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Old 10th March 2012, 00:37   #106
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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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.
thats the argument that supports halo cars. But you have to answer to answer how much difference you expect the halo car to make in return for the investment it will cost.

without that essential question getting an very certain answer, talk of halo cars is just a theoretical concept.
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Old 10th March 2012, 01:01   #107
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Well that the kinda stuff that marketing people do. (supposed to anyway)

To me, its a no brainer. It works on my mind all the time and it works on everybody I talk to.

Besides, like I explained the investment required is minimized by using a existing engine from a larger car.
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Old 10th March 2012, 02:03   #108
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

I think one possible fallout from having a high end performance model (unless you adequately differentiate the engine, a la alto k10) is that you might end up displeasing the premium segment of buyers - the ones whom you're milking the most. Those rich (but mostly ignorant) folks who will settle for nothing but the top end with all options, who will notice that their cars are giving below average mileage, and generally start complaining about it, and end up effecting the car's image.

Imagine if word got out from swift 'top end model' owners that they were getting only 11~13kmpl out of their swifts (most people don't differentiate engine wise), it would be catastrophic for swift sales

Plus another real problem would be inventory management. you would need to maintain another entirely different set of parts wherever needed, have the staff trained to order the correct parts, and make sure that the correct parts are used, and not the regular ones (I'm sure fiat GTX owners can contribute their experiences here) and the associated overheads are often not justified for a niche product.

Last edited by greenhorn : 10th March 2012 at 02:08.
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Old 10th March 2012, 07:21   #109
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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Besides, like I explained the investment required is minimized by using a existing engine from a larger car.
If you have certain corporate engineering standards, its not just a matter of dropping in a bigger engine.

The engine as to be engineered into the car so that the car retains a certain standard of assured quality, safety, reliability, and durability. Which requires a cycle of engineering and destructive testing, which costs money. In a country like India where margins are so thin, and the customers so price sensitive, manufacturers can be expected to be extremely conservative.

Additionally, its not just about the engine and about the safety and reliability that has to be engineered and tested with a new engine. You then have to worry about all other kinds of things. You need better brakes, revised suspension, perhaps chassis reinforcement, bigger tyres, etc, all of which also require engineering, testing, and development. Because Indian conditions are unique, the development has to be specific to our market which reduces economic viability.

Halo cars are dicey concept even in the most evolved markets because they often do not pay off.

In a market like INdia, manufacturers interested in halo cars first have to figure out what sort of halo effect do Indians react to, and whether they react to the halo effect at all.

don't get me wrong. I like hot cars. I've owned 4 MX-5s, a racing special lotus, a BMW 330i sport, a Ford SHO, and I want nothing more than a really good drivers car. We have nothing at a decent price, and even amongst premium cars, we have only fleets of automatics, which while fine in and of themselves, are in fact nowhere near as fizzy or reactive or man-and-machine-as-one as their manual versions are which are not offered here.

I am just saying that we have to be realistic. Car companies don't do things because 2000 really enthusiastic people think its a great idea out of whom 200 will buy, 500 will say "I will buy if they do x" and 1300 will say "I wish I could afford it" or "I want to but I need a seven seater for my family".
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Old 10th March 2012, 19:02   #110
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

There is one segment of the population that looks at a car like a domestic appliance. Leaving this out, it should work on the rest. In my mind it can have a double effect, work as a halo car as well as be profitable on its own...if done right.

If you look at the motorcycle segment, we were having a similar conversation 5 years ago with similar apprehensions. Now that 'sporty' segment thriving with models like R15, CBR 125/250, KTM220 and Pulsar220

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If you have certain corporate engineering standards, its not just a matter of dropping in a bigger engine.

The engine as to be engineered into the car so that the car retains a certain standard of assured quality, safety, reliability, and durability. Which requires a cycle of engineering and destructive testing, which costs money. In a country like India where margins are so thin, and the customers so price sensitive, manufacturers can be expected to be extremely conservative.

Additionally, its not just about the engine and about the safety and reliability that has to be engineered and tested with a new engine. You then have to worry about all other kinds of things. You need better brakes, revised suspension, perhaps chassis reinforcement, bigger tyres, etc, all of which also require engineering, testing, and development. Because Indian conditions are unique, the development has to be specific to our market which reduces economic viability.
What you describe is true probably for something like the Tata Vista.

The rest of the cars are already sold in Europe etc with much larger engines and things like safety, reliability, braking, suspension yada yada have already been taken care of. In any case global companies engineer their platforms to accept a variety of engine from the get go.

Im not sure if you're aware but a Vento is nothing but a Polo with a boot and already sells with the 1.6D. The Swift already sells in Europe with the SX4's engine.

It would be relatively tough for Fiat and Ford to pull this off because their 1.6 diesels is not sold here.

Last edited by Mpower : 12th March 2012 at 17:15.
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Old 12th March 2012, 17:13   #111
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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Thanks for the thread, very relevant indeed, especially when cars like the 1.3 Swift D, or the likes of VW Polo 1.6 are considered as hot hatches..
Because this is a country where even a Discover 150cc is in the league of Sports Bike

Last edited by GTO : 13th March 2012 at 15:30. Reason: As requested
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Old 12th March 2012, 20:55   #112
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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 Mpower View Post
There is one segment of the population that looks at a car like a domestic appliance. Leaving this out, it should work on the rest. In my mind it can have a double effect, work as a halo car as well as be profitable on its own...if done right.

