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Old 9th March 2012, 10:33   #91
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Well, even if the market is small, what is stopping all these manufacturers from at least offering a sports variant on demand? Am sure the enthusiast wont mind waiting a little extra to get his/her very own pocket rocket.
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Old 9th March 2012, 11:13   #92
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

It should not be very hard for a car manufacturer to offer a souped up version of a regular hatch. A bigger engine, some suspension mods and better brakes. Not expensive, expecially if you build it on the JIT model on demand.

I agree the infrastructure is really lacking for these cars, but then with that logic, why does anyone buy a Ferrari or Porsche or any other supercar in India.

I look forward to the day we can get hot hatches at reasonable prices in India. We really need it for a small but very enthusiastic group of people here in India, who can actually use the vehicle sensibly.
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Old 9th March 2012, 11:14   #93
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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Well, even if the market is small, what is stopping all these manufacturers from at least offering a sports variant on demand?
ROI. Return on investment. after risk and opportunity cost is taken into account.

companies seek to maximize return. selling a few hot cars almost never justifies itself financially for the big corporations anywhere in the world. But it does justify itself in non-monetizable ways by creating brand prestige, brand loyalty, boosting morale of enthusiastic employees, etc.

in india, hot hatchbacks will not provide those benefits to indian car makers because there is no speed and hot car obsessed subculture in India that influences the mainstream and the impacts the brand value and brand prestige.
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Old 9th March 2012, 15:48   #94
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

In my opinion there is little or no excuse for not having hot hatches in India based on what manufacturers are already selling here. A Polo with a high output 1.6 diesel is easy for VW to produce, sell and service. Everything is already in place in India for the same. The same goes for a T-jet powered Punto, for example. All the pieces of the puzzle already exist in India.

I can only guess that the poor response for warm hatchbacks, the Polo 1.6 and Punto 90hp for example, suggests that there's not much of a market for hot hatches. I think that's only because of the fact that these warm hatches don't really provide any major gain over the standard models. The market for a proper hot hatch definitely exists in India.
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Old 9th March 2012, 18:34   #95
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Look at the Thar. During the threads, it seemed that Thar will outnumber the autos. I am yet to see two in a week, that too in a city like Mumbai. Even the off roaders aren't buying.
I am sure all manufacturers kept an eye on that launch and took home their lessons silently.

However, I do not think there is anything to be sad about the whole scenario. The progress made through micro steps is the progress sustainable. America didn't come up with the Camaro or Super Snake just like that. They came about after maybe a century of performance orientation among users.
Similarly, we have broken through that 100 BHP mark. Someday soon we will be breaking through 150.. 200 and more.
Meanwhile, enthusiasts must keep modding their cars with the turbo, nitro and what they have...

Plus, we also need to note (mentioned several times in this and all other relevant threads) that in India, prestige lies in Size not in Performance. So, Maruti can make venture after venture and scour the earth in coming up with another flop SUV, but they won't invest 10 bucks in Swift Sport.

Last edited by sen2009 : 9th March 2012 at 18:38. Reason: Added argument
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Old 9th March 2012, 19:01   #96
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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The market for a proper hot hatch definitely exists in India.
If you are a manager who is responsible for the best utilization of your project resources, will you bet on a hot hatch in the Indian market?

Most would not. Indians have done nothing to show that they buy performance when for the money they can buy a bigger car or more features or a more prestigious label.

Let us take the example of the maruti swift. Lets say the option is to make the Swift sport with a 130hp 1.6 litre engine. THe investment required to manufacture that engine will be substantial, even if it is on an existing assembly line. Will maruti sell enough swift sports to risk the investment?

I think not.

The palio GTX didn't fly. the fabia 1.6 is rare. the polo 1.6 is rare. And the most recently failed model is the Fiesta S. It's suspension tune was substantially different from that of the regular Fiesta, and tuned with very deliberate care to make it a really good handling car. And it was. Did it sell? No. How strong was the demand for original vRS?

Let us consider the Jazz. In the US, with the 115hp 1.5litre engine, this car is widely regarded as the best in its class. but its only about 20% cheaper than the civic. If Honda brought the 1.5 Litre Jazz to India priced at 10 lacs, how many do you think they'd sell?

not very many.

