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Old 27th June 2011, 20:10   #1
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Question Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Of late, I am seeing a lot of cars being pushed into our market with beige this and chrome that. Any facelift or new model means a lot of chrome and beige over the old one. Even the media hails beige and chrome during car reviews. Most reviews condemn cars without beige interiors. And chrome they state is associated with prestige and status.

Is our market getting brainwashed to such a level that we all will start thinking that any car without beige or excess chrome is somehow lacking in something?

That chrome strip there screams STATUS!
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One more prestige feature for the brochure
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So what if we lost Renault, we will give them the chrome strip
Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?-dsc_0645.jpg

I would prefer an ORVM, or a door handle, or a grille in body color or black instead of chrome. And why can’t chrome be done tastefully like in the new Ford Fiesta, the Cruze, the Vento, the new 5 series or even the Alto K10?

Simple and classy
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Elegant and neat grille
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I feel that most manufacturers are overdoing every new model with excess and gaudy chrome bits. I hated it when the i20 came out with that flashy chrome grille after the so called ‘facelift’. And I am afraid that most others are just waiting to follow suit.

Coming to beige interiors, it is the lesser evil. But I personally feel it very difficult to maintain in our country. And the most horrible thing about them is that all the bad quality plastics that we get in our cars make it look even worse in beige. Just see how bad the Swift Glam looks on the inside? And kudos to Chevy to make the Cruze all black. I will hate it even more if the all new Swift were to get the ‘treatment’. The new MSIL MPV spy pictures are giving me the jitters.

Thank God it was limited edition
Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?-image_035.jpg

What I want to ask is, do we actually like chrome and beige so much? Most guys whom I ask this question say they don’t like excess chrome. So then who likes it? Is it the mass market? Do the manufacturers actually manage to sell more cars by putting in additional chrome or beige? I feel how a car succeeds in the market depends on how well it’s positioned and how well the product delivers on that positioning. It doesn’t matter whether it carries little chrome or black interiors.

Or else, how is the Swift selling so well without a bit of both except the Logo? Or is the philosophy like, “If the Swift had a bit of both, it would have hit 20K month on month”. I like to believe it is not true. But is this typecasting of the Indian car market making me part of a very small minority? Is subtlety of design not appreciated in our country anymore? Or are the manufacturers trying the easy way out during facelifts or new model releases? Friends, let me know your thoughts.

*All pictures taken from other Team-BHP threads.

Last edited by deetjohn : 27th June 2011 at 20:14. Reason: Rephrasing
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Old 28th June 2011, 08:41   #2
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Couldn't agree with you more. Blame it on the so called market research.
But some cars really do look elegant with beige interiors.
I feel it adds a bright and airy feel to the cabin.
While others only look good in black. A strong case being the Swift. Man the beige interiors in the snap look dreadful, it's like killing the soul of the car.
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Old 28th June 2011, 08:45   #3
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Matte & black.

May be one of the criterion in my next Car purchase would be the need for an all black dash. Dull & gloomy? No, it looks sick.

Chrome? After marker garnish supplier are raking in $$$ Such is the fetish for chrome in India.

And what is with blue & brown interiors nowadays?
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Old 28th June 2011, 08:50   #4
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

The fact that chrome is loved by Indians is repeatedly hooted by Siddharth Vinayak Patankar on each and every review on the Car & Bike show. Wonder where he gets such ideas as more and more people prefer subtlety rather than dazzle, except probably in the entertainment industry.
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:20   #5
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Yes, there is definitely an overkill of beige and chrome.
Other than the so called market studies, the media also play a role in this I guess.

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Originally Posted by mdsaab View Post
Couldn't agree with you more. Blame it on the so called market research.
But some cars really do look elegant with beige interiors.
I feel it adds a bright and airy feel to the cabin.
While others only look good in black. A strong case being the Swift. Man the beige interiors in the snap look dreadful, it's like killing the soul of the car.
Totally agree. I am not against beige interiors. For me, luxurious textures of beige looks good, but if the car has got a bit of tacky interiors, black works the best (like the example you mentioned)

Another option I would like to see is for the manufacturer to provide options to the customer – like how you can choose the exterior shade of the car (or at least preconfigured options). For e.g.; exterior/interior combinations like: black with beige interiors, silver with black interiors etc. I remember VW used to give this option for the Jetta. Not sure if they still have it as an option.
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:28   #6
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

There is definitely a very high amount of both chrome and beige in the Indian car market.

