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Old 1st March 2012, 16:14   #16
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Reason is simple- The so called "soccer moms" hardly exist in India. Hence we are not likely to see hot-hatches either, even though we desire them. Applying the concept of soccer moms on India may be a good example of identity crisis.

May be Cricket Moms.....

Anyways..i think we have all talked about how we want coupes and what not..I guess it does not make business sense for the companies anymore.

It appears as if Indians want to enjoy what the rest of the world enjoyed between 1900-2000, as if they missed out on it. Too bad, those days are long gone. The world wants to be a lot leaner and greener today.

Last edited by aerohit : 1st March 2012 at 16:29.
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Old 1st March 2012, 16:28   #17
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage.. or its just lack of Imagination?

The Swift abroad comes with so much more. 1.6 litre engine. Fatter tyres, bigger wheels and so on. Not to forget specially reinforced beams etc.
None of these features appear here because of our extreme price sensitivity and the fact that cars in a country like ours, are viewed more as a functional luxury than an enthusiast's hobby.
It will evolve though over the next 7-10 years and we will surely see loads of lovely new toys around. Some of us however may become too old to really enjoy this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
  • Offer a 1.4ltr (130 BHP) TC Petrol engine as a Sports Variant on a hatch like Indica/Swift/I20 along with the existing ones ?
  • May be offer a BOA(Built On Order) facility of such variants just to ensure we Petro heads are also satisfied.

Last edited by Technocrat : 2nd March 2012 at 00:20. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old 1st March 2012, 16:37   #18
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Just look at the sales of Fiat Linea Tjet. Agreed it is not a hatch, but its sales numbers would give you an idea that there is a very limited market in India for a car which would satisfy the enthusiasts.

Compare the sales of Laura TSi and TDi, and it will you a clear indication of Indian buyer's inclination towards economy over performance, even at 20L price range.

Forget turbocharged petrol engine, most car buyers with 7L budget in India today would simply opt for a diesel car because it is economical to run.

And does our country have the road infrastructure to enjoy these turbocharged petrol cars ?

There is a market for SUVs in India because of 5 factors:
1. Snob value
2. Road presence
3. Diesel economy
4. Ability to handle bad roads
5. Ability to carry 7-8 people

These are the factors which the Indians care about.

India needs mini SUVs, not hot hatches.

Rohan
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Old 1st March 2012, 16:55   #19
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

They are selling what Indians are buying. Not the other way around.
So actually this question should to be asked to India's car buying junta.

And Team-BHP members constitute a fraction of the car buying junta.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:06   #20
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

I don't see anything happening like this anytime soon for a simple reason that it would be really tough for them to move these so called hot hatches out of the showroom. What is the price point you think a 200bhp hatch will come in? Going by the current pricing it will easily go into the 8-10L sedan segment. We all know what happens then. Yes some of us enthusiasts may go for it but even then the number is too small.
So even though the idea is good but it doesn't sound practical.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:06   #21
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Forget everything else. Just look at the Auto Expo 2012 thread wherein the Indica Vista concept was displayed but hardly discussed. There were talks that it may soon go into production but the sheer lack of enthusiasm (from the so-called auto enthusiasts on team-bhp) for that car has already made it a market dud before its official launch in India. No one cared for it. Everyone saw it and moved on. I don't remember people discussing that car or speculating the price or features or anything which we normally do prior to other launches in the market. We perceive brand Tata to yet be a low-cost people's carrier, most popular in the Taxi segment and thus private buyers still shy away from the brand. Do you really think if they come up with a performance Vista the market will welcome it with open arms?? I don't think so.

Secondly, look at the diesel craze that has build up over time. A fire breathing hatchback sipping a 70+litre drink, producing a triple digit power output with a single digit fuel economy figure, would be definitely in the wishlist of many enthusiasts but in the garage of very few.

Personally, I would love the Swift Sport, Polo GTi, Punto Abarth, even the Vista concept and all others to enter the Indian car scene but it seems to be a distant dream. Period.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:09   #22
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
They are selling what Indians are buying. Not the other way around.
So actually this question should to be asked to India's car buying junta.
Precisely.

Although a majority of Indian households have 2 or even 3 cars now, almost all of them use their cars for daily runs. The % of those who have dedicated cars for "blowing off steam" or off-roading is in the minority and a significant at that.

So, when the demand itself is miniscule, manufacturers don't find it promising.

Its like : market dominated by FE concerns and use of cars for moving from point A-B -> no performance-oriented cars or "hot" hatches -> no facilities for someone who wants to use his car to it's potential -> no real inclination for someone to want a hot hatch -> no enthusiasm amongst manufacturers to bring in hot hatches.

That's one. And the next. For the price of a hot hatch, one could get a decent sedan. Now, who wouldn't want that?!

It's not the manufacturers, it's us!

