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Old 13th July 2009, 17:02   #16
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To answer the thread starters question, NO! Powerful cars sell only when a powerful engine is the sole option in a successful car (e.g. Honda Civic). Bring a lower-priced smaller engine variant, or a diesel option, 9 times out of 10 it will be the smaller / diesel engine that dominates sales.

Consider a similar behaviour across different sections of the market. The Indica DLS outsold the Indica Turbo, the Palio 1.2 / 1.9 diesel outsold the 1.6 100 BHP rockstar, Fiesta 1.4 over the delicious 1.6, Octavia 1.9 outselling the TPi / RS, the Accord 1-4 over the V6 (even when the price differential was reasonable), the E220 wins over the E280 and the 520 over the 530.

The priorities of a typical Indian car buyer are cost of ownership & fuel efficiency...he couldn't care less about that additional horsepower. Is it any wonder then? Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. I'm made to believe that the OHC 1.5 / Vtec outsold the OHC 1.3 DX. Could also have to do with the 1.3 coming only in base trim perhaps?
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Old 13th July 2009, 17:30   #17
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The main point is that in developed markets, the customer has many options on which he/she can spend incremental amounts on. You could get more power (eg. buy an M3 instead of a 320i), more comfort and convenience (get expensive options like sat-nav, multiple airbags, run-flat tyres), more style (buy an Alfa Mito or a Mini instead of a Suzuki or a Hyundai), more environmental peace-of-mind (buy a Civic Hybrid instead of a normal Civic), and many other 'more's.

In India, usually the only option that the buyer has for incremental spend (eg. if I up my budget from 8L to 13L) is size. For example, if you like the Civic but want something more than a 1.8 engine, you have to buy an Accord (no option of a 2.0 engine or a turbocharged engine). Before the i10 came along, if you wanted more than 2 airbags you had to buy a 20L+ car. If you want a car with more than 150 bhp you have to buy a big heavy car (smallest option is a Skoda Laura). No hot hatches. No coupes. Just size.

What this indicates is that manufacturers imagine that the overwhelming majority of Indian customers are only interested in spending their money on one thing... Size. They believe that the additional cost of launching more powerful variants will not be recovered because not enough people will buy those cars.
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Old 13th July 2009, 19:05   #18
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Given its nature now, manufacture of modern automobiles has to be a volumes game to make economic sense, and therefore manufacturers have to have product strategies that address a broad swathe of the market. We have to realize that catering to the current needs of the large majority of Indians is what will be pursued because that is what will be successfull. In turn, the appetite for more powerful cars has to also go hand in hand with the roads available to drive them on, safely.
Separately lies the question as to whether we will ever have the kind of auto environment that fosters the market for such cars in a significant way, given the environmental concerns that will play a larger and larger role in how things shape up in future. So I do not think we will see in India the same kind of path that was hewn by the auto industry in the developed markets. As someone who is concerned about the way the planet is being abused and is running out of resources, I also do not think we should see that happen, but that of course is just IMHO.
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Old 13th July 2009, 20:56   #19
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Honda launched the Accord with the V6, 270 BHP (?) engine option. Doesnt this count with the scores of Audi's, Merc's and Beemer's that are flooding the market?

IMO, anything in the "lower bracket" and its not going to have more than a lukewarm response. How many youngsters are going to invest in a hot hatch with 200 BHP costing 15 lakhs? Those who can afford will. But those who are on a budget, salaried class people, will look for FE and driveability more, than just raw power and acceleration.
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Old 2nd August 2009, 17:18   #20
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Default Are powerful cars cheaper to maintain then a under powered one ?

Since we are talking about powerful cars in India, i was wondering whether say if we were to ignore the FE part wouldn't a powerful car would be more cheaper to maintain than a under powered one.

Say for eg a person has a Alto (800 cc,45 BHP), with the A/c on i would say that the driver may push the car harder to make it go faster.More hard driving would mean more wear and tear of the engine.

Now let's take the example of a Honda City (1.5, 100 + hp), with the A/c on the engine won't probably take much of a beating as the Alto thus , so lesser wear and tear.

All i am trying to say if a powerful car is less taxed at the engine front than a under powered one wouldn't it be cheaper to maintain in the long run?

What do you guys think !

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Old 3rd August 2009, 12:15   #21
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Sumeet, it would surely make a difference on the engine's stress levels, but not a deal-breaker from any viewpoint. Today's engines are good for 1,50,000 - 2,00,000 kms at the minimum, if scheduled maintenance is strictly adhered to. Thus, if an Alto 1.1 lasts 20,000 kms more than the air-con / load stressed Alto 800 cc, that's hardly a difference when you consider that most owners would have changed their cars at the 1,00,000 - 1,25,000 kms mark (if not earlier).

And then, there are several other factors that influence the life of an engine (conditions driven in, how it was maintained, the style in which the car was driven etc.), irrespective of its cubic capacity.
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Old 4th October 2009, 00:44   #22
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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
The typical Indian Mindset is"mileage kya hai?"
To them, my constant is refrain is 'agar mileage hi dekhna the to auto mein nahin chaltey? Sedan kyon liya'

Cheers to the performance cars of today, including a certain 100BHp true-handling Ford Fiesta 1.6 SXi !
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Old 4th October 2009, 16:14   #23
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No powerful cars don't sell in India unless it is a Honda, and to a lesser extent a toyota or a skoda.
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Old 5th October 2009, 15:39   #24
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I agree with theEnd here.
We have no choice. If you want more spec, you buy the next segment, else grit and bear it! What logic! The kind of spec I am looking for in my hatch replacement is punting me directly in the league of the L&K Laura! If i were in the UK, i could have bought said hatch twice over for that price.

Do powerful cars sell? Sure they do, else why would Audi, BMW et al be posting 3 digit growth? Why would a Panamera be launched here within months of the international launch?

And why would one think that doing good for the planet (all for it, BTW) is going to be any less expensive? If we cannot get a subcompact/ hatch with the spec it is launched in foreign shores because we are all too cheap to spring for stuff we lust after, what makes us sure that all the high-tech stuff going into electric vehicles and the salvation of the auto future will come any cheaper?

Are we going to have auto plants in this country localising the hydrogen cell? Or will our green vehicles be restricted to skinny tires with 1.1 liter 3 pot engines for maximum economy, the rest of the automotive experience be damned?

If we were forced to pay the price in real terms for the vehicles we wanted in the spec we wanted, we would have manufacturers giving us airbags as standard and ESP at least as option across the board, starting with the 800. This would mean less people would be able to buy a car, sure, but that would mean less congestion, and a more informed decision when buying one. In short, we might become a developed (auto) nation!

Just because the 800 is our lowest common denominator, we have become too cheap to insist on better and are not willing to pay for anything more as well.

Last edited by crackingride : 5th October 2009 at 15:42.
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Old 18th December 2012, 01:33   #25
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I was searching the net to see what is the most powerful car this side of 15-20 lakhs currently available in the Indian market and the search brought me to this discussion...

Being related to the homologation side I completely understand the green brigade but there are options which could be fun as well as practical.. Skoda Octavia Vrs Tdi which is at 170bhp with diesel engine fuel consumption.

I think with the customer now being more developed and aware these cars should be available pretty soon....

- Gandhar
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