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Old 18th October 2011, 10:33   #61
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

My list of game changers:

1) Hyundai Santro: Santro not only marked the entry of the Korean giant(?) into Indian market, but it also made its way to the top in no time, due to its never-seen-before looks and good quality of material. Hyundai never looked back after Santro.

2) Maruti Swift: IMO Swift is a game changer since it set really high standards for a 'driver's car'. Even today, most hatches are compared with Swift for their driving pleasure.

3) Tata Indica: Launched 10 years back, but still dominates the cab market with huge margin. Tata's frugal diesel engine, low cost of spares and good rear seat space made Indica an instant success, especially in the taxi market. Dominating one segment for over 10 years is no less than a game changer. Frankly, before Indica, hardly anyone knew anything about the 'Taxi' segment.

4) Alto: Maruti would have surely not thought at the time of launching the Alto that it will be the market leader for ages to come. IMO Alto had no game changing qualities, excepts its phenomenal VFM tag and Maruti A.S.S. to back with. Other companies are still struggling to even dream of the top spot.

5) Toyota as the company: First came Qualis and killed the market. Then came Innova and is still the king of the segment and then came Fortuner and rest is history. Unfortunately, the recent Etios additions are not in the same league as the above mentioned 3 giants.

6) Fiat's Multijet Diesel engine : I am really surprised no one mentioned this till now. Its one of the biggest game changers in Indian market IMO. Before Fiat came, people used to think that diesel engines are only made by Tata. Fiat's MJD engine came and revolutionized the diesel passenger car market to unprecedented levels. Today, almost more than a dozen of diesel cars run on MJD engine, with variable tunings. Considering that the hatch market is still the biggest volume churner in India, MJD engine has a dinosaur share in that volume.

I agree with most that M-800 was not a game changer, but a game starter.
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Old 18th October 2011, 16:42   #62
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Agreed. That's you personal opinion and you have a right to it...
...Again, the above is my personal opinion. For the reasons mentioned above, the i20 is a game changer, but for the wrong reasons.
Lt. Kanchan - I agree with most of what you have said and infact have suggested many of my friends against buying the i20 owing to the issues highlighted in your thread.

Personally, I never found the drive of the i20 impressive, however as mentioned by Suhaas, it did start a movement of some sort of the Premium Hatch back segment.

I do, however want to know your list of Game Changers please :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
Someone seems rather unhappy with his purchase!

But you're right on so many levels. The i20 was a game-changer. What it did is bought in features and equipment that was unheard of in a sub-10 lakh car. That IS ALL it did. Nothing else. Honestly, i don't find anything ground-breaking about the i20. Heck, even the design is a borrowed one. Ever seen the Opel Astra hatch sold in the UK?

What the i20 did is started the premium hatchback movement. But then it lost all that fizz in no time. Sales don't speak everything, honestly. The product isn't as good as it seems to be. Hyundai need to get their act together. And I have this feeling that the Fluidic Verna will go the same way. What really did it for the i20's success was the great VFM pricing. The Fluidic Verna isn't priced like that. So what is the Verna's USP? i really don't know.
+1 to that. I agree that it isn't quite the choice now for many.

However, "What the i20 did is started the premium hatchback movement"

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Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post
My list of game changers:

6) Fiat's Multijet Diesel engine : I am really surprised no one mentioned this till now. Its one of the biggest game changers in Indian market IMO. Before Fiat came, people used to think that diesel engines are only made by Tata. Fiat's MJD engine came and revolutionized the diesel passenger car market to unprecedented levels. Today, almost more than a dozen of diesel cars run on MJD engine, with variable tunings. Considering that the hatch market is still the biggest volume churner in India, MJD engine has a dinosaur share in that volume.
Oh Yes, Couldn't agree more to that.
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Old 18th October 2011, 17:41   #63
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

In my opinion the game change started with the Maruti 800. From the traditional Ambassadors, Premier Padminis, and the Standard Heralds, Maruti 800 just changed the landscape of the Indian roads. Can you ever imagine an Ambassador in the Maruti Red color? That's where the the change started.

