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Old 23rd September 2014, 08:45   #16
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Default re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

Maybe VAG wants to swap Skoda with Seat in our country. It will greatly reduce the overlap between the models.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 14:39   #17
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

VW is spreading itself too thin. Today, neither are VW sales strong, nor that of Skoda. The latter is fighting a damaged brand image too.

Building a new brand from scratch requires tremendous investment & effort. If the brand establishes itself, fruits are borne only a couple of years later.

VW - like Toyota, Honda etc. - was known in India even before it launched its first car here. While its reputation has taken a beating because of inconsistent reliability & rogue dealers, the VW brand arguably has some lure / premium'ness around it.

It'll be better for VW & Skoda to use these limited resources repairing their own position in India rather than......again, spreading themselves out too thin. Look at Renault, Nissan & Datsun. Three brands, all failures. Of 10+ products, only 1 (Duster / Terrano) sells.

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Originally Posted by Carpainter View Post
Most of the customer dissatisfaction is because of their dealers upper handed behavior
This high-handed behaviour basically trickled down from VW to its dealers. Humility is an unknown quality in VW offices. The dealerships picked up this attitude from VW managers.

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Maybe VAG wants to swap Skoda with Seat in our country. It will greatly reduce the overlap between the models.
Fat chance of that happening. A known devil is better than an unknown angel.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 15:31   #18
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

The 3-5 lac rupee segment is ruled mostly by conservative buyers who look into the following factors before buying a car-
1. Practicality
2. Cost of maintenance
3. "Kitna Deti hai"
But- above all the conservative buyer goes by the perception

Seat may do well to offer 1, 2 and 3, but can it really affect the perception? I wouldn't think so.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 15:44   #19
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

I don't know about trying to bring in a budget brand in India. For a budget brand to succeed, it needs to have a rock solid value for money proposition. Lower ownership costs, low maintenance, availability of spares, ability to repair at a local garage are some things that a budget buyer would look for. VW seems to earn money by selling you the car first and then by making you pay for spares and service. Don't think that would work with a budget brand. Look at what Nissan did. Bring in Datsun just to sell a rebadged micra does not seem to have done them any miracles.

I guess if someone wants to bring in a new brand in India, it should be Honda. An Accura offering of the Honda City will definitely find takers. These days, everything Honda touches is turning into gold.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 17:30   #20
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

Would be a bad idea in my limited knowledge of marketing... Too much investment for too little gain. As GTO said, would be better to invest this money and rectify the existing brands rather than getting newer brands. End of the day, SEAT would probably cannibalize sales of Skoda and VW more than a Maruti or Honda or Hyundai.

Even if they do, one thought has always been in my mind and I don't know how achievable is this and so opinions are open --- can't service centers at least be common across the brands considering they are essentially selling the same car? Wouldn't that help them control costs?
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Old 23rd September 2014, 18:21   #21
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

Why bring Seat into the melee when the existing brands are laggards?

Why don't they wake up and smell the coffee? The products are all good, it's the service that horrific. Please hire some hotshot company and get some meaningful surveys done, you'll get to know the problem, VW. We have lost confidence in your brand(s). Give us a generous 10 years warranty on your DSG (like Ford) and 4/5 years unlimited mileage warranty on the car itself and honor them warranties with least fuss. Show us first that your are confident of your products only then can you expect customers to follow suit.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 21:04   #22
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

These are interesting times, VAG launching the new polo,Audi A3, making YETI even more niche, new vento/rapid in the offing and now mulling SEAT in India.

Wonder if they show at least half this enthusiasm to correct the brand image in the ASS aspect of their cars, they have brilliant cars no doubt, but do they give the owner peace of mind compared to other brands, the answer is a no brainer !

SEAT no doubt has very interesting cars but does VAG have the proper support system in place to keep launching more and more cars ?, i do not think so, they will first have to set their house in order before inviting more people to stay in.

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Originally Posted by Car-go-man View Post
But- above all the conservative buyer goes by the perception

Seat may do well ........, but can it really affect the perception? I wouldn't think so.
Spot on. I was interestingly telling a few people i know about the SEAT brand coming in and they immediately asked me, "isnt that a company that make tyres, now they make cars also is it?" i must forgive their ignorance, but this perception is bound to happen in India where more people know CEAT than SEAT.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 22:55   #23
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

The Volkswagen brand(s) gives me creeps when I think of ownership experiences I have read in this forum.

I constantly advise folks to not go for Skoda or Volkswagen having heard their horor stories.

Volkswagen needs to first start giving 'value for money' service and then hope that this changes perception and then launch a Sub 5 Lakh rupee car.

