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Old 5th March 2012, 16:21   #76
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Question : Why are there no hot hatches in India?

One-Line Answer : There is NO market.
To be precise, the market size (volume) at an acceptable price point is too small to be profitable. The market for hot hatches does exist!

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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
I think manufacturers will start taking this market seriously when the performance mods business starts to do really well. At the moment, performance mods to stock cars sold in India are few and far between.
People running performance mods as a specialty business - for example, a Red Rooster Performance - can sustain themselves at what a mainstream manufacturer would call "really low volumes" - about the size of the hot hatch market in India, presumably.

Would it be too much to ask if a Maruti/Ford/Fiat/GM/Honda gave technical support to these performance mods shops in converting a standard hatch into a hot hatch?
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Old 5th March 2012, 16:52   #77
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

No manufacturer would want to earn a bad name by being unable to supply parts & provide trained technicians for this ultra low volume market.

Logistics & training also costs money to the mfgr with no guaranteed long run in the production.

None of the so called hot hatches were a success.

For those with money & liking for 100+ bhp hatch, i guess Red Rooster OR Pete's are pretty much the option.
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Old 5th March 2012, 16:56   #78
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Like many others pointed out in the thread it is the lack of market for these hatches which keeps manufacturers away.

I'd like to think of the Polo being offered with a 1.6 TDI engine, but i don't think VW will ever risk it.
The Polo highline retails for about 8lakhs, the main downer being the 3 pot engine and lack of basic features. If the same Polo was offered with a 1.6 ltr engine, it won't do any magic to the sales figures.
A typical Indian customer values Fuel efficiency way too much. Look at the sales composition of the german trio. Even after having 30-40lakh plus to spend on a car, people still look at running costs.

If a hatch was to retail at 10 lakh plus, even with a diesel engine and economy, it would still be a market dud!

Last edited by shashank.nk : 5th March 2012 at 16:58. Reason: corrected mistakes
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Old 5th March 2012, 18:06   #79
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Its not that the car makers lack courage.

The plain and simple logic that goes into making of these vehicles is the usage and the buyer base. Amongst all us T-Bhpians not even 20% would agree to buy a hot hatch powering above 150-200 odd bhp. Even those who will vouch for those hot hatches will need special driving lessons to handle such powers. Have really seen some fellow members' A-star/santros being driven harshly in morning traffic. What would happen if someone who has his head blown off due to money get his hands on them? Really that makes me scared.

Day in and day out read news in newspapers regading someone in delhi driving a swift dzire hitting a honda city @150kmph and killing the occpant of honda city after hitting from behind. The main question is are we indians mature enough to handle them and are our roads safe to handle these vehicles.

We have a village on highway every 2 Kms. We have a speed breaker/red light every 200 mts. We have a vehicle every 2 mts from us. Last but not the least we have a padestrian jumping out from nowhere every 2 seconds. AFAIK, the answer is a big "NO".

Last edited by manson : 5th March 2012 at 18:24.
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Old 5th March 2012, 18:29   #80
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Sorry for the one liner but the solution needs only 1 line, as I said elsewhere on the forum, We need more racetracks. Racetracks are the solution to all automotive evil .
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Old 5th March 2012, 18:42   #81
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Smile Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

I have not gone through the post of fellow BHPians. However, I think it's not the lack of courage that's shying away manufacturers. Considering that the car is still a luxury in our market and the fact that fuel prices are higher than ever, many of us are struggling to maintain our own acquisitions.

There have been some experimentation in the form of say a Punto 90HP or the Polo/Fabia 1.6, but they have been fruitless attempts. I understand that they are no where near to what can be termed 'HOT' hatches, but I suppose you catch the drift. Also, just a powerful engine from a segment above wil not help matters when it comes to ride and handling. So alteration in suspensions, steering geometry etc are definitely not going to be cheap.

These were some of the points that I occured on top of my head, although there are many more reasons why a true hot hatch is not possible in India. I might get some criticism from many for being a little candid and focussed on fuel efficiency, but we all know how much the 'kitna deti hai' question matters here!
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Old 6th March 2012, 00:33   #82
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Question : Why are there no hot hatches in India?

One-Line Answer : There is NO market.

Detailed Answer:
1. Did the Palio 100 BHP sell? Did the Getz CRDi? Does the Linea T-Jet? Or the Laura TSI?
I don't completely agree with your statement. I believe there is a market for hot hatch. But it is not properly exploited by companies.
Yes the Palio 1.6 was a gas guzzler and the TSi is equally thirsty if not more but that is not reason enough for the failure of these cars.
I think it has more to do with badge. People would happily buy an Audi 1.8L hatch had it been priced like the Laura. People would have bought an Alfa romeo 1.6L at even twice the palio's price.