And I feel it will take one rather really bold manufacturer to change it all.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:11   #23
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Hot hatches are PR stunts in developed markets to keep interest in what is another appliance at home. The market in India is too small for such niche products, with near third world purchasing power and first world fuel prices, manufacturers are smart not to produce such ego-massagers that are dead on arrival anyway.
The rich have comfortably settled on diesel cars, I mean the really rich, there is absolutely no way with current fuel prices a hot hatch is coming to the market. There is no demand for petrol sedans in the 10L+ category, who will consider plonking twice that in what is essentially two chairs with an engine?(description of Porsche in Bad Boys)
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:13   #24
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

I think it is because of the petrol prices in India coupled with the fuel efficiency conscious mindset of many people out here, that hot hatches are destined to fail.

BUT... maybe we have a good market for hot diesel hatches. This would give more than adequate performance & not lighten your wallet by a big margin too.

How about a 1.6 Multijet Punto with 120 bhp? Hyundai can plonk the 125 bhp 1.6 CRDi of the verna in the i20 and make it a hot hatch. Even VW & Skoda can have the 102 bhp 1.6 TDI in the Polo & Fabia respectively. Since they are already having these engines in our market (except FIAT's 1.6), how much investment would they require. Close to none, but this segment is worth exploring IMO.

Another issue is that ours is a "status" defined market. Even if FIAT, Hyundai, VW & Skoda does the above, the prices would go up & land the hot hatches in the sedan territory & then the famous question would pop out - "Why would I buy a hatch if I can buy a sedan with the same engine for a little more?"
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:15   #25
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Good thread tsk1979. Some manufacturers here can afford to do this with ease.

But they still won't. The men at Marketing will be shot down by the bean counters.

If not a fully blown hot hatch, they all should at least consider turbo charging the petrol engines in our hatchbacks. That can be a very good start.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:20   #26
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by download2live View Post
They are selling what Indians are buying. Not the other way around.
So actually this question should to be asked to India's car buying junta.

And Team-BHP members constitute a fraction of the car buying junta.
Hello,

this is by far THE BEST answer is this thread. We must blame the masses, not the manufacturers.

Manufacturers take surveys / customer feedback before launching new products : how many give a response "I don't care about the price : give me the power" ? Miniscule I would say.

And for the "fraction" high power units that you wish they sell (for eg : 50 Swifts) - should MSIL train service personnel from across the country just to service these few cars? Or train a few engineers and ask them to travel the year round to customer sites?

If they don't give service we will have a thread saying "Poor After Sales Service for Hot Hatches in India"

I hope after this thread someone does not start a thread titled "Can roads in India handle *true* hot hatches?"

Thank you
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:38   #27
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

This is a good thought. Even I would like to see a few hot hatches here. Unfortunately, we seem to be stuck at 100 bhp, 1.6 Liters as the outer limit of a hatchback's performance specs (Not counting the Getz CRDi).

Also, I feel that in India, we have a very strict model hierarchy. The main commandment seems to be: "Thou shalt not be more powerful than your bigger sibling."
And the bigger siblings themselves are quite under-powered, so there's not much wiggle room for the hatches.
So for example, we won't see a 130 bhp Polo, if the Vento has 100 bhp.
When asked this question, I guess most car makers will jump up and say that "The market isn't mature enough."

Please note that the above statements are not backed by any research. Just penned the initial thoughts that came to me.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:45   #28
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

A proper hot hatch (in the Golf GTi mould) would be retailing at around 15L minimum; there isn't a market for that sort of thing in India. When diesel mania seems to be ruling the roost here, perfectly sensible, refined, fuel efficient petrol hatchbacks are not finding buyers. How do you expect a hot hatch with present petrol prices to succeed? We don't see regular Fiesta hatchbacks or Golfs, and we all know how people used to crib at the 9 kmpl FE the Palio 1.6 GTX used to return.

Last edited by Durango Dude : 1st March 2012 at 17:51.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:48   #29
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
What is the price point you think a 200bhp hatch will come in? Going by the current pricing it will easily go into the 8-10L sedan segment.
a 200bhp hot hatch at 10L. The nearest car/SUV with that kind of power costs more than twice so I doubt if a 10L price would be possible. Would force others to cut price because of the unsaid rule in India "bigger car cannot be slower than the smaller one"

Last edited by noopster : 1st March 2012 at 20:28.
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Old 1st March 2012, 17:57   #30
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At the start of the day we all wish we had such an option available. Some would even want option"s". But these don't come cheap. 7L is too optimistic. Also add the FE to be major cost of ownership. All this means a lot of money. And where is all the money? Metros. Metros like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, etc.
Now suppose one decides that enough is enough. I am going to live my dream for once. There's more to life than just kmpl. I will buy this hot hatch and enjoy it. Enjoy? Yeah, pick up your girl and go for a nice movie, ice cream, etc, at 5kms per hour bumper to bumper traffic. Phew. No no. I don't want to put in so much money just for enjoying my ride once 3-4 months on the highways. How much does the Maruti/Hyundi cost ? A little smaller please, parking space is a constraint. Even the footpath space which was free earlier is now constantly spied for parking space. Ok, this one suits me, though not a hot 150bhp hatch. No problem. Kitna deti hai?
This is the end of the day for the average Joe.

Please note that most high income guys don't need a hot hatch. They already have a super hot sedan to enjoy.
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