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Old 14th February 2010, 02:03   #106
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Originally Posted by nutcracker View Post
Excellent report. Pretty expected to see the Honda Jazz not faring well. It's a lovely car, I can justify the pricing even! But the Indian market is not the Jazz's market.
How can you justify the Jazz pricing?. The reason it isn't selling as well as it should is because it is overpriced. In the normal world Honda would price the Jazz economically and the City reasonably and the respective target markets of each cars will not overlap. Alas, the Indian parters of Honda belong to the HM school of Motoring.
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Old 14th February 2010, 18:36   #107
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Originally Posted by mohandas View Post
IMO, that's an incorrect statement. We often mislead ourselves by referring i20 and swift VDi as examples. Both are exceptions rather than rules.
Not really. We also have the Ritz that is selling 4,000 odd cars a month and the Indica Vista that does about 2,500 - 3,000. The point is, 5.5 lakh rupees can get you a modern hatchback with more amenities (including ABS). A 5.5 lakh sedan like the Ikon or Logan are outdated and will only offer you a base trim variant for the money. The market is clearly showing its preference for a contemporary product with more amenities over a boot.

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Defending the small minority of Jazz buyers who went for it instead of i20
No need to defend. Price no bar, the Jazz is undoubtedly a superior product. Better performance, FE, interior space, storage flexibility and driving pleasure. However, bring $$$ into play, and its the i20 all the way.

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Not to take anything away from Tata, but it is the large volumes of commercial taxi market sales that gets them to the number 2 slot.
Hey, its a business decision and other brands are free to tap into the commercial segment too.

Also, don't forget the Nano. When the Gujarat plant starts production in full swing, you are looking at 20,000 additional sales for Tata each month. I say Tata will retain its No.2 position in the long run.

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The other issue that this huge bias in the sales mix brings is that service set ups get flooded with these volumes, to the detriment of the treatment to private buyers, currently including Fiat customers too.
So true. Tata's after-sales experience is generally ranked at the bottom of the pile.

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Originally Posted by amit View Post
When you say Fiat will be most affected due to competition you are assuming that Fiat will do nothing to fight back and hold / regain / expand their market share. Fiat is actually in a better postion then new comers as they can now pace the launch of new variants to counter new launches from other manufacturer's.

- When VW Polo 1.2 Petrol is launched, Fiat can bring in the Punto Trendz.

- VW Polo 1.2 3 cylinder diesel get's launched, Fiat can launch the 1.3 MJD VGT 90bhp Punto.

- When Polo 1.6 petrol comes, Fiat can launch the Punto TJet.

- Since new Fiesta and Polo sedan are long way's off, they should get the Linea Tjet 110bhp in asap.

- When new Fiesta will be launched in Q1 2011, Fiat can launch the Linea 1.6 MJD FGT 105bhp varaint.

- When Polo sedan 1.2 TSi is launched, they can upgrade Linea Tjet to 120bhp and offer a duologic transmision. Diesel can also get duologic.

- When Etios comes, Punto petrol can get CNG power.

- Against Etios sedan diesel, Fiat can upgrade Linea 1.6 to VGT with 120bhp.

- In 2012, Fiat can get Punto Evo with multiair and 1.6 VGT 120bhp diesel motors. Duologic can finally make it to the Punto also.
I hope you are joking, Amit. Fiat's problem is NOT the engine range. In fact, that 1.3 diesel is actually their strength. Hey, it powers the other strong sellers like the Swift, Dzire and Manza! That 1.3 MJD delivers EXACTLY what the Indian market wants = Maximum fuel efficiency with acceptable power delivery. We can dream about performance-oriented TJets all day, but the fact is (and as Fiat realised with the Palio 1.6), these high performance engines result in a MERE 5% of sales. I'll go as far as to say that Fiat should focus the least on engine ranges and work on other functional business areas.

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
And a PS to the post above- what will be key is the service that VW is able to provide at the volumes the Polo is planned to sell at. This is where Maruti and Hyundai score in the volume markets, with GMI catching up on the service quality these days.
Why? do you think VW bought 20% of Suzuki? Suzuki sells more cars in India than anywhere else in the world, including Japan. As one of the world's largest small car markets, and one of the few that's growing, VW wants Maruti's Indian infrastructure. VW is known to snatch a good chunk of shares at the start (20% of Suzuki in this case), and then slowly nibble away at more. Does VW want majority 51% ownership in Suzuki one day? YOU BET!

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Originally Posted by recshenoy View Post
Guys,

any numbers from Tata pick up truck Xenon which was launched last year.
I am yet to see one on road!
IIRC the previous months numbers correctly, its barely doing 20 - 30 units in its best months.
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Old 14th February 2010, 19:03   #108
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Price no bar, the Jazz is undoubtedly a superior product. Better performance, FE, interior space, storage flexibility and driving pleasure. However, bring $$$ into play, and its the i20 all the way.
I would only concede those two points to the Jazz. At 8.5 lac I'd still pick the i20 A/T. I wish I had that choice.
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Old 14th February 2010, 21:47   #109
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Hey, its a business decision and other brands are free to tap into the commercial segment too.
Why? do you think VW bought 20% of Suzuki? Suzuki sells more cars in India than anywhere else in the world, including Japan. As one of the world's largest small car markets, and one of the few that's growing, VW wants Maruti's Indian infrastructure. VW is known to snatch a good chunk of shares at the start (20% of Suzuki in this case), and then slowly nibble away at more. Does VW want majority 51% ownership in Suzuki one day? YOU BET!

