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Old 6th June 2011, 12:50   #121
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

Honda Australia has reduced the prices of few of their models. Here is the link:

Honda's financial year price drop

It seems that the Honda bosses in Australia have learnt the lesson & swallowed the bitter pill. Hope they do the same in India, as well.
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Old 6th June 2011, 12:57   #122
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Originally Posted by FanaticOnWheels View Post
Well, let me tell you, the city has been perfect for our needs so far. Some of the features like climate control which is being sorely missed is definitely not missed by me, since all i do is switch on the AC and set the blower to 2 or 3 fan speed, and the cabin is chilled in no time. The audio system is a lot better than what I expected (I'm no audiophile). Safety systems are standard, which is a good thing. But different people have different needs, I just gave you my stand.

Coming to the engine, it is a gem, and offers outright performance. The FE is reasonable (averages around 15-16 kmpl). We have had no issues so far with the car.

I frankly think you cannot go wrong with a Honda. That being said, it is ultimately your decision, hope you end up being a happy customer whatever car you decide upon buying. Every car does have it's shortcomings after all. Moreover, if it's in your fate, even a Maruti can give you nightmares with service. So I strongly suggest you look at the car's performance first before looking at the service and resale values. I don't think that a car is an investment, it's meant to be driven and enjoyed. Cheers!
Just took a test drive of the City. Was really impressed. Extremely light controls and the AT box shifted very smoothly. Quality is decent but i expected it to be a bit better. overall the City is the perfect city car and is christened perfectly.
Who knows may book one.
Thanks.
Drive Safe!
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Old 6th June 2011, 13:47   #123
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Just took a test drive of the City. Was really impressed. Extremely light controls and the AT box shifted very smoothly. Quality is decent but i expected it to be a bit better. overall the City is the perfect city car and is christened perfectly.
Who knows may book one.
Thanks.
Drive Safe!
You will do just fine with a Honda! If there are indeed any issues with A**, then drop a mail to Honda on their website and it will be promptly addressed as TOP PRIORITY - speaking from personal experience.

PS: Suggest you wait (if you can) for about 2-3 months. There might be price reductions or better discounts - Honda cant be sitting ducks and get butchered.


Coming to the crux of this thread:
Isnt there an excessive backlash (not just on this thread) about Honda and Honda City in general on T-BHP?

On their part, Honda have certainly woken up. 5 yrs ago, there were ZERO discounts and today we are seeing them consistently, and to the tune of 50K! They certainly are doing their bit, but SLOW. But they have woken up for sure, and we will see more action if they want to stay relevant in this country.
But the products are best in class. Period.

Few will argue that the Jazz isnt the best hatch we have in this country. No other car is as clever in space management!

City sales may have dipped, but its only due to cheaper alternatives.

Civic is another fun car but lack of diesel seems to be hurting. I dont know enough to comment on this.. CRV and Accord - Honda killed their sales by raising prices like crazy.. At around 16-18L, they seemed right at one point in time.

Seriously, how many of you will buy other manufacturers' if an equivalent Honda model is priced at par? For my part, I wont even buy Vento, let alone Verna. The Linea is a different story but its a Fiat and buying a Fiat in India and living with it, definitely takes some guts which I lack. So Linea is out too. Cedia is a serious contender coming very close, but I dont think it will beat ANHC if I were buying today..

The rest of the offerings like SX4/classic Fiesta/Aveo dont interest me.
(Fiesta Petrol 1.6 isnt bad but heard many nightmares of A** with ford dealers)

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Old 6th June 2011, 14:45   #124
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You will do just fine with a Honda! If there are indeed any issues with A**, then drop a mail to Honda on their website and it will be promptly addressed as TOP PRIORITY - speaking from personal experience.
I beg to differ, from my own experience. I did receive a prompt reply and a call from Honda India HQ but my primary concern was not satisfied. It doesn't take much guts or money to just respond to a customer's complaint. More needs to be done, such as actually addressing the complaint with proof. A bit of going out of the way, if you like. The kind of mistakes that I complained about still get done, 10 months later.

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On their part, Honda have certainly woken up. 5 yrs ago, there were ZERO discounts and today we are seeing them consistently, and to the tune of 50K!
The only discount they seem to offer is insurance at INR 1. That has made the dealers so difficult to deal with (they make a lot of money on the insurance) that it's difficult to get any other discount out of them. Pride Honda in Hyderabad for instance offered to give me a body cover FoC for my Civic upon much bargaining. As it turns out it's an aftermarket-sourced cheap cover and not the real deal. The funny part is that the CEO of Pride Honda was telling me how he got a cover for free for his Blackberry, while I was negotiating a freebie for an item worth 2k on a 15+ lac car purchase.

