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Old 23rd May 2011, 11:41   #31
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Default Re: Why family look?

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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.
I do agree with you. When people are buying car worth Rs 20-25 L, he will prefer to look it different than others. In Jetta & Passat that thing is missing. Now if Hyundai bring more cars with look of i20 or New Verna, i doubt how much people will like it. Tata also need some serious thinking over this. They should look beyond Indica now. After all they are selling it for more than a decade. Else Indica will face major issues soon.
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Old 16th July 2011, 10:56   #32
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Default Re: Why family look?

Got a question on the family look. The new Jetta looks like a Passat with 25% reduction in overall dimensions. For a customer who intends to drive the car himself/ herself, what can be the incentives to go for the bigger car?

Status of a big car is one plus, but other than that both the cars have similar level of quality, almost similar set of gizmos, and can seat 4 in comfort. Passat surely have better space in the rear, but any other positives?

Note: The reference to Jetta and Passat is only for comparison purpose.
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Old 16th July 2011, 11:25   #33
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Got a question on the family look. The new Jetta looks like a Passat with 25% reduction in overall dimensions. For a customer who intends to drive the car himself/ herself, what can be the incentives to go for the bigger car?

Status of a big car is one plus, but other than that both the cars have similar level of quality, almost similar set of gizmos, and can seat 4 in comfort. Passat surely have better space in the rear, but any other positives?

Note: The reference to Jetta and Passat is only for comparison purpose.
The biggest factor is the size of the car and the perceived status image that goes with it. If only passenger comfort for 4 was the criterion I guess we wont have so many cars to choose from specially upwards of 20L. Gizmos have started being offered with the hatchbacks only. Ofcourse you can add so much un-needed stuff in your car and jack up the price - a case in example being Volvo s60. The ides of putting all those sensors is good in europe/USA but not in India where the road conditions are totally different. Also I am pretty sure one speedy careless jump over an Indian speed breaker will make half those sensors malfunction. This is the reason why you see so many niggles coming up in the german cars.
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Old 16th July 2011, 12:05   #34
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Ofcourse you can add so much un-needed stuff in your car and jack up the price - a case in example being Volvo s60.
drmohitg, the inflated price of the S60 is not because of the 'un-needed stuff' but, I believe, due to the fact that the S60 comes as a CBU and thus attracts ~116 percent (?) custom duties. Also, in a 7-10 year span these 'un-needed stuff' will become pretty common in the small cars too.
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Old 16th July 2011, 12:21   #35
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Default Re: Why family look?

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drmohitg, the inflated price of the S60 is not because of the 'un-needed stuff' but, I believe, due to the fact that the S60 comes as a CBU and thus attracts ~116 percent (?) custom duties. Also, in a 7-10 year span these 'un-needed stuff' will become pretty common in the small cars too.
I agree with that. But what I was trying to say was that if these sensors were not there then the price would have come down right? Even if its a CBU? I am guessing it would have.

Features like ABS and Airbags is a welcome move. But somethings have to be country specific. What I gathered from the TBHP official review for the S60 was that these features turn into expensive Toys in India. In our cities how many pedestrians come near your car when you usually drive? Plenty. Even the reviewers themselves said that in India these features dont work the way they are supposed to since the driving dynamics are totally different. And they had to switch them off after sometime.

The park assist feature being advertised in the new Passat is another such feature. If you work in a MNC and have a designated parking spot then good. But I doubt if you wanna park in the local market or one of those crowded roads, the park assist will just refuse to park the car in that place. Reason? The system is right as it will say that this space is not enough to park your car. But just toss the keys to one of those boys assisting in the parking lot. Trust me that fellow will only need to turn your car once( no multiple fwd and reverse gears) and will park it bloody perfectly in that spot. Again what I am trying to say is that some Gizmos dont make that much sense in the Indian market.

On the other hand Things like reverse cameras and parking sensors are great.

