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View Poll Results: How do you decide to buy a car for YOU?
Going by spec/features/data sheet - I know what I pay for 88 72.73%
Going by experience of known person with same car 42 34.71%
Seeking advise from experts (automags, online forums, friends, etc) 71 58.68%
I just buy the one who is Leader/Top selling in the segment 3 2.48%
I simply go with brand name and buy whatever fits in my budget 10 8.26%
Additionally, I drive it myself and buy only if convinced 89 73.55%
I go with promotions of a model in media (ads, etc) 5 4.13%
Other reasons (please explain) 11 9.09%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 8th September 2009, 14:11   #31
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My view on Factors that customers decide when buying a car.

1. Price : Every potential customer has a upper most limit for the cost of the vehicle. this is depending on his economic strength, ability to get loans and pay it back through EMIs

2. Need and Want: Every potential customer has a need, the car is needed as a transport or a prized possesion, unique extention of my personality, speed, power, seating capacity, monthly driving KMs etc

3. Fuel Economy : Everyone (however rich they are) ask this question to the dealer, what is the average per liter. this indicates the cost of running the car on a daily/weekly/monthly basis

4. Perceived Value: This is a combination of Need and want Vs Price Vs Cost of running the car Vs the benefits one derive out of the car ownership. if this is negative then the person does buy the car.

5. Features : Safety, Convinience, Security, Entertainment, Efficiency, Navigation etc and their underlying technical component/sub unit/gadget. Most cusotmers want everything free with the car, ofcourse, then as it is not possible accomodate maximum features in the price limit they have. This is what we generally refer as Value For Money (VFM).

6. Brand : This denotes generally how much risk is involved in the deal.
this is not just limited to automobiles, but also for stocks or shampoo/soap or any other product/service. Brand sets the expectations in the mind of the consumer. If the company delivers on the expectations on a continued basis, the expectations rise as well as Brand value goes up. Risk associated with that brand goes down and trust get built up. Reliability of the product, How unique the product is, how it differentiates me from others, Pre-sales, Purchase and Post purchase experiences also contribute to this brand value enhancent or de-gradation. People are also willing to pay a premium for superior brands. For such branded products, the second sale market is also there and people who can not afford to buy first hand are willing to buy these brands at a lower price, but still substantial price.

there are more dynamics involves, but in my view these are key ones.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 8th September 2009 at 14:24.
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Old 8th September 2009, 14:11   #32
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Indian customer before buying - Cheap to buy, best quality, cheap to maintain, best resale.

Indian customer after buying - drives like he is on a suicide mission and uses his car like it's a missile. If he has an accident, wouldn't he end up paying a whole lot of money to repair it? Where did the cheap maintainence factor go now?

This same customer cribs and brings the ASC down if his car returns 1kmpl less then his expectations but wouldn't utter a word if the suspension is as good as in a road roller and if he has to replace it every year even if it's cheap. Why does 1kmpl pinch more then Rs.x,xxx every year?
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Old 8th September 2009, 14:29   #33
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With regards to selling factors for Indian cars - FE, VFM package, Brand, Resale value, Maintenance costs and other factors

With regards to Brand perception, heres one experience of mine

The Fiat dealers brought Fiat Linea to my home for a TD. Seeing the car infront the gate, neighbour who was on the road then got curious about this car. He walked to me and the conversation went like..

Neighbour: What car is this ?
Me : Boss, Its a Fiat Linea. ( I was like, you have not even heard or even seen this car)
Neighbour: Are you planning to buy this car.?
Me : No, just called for a TD, if it is good I might go for it.
Neighbour: Sir, why dont you go for a Maruti ? ( well, he owns a Swift)

I was shocked. Here is this gorgeous beauty infront of us and without even caring to know more about the car, spat comes the comment or suggestion from this ignorant and unsophisticated Neighbour.

Me : Well, I am looking for a Midsize sedan with certain premium to it.
Neighbour : Oh, then why dont you go for a Dzire.

I seriously got pissed and Dzire is one car I hate for its looks.
I was like why dont you just *-off, I couldnt tell him those words though.

But it gives an example of how for some people all they know is Maruti.
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Old 8th September 2009, 14:33   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
Why does 1kmpl pinch more then Rs.x,xxx every year?
@amit - I really LOL'ed on reading your post. This is a question no one can answer, just like "how deep is the ocean, how high is the sky?". The only explanation I can think of is, because the Indian customer is the epitome of "we are like that only".
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Old 8th September 2009, 14:46   #35
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In my humble opinion, different people have different criteria for choosing a vehicle. Hence it is not correct to generalise what a typical Indian customer looks for in a car.

