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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th March 2015, 10:26   #61
Senior - BHPian
 
hserus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,894
Thanked: 1,942 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

I am not able to edit the above post as it is above half an hour after I posted the original one. Mods please merge.

The article is now available on the hindu website.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper...cle6964976.ece
hserus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th March 2015, 16:52   #62
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Chennai
Posts: 34
Thanked: 22 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Very interesting thread. I don't think being used as a taxi affects any car, its the TATA vehicles that have not been able to shake this impression mostly. While cheaper cars, no bells and whistles, diesel engines made it a popular option as a taxi, the reason they didn't click on the passenger segment could be due to perception: Unlike Maruti that started its innings as a passenger car company, TATAs were known for their heavy duty vehicles (trucks, mini-trucks, UVs) that only used diesel engines. When the Indica was introduced people were not sure about the Indica petrol (unlike today, petrol engines were the automatic choice of passenger car buyers at that time) but the diesel clicked as the taxi companies lapped it up. That impression has stuck for a really long time so everytime a new TATA vehicle is launched, you look at it with suspicion. Only on seeing the Zest did I ever think of even buying a TATA (no offence to those who have bought TATA cars for personal use before, just my perception!) as it seems to have a more personal feel to it. I was hoping TATAs will be able to shake off this curse with the Zest but the numbers are not looking good. The Bolt hasn't impressed me much, its probably the best looking hatchback from TM but isn't entirely free of the Indica lineage. The high price will deter the taxi cos and the faint resemblance to Indica (Vista) will make passenger buyers think. The Nano was such a bad product that in spite of a completely new look it failed to impress. TATAs need more Zest like vehicles to cure themselves of this curse. Mahindra also suffers from this voodoo (barring Scorpio) but they must be happy with the numbers they sell, of course, they still need to prove themselves in the hatchback/sedan segment.
Srikji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th March 2015, 17:12   #63
RSR
Distinguished - BHPian
 
RSR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,621
Thanked: 4,538 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srikji View Post
The Nano was such a bad product that in spite of a completely new look it failed to impress.
Oh, come on! The Nano is by no means a bad product even when viewed in isolation. Consider the price at which it's sold, and this becomes even more obvious.

The Nano failed because of some other reasons, and the fact that Tata were very slow in updating it (the Nano Twist should have happened long ago, a more powerful Nano with an auto 'box & other improvements/goodies should have been out in 2014).
RSR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 00:03   #64
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: India
Posts: 332
Thanked: 289 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srikji View Post
The Nano was such a bad product that in spite of a completely new look it failed to impress.
This sentence most likely indicates that you have never owned a Nano.

The Nano is a classic Marketing failure.
john doe is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 10:36   #65
BHPian
 
Mashblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 150
Thanked: 253 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by john doe View Post
The Nano is a classic Marketing failure.
Absolutely agree, i always felt right from when the rumors of nano began that this car should be positioned as a "Smart city car" instead of "The Cheapest car".
Lets face it nano has sold in considerable numbers only in the metros. Even now, spicing it up with better noise insulation and an auto box with marketing focus on ladies will make this car sell in larger numbers.
Mashblue is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 11:04   #66
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Kharagpur
Posts: 77
Thanked: 24 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Even the Nano is being used as the cheapest taxi option by the taxi operators. The Nano is a good urban commute.

Even I had the feeling that the Nano was a complete disaster. This perception changed with my visit to Chennai. The Nano was the best cab available at a very low rate per km. I appreciated its AC a lot, even in the grueling Chennai heat the AC worked effectively.