But anyways coming back to your original post: The only reason I believe 90% of the people who buy a car upward of 20L buy it only to Flaunt it. And there is no harm in it. If you have the money why not get the best. So the major difference between the Jetta and the Passat is ofcourse the size ( which translates into better and more luxurious interior space) , some Extra gizmos and most importantly the Status Symbol.

ps: I have seen a couple of Bugattis in Delhi. what does the young chap behind the wheel of that 16 Crore sports car do? Nothing. He just revs the car to fill that 5 mtr gap in front ( bumper to bumper traffic). Where are the roads to drive those cars in India? Unless ofcourse you wanna go on a drive at 4am everyday. Even then its not perfectly safe. Only relatively less congested!
But why did he buy it in the first place? The reason is simple. Every person on the road regardless of what he is doing, just stops to admire his ride. Total paisa vasool!

Last edited by drmohitg : 16th July 2011 at 12:28. Reason: Text added.
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Old 16th July 2011, 12:33   #36
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Default Re: Why family look?

drmohitg: I agree to the fact that certain 'functionalities' can become quite a handful in Indian traffic condition. However, my point is that there is no point singling out Volvo for putting too many 'toys' in the S60. Even the luxury cars from the German OEMs come company fitted with stuff like 'lane departure warning' systems, which I am sure you will agree, is a totally redundant feature on Indian roads.

Safety is the USP of Volvo cars and IMO Volvo had done a great job bringing the S60 with all the gizmos and toys offered in the mature markets. Wouldn't we have been the ones cribbing if Volvo brought a stripped down version of the S60?

As per the topic, I will sum up by saying again what I initially wrote in the thread, that the 'family look' is mainly for brand identity.
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Old 16th July 2011, 12:54   #37
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
The only reason I believe 90% of the people who buy a car upward of 20L buy it only to Flaunt it. And there is no harm in it. If you have the money why not get the best. So the major difference between the Jetta and the Passat is ofcourse the size ( which translates into better and more luxurious interior space) , some Extra gizmos and most importantly the Status Symbol.
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As per the topic, I will sum up by saying again what I initially wrote in the thread, that the 'family look' is mainly for brand identity.
Thank you. I do agree that status symbol play a huge part. And Gooney, completely agree on the brand identity part. I recently accompanied a friend to a Mercedes showroom here in Singapore – no one will mistake an E or C for some brand other than Mercedes. But these cars have their own distinctiveness. There are some shared parts and controls, but the most common feature between these two are the sense of quality. On brand building, I feel more aligned to the Mercedes school of thought.
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Old 16th July 2011, 13:02   #38
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Default Re: Why family look?

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drmohitg: I agree to the fact that certain 'functionalities' can become quite a handful in Indian traffic condition. However, my point is that there is no point singling out Volvo for putting too many 'toys' in the S60. .

As per the topic, I will sum up by saying again what I initially wrote in the thread, that the 'family look' is mainly for brand identity.
Hey The intention was not to single out the Volvo. I think I went a little offtopic.
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Old 12th July 2017, 16:15   #39
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Default Re: Why family look?

A six year old thread and look how mainstream the concept has become!

If you look at the initial impressions of the new Q5 or the new 5, there's a recurring theme: it looks like a baby Q7/7.

On the outside, the noticeable difference between the 3/5/7, Q3/5/7, and C/E/S (yawn!) is size!

I wonder why this has stuck through the years.

It can't be attributed to economies of scale since the size varies.

About "brand identity" being a reason discussed earlier, wouldn't it be detrimental than being helpful?

Sure, a 5 series owner would feel that he gets 80% of the S at 50% the price, but the 7 series owner feels that a car half the price of his looks like similar.

Can't brand identity be easily attributed to a particular aspect? Say, the kidney beans grill on the BMW.

How often can you say that every car from a particular manufacturer will have a common attribute. But, every BMW will always have the kidney beans grill. Even the i8!

What can be so strongly justifiable in carrying over the typical look across your products.
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Old 12th July 2017, 16:45   #40
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Default Re: Why family look?

The purpose of a 'family look' is not to make every model look similar or derive economies of scale albeit the latter being a resultant effect. Design is psychological and that's one of the reasons electronics and automobile companies invest so much in design. Some countries churn out cars looking like photocopies of the original hoping a similarly designed car would sell. Design plays a huge part psychologically, whether you realise or not in your decision making and car manufacturers know that too well.

That said, the reason for a 'family look' is to maintain consistency and being immediately recognisable out on the street. Imagine a manufacturer designing every model different with no design elements in common - the identity of that brand is lost and eventually the brand recall is lost too. We want consistency, we want pattern and we want our favourite brand to not look like anything else on the road. When a manufacturer nails that, customers start taking notice.

