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Old 19th May 2011, 20:57   #16
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Default Re: Why family look?

Good topic. Pre-fluidic I use to praise Hyundai for just one thing and that is their 'independent' looking cars. Santro, Getz, Accent, Verna, Elantra, Sonata and Tucson all had nothing in common except Hyundai logo!

As a customer I would definitely like my car to look different then a segment lower car from the same manufacturer.

I don't see any reason as to why Tata's use similar tail light design on its cheapest car = Nano and its costliest Aria?
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Old 19th May 2011, 21:09   #17
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Originally Posted by Gooney View Post
I have problems with these reasons and the most with 'Lower inventory.' How? I may be missing something here and it would be great if you can explain these points.

Assuming in the family look, same parts (same part number- as small as hardwares to bigger parts like grills,etc ) the manufacturer would have to
stock only one part not many parts as in the case if they were different.

The same would hold good for exterior/interior spare parts too when commonality is used for achieving the family look.

Cheers!
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Old 19th May 2011, 21:12   #18
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Default Re: Why family look?

The family look is given to the cars to cut down on designing costs. Like the Dzire, Vento, Indigo CS etc. are just company's hatchback with a boot (with different engines in some cases). Other reason is to maintain the identity of the manufacturer among the competitor. You will easily identify a car as Honda, Hyundai, Maruti in the crowd even if you don't remember its name.

There is one more reason I could think of. Consider Vento, VW can’t design it like Passat etc. as this will take the car to some different segment. That's why they used polo look and attached a boot to fit the car in C segment, same case for the Dzire.

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Old 19th May 2011, 21:33   #19
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Assuming in the family look, same parts (same part number- as small as hardwares to bigger parts like grills,etc ) the manufacturer would have to
stock only one part not many parts as in the case if they were different.

The same would hold good for exterior/interior spare parts too when commonality is used for achieving the family look.

Cheers!
I got the economies of scale part of the equation when it comes to sharing parts like ORVMs, wiper blades, blinkers, badge (logo), etc. But these parts do not define the design / look of a car. The identity of a car is defined by sheet metal stamping and certain parts like the grille, headlamps, bumpers, etc., which is unique for every car. (Please do not get confused with hatchback - sedan chop jobs, like Swift-Dzire.)

My point is that certain OEMs intentionally leave, if I may say so, design cues for the sake of brand identity and recall value.

Even OEMs without design signatures, cannot make certain parts (grille, headlamps) common for different models. The taillights of the Sumo is also used in 407s and buses; that is what you are talking about. But such cost-cutting (design-wise) no longer happens.

Ford will use its C-platform to bring out scores of cars (hatchbacks and sedans, and the new Fiesta too) and these models will share 80 percent of the components, yet from the design perspective, they will look different.
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Old 20th May 2011, 11:35   #20
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Aria & Vista look the same? From which angle mate?

BTW, if you think the front look awkward in the Aria for a 15Lakh car thats your opinion. I have met a few folks who like the beauty of the Dzire, but its butt ugly to me. How does it matter? I personally like the looks of the Aria!
Though Aria is much bigger, design is similar in Vista & Aria. I am sure if they have designed it other way like say Safari or Pajero, it would have looked better. I am not saying its bad. Many people may like also. I also liked it but not 100%. I would have liked it 100% if it would have been with front like Land Rover / Pajero /Safari types. It would have suited it in better way

This topic is about similar family look. I know cars are not exactly same as some people are saying. E.g. New Fiesta classic. It has exactly same interiors of Figo. If you are inside the car, you will not know if you are in Fiesta or Figo I dont know how many people will like that. Same way once in auto show i sat in Jetta & thought its Vento. I was very impressed with the interiors. But i know the reason once i am out of the car. It looked similar to Vento from outside. Only thing is its bigger & there are some differences.
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Old 20th May 2011, 11:50   #21
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Default Re: Why family look?

It has already been answered, for brand building & also cost cutting when you have a family look.

But how is the Aria & Vista looking similar? If the Vista & Manza have similar looks then its because they are based on the same platform.

If the Fiesta & Figo looks similar, thats because the Fiesta is based on the Figo which is the old gen Fiesta in Europe.

As I said earlier, its only VW who are overdoing as if they cant do anything better than the Scirocco concept. I was even amazed when I saw the Passat carrying almost similar looking rear profile of an Audi A4.
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Old 20th May 2011, 14:10   #22
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Default Re: Why family look?

I think that the "family look" has to do with designers. If the same set of designers using same CAD packages designed a series of cars, they would leave their stamp on the whole series of designs. That is their signature, which encompasses amongst other things their preferences and idiosyncrasies.

When a new set of designers come, they change the look, as happened in the BMW case. When there are number of design groups in a company, each set of designs is different.

The basic look has little to do with commonality of parts, as the designers incorporate the sub assemblies available, rather than create a new set (it does happen but rarely), while maintaining the distinct look of the outer shell. Small components may be designed for a particular model to distinguish it from its brethren, but major assemblies remain common amongst vehicles of same size and class.

In fact the basic engine and gearbox may be used in a lot of models of the same manufacturer, the differentiator being their state of tuning and in case of higher power versions better pistons, rings etc. Look at MUL which has two basic engines the K10 and K12 in most of their vehicles.
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Old 20th May 2011, 14:33   #23
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Default Re: Why family look?

Heritage, History, Identity, Pride

Car brands are developed over years. Some of them have been around for a century. So, they want their history and heritage in every car they design.
They believe in a theme and stick to it. Develop around it to make better products.

