Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th December 2013, 11:10   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chennai
Posts: 151
Thanked: 73 Times
Default Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Take any A segment / B segment hatch/sedan, there is always this base variant that comes with exteriors showcasing black unpainted door handles and ORVMs, cost cutting agreed!

For that matter, to see a similar C segment base variant, especially a global car wearing the same black plastic door handles and unpainted ORVMs makes it a total eye-sore! EcoSport Ambiente, Vento Trendline, City Corporate Edition (Outgoing only) are examples.

I mean, it is understood that manufacturers create a base variant to undercut that x.99 lakh rupee price point and make it a marketing tactic, later on upgrade those potential customers into the mid variants considering thin margins. But come on manufacturers, we are happy we have global models populating the Indian auto shores, but it is pathetic to see them on our Indian roads with such loathsome looks especially when we've seen them as global models.

Comments/views welcome! Mods - append it into the appropriate thread if need be.
vvijay is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 12:09   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 9,369
Thanked: 13,343 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vvijay View Post
Take any A segment / B segment hatch/sedan, there is always this base variant that comes with exteriors showcasing black unpainted door handles and ORVMs, cost cutting agreed!

For that matter, to see a similar C segment base variant, especially a global car wearing the same black plastic door handles and unpainted ORVMs makes it a total eye-sore! EcoSport Ambiente, Vento Trendline, City Corporate Edition (Outgoing only) are examples.

I mean, it is understood that manufacturers create a base variant to undercut that x.99 lakh rupee price point and make it a marketing tactic, later on upgrade those potential customers into the mid variants considering thin margins. But come on manufacturers, we are happy we have global models populating the Indian auto shores, but it is pathetic to see them on our Indian roads with such loathsome looks especially when we've seen them as global models.

Comments/views welcome! Mods - append it into the appropriate thread if need be.
I can understand the point you have made here but manufacturers create those base variants keeping the people and their budgets in mind.

Not all can buy a mid or top end variant of any given car, it is difficult for an individual who makes his daily bread by slogging out and decides to buy a car after years, such ones need the base variant to satisfy themselves initially. Once they start earning further they climb the ladder of variants and classes.

To keep the costs down manufacturers have to resort to such practices else all cars will be having their prices northwards.

Anurag.
a4anurag is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 12:19   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,191
Thanked: 4,247 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
I can understand the point you have made here but manufacturers create those base variants keeping the people and their budgets in mind.

Not all can buy a mid or top end variant of any given car, it is difficult for an individual who makes his daily bread by slogging out and decides to buy a car after years, such ones need the base variant to satisfy themselves initially. Once they start earning further they climb the ladder of variants and classes.

To keep the costs down manufacturers have to resort to such practices else all cars will be having their prices northwards.

Anurag.
+1 to Anurag. There is a vast majority of people who have to plan for years for even buying a base version of the entry level car in India.
Also agree with OP that many are eyesores. I remember the new Alto 800 with black bumpers being the latest! However, when seen from the financial point of view, it must be making some reasonable sense (& cost cutting) to the manufacturers and buyers, hence it will be unfair to blame any of the two.

BTW, my car also has black bumpers (Old Jelly bean) and body coloured bumpers were not in vogue back that time. Every time I visit the body shop, the ASC is eager to do a bumper painting job at Rs. 5.5K! I refrain myself as with the bumpers kissing the traffic umpteen times on road, that is not going to look very nice for too long!

Regards,
Saket
saket77 is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 12:24   #4
BHPian
 
aswin ajith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Cochin
Posts: 94
Thanked: 69 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Very true. Totally agree. While C segment base models are much better, the base models of B2 segment hatches are the ugly ones leave alone the A segments small hatches. I mean I am not even talking about power windows or central locking. How much does it cost the company to atleast get those rims painted black and add a set of wheel covers ? Another case is the omissions of a tachopod but thats understandable. But those barebones rims without wheel covers is absolutely an eyesore on the swift, ritz and the dzire since these are the premium offerings from the B2 and C1 segments. The Germans are much much better in this regard. Case in point the VW Polo Trendline. IMO the best base model this side of 10lakhs should be the Fluidic Verna. Total VFM.
aswin ajith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 12:54   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,974
Thanked: 11,922 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

You are all underestimating the power of MBA degrees. It's a marketing technique.

Make the base variant ugly. Make the top variant expensive. And then crank out high margin mid variants in the thousands.
smartcat is online now   (22) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 12:58   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
volkman10's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: --
Posts: 10,058
Thanked: 15,583 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Isn't this the way the auto industry works internationally too?

Cheers!
volkman10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:11   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,736
Thanked: 2,850 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

The no. of people going in for a car of a higher segment (say the Honda City CE) just because a bare-bone base variant is available will be much higher than those put off by how ugly it may look.

So, it's a win-win for the manufacturer and consumer.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:12   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,103
Thanked: 1,497 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

I think the base versions - especially for some vehicles (like Liva and Etios) where the base version doesn't even have the power steering - are only present so that company can claim 'Starting from xx Lakhs' at some ridiculously low amount. I don't know whether even now it is the case, but it was the case when the twins were launched, and just to claim the low starting value, the base versions were crippled beyond belief.