While the first problem has an easy solution (like you mentioned: Diesel powered), the second one is a hard nut to crack. When you are paying 12L for a Hatch and you dont get the same status of a 12L sedan it can be hurting. The only remedy is BRAND.

For starters I think companies should start with diesel hot hatches. Polo 1.6L Tdi, Golf 2.0 Tdi, Fiesta hatch 1.5L Diesel, Cruze hatch 2.0L diesel. Sure, none of these would be be as successful as their saloon versions but trust me a 2L stripped out (superleggera) BMW/AUdi/Merc at 15L will sell quite well. Stripped means less price if not less weight.

Bottomline: I think a market is there. It is just that no one is aware of it.

Last edited by oxyzen : 6th March 2012 at 00:36.
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Old 6th March 2012, 00:51   #83
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

I just got back from a road trip that took me to UP, MP, rajasthan, haryana, punjab, and J&K.

Here is the harsh truth: I don;t know about about places south of MP, but apart from main highways in the better off states, India's roads are like those in subsaharan africa. From tarmac that survives only as a wavy strip in the middle of the road, to miles and miles of rock strewn surface to nationa highways with crater big enough for cars to fall into, for hundred km stretches. The friend's civic we took on this drive came back squeaking and rattling, even though it was tight when we left.

The roads that do have good surfaces whether in metros or between towns, were suitable for spirited driving till some years ago, but no more. The roads everywhere have become clogged with traffic of every variety, from tractors to cycle ricksaws, to autos, to three wheeled trucklets, to cars, to bikes, to big trucks, to mini buses to interstate buses.

Till 5-6 years ago, you could drive in a very spirited fashion. Now you just cannot unless you have a blatant disregard for the safety of people you're likely to mow down

10 years ago, you could drive flat out everywhere, and you could make your tires scream all over the place. Now, there is nearly no chance of that happening.

So what can you do with a high performance car? Not a damn thing.

The fact is that Bharat Sarkar and local governments as well, have completely and totally failed not just to build the high speed road infrastructure that our economy needs, they have failed even to just provide enough capacity to keep the added traffic moving at the speeds it used to 10 years ago.

26 years ago, NH-1 heading north out of delhi was just a 2 lane undivided road. On this road, it used to take our ambassador 6 hours to get to Chandidarh (250km). Then we got a maruti 800, and the road become double laned upto in sections, and the times dropped to 4 hours. By 2001, my dad had got an accord, and the double and triple laning was nearly complete, and the times for these journeys dropped below 4 hours. Once I did delhi-chandigarh, door to door, in 2 hours and 50 minutes. That was unusually fast, but 3.5 hours was typical.

Today, delhi-chandigarh will on average take 5 hours. And it doesn't matter whether I am driving an i10, an accord or my dad's new hot shot Audi A6 3.0TFSI.

We have dropped back to ambassador era, pre- Maruti 800 era travel times on national Highway 1, which is the best condition best built highway in North India (admittedly nothing like the highway connecting bombay to pune).

In fact, in the urban areas, its gotten worse. Delhi to our farm near karnal used to take 3 hours in the ambassador. It now takes anywhere from 3 hours to 4.5 hours unless you go very early in the morning, when you can do it in 2 hours. Getting into and out of delhi takes up anything upward of an hour.

In this reality, what are you going to do with a hot hatch? NOTHING.

Last edited by Harbir : 6th March 2012 at 00:58.
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Old 6th March 2012, 11:52   #84
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
Yes the Palio 1.6 was a gas guzzler and the TSi is equally thirsty if not more but that is not reason enough for the failure of these cars.
I would beg to differ on this point of yours. I have owned a small petrol hatch and a Palio 1.6 in the past. I have also owned a Corolla and presently own a Laura TSI. While the Palio 1.6 was not as 'fuel effecient' as the other small hatch (WagonR) , the Laura TSI delivers very similar mileage figures to the Corolla (petrol) in city and is even more fuel effecient on the highway. When you put these facts in conjunction with the fact the TSI produces about 30% more power and torque it really is something phenomenal.

