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Old 23rd May 2007, 09:48   #1
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Default How the SX4 will redefine the C segment. For a long time

We have seen the SX4; many members have driven it and some have already bought it. The car has its strengths and some weaknesses but the unanimous opinion on Team-BHP is that the SX4 offers sheer value. In fact, its unbeatable for the price.

But what are the long-term implications of the SX4? Quite simply, it has redefined the C market segment. Gone are the days when manufacturers could get away with basic sedans and lacklustre engines for a price nearing 9 lacs. Also gone are the times when ABS / Airbags and various other value-adding features were only available in the 10+ lakh cars. Or outrageously over-priced fully loaded versions of regular cars. The SX4 has rewritten the ground rules of the C segment and every other manufacturer will have to follow suit. Just like Hyundai helps to keep the prices of Honda and Toyota in check worldwide. Like the Tata Indica and Indigo play the value card in their respective segments. And like the Alto and Santro are the value benchmarks of their respective segments.

Competition is a fantastic thing. And when the mega automaker of the country makes such a bold move....you can bet that everyone is watching close. Expect to see a lot more value in this segment. For a long time to come.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd May 2007 at 09:50.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 09:50   #2
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What i feel is that for about 8 lacs onwards, one would now get everything like abs/airbags, stereo, electrical mirrors, height adjust (imagine this was sold at premium at one point!) and much better engines to satisfy the taste buds of our road heroes!

whatever the change, only change is a constant and this will happen. with fiat linea, more ground rules will be written for carmakers to follow!! exciting times ahead in the industry!
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Old 23rd May 2007, 10:45   #3
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It was a great step Maruti/Suzuki had taken by launching SX4 with so many features and a yummy price tag. The car is fantastic VFM and also a very good to drive car.
Honda is already making some changes in their lineup. Hope the same with some other companies too.
Yes, this car will redefine not just the C segment but the whole motoring scene in some way.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 10:58   #4
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Does that mean Hyundai will add more goodies, drop price and give us the same warranty as elsewhere, for the Verna diesel ? That'll be something...
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Old 23rd May 2007, 10:59   #5
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SX4 will do the same thing to this segment what Swift did to the small car segment,and rivals are already scared with Honda planning to upgrade the City with more features even other manufacturers must be preparing for the war.i have driven SX4 i was disappointed by the new engine,its gets so boomy after 5000rpm and its not refined or extraordinarily punchy but its the features and the package that will redefine the segment.Its the same manufacturer who offered 165 size tyres in top end baleno but now the have 205 X 16" tyres coupled with massive groundclearance and suspension good enough to handle the worst roads plus the long list of safety and luxury features.The real blow is to come with the launch of 90 bhp DDiS motor thats gonna drive hyundai and ford crazy.Isnt it redefining the segment.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 11:22   #6
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Hope this salvo fired by Maruti forces other auto manufacturersto offer ABS and Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) like Airbags as standard, atleast on their high-end variants.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 11:26   #7
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And I hope they offer ABS/Airbags as standard in *all* variants. Safety should not be a option. If Maruti can offer an engine immobilizer in all cars, why not ABS/Airbags? Given their volumes, somebody should be able to supply them ABS kits at much lesser prices.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 11:31   #8
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True that MUL has indeed set the market on fire. Its good to see competition which will only lead to better products for us consumers. Just hope this thread doesn't turn into another SX4 or MUL basher.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 11:54   #9
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Hyndai in short term make today's top end Verna the base version. Should look at introducing the same features that it does worldwide in Verna. No shortcuts to Indian market please.
This should be true to other makers as well. Honda should not sacrifice anything in the Fit/Jazz (other than adding a boot). Then it should sing. Fit is already the sweetest handling thing in the U.S.
Ford should also pull up their socks.
This segment should be treated the same as mid-size segment (i.e no shortcuts, no removing features compared to global market).
Then we can look into hatch segment (Swift already does this with features !!). So all in all no respite for manufacturers in India going forward.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 12:05   #10
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The SX4 needs to have something exceptional and something which the car-buying public appreciates a lot to re-define the segment.

ABS/Airbags is definitely a welcome move - but does everyone out there on the street understand the benefits of having it?

Ditto for the controls and leather etc - people will buy it as long as it comes as part of the package, but certainly these are not the basic features on looks for - space, refinement, efficiency matter much more.

Again the heavy build and large wheels are definitely welcome - but in case somebody does not get good mileage - people will start blaming the weight and wheels - like they did to Palio.

The only thing really helping SX4 to redefine the segment is the pricing. And while price wars are welcome, it may not help the end-user in getting a better car.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 12:11   #11
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Quote:
The SX4 needs to have something exceptional and something which the car-buying public appreciates a lot to re-define the segment.
Its has to be the pricing,for the price of the honda exi [base model with black trim inside] you get a car which is atleast comparable to the Honda city vtec,agreed the vtec is better,but not worth spending more than a lakh for the difference.

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Old 23rd May 2007, 12:12   #12
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I also see another positive trend: manufacturers moving from reactive to proactive in getting one up in their segments.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 14:34   #13
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The strange thing is, just a couple of years ago, a car was launched with almost identical features: 198mm gc, 195/60/R15 tyres, ABS-EBD,rear armrest, 60-40 rear folding seats, a torquey 1.6 litre petrol engine, decent FE, integrated audio, a great gearshift, and equally awesome handling. It was the driver's car of the year too. Priced identical to SX4.

Well, nobody cared - not even folks here. I'm talking about the Ford Fusion+. At the end, people want conservative styling, cheap spares, and the service backup of a giant like Maruti. Can't blame them
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Old 23rd May 2007, 14:46   #14
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ballkey, the Fusion does not satisfy the Indian craving for a sedan. At that price, it is still a Hatch. Add to that it came in at quite a steep price, which was then later reduced to more sane levels.
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Old 23rd May 2007, 15:08   #15
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Though its a hatch the space was very comparable with a NHC, and the pricing was lesser than a NHC(I think). It was positioned as a C segment car, and did redefine the segment a bit.

Incidentally, I think a SX4 Wagon version(with AWD preferably) would be a great idea
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