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Old 14th October 2009, 18:19   #31
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I'll give you my perspective:

1) If I had the money to buy a 7 lakh rupee estate, I would also be able to hire help to do the heavy work (e.g transporting plants, household supplies). So why go against the flow and buy a product whcih my neighbours may not approve as readily.
2) I would in any case be lothe to load up the 7 lakh rupee estate with heavy stuff, since a 7 lakh rupee car is a much bigger deal to me than an equivalent estate car is to a European
3) I've not been able to fully comprehend the greater usability of the boot in the estate. It is not as though I can load it above the seat-back height, can I? What happens in case of the front-end collision? All the extra luggage would hurt the passengers. Of course, in Europe, you get separators for this, but not in India.
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Old 27th February 2012, 17:44   #32
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Default Why dont we have Stationwagons in India?

Its not like we've never had station wagons - The Tata Estate was quite a desirable car when it was launched, the palio adventurer, the Indigo marina and the baleno estate had their fair share of takers. Isnt it puzzling that a market desirous of seating and boot space in its cars does not generate the necessary pull for auto-makers to consider estates in their portfolios? As a case in point, most mid-size cars (passats, A4s) sold in Germany are station wagons ('kombi' in deutsch).

I was never a big fan of the kombi from a styling perspective but having used one for over a year can vouch for the practicality of this body style. Sure the road noise is a tad on the higher side at speeds in excess of 140 kmph but I dont see this as a show-stopper for India. Typically kombis here cost more than their equalent sedans, but that to me is just opportunistic pricing rather than a reflection of material \ manufacturing burdens.

So why dont we see more of them in India ?
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Old 27th February 2012, 17:49   #33
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Default Re: Why dont we have Stationwagons in India?

The simple answer to this question - there is no market for station wagons.
All the station wagons that have been launched in India never really did well, be it the palio, marina or octavia combi. We may never see the return of these as people here prefer SUV's than station wagons. Specially with the compact SUV fever coming up there is no market for station wagons. I never liked the style/shape of station wagons, maybe others dont as well.

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Old 27th February 2012, 17:51   #34
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Default Re: Why dont we have Stationwagons in India?

Me thinks we are a nation of hatches, and a three box is seen as aspirational.
an SW looks to be just an extended hatch.
So maybe the thought process is inclined towards, hey SW and sedan are both the same price, I will buy the sedan.

opinion.
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Old 27th February 2012, 18:05   #35
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Default Re: Why dont we have Stationwagons in India?

One of my relative who lives in a village close to a small town, had an Indica. When he had to upgrade, he went for an Indigo. Considering his usage (where he sometimes carries agricultural produce), I asked him why he did not go for Marina. He said that he did not go for it because it looks very similar to Indica (both being hatch) and he wanted his upgrade to look like one.
3rd box is very important in India to make it a proper car. It doesn't matter even if it has negligible boot space. New DZire with a extra short boot space could have been a nice small station wagon, but then it would have been visually too close to the Swift and nobody would buy it.
I also gather it costs more money to make a hatch construction, so the wagons are actually more expensive (they have more materials as well. + the development costs has to be recovered by fewer cars that sell)
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Old 27th February 2012, 21:35   #36
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

The extra space in station wagons has very limited. In my Santro, with the rear seat down I could fit a washing machine (and I actually did!!) a flexibility not really offered by the station wagons. Thus though there is plenty of space there isnt much that customers can do with it. The space really becomes usable only on those airport runs with loads of bags or as some one mentioned when one his/her grocery shopping once in week and needs space to accommodate the shopping bags.
Had there been 'things' that one could do with the space, I am sure, customers would have looked beyond the image/parking/cost issues.
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Old 28th February 2012, 11:55   #37
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

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Originally Posted by Sanjunair5 View Post
The extra space in station wagons has very limited. In my Santro, with the rear seat down I could fit a washing machine (and I actually did!!) a flexibility not really offered by the station wagons.
Im missing something here. Even without the rear seats down a station wagon offers a lot more boot space than its equalent sedan. With the rear seats down and the front shotgun seat all the way forward with the backrest in the max upright position - I have transported furniture almost 2 meters tall and about 700 mm across. Infact it was during the time I shifted apartments that I truly recognized the utility of my kombi.
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Old 28th February 2012, 12:21   #38
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

I always liked the practical nature of Station wagon, however never had a chance to own one. and used to wonder why none of the manufacturers tried putting 2 more seats as the 3rd row in a SW, so that we can use the extra seats whenever necessary otherwise can be folded down for more space.