I don't know if much has changed since July 2010 but I haven't heard anyone in my circle getting more than the INR 1 discount.

In fact, many people in the company I work for go for car purchase under lease. Honda had the temerity to bracket the company under their "Gold" tier rather than "Platinum" for sales volume generated by the leasing company. This was because many people were obviously afraid of buying high-priced petrol-fuelled Hondas in the wake of the crisis. The least Honda could've done was to maintain the tier (and the larger discount) to entice more people to buy Hondas.

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But the products are best in class. Period.

...

Civic is another fun car but lack of diesel seems to be hurting. I dont know enough to comment on this.. CRV and Accord - Honda killed their sales by raising prices like crazy.. At around 16-18L, they seemed right at one point in time.
I agree with all of this. In fact, despite being placed in the lower tier there is a healthy number of fresh Hondas I see in the car park. This is because the cars are inherently strong and reliable. Too bad that Honda can't sweeten the deal either by offering more features or better pricing. The least they could have done is to offer some good discounts, especially on the slow-moving Civic. Just look at the number of used Civics being lapped up and you'll know people still love this car but don't feel it's worth that artificial premium anymore.

Honda killed the Civic E because it was cannibalizing the City V. This was what the dealer told me (I wanted to buy an E if it was available).

In 2011 they released the Civic with a useless sunroof by slapping on an equally hard-to-swallow 50-60k premium for the feature. Instead they could've offered more *useful* features like a speed setting on the intermittent wiper mode, a folding rear seat (with a 60:40 split), ICE controls on the steering wheel etc.

Someone up at Honda clearly needs to have his/her head examined.

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Seriously, how many of you will buy other manufacturers' if an equivalent Honda model is priced at par?

Cedia is a serious contender coming very close, but I dont think it will beat ANHC if I were buying today..

The rest of the offerings like SX4/classic Fiesta/Aveo dont interest me.
(Fiesta Petrol 1.6 isnt bad but heard many nightmares of A** with ford dealers)
We're in the minority here, unfortunately. A majority of the people I know who end up buying the SX4/Verna etc. buy those cars because they're priced better and because they feel Honda dealers and service are too snooty. Just look at the attention a Maruti salesman showers upon you even if you want to buy an Alto, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Even Hyundai fails to come close, leave alone Honda (except for the odd salesman here and there).

The day rational consumers who think with their head realize for instance that the Cedia is as big and fun as the Civic but is priced cheaper than the City, Honda's game will well and truly be up in India. (I'm one of those irrational people who clearly saw this but still bought the Civic, and I don't repent one bit - 15k+ kms in 10 months is testament to that.)

My apologies if this post seems angry. It is, but I'm not shooting the messenger at all. I just cannot unravel Honda India's thought processes, that's all.

No offence meant, Equus!

Regards,
spadix
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Old 6th June 2011, 15:10   #125
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While you do have a few very valid points, I think the Cedia will definitely find it difficult to overthrow Honda, since a good car alone doesn't suffice, one needs a relatively wide dealership network as well, and Mitsubishi doesn't really excel on that front AFAIK. Moreover, I do not think Honda will be silent spectators to all this brouhaha surrounding the Vento and the Verna.

With that being said, I think for now Honda will be getting customers who go with their hearts. I would say 80% of the buyers get influenced by others/magazines/media and narrow down on a few cars, while it is only the rest who are decided on a car without doubt. As for our family, we wanted a car that offers good performance, reliability, and comfort (seating, space, boot space et al), and the engine was definitely an important factor since we drive the car ourselves and we enjoy doing so. The City ticked all the boxes for us, and we're happy with it. The dealership here does feel premium (though it might not be true at all places, luck is needed, I agree). All in all, we're quite happy with our purchase.

It would definitely be interesting to see what Honda does to get back it's share though (which will NOT be easy).

Last edited by Technocrat : 6th June 2011 at 20:20. Reason: Please avoid quoting a long post specially when its on same page, thanks
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Old 6th June 2011, 15:21   #126
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While you do have a few very valid points, I think the Cedia will definitely find it difficult to overthrow Honda, since a good car alone doesn't suffice, one needs a relatively wide dealership network as well, and Mitsubishi doesn't really excel on that front AFAIK.
Agreed, 100%.

It's a chicken-and-egg problem they way I see it. Wider coverage would probably see more Cedias getting sold. However, HM seems loath to invest more in coverage unless more Cedias get sold. And of course, some marketing to highlight the Civic-like aspects of the Cedia (space, handling etc.) at City-like prices.

