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Old 23rd May 2014, 23:25   #1
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Default Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

Hello all fellow BHPians'.

I am writing this post to ask the question that has been bothering me since the time i took delivery of my Honda Brio VX MT in October 2013.

Why isnt the car selling in large numbers like Suzuki Swift or to some extent the Grand i10?

Before buying the car, I took TD of the Toyota Etios Liva G, Swift ZXi, i10 Grand Sport and the i10.

I loved the Brio over the rest for the following reasons:

1)Driving pleasure /driving dynamics which includes the engine, handling, brakes, gear shifts and the steering response.

2)Interior quality.

3)Rear passenger space (on par or better than all others).

4)Looks (I agree this can be subjective to the buyer).

5) Honda reliability.

6)Good FE during the 30km test drive.

7)Driver seat height adjust and tilt steering.

8)Most important of all the power to weight ratio.

Before starting with the test drives, I went through various forums including this one for reviews on the all the cars. After reading these I found that the Brio doesn't have a rear defogger,has a weak AC and the overall value isnt that great.Still i went ahead and took a TD and found out that all the reviews were outdated!

Since its launch Honda has revised the equipment list and apart from a rear windshield wiper and bluetooth connectivity in Grand i10 (the rear ac vents were useless IMO), it has all the goodies others offer plus it's fun to drive. Moreover its 1.2L i-vtec engine is not thirsty for petrol in the manual box models. FE is better (some may say marginally better) than the Swift and Grand i10. Source of this info on FE? A close friend has a Swift VXi and my cousin a Grand i10 sport.

For a fun to drive car within the 6 - 6.5L on-road price with ABS, EBD and dual air bags, this is the best bet I believe.

Another thing I noticed is that there is lack of awareness about the Brio in the market. No ad campaign! Unlike the Grand i10 and the Swift which run TVC's and print advertisements.

Why is that? Honda not too keen on selling its hatch?

Lastly, various threads where the question posted is 'which hatch to go for?', the Brio is rarely mentioned. Recommendations are usually Hyundai i10 Grand (for city driving and equipment levels) , Suzuki Swift, even Nissan Micra or VW polo with the clause "if you can stretch your budget and deal with poor ASS".

So to my question again, why isn't the Brio selling more than its competition?

What I fail to understand is why isn't it selling more than its competitors and why isn't there more awareness for this car?

Its a good car!

Last edited by GTO : 25th May 2014 at 15:35. Reason: mod pointed out it had poor formatting.
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Old 25th May 2014, 15:58   #2
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

One might think that it's to do with production constraints. But even before the Amaze came around, the Brio was hovering between an average of 2,000 - 2,500 cars only (touching a high of 3,900 on rare occasion). That was a poor show when you consider that Honda used to sell over 4,000 units of the old City before.

The market has given the Brio a miss and Honda also seems to be prioritising on the more profitable new City & Amaze. As you rightly noted, there is absolutely no sales or marketing push for the li'l car since a while.

The Brio might be fun to drive, but for the mass market, the more complete Grand i10 is clearly the superior buy.
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:08   #3
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

Several people have asked me what car to buy in that price category. I recommend the Brio usually, but most people simply deny it.

Reason: They say the car looks rather quirky and unusual. They also say that the car is so small, it it not comfortable etc.

So, in India, perception plays a big role, perhaps a bigger role than reality. This is the reason cars like Ritz and Nano that looked a little odd and unusual didn't set the charts on fire. The Swift and Ritz are similar cars, but the Swift sells way more. Car makers can't take risks in a market like India. Personally I like the Brio's looks, and perhaps all those people who denied it in the first place liked it too, but it's just that because it doesn't look like every other car in the market, it keeps people away.

Last edited by prakhar1998 : 25th May 2014 at 16:16.
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:12   #4
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bread View Post
Why isnt the car selling in large numbers like Suzuki Swift or to some extent the Grand i10?

For a fun to drive car within the 6 - 6.5L on-road price with ABS, EBD and dual air bags, this is the best bet I believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
As you rightly noted, there is absolutely no sales or marketing push for the li'l car since a while.

The Brio might be fun to drive, but for the mass market, the more complete Grand i10 is clearly the superior buy.
Could it be attributed to the quirky looks though it is subjective and I don't see any word-of-mouth for this car from the from group of owners who currently own it. AFAIK, when this car was launched the i10 and Swift were at their peak and the market was not bothered what other cars are available in that price bracket and when the Brio was launched certain features that you mentioned were not available so that was also a negative for it though Honda gave it later on but by that time the market for this car was dead.

I may be wrong but could it be due to the dimensions (height specially) this car is no getting good number?

Anurag.
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:18   #5
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

I strongly feel its sales is a little dented due to the glass hatch and the below par boot space (~180 litres) for the segment. The Chevy Beat offers similar space albeit at a lower price.