Indians cannot be relied upon to buy performance cars in large enough numbers. but still somebody or the other keeps trying, so far without success.
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Old 9th March 2012, 20:00   #97
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

"India is not the place for hot hatch. Absolutely."
Why do I make this sweeping statement? Really read the earlier contributions to the thread.

But and a big one at that. Every nation has a small group of people that are passionate and are called enthusiasts. They are the ones that promote products of companies free of cost, make the product go viral. Now if you read the thread again you will see all the enthusiasm has gone out of the window and every thinker hat is ON.

Just put a thread on with the demands and see which manufacture comes up with the ideal car. I will go on and add, half baked product will fall apart sooner or later and then the segment get its bad name. So all the big shots reading should be wary of what they will provide. Ask a manager of a company why their group wasn't able to sense the tide and roll with it. They will all want to be the one who made it happen/make the best of it.

My enthusiasts friends also point out to the hot hatch as practical everyday car. Why, I do not understand the logic, its hot and so practicality will suffer. Even Porsche's R cars have no AC or a radio

Every era has its own cult cars and these cars are never an average Joe cars. These are cars with character so that the enthusiasts rave about it and influence many a decisions,
Peugeot, a sedentary car maker IMHO too had its glory days with 206/7. There are cars that break a company and there are cars that build a company. Palio 1.6 is not a good example of fail as it was not the only reason as its made out to be in this thread, Fiat management was royally off the mark with strategy (signing Sachin does not mean success, please provide components when people need them). The communication should be clear to the user, and there should be some worth to show for the upscale sticker price.

If zen's can be converted to e-zen and b-zen, if old vtec can have change of heart to a K series engine and still run reliably and consistently provide all the fun, it should be in Manufacture's interest to keep the interest going.

I strongly believe many parents will let their kids buy a hot hatch that can kill them than buy them weekend bikes that might not. There is no guarantee that a moron won't die testing electric current in a high power socket so that does not mean no one should have sockets at home.

There is a market for hot hatch, its just that government rules are killing the incentive. EU India trade accord did not go through else it would have been a good time for everyone. Thailand is now starting to become the gateway, lets hope Ducati too succeeds.

I heard Toyota might drive in a GT86. That will be a true test of how the market might respond to Golf. I hope it succeeds. I will plonk my money on the Toyota and burn rubber at every intersection/gap I find

I might not be correct but I am an enthusiasts. Live to Drive.

Last edited by Sn1p3r : 9th March 2012 at 20:04. Reason: spell-check.
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Old 9th March 2012, 20:42   #98
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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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.
In this reality, what are you going to do with a hot hatch? NOTHING.
Amen. ^^This is the biggest thing. In the end, the bhp is any good only if you can use it. Even if manufacturers didnt offer hot hatches, there are many of us who have the desire and the willingness to pay for fancy rubber, stiff suspension, CF hoods and the fancy bits outside, fancy engine mods, but reality bites, and bites hard.

I'm right now deciding between MRF GTX's and michelin XM1+. It's not that i cant pay, but i know the first rut i fall into, the michelins are history. And those konis will make your back regret them the first speed breaker you see. if not you, your passengers will . How long will those skirts last with jeeps and autos who nearly rear end you at every signal, and those rocks placed as 'signs' on the road? Will those fancy air filters stand up to the dust and whatever debris you might encounter on the roads? Will your front mounted intercooler survive a dog hit at even medium speed? Will the hood scoop survive a monsoon? will your high compression engine survive the adulterated fuel you occasionally run into? Realistically how fast can you drive these cars ?

In the end the people who end up having the fastest A to B timing end up the indicabs and the boleros,and the occasional soft roader because they can drive WRC style over bad roads, and not baby your suspension over every bad patch.

If so many enthusiasts here are loath to put their own money where their mouth is, why should the companies bother. Except for a few who enjoy nice roads, its irrelevant...
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Old 9th March 2012, 21:38   #99
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

To truly understand the requirement of a Hot Hatch, we have to read this thread in conjunction with http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...red-swift.html (Tata Vista - Highly Underrated MJD hatchback compared to Swift ?!) <-- This one.

