D. hopping over to Tata. Since they already have experience in 4x4 drive vehicles and now have B.D., too, God only knows what bread may rise out of the Tata ovens.

I think the Thar(s) have proved there is market for harder core off road vehicles than the standard SUV cream puffs.
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Old 15th June 2012, 11:59   #5
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

How many times have you read this in reviews?

My SUV is so intimidating that cars, autorickshaws and taxis make way for me as soon as I appear on their rear view mirror.

Since the size and image associated with SUV holds good for 2WD version too, they will continue to constitute approx 80% of the sales. And yes, it helps that the 2WD is generally 10% cheaper than the 4WD version.
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Old 15th June 2012, 12:39   #6
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

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How many times have you read this in reviews?

My SUV is so intimidating that cars, autorickshaws and taxis make way for me as soon as I appear on their rear view mirror.

Since the size and image associated with SUV holds good for 2WD version too, they will continue to constitute approx 80% of the sales. And yes, it helps that the 2WD is generally 10% cheaper than the 4WD version.
80%? Nope, the percentage is actually 95%+ when the other features are same on 4WD and 2WD.
Indians are not really vehicle adventurers. Esp those who can afford 10L+ cars. The idea of a holiday is to go to a popular hill station, and sit in the balcony.
You do not need a 4WD for that.
As for big SUVs the reason of purchase is mostly intimidation and space. Again, no need to get 4x4 for that.
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Old 15th June 2012, 14:24   #7
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

Depleting? Sales of 4x4s were NEVER high in the first place. Just ask Mahindra & Tata how many Scorpio / Safari 4x4 variants they sell.

This thread (Why should one buy a 4WD (4X4 system)/ AWD as against a 4x2?) has an interesting discussion on the need for a 4x4 system. In a nutshell, why spend the 1.0 lakh rupees more, and cope with additional weight / maintenance / fuel consumption, if you aren't ever going to venture into 4x4 territory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
The Thar CRDe is selling pretty well.
Mahindra doesn't share Thar numbers individually, so "pretty well" is a relative term.

Also, the true answer to this thread's question will be known if the Thar were to be made available in a cheaper 4x2 variant. I'm willing to bet that sales would be 9:1 in favour of the 4x2.
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Old 15th June 2012, 14:38   #8
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
if the Thar were to be made available in a cheaper 4x2 variant.
Then all the dictionaries might have to append the meaning of the word paradox with -

par·a·dox   [par-uh-doks]
noun

1) a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
2) a self-contradictory and false proposition.
3) A Mahindra Thar 4x2 Variant
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Old 15th June 2012, 17:11   #9
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Default

Ha ha!

A year ago whenever I drove my Scorpio I used to experience this from behind the wheel!
Now in my Yeti, Im the one leaping out of the way for cover!
Talk about tables being turned!!

Jokes apart, right from the earlier days in the 80's etc, a very sizeable portion of all Mahindra CJ 500's and MM540's etc that used to be sold, were in the 2WD avatar. they used to come with normal treaded nulon road going tyres too, as opposed to the jeep tyres with the big lugs that we used to get for the Estate use etc.
Even then, one had to order the 4WD, pay the advance, wait for some time and then get it delivered. If I remember right, the wait period used to be around a month or two even then.
This clearly tells a tale - it is not as if the sales of 4WD vehicles has come down or that the demand has come down.
I guess in percentage terms the ratio of 2WD vehicles sold vs 4WD vehicles sold, would pretty much be the same. It s just that the absolute numbers would have gone up - because in the 80's there werent that many people buying these types of vehicles in the first place - one of the main reasons being the lack of availability of easy car loans like we have nowadays!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
How many times have you read this in reviews?

My SUV is so intimidating that cars, autorickshaws and taxis make way for me as soon as I appear on their rear view mirror.

Since the size and image associated with SUV holds good for 2WD version too, they will continue to constitute approx 80% of the sales. And yes, it helps that the 2WD is generally 10% cheaper than the 4WD version.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 15th June 2012 at 17:40.
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Old 15th June 2012, 17:36   #10
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

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Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
My Questions
  • Is there a decline in number of vehicles
  • Are sales so bad that companies prefer seling only 4X2
  • Is enthusiast category is coming down in india.
  • Almost all models are offering a 4X2 along with 4X4 (Aria, XUV, TFORT etc)
4wds were never hot sellers which is why they were always made to order, since times immemorial. Even the Jeeps had to be ordered, if they were required in 4WD.

2wd variants have always ruled the roost since they are cheaper, and can go to 95% of the places 4wds can.

The enthusiast category prefers the trusty Gypsies and Jeeps which they, more often than not, buy pre-owned and modify it to their tastes and requirements and hence new purchases do not make big numbers.

