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Old 6th March 2015, 14:44   #76
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Default Re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

Originally Posted by nareshov View Post
Wouldn't that obesity due to TATA trying to make more interior space? I saw a Zest's rear for the first time today, and for a compact-sedan, it looked quite wide at the upper-half (where the windows are). And then I recalled how the Getz, Jazz and the Indicas were the few hatches with the most interior space and maybe TATA wants to stick to that tradition.
Neither the Jazz nor the Getz looked Obese. The interior space has nothing to do with the height of the window line. The older car was not short on space either.
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Old 16th March 2015, 19:56   #77
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Default Re: Rumour: Tata Motors to launch performance brand. 120 BHP Bolt coming

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Now, with inputs from points 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7, can you guys give some sort of indicative answers to questions 3a, 3b and 3c? .
Here is my take on the questions posed and the points raised:

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
3a. European hot hatches have 2.5 times the power of their normal siblings, what ratio will India accept? I am trying to find this empirical as this answer carries the key to the success of this business!
I would say between 1.5 to 2 times is good enough in the Indian market for a start. (personally, 2 times or more is good for me). If we assume 80-85 bhp as the average power level of the mass market hatch, then it brings us to between 120-160 bhp. I believe 145 bhp would be the sweet spot. This will definitely be a fast hatch but probably won't drink through the fuel tank at an alarming rate.

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
3b. What price ratio will India accept?
The moment you go beyond 11-12 lakh rupees (on-road), then people perceive it as too expensive. And most enthusiasts also kind of find it difficult to spend that amount of money. In the end, he/she has to convince a family that it is worth a buy!

Do you think a minimalist hot-hatch can be sold for around 10 lakhs?

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
3c. What are the game-changer equations? Are paddle shifters compulsory? Is something like "dual-clutch, 7 speed automatic" going to cut it?
The moment you start putting stuff like that into the car, it becomes expensive. I genuinely think the name of the game here is choice!
Why do manufacturers think of performance as a one variant affair? In the same way that a mainstream car has multiple variants, so can performance models.

Why is it that in Europe, cars come with multiple engine and trim options, while in India we don't get them? (It would be great if you could shed light on this)

If Tata is going down the route of launching a performance brand, it can definitely have a multiple variant approach. A company will have to take a risk here to understand what the market really wants. No risk, no gain!
A company like Tata can take the plunge and it might pay of dividends.

I find it appalling that manufacturers assume that the performance segment means that they should be milking the customers. How about performance with not such high margins? Why not try?

Another assumption by manufacturers is that performance means cheesy graphics and appendages. While, maybe a majority of Indians do like them, it is also a turn-off for a lot. The new upper middle-class 30 something corporate employee (the one who wants and can afford cars slightly higher up in the range) definitely does not want cheesy graphics. Again, why not give customers the option? Maybe increase dealer margins by offering dealer level graphics.

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
4. Unlike in Europe, in India the car will have to fill-in as A-to-B transport for the family including the proverbial mother-in-law also? The answer is YES!
Why is this 'unlike in Europe'? The people who will be buying cars in this segment even in Europe, need it to be fun as well as practical. Just last month, I hired a Golf 2.0 for my trip to Portugal. Very practical car, comfortable, tons of space, 20kmpl (really) and performed brilliantly when I needed it to. Well endowed tyres wise, amazing road managers. I would put a car like that in the 'family car with good performance' category. Why can't there be 2 types of cars, one which goes into this category and the other which is all out minimalistic madness. See what sells!

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
6. Will India accept the minimalistic approach? The supercars do it all the time but in a hot hatch? The answer is I DON'T KNOW!
I have touched on this above, I think someone has to have the guts and experiment. What better way than to launch a new sub-brand and let the customer choose. You might take a hit initially, but soon enough you will know what works and what doesn't, then you can change the variant mix accordingly and rake in the moolah.

Automobile companies are just too afraid to tinker around in India. Maruti did not get to where they are by offering the same product in the same way. They did something different and it worked. Toyota did something different with the Qualis/Innova/Fortuner and it worked. Skoda did it different with the Octavia and it too worked.
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Old 16th March 2015, 21:03   #78
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Excellent move by TATA, such small steps are required to improve perception, well done. Request them to get better safety features like ESP which would be super welcome by our increasingly safety conscious customers.
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