I was always thinking as to why some companies did not have a family look of their own.
Ex Hyundai. Their first generation Sonata was a mix of a few other car company flagship styling. So everybody booed the car calling it a copy. Now that they have a trend going across their cars, they deserve a little respect as a car company.

So how would you want to deviate?
'Bring something original in everything that you design' - This is tough. You are inspired by a lot of other cars when you decide to put pen-to-paper. If the inspiration is from a different company, you will be called a copy cat. Its better to have a clean sheet of paper with a little watermark of your previous generation car.

'Copy all good elements from the best around' - Now this is what is Ugly. Remember the Sonata? So is it with the Chinese companies. So, stay away from this.

And finally, stick to something that works for you.
You cannot bring in a radical design and expect people to accept the design overnight. See what happened to Maruti:
They could have redesigned the swift for their new car Ritz. Instead they went for a radical boomerang design and it backfired.
They could have redesigned the old Zen into their Estilo. Instead, they made dummies dance and drive their new Estilo.
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Old 20th May 2011, 14:50   #24
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Default Re: Why family look?

The main reason is brand identity nothing else. All Beemers, Audis, Mercs look the same from front these days. Same is the case with other manufacturers also.
But the front "grows in size" as it goes higher up the segments.
Eg: Polo and Vento are almost similar from front(except fog lamps) but the new Jetta has a bigger grille wither thicker slats to identify itself that its from a segment higher. Same with the Passat where the grille is thicker than the Jetta's.

Last edited by StrangeWizard : 20th May 2011 at 14:52.
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Old 20th May 2011, 15:57   #25
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Default Re: Why family look?

I agree that companies do this for there brand identity. They can create there look for there cars. But this is true for some legendary cars like BMW, Merc's, RR etc. Those cars are already the great looking cars. They don't sell in very large volumes so they are already different in the market.

For others creating cars on similar look (design) may create problems IMO. People may get bored soon. As people wants, like newer designs, looks for there cars. Imagine Hyundai keep making cars with similar looks (Front) for next 10 years across the segments. Will people like it? If Tata keep making all there cars from front similar to Vista design, will people buy them? I think not.
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Old 20th May 2011, 16:15   #26
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Default Re: Why family look?

As discussed by many before, i agree family look has an important part in brand identification.but non aspirational brands like TATA would do a lot of good if they keep focusing on improving allround design rather than being hooked on to some smiley grille.Dont you guys think vistas fortune would have been a lot better if it was a proper looker than a grown up indica?safari and indica were lot better to peers when they were launched.Their newer designs seem so staid.Hyundai for one are moving forward with some sense of common theme.only weak point being the grille area of ANHV which resembles i10 and holds it back from being a true looker.
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Old 20th May 2011, 17:04   #27
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Default Re: Why family look?

Brand identity is the only possible reason as it is not possible to save cost by making 2 cars which look identical but would need 2 sets of tools/dies/molds anyway.
On the other hand, cars can look very different externally but can share many internal parts resulting in cost savings.
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Old 20th May 2011, 17:33   #28
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
I agree that companies do this for there brand identity. They can create there look for there cars. But this is true for some legendary cars like BMW, Merc's, RR etc. Those cars are already the great looking cars. They don't sell in very large volumes so they are already different in the market.

For others creating cars on similar look (design) may create problems IMO. People may get bored soon. As people wants, like newer designs, looks for there cars. Imagine Hyundai keep making cars with similar looks (Front) for next 10 years across the segments. Will people like it? If Tata keep making all there cars from front similar to Vista design, will people buy them? I think not.
What is being discussed here is NOT "cars with similar looks" as you mentioned; but more about the design signature of a particular brand. For example, if someone showed you just the grille of a BMW, I am sure you will be able to recognize it, irrespective of the model OR the year of make. Do all bimmers since inception look alike? I don't think so. Or for that matter, look at all the Ford Mustangs since '64.

So, essentially, it IS possible to make an identity without churning out carbon copies of cars year after year, as you fear.
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Old 20th May 2011, 17:47   #29
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Brand identity is the only possible reason as it is not possible to save cost by making 2 cars which look identical but would need 2 sets of tools/dies/molds anyway.
On the other hand, cars can look very different externally but can share many internal parts resulting in cost savings.
I think it is possible to save the design costs initially, which helps bring the development costs down and possibly helps reduce the break-even time/numbers.

Designing something new from the ground-up will be more difficult and involve more imagination from the designers, for which they would charge more (design houses).

On the other hand if one has a template which has to be modified to suit the expected size difference or to change the personality of the vehicle, it will be much easier to re-scale and make some changes to create a separate identity while maintaining the "family" look.

Parts sharing can be done with the same platform like the Vista/Manza or Polo/Vento. That is also done to save development cost and reduce inventory later.

The family look is an aspirational concept which companies are taking from companies like Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Aston Martin, etc. Trouble is that people do not aspire for vehicles from the newer/cheaper companies, so it doesn't really work in that way for them. Example (for many people) - Tata Aria.

(My opinion, which may not be correct. Employees of Auto companies would have a better idea.)

Last edited by VeluM : 20th May 2011 at 17:48.
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Old 20th May 2011, 18:04   #30
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Default Re: Why family look?

The biggest 'culprit' of family looks has to be VW and Audi. While VW has the 'scirocco' inspired look for polo, vento, jetta and the passat, Audi is no better. Except for the new A8 { which has just different kind of head lights though}, I dont see much of a difference between the A4 & A6. Personally, I would not buy a Jetta / Passat/ or even an A4, as the looks are not very distinct. I Would any day prefer a car that looks a little distinct. That way I think Mercedes is far better in terms of incorporating a little different look in each of their models, thereby making the higher end customes feel a little exclusive.
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