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Old 11th May 2016, 09:18   #1
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Default Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Recently I have been noticing a lot of cabs (yellow board cars) which are top end variants. For example I see a lot of Ciaz ZDI+ cabs on Bangalore roads. Yesterday I also saw a Mobilio RS with a yellow board.

Could anyone shed some light as to why cab operators could be buying the top end variants instead of the usual lower end ones? Thanks.
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Old 11th May 2016, 11:27   #2
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Default re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

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Originally Posted by sprocket View Post
Could anyone shed some light as to why cab operators could be buying the top end variants instead of the usual lower end ones? Thanks.
Affordability? How much would a lakh of difference make in the EMI? They would be expecting good returns from the car and hence they like to fancy getting the fully loaded variants. Sometimes, this could even be old stock which the dealer would sell to them for a discount. Even I have noticed a lot of Ritz ZDi and Ertiga Zdi as taxis. Not many Ciaz since the ones I see are the VDi+.

Or maybe sense has prevailed among the taxi community that they should keep their cars bone stock without a trip to the accessory store for all sorts of bells and whistles if they want to keep the car reliable Either way its good on the safety front too, its better to go for the car with more safety features instead of a bare bones car with lots of lights and stickering.
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Old 11th May 2016, 11:35   #3
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Default re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprocket View Post
Recently I have been noticing a lot of cabs (yellow board cars) which are top end variants. For example I see a lot of Ciaz ZDI+ cabs on Bangalore roads. Yesterday I also saw a Mobilio RS with a yellow board.

Could anyone shed some light as to why cab operators could be buying the top end variants instead of the usual lower end ones? Thanks.
The cabbies before being cabbies are just normal 'driving folks' just like any one of us. Usually, they don't care much about features and they aim to make maximum profit by going for the base variant.
But there are a few cabbies who do want to get the top-end for the added convenience and the extra features it offers. They generally drive much more than the average folks and those extra features(especially the safety features) can potentially be much more useful for them when compared to an average driver.
It comes down to personal preference.

Last edited by AYP : 11th May 2016 at 11:36.
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Old 11th May 2016, 11:42   #4
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Default re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

This also can be due to the changing trend as the customers want more bells and whistles during their drives. Also, as the drives get longer due to distance or traffic, features such as steering mounted controls, automatic climate control come in handy rather than the manual AC or music system with no steering controls. With companies like Ola and Uber paying respectable salaries to the drivers, they would also like to enjoy the additional features.

The lower variants only provide the basic amenities which were accepted by the customers but with time more features and amenities are always welcome. Even for the fleet owners or drivers, paying couple of thousand extra for a fully loaded version will not be a very difficult exercise.
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Old 11th May 2016, 12:00   #5
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Default re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

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Originally Posted by sprocket View Post
Yesterday I also saw a Mobilio RS with a yellow board.
Mobilio RS was running discounts upto 1.5 lakhs in Bangalore. This could also be one of the tempting factors.

That said, I totally agree with your question. There are FIAT Avventura and Etios Cross taxi cars on Bangalore roads, which command a huge premium over the regular hatchbacks these are based on!

Looks like our taxi drivers are also beginning to enjoy the features and looks modern cars offer over base taxi variants.
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Old 11th May 2016, 12:13   #6
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I saw a Maruti Ritz ZXI in East Delhi yesterday. A car with alloy wheels as a cab does look to be an overkill. Not sure what he must be thinking buying this and converting into CNG to run as a cab. Maybe a case of more discounts on top variants compared to lower leading to lower difference in EMI. He could have got a Dzire LXI for similar money and get a better cab? Not sure why this trend is upcoming.
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Old 11th May 2016, 13:05   #7
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Well, the features the top end variants offer do not make much sense to the end cab customer. I dont think, the taxi customer is really bothered whether the cab has alloy wheels or ACC or auto wipers or DRLs or projector head lamps. These features make sense only for the personal car buyer. Taxi customers only hire the cab to go from point A to point B in comfort. Thats it. There must be some financial reason between the taxi operator and dealer/manufacturer for this. There could be a concessional price offered to the taxi operators by the manufactures (volume discount) so that more of these top end variants are on road which in turn will offer more visibility and have a positive impact on its sales from the personal car buyers, either who are hiring these cabs or public in general.
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Old 11th May 2016, 13:15   #8
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Could be a couple of reasons.

1. Most of these guys use the cab as their personal car during off-duty hours. Since the likes of Uber & Ola are paying well, why not indulge a bit? What's the difference in EMI terms anyway?

2. Easier resale. A fully-loaded variant would move quicker & at a higher price than a stripped-down base car.

3. Quicker delivery & fat discounts on the higher variants of some models. Some leftover stock with dealers. Manufacturer pushing them down. Many variables here.

