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View Poll Results: When shopping for a new car, which variant do you buy?
The base variant (Eg: LXi) 5 1.09%
The mid variant (Eg: VXi) 124 27.07%
The top variant (Eg: ZXi) 296 64.63%
Don't Know/ Can't Say 33 7.21%
Voters: 458. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22nd April 2017, 22:28   #1
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Default Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

PURPOSE OF THIS THREAD:

To figure out customer preferences for all the popular cars on sale - petrol or diesel? Base, mid or top variant? Manual or automatic?

HOW?

We do have some idea about popularity of certain variants - for example, when we see a Swift on the road, it is most likely to be a Vxi or Vdi implying that mid-variants constitute majority of the sales. We do see a decent number of Zxi and Zdi's too, but spotting a base variant on the road is quite rare. But manufacturers don't bother publishing these numbers.

So I have come up with a round-about way of determining the popularity of each variant - by analysing listings on popular online used car classifieds. Logic being that the proportion of base/mid/top variants in the used car market will be nearly same as the proportion of NEW base/mid/top variants sold. To make the job easier (for me), some online classifieds insist on mentioning the variant name in the title of the ad. Thanks to CTRL+F feature and chrome browser counting the number of instances, it is not too difficult to find the proportion of different variants on sale.

Note that data is collected from multiple online classifieds. As a bonus, we also get to know petrol/diesel and manual/automatic sales mix for each model - thanks to filters available on such sites.

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-carwale.jpg


BUT HOW ACCURATE IS THIS DATA?

The accuracy is likely to be lower than that of an "exit poll". Remember that my sample size for each car model is quite small - between 100 and 500 cars, depending on availability in the used car market. 'Sampling error' is likely too - most of the cars are from Tier I cities (capitals of each State) because customers/brokers are comfortable using online classifieds. Customer variant preferences of Tier II/III cities could be different from Tier I cities, and cannot be effectively captured using this method.

Interestingly, (NCR + Mumbai + Bangalore) has a new car sales market share of 22%. But on online classifieds, around 35% car listings are from these 3 cities. Bigger cities might see a larger proportion of automatic or CNG variant sales when compared to smaller towns, and this is likely to mess up our numbers a bit.

I have attempted to capture the latest trends (shift to automatics, shift from diesel to CNG or petrol) by sampling 0 to 2/3 year old cars. On the flipside, this has resulted in a smaller sample size. However, for some models which did not exactly set the sales charts on fire, I have considered the cumulative sales (since introduction year)

HOW MANY MAN HOURS WERE SPENT COLLECTING THIS DATA?

Not much. But then, there were other issues -

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INDEX:

Suzuki Alto 800 and Suzuki Alto K10
Suzuki Wagon R & Suzuki Celerio
Suzuki Swift & Hyundai Grand i10
Hyundai Elite i20 & Honda Jazz
Suzuki DZire & Tata Zest
Suzuki Ciaz & Honda City
Ford Ecosport & Hyundai Creta
Mahindra XUV500 and Renault Duster
Suzuki Ertiga & Toyota Innova
Toyota Fortuner
Audi, BMW & Mercedes

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 18:33.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 15:10   #2
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

SUZUKI ALTO 800/K10:

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-800k10.jpg

Comments:
  • Alto 800 constitutes 66% of the sales while Alto K10 constitutes the rest.
  • Std and Lx variants seem to have very few takers, possibly because of lack of power steering or body colored bumpers.
  • Alto 800 Lxi variant constitutes around 55% of Alto sales. Such customers probably install a basic music system at an accessories store, and save Rs.17,000 over the Vxi variant.
  • Alto K10 customers (who are not as cost conscious) seem to prefer the Vxi variant though. The Vxi Alto has lots of little features (Eg: rear parcel tray) over Lxi variant.
  • CNG variants constitute close to 9% of overall Alto sales, with most customers preferring the Alto 800 CNG. Note that CNG variants have a significant 15% premium over petrol variants (Rs. 60,000 extra).
  • AMT constitutes 7% of overall Alto sales, but an impressive 20% of Alto K10 sales.

Last edited by smartcat : 27th April 2017 at 13:17.
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Old 24th April 2017, 22:51   #3
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

SUZUKI WAGON R

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-wagonrsales.jpg

Comments:
  • Hello? Looks like we have stumbled upon Maruti's Wagon R sales secret (12,000 to 14,000 units per month). 36% of Wagon R sales are of the CNG variant. Interestingly, this article says 50% of Wagon R sales in NCR and Mumbai are of the CNG variant. Since that article was published, odd/even experiment and diesel bans happened - that is likely to have given further boost to Wagon R CNG sales
  • Wagon R had a basic Lx variant and top end stingray variant, but looks like these variants are no longer available.
  • AMT variant was launched in late 2015, and constitutes over 12% of Wagon R sales.
  • The popularity of Vxi variant must have influenced Maruti to consider introducing the Vxi+ variant. Since it was launched recently, these cars are not available in the classifieds yet.