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With that being said, I think for now Honda will be getting customers who go with their hearts. I would say 80% of the buyers get influenced by others/magazines/media and narrow down on a few cars, while it is only the rest who are decided on a car without doubt.
And it is exactly this line of thought which brings me back to what I said in post #39 in this thread.

I would really like to know what Honda India wants out of India. Would they be happy with their niche position of appealing to buyers who buy with their hearts? If yes, premium pricing etc. is justified (snooty dealers still aren't). If not, and they want volumes, then this thread offers lots of ideas on how to proceed.

To me it looks like they're happy with the former. But to the best of my knowledge, that's not how they operate in the rest of the world. A big part of being a successful MNC is how you can tie up your obvious strengths with what appeals at a local level. It starts from getting out the right product designs (#win, mostly, for Honda SIEL despite the lack of some features) with the right value proposition (#fail) and fixing/communicating this value proposition clearly (serious #fail).

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Old 6th June 2011, 15:22   #127
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The only discount they seem to offer is insurance at INR 1.
I don't know if much has changed since July 2010 but I haven't heard anyone in my circle getting more than the INR 1 discount.
A colleague got 50K off on the ANHC "V" variant in Nov 2010. The invoice clearly mentioned 11.14L onroad, and he paid exactly 10.64L. Not sure of the discounts now though..

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We're in the minority here, unfortunately. A majority of the people I know who end up buying the SX4/Verna etc. buy those cars because they're priced better and because they feel Honda dealers and service are too snooty. Just look at the attention a Maruti salesman showers upon you even if you want to buy an Alto, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Even Hyundai fails to come close, leave alone Honda (except for the odd salesman here and there).
I am stunned!!! My goal is to buy the car of my choice. And the couple hour "transaction" with a salesman cant deny me of that. Surely, the showers, et al are pleasing but is that a deal-breaker?

Unless its really, really bad (read intolerable) experience..

Last edited by Equus : 6th June 2011 at 15:27.
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Old 6th June 2011, 15:33   #128
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Agreed, 100%.

To me it looks like they're happy with the former. But to the best of my knowledge, that's not how they operate in the rest of the world. A big part of being a successful MNC is how you can tie up your obvious strengths with what appeals at a local level. It starts from getting out the right product designs (#win, mostly, for Honda SIEL despite the lack of some features) with the right value proposition (#fail) and fixing/communicating this value proposition clearly (serious #fail).

Regards,
spadix
Agree with your post. Probably when Honda first launched the city in India, there was no other equivalent competitor who could manufacture cars with that level of technical expertise, reliability and performance. They were probably looked upon by us Indians in awe, and they were somewhat affordable for people who were relatively well off (needn't be a CEO). Honda probably got their premium status at that point in time. Today it has all changed. Technology has changed so much that Honda just cannot think of riding on past glory. That being said, if so many users here have realised that, the people running Honda India would have definitely realised that too, and must be working on a solution as we speak. Let us see where they take the company from here on. They make wonderful cars, if only they could do full justice to those cars by providing all round support.

I would hate to see driver oriented cars like the City and the Civic go down this way.

Last edited by Technocrat : 6th June 2011 at 20:22. Reason: Please avoid quoting an entire long post specially when its on same page, thanks
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Old 6th June 2011, 15:34   #129
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I would really like to know what Honda India wants out of India. Would they be happy with their niche position of appealing to buyers who buy with their hearts? If yes, premium pricing etc. is justified (snooty dealers still aren't).
I think Honda is not interesting in sales numbers or I should say sales targets. If that would have been the case then Honda would have brought a diesel mill even before the Vento was launched. Every manufacturer responds to the competition quite quickly. For example HH brought the ZMR to keep up with R15 and continued ZMA-R to keep up with 220.

I think Honda is still not considering bringing a diesel mill in India very seriously. May be they are just too happy selling free-revving petrol units, after all it is their specialization. Or if they are then still it will take time as Honda SVC never serviced a diesel car, so they also need some training etcetera. But that is a different story.

I have said in many of my posts regarding low sales of Honda cars especially the City that a car available only in petrol, overpriced, suffering from petrol prices, suffering from recent recall, production cut etcetera and etcetera is still managing to sell nearly 2000 units every month. If petrol + diesel break up is available for SX4, Vento and others then I am sure this one would be still number one selling.

I would say that please monitor Honda's sales figures for next six months and see things getting normal. Regarding Honda's sales and service, I am quite happy with them.

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Old 6th June 2011, 15:39   #130
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A colleague for 50K off on the ANHC "V" variant in Nov 2010. The invoice clearly mentioned 11.14L onroad, and he paid exactly 10.64L. Not sure of the discounts now though..
Most of it must've been the insurance at INR 1, which was introduced to the City as well in late 2010. Only the Civic and Accord (and maybe the CR-V) had it in mid-2010. Depending on the company there would've been some corporate discount too.

