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View Poll Results: What petrol C segment sedan would you buy?
Honda City 1.5 iVtec 113 55.39%
Fiat Linea 1.4 Fire 91 44.61%
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Old 8th October 2009, 15:28   #796
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
September sales ANHC vs Linea 4 : 1 The ANHC is overall a better product than the Linea.
No. Not again !
I think we agreed that sales figures can not be an absolute reason to state that a certain car is a better product than the other with lower sales figures. There are host of other parameters which influences a car's sales figures as someone mentioned earlier. Lets see below

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Originally Posted by Untouchables09 View Post
May be. But still I have a doubt that the logic that ANHC is VFM because it sells more has some disconnect somewhere (shall share a few possible reasons later) because the logic also implies that SX4 (& may be other cars in the segment) is/are not VFM (& overpriced for the value offered).
Lemme try to list out those parameters which influences a car''s sales figures & see if we can find the disconnect in that logic.

This is compiled basis various posts here.
Also I asked my 2 colleagues (who bought ANHC) on the reasons why they selected it. None of them mentioned Engine, Performance, 0-100 sec, power etc. 1 guy keeps his ANHC as chuaffer-driven. The other guy's daily commute is hardly 10 kms per day. 1 guy says he wanted to upgrade & what better to upgrade than a Honda. Also he says he can't see himself upgrading to Maruti, Hyundai, Ford (Fiat he already sneezed as mentioned earlier). The 2nd guy says he bought it because its a Honda & similar to his profile-guys have a Honda & he can't see himself downgraded to Maruti/Hyundai/Ford/Fiat compared to them.
I'm not saying all guys buying Honda think like this. But how many think like this for the parameters mentioned by these 2 guys & some other parameters.

Feedback is solicited for below from everyone here, its open feedback:

For 100 guys buying ANHC, put a break up / number of such buyers against each of the parameters below (it could be either single most as in example of those 2 guys above or the primary reason for buying out of 2-3 or more parameters):
  • Status - e.g. How many buys ANHC having status as main criteria & may be with other criterias act as secondary/ supportive or even not-so-important
  • H Badge-Exclusivity - e.g. How many buys ANHC having H-badge-exclusivity as main criteria
  • The syndrome-I always buy the no. 1 product in its segment/industry - how many
  • Honda is Honda - how many
  • A.S.S. - how many
  • Dealer Network - Reach & Quality
  • Spares cost/maintenance
  • Resale
  • Peace of Mind
  • Engine
  • Pricing - Good competitive pricing
  • Ride & Handling
  • FE
  • Safety features
  • Equipments/ Gizmos/Features
  • Interiors - Quality & Space
  • Exterior Looks/ Designs
  • (anyone can add more)
Is it here that the answer to the disconnect in the logic, that ANHC is VFM because it sells more, lies ? Are these the factors which influences consumer buying decision & hence influences the sales figures ? If so, why are we still saying ANHC is the best/better product/car & a VFM BECAUSE it sells more ?
 
Old 8th October 2009, 15:46   #797
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Quote:
Status - e.g. How many buys ANHC having status as main criteria & may be with other criterias act as secondary/ supportive or even not-so-important
Status? The Skoda Fabia can give someone the most "status" in the hatch market. Too bad status didn't work there. Skoda, for whatever inexplicable reason, means luxury in India, more so than Honda to some.

Nor did it work for the Jazz.

While I agree that the Honda badge brings buyers to the City, I'd say its well earned. Each generation of the Honda City has left behind a long trail of satisfied customers.

Among your other factors, I'll make it easier for you : All-roundedness. Related post:

Quote:
Lets look at the other factors that make a car:

- Performance : City > SX4 > Verna > Linea

- Fuel efficiency : City > SX4 > Linea > Verna

- Ride quality : Linea > City > Verna > SX4

- Handling : Linea > SX4 > City > Verna

- Interior space : City > Verna > SX4 > Linea

- Looks : Linea > City > SX4 > Verna (purely my opinion)

- Overall Fit / Finish : City > Verna > SX4 > Linea

- Features : Linea > SX4 > City > Verna

- Brand (for those whom it matters to) : City > SX4 > Verna > Linea
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Old 8th October 2009, 15:46   #798
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Again, i repeat VFM is a subjective term. So there will be a disconnect between market ledaer (sales numbers ) and individual VFM. Also, a VFM need not to a better car - again subject terms. I call ANHC -

a. VFM - Very subjective - just my take. for me it is VFM
b. Very succesful car - From market numbers - it is proven now.