And, the Nano is no longer a cheap product, it has an on road price of 2.8 lakhs for the top end model. Compared to a wagon R or Alto, the Nano cab is quite affordable. If you are just one man on a business tour, hire a Nano and enjoy the ride-the Nano's compact dimensions ensure that you can park it anywhere and it is also a breeze to drive in horrible traffic conditions these days. I remember being stuck in Kolkata some years back when the indica cab driver brushed against an auto-rickshaw and a serious brawl ensued between them. Luckily I slipped in the melee.
Ashok Naik is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 11:55   #67
BHPian
 
Mashblue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 150
Thanked: 253 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

A car for an average middle class Indian family (The ones who form the bulk of sales) is more of a status thing than anything.
To give an example, my neighbor recently replaced his 4 year old Swift Dzire with a new Ford ecosport (He calls this an upgrade ) only because he FELT it had become too old. The Dzire had run only 30K KMS and the buyer sure got a great deal. I really dont understand when people replace their car which satisfies all their needs of mobility simply for the sake of showing off and claiming they are up-to-date. Totally doesnt make sense.
Given this scenario a car model being used as taxi becomes undesirable home (personal) vehicle.
P.S: Duster taxi anyone?
Attached Thumbnails
The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge-img_20150307_090435.jpg  

Mashblue is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 14:07   #68
BHPian
 
Nissan1180's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 382
Thanked: 726 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Srikji View Post
The Nano was such a bad product that in spite of a completely new look it failed to impress. TATAs need more Zest like vehicles to cure themselves of this curse. Mahindra also suffers from this voodoo (barring Scorpio) but they must be happy with the numbers they sell, of course, they still need to prove themselves in the hatchback/sedan segment.
To be honest, you really should experience the Nano before forming such a negative opinion. The Nano is an example of frugal innovation that has not and will not be surpassed by the Indian car companies, Tata included, anytime soon. Please drive one and see how much more space, comfort it offers as compared to the Alto/Eon/800. The only car which you can compare it to in terms of space is the Santro. Also, the Nano is still in production, the factory is a state of the art manufacturing establishment and the Nano factory has nurtured an entire industrial township in Sanand- it is not history as of now.
A lot of people say that they hate the Indica design- I wonder why. The Indica does not look ugly- it has become too mainstream so people might be bored- but it was designed in Italy and the styling still looks elegant (interiors are not contemporary I agree). Why would you think that the Vista was a bad car? It offered a VFM package and good build quality. It is unfortunate that initial niggles persist to this day, but those aside, it is a robust hatchback. In fact, it is more comfortable than the Swift in the rear seat.
Forgive me for saying this, but a lot of people think the Vista/indica/nano are bad cars because they lack aspirational value. That does not point to a bad product- it points to a failure of the marketing function to make the customer see the value in the product.

Changing perceptions is difficult because a lot of people do not assess cars objectively- the prime consideration is 'how I would look while driving this car '', and not ''how I would feel while driving this vehicle''.
TASS is bad, and I have spent enough time cursing them. However, the cars are not all that bad.
Nissan1180 is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 14:24   #69
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Chennai
Posts: 34
Thanked: 22 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

My point is, the Nano was a failure, be it a good car or not. Where are the numbers? My input was on TATA not being able to crack the passenger segment and I didn't see the Nano helping. Call it a bad car or marketing failure, overall, the product did not appeal to the market for xyz reason.
Srikji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 20:29   #70
Senior - BHPian
 
hserus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,894
Thanked: 1,942 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

The main issues a taxi badged car faces are lack of driver comfort, higher nvh levels, cheap components, even basics like left rear view mirror are chargeable extras etc. The other part is being frequently stopped by cops especially if a roof rack is also mounted, and the cop sees a white board, vulnerable to taxi thieves etc
hserus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2015, 20:43   #71
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Kharagpur
Posts: 77
Thanked: 24 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashblue View Post
A car for an average middle class Indian family (The ones who form the bulk of sales) is more of a status thing than anything.
To give an example, my neighbor recently replaced his 4 year old Swift Dzire with a new Ford ecosport (He calls this an upgrade ) only because he FELT it had become too old. The Dzire had run only 30K KMS and the buyer sure got a great deal. I really dont understand when people replace their car which satisfies all their needs of mobility simply for the sake of showing off and claiming they are up-to-date. Totally doesnt make sense.
Given this scenario a car model being used as taxi becomes undesirable home (personal) vehicle.
P.S: Duster taxi anyone?
Hello Mr. Mashblue,
A very warm welcome to the forum.
You have mentioned an excellent point here.

