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Old 11th August 2011, 13:29   #1
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Default ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars)

What is the future of Ultra low cost cars? I cam across this intresting article in TOI website today.

Ultra low-cost cars to wait as Tata, Hyundai, Maruti, Ford, GM focus on small car segment - The Times of India

Quote:
MUMBAI/DELHI: The Tatas swear by it, the Detroit giants have for now given up on it, and the top 2 in the Indian car bazaar see a future beyond it. Don't look now, but blueprints for an ultra low-cost car (ULCC) under Rs 2 lakh - championed by the Tatas with the much-touted Nano - are under various stages of modification at the research centres of various manufacturers.

Even as it attempts to push up sales of the Nano, Tata Motors is working on Plan B: it is close to showcasing a car positioned a step above the Nano and below compact bestseller, the Indica. No 2 in India Hyundai is working on a model that will be priced below its cheapest car in the country, the Santro, but above the Nano.

And leader Maruti Suzuki has two irons in the fire -a revamped Maruti 800 that will be pitted directly against the Tatas' ULCC; and another - the first indigenous car Maruti will develop fully in India -that will occupy the space between the Nano and the Alto.

Last edited by GTO : 11th August 2011 at 15:55. Reason: Please provide only an excerpt + link to article, instead of posting the entire article here. It's only fair to the publisher
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Old 11th August 2011, 14:32   #2
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Default Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars )

So in future, we will have 5 cars
1. New Maruti 800 cc
2. Maruti 'made in india' small car to coexist with Alto
3. Hyundai HA 800 cc
4. Tata Dolphin to be pitched between nano and indica
5. Bajaj small car

Still, the Nano will have no competition... Tata has lot of scope in improving the Nano and sell it large numbers since the competition cars will likely be priced above the Nano price range!
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Old 11th August 2011, 16:09   #3
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Tatar and Maruti might still be able to pull it off with the sma car and eve Hyundai should manage pretty well, albiet at a higher cost than the former companies. Tatasky have the facilities & the backing of a huge Tata group and Maruti has the lineage that they can draw from both India and Suzuki.

Bajaj on the other hand, doesn't really have any kind of real knowledge of 4 wheels. Bajaj might have a thing or two up their sleeve when it comes to bikes, more so now thanks to their association with KTM, but 4 wheels is a different ball game altogether.
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Old 11th August 2011, 17:13   #4
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Default Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars )

These companies keep on coming up with these ULCC, but have they ever thought is their infrastructure(road, parking space) to absorb these cars. I dont think so. In Mumbai the number of cars have doubled in a decade or so and multiplying everyday. Because of ever increasing cars the footpaths are encroached in the name of expanding roads.
My thoughts are a bit off topic but government should put some kind of ban on these ULCC cars from selling in already congested roads, rather than applauding wow we have another car which cost even less than previous one, is there any safety in these cars.
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Old 11th August 2011, 19:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el lobo 6061
These companies keep on coming up with these ULCC, but have they ever thought is their infrastructure(road, parking space) to absorb these cars. I dont think so. In Mumbai the number of cars have doubled in a decade or so and multiplying everyday. Because of ever increasing cars the footpaths are encroached in the name of expanding roads.
My thoughts are a bit off topic but government should put some kind of ban on these ULCC cars from selling in already congested roads, rather than applauding wow we have another car which cost even less than previous one, is there any safety in these cars.
Are you talking about putting ban on ULCC by government? Rather government should provide better infrastructure in terms on roads, public transportation etc. I really don't understand this mentality that increased traffic is because of these small cars.

FYI, I don't own Nano.

Last edited by Nitrous Power : 11th August 2011 at 19:21.
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Old 11th August 2011, 21:53   #6
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Default Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars )

I see no point in banning ULCCs, simply because those who need a car will buy one anyway. At the most, they will take an extra year to save sufficient money. So the congestion problem is only postponed, and not eliminated.
However, ULCCs will come at a cost:
1. safety to the occupants (Nano might have cleared Euro NCAP, but those tests hardly are significant to Indian driving conditions where no one wears seatbelts. Moreover, cows and dogs and bullock carts and tractors appear out of nowhere and they are not designed to absorb any impact).
2. reserve power/good handling (necessary on highways).

If government is serious about reducing the rate of increase of the cars on road, make ABS/airbags mandatory. This will at least postpone the congestion problem.
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Old 11th August 2011, 22:50   #7
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Default Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars )

Rather than me using the word ban should have used restrict, would have been appropriate. Anyone who lives in Mumbai would understand my point. Driving in Mumbai during wee office hours is really a big pain. If anyone ever tells me lets go for a drive to Mumbai I always say that would only be after 10:30 pm, before that cars are just crawling, only than you can enjoy driving.
As nano being a Tata product hasn't met with success as Tata actually wanted it to be, still more Alto's are sold compared to Tata's Nano. People rather like buying any other car rather associating them with Nano. And I have listened to so many jokes on Nano.
If Hyundai comes up with Fluidic Design that is at Nano's price point you will see the product fly, for sure. Hyundai has more brand value than a Tata.
My two paisa.
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Old 11th August 2011, 23:19   #8
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Default Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars )

Clearly there is a market for ULCC but marketing is everything! IMO, Nano failure is entirely a marketing failure. They never connected with the real buyer in this segment.

Secondly, most Indians who want to buy a car have no issues (or stretch more) shelling out 3L for an Alto. Those who cant afford a 3L car, they find the used Alto/Santro/WagonRs lot more desirable and reliable than a new Nano..
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Old 13th August 2011, 12:46   #9
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Red face Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars)

Even if the makers come up with the ULCC, would these be fuel efficient, would they be less polluting meeting the emmission norms? If so even if they dont find any customers atleast the transport authorities can sit up and look at them for replacement of the presently polluting rickshaws and 6 seaters.

I would assume there would be few takers for such cars when the niggling issues in the existing cars (read Nano) are still yet to be resolved by the car manufacturers.
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Old 13th August 2011, 14:20   #10
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Default Re: ULCC (Ultra low-cost cars)

I think I read somewhere on the forum itself that Bajaj has given up on the 4-wheeler. Not sure though.

Nano's failure has been discussed to death on the forum, so I would not venture there but I feel rather than focusing on cars being 'cheap', manufacturers should focus on cars being 'compact' and efficient. Most of the times in metros, you hardly see more than 2 people in a car. So if we have compact/cleaner cars, the traffic/congestion/pollution will naturally be reduced.
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