Its not so much a business decision, but one that is a reflection of the fact that even now the bulk of the Tata cars are bought by people who will not be using or maintaining the cars themselves in terms of taking the cars in for service - the taxi fleet operators. The challenge Tata has is in truly moving out of the commercial market space which has been their strength from inception, into a market where pride of ownership matters as well. And one where the service expectations have been set by the kind of service the Marutis and Hyundais are able to provide the large volumes that they sell to such a market. And of course, they have an issue with launching of new platforms with the same frequency that companies with global scales to justify the development cost can do.
As far as VW piggybacking on Maruti's service infrastructure is concerned, yes, that would provide them a fantastic leg up and lead over the rest of the pack - but I doubt that will happen in the near future, hearing the noises that Osamu Suzuki keeps making. Till that time they will have to make sure that service quality is maintained and is economical. Also, from a pure need for service standpoint, their cars, like most other German makes will probably need more attention than what Marutis and Hyundais do. German engineering is world class, but the Japanese and Koreans are ahead of them as far as mass manufactured product reliability is concerned.
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Old 14th February 2010, 23:29   #110
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Default jazz costs more to make than the city

I remember reading somewhere that the per unit cost of the jazz in India is actually higher than the city, thanks to lower localization and higher cost of the rear suspension.

Im told that thanks to the long wheel base, the car requires a more rigid suspension as compared to the saloon because the saloon can provide more weight balance with the front.
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Old 14th February 2010, 23:34   #111
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any word on the success of the Grande MKII?
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Old 15th February 2010, 10:57   #112
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Hi GTO/Vasudeva,

Great review and a lot of information shared! Thanks a lot for the trouble you and Vasudeva went through to compile this out for everyone's benifit!

Had a question though. How is the Grand Vitara doing in the market? Is that also brining in numbers?

The reason for low numbers of FIAT products is because, people are still not sure about the A.S.S of FIAT. Once this is set straight in the common man's mind, I dont think, FIAT will have anything to look back.
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Old 15th February 2010, 11:34   #113
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Nice report GTO and Vasudeva..!
It doesnt seem like we are just out of a recessionary phase, does it?
More cars to come in the coming days.
Cheers.
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Old 15th February 2010, 14:56   #114
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the growth in sales as such is very commendable. yes a boon to economy, but the government should seriously think about the future. should they allow a drastic increase of sales in a year, or a constant growth over a few years.

we should not be like china who produce 7mn minivans for 3mn buyers, coz the govt didnt thnk about the increase in production vs sales.
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Old 15th February 2010, 15:34   #115
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Originally Posted by zavegur View Post
the growth in sales as such is very commendable. yes a boon to economy, but the government should seriously think about the future. should they allow a drastic increase of sales in a year, or a constant growth over a few years.

we should not be like china who produce 7mn minivans for 3mn buyers, coz the govt didnt thnk about the increase in production vs sales.
Coming months are going to see even higher numbers - once NANOs starts rolling out.
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Old 16th February 2010, 00:11   #116
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The first thing I noticed in the report was the pleasant rise of TATA. I’m glad to see they’re being rewarded for pumping in the moolah into R&D and providing superior products. I eagerly await the day when the Manza outdoes the Dzire (I still can’t comprehend what forced the designers at Suzuki to emulate the back of a BMW 7series & that badly!!). Tata’s got a bright future ahead with the rolling-out of the Nano from Gujarat & not to forget the eagerly awaited Aria which will surely nip away at the Innova.

Hyundai should be desperate to introduce another sedan to compete with the Cruze & Altis to complete its line-up. The Sonata Embera has almost been abandoned by the brand. With regards to the ongoing discussion about the Jazz & i20, the only way I can justify the premium is a superior engine. Looks, interiors are very subjective & personally, I prefer the i20 over the Jazz. The person who’s driving around in a 7-series has just as much “exclusivity” as a person in the Jazz. The difference is the former knows he/she paid what the car’s worth & is revered for it.
Why didn’t Autocar cross-question the Honda rep regarding his comment – “jazz more expensive to make than City” by asking him to reduce the premium on the City which steadily increases every few months. Honda should realize that higher localization & reduction in costs (maybe profit greed) is badly needed. Look at what’s happening with the CRV after the price rise, even the Superb is eating away at the once untouchable Accord. Honda badly needed the recent jolt & I'm confident they'll come back strong.

GM has pulled off a miraculous resurgence in the market. Right from their ads, to market positioning, 3-yrs service guarantee & car releases have been spot-on. And if people have been watching the recent car awards, they’ve been rewarded there as well. The Spark & Beat will definitely steer GM well while the Cruze shows the company’s got spunk.