The Dzire and the Ecosport are both good cars. But replacing a car after only 30k kms is not a wise decision. Modern cars do not even need replacement if maintained well.

So many good, rarely used personal cars find their way into the Taxi market because their owners sell them for the sake of showing off, which is wrong.

Some years down the lane the car becomes your best comrade, how can you sell it!! I am emotionally attached to my Dzire Tour and nothing can separate us
Ashok Naik is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2015, 00:36   #72
BHPian
 
Rollingwheels26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chennai
Posts: 68
Thanked: 84 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

I think having a taxi badge screams that you are 'cheap'. And since we are a hypocritical lot we want a cheap car but not a car that 'seems' cheap.


An example would be nano. A car that fits the need of most Indian households looking to upgrade from 2 wheeler to 4 wheeler. Yet it never took off that well because Indians didn't want a car that made them look 'cheap'.

We are a confusing lot. No wonder foreign companies go crazy trying to figure us out
Rollingwheels26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2015, 16:24   #73
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 1
Thanked: 0 Times
Unhappy Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

i do agree that social stigma adversely affect a car's image, i remember one of my friend selling his Indica visita after experiencing discrimination first hand.
Metal Maniac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2015, 16:36   #74
BHPian
 
jalsa777's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 637
Thanked: 1,044 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Wolfconsole, how convenient of you to have left out airport shuttle taxi-- Innova. How come there is no mention? I see more Innova taxis than Indicas. Forget Tata now. It is history. Toyota is new Tata. It is following in Tata's footsteps. I see more Innovas, Livas and Etioses as taxis than personal cars. Even Corollas.
I think the reason that the Innova has not been affected by it's usage as taxis is that there is no option in the market for those who want to buy an Innova. Unfortunately, even after so many years, no other manufacturer has come up with a (competent) alternative to the Innova.
Not to say that the Innova is a faultless car, it so needs an engine upgrade, but the comfort and reliability of the Innova are unsurpassed. Hence, private buyers don't mind buying the Innova.
jalsa777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2015, 16:50   #75
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vizag
Posts: 1,986
Thanked: 1,343 Times
Default Re: The Curse of the "Taxi" Badge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
I think the reason that the Innova has not been affected by it's usage as taxis is that there is no option in the market for those who want to buy an Innova. Unfortunately, even after so many years, no other manufacturer has come up with a (competent) alternative to the Innova.
Not to say that the Innova is a faultless car, it so needs an engine upgrade, but the comfort and reliability of the Innova are unsurpassed. Hence, private buyers don't mind buying the Innova.
Who says it is not affected? I know some who sold and moved on to XUV and Fortuners because of its taxi image. And I for one would stretch my budget and rather buy a Fortuner (if I have to buy a Toyota at any cost ) than settle for this. This car screams taxi from all angles and however vehemently some fan boys may argue, truth cannot be ignored. I agree though that is is the best taxi there is. And also the fact that its ride is much better than Fortuner. But there ends all goodies. Sorry, I do not consider it a car.
pgsagar is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Cayenne" we "XC-eed" in our "Endeavour" to "Safari"? Taking powerful metal off-road SS-Traveller 4x4 Excursions 55 10th November 2016 22:56
TATA 1 Lac Car: Boon Or Curse adheesh Technical Stuff 3 26th October 2007 15:27
The curse of the lead footed women navin Sedans 42 29th April 2007 08:46
The curse has fallen upon Rossi! turbo_v12 Int'l Motorsport 10 24th May 2006 01:26


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 01:41.

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