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Old 25th May 2010, 10:16   #31
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Its been ages since we studied these things at college but as far as I can remember from my marketing classes a lifestyle product usually is a product whose marketing entails communication to customers that it represents certain aspirational values. It purports to reinforce an identity the user intends to convey about him/herself

I feel this aptly sums up the definition of a lifestyle product. If you accept this definition it then becomes easy to view what kinds of products are sold in India as lifestyle products.

Mind you, its not your use that determines whether a product is a lifestyle product. Its how that particular company chooses to promote it.

Lets take some examples:

Ford tried to do this with the Fusion, sadly it couldn't convince the general public as very few could relate the product to their lifestyle

Tata Safari with their reclaim your life ad tries to suggest the Safari is your answer in living life free and being adventurous. Perhaps this may have worked to some extent as some buyers may have chosen the Safari for that image

Mahindra Scorpio promotion focused on the Scorpio as representing suave successful people prefering a sport utility vehicle over a sedan. It has worked for them

Innova is a brilliant example where the campaign with Aamir focused on how the car relates to a multitude of values important to the Indian family

A lot of you here may wonder how an Innova could be a lifestyle vehicle. Truth is many owners actually aspire to own it and are mighty proud of being an Innova owner. I was amused to discover this in many owners I met. To many it marks a certain element of success !

Royal Enfield is another example of a campaign relating product use to a lifestyle.

Basically what I am trying to say is its not individual uses that make a car a lifestyle product. For example BD says the Bolero VLX is a lifestyle vehicle for him as it relates to some values he cherishes. Now for him that holds true, but the Bolero is not promoted as a lifestyle vehicle where a particular identity can be related to.

For example I use a Tata 207 truck. Can you imagine the shock and horror on people's faces when they see me using it? Some friends actually refused to sit in with me. Because its too much of a knock on their identity. I love their expression ! All my uses are pure lifestyle uses. But it can never be viewed as a lifestyle product because it is neither positioned as one nor does the general public accord any aspirational values to it

Fiat 500 is another lifestyle product

Will jot down more examples as they come to mind

In summary a lifestyle product is one whose promotional campaign hinges on the product meeting some aspirational values or identity which customers relate to in a market

Last edited by DKG : 25th May 2010 at 10:17.
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Old 25th May 2010, 10:41   #32
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All hatchbacks in India are lifestyle vehicles, because most of us have to aspire to that level only, and even then we get shortchanged in terms of what we get for the money we pay!
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:41   #33
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To me by and large very few Indians are really in to life style vehicles. Mostly it is a compromise vehicle between daily needs and dream to do activity.

Porsche911 the fun playboy lifestyle.
Latest concept offerings from M&M and Tata with "cabin plus deck" represent handyman as well as outdoor person lifestyle.
M800, and now Nano, represent "frugal & practical" lifestyle.
None of the SUV's or sedans fits any particular life style.
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:26   #34
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Did someone already mentioned DC vehicles? IMO customized cars are excellent Lifestyle vehicles...each of them custom-made to match the lifestyle of its user. Many of the regular, branded cars may not exactly match the lifestyle of the user...Most of us "tune" it to our use to match the lifestyle (eg. Mods, ICE, Accessories etc).
But very rare do we see a "ready-made" or "factory-made" vehicle to exactly match one's lifestyle...There may be exceptions like Fiat500, VW Beetle, Toyota Vellfire etc. where a few people may readily connect with their lifestyle.