We feel Maruti is trying something similar with the ERTIGA, from the looks and description about the design.
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Old 28th February 2012, 12:27   #39
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

In India station wagons are perceived generally as a van and gets classified as a goods carrier which dents the image of the owner. So they prefer to have cars as a car.
Willys, Morris, Landy/Ambassador all had station wagons in India but failed to 'impress'.
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Old 28th February 2012, 14:41   #40
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Agreed that in India, people want space and space... and space. But which segment buyers consider boot space while buying? That's the hatchback buyer with limited budget who wants one car for all purposes. And this is the majority of total car demand in India. You can compare the numbers of hatches and CS's sold with all other and you shall know.
Someone with a sedans budget isn't considering bootspace as a requirement while searching for sedans. Most sedans will offer decent and satisfactory boot space. A mere difference of 50-70 litres won't be a deal breaker here. I haven't seen any case where for example a person buys a City over a Rapid just because city has 40 litres more of boot space. Also, since sedans provide decent boot space, the station wagons just doesn't appeal to any, except a few with the liking for it.

Hence you will see a lot of people opting for the CS versions, even though they started with a hatch in mind.

Station wagons would attract more when they come from the hatches rather than sedans. Eg a fabia station wagon, but then its impossible to price them at 30-60k more than the respective hatch. Hence I believe that the station wagon would always be a niche segment in India.

P.S. I don't think at present there is any station wagon offered by any of the manufacturers. Is there? And the market isn't missing them either.

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Old 28th February 2012, 16:20   #41
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodv001 View Post
I always liked the practical nature of Station wagon, however never had a chance to own one. and used to wonder why none of the manufacturers tried putting 2 more seats as the 3rd row in a SW, so that we can use the extra seats whenever necessary otherwise can be folded down for more space.
In a conventional stationwagon there isnt enough depth in the floor panel to permit third row seats. The only option is to raise the roof height - which pretty much means that you end up with a tall-boyish MPV (Ertiga) or a utility vehicle (Innova).
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Old 28th February 2012, 16:28   #42
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodv001 View Post
I always liked the practical nature of Station wagon, however never had a chance to own one. and used to wonder why none of the manufacturers tried putting 2 more seats as the 3rd row in a SW, so that we can use the extra seats whenever necessary otherwise can be folded down for more space.
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In a conventional stationwagon there isnt enough depth in the floor panel to permit third row seats.
Check out the Mercedes W124 "TE" and the Peugeot 505. Both were conventional station wagons and could seat 7-8.
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Old 28th February 2012, 16:46   #43
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

Dacia Logan MCV is also SW which can accommodate 7.

Only a change in Indian attitude can help to get more market to station wagon. People are considering style or status ( ? of a 3 box) over practicality or safety in India, even the CS version with a much smaller boot space is well accepted.

I hope the attitude may change with the launch of Ertiga, as its a maruti, acceptance will be much better and its more practical with more seats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
Check out the Mercedes W124 "TE" and the Peugeot 505. Both were conventional station wagons and could seat 7-8.
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Old 28th February 2012, 18:30   #44
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

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Check out the Mercedes W124 "TE" and the Peugeot 505. Both were conventional station wagons and could seat 7-8.
Well A rear facing 3rd row seat that can just about fit kids may not really qualify as a proper 7 seater. That said - in principle - yes this is a seven seater. Id never consider buying one, though.
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Old 28th February 2012, 22:17   #45
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Default Re: Why havent station wagons succeeded in India??

India as a country is not big fan of SW for one reason that SW's donot match our lifestyles. What is the population of car buyers who are taking a long travel( 900 to 1400 km range) in the car with lots of holiday stuff packed in it enjoying the holidays for about 1 week or 10 days. Very limited and so is the preference for SW's also.

We are mostly using it as a every day car with occasional long trips. There are SUV and MUV's for this purpose as they can take additional passenger and adequate luggage also.

So a product which is selling better in some part of world need not sell in India as is the case with SW's.

(I do agree that there are people of this kind and only they bought these SW's earlier.)
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