But you can broadly classify people into a few categories :

1. Average Joe's : They are generally looking for
- Good looks
- Reliability
- Fuel efficiency
- Space and comfort
- After sales services
- Cheap spares and maintenance
- Good resale value
- Value for money
- Peace of mind

2. Newbies : Most requirements are similar to Average Joe's. Some additional things that matter are
- Ease of driving and parking (front and rear visibility)
- Customer experience at dealership
- Brand reputation
- Marketing/promotion/advertising/discounts

3. Knowledgeable/Enthusiasts : They are generally looking for
- Power and performance
- Ride and handling
- Space and comfort
- Build quality
- Attention to detail
- Mod potential
- Safety features (ABS, air bags)

4. Followers : These are the people who don't have any opinion of their own. They will buy the same car as their neighbour / relative / colleague on hearing positive feedback. These people believe in strength in numbers - more buyers means better car.

5. Leaders : These are the one's who will buy something which very few people purchase. They will buy a car which is least seen on the road and will be happy to have an exclusive car.

6. Peer-pressure : These people have buy a car which is bigger than their neighbour's / relative's / colleague's car. Nothing else matters to them.

7. Snobs : They are generally looking for
- Brand name (BMW, Merc, Audi, Skoda, VW, Toyota, Honda)
- Size (outside) and space (inside)
- Driving pleasure
- Rear seat comfort
- Automation and assistance
- Advanced features (bells and whistles)
- Luxury features (sun roof, leather upholstry)

In real life, any customer is a combination of several personality types. For example, when I purchased my first car, I was a Newbie + Average Joe + Leader.

Disclaimer : Names of personality types not to be taken literally. I just could not come up with better names. Those who find the names offensive can read the names as Type 1, Type 2 upto Type 7.

Rohan,
Bangalore
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Old 8th September 2009, 16:24   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajivn View Post
With regards to selling factors for Indian cars - FE, VFM package, Brand, Resale value, Maintenance costs and other factors

With regards to Brand perception, heres one experience of mine

The Fiat dealers brought Fiat Linea to my home for a TD. Seeing the car infront the gate, neighbour who was on the road then got curious about this car. He walked to me and the conversation went like..

Neighbour: What car is this ?
Me : Boss, Its a Fiat Linea. ( I was like, you have not even heard or even seen this car)
Neighbour: Are you planning to buy this car.?
Me : No, just called for a TD, if it is good I might go for it.
Neighbour: Sir, why dont you go for a Maruti ? ( well, he owns a Swift)

I was shocked. Here is this gorgeous beauty infront of us and without even caring to know more about the car, spat comes the comment or suggestion from this ignorant and unsophisticated Neighbour.

Me : Well, I am looking for a Midsize sedan with certain premium to it.
Neighbour : Oh, then why dont you go for a Dzire.

I seriously got pissed and Dzire is one car I hate for its looks.
I was like why dont you just *-off, I couldnt tell him those words though.

But it gives an example of how for some people all they know is Maruti.

Felt the exact same thing when quite a few people ignorant on the trim level commented on the 5.65 lakh price tag on my i10 Asta - 'i10 - so pricey - you are duped by the dealer - my XXXX bought it for 3.9 / 4.2 only'. Come on, how can i make them understand the trim level difference between a manual i10 1.1 era / 1.2 Magna and an automatic i10 1.2 Asta!

Couple of them also tried to guide my dad to reason me out of buying a car with ABS and Airbags!!

Last edited by blackasta : 8th September 2009 at 16:26.
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Old 8th September 2009, 16:55   #37
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Question Time makes a difference.

I would say, the factors differ not just with people but with time. What people look for in a car, has greatly changed over a period of time.

There was a time when we did not have much options but to stick with a Ambassador or padmini or a contessa. It was a time when Car was a luxury and was rightly termed as a Pleasure Car in Tamil Nadu(South India may be). We never had any selling factors at that point of time.

Following this was the time when Maruti came in and people started thinking of speed and variety. Safety was not of so much importance then, rather the new looks offered by Maruti had a precedence.

Slowly there were other cars, Opel, Cielo, Mitsubishi, Ford and people started thinking of Safety, VFM etc. With time and more choices in the market, the factors people look for have changed or rather increased.

India is no more a country wherein, people think of a car only on VFM. We look for Power, Safety, Comfort and VFM for sure. We have a wide variety of choices and hence a equally good number of factors and hence bigger confusion.
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Old 8th September 2009, 18:26   #38
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Actually the Indian buyer wants a lot of things but one thing that has dropped on the priority list is... driving pleasure! How many sub ten lakh cars do we have with a hot engine and a sporty suspension? In the old days we had the GTX, Ikon 1.6, OHC and even the Accent had a 100bhp version. These days, its more about FE, maintainance and other more mundane things. A transition from heart to head if you ask me.
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Old 8th September 2009, 19:21   #39
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I agree with Mclaren rulez.