To stretch, I have known/seen some movie stars&business tycoons (who spend a significant amount of time on the road), modifyings cars ranging from Tempo traveller (Force) to Innova to Land Cruisers. It was interesting to see that one of the guys even had a WC & bath room in a Modified Innova...
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:15   #35
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IMO It depends on everyone's prospective. Just SUV or multi-utility are lifestyle vehicles is not true i guess. For a businessman in city, BMW or Merc is a lifestyle vehicle. For rural Dada or Bhai category people, Scorpio, Safari oe Sumo are lifestyle vehicles. Ambassador owner is supposed to be a government official.
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Old 26th May 2010, 11:10   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
I think the term ‘lifestyle vehicles’ needs to be looked at in a broader perspective. It need not be limited only to expensive and rare vehicles.
Every vehicle portrays the personality (or lifestyle, to some extent) of the owner.
Interesting thought - the car I own projects my personality. Not necessarily connected to my actual lifestyle, but the personality I want to project. Read my lips, I am an active outdoors guy! In a way, it's not my LSV, it's my SOV (show-off vehicle)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The bigger the better, seems to be the overriding theme for a status symbol car.
The panchayat prez. has a Sumo, the corporator a Scorpio, the MLA a Ford Endeavour and the big-time politician a Land Cruiser. The rarer it is, more it is in want. There is a hierarchy here.

On a different plane, the Rs 200 air filter that you put in your Scorpio costs 2000 in your Land Cruiser, if not more.

The more expensive the SUV or life style car, the closer it is on performance to humbler cousins but the lits of goodies goes on increasing.
@ HVK: Would you consider the term lifestyle vehicle and status symbol vehicle to be one and the same, esp. where India is concerned?
One more quick question here - in your own opinion, is your 2.4L km old Scorpio your lifestyle vehicle or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Lets take a look at this
Attachment 354664
A normal weekend recreation of a normal American family taken on a normal weekend and guess what, the vehicle used is a normal "pickup truck" for them. I (representing we) look at this and say "wow, Gods live this way, this is heavenly."

Then I see the Tata Xenon Ad and an Idea clicks, maybe if I get the Xenon, others are going to perceive me to have this sort of a Godly life. This pickup will add style to my life (hence Lifestyle). Automatic Recognition of Accomplishment.

But then, where is my waterbody? where is my boat? Where is my ATV? Leave all this, go camping one night come back with thousand mosquito bites and smelling like a rat due to the heat. So desi GMC then starts doing the poultry duty which is what a pickup truck is intended to do.

I remember the Wagon R ad with Canoe and bicycles in it.

Actual need is secondary. Hence the added stress is put on marketing products that will make the purchaser look good, uber cool etc.
So there you are. Very succinctly said but graphically described - "wow, Gods live this way, this is heavenly." A clear message that says Indian LSV buyers are not for real. For them, the lifestyle doesn't matter - it's more an "ishtyle" vehicle or SOV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
IMHO, a lifestyle vehicle is one which compliments its user in totality. ...vary from person to person. ...in their own personal way.

...a black Scorpio...for me, somehow, it was not my "lifestyle vehicle". Why? ...there is no answer.
...I decided to get myself my "lifestyle vehicle". ...a brown Bolero Storm (VLX). I got it because for me, in my eyes, it is my "lifestyle vehicle". ...very very fast (... do things to it which others would not even know)
...my lifestyle need of a "no-nonsense, fast-track, result-oriented" vehicle perfectly. Colour is very very important here.
..."if there was no brown Bolero, what would you have done? "I would not have bought it".

..."CUSTOMER'S LATENT DESIRES"...gently probed... by salespersons to achieve...sales conversions.
...I am already looking forward to parking it in the foyer of a 5 star hotel and nonchalantly walking into the lobby.
...it looks, feels and runs different from any street Bolero...
...my confidence level in myself is much more...
Now - "THAT'S WHAT I CALL A LIFESTYLE VEHICLE".

...I have 4 restored Fiat cars. For me they are also my "lifestyle vehicles". I spend ... Why? To leisurely drive ...at 50 kmph on a Saturday night!

It all boils down to what each individual wants, to perfectly compliment what he / she defines as "lifestyle". Its very personal.
@ BD: First, OT but : I've got to meet you next week, and I've got to see this Bolero!