Other companies' base versions, of say Chevrolet, are pretty good in terms of basic creature comforts like power steering and AC, and you can always put up additional features from the outside market. In fact, out of top version of lower segment vs base version of higher segment, I generally recommend the second, as you can always add up features (except safety ones like ABS/airbags etc), but you can't increase the engine size or the cabin size in future.
ani_meher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:15   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chennai
Posts: 151
Thanked: 73 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post

+1 to Anurag. There is a vast majority of people who have to plan for years for even buying a base version of the entry level car in India.
Also agree with OP that many are eyesores. I remember the new Alto 800 with black bumpers being the latest!
My point is not on any A or B segment cars guys. In fact, I agree that point equally with you on them.

My take is, seeing such an aesthetic glaring cost cutting on a luxury car as Vento or EcoSport is not appreciated. Heck its C segment, and whomsoever pays close to a million bucks on such a car certainly deserves better looks. And for what such a car stands for. Hyundai never did it with Verna. Likewise some other manufacturers too. That's respectable I say!

Last edited by vvijay : 28th December 2013 at 13:21.
vvijay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:19   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
narayan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2,772
Thanked: 1,166 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Contrary to what you guys are saying, I personally find many of the base variant exteriors quite appealing - e.g. Ecosport, Vento , Duster etc where the black orvm, door handles look quite good. If you go up segments, the base model Scorpio/Safari with black bumpers look very macho as well.
narayan is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:29   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,191
Thanked: 4,247 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vvijay View Post
Hyundai never did it with Verna. Likewise some other manufacturers too. That's respectable I say!
Haha...as soon as I hit quote button, your edited post came up excluding the i20! So that' s pointless to say that i20 is priced higher than the competition including the Polo, swift, FIgo etc!

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
Contrary to what you guys are saying, I personally find many of the base variant exteriors quite appealing - e.g. Ecosport, Vento , Duster etc where the black orvm, door handles look quite good. If you go up segments, the base model Scorpio/Safari with black bumpers look very macho as well.
A great story teller, a certain Mr. Sam Kapasi once said that a car with body colored bumpers, door handles, OVRMs & everything else looks like a car dipped in a bucket of paint!

And yes, its subjective too. I like body coloured bumpers but can easily avoid door handles painted in glossy colours.
saket77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:38   #12
BHPian
 
aswin ajith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Cochin
Posts: 94
Thanked: 69 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Seems like this is indeed a highly subjective topic. But I'll still say that Maruti definitely needs to learn a thing or two from the Europeans when it comes to specifying base variants for their cars.
aswin ajith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:39   #13
BHPian
 
arjab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MAA/CCU
Posts: 647
Thanked: 1,199 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

All vehicle programmes are given a cost target. The Chief Engineer or Chief Vehicle Engineer is given a ruthless cost target to meet for what is known as SOP (Start Of Production) target. To meet the SOP target, much tears, hand-wringing, supplier-squeezing-till-the-poor-bloke-almost-dies are done.
This cost target is usually ex-factory gate, hence excise and all other retail levies are not added. Thus the presence of a "skeleton" model in the line-up.
Once that is achieved the variant is handed over to marketing & sales who continues to spice up the range with various embellishments and churns out higher variants.

Most base variants do not bring in a profit sale-wise. It may just meet the manufacturing cost viability but not necessary sales (once you account for all taxes, customer discounts etc). Thus the marked lack of enthusiasm on part of dealerships in not pushing base versions.

In fact the only car which made decent profits even in base version was the good old Maruti 800 in its heydays!

Last edited by arjab : 28th December 2013 at 13:40.
arjab is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 13:40   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
W.A.G.7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,095
Thanked: 717 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

Nice thoughts there in the thread. For many people (including me) when I could afford my own car, the base variant was the one in target. Anything else and it would have thrown my planning in disarray. Most of the times I feel the base variant satisfies 90% of what you want to have. (Which ticks the right boxes for most people). Anything else could classify as nice to have. Personally speaking, at present I feel that the base variant gives you much more option to customize your car the way you like it!!

I feel the moral of the story is - The outlook towards the base variant is ultimately decided by the $$$ power in your pocket. If I could afford the top end or mid variant, I would go for it, else the base variant would be my best option and would be the best too !!!

Last edited by W.A.G.7 : 28th December 2013 at 13:41.
W.A.G.7 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28th December 2013, 16:03   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 681
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default Re: Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!

I personally prefer base or mid variants, as they offer the best value and that is why manufacturers also try not to produce or sell base variants as they have the lowest margins on the same.

Coming to the thread topic of looks, you can decide with images of my base variant. Black side-view mirrors & door handles offer a good contrast while viewing, especially with lighter colours. They are practical also for congested city driving as the outside rear-view mirror bears the brunt of unintentional contact with other traffic. Marks on a coloured mirror cover look uglier. Bumpers nowadays are colour coded only in all cars barring maybe alto & a couple more, so not much of an issue.

Interiors are also subjective, but I would any day prefer an all black interior, as compared to an all beige one (impractical as gets dirty easily) - dual tone is fine but with a preponderence of black.
Attached Thumbnails
Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!-fp1.jpg  

Bare basic variants and their ugly looks!-fp2.jpg  

jessie007 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SCOOP: Bare-bones people-carrier found testing in Pune! arvi86 Commercial Vehicles 7 9th June 2012 20:37
Aston Martin Opens their showroom in New Delhi, their 2nd Dealership in India Ace F355 Super-Cars & Imports in India 1 19th May 2012 20:59
Toyota Fortuner. Name's Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridus. And I am Good, Bad & Ugly columbus Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 96 20th April 2012 08:30
Website of car companies in India. Good, bad and the ugly sriramv.iyer The Indian Car Scene 54 22nd March 2012 14:55


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:56.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks