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Old 13th October 2009, 08:58   #1
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Exclamation Why haven't Estates / Station Wagons succeeded in India?

Octavia Combi, Baleno Altura, Indigo Marina. I guess even Padmini had a station wagon version.
Yet none of these were/are successful in India, where a bigger car is always sought after for its ability to take in more people/luggage/pets etc.

What does Team BHP think could be the reason??
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Old 13th October 2009, 09:15   #2
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Similarly priced SUV's available. As much space, butcher and more expensive looks.
Also, many consider Station Wagons as large hatches, i.e: chotta gaadi.
However, there is no doubt that station wagon's are very practical. We have an Octavia Combi, and it is perfect for long trips. It is like an SUV/MUV (space), which handles like a car (Lower CG).
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:04   #3
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I love the station wagon, exactly like lamborghini said it has the space and drives like a car! Further I like the looks of it as well.

I cannot understand why it failed but would love to get some answers - maybe it was a neither here nor there positioning.

Cheers,
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:09   #4
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May be bcoz most of those are not built to look good... Indigo Marina looks like a stretched indica.. same with baleno altura and so on ...

Palio adventure was a gr8 looking one in tht aspect, but i guess ppl often consider them to be fuel guzzlers due to their look and build !!

And there are very few wagons with a nice diesel to compliment it. period
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:09   #5
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From an Indian perspective,

A hatchback is for people who want something cheap and affordable to run
A sedan is for people who want status
An MUV/SUV is for Utilty.

The market in India has still got to mature to the age of the Station Wagons.
It will not be long enough.
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:23   #6
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Larger space which do not convert into more seating makes scarce sense in India. And most people are comfy enough with a large sedan boot. They don't think of packing mountain bikes or boats as station wagons are meant to.

Think of SUVs and how people value the third rough, even if it is fit enough for kids and dogs only.
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:37   #7
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The first relatively successful station wagon in India in the early 90's has got to be the Tata Estate. My uncle had one and in those days, it was considered quite a status symbol to possess one. If I remember right, this was their first offering in the car market and they later moved on to the Tata Sierra and then the Indica.
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Octavia Combi, Baleno Altura, Indigo Marina. I guess even Padmini had a station wagon version.
Yet none of these were/are successful in India, where a bigger car is always sought after for its ability to take in more people/luggage/pets etc.

What does Team BHP think could be the reason??
Looks? A station wagon, even though hugely practical, doesn't gives an image a similarly priced sedan gives. And it definitely doesn't have the macho image of an SUV.. or even MUVs like Bolero.
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
Looks? A station wagon, even though hugely practical, doesn't gives an image a similarly priced sedan gives. And it definitely doesn't have the macho image of an SUV.. or even MUVs like Bolero.
And that is exactly what I said.
Station Wagon's look like big hatches, which though practical, do not have the image buyers are looking for.
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:55   #10
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AFAIK, Indigo marina is fairly successful in Taxi market.
How about Opel Corsa sail, is it a station wagon / Hatchback ?
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushrutha View Post
AFAIK, Indigo marina is fairly successful in Taxi market.
How about Opel Corsa sail, is it a station wagon / Hatchback ?
Yes, the Marina is very successfull in the Taxi Market,but why dont individuals buy it?? It doesnt look bad, is practical and gives a good "average" as well..

Corsa Sail, one of my fav cars for its looks and finish, it is a cross between station wagons and hatchbacks.
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:34   #12
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Some possible reasons;
1.The average first time Indian car buyer usually starts his/ her flirtation with the world of the automobile by buying a hatch like an 800, Santro, Estilo, I10 etc.
2.He/ she is kind of hard wired to think that when he/she buys his/her first "sedan"/ "car-with-a-boot", he/she has arrived in life.
3.Station Wagons are certainly larger than conventional hatches and indeed (to put it simply) are for the most part, hatch versions of cars-with-boots. But this fact is completely lost on the potential consumer, for the most part.
4.The lifestyle aspect - in most countries where station wagons are popular, we will see that people generally drive longer distances, tend to do their shopping and groceries etc once a week and tend to buy the larger packs/ economy sizes of essentials. Much food there is pre-packaged and coupled with the availability of a good cold chain as well as a propensity for DIY and absence of "hired help" contributes to the greater use-ability of a Station Wagon. Also a Station Wagon is usually a "second car" in these places where the penetration of the automobile is far higher than here in India. These aspects dont always apply in India though it might, indeed, in ten years from now with increasing "nuclearization" of families and rising incomes coupled with upwardly mobile lifestyles.
5.It would seem a no brainer that we Indians with our larger families, liking for travelling heavy with lots of paraphernalia etc, would be a natural market for a larger vehicle like a station wagon. Unfortunately, the price of these vehicles is for a large part, higher or same as a "feel good" sedan - the tipping point automatically happens in favour of the sedan.
6.There is the "Status symbol" aspect - In India, the world around us appearsto respect one more if one climbs into and out of a "Sedan" or an "SUV".
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:36   #13
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Well, I cannot find any logical reason why station wagons are not successful in India. At the same time I doubt 'image' being the culprit. I hope we can find a proper reason in this thread as more people share their views.

We were almost decided on Marina Dicor when we bought our XL. Only thing we chose XL over Marina was backseat comfort like huge space and rear A.C. etc.
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:40   #14
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I think we must have a three-box. This is why the hatches also are not that popular. Something to do with the image. Also, initially the Station Wagons wer grossly overpriced.
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:48   #15
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As far as Indian scenario is concerned, I guess it's the mind set. Our people have certain perceptions and hence, there are not takers for this category of cars.

Having said this, the ever growing popularity and affordability of SUVs is the primary culprit. I guess its the same reason for fewer SWs in the US and European markets.
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