Essentially, your opinion is that an LSV is whatever car an individual wants it to be - or perceives it to be. Or even, made / forced to perceive it as something desirable. It could be any mundane car from hatchback to SUV, but at least to some of the customers, that same run-of-the-mill car may either
(A) juggle up a desirable image in the owner's mind, or
(B) that image may get planted there by a wizard of a salesman or great advertising.
In case of (A), the owner may or may not actually use the car in the way he envisions it being used. In case of (B), six months down the line, he may be one very disgruntled customer.

Since you describe the imagery about yourself walking into the lobby of a 5-star hotel with the new Bolero parked in the foyer, I cannot help but ask (and I hope you won't take any offence either) - is it because the Bolero will turn heads? If so, wouldn't more heads turn when you drive in, in one of the immaculate Fiats in your collection? Does an understated omnipresent car like the Bolero really turn heads? Or is it the pleasure of uttering sotto voce to the valet: "Beta, aisi Bolero tum agli janam tak nahin dekhoge"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
I dont think there is a clear definition of what a lifestyle vehicle. My take is that it is something you buy to reflect your lifestyle choice while ignoring the typical aam aadmi's requirements (to an extent) like
  1. size,
  2. status symbol
  3. mileage
  4. having a boot
  5. badge snobbery
  6. resale value.
It need not necessarily be an outdorsly vehicle !!! Hey there are other types of lifestyles too. For example an SUV in the 80s and 90s was a lifestyle vehicle not anymore because everybody and his brother in law wants SUVs !!
So size matters. So does badge snobbery. And of course, whether the car is a status symbol. Being a go-anywhere vehicle does not matter. Once again, may I conclude from your post that an LSV in India is essentially a SOV!?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
...a lifestyle product usually is a product whose marketing entails communication to customers that it represents certain aspirational values.
...its not your use that determines whether a product is a lifestyle product. Its how that particular company chooses to promote it.

Basically what I am trying to say is its not individual uses that make a car a lifestyle product. For example BD says the Bolero VLX is a lifestyle vehicle for him as it relates to some values he cherishes. Now for him that holds true, but the Bolero is not promoted as a lifestyle vehicle where a particular identity can be related to.

For example I use a Tata 207 truck. Can you imagine the shock and horror on people's faces when they see me using it? Some friends actually refused to sit in with me. Because its too much of a knock on their identity. I love their expression ! All my uses are pure lifestyle uses. But it can never be viewed as a lifestyle product because it is neither positioned as one nor does the general public accord any aspirational values to it
In summary a lifestyle product is one whose promotional campaign hinges on the product meeting some aspirational values or identity which customers relate to in a market
@ DKG: Your post is very very thought-provoking.

My premise all along has been that a lifestyle vehicle is one that represents the possiblility of being used to pursue a certain lifestyle (in a majority of instances, an outdoors / travelling lifestyle), even if it is not actually put to such use. Hence I had mentioned earlier about your Tata 207 camper project. And you also mention your conversion to back up this premise. I was therefore trying to conclude that any mundane vehicle, in the eyes (and hands) of an individual customer, may become an LSV.

Then you stand that conclusion on its head - you say that an LSV is what its promotional / marketing campaign says it is. And that your 207 camper can NOT be viewed as an LSV just because it is not positioned as one, despite it turning heads and generating shock and horror!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by crackingride View Post
All hatchbacks in India are lifestyle vehicles, because most of us have to aspire to that level only, and even then we get shortchanged in terms of what we get for the money we pay!
Just hatchbacks? Doesn't the boot matter as Mpower says?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
having a boot
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
To me by and large very few Indians are really in to life style vehicles. Mostly it is a compromise vehicle between daily needs and dream to do activity.
None of the SUV's or sedans fits any particular life style.
@ sudev: I was really hoping you'd clarify your stand on whether your GV is an LSV (at least for you) or not. Its position as an LSV may be partly compromised by the fact that you also take it out for a trip to the mall, but I still suppose your GV helps you achieve your passion of using a car in a particular way - and therefore it's your LSV?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JJames View Post
Did someone already mentioned DC vehicles? IMO customized cars are excellent Lifestyle vehicles...each of them custom-made to match the lifestyle of its user. Many of the regular, branded cars may not exactly match the lifestyle of the user...Most of us "tune" it to our use to match the lifestyle (eg. Mods, ICE, Accessories etc).
But very rare do we see a "ready-made" or "factory-made" vehicle to exactly match one's lifestyle...