Then the next one was Daewoo Cielo went on with the next segment of change. Though it was short lived others in the same segment caught up with it.

Now, when it comes to the SUV/MUV segment we got the Tata Sierra that came up with another sibling called the Estate and then went on to the Safari

But what really changed the entire landscape of Taxis was the Tata Indica. While I was outside the country for quite some time, I was surprised to see the roads once ruled by the Ambassador taxis which got took over by the Indicas and was wondering where all the Ambassadors vanished, even not to be seen in small villages of South India.

In the time where Scorpios and Safaris ruled the offroads (though not true offroaders) came the antique piece from Toyota, the Qualis and with the traditional Toyota reliability caught up big way with the Tourist MUV segment which also gave Toyota the idea to come home with Innova.

Now, off late the biggest game changer is the XUV 500 from the M&M stables that took the country by storm (what more can a vehicle do than get sold out 4 months of their production with a week of its launch) Kudos to M&M for taking the Indian auto industry to the next level, competing in the global market and endorsing an Indian brand in the International automobile arena.
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Old 18th October 2011, 19:56   #64
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

Almost all cars we have in the market are mentioned as game changers in various posts. For me, a game-changing model should be something which brings in a revolution, or open up a new avenue in the market.

Here is my take:
Early 80s:
1) Maruti 800: Probably the biggest game changer then.

Early 90s:
2) Maruti 1000/Esteem: It may sound like a joke, but this was the first luxury Japanese sedan on our roads. I guess this created the definition of car with a boot = luxury.

Mid 90s:
3) Mercedes Benz in India: We got introduced to a real premium manufacturer.

Late 90s:
4) Tata Indica: Was this our first big hatchback? IMHO this made other manufacturers to think big on small hatches. And the result - entry of cars like Hyundai Getz, Suzuki Swift etc. in subsequent years

Early 2000s:
5) Skoda Octavia: For me, this was the first successful C+ segment car in India, and maybe brought in the idea of premium diesel sedan.

Mid 2000s:
6) Toyota Innova: I was surprised when Toyota replaced the bread box Qualis with an elegant Innova. A border-line game changer as the Innova did not create a buzzing market for large MPVs. I will still keep it as a hesitant entrant in this list.

7) Suzuki Swift: The biggest beneficiary of the hatch revolution started by Indica. Clearly influenced by the stance of a Mini, this car attained cult status, to a point that every other hatch in the market has to compete with a Swift.

8) BMW in India: Late entrant to the scene, but they made the luxury segment their own, and every other manufacturer is now forced to play catch up.

Late 2000s:
9) Skoda Superb: The current Superb redefined luxury in the entry level D-Segment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
While almost all have already been put down, one game changing movement was the very entry of Mercedes-Benz in India in mid 90's, I still remember getting a W124 from a TATA dealer in Ahmedabad, it was the greatest moment in life, believe me a new 124 got you more looks then perhaps a Bentley today does.
So well agree with that. I still remember the 15 mins I got to spend in my friend’s (actually his dad’s) brand new ‘Benz’. First time experienced the idea of cocooned from the outside world in a car, and then reality struck when I got back on my Yezdi Roadking

Last edited by vb-san : 18th October 2011 at 19:56. Reason: Re-aligned
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Old 19th October 2011, 10:17   #65
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

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Originally Posted by amit_2025 View Post
I agree with most of what you have said and infact have suggested many of my friends against buying the i20 owing to the issues highlighted in your thread.
On a lighter note, we both agree on the same point - the i20 was a game changer, but for different reasons.

The point I wanted to make was that the i20 is not as good as people think it be nor is Hyundai customer support/service as good as it used to be. The point you raised that it bought many firsts to the segment is valid and I agree with those points. But then, in my perosnal opinion, due to the inherent unrepairable issues, it does not qualify to be a game changer(in the correct sense).

