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Old 4th September 2011, 22:16   #46
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

So how many people have spotted a Passat?? Well that 30 lakh rupees car is talked about like a Bugatti Veyron here. The low spottings is not due to the product or the lack of buyers for it, it is because VW has no cars cope up to the demand from the Indian market. It is the crazy 3 and 4 month waiting for the Highline variant which is driving away potential customers. At 30 lakh odd the Highline variant can give all its entry level German competitors a run for their money considering the gizmos its loaded with and the lovely 170 ps motor. Where VW fails is to make a customer paying 30 lakh rupees who is almost convinced to buy a Passat, actually buy it, by asking them to wait for 3 months. I mean that is a serious let down. Its not like they are building a custom vehicle for you. VW is competing with the much established (in the Indian market) brands with higher snob value and must remember that it yet needs to make its statement in the luxury car market. They cannot expect a customer to wait for months after spending 30 lakh rupees for his car. A person of that status would definately steer away to the other cars and that is what is happenning.

Talking about strategies there are certain features in the VW variants which are real deal-breakers and really leave a question mark in the minds of the customers as to why opt for that VW variant. For example in the Passat Comfortline you donot have all the USPs of the car like climatic seats, reverse camera, park assist, 12-way adjustable seat with memory, etc and the price is a mere 2 lakh rupee cheaper than the fully loaded variant. Had the difference in price been significant like 4 or 5 lakh rupees then it would still be worth a buy. I mean the comfortline price is still 2 lakh expensive than a similar spec Superb and honestly there is no reason why anyone would buy a Passat CL over its Czech counterpart.

Coming to the Jetta, the car has no USPs at all except being larger in dimensions. The car has inferior quality of interiors than its previous model and the price difference between the Trendline and Comfortline again is 1.5 lakhs in the difference of which you get rain-sensors, auto headlamps, leatherette upholstery, cruise control (yes you get cruise control in the Comfortline contrary to what the brochure tells you!), retractable mirrors, rear arm rest, etc.

The point I am trying to make out here is that you get a lot of equipment for that additional price between the variants itself which makes the lower variant seem stripped yet overpriced. It would be better if the price difference between the variants is significant making the car appeal to a larger market.

The Vento top end diesel is 11odd lakhs. If they price the Jetta TL manual at even 14 on rd, CL at 16.5 and HL AT at 19 lalks on rd the Jetta would have put the sales charts on fire. The Passat too should be introduced with the manual CL soon and priced at 24 on rd and drop the CL to 26 lakhs to steal customers from Skoda. Otherwise with their stuck up attitude with pricing and no discounts when the market has mouth watering schemes being offerred, it is very difficult for Passat sales to rise.
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Old 13th September 2011, 09:46   #47
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

As if to prove my point VW went and launched a Breeze edition of the Polo and Vento.

This comes with Branded Breeze pillows, floor mats, Breeze stickering and the only decent feature a touch screen head unit.

If they aren't able to sell the Petrol variants why can't they just reduce prices and offer discounts rather than these silly variants.
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Old 13th September 2011, 13:52   #48
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

Quote:
This comes with Branded Breeze pillows, floor mats, Breeze stickering and the only decent feature a touch screen head unit.
New Breeze variant featuring ...the word Breeze, eh?

I do hate this kind of nonsense marketing. Like sticking the words "Limited edition" on something when, of course, there is actually no limit whatsoever!
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Old 13th September 2011, 19:02   #49
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
As if to prove my point VW went and launched a Breeze edition of the Polo and Vento.

This comes with Branded Breeze pillows, floor mats, Breeze stickering and the only decent feature a touch screen head unit.

If they aren't able to sell the Petrol variants why can't they just reduce prices and offer discounts rather than these silly variants.
Maybe because price reduction could result in negative publicity. So why not add-in some frills and try the luck at same price point
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Old 13th September 2011, 19:58   #50
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
As if to prove my point VW went and launched a Breeze edition of the Polo and Vento.

This comes with Branded Breeze pillows, floor mats, Breeze stickering and the only decent feature a touch screen head unit.

If they aren't able to sell the Petrol variants why can't they just reduce prices and offer discounts rather than these silly variants.
Even if dropping prices and offering discounts would draw negative publicity, just offer goodies like touch-screen HU as a no-cost option, or at a discount on the mid-variant. Why call it 'Breeze' and 'Wind' and other things? I just don't get the marketing at all.

I guess it's 'Indian' marketing personified, right there. You see it even on our humble two-wheelers. All those funky colourful decals and new paint-jobs that make it 'all-new', all of a sudden!
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Old 14th September 2011, 02:09   #51
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
If they aren't able to sell the Petrol variants why can't they just reduce prices and offer discounts rather than these silly variants.
I don't have any data to prove this, but from what I see in Delhi NCR, the number of VW hatchbacks with 'Polo' written at the back is almost equal to the numbers with 'Polo TDI' on them. Same for the Vento. Is the petrol that slow-selling? On TBHP, of course, the TDIs outsell the petrols, but that seems to be true for all cars out there.
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Old 14th September 2011, 11:16   #52
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

VW have entered the market late, when the others (Honda, Skoda, Chevrolet, Ford were all here before these guys did)
So, they probably have a plan in mind for the next 15 years in India (5 years at the least)

So, VW was a fresh brand and still is. They are yet to ramp up on their A.S.S, and nobody has driven the Polo a full 1 lakh Kms yet.

And did they expect the Indian market to blow out of proportions even after they entered? I guess not. Now we have Peugeot, Nissan, Mini all coming into India.
All these manufacturers are coming with the same plan, a small car, a premium hatch back, a sedan, a premium sedan.

And what is going to happen to the Indian industry in 2 years time? My guess is that it will slow down. Rising diesel prices, choked roads, lack of parking space, and for once, the Indian middle class having owned a car each, will look no further, and will hold onto their older cars for longer.

And Vento would have lost steam to its competitors already; The peugeot 209, Fiesta, Maruti's revamped SX4, Sunny, Skoda lauretta all would have eaten into the pie, leaving very little or nothing for VW.
The cost of maintenance on the Polo would have settled it to a 2k per month car.

Fast forward 2015: So, did VW get what it wanted from India? My guess is a big NO.
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Old 14th September 2011, 11:40   #53
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

Today's Economic times says Volkswagen UP! to take on Maruti A-Star and WagonR - pictures - Pictures/Videos - News in Pictures | Economic Times

i.e. VW UP will be launched by 2012. Hopefully it will be better than the A star's claustrophobic interiors.
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Old 14th September 2011, 12:19   #54
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Default Re: Is VW confused about their strategy in India?

The Volks who make the Wagen and Suzuki San were apparently totally confused. The accountants had a field day in the union.

They did not even realise that in the VW the exhausts are normally on the firewall side of the engines, while Suzuki favours the front side. So a direct swap of the engines was out.

Now they are heading for a divorce so naturally VW will look at others for sourcing their cars. Also, Suzuki will be looking around for Hybrids and Electrics.
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