SUZUKI CELERIO

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-celerio_variants.jpg

Comments:
  • Just for the record, diesels were just 15% of the listings. For this exercise, I have excluded the diesel variants because they are no longer on sale.
  • Optional airbags (O) variants have not been listed separately.
  • Celerio AMTs constitute 39% of overall sales. This article suggests Celerio AMT sales are close to 50% in big cities.
  • Celerio CNG does not seem to be as popular as Wagon R CNG, probably because it is Rs. 35,000 more expensive and available only in Vxi trim.
  • Vxi variant seems to be most popular constituting 70% of overall Celerio sales.

Last edited by smartcat : 27th April 2017 at 14:50.
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Old 26th April 2017, 02:02   #4
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

SUZUKI SWIFT

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-swift_variants.jpg

Comments:
  • Petrol:diesel sales mix seems to be 45:55 in diesel's favour.
  • The mid variants (Vxi and Vdi) constitutes 70% of sales.
  • Ldi/Lxi seems to be reasonably well equipped, and its weak sales seems surprising. Perhaps customers who pay Rs. 7.5 Lacs expect features like music system and rear power windows?
  • I have not listed optional airbag (O) versions separately

HYUNDAI GRAND I10

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-grandi10.jpg

Comments:
  • 'Kappa' is petrol and 'Crdi' is diesel
  • Weak 1.1 litre diesel engine means Grand i10 diesel sales are just 23% of the total. New 1.2 litre diesel engine (in the facelift) might help increase diesel sales.
  • Grand i10 has a "proper automatic", and constitutes 12% of total sales.
  • Hyundai has fiddled around with variants too much over the years. That's why Sportz(O)/Sportz, Asta(O)/Asta variants have been combined. And all AT variants sales data have been combined for this study.
  • Base Era variant seems to have very few takers. Perhaps the purpose of the variant is to get footfalls into the showroom?

Last edited by smartcat : 27th April 2017 at 20:38.
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Old 27th April 2017, 22:35   #5
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

HYUNDAI ELITE I20

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-i20variants.jpg

Comments:
  • Look at those rising skyscrapers. Premium hatchback customers pick up top variants with premium features!
  • Top end Asta/Asta(O) constitutes almost 48% of the sales.
  • Hyundai Elite i20 petrol:diesel mix seems to be around 51:49.


HONDA JAZZ

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-jazzvariants.jpg

Comments:
  • Only 17% of Honda Jazz customers pick up the diesel option.
  • 20% of Jazz customers opt for the automatic variant, probably because of fuel efficient CVT gearbox & two AT variants.
  • V variant (petrol/diesel/CVT) seems to be most popular at 48% of sales.
  • Magic seats equipped VX variant constitute 17% of the sales.

Last edited by smartcat : 28th April 2017 at 00:56.
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Old 28th April 2017, 16:14   #6
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

SUZUKI DZIRE

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-dzirevariants.jpg

Comments:
  • DZire Tour (1st gen DZire) constitutes 21% of the sales. This article mentions that Maruti sold 65,000 units to app-based taxis like Ola & Uber. Most of them are likely to be DZire Tour cars.
  • The petrol:diesel mix of 2nd gen DZire is 35:65 (that is, after excluding DZire Tour numbers). For comparison, the petrol:diesel mix of Swift is 45:55.
  • LDI popular among taxi drivers, Vxi/Vdi popular among private buyers.

TATA ZEST

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-tatazest.jpg

Comments:
  • Small disclaimer here -> sample size for Tata Zest was quite small, and the percentages are based on cumulative sales since launch.
  • Tata Zest has 3 engine options - 1 petrol (Revotron) and 2 diesels (Quadrajet 75/90 BHP).
  • Sales are split almost equally between petrol and diesel variants
  • AMT is mated to 90 BHP 1.3 litre diesel engine and is available at two price points. Automatics constitute 12% of Tata Zest sales.

Last edited by smartcat : 29th April 2017 at 00:42.
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Old 29th April 2017, 10:17   #7
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

SUZUKI CIAZ

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-suzukiciaz.jpg

Comments:
  • Again, these percentages are for cumulative sales since launch. Maruti introduced those + variants later. This means the current variant sales percentage could be slightly different, especially between Zxi & Zxi+ or Vdi & Vdi+.
  • Anyway, that doesn't matter much though. Vxi/Zdi variant names have been replaced with the Greeks now - Alpha, Beta, Gamma
  • Still quite interesting to know that most petrol buyers opt for Zxi/Zxi+ while diesel buyers opt for Vdi/Vdi+ - the price difference between petrol & diesel variants at play here.
  • Petrol:diesel (cumulative) sales mix of Ciaz is 45:55
  • AT variants are just 10% of the sales

HONDA CITY

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-hondacity.jpg

Comments:
  • Petrol: Diesel sales mix skewed heavily towards petrol at 73:27.
  • Amazingly, automatics constitute 24% of the sales.
  • Top end VX variant is 38% of the sales. That explains why Honda launched the more expensive ZX variant!