...movie stars&business tycoons... modifyings cars ranging from Tempo traveller (Force) to Innova to Land Cruisers. It was interesting to see that one of the guys even had a WC & bath room in a Modified Innova...
One more interesting viewpoint. So customization is the clue as to whether or not a particular car is someone's LSV? Is that what you mean? Therefore DKG's 207 camper is an LSV, and BD's Bolero is one too. Because both are customized. However, sudev's GV is not, because it is a stock vehicle? (@ sudev: Is it customized?) What do other members think about this?: Any customized car is an LSV; any stock car is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aniketi View Post
IMO It depends on everyone's prospective. Just SUV or multi-utility are lifestyle vehicles is not true i guess. For a businessman in city, BMW or Merc is a lifestyle vehicle. For rural Dada or Bhai category people, Scorpio, Safari oe Sumo are lifestyle vehicles. Ambassador owner is supposed to be a government official.
Pretty much what Dr.AD said earlier...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Every vehicle portrays the personality (or lifestyle, to some extent) of the owner.
...and the conclusion to be drawn would be...
Quote:
...it's not my LSV, it's my SOV (show-off vehicle)...
So, is the LSV in India a fictional entity, which means many things to many people?

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 26th May 2010 at 11:13.
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Old 26th May 2010, 12:22   #37
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My GV is stock.
Since it is used by me everyday so in my striict view it is not a LSV. But then I go off road so many times that the definition seems to blur.
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Old 26th May 2010, 12:56   #38
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SS, for me my Scorpio is neither a status symbol nor a lifestyle vehicle, just that it suits my requirements better. I use it for my daily grind and the out-of-towners, no particular reason for choosing it but that it was cheap (I paid Rs 6.50 lakhs for my new Scorpio), spacious, ran on diesel and was rugged enough for the various highway trips I do.
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Old 26th May 2010, 13:55   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
an LSV is what its promotional / marketing campaign says it is. And that your 207 camper can NOT be viewed as an LSV just because it is not positioned as one
I do believe this to be the defining aspect Shom. Unless a vehicle is sold in a market positioned as a LSV depsite its usage as one it cannot be viewed as a lifestyle product generically. If you follow this definition the whole world of lifestyle products becomes clear and apparent.
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Old 26th May 2010, 19:40   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
I do believe this to be the defining aspect Shom. Unless a vehicle is sold in a market positioned as a LSV depsite its usage as one it cannot be viewed as a lifestyle product generically. If you follow this definition the whole world of lifestyle products becomes clear and apparent.
Point noted. So can we infer from the above statement that, if you had decided to build your camper on a Xenon or Getaway rather than a 207, that would have been a lifestyle vehicle? Tata and M&M do position these two vehicles as LSVs for the Indian market, as is described here: Tata Xenon Xt New Lifestyle Vehicle From Tata Motors and Mahindra Scorpio Getaway Lifestyle SUV Launched in India - Indian Car Companies - Zimbio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
My GV is stock.
Since it is used by me everyday so in my striict view it is not a LSV. But then I go off road so many times that the definition seems to blur.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
SS, for me my Scorpio is neither a status symbol nor a lifestyle vehicle, just that it suits my requirements better. I use it for my daily grind and the out-of-towners, no particular reason for choosing it but that it was cheap (I paid Rs 6.50 lakhs for my new Scorpio), spacious, ran on diesel and was rugged enough for the various highway trips I do.
And here are two people on the forum who use completely stock vehicles as a means to achieve a lifestyle that many others only aspire to. Sudev off-road, and HVK on-road. And both of you decide not to call your cars lifestyle vehicles. Do you have any single vehicle in mind that you would consider buying in India,to be strictly your personal choice of lifestyle vehicle, money no object?

