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Old 15th July 2011, 10:05   #1
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Default "Automotive Design - An Indian Perspective" my thoughts about autombile design.

Porsche 911, Ferrari Testarossa, Lamborghini Countach, Volkswagen Beetle - these are classics in their own right. But what made them so popular that even their predecessors could not create the same impact as these iconic designs made in the minds of people? Yeah you guessed it right......Awesome automotive design !

Automotive designs are ever evolving. Products undergo changes throughout their lifecycle. An automobile manufacturer to be in business needs to come up with new & innovative looking concepts if its products are to be differentiated from the competition. Not only need the products be good designs but technologically advanced as well. This has been the motto for automobile companies in the West & Europe for survival in markets.

However when the same companies came to India as a market, they entered with a different strategy. The India product portfolio of automotive majors like General Motors, Mercedes Benz & the gang comprise of discards from the U.S. or Europe market. This was accepted 10 years back. But with globalization & access to latest technologies, an average Indian was not ready to accept anything & everything which was going to be thrown at him.
With increasing spending power & the "Dil Maange More" attitude, the Indian consumer now demands better looking cars & not some 3 year old phased out designs from ASEAN markets.

This awareness made Indian manufacturers like Maruti realise that the consumer is no longer going to accept long running products like the 800. The need of the hour was to have a larger product portfolio catering to varied audience needs & continuous product innovation. The best example of the same is of the Maruti Alto which would be shortly replaced by Maruti A-Star.

It is not just auto industry leaders like Maruti, commanding a whopping 50% marketshare, who have realized this. Even players in the luxury car segment woke up to demands of the consumer. Audi & BMW, whose product line cater the young executive looking for performance rather than snob value of a Mercedes, changed their India offerings with the new A4 & new 3 - series launched globally.

This change of wave by luxury foreign car manufacturers has prompted their peers, such as Mercedes Benz whose ageing C Class, had to be replaced with its latest version. It has also prompted Hyundai Motor India Ltd. to launch their latest designs like the i10 & i20 in India. And it does not end here. Manufacturers such as Tata Motors, whose latest offering the Indica Vista, is an all new product from ground up. Not only is it technologically superior, but also aesthetically a better looking car.

BMW has gone a step even further. They have made their latest offering, the BMW X6, a Sports Activity Coupe - hybrid between & an SUV & a coupe, available in India.

This radical change in the Indian consumers mindset is now forcing Indian & foreign car manufacturers to come up with their latest designs or better still, launch those designs in India. Well one thing is for sure then, this new "Jaga Hua" Indian consumer is not just spoilt for choice, but latest designs which till today was an option for other global car buyers.
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Old 15th July 2011, 10:37   #2
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Default Re: "Automotive Design - An Indian Perspective" my thoughts about autombile design.

Design plays an important role in differentiating the car from it's competitors. In today's world of cut throat competition, it is necessary that the car should stand out from the competition. A car designed uniquely also helps the marketing guys to position it aptly in the market.
Other than the design , the external colour of the car too helps it to get noticed in the crowd. So we have companies introducing some bold shades on the cars. e.g. the cocktail green seen on the Beat.
Design is not just the external looks, but it also includes the interiors and the comfort / convenience it offers to its users.
Now since the Indian car market is expanding and getting competitive day by day, car makers feel it necessary to introduce different / well designed cars in the market. The Indian buyer, at this stage, does not accept radical designs in a big way, but he is getting exposed to international designs through various media. So today's customer wants something different, though he is still not willing to go to the extremes. This can be attributed to the deep rooted Indian culture.
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Old 15th July 2011, 13:33   #3
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Default Re: "Automotive Design - An Indian Perspective" my thoughts about autombile design.

I Agree, India is finally being taken seriously. But this had very little to do with the intent of the manufacturer, its more of a market thing, if the market was ready in 1995 Im sure we would have seen the manufacturers respond.

The car makers have one goal..profits. If old wine in a new bottle sells then thats exactly what they'l do. If not, they will get to the drawing board to come up with something that will ensure them Profits.

People are now willing to experiment with their rides as it is more of a lifestlye thing. And there is a feeling of not being stuck with it. If you dont like it.. you can always get rid of it.

And yes the increased mobility and internet have empowered the indian customer to say "Go to hell"
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