Let me give you my example. In the case of the Civic V M/T (Hyderabad, July 2010) the insurance discount came to INR 51264. The corporate discount from Honda itself was some 5000 or so (down from 7500 because of the re-tiering). The dealer is recommended (not obligated) by Honda to mirror this discount but both Sundaram and Pride (the only games in town) colluded on this and refused to part with it stating the "huge loss because of insurance at INR 1". Anyway, the total discount was factored into the ex-showroom price, which therefore resulted in a reduction in lifetime road tax of INR ~6100. The dealer was about to pocket this too but I confronted him with the calculations and got a refund cheque.

50k off on the City V must've been insurance at 1 (plus corporate discount if applicable) plus this road tax adjustment. If not, then your colleague has got some other discount and I must congratulate him (or her) for that.

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I am stunned!!! My goal is to buy the car of my choice. And the couple hour "transaction" with a salesman cant deny me of that. Surely, the showers, et al are pleasing but is that a deal-breaker? Unless its really, really bad (read intolerable).
That is true. But think of the common car buyer. Would that leave a good first impression? Would the potential customer be sure of getting a good response from the dealer during servicing visits? We can wring our dealers' arms to some extent courtesy of what we know as enthusiasts, but not everyone can.

Regardless, as I said, I see quite a few new ANHCs on the road on a regular basis. As bluevolt and others on this (and the "May 2011 sales") threads said, we should probably compare petrol sedan-only sales in the C-segment to get a truer picture. Honda still has a lot of goodwill left to exploit, despite their dealers. I just hope they do it in the right way. Their cars deserve it. Their customers, obviously, do too.

Regards,
spadix

Last edited by spadix : 6th June 2011 at 15:43.
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Old 6th June 2011, 16:09   #131
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Default Re: Honda India : The Way Forward

I don’t have any personal experience of owning a Honda car, but couple of interactions with them via Honda India website were extremely pleasant.

An year back, I posted a query on theie website, asking how they manage After Sales Service in my hometown (Thrissur, Kerala). In a couple of days I got an email response from the Honda dealership in Cochin, detailing the way they operate. She also asked me about the models I am interested in, so that she can arrange with their sales rep. to bring those cars to my home for a test drive. First interaction – very impressive.

Couple of months back, I posted another query on Honda Jazz. After a week or so, a Sales Rep. called me on my Singapore mobile number, and spoke to me in detail about the car. Later he followed up with an email, providing his contact number, so that I contact him when I go home next time. It really sounded like he know his trade very well. Again, super impressive!

I don’t know about the arrogance of Honda, and I don’t think they are a premium manufacturer, but I respect Honda as a brand. While evaluating my next car in India, the only East Asian brand I will consider will be a Honda (and maybe a Mazda, but that’s still a bit too far).
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Old 6th June 2011, 16:52   #132
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I think we are discussing as to what Honda's future strategy in India should be rather than the quality of its products. No doubt, the City is still one of the best Petrol sedans in the 9-10 lakh range. And Jazz is one of the most spacious hatches around. But is this what India wants in the future?
1) City--You see, with the petrol prices going up, a person driving even about 15-20kms is bound to look out for a diesel option. There is this logic that you need to drive 15000kms every year to justify the premium you pay for a diesel variant over a petrol variant. But that does not hold good with the Honda city since there are diesel options such as Fiesta classic, Verna, Vento, SX4 in more or less the same price range as the Honda city's petrol variant! So any one who is consicous of the money he spends on fuel is bound to go the diesel way. I dont think the city is in any means leaps and bounds ahead of the above mentioned cars.
2) Jazz--Who is this car targetted at , really? This is fit for Europe, where large hatches have a
huge market, unlike in India. And again it lacks a diesel whereas every other hatch from the
Beat to the Polo is available in Diesel. So the jazz will be at best bought by Honda loyalists, as a
second car. Or at the maximum being bought by a father who drives an Audi A4 / Accord for his
college going kid.
3) Civic, CRV are all low volume players and as everyone can see in the sales charts, they have
worthy leaders such as Cruze, Altis diesel, Captiva in their respective segments.
4) The only realistic chance that Honda has in the near future is the BRIO, if competitvely
priced. Again, since there are diesel variants in every hatch today{except i10,UVA} I expect the
Brio not to do more than 2000-4000units at the maximum. 60%-70% of swifts sold today are
diesels, so you get an idea as to what the market wants.
The way I look at it, if Honda does not introduce something like a HYBRID, it is soon going to
be a 'niche' player selling only to its loyalists.