As for my list, well, I am no auto expert nor would I like to comment on it. But if I had to name one, it has to be the Swift. The Swift was not only fun to drive, it also bought in many segment firsts which were only available in premium sedans( Airbags, ACC in the ZXi trim). At that time, it was the king of hatchbacks. Even today, when people compare the driveability, they say X hatchback is not as good as the Swift in the fun to drive stakes. Compared to the Swift, X hatchback it has Y number of more features. The Swift set the standards for other hatchbacks to emulate or beat. And it has an impeccable trouble free history.
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Old 19th October 2011, 13:21   #66
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

Quote:
Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
On a lighter note, we both agree on the same point - the i20 was a game changer, but for different reasons.

The point I wanted to make was that the i20 is not as good as people think it be nor is Hyundai customer support/service as good as it used to be. The point you raised that it bought many firsts to the segment is valid and I agree with those points. But then, in my perosnal opinion, due to the inherent unrepairable issues, it does not qualify to be a game changer(in the correct sense).

As for my list, well, I am no auto expert nor would I like to comment on it. But if I had to name one, it has to be the Swift. The Swift was not only fun to drive, it also bought in many segment firsts which were only available in premium sedans( Airbags, ACC in the ZXi trim). At that time, it was the king of hatchbacks. Even today, when people compare the driveability, they say X hatchback is not as good as the Swift in the fun to drive stakes. Compared to the Swift, X hatchback it has Y number of more features. The Swift set the standards for other hatchbacks to emulate or beat. And it has an impeccable trouble free history.
Oh Yes, Swift by far remains my favorite hatch

Having owned the 1.3 petrol for over 66k Kms, I can vouch for the reliability & drive. Truly a car that can make you fall in Love for the sheer driving pleasure.

Last edited by amit_2025 : 19th October 2011 at 13:22.
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Old 19th October 2011, 16:16   #67
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

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Originally Posted by amit_2025 View Post
Having owned the 1.3 petrol for over 66k Kms, I can vouch for the reliability & drive. Truly a car that can make you fall in Love for the sheer driving pleasure.
+1. Sold of my ZXi for the i20 and I still curse myself for doing so. Call it co-incidence, it did come back to haunt me physically, exactly an year after we bought the i20.
Quote:
And to really rub it in, ironically on day of the third service(September 27 2010) I saw my old Swift ZXi. It came down to a friend’s maruti authorized workshop for accident repairs. As it stood there still shining in the sun in all its glory, it was almost as if she was standing there and asking “Is this the car for which you abandoned me? For all the rattles and all the troubles?” Sheesh”
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...ml#post2088225

It does hurt considering the never ending troubles that I am facing with this i20.
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Old 20th October 2011, 08:56   #68
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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
I think many of the other vehicles being mentioned in the following posts are not enough to be called "game changers" (except maybe the Scorpio).

That tag should be used much more judiciously and vehicles such as figo etc IMO are not enough.
I do think this way. The term "game changers" is being interpreted liberally. In my understanding, the term should include only such products which created a segment or, to lesser extent, which dominated the segment completely.

Evolution of a more technologically advanced, more reliable cars in the same segment should not be termed "game changers", however much they are good or sell quite well.
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Old 12th February 2012, 01:38   #69
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

The biggest game changer was my favourite - TATA 407, still love its looks and the way it sounds.

VOLVO B7R, changed the way in which we travel, SHIVNERI rocks.

SUMO was so comfortable and huge -in mid 90's
Qualis & Innova
Scorpio

Karizma created sports touring segment.
CBZ created a segment of sports biking which Pulsar took over later
Cd-100 started the trend, Splendour magnified it.
RX-100 was the affordable sports machine.
Kinectic Honda and then years later the magical ACTIVA.