Vista is not considered by the general populace of youngsters as a good enough car to be their daily drive. How does Tata change this? Launch a 130/150hp Vista Sport with all discs, beefed up suspension + chassis and sporty handling. Electric blue / Bright orange / Lime green like eye-catching colors, racing stripes and a spoiler! The Vista just became a whole lot more desirable. 2000 of these running on roads all over India, alongwith aggressive branding and the Taxi image is bound to change!! Rebranding exercise should make it more popular with people who consider the Swift K12 engine to be the holy grail of petrol engines in Indian Hatchbacks. The profits here are not by selling the 'Vista Sports' but by added volumes of the regular Vista in households who wouldn't think beyond the Swift.

The key word is the 'Sport' tag, so that it doesn't interfere with what the Indica brand otherwise stands for.
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Old 9th March 2012, 22:50   #100
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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Realistically how fast can you drive these cars ?

In the end the people who end up having the fastest A to B timing end up the indicabs and the boleros,and the occasional soft roader because they can drive WRC style over bad roads, and not baby your suspension over every bad patch.

Except for a few who enjoy nice roads, its irrelevant...
Very valid point. I want a car to have a good mix of ride and handling but since I rarely do speeds above 110 kph (ABS or no ABS), the handling takes a back seat. Which is why I prefer the Palio over the Swift. Ride quality and ability to take bad patches without breaking into a sweat.

This is what we need in India and this is what sells. No point appreciating great handling because you can't go flat-out on expressways and you rarely get a smooth road on the hills to take the twisties like the Swiss Alps roads.

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I'm right now deciding between MRF GTX's and michelin XM1+.
BTW, you can buy those XM1+. I have put them thorough a lot of torture over almost 32,000 km now without a single puncture where the Yokohama A-drives had two dozen.
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Old 9th March 2012, 23:22   #101
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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Vista is not considered by the general populace of youngsters as a good enough car to be their daily drive. How does Tata change this? Launch a 130/150hp Vista Sport with all discs, beefed up suspension + chassis and sporty handling. Electric blue / Bright orange / Lime green like eye-catching colors, racing stripes and a spoiler! The Vista just became a whole lot more desirable. 2000 of these running on roads all over India, alongwith aggressive branding and the Taxi image is bound to change!! Rebranding exercise should make it more popular with people who consider the Swift K12 engine to be the holy grail of petrol engines in Indian Hatchbacks. The profits here are not by selling the 'Vista Sports' but by added volumes of the regular Vista in households who wouldn't think beyond the Swift.

The key word is the 'Sport' tag, so that it doesn't interfere with what the Indica brand otherwise stands for.
Tata had done both with the earlier gen indica. there was a genuinely faster indica - the turbo (which was eventually killed to make way for the vista as well as emission norms, and we do have the CR4, but thats just there for BSIV cities), and the sport version, a stickered, LPG fuelled abomination. There had been an announcement of an indica vista sport, (and I've been waiting for it with bated breath ), but I know its just another piece of vapourware tata cooked up to show at auto shows.

The truth is , for most people, the stickers and a fancy tach (a la beat) are all that 90% of the market needs, and If you look at the market for this 'sport' version, one cluster (the younger/cash strapped/image conscious segment) will settle for a sticker job, and the other (the premium buyers) are better upsold your more premium products - look at the 90ps vista - It's priced so dangerously close to the manza, that most people wouldnt mind getting a boot for a little less performance due to the added weight.

Last edited by greenhorn : 9th March 2012 at 23:28.
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Old 9th March 2012, 23:46   #102
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

First off the idea of an 'Hot Hatch' is tempting but practically speaking we dont have the roads to cater to these cars. I know we have far more powerful and expensive cars in the market today but most of them are not bought with the same idea/intent as one has when buying an 'Hot Hatch'!

Secondly the manufacturer cant afford to build a few cars because of certain constraints and the major one being that a production line is used to optimise productivity and building a variant which is vastly different from the others will not be feasible.