If this was news from the Toyota stable or the Honda Stable, we would have been hopeful, even rejoicing. This is the perception VAG needs to achieve to be able to launch a 'succesful' A segment car.
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Old 23rd September 2014, 23:13   #24
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

No offense meant to any Seat fans but if I my aunt had to ask this question "Which car did you buy beta?", it would be a difficult thing for me to tell "I brought a seat(read in the conventional way)" and explain what Seat is actually.

Sorry, but such things wont work in India at least for the next five years easily. Just like how people think Volvo is very synonymous with buses, the name of the brand itself will be a difficult thing to tackle
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Old 24th September 2014, 07:51   #25
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Sorry, but such things wont work in India at least for the next five years easily. Just like how people think Volvo is very synonymous with buses, the name of the brand itself will be a difficult thing to tackle
Completely agree about the Volvo bit. One of my auto-illiterate relative overheard me telling another cousin about the Volvo S60. He asked me why were talking about buses and who was buying a bus. That was hilarious

Jokes apart just recently saw a review of a SEAT hatch launched in Britain a while ago. It looked like a distant cousing of the Fabia (the name escapes me). But the Fifth gear actually rated it much more over the competing Ford Hatch and I guess the Renault.

I am amazed to see that rather than fix the problem and promote the brand VW and Skoda they are planning to bring in another brand. Strange that...
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Old 24th September 2014, 13:53   #26
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

I doubt the Indian car market is open to accept another brand - that too in the economy price segment.

Although Seat might be a 'known' brand in the auto-forums and enthusiast circles, it will just not add up to give sufficient numbers to VW. Also, let's not underestimate the humongous investment of time and money that goes into introducing and establishing a completely unknown brand. The comparison with Datsun has been made numerous times in this article and rightly so, as Renault-Nissan tasted bitter failure with the Go, despite it being Japanese and a pre-existing brand that some Indians were familiar with.

Seat has some really good looking cars. They have shown their prowess in doing good in its home market of Spain as well as other European countries. That speaks volumes about the brand and its ability to deliver the right product to its target consumer. But, and this is a very big but, as we all know, even the parent VW hasn't been able to catch the pulse about the preferences of the Indian consumer, and hence should not jump-in with yet another brand from its stable.

What they should do is - engage with your customers, understand their requirements, lower your spare part rates along-with the high-handed attitude, and the sales will follow.
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Old 24th September 2014, 17:48   #27
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Car-go-man View Post
The 3-5 lac rupee segment is ruled mostly by conservative buyers who look into the following factors before buying a car-
1. Practicality
2. Cost of maintenance
3. "Kitna Deti hai"
But- above all the conservative buyer goes by the perception

Seat may do well to offer 1, 2 and 3, but can it really affect the perception? I wouldn't think so.
I disagree. If your assumption is that Seat will offer 1,3 and importantly, 2 - than many Alto-buyers may well consider Seat - since it comes from a respected international stable. Some may also buy it for the 'uniqueness', others for the 'glamour'. If the interior quality is better than the Alto, some discerning buyers may even choose it for quality. Speaking for myself, all else equal I might be inclined to try Seat over an Alto / WagonR.

The problem I forsee (as many others have commented) is that VW's dealer / service centre network is both very sparse as well as not very friendly. They are having enough trouble handling servicing of low -to-mid end products like the Polo -- I do not know how they will be able to cope with high volumes of a similar low-priced hatchback where customers are extremely cost conscious, particularly servicing / maintenance. I'm also conjecturing that unlike the Alto, the technology knowhow of which has permeated to most small unbranded engineers, these new cars will be unfamiliar and a roadside mechanic may not be able to help much -- in these cases the Maruti heritage really helps, particularly for budget cars.

If they do launch a car such as this, I believe there will be a flood of bookings followed by a long waiting period ... and then a period of bitterness a year later as the first batch of carowners experience the annoyances of inadequate service networks (while their compatriots who bought Marutis have an easier time if not a particularly distinctive ride).

Last edited by Kumar R : 24th September 2014 at 17:50.
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Old 25th September 2014, 11:51   #28
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

I would say bringing in the Seat brand would be a gamble for VAG.
And it wouldnt be just about getting the price right, case in point the Datsun GO. VW will have to seriously design a car with the right features, quality as today's 3-5 Lac cars and also they have the humongous task of building up the brand image for Seat. Otherwise it would be a failure like the Datsun strategy.

I do not understand why they can not sell the UP badged as a VW elsewhere and not here in India. Does brand dilution not exist in those markets?
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Old 26th September 2014, 00:52   #29
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Default Re: Another VW brand - Seat - may roll in to target the budget segment

The folks at Maruti and Hyundai must be sleeping more peacefully after seeing this news.
Whatever chances the Germans had to put up a fight in the sub 5 lakh segment by introducing a car with a VW badge has been quite responsibly spoiled if this news is true.

A sub 5 lakh car with VW badge would have been a better gamble than some brand which sounds like a tyre company.(The tires are not premium either )
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