Let's hear it from some others too...
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Old 26th May 2010, 20:53   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
So size matters. So does badge snobbery. And of course, whether the car is a status symbol. Being a go-anywhere vehicle does not matter. Once again, may I conclude from your post that an LSV in India is essentially a SOV!?
Actually quite the opposite Shom! Perhaps I wasn't clear. That list is what the aam admi looks for while a person who chooses a LSV ignores all the requirements on the list.

In our culture size does matter. Bada aadmi drives bada gaadi.

Reg Scorp its too popular to be LSV.
OK compromise for you. Only 4x4 Scorp is LSV. 4x2 is not.
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Old 26th May 2010, 21:28   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
That list is what the aam admi looks for while a person who chooses a LSV ignores all the requirements on the list.
In our culture size does matter. Bada aadmi drives bada gaadi.
I understand now. What this thread is trying to crystallize is,

(A) who is that person who chooses an LSV in India?

(B) when he chooses that LSV, what vehicle is he choosing, that either he himself, or others, consider to be an LSV?

(C) after he has chosen his LSV, is that vehicle put to any use to pursue his lifestyle / recreational activity?

and (D) why doesn't the person who uses such a vehicle for recreational purposes heavily, declare it to be his LSV?

As we saw just now, 3 people who use particular vehicles (HVK: Scorpio; sudev: GV; DKG: custom-made 207 camper) just stood my theory on its head and confirmed (D) by declaring that their vehicles, which they use very frequently for recreational activities, are NOT considered by them to be LSVs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Reg Scorp its too popular to be LSV.
OK compromise for you. Only 4x4 Scorp is LSV. 4x2 is not.
ROTFLMAO... I haven't laughed so much in a long time. I created this thread partly to find out if my purchase decision of a Scorpio qualifies as an LSV purchase, or not. It happens to be my daily commuter first, to be put to recreational use perhaps 5-10% of its entire life. And if I buy a Thar (provided M&M fulfils my wish-list as posted on the "Thar She Blows" thread), would that be considered an LSV purchase? (Though my reasons for selecting a 4x4 Thar over a 4x4 Scorpio would be entirely non-lifestyle/recreation related).
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Old 26th May 2010, 23:46   #43
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Before considering what a life-style vehicle is lets understand the meaning of life-style
A lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural/social symbols that resonate with personal identity.
  • This personal identity may be the real one which the individual is living with
  • It could be the one which the individual wants to live as.

Not all aspects of a lifestyle are entirely voluntaristic. Surrounding social and technical systems can constrain the lifestyle choices available to the individual and the symbols she/he is able to project to others and the self.

Consider my example:
I am a Crtitical Care Consultant with majority of my time spent amongst patients and in the ICU,but I always had this dream to go off-roading ,leave civilization for sometime to spend time in a jungle.

So after many years of medical practice(15 years) I got the time and money finally to pursue my dreams.
The question came up,which vehicle to purchase?
I bought the GURKHA as an off-roader after a lot of consideration.
  • I did not want to build an off roader like many who build jeeps ,I wanted a ready made one,which will fulfill all my requirements.
  • I had the money so I wasn't constrained about buying a "beyond economic repairs" auctioned jeep and then make one out of it.
  • I had the money to purchase either the TATA Safari/Xenon , 4WD Scorpio, Fortuner,Endeavour. However none could suit what I wanted excepting the "Gurkha".
  • Hence for me "GURKHA IS A LIFE-STYLE VEHICLE". It reflects my taste,my hobbies and you could tell my personality form the vehicle I use.
  • I also own a Mercedes and a NIssan but I hardly relate myself with these vehicles.