M800 of course.
OMNI surely.
SWIFT was biggest game changer

Introduction of DDis was much bigger, as many as 6-8 vehicles have one or other variant of this National engine

i10/Eon - Hatbacks can have premium interiors
Nano - Brilliant cost effective engineering which caught international attention

Indica - National taxi.

Honda City 1.3/1.5
Swift Dzire
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Old 12th February 2012, 02:20   #70
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

I look upon game-changers as vehicles which created a historic event and a change in approach, not merely forcing other manufacturers to revise prices!

My idea for game-changers since, let's say, 1983.

Two-Wheelers
  • The Japanese four: Ind-Suzuki, Hero Honda, Escorts Yamaha and Kawasaki Bajaj. While the CD-100 has had the most profound impact, all the others have influenced each bike that we have in India now. These four started the learning curve for modern bike manufacturing in India.
  • Kinetic Honda: for starting the era of the convenience of a gearless scooter and putting the average Indian lady on two wheels.
  • The Yamaha RD 350: India's first performance machine.
  • The Splendor: the bike that showed that the econo-commuter could also be stylish.
  • The CBZ: electric-starting the 150 cc game.
  • The Pulsar: a home-grown bike that showed Hero Honda what they should have done with the CBZ and for selling a performance bike with decent FE in record numbers. Also one of India's best styled bikes (the Classic Pulsar, nothing after that!).
  • The R E Thunderbird: for opening the Cruiser segment and for showing R E was capable of things more than tweaking engines of a 1950s vintage bike.
  • The Honda Activa: for reviving the gearless scooter age.
  • The Ninja 250: making way for affordable powerful bikes. Hyosung tried with the Comet but not hard enough.

Four Wheelers:
  • Maruti Zen
  • Daewoo Cielo
  • Tata Indica
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Mahindra Scorpio
  • Tata Nano
  • and yes, Fiat's Multijet Diesel engine. This one engine has changed the way diesel hatchbacks have sold in this country.

Commercial Vehicles:
  • The second Japanese four: Eicher-Mitsubishi Canter, DCM Toyota's Dyna / Clipper, Swaraj Mazda and Allwyn Nissan LCVs to remove Matador and Jeep Forward Control vans from claiming to be LCVs.
  • Tata 407 and 608 beating the four Japanese and literally forcing them out of the market.
  • Volvo coming to India to open up a luxury bus segment and a technologically superior truck segment.
  • TML /Ashok Leyland waking up from slumber and fighting back with turbo-charged / Cummins engines with power steering etc in buses and trucks.
  • Volvo taking over Eicher and Eicher's resurgence as the first serious competitor to the monopoly of TML and Ashok Leyland.
  • Tata launching the Marco-Polo range in India to change the way 'City' buses will be in India.

Last edited by architect : 12th February 2012 at 02:22.
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Old 12th February 2012, 02:46   #71
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Default Re: Game Changers - Landmark events in the Indian Automotive Scene

Apart from the many new launches that changed the landscape , I feel that 2 landmark rejects by the Indian consumers red flagged moves by global majors from bringing their outdated sedan models to India -

1. Ford Escort (and its derivatives)
2. Opel Astra

These were so resoundingly rejected that global majors understood India is not a junkyard . This ushered fresh models like Accent , Ikon, City being launched, followed by the Corollas and Camrys and now we have the scenario where current global models are being launched in India too . The rejects were important in their own rights to set the tone right .
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Old 12th February 2012, 06:38   #72
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The resounding failure of the intial Merc E Class, the Opel Astra's and Ford Escorts etc set the Euro / American manufacturers back by quite a few years, in terms of their entry into India and must have demoralized them significantly as well. They realized that they could no longer fob us off with old gen stuff. They realized that our premium consumer needed to be treated properly just like he would be, anywhere else in the world. I think it is Skoda with their lovely Octy who changed the way we think about Euro cars.
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