The Grand i10 and Swift clearly feel a segment above for the space and quality and equipment offered.
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:24   #6
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

Agree with Srinath and adding to that
1. Extremely narrow and impractical rear parcel tray
2. Sub par dashboard/interior plastic finish ( fit and quality might be good but finish is poor compared to Swift and Gi10 )
3. No diesel engine
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:37   #7
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

I did a TD of the Brio a few months ago. I really loved its peppy response, thanks to the Honda engine. In spite of many posts bashing its interiors (one has to see the Brio based MPV / Mobilio thread to see this!), my family never found much wrong with the interiors.

Quite a few don't like the quirky looks. A little makeover on the looks, like making the front lip a bit wider, might do the trick if Honda relaunches a facelifted version.

Enjoy your car to the hilt, it's a good buy
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:41   #8
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

I personally love the Brio, especially for its rev-happt v-tec and those cute looks I believe it doesn't sell well here in India since perception plays a huge role in the market's eyes; the car's dashboard design looks extremely sad, it does not feel very spacious and the integrated headrests and other minor factors, lend it a cheap feel to the average buyer. Also, the lack of a diesel is a major let-down for any car in India add to which, the petrol, while a hoot to drive for us enthusiasts, is seen as a pain by the average Indian because it needs to be revved high to gain any speed.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 25th May 2014 at 16:42.
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Old 25th May 2014, 16:45   #9
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

Glass hatch, not so fancy dashboard,Honda service comes at a preimium could be the few reasons.Even i considered but didn't like the interior.
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Old 25th May 2014, 17:13   #10
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

The negative publicity by competitors killed it in infancy.
Top most being the complete glass back above the bumper. India is a sensitive market and once the major population makes a notion in their mind, its quite hard to change it.

I love the Brio for its peppy engine and small size. Another way of seeing it, abysmal interest/demand in the market means cheaper second hand Brio deals for the petrol heads and automobile enthusiasts.
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Old 25th May 2014, 18:10   #11
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

As simple as that
-glass hatch seen as a safety hazard by aam junta (its rigid but still the design creates an issue)
-small boot space(its deep but again, public perception)
-poor low end torque compared to cars like the datsun go from a segment below and swift from a similar/above segment
-lack of promotion, though discounts were always offered in the past few months.
-suspension at rear bottoming out on 3 abreast. Have seen many cars in Delhi.
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Old 25th May 2014, 22:14   #12
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

In my opinion, Brio is the most FTD car in its segment. It is also the best car for highway driving in its segment due to its engine and wider track. I have influenced purchases of 3 Brio's among my family members and friends. Some friends/colleagues opted for other cars over Brio primarily for rear glass hatch and less boot space.
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Old 25th May 2014, 22:33   #13
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

The A-Star also witnessed a similar type of market response. The A-Star was quirky and was not a conventional design. The high dashboard, coupled with poor (no) low end torque made city driving quite a handful though some people swear by the fun to drive nature of the A-Star in the <5 lakh rupee hatch back space. I think the brio will meet the same fate.
In the hatch space people consider maintaining a Honda as expensive even today. (Though it may not be actually). Further the glass hatch is considered as unsafe by many. Another reason might be the poor resale value compared to a Maruti or Hyundai. Absence of a diesel is also contributing to the poor sales. Only the ultra basic hatches like Eon, Alto, Go, WagonR do well in petrol only version. Bigger hatches and gasoline don't go together. Also first time car buyers like to buy the same car as their neighbour. Also in the <10 lakh space most cars are serviced at an FNG as soon as their warranty is over. The non-availability of Honda spares in the after market also deters the price sensitive market.
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Old 26th May 2014, 07:25   #14
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

After factoring in a drive from the heart of Hyderabad to Vikarabad and opinions from friends(who were also passengers during this trip), here's my thoughts.

Most noticeably, the rear suspension doesn't seem to be designed for 3 people in the rear seat. We kept scraping each and every speed bump on the way. The car being quite compact, it feels very cramped with 3 in the rear.

The circular a/c vents did not appeal to most of us. In order for the a/c to reach the rear, the driver and front passenger have to face a full blast. However, the a/c cools quite efficiently and this is not a problem in the long run.

The boot is sufficiently spacious, but can be difficult to access if you are not used to it. One of my friends described it as, 'trying to load luggage in a well'

Overall, I believe it comes down to buyer perception. The car's styling makes it look "cute", which does not appeal to the average buyer. Also, at a similar price bracket, competitor Swift is considerably more spacious with maintenance and spare parts at half the cost.

For it's price range, the engine and driving experience is an absolute dream, but for the buyer who's looking at the full package, considering after sales service and maintenance costs, this car misses out.

Regards,
ArvindYoga
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Old 26th May 2014, 09:20   #15
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Default Re: Why is Honda Brio not selling in big numbers?

For someone who is a first time buyer, the Brio is not appealing because its not from Maruti or Hyundai. I feel itt will take Honda a couple of more years before this segment of customer starts appreciating its quality and joy of driving.

The reverse is also true! Case in point is premium Sedan from Maruti (Baleno, SX4) or Luxury sedan from Hyundai. Try as they may, it just wouldn't sell!
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