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Old 3rd June 2011, 13:53   #226
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
But Astar doesn't give that feeling of space inside to the occupants due to two main reasons - 1) the small rear windows and 2) the sloping roof. The rear seats are placed slightly higher though, so it doesnt feel claustrophobic at the back.

Advantage i10 is ingress and egress, its better in the i10 owing mainly to its tallboy design and higher seats.
+1. It doesn't matter what the measured figures are, what matters is how the occupants feel when they sit inside the car. The tall boy design, beige interiours and big airy windows create the illusion of a spacious cabin in i10 whereas the high rear seats, low sloping roof, dark interiours and small windows create a feeling of claustrophobia in the A-Star.

Also, different people have different perceptions about space. Someone used to driving a low slung car may find the additional head room in a tall boy car as useless. Someone used to driving a tall boy car may feel cramped inside a low slung car, even though both cars may have similar dimensions.

There is no point in debating whether A-Star is cramped or not. It is for the individual customer to decide whether the space available in the car is sufficient for his physical built and daily requirements.

When I purchased i10 in Jan 2009, I was seriously considering A-Star since it was the first car with the Maruti's so called legendary K-Series engine. A-Star was rejected by me for the following reasons:
1. Low seats and high dashboard (may not be a problem for others, but I was a learner at that time and this didn't feel right to me)
2. Claustrophobic feeling in the rear seats (as explained above)
3. Small boot (this was supposed to be my only car, hence boot space was an important factor for me)

While none of these factors could individually be called deal breakers, the combination of so many compromises to be made, along with the factor that no discounts were on offer at that time made me feel that A-Star was overpriced for what it offers (Purely my personal opinion). The high speed handling of A-Star didn't appeal to me since I was looking for an everyday city commuter car, not a highway car or a track day car.

So my point is that A-Star may technically be a good car, but it performs poorly on the feel good factor of a typical Indian customer.

Rohan
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Old 3rd June 2011, 14:56   #227
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

^^^
You just corroborated what my measurements proved - that the i10 creates the illusion of being spacious - in your own words.

Regarding your 3 deal-breakers :
1) Indeed an issue & not just for new drivers and which was why we 1st rejected the A*. But easily solved by the driver seat-height adjustment in A-Star.

2) That's a feeling experienced by non-users. In my A*-AT LTR, have mentioned about a 330km trip we did in the A-Star - none of the rear passengers felt claustrophobic.

3) Given that you rate the A*'s handling to be useless since your requirement is a city car, I wonder what a few extra litres of boot space would do for a city car. I drive a Baleno with a cavernous boot, compared to which, all the pretensions of a boot in most hatches including the i10 (except maybe Jazz and Polo) seem like a joke to me - but I believe they do the job with the limited space. Personally I believe that bootspace and rear seating are too overhyped params today given that most city cars run around 95% of the time with just 1-2 people + maybe couple of kids.

If the A_Star is overpriced, I wonder what we would say about the i10 that stretches to ~6lakh+ territory with the same interior space and features. The A* is overpriced if you compare it to the Alto, but the moment you compare it to hatches with similar build it becomes VFM. I am yet to see a fully loaded (dual airbags and ABS, ICE, driver-seat adjustment etc etc) car with the latest engine, superior FE, drivability & handling available for the same price as the A*-Zxi.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 3rd June 2011 at 14:59.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 15:14   #228
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

I dont know how well the A-Star is selling now but where I stay in Koramangala, we have 3 of them in the building so I am guessing it is picking up. Also all 3 are driven by girls.. so may be Maruti should bring in some trendy colours and advertise to attract the young women
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Old 3rd June 2011, 15:21   #229
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

I think one major reason is the boot space. In India you need to have boot space where you could carry at least a cooking gas cylinder.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 15:47   #230
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

@sarmarishi, don't give MSIL ideas, else they will bring the car out in shocking-pink like they did for the Estilo.

BTW, if they want to target young women, the 1st thing they need to do is to have driver seat-height adjustment standard on all trims because otherwise the women would be put off by the low-seating (since generally women and new drivers feel comfy if they are able to see the bonnet - currently on LXi & Vxi all they will see is the console and a/c vents).