And lastly, the expenses incurred due to testing parts and durability for a variant such as this will not make it worthwhile for a manufacturer. At the end of it, it is a business!

P:S- I do hope that our roads and road discipline improves which will justify anyone whose anyone to go out and buy pocket rocket!
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Old 9th March 2012, 23:50   #103
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The truth is , for most people, the stickers and a fancy tach (a la beat) are all that 90% of the market needs, and If you look at the market for this 'sport' version, one cluster (the younger/cash strapped/image conscious segment) will settle for a sticker job, and the other (the premium buyers) are better upsold your more premium products - look at the 90ps vista - It's priced so dangerously close to the manza, that most people wouldnt mind getting a boot for a little less performance due to the added weight.
Why not just give them that? Why can't they add racing stripes on a bright Orange car with a KTM inspired speedo console on the 90 hp Vista. With an MJD please not the 1.4 FIRE which doesn't get excise benefits and costs as much as the 90hp Jazz!

You already need to depress the clutch to start a Vista, as soon as you press the clutch with the Engine off, the Display pans "Ready To Race?" All that DriveTech4 promotion (with the stuck smiling man) was supposed to do this precise thing! But the fact remained that they were lying since a Vista is not even close to MSIL MJDs in terms of 0-100 timings. But then they ruined everything with the Sedan Class ads. I mean, they themselves are confused whether they want to portray the Vista as a Fun-to-drive Sporty car, or a comfortable family car?

Vista was always the 'easy to drive' car with the priority being better driveability. The only thing better than the drivability of a Vista is that of an AT Car. Whereas, the Swift was always the 'sporty' car with the priority being 0-100 timings. Time now that Vista finally treaded into enemy territory. It will not be perceived as Sporty if the Driver doesn't feel the car is adequately 'Sportified'! BIG sproilers, bonnet air intake, body kit and a funky paintjob is the way to do it. Alongwith *a little more go* than the standard Vista, or else it will become all show and no go . Or else 90 hp engine will not bringing any more sales from the Swift-biased segment of the society than the 75 hp ones if the 90hp looks exactly like the 75 HP MJD and 65 HP 1.2 Petrol (aka Punto). Tata already has access to the 90 HP MJD for the Manza, using this engine on a Vista Sport will only be beneficial not only to the consumers (by adding another 90 hp hatch) but also to the Vista Brand.
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Old 10th March 2012, 00:00   #104
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. Alongwith *a little more go* than the standard Vista, or else it will become all show and no go .
thats the crux of the matter. for that particular segment, it doesnt matter.
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Old 10th March 2012, 00:25   #105
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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If you are a manager who is responsible for the best utilization of your project resources, will you bet on a hot hatch in the Indian market?

Most would not. Indians have done nothing to show that they buy performance when for the money they can buy a bigger car or more features or a more prestigious label.

Let us take the example of the maruti swift. Lets say the option is to make the Swift sport with a 130hp 1.6 litre engine. THe investment required to manufacture that engine will be substantial, even if it is on an existing assembly line. Will maruti sell enough swift sports to risk the investment?
As a brand manager I would argue that a hot(ed) up version of the regular hatch will serve as a halo car for the brand that a 'lot' of people will look,admire and wish to buy although only 'few' will end up buying it.

Ultimately it will draw people into the dealerships & they are likely to end up buying the regular version or maybe another model from the same brand.

Take the example of the Dodge Viper, it was close to being killed many times, because it never made money as a separate business entity but everytime it was decided that it brought great value to the 'Dodge' brand...something that intangible and not easily measured by number crunching bean counters... verbatim Bob Lutz

Creating the Polo 1.6 diesel would cost VW next to nothing in investment. For the Swift, using the stock 1.6p from the SX4 is a low(er) risk and investment

Guys, lets forget about the Indica and Vista. They have other image problems and are often left out of consideration by anyone wanting performance or badge. I would recommend that TATA fix that before worrying about a hot hatch. Besides, with VW, Suzuki its so easy to do because the parts already exist for international markets.

Last edited by Mpower : 10th March 2012 at 00:42.
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