Take Kia for example. A decade ago, they were just another car maker in Europe. No one gave the car or a brand a second look. What that brand lacked was an identity - a family look that's consistent and recognisable. BMW had the kidney grille and the Hoffmeister kink, Mercedes had the 3 pointed star and the Audi, the 4 rings and trapezoidal grille (copied by many others now!). Peter Schreyer (ex Audi head), the head of design at Kia and Hyundai came up with a grille pattern (tiger nose) that identified Kia. He gave it a brand identity and the year after the release of Kia's new family look, the sales shot by a huge margin in Europe; a definite boost for a non-descript brand like Kia. Likewise with Hyundai, making it the 3rd largest manufacturer in the world in 2015.

What makes the Jeep Compass a Jeep? It's that family look. Imagine Compass without that 7 slat grille? Anyway, under the skin it's a Fiat 500L, right? It's the family traits in the design of Compass that identifies it as a Jeep and it's that perception that generates brand value and goodwill.
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Old 12th July 2017, 18:42   #41
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Default Re: Why family look?

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
A six year old thread and look how mainstream the concept has become! If you look at the initial impressions of the new Q5 or the new 5, there's a recurring theme: it looks like a baby Q7/7. On the outside, the noticeable difference between the 3/5/7, Q3/5/7, and C/E/S (yawn!) is size!

What can be so strongly justifiable in carrying over the typical look across your products.
All true, VW started the platform sharing thingy to save on costs and ensure uniform quality when it comes to parts bin.. like console, buttons, light assembly, steering wheel, stalks, seats etc. This cuts down costs ridiculously, believe me (I have some experience in operations).. not only does it require much lesser inventory segmentation, the quality and consistency will be far superior. Imagine if like the days of before when different models from the same brand were distinguished.. that would require much more inventory stocking and wastage of parts will be huge, even today discontinued models of cars have truckloads of unique parts in their bin and much of it may not even be utilized. If parts are shared, the other models can utilize them too.

I understood that I was having an issue with VW's obsession with similar design, for another reason. Quite frankly their platform sharing move was the best thing to ever happen to an automobile company.. ever. The problem I had (and this is only my view) is that I happen to think their designs are staid, unimaginative and boring. I don't have the same problem with BMW, I feel they make the best designs (except for the latest headlamps which look highly disproportionate) and I don't have any problem if the 3, 5 and 7 simply look like they've been re-sized in MS Paint. Same goes with Hyundai, though they do try to distinguish their models ever so slightly. VW Group spearheaded this production ideology and I feel they pulled it off.. Europeans and Indians alike love their design and their part quality has stabilized a hell lot (I still love the MK5 Jetta and Gen-1 Laura, subsequent models look like boxes).

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The purpose of a 'family look' is not to make every model look similar or derive economies of scale albeit the latter being a resultant effect. Design is psychological and that's one of the reasons electronics and automobile companies invest so much in design.
Absolutely, design is the product equivalent of 'first impression is the best impression'. A signature touch has become the norm with every company today, be it in consumer durables, cars or even accessories. A brand needs its signature.

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BMW had the kidney grille and the Hoffmeister kink, Mercedes had the 3 pointed star and the Audi, the 4 rings and trapezoidal grille (copied by many others now!).
This may be ever so slightly controversial, but when it comes to Hyundai and Audi's grille.. the answer can be that neither copied each other, OR both copied each other. Audi to begin with had only a quadrangular vertical grille with curved edges and vertical lines narrowing down ever so slightly before meeting the lowest portion. Hyundai started before Audi, with a completely unique grille which met the headlamp grille on top, swooped down and curved completely into the lowest portion of the bumper.. in-between the grille was portions of bumper plastic and logo housing, it was half-grille so to speak. This was Thomas Burkle's idea. Only when Peter Schreyer stepped in was the grille made with completely straight lines and flat (like Audi) and yet he retained the hexagonal design and Audi, instead of using the curved edges, it too straightened the edges to flat lines and it became one large hexagon. One can say that both had their interpretation of the hexagon and unfortunately both headed the same direction in the end.
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