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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:13   #1
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Default Perception, Price and Looks : The factors that sell a car

Yup, these are the three factors that an overwhelming majority of cars sell on (believe it or not). Only us enthusiasts, informed car buyers and BHPians will analyse a car inside out, its performance metrics, specs and related factors. Of course, the car's actual performance, FE, reliability and ownership experiences (especially word of mouth) add to the perception factor. Yet mass perception is also majorly built on other influences (personal / 3rd party experiences, rumours, advertising, PR, celeb endorsements, our own aspirations, dealer / service attitude, news etc.)

We cannot do anything about the looks or the price, BUT what we do have control over is how we perceive the brand.

Lets see how you perceive the brands on sale in India. How about 4 - 5 descriptive terms that you'd normally associate with a brand. What values come to mind when you think of a car manufacturer? Here's mine:

Audi : Great engines (3.2 FSI, 3.0 td), long list of variants, messy electronics, don't like the FWD (A4), love the AWD, lacks outright badge value in India

BMW : D-R-I-V-E, youthful, 5 year maintenance packages, sport + luxury combo, quirky styling, stiff ride quality

Chevrolet : VFM, Spark, Korean, cars a tad lacklustre, unexciting

Fiat : Passionate, strong build, great ride + handling, poor after-sales, outright quality only average

Ford : Fun to drive, good diesels (and 1.6 petrol), bad aftersales, interiors never class-leading, amazing ride + handling combos, proportionate designs

HM : Outdated, not kept up with the times, best left to the history books

Honda : Fun to drive, Vtec engines, reliability, precision construction, keepers (long-term), skimps on extra features

Hyundai : A+ interior quality, VFM, long feature list, excellent after sales, great small cars (i10, i20)

Mahindra : Robust, torquey diesels, 4x4, utilitarian, willingly take abuse, poor dynamics

Maini : Good potential but majorly untapped, need a "proper" electric car (not a stop gap)

Maruti : VFM, all-rounded albeit cheap cars, excellent after-sales, can't go wrong, brilliant management

Mercedes : Solid durable cars, excellent diesels, suspect electronic reliability, mile munchers, prestigious brand

Mitsubishi : A "has been" in India, fun to drive cars, badly managed brand, missed opportunities

Nissan : Excellent cars, terrible CBU pricing, needs more commitment to India, no USP, where are the dealers?

Skoda : Superb Euro-cars, loaded to the brim, well priced, poor management, shoddy aftersales, suspect electronics (reliability)

Tata : VFM, diesels, spacious, comfortable, average quality

Toyota : Reliability, precision build, conservative cars, outstanding after-sales, keepers (long term)

VW : Wrong products (India needs their smaller cars), superb build, suspect reliability, great diesels

NOTE : You don't need to include all brands in your reply. Can include only the ones that you have a "perception" of. Simply cut-copy-paste the following list and remove the ones that you don't want to comment on.

Audi :

BMW :

Chevrolet :

Fiat :

Ford :

HM :

Honda :

Hyundai :

Mahindra:

Maini :

Maruti :

Mercedes :

Mitsubishi :

Nissan :

Skoda :

Tata :

Toyota :

VW :

Last edited by GTO : 6th November 2009 at 09:43. Reason: Adding point
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:17   #2
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Good thread. It will bring out what we think of brands rather than individual cars which is oft overlooked.

If I may add to that list, a common perception is that Honda=Prestige. That's a pretty important and strong image that Honda have built over the years and they are reaping rewards now.

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 3rd November 2009 at 15:22.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:19   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Good thread. It will bring out what we think of brands rather than individual cars which is oft overlooked.
IMPORTANT : If I may suggest, please put up your response before reading posts from other members.