Last edited by smartcat : 29th April 2017 at 15:19.
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Old 29th April 2017, 17:02   #8
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FORD ECOSPORT

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-fordecosport.jpg

Comments:
  • Ecosport Petrol: diesel sales mix is 29:71 in favor of diesel.
  • Surprisingly, AT variant dominates Ecosport petrol sales - but overall constitutes only 11% of total sales.
  • 1.0 EcoBoost petrol variant is below 5% of overall sales.
  • 1.5 Titanium TDCi dominates Ecosport sales with 50% share.


HYUNDAI CRETA

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-hyundaicreta.jpg

Comments:
  • Creta's Petrol: diesel sales mix is similar to Ecosport, 27% petrol and 73% diesel.
  • Automatics are an impressive 22% of Creta sales. Note that these are cumulative sales percentages since launch. Since Creta petrol AT was launched less than 10 months back, its current sales run rate is likely to be higher than 4% of total.
  • Feature rich SX+ and SX(O) variants constitute 65% of sales.
  • 1.4 diesel is just 8% of sales.

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 08:38.
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Old 30th April 2017, 13:29   #9
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

MAHINDRA XUV500

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-xuv500.jpg

Comments:
  • Surprise! AWD variants are quite popular at 17.6% of sales despite costing Rs. 1.3 Lakhs over the FWD variant. Available in both MT and AT avatars at 3 price points. Note that the sample size was quite large since XUV500 has been around for years now, and has been a sales success.
  • Automatics are 13.6% of sales. It's possibly higher now with the recent introduction of W6 AT variant.
  • I was wondering if Mahindra would introduce W0 and W2 variant to increase sales. Looking at popularity of W4 variant, it seems unlikely.
  • Lots of takers for top end W10 variant - available in FWD MT, FWD AT, AWD MT and AWD AT combinations. Perhaps there is a strong case for a W12 variant then?

RENAULT DUSTER

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-renaultduster.jpg

Comments:
  • Only 4% of Renault Duster's are petrol powered.
  • AWD variants are an impressive 13% of Duster's sales.
  • AT variant is around 12% of sales.
  • The 85 BHP diesel variant constitutes up to 42% of sales.

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 17:06.
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Old 30th April 2017, 15:29   #10
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

SUZUKI ERTIGA

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-suzukiertiga.jpg

Comments:
  • Each variant includes their (O), SHVS and + cousins too.
  • Almost no takers for Lxi and Ldi variants.
  • AT variant makes a Subhash Ghai like 'cameo appearance' with 2.7% share.
  • CNG variant contributes 15% to Ertiga sales.
  • The mid variants (Vxi & Vdi) contributes 72% to sales.

TOYOTA INNOVA (1st GEN)

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-iinnova.jpg

Comments:
  • Note that these are buyer preferences of 1st gen Innova customers
  • Only 2 to 3% of customers opt for petrol power.
  • Two thirds of buyers opt for captain seats in the 2nd row (7 seater Innova).
  • Among diesel variants, we see a very unusual stepped bar graph - lower and mid variants are more popular than top variant. Probably means buyers find Innova to be expensive, but pick it up anyway.

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 23:50.
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Old 30th April 2017, 17:25   #11
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TOYOTA FORTUNER (1st GEN)

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-fortuner.jpg

Comments:
  • 1st gen 4x2 MT and 4x2 AT Fortuner was launched in late 2011. 4x4 AT was launched in early 2015. So I have taken the last 2 years sales data for analyzing Fortuner variants.
  • Sales split has been almost equal between the 4 variants.

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 19:19.
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Old 30th April 2017, 18:31   #12
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

AUDI, BMW & MERCEDES

Forced to take a different approach here. It is impossible to analyze variants of each model because of sample size issues. Instead, we take a look at customer preferences across different models!

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-audi.jpg

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-bmw.jpg

Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?-merc.jpg

Comments:
  • Petrol sales of BMW is just 11%. In comparison, Merc sells 17% petrols as against 19% of Audi
  • SUVs constitute around 38% of overall sales for the German trio
  • Hatchbacks not very popular among buyers despite low price point.

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 23:49.
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Old 30th April 2017, 18:33   #13
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Default re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

AND FINALLY:

BHPians, once you decide on a brand/model, which variant (base? mid? top end?) do you usually pick up and why? Go back into flashback mode and let us know how you zeroed in on a particular variant of your current ride. I guess for many, a particular car's features list is the main reason for picking it up. So it is likely that variants of different models are already shortlisted at the beginning.

I always look to buy the top variant, because it usually has features that cannot be fitted later (like power folding mirrors, automatic climate control, keyless entry etc). However, I might pick up a mid-variant in AT guise because automatics are usually not available in top trim.

Last edited by smartcat : 30th April 2017 at 23:36.
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Old 1st May 2017, 08:47   #14
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Default Re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st May 2017, 09:03   #15
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Default Re: Analysis: Which is the most popular variant?

Thank you very much for sharing this, I used to think about this a lot and get confused, for me seeing the cars on the road and going by the waiting period of the variants I could make a fair analysis on which variant was selling more, however, this thread is now going to be the last word. Voted for VXi and was surprised to see that others had voted for ZXi. Again confirms that the majority of us are 'different'
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