But even so, the word "bulldozed" is wring to be used here. Simply because Indians prefer a beige interior and a decent amount of chrome on the car. Thus you cant really say that the manufacturers are bull-dozing it down our throats.

True there are a certain number of us who dont like so much chrome, and a even smaller number of us who prefer a black/grey interior to a beige one. But this category is a minority. Thus the manufacturers have to play the tune of the majority.
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:33   #7
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Agree to the T. I hate chrome garnishes with a passion. About beige interior, as you said, it is a lesser evil - some cars do look good, but most of the cars looks better with an all black theme.

The subtle chrome treatment on new Fiesta and on Cruze are really good - but I hate that chrome strip on Etios and Verito - looks outright cheap.

What is with the 'coral' color of Figo? That is the worst dashboard color I have seen in any car in India

Last edited by theexperthand : 28th June 2011 at 09:36.
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:34   #8
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

What annoys me is the beige part; like you guys said it may add richness but again it depends on the car!

E.g., beige looks cool on an ANHC but, the same on an i10 makes me feel terribly bad (NOM)

For the interiors, brushed metal would be good than the *shouting* chrome bits!
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:39   #9
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

@deetjohn Good post there. That is one of the bigest turn offs when it comes to entry level cars. Beige/ Chrome needs some degree of design sophistication along with part quality and texture( for beige) to make it look appealing. Entry level cars are certainly not the candidates for beige when they are always built to a cost.

The chrome on the new fiesta looks tastefully done for sure from the pic posted. I sincerely hope they dont spoil the New swift with beige interiors and also on the MPV.

A couple of other things which are an eye sore

a) Fake Wood on doors and the centre console. Even the sub 15Lakhs cars that flaunt this dont look good IMO.
b) Thick Silver strips outlining the centre console and doors also do not look that elegant IMO. Also a case of bad execution. I think trend is starting on this front.

Will take Shades of black for interiors any day over beige
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:53   #10
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Other than this beige and chrome bit, another perceived luxury is the use of fake wood garnish on the dash and doors (especially those glossy variety). Maybe it was luxury a decade back, but in the present day, it looks quite tacky.
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Old 28th June 2011, 10:21   #11
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

The thinking needs to be changed. Every manufacturer puts some beige fabrics and promotes car’s interiors as luxurious. And the excess chrome is not limited to small cars/hatchbacks, even a 20 lakh rupee Fortuner is bulldozed with chrome. Personally I don’t like much chrome except for few areas like the front grille. Honda City has the least amount of chrome and that certainly is very good thing. Now a days manufacturer are also putting the badging/name of car embossed on chorme itself just like in K 10 WagonR which looks cheap IMHO.

But it is due to consumer demands only manufacturers are doing so, adding a bit of beige and chrome is luxury for many.

Last edited by bluevolt : 28th June 2011 at 10:28.
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Old 28th June 2011, 10:22   #12
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

"All that glitters is not gold" but it sure does attract attention !!

"Dressing" up a car for more than a century has meant embellishing it with shiny chrome bits here and there.

For many decades the grill was a massive piece of chrome art adorning the front and often became the identity of the marque. Chrome bezels around headlamps, sometimes the entire dome would be chrome, chrome door handles, chrome bumpers the list is endless. And these were cars that were extremely expensive and affordable only by the very rich in society. It doesn't stop there. In the thirties many Rolls Royces had entire bonnets buffed to a chrome like finish and fenders too. Sometimes the entire car was buffed to a chrome finish with no paint at all. Talk about too much chrome !!

So across the world use of chrome to convey a sense of luxury in design is a deeply entrenched aspect of automotible design and primarily it has to do with the deeply engrained perception in people that what shines has to be more expensive.

More often than not half a century ago cheaper cars wouldn't dare boast too much chrome as it usually was the territory of the luxury marques. So a Ford Model T or Morris had a lot less chrome compared to a Rolls Royce or Packard or Cadillac.

What you see today is that when a manufacturer wants to dress up their car they use chrome accents to enhance the "luxury" look of the car.

Now whether you feel they are overdoing it is debatable. Does it make marketing sense? It sure does. A guy buying a 5 lac car wants to feel he's treated himself to something special and luxurious. So chrome accents does it for him

Likewise beige is synonymous with leather which although initially was less sought after than fabric ultimately became the sign of luxury. Leather remains an extremely expensive option so colours that mimic leather look appealling.