When i start researhcing from my car upgrade - my criteria were:

a. Automatic / Petrol Car
b. Safety/Refined performer/ reliable
c. Good *** network
d. Resale value
e. Brand value

For me, ANHC scored high and went for it. Hence it is VFM for me.
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Old 8th October 2009, 15:46   #799
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thats EXACTLY what I was communicating. Not more than 5 - 10% of customers will cross-shop between a diesel USP Manza and a petrol USP ANHC. ANHC buyers are willing to pay a premium for the car, while typical Tata buyers are willing to make many compromises for the value pricing.
If its acceptable for ANHC, its also the same for the Linea where both are targeting the premium C segment.

But how does it justify the fact that the Manza would eat into the sales of the Linea which I would expect to be almost 1 - 2L over the Manza. I am sure the dynamics/brand value of the Linea vs Manza would differentiate a lot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sure didn't work for the Jazz, did it? Further, what "premium" that the Honda brand has in India has been well earned by its products. They, and the company, have proven themselves over the last 10 years.
The hatch segment is still not matured in India and for any premium hatch to be a hit in India needs time and maturity. Even the Fabia didnt do well in the market for the same reasons. Nothing much to do with the 'H' badge I beleive.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Oh yes, you can say that again. The Fiesta 1.6 (S too) is a beautiful drive. Throw in the tight handling and a 4 year warranty. However, in size, it is out of this segment now.
I find it quite unacceptable if you say its just the size of the Fiesta that would throw it out of this segment. The Fiesta has got everything except the Premium branding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Vista outsells the Punto for your information.
I would like to quote the exact words from your September 09 sales thread about the GP. Its targeted at the Premium hatch segment and the target customers are different compared to the Vista and also its pricing. I beleive the FIAT CEO was targeting similar numbers during the launch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
On the one hand, you state its more to do with the premium value of the H brand, and now you state that H customers overlook brand value? Which one is it?
People overlooking the fact of "badge/brand value", its more to do with driving a Honda is the feel good factor here rather than driving a VFM car when it goes to the premium C segment!
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Old 8th October 2009, 15:46   #800
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Fiat purists will buy the Linea.
Does it mean that those who bought Linea are Fiat fans or owned a Fiat before?
I don't think so!
Majority of Linea owners are first time Fiat owners!
I guess they bought it on the merits of the car rather than going by the 'brand image'!
Quote:
The Indian consumer is actually way smarter than we give him credit for. Ask any auto manufacturer, they will tell you he is amongst the most discerning in the world. And now, in this information age economy, he is better informed than ever.
Not really, we have not yet reached that stage!
Very few do a detailed study of the cars available in the market, very few check the details on the net, very few do a Test drive too.
They just go by the brand image and by what their friend or uncle suggest them to buy!

Last edited by finneyp : 8th October 2009 at 15:48.
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Old 8th October 2009, 15:55   #801
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Originally Posted by Untouchables09 View Post
Is it here that the answer to the disconnect in the logic, that ANHC is VFM because it sells more, lies ? Are these the factors which influences consumer buying decision & hence influences the sales figures ? If so, why are we still saying ANHC is the best/better product/car & a VFM BECAUSE it sells more ?
you are missing GTO's point. People don't normally wish to throw away their money, so if they are paying 1L more, it should be because they think there's a value to it. That value could be brand,features,engine,reliability or whatever.

The fact that ANHC outsells Linea 4:1 means apparently 4/5 people in this segment think its worth paying the premium for ANHC.