Will be an eye-opener of a thread
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:26   #4
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Fiat : Reliable products with poor A**

Ford : Pricey spares

Honda : Always commands premium for it's H badge

Mahindra: Rough and tough feel vehicles

Maruti : Near perfect car manufacturer for India's common man with lot of options and reliable serivce network + cheap spares

Mercedes : Rich business people's brand

Skoda : Poor aftersales

Tata : VFM cars but often marred by its Taxi image :(

Toyota : 100% reliablity

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:22. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:36   #5
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Chevrolet : Nice quality, good looking cars with average A.S.S

Fiat : Heavy, solid feeling cars with average performance. Poor aftersales and spare part availability.

Honda : Reliability, never go wrong mechanical, fun to drive, brand image

Hyundai : Cheap, reliable and fuel efficient cars.

Mahindra: Rugged SUV and MUVs. Suspect quality

Maruti : Cheap, Value for money, fue efficient, light weight cars with average plastics.

Skoda : Solid build, safe and good performing cars. Spare parts cost a bomb though.

Tata : Spacious and durable vehicles let down by niggling issues and inconsistent After sales.

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:22. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:38   #6
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Audi : Technologically advanced, low profile brand, trying to muscle into the Benz-BMW space, becoming flashy

BMW : A high profile ( somewhat flashy) brand, sporty, good road manners, technologically advanced, cramped at the back

Chevrolet : Low value, all flash

Fiat : Fun to drive, beautifully designed, bad a** legacy in India, poorly marketed

Ford : Solid, brash, value brand

HM : Yesterday's brand

Honda : VFM, flashy, good for Indian tastes

Hyundai : VFM, lower profile than Honda

Mahindra: tractor maker, coarse, taxi wallah's steed

Maini : No perception

Maruti : Extreme VFM, high reliability, questionable build quality, perfect for Indian tastes-preferences

Mercedes : Solid, safe, prestigious, technologically advanced, now trying to be flashy ( aping BMW)

Mitsubishi : Good products, unreliable brand, questionable operations

Nissan : Good products, no marketing, unduly high priced due to CBU

Skoda : Solid, VFM, concerns about a**

Tata : Rugged, coarse, very VFM, honest

Toyota : Flimsy, VFM, good for Indian tastes

VW : Solid build, comfortable, understated

My perceptions will show bias; declaration - own VW & Tata.

Regards

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:23. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:38   #7
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I'd put an ND (Never driven) in front of brands that I have never driven.

Audi : ND : Presence/Head turner, Associated with VW so reliability (especially electronics) is a suspect.


BMW : ND: Presence/Head turner

Chevrolet : VFM, Cars that don't outperform on any parameter/Average

Fiat : Character, Presence/Head turner, Solid build quality, Great ride and handling, Driver's cars,
Great ergonomics, poor interiors, suspect A.S.S.

Ford : Driver's cars, good ergonomics, average interiors, average service, low ground clearance

HM : Who cares?

Honda : Reliability, Low cost of ownership (including resale), Driver's cars, good all rounders, Costlier than competition

Hyundai : Best bang to buck ratio, Very nicely packaged, Reliable A.S.S., poor ergonomics, poor handling+ride

Mahindra: Built for abuse, affordable, Suspect A.S.S.

Maini : Toys, Possibility of becoming a major player in the future

Maruti : VFM, Great A.S.S., Ugly (you have to pay me to get me inside an estillo), characterless (it is one thing to be vfm, and another to be cheap), Ugly, Ugly, Ugly.....

Mercedes : Great presence, The popular indian mercs appear to be an ideal choice for chauffeur driven cars

Mitsubishi : Great driver's cars, Good looks, A company that is not really sure of what it is trying to achieve in India

Skoda : VFM Luxury, driver's cars, comfortable, extremely suspect A.S.S., Linked with VW so suspect reliability

Tata : VFM, average after sales, poor finish, no finesse whatsoever

Toyota :Reliability, Low cost of ownership (including resale), Great cars to be driven around in, comfortable, Perfectly packaged, Nicely priced, not the most fun to drive

VW : Everything about the company is a suspect.

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:24. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:39   #8
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Audi : Tough but a bit bull headed sort of - does not tug at the heart strings.