The AWD variants of the XUV and the Aria will sell less than than their 2WD variants since there are very few people who will take an expensive AWD vehicle off road into 4WD territory and even if they do, the 2WD avatars will do 95% of the job anyway.

4WDs were always a niche segment, and they will continue to be so, at least in the foreseeable future.
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Old 15th June 2012, 20:01   #11
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

Another annoying thing I found in the past is the fact that 4WD is only offered on top variants. Some Examples:

- Previous Gen Bolero 4WD SLX (Di 4x4 is more of a commercial offering with no PS or AC.
- Pre 2011 Scorpio only offered 4WD VLX (Thankfully things have changed with the LX 4 WD)
- Tata Safari 4x4 only available in the top trim.

The 4x4 system on a vehicle adds considerable cost over the 2WD varients and on top of that the manufacturers only offer it on their most expensive variants. I never saw the logic behind that.

But this move by Mahindra with the Scorpio Lx 4WD is an encouraging sign. I wonder how well this 4WD variant is selling? Any info anyone?

Last edited by amrisharm : 15th June 2012 at 20:05.
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Old 16th June 2012, 12:11   #12
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post



Mahindra doesn't share Thar numbers individually, so "pretty well" is a relative term.
"Pretty well" is a relative term for sure. But, it now takes 4 to 6 months lead time to get your hands on a Thar CRDe up here. Mahindra is apparently not keeping production levels up with demand. This is why I say they are selling "pretty well". Yeah, Mahindra is such a fouled up, family fudged up organization it is hard to guess if this is due to brisk sales or poor planning or some combination thereof. B.D. has hinted that it is selling.

I have seen a number of tourists driving Thars around here and they evoke a lot of attention. Thar may make some market on its own and not just be a reaction to demand. Case in point, the world didn't know it needed home computers until there were some on the market. We shall see.

Frankly, I have been hoping that Maruti or Toyota comes out with a good low cost 4x4 so that we get service, parts, competent mechanics, along with the vehicle. It's 2012 going on 13. Things have changed since, say, 4 years ago when we had similar discussions on this site. Dwindling petrol reserves are a more pressing variable now, too, along with an emerging monied Indian middle and upper-middle class.

Last edited by DirtyDan : 16th June 2012 at 12:14.
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Old 16th June 2012, 21:41   #13
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

Related thread:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2174450 (Are more people preferring 4x2s these days?)

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 22nd June 2012, 23:26   #14
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
The Thar CRDe is selling pretty well. This alone may compel Tata, Maruti and whoever to introduce new 4x4 models into the market place. It looks like there is some demand.
Also, the sport shows some indication of growing in India.

Entrepreneurs reading the posts on this site may well make their contributions. Somebody with a little knowledge and guts might offer restore and modification services.

For example, I would love to buy a Thar DI and just turn it over to a shop who would add the following maybe as part of a package:

Good seats.
4:88 differentials or some other option.
heater
power steering
hardtop
paint (Not that blasted ice cream truck white, please!)
manual locking differential.
serious rubber

My guess is that a person and/or shop doing specialization work like this would make money hand over fist.

We also have B.D. hopping over to Tata. Since they already have experience in 4x4 drive vehicles and now have B.D., too, God only knows what bread may rise out of the Tata ovens.

I think the Thar(s) have proved there is market for harder core off road vehicles than the standard SUV cream puffs.
Dan,I have been driving the DI 4 wd for the last 3 months and I must say that every moment behind the wheel,has been pure contentment.It's reassuring to know that a rugged and reliable engine is under the hood,and it is pretty easy to handle, even without a power steering.There is also no IFS to worry about.The lack of a hard top makes it lighter as well.I would like to change over to the 4.88 ratio after the warranty period is over,in the manner Arka suggested.If there is one thing I am not happy about,it is the poor turning radius.If only Mahindra had made the DI track width the same as the crde-53"in front and 57" in the rear---well --that's an old story.Being in Dharamshala,I can understand the need for a heater,but here in Cochin with the monsoon slowly gaining in strength and the salt laden sea breeze, it's nice to own a jeep with the bare basics--!Although my wallet has become very much lighter ,and I am chided on a regular basis by my family for my extravagance in going for a jeep when we already have the swift and the faithful old Bullet, I am a contended man.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 23:41   #15
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Default Re: Are sales of 4x4 variants going down in India?

I wish the manufacturer would offer an "on-demand" production. 4X4 is generally for the enthusiast and I for one will wait even for 3+ months if a 4X4 is being custom built for me.

if a 4X4 Xylo with a 6 month waiting period was offered, i would grab it right away.

Mahindra custom built "one" 4X4 scorpio in 2005 for a lady. She was surprized with this gesture from Mahindra. I am not sure if they would build a custom 4X4 bolero now . I got this info the scorpio coffee table book.
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