You are right though about market preference for diesel. I am sure a hot diesel hatch will find takers. A Swift with a 1.6l Multijet, or a Polo with a 1.6 TDI will surely be popular. But then again you can never expect numbers like the stock 1.3s or 1.2s. Hence companies don't find it worth their while to bring in these models, when they have their plates full with the regular models and seemingly can't seem to make enough of them. It just does not make good business sense. The hot hatch can be an iconic model for the company and at best be a good brand ambassador for the brand in general.
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Old 6th March 2012, 13:36   #85
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
I don't completely agree with your statement. I believe there is a market for hot hatch. But it is not properly exploited by companies.
Bottomline: I think a market is there. It is just that no one is aware of it.
+1 to that.
To take your point further, we can see that if people can buy Beetle after paying 20-24 Lacs then why not a Hot Hatch but from a premium brand only if its priced 12-15 lac upwards.
Yes the numbers won't do justice for manufacturer but they'll surely be more if the manufacturer who is offering is premium one as compared to other.

Last edited by carwatcher : 6th March 2012 at 13:39.
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Old 6th March 2012, 14:48   #86
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Here's a hot version of a hatch that is already here:
VW Launches Polo BlueGT: 2012 Geneva Auto Show

They say that it gives up to 50 mpg. That's about 21 kmpl. Turbocharged, direct injection with cylinder deactivation. But I guess the cost will be too high.

Coming back to the topic, I feel that eventually hot hatches will have to make it to our shores. Affluence / buying power is growing while road space per user is rapidly decreasing. Soon, you may have the money to buy a nice, large sedan but you may not want to. Not sure when that tipping point will come, but looking at the overall traffic congestion and parking woes right now, may not be very far.
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Old 6th March 2012, 14:49   #87
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

While the market maybe low, I do believe car companies like VW who are in general doing good volumes can have a car or so as a good halo product, and halo product not only in terms of High End (Phaeton) but also something like a Golf GTi, Golf GTd, I mean BMW / Mercedes have so many low volume products but they still exist, and the fact that they make a move to try get them here itself is a huge plus to them,

VW Instead of the investments they made on the Phaeton, had they come in with the Golf I seriously believe it could have had a lot better interest and sales, and I still do not know why they ignore it,

Fiat can do the Bravo, Again as far as I know they did plan it some years back?

I believe once again this is a segment which only the Luxury car makers will open, come 2013 and you will have the A-Class, A3, BMW 1, lets assume once they come in others will follow suit? But the only problem is all of the above will still come in their basic engines,

Regards,
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Old 7th March 2012, 06:39   #88
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

The only saving grace that could rescue the concept of hot hatches in India is going the diesel way. The janta can forgive the "sport hatchback" concept since the perception of diesel alters a lot of things.

We have diesel hatches with their sedan cousins that have decent poke. I guess most of these hatches can squeeze a 1.5 or a 1.6 diesel with a turbo. We might see a winner on our hands. But i guess that is the limit we can stretch in India.

The fact that Hot/Sport Hatches cannot work in India due to bad infrastructure may not always be true. We see them on the narrow bylanes in Europe and even in London ; one of the busiest in the world.

Money can buy almost everything but not that grin when a hot hatchback races away from a bigger/luxury sedan
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Old 8th March 2012, 16:42   #89
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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I would not leave Maruti, Ford and Mitsubishi behind as well.

My take is, Why not use this as an oppurtunity and let the creativity flow. Instead of dashing out a pure performance car in your hands, What's on offer is a value for money offering that can be used as a platform.

Eg> A new Maruti Swift Lxi would be a good bet if you plan on
- Garnet or HKS turbo kit / Red Rooster Turbo kit
- RD ECU / Remap
- Racing camshafts / pistons
- A close ratio gear box
- Performance / Racing / Rally suspensions

You have converted a plain jane Swift to a non-linear accelarating toy for not more than 8 lakhs.
Dear, I will be scared to death if your above qutoed example happens. Who will come and help stop this car in emergency braking situation? Already the there is thread for Swift's notorious braking ability in emergency situation with present (so called low powered) motors.
If at all you want to pep up the swift, first modification should be to take care of braking. good break disks, pads and if possible other brake related gizmos (ABS, EBD etc.).
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Old 9th March 2012, 10:28   #90
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Completely agree with the statement that the companies lack just courage. Look at the damn XUV500 - it has undercut multiple segments with unprecedented booking - though partly attributed to the marketing strategy as well. Had it been an international auto-maker it would have been a dud owing to pricing at the right side of 20L.

On similar lines a hot-hatch is very much need of the hour currently, it will have the potential to undercut multi-segments, and should be "feasible" by an India auto-maker ONLY.
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