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Old 24th June 2005, 12:52   #1
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Default Skoda Superb : What a BLUNDER of positioning

At a dinner last night, someone from the group came up in a Superb. Invariably the men started discussing cars and the women were bored

I was very curious about the car since I had only a brief stint in it previously. So I drove the Superb the longer way home and I was really impressed. The interiors are mighty and it rides pretty well. Doesnt handle to please the enthusiast in me, but its a sweet up-market machine nevertheless.

So why did the Superb sink in India? Simple actually. Its positioned against Mercedes Benz and all that aura of a three pointed star.

Buttttttttttttttttt in Europe, its positioned against the Honda Accord, Ford Mondeo and the Hyundai Sonata. What on earth was Skoda smoking when they launched it at a C Class price? Especially when it looks identical to the New gen Octavia - even to the trained eye!

A Below-20 lakh price (which is what the Superb deserves) would have done wonders to this car in the Indian marketplace. Not to mention, a new name rather than the ghastly "Superb". Whats their next car going to be called - Brilliant?

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Old 24th June 2005, 12:57   #2
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Yes. This is one blunder from Skoda. The other blunder is that they didn't introduce Superb with a good diesel engine. They should have used their tried and tested strategy; introduce both the petrol and diesel variants and price them identically. This has worked with Octi and there would have been no reason why this should not have been tried with Superb. They should have changed the exteriors not to resemble Octi.

Off topic, when they launch Fabia, which more or less resembles Octi from the front, how will people take the Octi?
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Old 24th June 2005, 13:11   #3
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When there were talks of launching the Superb 2 years back, the price quoted was 18-20 lakhs. Well even that would have been a good price. But it would have gone the Mondeo / Vectra way.
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Old 24th June 2005, 15:42   #4
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Well, the Skoda was one promoted as a car of E-class proportions and S-class interior space at C-class money. But for that money, I guess the badge matters a lot.

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Old 24th June 2005, 17:07   #5
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GTO, i don't understand your point about the Superb being priced at C segment and how a >20L price tag would have been better. Correct me if i am wrong, but isn't the Superb sold at 25L??
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Old 24th June 2005, 17:22   #6
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Quote:
GTO, i don't understand your point about the Superb being priced at C segment and how a >20L price tag would have been better.
Oops, Not C segment - I mean C Class price (As in Mercedes C Class).

Yes, the Superb is sold at 25 Lacs+ which is surprising because it is pitted against the Mondeo and Accord internationally.

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Old 24th June 2005, 17:54   #7
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yup even i think if the car is priced between18-20lakhs the car could eat up a large slice of accord and camry sales,it would then would be a really 'superb' car at a great price.
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Old 24th June 2005, 17:57   #8
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for more reference you can see the article named 'giant killers' in ACI.i dont think superb compares to s-class in anything it is not even as good as the e-class,the main advantage it has against the c-class is the space.
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Old 24th June 2005, 19:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman
i dont think superb compares to s-class in anything it is not even as good as the e-class,the main advantage it has against the c-class is the space.
What I believe is that the Superb is larger than the C-class, and comparable with the E-class in interior space. How do the Accord / Mondeo / Vectra compare with the C-class, spacewise?

Of course, in that segment, a car needs a lot more than just space to compete. Interiors, trim levels, equipment, performance, handling, tech gimmickry are all needed.

I am sure that the Superb would have sold a lot more if Skoda had included a powerful PD diesel engine at the same price. And the petrol Superb is overpriced.
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Old 24th June 2005, 21:48   #10
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I still belive that main reason why Superb never picked up was because it resembled wayyy to much with Octavia
saw one (and only in 2 years) at signal few days ago the only way to recognise it (to untrained eyes) was because of its length & rear plate saying superb (my friend was asking why is that octavia looking large?)

people would have bought it even at this price had it looked different
& putting it in >20Lakh would have been damn good (would have done wonders what Accord is doing right now)
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Old 24th June 2005, 22:18   #11
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i actually like the superb- it does offer superb value for money (as against the merc)- but, like GTO said, an excellent product losing out in sales due to it's market positioning.... yes, i too, think that the car would have made much more sense as a upper class octavia...the price range, i mean...