LIFESTYLE VEHICLES ARE THOSE VEHICLES THROUGH WHICH YOU WOULD WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW YOUR PERSONALITY.
For instance if someone buys a Scorpio Getaway the personality of a person instantly comes up( AS I SEE IT ): A rich ,careless man ,who would want to be seen as an offroader and who has a massive inferiority complex.

An S Class Mercedes owner: Chic,sophisticated,urbane and rich..his lifestyle.

A Mahindra 4 WD Jeep owner: Sensible,having a good technical knowledge,plenty of time at hand and a serious off roader.

Fortuner/Endeavour/: Reflects an attitude-Want big/Show big/Play big.

Back and forth with so many other vehicles.

The above is my opinion and it is highly subjective and I might be wrong too!!

Last edited by mohan : 26th May 2010 at 23:49.
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Old 27th May 2010, 01:32   #44
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For me a life-style vehicle is something which would allow me to do the below :

1. Have a good music and entertainment system which would keep me / the occupants occupied or busy and not get bored.
2. Have retractable tables and a refrigerator so you can eat / drink anytime on the move (obviously without dirtying the car).
3. Something that is spacious enough to allow me to sleep when I am sleepy and stand and move around when I get cramps.

A DC-Designed bus would be the ultimate lifestyle vehicle for me. Anyways thats my view on a life-style vehicle.
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Old 27th May 2010, 06:10   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohan View Post
Before considering what a life-style vehicle is lets understand the meaning of life-style
A lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural/social symbols that resonate with personal identity.
  • This personal identity may be the real one which the individual is living with
  • It could be the one which the individual wants to live as.
Bang on Mohan.

If I do psychonalysis my case. Innova and a humble orange 2002 Palio lovingly brought back from almost dead. CJ3B on the way

The innova is used for all long distance/off the beaten path trips which is an integral part of my lifestyle but somehow I dont consider it a lifestyle vehicle. It is just not the case. It is not even remotely in my thinking.
(Interestingly it also echoes sudev, dkg, hvk. I think the age group factor is also at play here. )

However the CJ3B to me is clearly a lifestyle vehicle. It resonates with off the beaten path. Satisfies case 1.

The palio is a stock pocket rocket. Wide yokohama tyres. Fast. To me it is a lifestyle vehicle since (other than midlife crisis!) it 'hopefully' projects my love for autos, gives me something to tinker with occasionally and may project to people in my surroundings that I am different. It loosely falls somewhere between case 1 and 2 since I dont want to be perceived as a auto freak but an enthusiast. I consider it a lifestyle vehicle for me. In this case the lifestyle vehicle is anti regular lifestyle statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I understand now. What this thread is trying to crystallize is,
My answers to your questions inline
Quote:
(A) who is that person who chooses an LSV in India?
Someone with any combination like below.

Money/Passion, Passion/Skill, Passion/Resources

Money/Aspiration, Money/Poser Value, Money

You can see what segments Auto Manufacturers will target and that is the market they will project an image for

Quote:

(B) when he chooses that LSV, what vehicle is he choosing, that either he himself, or others, consider to be an LSV?
See my opening comments on Mohans post.
Quote:

(C) after he has chosen his LSV, is that vehicle put to any use to pursue his lifestyle / recreational activity?
Theoretically yes but secondary to this discussion I think based on (D)

Quote:
and (D) why doesn't the person who uses such a vehicle for recreational purposes heavily, declare it to be his LSV?

As we saw just now, 3 people who use particular vehicles (HVK: Scorpio; sudev: GV; DKG: custom-made 207 camper) just stood my theory on its head and confirmed (D) by declaring that their vehicles, which they use very frequently for recreational activities, are NOT considered by them to be LSVs.
Probably because it is a means to achieve an end and not a projection of who I am.
Wherein lies the possible dichotomy between a manufacturers definition and an individual's definition.

Last edited by genesis : 27th May 2010 at 06:17.
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