BMW : Great Engineering. (slightly dull teutonic precision)

Chevrolet : Poor Service. Korean tinpots trying to leverage an ancient, irrelevant American pedigree. Consistently lousy marketing efforts.

Fiat : Strong cars. Emotionally very engaging but disappointing when driven/ owned, on account of service. - Dont judge a book by its cover at least in India.

Ford : Uninspiring middle of the road cars. TDCi Diesel the best thing they've done in 10 years.

HM : The PSU Chairman's car - go away now, we've had enough of you!

Honda : Expensive. Very few features for the price. Mid-management corporate climber's car of choice.

Hyundai : Great VFM. Well engineered and reliable cars with super features.

Mahindra: Good VFM Diesels. Synonym for 4WD in India. Solid, reliable vehicles. Service available anywhere.

Maini : Eco-friendly golf cart.

Maruti :Accessible 4 wheelers for everyone. Absolute VFM. Service available anywhere.

Mercedes : The best engineered cars in the world.

Mitsubishi : Rally genes. Badly marketed / promoted brand in India.

Nissan : Stick to the Off road space and bring the Patrol in.

Skoda : Built like a Tank. Great Quality. Great FE. Affordable entry-level to the Luxe club.

Tata : Questionable Service. Quality worries. Better wait till several other people buy one before buying one yourself.

Toyota :Quality, Reliability, Service, the forever car.

VW : Way too expensively priced in India for the features / badge value.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 3rd November 2009 at 15:43.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:44   #9
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Ok. Heres Mine. Most of my perceptions have been formed after I joined here

Audi : Well Engineered Cars

BMW : Very Reliable, Sporty, Comfortable, Status Symbol

Chevrolet : Spark

Fiat : Build Quality, Best Diesel Engine around, Quite Reliable, Bad Interiors, Suspect A.S.S

Ford : Good Ride and handling

HM : Stuck in Stone Age

Honda : Reliable, Great Cars but not VFM, Arrogant about their brand

Hyundai : Better Small Cars, good a.s.s, Overpriced cars

Mahindra: Reliable, Rugged

Maini : Pioneer (needs to do more)

Maruti : Reliable, Best in class A.S.S, Quality coming down, Brand name masking inadequacies

Mercedes : Prestige Brand Name

Mitsubishi : Very Sporty, Bad PR, Suspect Reliability

Nissan : Very good cars but Too Expensive

Skoda : Excellent VFM cars, Suspect Electronics, Most Horrible Dealers and A.S.S

Tata : Indian, Reliable, Rugged, VFM Cars, bad INteriors, Cheap plastics, Not the best A.S.S

Toyota : Very Reliable, Brand name, Good VFM


I did as GTO told and did not look at the other posts

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:25. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:52   #10
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wow- thats really taking the battle to the enemy's door eh?
but it is extremely specious reasoning at best - is this a dealer designed collateral? It would be surprising indeed if the company was stooping to this level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
J segment=5 door C segment car.Ridiculous!
Check out the last pic on why to pay 1.38 lac more for the jazz.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:53   #11
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Good thread topic GTO.Here goes mine

BMW : True German, amazing driver's car.All their cars look mean.

Chevrolet : Very practical cars with conservative designs

Fiat : Well built but poor A**

Ford : A bit pricey, also A** is expensive.

Mitsubishi : Makes the best driver's car for the masses but has an Indian partner who lacks resources.

Honda : well built, space age designs, resale value is high

Hyundai : True VFM manufacturer, A** comparable to suzuki

Mahindra: Loves to make vehicles with funny tooth. I like the scorpio but rear seat comfort is bad.

Maini : Making India proud.

Maruti : Somehow all their models click.