If you look at the motorcycle segment, we were having a similar conversation 5 years ago with similar apprehensions. Now that 'sporty' segment thriving with models like R15, CBR 125/250, KTM220 and Pulsar220
That 'rest' of the segment is a minuscule number, if consider the actual purchasing capacity. Most enthusiasts simply aren't moneyed enough to buy the haloed versions after daily needs and comforts are met. The taxes applied on anything automotive and remotely considered more than basic ( M800 , Alto , or Splendor , Victor ) and the taxes are raised.

With bikes it is different - even a newly employed person joining the urban workforce can put DP and pay the rest on EMI for a 1 lac bike. For cars, the entry point for new vehicles is twice that with the Nano, and significantly more once the vehicle size and feature list expand. Not a fair comparison IMO, but as upper segment bikes have become more affordable with rising income, maybe in 10 years cars will be benchmarked differently too. No telling on petroleum prices and its effect on the above prediction though !

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Because this is country where even tells a Discover 150cc is in the league of Sports Bike
Lol. I fell off my hypothetical chair the first time I heard someone say a 150cc bike ( Pulsar , was around 13.5hp at the time) is too powerful ! I didn't want to be blamed for their deaths following a cardiac arrest, so I didn't mention the 150bhp+ superbikes !

Last edited by Ricci : 12th March 2012 at 20:58.
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Old 13th March 2012, 09:47   #113
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

Well, marketing or finance angles seldom get a match in this type of an arguement. Marketing will want to try 'brand value' and finance simply wants to see bottom-lines.

In my opinion, its simply a question of marginal costs to create a new product. So many options do exist in the market. As GTO pointed out, even a Alto 1.0 can scare the pants off you!

My recipe for fun:

1. Optra SRV with the 2.0 diesel from the Optra - great power, good handling, decent space, excellent fuel efficiency!
2. Polo 1.6 diesel - will be cheap enough for at least some people to consider
3. i20 with the Verna 1.6 crdi - will be screaming power!
4. Swift with the larger vgt turbo DDiS

All the above will be possible for 7-9 lacs which is just fine for a limited production run. Let's remember Zen sold 300 Carbons and Steels each as a limited run and they did sell irrespective of the practicality of 2 door hatches in India.

Happy to wait till then!
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Old 13th March 2012, 16:43   #114
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

A 150bhp Hot hatch would be overkill for a lot of our roads and drivers. In effect it would be too hot to handle.
A lot of our Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities hand out driving licences to kids who can barely reach out to the pedals and cannot even sit a driving test. And yuppie kids with hot hatches is the perfect recipe for disaster given our less than perfect infrastructure.

IMO our manufacturers should be incremental in 'heating' up their cars so that by the time our infrastructure and sensibilities reach the desired mark we will have the products as well, ready to be lapped up.

So I say:
Get in a Polo 1.2 TSi/ 1.4TSi, a supercharged Swift VVTi, an SRV with the 2.0 TCDi
and get the ball rolling.

How much faster can you go anyway; legally atleast
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Old 14th March 2012, 21:33   #115
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

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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.).
Hey Getzlover, Brake modifications or AMPing up the braking power is implicit. There is NO fun in going fast if you know you are going to bang the tree or the truck at the next corner because of inadequate brakes.

It's a fine balance of having fun without losing your life

The intent is not to create a monster that you cannot handle at insane speeds but a livewire which can reach your desired / comfortable speed at an insane pace, Imagine the joy and pulsation of, In gear accelaration of a turbo-charged high revving petrol engine that is mated to a close ration gear-box .

Last edited by raajks : 14th March 2012 at 21:36.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 21:57   #116
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

With the arrival of the Ertiga, a new engine has also appeared in Maruti's portfolio.

The 1.4 liter K series!!

95PS of maximum power at 6000rpm and 130Nm of maximum torque at 4000rpm.

Maybe this is what they can put into a Swift to create a hot hatch!!
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Old 3rd April 2012, 01:27   #117
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

See for me the answer after seeing the cars like Ford Fusion, Honda Jazz and Hyundai Getz fail, is just one fact.
Its not if manufacturers who lack courage. Its actually the customer who lack courage to buy an actual Hatch for the price it deserves. They feel that they are cheated if they have to shell out INR 7 lakhs for Fusion or INR 9 lakh for Jazz. Mind you these are hatches which have been hit world wide.
Remaining hatches which have been actual hit in India are actually small hatches.

No wonder, cars like Fiesta hatch and Bravo will never see the light in India
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Old 3rd April 2012, 10:38   #118
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

There is also the problem of not having a strong ecosystem, I mean you dont have vendors with deep pockets (Assume you need 5, 7years or even more to breakeven) who can help the manufacturer take risks in venturing into the performance market. Skilled service centers/workforce who would know how to repair/diagnose. Everyones mentioned about poor infrastructure, also the crazy ways of our elected politicians, I mean look at the aviation market, telecom market etc.. Some nervous politico can just change the definition of a hatchback from 4 to 3.8 mtrs and your doomed. Remember just before the union budget there was a scare that diesel would be taxed 80,000 bucks more than petrol and the industry body has to spend time, money and effort to convince the gov otherwise. If there is a constant threat of ever changing rules in the country which manufacturer, Foreign or Indian will dare to become the scapegoat for a small tiny little pie of the performance market?
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Old 3rd April 2012, 16:49   #119
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

the fabia 1.6 is being offered with a 1 lac rupee discount. does that sound to you like the market is looking to buy little cars with more powerful engines?
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Old 9th July 2012, 20:49   #120
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Default Re: Do car makers in India lack courage? Where are the *true* Hot Hatches?

The fabia and Polo 1.6 aren't really "hot". They are adequate. 1.2 engines are a bit underpowered. Its a pity we haven't seen a single hot hatch in india. A Fabia Diesel vRS with at least a 150 bhp should be do-able
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