At present situation people consider about budget, Fuel efficiency, and Resale value as the main consideration while buying a car. With recession taking a toll with No salary hikes, cost cutting and salary cuts, it becomes mandatory for one to look at the following three criterias before buying a car.
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Old 9th September 2009, 01:22   #40
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1) Going by spec/features/data sheet - I know what I pay for
2) Seeking advise from experts (automags, online forums, friends, etc) - filtering the credible info.
3) Additionally, I drive it myself and buy only if convinced
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Old 9th September 2009, 02:17   #41
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Top 10 criterias,

1. Budget
2. Budget
3. Budget
4. city driving / highway driving (Comfirt)
5. FE
6. style (interior / exterior)
7. Reliability, Good ***
8. Brand
9. Fun to drive / power
10. Heart's choice!!
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Old 9th September 2009, 07:17   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit View Post
Indian customer before buying - Cheap to buy, best quality, cheap to maintain, best resale.

Indian customer after buying - drives like he is on a suicide mission and uses his car like it's a missile. If he has an accident, wouldn't he end up paying a whole lot of money to repair it? Where did the cheap maintainence factor go now?

This same customer cribs and brings the ASC down if his car returns 1kmpl less then his expectations but wouldn't utter a word if the suspension is as good as in a road roller and if he has to replace it every year even if it's cheap. Why does 1kmpl pinch more then Rs.x,xxx every year?
So very Trure !
There are elaborate study on the subject of "Consumer Psyche" but to put is simply it is like "Percieved Value". So when you find a guy who has never heard of the word Torque can you expect him to fully understand the engine performance parameters ? This is just an example. We at T-Bhp liberally use the word VFM but the Value as percieved by customer is much much more than only money.IMHO i have attempted an explanation which was here, which shall remain here in time to come about unexplained consumer behaviours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Actually the Indian buyer wants a lot of things but one thing that has dropped on the priority list is... driving pleasure! How many sub ten lakh cars do we have with a hot engine and a sporty suspension? In the old days we had the GTX, Ikon 1.6, OHC and even the Accent had a 100bhp version. These days, its more about FE, maintainance and other more mundane things. A transition from heart to head if you ask me.
IMHO density of cars in India is mainly concetrated in cities and due to lack of time most people don't get enough breaks to go for long trips very frequently. There are lesser car enthusiasts than plane jane users.

All this put together make more enjoyable cars less practical

cheers

Last edited by sanagg1 : 9th September 2009 at 07:22.
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Old 9th September 2009, 10:23   #43
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Default My Top 10

1. Budget.
2. Durability/Build Quality
3. Fuel Efficiency.
4. Interior Space.
5. Looks.
6. Snob Value.
7. Cost of Spares.
8. Features provided.
9. User perceptions.
10. Manufacturer.
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Old 9th September 2009, 10:39   #44
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I buy one if it is somehow a descendant of a Jeep (SUV, MUV, etc.) and suits my pocket.
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Old 9th September 2009, 10:54   #45
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How I bought my Wagon R:

Needed a car.
I was living with my in laws at that point of time.
So that was four of us.
My Parents would occasionally visit us, maybe once a year from Chennai.
That would make 6 of us.

Now I need a car that would seat either 4 or 6.
6 ruled out all sedans.
For 4 people, a wagon R with its four individual seats made a lot of sense.

Test Drove a new Wagon R, found it good.
On Road price was 4.3 for the Vxi

Visited a true value dealer.
Found a Wagon R Vxi exactly 2 years old with 14595kms.
Scratch less and in excellent condition.
Car had arrived at true value less than 2 days back.
3.23 Lakhs all inclusive.
Paid the booking amount and brought it home about 2 days later.

No regrets.
Did not consider mileage as an important factor.
But my Wagon R has a consistent 13.5 kmpl.
Love the versatile seats.
The ingress and egress makes it very comfortable for everyone.

My sister bought a (second hand) Wagon R for herself based on my feedback.
She is happy with the car.

Now, I would however prefer a bigger vehicle.
I love the Versa look.

The most important aspect for me in a car is seating comfort for everyone.
Handling and mileage dont really matter a lot.
I can drive with those constraints in mind.

Long distance biking has taught me that over all journey speed is not related to your top speed.
An expensive sports car will do Hyderabad -> Chennai in about 9 hours.
My Wagon R does it in 11 hours.

Of course I will not take any breaks in between.
But I find driving so relaxing, why do I need a break.
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