This doesn't mean the 1/5 are wrong or the 4/5 are right. It just means that people have certain preferences when it comes to the selection of a car.
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:21   #802
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Originally Posted by neoonwheels View Post
The primary problem with FIAT selling good number of Lineas is "brand image". The mass hardly visits TATA showroom when they have 8-9L ready with them. First thing they will do is to visit Honda/Maruti/Hyundai/Ford showroom.
Nailed it. That - I wonder how many people in the market for a sedan would even know that, in the first place.
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:28   #803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Lets look at the other factors that make a car:

- Performance : City > SX4 > Verna > Linea
- Fuel efficiency : City > SX4 > Linea > Verna
- Ride quality : Linea > City > Verna > SX4
- Handling : Linea > SX4 > City > Verna
- Interior space : City > Verna > SX4 > Linea
- Looks : Linea > City > SX4 > Verna (purely my opinion)
- Overall Fit / Finish : City > Verna > SX4 > Linea
- Features : Linea > SX4 > City > Verna
- Brand (for those whom it matters to) : City > SX4 > Verna > Linea
Fuel Efficiency of City and Linea are not drastically different. Linea weighs almost 120kg more, thanks to its solid build and returns approximately same FE as AHNC. (AHNC around 12-13 and Linea around 11-12).

More importantly, Linea comes at price tag of whooping 1.5L cheaper than AHNC, which is good enough to fill in for lack of FE

While one may keep cribbing about occasional niggles (such as chrome stripe coming off), one experiences ride and handling all the time one is inside the car.

While AHNC is still selling in decent numbers, it has already tapered down sharply, while NHC ramped up all the time till it was selling, peaking in the end. NHC took over where OHC left (low numbers -> high) and AHNC took over from NHC, which was already selling like hot cake.

While Linea was never expected to beat AHNC, it has achieved its purpose well. For a brand, which had hit rock bottom just an year back, suddenly has become talk of town. People are still skeptical of buying it, but more and more people are noticing it and giving it a thought.

Comparing GM and Fiat, Fiat brand has been in shambles for long time before it started its recovery in India and worldwide, while GM has been respectable brand till economic meltdown. Both are recovering and I don't see drastic difference in the way they are recovering.
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:35   #804
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Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
you are missing GTO's point. People don't normally wish to throw away their money, so if they are paying 1L more, it should be because they think there's a value to it. That value could be brand,features,engine,reliability or whatever.

The fact that ANHC outsells Linea 4:1 means apparently 4/5 people in this segment think its worth paying the premium for ANHC.

This doesn't mean the 1/5 are wrong or the 4/5 are right. It just means that people have certain preferences when it comes to the selection of a car.
+1 to your statement in bold.

for example shrinivas or any other owner, VFM is Honda City, or in other words, he found it worth paying 10 odd lacs from his pocket for ANHC, that's because, all his requirements were fulfilled by Honda City. The other cars weren't a competition to his requirements.

Similarly VahanPujari or any other Linea owner found VFM in Linea, that's because his requirements were fulfilled by Fiat Linea.

Just took two example of respective owners. hope you guys don't mind. Your name's came at top of my mind, so mentioned them.

Market has options for everyone, we are not stopping the normal public off the team-bhp from buying linea or any other car than Honda City. Its just that people or the average Joe finds vfm in ANHC as of now. Now this much sales is due to word of mouth praises for city, brand image, performance, returning of loyal customers could make for a good market research.

Last edited by chevelle : 8th October 2009 at 16:38.
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:47   #805
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If VFM is brand image (we know not more than 1-2% care about the engine seeing how well the NHC sold) then there would be no beating Honda and Hyundai.

Objectively, ANHC would not be VFM for someone not interested in the powertrain and the brand image.

I think this discussion has reached stalemate.