You find beige interiors not to your taste - I wonder if you saw the Japanese penchant for horrid dull grey that plagued cars for decades until the year 2000.

So chrome and beige do give a car a more enhanced appearance and feel and its quite understandable why Indian mfg's are opting for it. Whether they are overdoing it is a matter of taste.

Come down to Hyderabad to see how Scorpios get dressed up with chrome accents around taillights and every imaginable part. Why Scorpios, even Fortuners get the bling treatment. I don't like it but I am sure the owner feels he's driving something really special

So its all about customer perceptions and its not just an Indian thing. World over chrome and beige are signs of luxury.

BTW what do you think are the chances we'll see an Etios done up like this?

Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?-rolls23.jpg

Last edited by DKG : 28th June 2011 at 10:39.
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Old 28th June 2011, 11:21   #13
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Another option I would like to see is for the manufacturer to provide options to the customer – like how you can choose the exterior shade of the car (or at least preconfigured options). For e.g.; exterior/interior combinations like: black with beige interiors, silver with black interiors etc. I remember VW used to give this option for the Jetta. Not sure if they still have it as an option.
Check this link below. What I mentioned above is something like this. It’s the colour configuration page for Honda City – from Honda Singapore website: Honda City - A stylish sedan breakthrough

I think it will be great if the manufacturers provide an option like this.
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Old 28th June 2011, 11:23   #14
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Beige interiors are a pain to maintain for sure. But thats still ok. Who gives beige carpets in India? What were those guys thinking? Those who buy high end cars dont have dirty shoes? OR do they live in a place where dirt does not exist!

Couldnt agree more on the chrome part. Has anyone seen the Ford Fiesta (now classic) with Chrome plated ORVM's? Looks hideous IMO. So does the extra accessory on the Cruze, for tail lamps.

EDIT: On a different note, if the Sheik of Dubai can have his car in all Silver or all Platinum, why cant we Indians have extra unwanted chrome on our cars? After all, are we any less .

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 28th June 2011 at 11:26.
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Old 28th June 2011, 11:40   #15
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Default Re: Is Indian market getting bulldozed with beige and excess chrome?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
"All that glitters is not gold" but it sure does attract attention !!

"Dressing" up a car for more than a century has meant embellishing it with shiny chrome bits here and there.

So across the world use of chrome to convey a sense of luxury in design is a deeply entrenched aspect of automotible design and primarily it has to do with the deeply engrained perception in people that what shines has to be more expensive.
Bingo! To add on to it, by 1970, chrome was used to such an extent, especially in American cars, that 'decorative metal' constituted ~30 percent of the weight of the vehicle. It was only after the oil embargo and the consequent economic recession that cars started getting smaller and people less louder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Does it make marketing sense? It sure does. A guy buying a 5 lac car wants to feel he's treated himself to something special and luxurious. So chrome accents does it for him

Come down to Hyderabad to see how Scorpios get dressed up with chrome accents around taillights and every imaginable part. Why Scorpios, even Fortuners get the bling treatment. I don't like it but I am sure the owner feels he's driving something really special
Even I get appaled by the blatant use of chrome and beige in new cars launched in India. I often wonder if I find it so repulsive, surely others will find it too. But then I look around and see people adding aftermarket metal bling to their cars and even auto rickshaws, and then I realize that the Indian market is divided into two — the ones, like most of us here, that follow global design trends and are mostly on par with whats happening in mature auto markets, and the others who actually love the chrome and beige interiors.

Pick up any analyst report on the Indian and Chinese auto market, chances are you will find these certain lines, "The car remains an aspirational object for the exponentially growing middle class in India and China. It is the second largest big-ticket purchase for consumers..." For western automakers aspirational (still) = chrome and beige interiors. Heck! Daimler even lengthened the wheel base of the E-Class specifically for the Chinese market because the E-Class is mostly chauffer driven there and bigger is still better.

The Indian market is in a state of flux. There are 'global' Indians whose taste and livestyle closely matches their Wester counterparts. For them chrome is gaudy. Then there are 'Indian' Indians for whom the-more-it-glitters-the-better-societal-status-it-offers. Like most things, automotive design solutions for India will come from within — a hybrid of global and Indian tastes. Until then, its a long and painful series of hit-and-trial design experiments.
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