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 3rd June 2011 at 15:54.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 16:00   #231
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
3) Given that you rate the A*'s handling to be useless since your requirement is a city car, I wonder what a few extra litres of boot space would do for a city car. I drive a Baleno with a cavernous boot, compared to which, all the pretensions of a boot in most hatches including the i10 (except maybe Jazz and Polo) seem like a joke to me - but I believe they do the job with the limited space. Personally I believe that bootspace and rear seating are too overhyped params today given that most city cars run around 95% of the time with just 1-2 people + maybe couple of kids.

If the A_Star is overpriced, I wonder what we would say about the i10 that stretches to ~6lakh+ territory with the same interior space and features. The A* is overpriced if you compare it to the Alto, but the moment you compare it to hatches with similar build it becomes VFM. I am yet to see a fully loaded (dual airbags and ABS, ICE, driver-seat adjustment etc etc) car with the latest engine, superior FE, drivability & handling available for the same price as the A*-Zxi.
Like I mentioned, this is my only car. I don't need boot space on a daily basis, but need it occasionally during trips to airport/railway station. Since I don't have another bigger car to use for airport/railway station trips, having a reasonable boot space in the hatchback is important for me.

Also, its not just the litres of boot space that counts. Equally important is the layout of the boot space to determine how usable it is. In my i10, I can easily pack 2 cabin size trolley bags and 1-2 duffel bags in the boot. I'm sure it is not possible in A-star (without obstructing rear view).

I am comparing A-Star Lxi to i10 ERA irde (since both have similar price tags). A-Star Lxi has 1L 3-cylinder engine, no power windows, no central locking, smaller boot. i10 ERA has 1.1L 4-cylinder engine, better build quality, better fit and finish, better all round visibility, superiour upmarket image, central locking, front power windows, internally adjustable ORVMs, day-night IRVM, rear child locks, more boot space. In this comparison, A-Star Lxi feels overpriced and i10 ERA feels VFM. But I agree that if you compare A-Star Zxi with i10 Asta, A-Star would feel VFM and i10 would appear overpriced.

Rohan
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Old 3rd June 2011, 16:46   #232
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
I am comparing A-Star Lxi to i10 ERA irde (since both have similar price tags).
For the past 8 months MS has been selling A-Star at discounts of Rs.35,000 and above, which means the right variant to compare with i10 era is A-star Zxi, which comes with every feature that you can ask for like all 4 PW, Seat height adjust, airbags, EBD, body colured handles, 4-speaker stereo, etc, etc
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Old 3rd June 2011, 18:16   #233
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

The A*-ZXi is priced at 4.2lakhs - 35K discount = 3.85lakhs
The i10-Era is priced at 3.9lakhs - not sure of discount.

Comparing these 2 models which are balanced on price, the barebones i10 is simply blown away by the fully-loaded A*.

Funny thing is, when I was looking up the specs on Hyundai site, saw that the only model (in 1.1 or 1.2) that has ABS & dual airbags (top priority today, compared to PW/CL) is the top-end Asta for which you pay 5.26lakhs.

Anyway, this thread is not an i10-A* comparo thread. The only reason I used the i10 for measurement against A* was that it was the only hatch I had access to (friend's)
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Old 3rd June 2011, 19:37   #234
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by aks2010 View Post
I think one major reason is the boot space. In India you need to have boot space where you could carry at least a cooking gas cylinder.
Cooking gas cylinder fits well in the boot and with some inches to spare too
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Old 3rd June 2011, 23:30   #235
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
If the A_Star is overpriced, I wonder what we would say about the i10 that stretches to ~6lakh+ territory with the same interior space and features. The A* is overpriced if you compare it to the Alto, but the moment you compare it to hatches with similar build it becomes VFM. I am yet to see a fully loaded (dual airbags and ABS, ICE, driver-seat adjustment etc etc) car with the latest engine, superior FE, drivability & handling available for the same price as the A*-Zxi.
If we compare the A* to the Figo and the Beat, it surely feels overpriced.
A-Star LXi -3,75,951
Beat 1.2 PS -3,72,703
Figo 1.2 EXi -3,76,985
Spark PS -3,53,396
(all base variants ex-showroom mumbai without discounts)

Now a customer would surely consider the other two options since he gets a bigger and more powerful engine (1.0 vs 1.2), bigger size, better space and a car that is a segment above.

I agree with you that the A* top variant may come around the same price as the i10 era but A* ZXi does not come with alloys, steering-mounted audio controls, electric mirrors, etc.
I know that Maruti has been selling A* with a discount of 35k-40k so maybe one can get a VXi for the price of the base model.
And for your last point, well the Wagon-R VXi option pack does come with all that you mentioned + better space for about the same price as the A-star ZXi.