the thing is, that a merc buyer would never go for the superb, because of two reasons- the snob value, and the engine layout- the merc is a RWD, as compared to the FWD superb, remember...?? the merc is a driver's car, whereas the superb feels more like a chauffeur's....

but if the superb were priced in the accord-mondeo range, then i feel that 99% of the customers would be gunning for the superb.......

the superb doesn't have any competitors in it's class, except the merc- the marketing guys must have run out of options as to whom to pit it against... all in all, another good product losing out due to the pricing.... hope it doesn't have the indian sonata's fate...
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Old 25th June 2005, 11:51   #12
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Frankly, IMHO, the Octavia should be repriced at around 9-10 Lk, and the Superb can be priced at around 15-17 lk, that wud be a proper pricing. If a person has the money to spend 23-24 Lk on a car, i am sure he can shell out a few lakhs more and go buy a Merc C Class. Skoda is a Skoda, Merc is a Merc. They say the Superb has features almost similar to the E-Class, (dont know how far this is true) but well, the Superb looks Exactly like the Octavia from many angles, a commener could give away the Superb thinking its maybe a new version of the Octavia or something. They should have atleast given it a respectable shape and design, not just upgraded the body of the Octavia!
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Old 25th June 2005, 12:06   #13
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in my opinion...superb is the car for those who dont want unwanted attention...a merc attracts unwanted attention...

if i have some 3 ml bucks in m purse..i would definately go for a superb...

IMO..a 3 m car should not gather so much attention...if u want to command attention...u may splurge on a bentley or..eh...maybach...

P.S.: i wont object to the prices of superb going lower....

Last edited by BuRnT RuBbEr : 25th June 2005 at 12:14.
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Old 25th June 2005, 12:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjacob
What I believe is that the Superb is larger than the C-class, and comparable with the E-class in interior space. How do the Accord / Mondeo / Vectra compare with the C-class, spacewise?
Any of the abovementioned would eat up a C Class and still have space left over for a M800 in terms of space. The Accord and Camry offer space equivalent to the E class.

The Superb is a cheap Passat and therefore shouldnt pretend to be an expensive Merc...

Somebody suggested 9 lakhs for the Octy and 18 lakhs for the Superb - now THAT would be extremely sensible pricing, AND would've allowed VW to bring in the Bora and the Passat to take up the price points currently occupied by the Skodas. That way VW would've had the cake and eaten it too...
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Old 25th June 2005, 13:29   #15
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Quote:
originally posted by burnt rubber
in my opinion...superb is the car for those who dont want unwanted attention...a merc attracts unwanted attention...

strangely, that makes a lot of sense....especially for a 30 something corporate executive...... at least in mumbai....

the superb gives a lot of bang, in an understated kind of way...

Quote:
originally posted by steeroid

Somebody suggested 9 lakhs for the Octy and 18 lakhs for the Superb - now THAT would be extremely sensible pricing, AND would've allowed VW to bring in the Bora and the Passat to take up the price points currently occupied by the Skodas. That way VW would've had the cake and eaten it too...
yes, it would be sensible....in fact, it would be simply superb...he...he... and that could happen, if skoda's move to indegenise the components and set up the manufacturing plant here in india goes through.... most of the octavia's and superb's sticker price currently goes into the government's coffers as tax for the CKD kits...

IMHO, if the cars were to be manufactured in india and the parts sourced locally (at least to the tune of 60-70%, which is a realistic figure), the prices could go down by at least a couple of lacs for their range...

OFF TOPIC: by the way, there was news that a bill has been put up to reduce the duties on all sorts of automotive imports- the rumour is that the 103% duty on CBU's might be reduced to 50 or so, in exchange for some export and employment subsidies or something .... and in the same vein, the duties for the SKD's and CKD's are also supposed to be brought down....if that happens (in the next couple of years or so), then expect the mercs (C class) and superbs to be priced in the 18 lac range or below.... that would mean that accords and mondeos will come down to the bottom 'D' segment; maybe at elantra's price, even.....can't hurt to dream, eh...??
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