Mercedes : A german for the chauffeur driven

Skoda : Guess everyone knows what they do best

Tata : An indian manufaturer trying desperately to take over the world

Toyota : Thouroughly practical japanese, spares cheaper than honda,peace of mind

VW : A German for the masses

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:25. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:53   #12
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Audi : Quattros fun to drive, multiple engine options, A.S.S doubtful, underrated brand in India

BMW : Definative drivers cars, brilliant diesel, BMW secure

Chevrolet : Good cars poor resale

Fiat : Well built, good looking cars let down by poor after sales spares etc

Honda : Reliability, fun to drive, refined, charge a premium for the badge

Hyundai : offer latest products, good cheap cars, great A.S.S

Maini : Noble intentions to save the planet. Nothing more

Maruti : The national car, huge product range, great service, good resale

Mercedes : Comfort, to be driven in, top notch service , brand image

Mitsubishi : Great cars, poor marketing

Skoda : Awesome build quality, fantastic products, poor sales and service

Tata : VFM is the key, niggling issues

Toyota : Reliability, good after sales and service

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:09. Reason: spacing out
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:58   #13
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GTO, its going to get increasingly hard to see a general trend with posts like those above. May I suggest you pick a few of the most common make or break perceptions for any brand like A.S.S, quality, reliability, VFM, cool factor, etc. etc. These will be brand parameters. Then we have the brands themselves. They can be arranged into a table as shown below and each poster can rate each brand with respect to each parameter. The average value under each cell can then be displayed. Naturally, it is not necessary for each poster to fill in every cell since we are only taking the average in each cell. Here's what it looks like:

.............. Parameter A Parameter B Parameter C Parameter D
Brand A
Brand B
Brand C

I'm not sure if this can be done with the forum software (I can only think of Microsoft Excel for this sort of thing), so maybe the geeks out there can help?

Last edited by McLaren Rulez : 3rd November 2009 at 16:01.
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Old 3rd November 2009, 15:59   #14
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Caveat: These are simply perceptions and likely to change as perceptions change

Audi : Terrific looking

Chevrolet : Nice VFM buys, but poor parentage. Change models very frequently

Fiat : Lovely looking, Ferrari rub-off, poor A*S*S

HM : Poor everything

Honda : Very straight line-ish styling inspired by Euclidean geometry, extremes in A*S*S

Hyundai : VFM, will offer what it promises nothing more nothing less, honest A*S*S

Mahindra: Poor focus on safety

Maruti : VFM, poor interiors, honest A*S*S

Mercedes : I am three pointed and hence I have unrestricted rights to your wallet, my reliability be damned

Mitsubishi : Powerful cars stuck with a poor partner

Skoda : Terrific package, management needs a course in Honesty & Ethics 101, some dealers have fun in cheating trusting customers

Tata : Poorly built cars, suspect A*S*S

Toyota : Long lasting cars, great reliability and good A*S*S

VW : Terrific engineering, understated design, on watch for ethics and dealer A*S*S

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:26. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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Old 3rd November 2009, 16:00   #15
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Here you go. My perception on brands based on the cars they offer in India.

Audi : Lots of technology, overpriced compared to Merc/BMW

BMW : Fun to drive, great engines and handling, stiff ride, committed to Indian market (lots of models on offer)

Fiat : great ride and handling, bad interiors, iffy customer service

Ford : fun to drive

Honda : Great engines, great interiors, reliable, challenge on bad roads (scrapes bottom on speedbreakers), some models are highly overpriced

Hyundai : great customer service, cars for 'indian' customers

Mahindra: rugged, built for Indian roads, safest bet for UVs

Maini : ugly looking, cramped, only electric car in India

Maruti : very good service, VFM, long lasting, tinny, not upscale at all

Mitsubishi :Brilliant cars, lack of commitment to Indian Market, outdated models in Indian market, Overpriced SUVs

Nissan : Horribly overpriced, only CBUs, access (lack of) to service centers

Skoda : Brilliant cars, lousy service

Tata : VFM, space, niggles

Toyota : built to last, bland, trouble free, practical

Last edited by Dippy : 3rd November 2009 at 16:26. Reason: Adding one space between brand names for better readability
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