On an end-note, feeling bad for Fiat, was really rooting for them this past year. Had they done a better job with the interiors, I would’ve been a GP owner. The Indian consumers’ve woken up & demands perks no matter how big or small. India’s pulling the weight of most of these companies from an otherwise abysmal performance worldwide.

Great work on the report guys & the thread really made for a great read
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Old 16th February 2010, 09:23   #117
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Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
I would only concede those two points to the Jazz. At 8.5 lac I'd still pick the i20 A/T. I wish I had that choice.
Flyingspur, the Jazz interior space is also more than the i20. In fact, its near identical to the City.

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
The challenge Tata has is in truly moving out of the commercial market space which has been their strength from inception, into a market where pride of ownership matters as well.
Not only Tata, but even Mahindra, have a large number of commercial buyers. Thanks to people movers, UVs, pickups and a host of other commercial-targetted products. I don't suppose either of the two want to lower or give any less importance to this market. What they can do is release products distinctly targetted to the personal owner. Example : Manza. However, again, due to their dealership network, previous / existing products and diesel / robustness / VFM cards, inevitably the homegrown brands will continue to attract a long line from the commercial segment.

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And of course, they have an issue with launching of new platforms with the same frequency that companies with global scales to justify the development cost can do.
So true! Suzuki, Hyundai and others develop products not only for India, but also for international markets where they have a strong following.

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Also, from a pure need for service standpoint, their cars, like most other German makes will probably need more attention than what Marutis and Hyundais do. German engineering is world class, but the Japanese and Koreans are ahead of them as far as mass manufactured product reliability is concerned.
True, reliability as well as cost of ownership.

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Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
Im told that thanks to the long wheel base, the car requires a more rigid suspension as compared to the saloon because the saloon can provide more weight balance with the front.
What hatchbacks require is additional strengthening at the rear / on the C Pillar, for safety reasons. Sedans have crumple zones built into the boot.

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Originally Posted by ObsessedByFIAT View Post
Had a question though. How is the Grand Vitara doing in the market? Is that also brining in numbers?
The Grand Vitara is a bigger flop than Maruti would have imagined. In January, it sold ZERO cars.

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Originally Posted by sameern.85 View Post
It doesnt seem like we are just out of a recessionary phase, does it?
Hahahaha, sure doesn't Sameer!

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Originally Posted by Musicmaker23 View Post
Hyundai should be desperate to introduce another sedan to compete with the Cruze & Altis to complete its line-up. The Sonata Embera has almost been abandoned by the brand.
Before launching a premium sedan, Hyundai first needs to decide if it is willing to support the car or not. The Sonata Embera is being treated like an untouchable by Hyundai. No test-drive cars, no dealer training, no marketing. You'd think they do NOT want to sell the car in the first place.

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Honda badly needed the recent jolt & I'm confident they'll come back strong.
They got jolted royally on the Jazz, I can tell you that.
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Old 16th February 2010, 10:23   #118
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I hope you are joking, Amit. Fiat's problem is NOT the engine range. In fact, that 1.3 diesel is actually their strength. Hey, it powers the other strong sellers like the Swift, Dzire and Manza! That 1.3 MJD delivers EXACTLY what the Indian market wants = Maximum fuel efficiency with acceptable power delivery. We can dream about performance-oriented TJets all day, but the fact is (and as Fiat realised with the Palio 1.6), these high performance engines result in a MERE 5% of sales.
No I was not joking. I agree that the engine's are adequate for Indian driving conditions (Punto in EU gets a 77bhp petrol!) but that fact is that Fiat will have to constantly refresh and upgrade their products as per competition to ensure they are alive and kicking in prospective buyer's minds. In the past we have blasted Fiat for not upgrading their products and it's a fact that this lethargy cost them market share so this time they have to be on their toes. Point I was making is thanks to the base made by Linea and Punto, Fiat are in a position where they can plan and pace their product refreshments alongwith competition's moves and remain in the lime light. VW is going to launch the Polo with a media blitzkerig and Fiat doesn't have the brand pull to take on VW so best way out is to improve their product and offer something 'extra' and 'more' against competition. Every manufacturer does that or rather they have to, Fiat is no different. Either they play with the market or decide to remain a niche car maker.

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I'll go as far as to say that Fiat should focus the least on engine ranges and work on other functional business areas.
That's what they are doing and hence the delay in launching Linea TJet and Punto VGT. I am sure we will agree that they could have launched the Punto VGT from day one. Problem is these things take time and we expect overnight miracles. This time round we can stick our heads out and say that while there have been some issues in their cars, you can't fault Fiat for not swinging into action to solve these problems and satisfy customers. Compare the way Fiat has handled problems in the Linea in 2009 with the way they handled Palio's low mileage concerns in 2002.

Of course, I wouldn't give any credit to Fiat for this. I am sure it's Tata that's behind all of this.
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Old 16th February 2010, 15:13   #119
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Looks like Honda is responding to the Jazz debacle. See the below thread, and associated link.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-research.html
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Old 16th February 2010, 15:22   #120
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Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
Looks like Honda is responding to the Jazz debacle. See the below thread, and associated link.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-research.html
It merely looks like they are entering the high volume market and they want to do it with a well designed car.
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