Last edited by motorworks : 6th June 2011 at 16:57. Reason: font
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Old 6th June 2011, 19:25   #133
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Seriously, how many of you will buy other manufacturers' if an equivalent Honda model is priced at par? For my part, I wont even buy Vento, let alone Verna. The Linea is a different story but its a Fiat and buying a Fiat in India and living with it, definitely takes some guts which I lack. So Linea is out too. Cedia is a serious contender coming very close, but I dont think it will beat ANHC if I were buying today..
That's precisely what I also would like to know. Considering ALL aspects, which is a better petrol vehicle this side of 10 Lakh rupees?
Nevertheless, Honda seems to be on the same mind track as that of Federer these days. Knowledge of the fact that I am superior, but sheer laziness to try and outsmart the opposition with something more

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Most of it must've been the insurance at INR 1, which was introduced to the City as well in late 2010. Only the Civic and Accord (and maybe the CR-V) had it in mid-2010. Depending on the company there would've been some corporate discount too.

50k off on the City V must've been insurance at 1 (plus corporate discount if applicable) plus this road tax adjustment. If not, then your colleague has got some other discount and I must congratulate him (or her) for that.
Let me give you an example explaining how this could have been done, since we did the same.
We booked City VMT in Dec 2010. Insurance @ Rs1, plus 20K exchange bonus (just some paper work done for formality sake). Another 10K as corporate discount. Total discounts worked at 55K approx. Additionally, got the registeration done by ourselves. Total onroad price for VMT: 9.05 Lakhs. Pretty VFM purchase, IMO
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Old 6th June 2011, 19:59   #134
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You will do just fine with a Honda! If there are indeed any issues with A**, then drop a mail to Honda on their website and it will be promptly addressed as TOP PRIORITY - speaking from personal experience.

PS: Suggest you wait (if you can) for about 2-3 months. There might be price reductions or better discounts - Honda cant be sitting ducks and get butchered.


Coming to the crux of this thread:
Isnt there an excessive backlash (not just on this thread) about Honda and Honda City in general on T-BHP?

On their part, Honda have certainly woken up. 5 yrs ago, there were ZERO discounts and today we are seeing them consistently, and to the tune of 50K! They certainly are doing their bit, but SLOW. But they have woken up for sure, and we will see more action if they want to stay relevant in this country.
But the products are best in class. Period.

Few will argue that the Jazz isnt the best hatch we have in this country. No other car is as clever in space management!

City sales may have dipped, but its only due to cheaper alternatives.

Civic is another fun car but lack of diesel seems to be hurting. I dont know enough to comment on this.. CRV and Accord - Honda killed their sales by raising prices like crazy.. At around 16-18L, they seemed right at one point in time.

Seriously, how many of you will buy other manufacturers' if an equivalent Honda model is priced at par? For my part, I wont even buy Vento, let alone Verna. The Linea is a different story but its a Fiat and buying a Fiat in India and living with it, definitely takes some guts which I lack. So Linea is out too. Cedia is a serious contender coming very close, but I dont think it will beat ANHC if I were buying today..

The rest of the offerings like SX4/classic Fiesta/Aveo dont interest me.
(Fiesta Petrol 1.6 isnt bad but heard many nightmares of A** with ford dealers)
This City stuff is getting quite serious, and i feel one is soon going to be booked. Now the deal goes as this 50k cash and 20K worth of accessories.
Shall i still wait or take the plunge. was hoping for 20K more on cash instead of the Accesories, but the SR said that there is Honda policy and he can't go beyond 50K in cash.
The decision to buy is almost final here, with only booking formalities pending.
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Old 6th June 2011, 20:21   #135
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This City stuff is getting quite serious, and i feel one is soon going to be booked. Now the deal goes as this 50k cash and 20K worth of accessories.
Shall i still wait or take the plunge. was hoping for 20K more on cash instead of the Accesories, but the SR said that there is Honda policy and he can't go beyond 50K in cash.
The decision to buy is almost final here, with only booking formalities pending.
Total 70K - big WOW! Good job, dude!!!

Push harder showing him your cheque book and "anything else on this 50+20 and consider car booked".. Lets see how desperate they can get!!

Final questions to ask yourself:
- how critical is the ground clearance factor? This is a known issue with City.
- what else did you dislike about the car (assuming you did a TD OR have exposure to it elsewhere), and how do they weigh against its peers.

If you have answers to the above, and you heart says City, go for it!

Spadix - are you listening, buddy?

Last edited by Equus : 6th June 2011 at 20:22.
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