@Mods

Maybe this thread should be locked for now and opened when we see a new powertrain on the Linea.
Just my two cents.
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:49   #806
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Originally Posted by shrinivasap View Post
a. Automatic / Petrol Car
b. Safety/Refined performer/ reliable
c. Good *** network
d. Resale value
e. Brand value
No offense to you just asking, All you wanted from your 9 lakh rupee car was reliability and refinement?
Keeping all your requirements in mind Hyundai i20 fits the bill perfectly and in the bargain gives you more equipments, better safety and dare I say better looks and A$$ too.
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Old 8th October 2009, 16:50   #807
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The primary problem with FIAT selling good number of Lineas is "brand image". The mass hardly visits TATA showroom when they have 8-9L ready with them. First thing they will do is to visit Honda/Maruti/Hyundai/Ford showroom.
The secondary problem is imho, the network of sales and service for FIAT. Its simply not available everywhere, not even where Honda is available. in Gujarat, for example, Honda has two showrooms in Baroda, while FIAT doesn't have a single one that have sales and service of punto and linea. there could be many other cities like this one. and this affects the sales a lot. i believe, they are losing lots of potential customers from such cities.

I went to Miles Motor to take a test drive of linea. when i went there i couldn't find any linea on display. after inquiring, we got to know that they haven't taken upon themselves to sell linea and punto. the reason being FIAT wanted the owner to renovate the whole showroom and give more space to linea and punto. all this was to cost them a fortune so they declined. This is what i got to hear from the sales manager there. He said for test drive or sales and service we need to go to Ahmedabad.
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Old 8th October 2009, 17:13   #808
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Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
you are missing GTO's point. People don't normally wish to throw away their money, so if they are paying 1L more, it should be because they think there's a value to it. That value could be brand,features,engine,reliability or whatever.

The fact that ANHC outsells Linea 4:1 means apparently 4/5 people in this segment think its worth paying the premium for ANHC.

This doesn't mean the 1/5 are wrong or the 4/5 are right. It just means that people have certain preferences when it comes to the selection of a car.
I agree when someone says not all good cars go on to become sales leaders. But also, you can never see a not-so-good car becoming a best seller.

The sales figures and points about reliability, engines, transmission etc., about these two cars are not India specific.
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Old 8th October 2009, 17:31   #809
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Lets give FIAT some time for Brand building (May be an year or two) as they are making a comeback. The FIAT cars would be selling hot by next year end for sure. Guys it takes a lifetime to rebuild the brand once abandoned by the people.
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Old 8th October 2009, 17:35   #810
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Today, Automobile Market is a Buyers Market

There are N number of choices for the customer in terms products, segments, brands and prices. There are also availability related factors viz. dealers, proximity, financing aspects, service aspects etc, which influences the choices.

Customer (first time or repeat) would have N number of needs and wants ranging from basic commuting to work, transportation of goods and people, business travel, inter-city travel, holiday-liesure travel, utility, upgrading to a better vehicle, flaunting the wealth, demonstrating that socially i have arrived, flaunting the latest etc, etc

Customer also has his perceptions (Good as well as Not so good), network of influencers (uncles, friends, boss, colleagues, wife etc), his own fears (what if this happens e.g. car turn out to be a Lemon or high cost to maintain etc), risk apetite and flexibility/patience to go through probelms etc, Most importantly repeat customers have their previous expereince baggage.

When a customer decides to buy a particular car, he considers all these aspects and then makes the best possible decision given his maximum budget.

So the sales numbers are a summation of all such decisions. If a particular brand has no availability in a particular geography, a set of customers does not visit a particular show room or a particular company has bad reputation etc, the customer (= buyer) is not to be blamed. The respective company (=seller) has to strive to correct the situation (= increase sales)

Product (per say) may be excellent (read cheap, best, VFM, performing features, equipment etc), but still it may not sell based on other factors.

But GOSPEL TRUTH is a car which is selling in high numbers (in a particular segment) is being liked by the (particular set of) customers. Some times being a Leading product, itself will bring in more customers to that product e.g. If we see more people visiting Leh, I will also try to visit there, this is herd mentality which is again a common human tendency.

Hence let us leave it to the customer to decide which is a better car for him. Anyway sales report will tell us what most customers choose.

i have already made my decision 4.5 months ago, i am not going to be in the market for next 6.5 years, let me re-visit to the question at that time.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 8th October 2009 at 17:42.
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