But the i10, well that is quite overpriced. In mumbai i can get i10 Asta AT for more than 6.65 lacs i guess. i20 middle variant comes cheaper than that!

Last edited by StrangeWizard : 3rd June 2011 at 23:38.
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Old 4th June 2011, 02:49   #236
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
The A*-ZXi is priced at 4.2lakhs - 35K discount = 3.85lakhs
The i10-Era is priced at 3.9lakhs - not sure of discount.
I was given discount quote of rs. 15k and rs 10k of loyalty bonus. since we already have a santro. the sales person was ready to throw in rs. 7k worth accessories. This is all without haggling and is 1 and half month old quote. Not aware of current discount.

a* zxi is rs. 30k in baroda. Given by a friend of mine who is a sales person there.

this gives an idea of pricing after discounts. But from my POV, the main comparison is always between on-road price rather than after discounts. after all discounts also depend on individual haggling power which lacks in some and doesn't in some.
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Old 4th June 2011, 10:44   #237
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

To be honest if i check MSIL's stable for cars below 5lakhs OTR, A star is the only car with strong build quality, i mean to say the sheet metal is thick unlike all other maruti cars which are quite light weight.

just touch the doors and the bonnet and feel the metal thickness, i was suprised, is this a maruti suzuki? This may be the reason why maruti is not able to offer this car at 3.3ex showroom price.

I think maruti needs to try putting the 1.3 DDIS on the A STAR and try to price it around 4lakhs ex showroom and then voila it will burn the sales charts.
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Old 5th June 2011, 19:18   #238
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Funny thing is, when I was looking up the specs on Hyundai site, saw that the only model (in 1.1 or 1.2) that has ABS & dual airbags (top priority today, compared to PW/CL) is the top-end Asta for which you pay 5.26lakhs.
Unfortunately, the average Indian customer doesn't feel the same way about these safety features.

Most hatchback buyers settle for the entry level (Lxi) or mid level (Vxi) variants. Very few informed customers like you buy the top end (Zxi) variant for the safety features.

Rohan
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Old 5th June 2011, 21:08   #239
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Unfortunately, the average Indian customer doesn't feel the same way about these safety features.

Most hatchback buyers settle for the entry level (Lxi) or mid level (Vxi) variants. Very few informed customers like you buy the top end (Zxi) variant for the safety features.

Rohan
Most non-informed buyers believe the BS the sales guys say that " saar, ABS and Airbags are not necessary in city driving." That's the problem. Others have to settle for lower variants due to budget constraints. Also, some who can afford the top variant decide to buy the base variant of a car of a higher segment. And there are some who don't opt for safety features but end up paying an exorbitant amount for a high-end ICE or other accessories.

Maruti offers ABS as optional in the VXi and VDi variants of Swift and Ritz (not sure about A*) but again very few opt for it.
Now only if the government implements a rule that safety features should be made compulsory in all cars, we can't do much.
Though there are some manufacturers like Honda, Skoda etc who provide ABS, airbags in all variants of their cars.
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Old 7th June 2011, 13:36   #240
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Default Re: Why Isn't The Maruti AStar Selling Well?

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But from my POV, the main comparison is always between on-road price rather than after discounts. after all discounts also depend on individual haggling power which lacks in some and doesn't in some.
The on-road price still reflects the discounts got, right ? I think ex-showroom (and any declared discounts) are a better comparison given that the tax rates vary across India + the insurance deals can be different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr
Unfortunately, the average Indian customer doesn't feel the same way about these safety features.
Maybe. But that is not an excuse for the manufacturer. In a range stretching from 3.5lakhs (Dlite) to 5.25lakhs (Asta), should they offer safety only at the extreme top of the price range ? The 1.1Magna is 4lakhs odd, why not add an Asta with safety features for extra price ? Or give safety features as options across trim levels ?

The customer is also changing w.r.t. safety features and AT. Pre-tbhp, I would not have given much importance to ABS or air-bags, as is reflected in the Baleno that I bought just before joining TBHP - it is another thing that the next car that had ABS+airbags then was close to double the Baleno's price. But today these figure top in priority for me - the Swift-ZXi and A*-AT indicate this shift. As customer changes his/her preference, the manufacturers will also have to follow suit.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 7th June 2011 at 13:37.
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