4. Higher customer satisfaction.

However, I feel it will always remain an exception rather than the rule. While a handful of individual cab owners might buy the top variant, taxi fleet companies will stick to the base or mid variants. The price difference can be huge when ordering 50 - 100 cabs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Etios Cross
I recently saw one while filling up diesel and was like . What's an Etios Cross doing as a cab!
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Old 11th May 2016, 13:33   #9
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

I think its a classic case of mixing business with pleasure!
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Old 11th May 2016, 14:13   #10
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Could be a couple of reasons.

1. Most of these guys use the cab as their personal car during off-duty hours. Since the likes of Uber & Ola are paying well, why not indulge a bit? What's the difference in EMI terms anyway?
+ Taxis don't pay life time tax, like private registered vehicles. They pay yearly/half yearly/quarterly depending on the type of vehicle.
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Old 11th May 2016, 14:29   #11
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Taxi, or regular car - for any use, the cars sold in the mass market here generally have only nice features for the driver - the rear row or the boot is more or less ignored. So the taxi driver makes the most by opting for the top variant.
The top variants of cars might have full MID with various warnings/measurements, Leather wrap steering wheel & gear knob, Nice infotainment system with AVN - and add to that the safety kit - 2 airbags + ABS.
The passengers more or less sit in the similar dingy rear seats, while the driver now have several additional features to boast among his friends!
Even if they don't opt for the top variant, you can see that the taxi drivers splurge with various accessories for their cars. So they can very well could get the top variants.
Apart from this, I also have an opinion that they could get such top end cars in discounts (probably unsold stocks from dealers, demo cars etc).
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Old 11th May 2016, 14:35   #12
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

Just taking Bangalore as an example, one commute to and from work stresses most of us out. Cab Drivers spend 12-16 (just an assumption) in high traffic/stressful conditions. I am sure a better loaded car will help mitigate that stress a great deal not to mention increasing safety (since top variants come with ABS/Airbags). The cab drivers realize that and with the aggregators like Uber and Ola ensuring better pay and utilization, drivers now don't mind spending that little extra to get the higher variants.

Also, for the intra city usage, a cab driver does not need a car with huge rear space and a big boot. Which means you see a lot of non traditional cars as taxis (As already mentioned above). So cars like Ritz, Punto, Micra, Pulse are commonly seen with yellow boards. Since they are not big sellers, I assume there are good discounts also.

Micra is a hot choice with the Ola/Uber folks. As is the Xcent. The other day, I saw a yellow board Celerio AMT.
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Old 11th May 2016, 15:18   #13
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

This is a trend that is also catching up in Mumbai as well.

But with the new wave of entrepreneurs through Ola and Ubers of the world, I can also see a good no. of educated folks becoming their own bosses though an Ola.

You could become an Ola/Uber Driver and practically earn big bucks, equal to or more than a normal IT/Non IT Joe.

This effectively means that the person spends good time in the car. This not only becomes his source of bread and wine but also a home away from home.
Easy availability of loans, older stock to dispose by the dealer and a creaturely comforts of the top variant may all sum up to this trend.

Also, I have seen many Ola sticker cars doing family duties in off peak hours/weekends!!
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Old 11th May 2016, 16:05   #14
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Default Re: Top-end variants as Taxis - Why?

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Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
But with the new wave of entrepreneurs through Ola and Ubers of the world, I can also see a good no. of educated folks becoming their own bosses though an Ola.

You could become an Ola/Uber Driver and practically earn big bucks, equal to or more than a normal IT/Non IT Joe.
+1 to that.

Recently I booked a cab in Hyderabad over a weekend and when the guy turned up, he was looking well educated and his car was in perfect condition.

Out of curiosity, I started a conversation and I came to know that he worked as a software developer with an MNC and he loved driving. He wasn't from Hyderabad so he had a lot of free time over the weekends. So he drives his own car from Uber over the weekends and generally makes the trip between Hitex, Gachibowli and the airport.

Moreover, he was earning almost 60% of actual salary just by driving his car for Uber over the weekends, which is a superb bonus.

These kind of people are the ones who'll certainly go for the higher versions of any model.
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Old 11th May 2016, 16:13   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amit_breakfree View Post

+1 to that.

Recently I booked a cab in Hyderabad over a weekend and when the guy turned up, he was looking well educated and his car was in perfect condition.

Out of curiosity, I started a conversation and I came to know that he worked as a software developer with an MNC and he loved driving. He wasn't from Hyderabad so he had a lot of free time over the weekends. So he drives his own car from Uber over the weekends and generally makes the trip between Hitex, Gachibowli and the airport.

Moreover, he was earning almost 60% of actual salary just by driving his car for Uber over the weekends, which is a superb bonus.

These kind of people are the ones who'll certainly go for the higher versions of any model.
Reminds of a '100 $ taxi ride' episode I watched a looooong time ago. The host was in Hollywood in a swanky Lincoln car driven by a very fit guy. He was a part time stuntman, driver, written 2 scripts, on his 3rd script , and in general a better guy to watch than the host of the show. He looked like he was going to move on to bigger things. And he probably did.
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