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Old 4th June 2010, 14:45   #1
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Default Unnecessary and unexplainable passion for a car brand

Unneccesary and unexplainable passion for a car brand

This may a sensitive and controversial issue that I am raising on this forum. But I not able to resist the temptation.

I have been a member of this forum for quite some time now. Even outside the forum, I have observed some general behaviour of people and the way they relate to their respective brands.

So basically, what I have noticed is that some people (including Team-BHP members) have an unnecessary and unexplainable passion towards their car brand. In some instances, these people are so blinded by their passion that they can't see obvious shortcomings in their car, and if someone else mentions the same, they call him/her a brand basher and get too offensive towards that person and too defensive towards their brand.

I know that when one buys a car, he/she is not just buying a product. The customer is starting a long term relationship with the brand. Hence, the overall experience really matters while buying a car - right from sales to after sales services. But some people take this relationship a bit too seriously, and take things as a personal offense when something is being said against their brand.

Let me loosely quote a few typical lines repeatedly mentioned on this forum.

Disclaimer : Below mentioned quotes and my replies are meant to be read with a slight sense of humour, no offense meant to Maruti, Tata or Fiat fanboys.


Quotes from Maruti owners (and my replies)

1. Maruti cars are cheapest to own.
My reply : These people are generally comparing a lower segment Maruti car to a higher segment car from other brands. I agree that Maruti cars are cheaper to own as compared to a similar car of other brand, but the difference is not as much as we are made to believe.

2. Maruti has the widest service network.
My reply : Do you really need to service the car that often ? Are modern cars so unreliable that we need to have service centres in every nook and corner ? Don't other brands have emergency helpline numbers too (for breakdowns/emergencies) ?

3. Just buy a Maruti with your eyes closed, you can't go wrong with a Maruti car.
My reply : I won't spend my hard earned money with my eyes closed. God has given me eyes, using which I can see that Maruti cars have major flaws. When I purchased my car (Hyundai i10 1.1) in Jan 2009, I started my car search with Maruti cars. But with open eyes, I saw that at a similar price Maruti was offering a cramped and bootless A-Star or a 10 year old WagonR with a 50 year old gear stick.

4. Maruti cars have great resale value.
My reply : Do you buy cars for driving or selling ? If I don't intend to sell the car for the next 7-8 years, this is a non-issue for me.


Quotes from Tata owners (and my replies)

1. Tata cars have acres of space inside.
My reply : I would prefer to buy a less spacious car rather than a leaky car. (There are numerous reviews on this forum mentioning oil leaks in brand new cars including Manza, which were not reported in PDI and which have not been rectified by T.A.S.S. even after customer complaints)

2. (Proudly) Don't worry, niggles are an essential part of owning a Tata car.
My reply : How can you say so proudly that your car has constant niggles. You (and your brand) should be ashamed of it.

3. You must be extremely lucky to have a niggle free vehicle.
My reply : You are buying a car, not a lottery. It is your right to have a niggle free car in return for your hard earned money.

4. Indica has a taxi-image, not Indica Vista.
My reply : I hate to disappoint you, but even Indica Vista has it. But who cares, if you like it, buy it.


Quotes from Fiat owners (and my replies)

1. My car has a soul, it speaks to me when I drive it.
My reply : I have no idea what you're talking about.

2. My car handles so well that I don't care about anything else.
My reply : I don't care how well the car handles, but I ain't buying it if the door handles come off within 2 months. (pun intended)

3. Fiat A.S.S. is improving, expect it to be much better very soon.
My reply : Pigs are learning to fly, expect them to fly very soon.


You might have noticed that I mentioned passionate quotes only from Maruti, Tata and Fiat fanboys. Thats because I have noticed that these are the 3 brands which many people are passionate about.

There is no doubting the fact that these brands have given some very legendary products to the Indian market, but there is still room for improvement.

One of the reason why these brands are not improving on their shortcomings is that many passionate customers (fanboys) keep buying from these brands, totally overlooking the shortcomings in the respective products or services.

IMHO, this is not a good trend. Brands will never improve their products and services unless we, the passionate customers demand more from them rather than being satisfied with whatever is being thrown at us.

I have not quoted any statements from Hyundai customers because I fail to recollect such passionate comments from any Hyundai customer. What I have noticed is that most Hyundai customers speak facts rather than make passionate comments about their brand. This is purely my personal opinion, I may be wrong here.

This may also be because Hyundai makes well rounded products, not necessarily exceeding in any particular area, but making a good tradeoff in all things that matter (cost of ownership, FE, A.S.S., looks, interiors, handling etc).

To a certain extent, the above holds true for Chevrolet brand and customers also.

My experiences are mostly limited to hatchback brands. But I am sure other members would have similar experiences to share with respect to other brands and vehicle segments. We do have a lot of Mahindra, Honda and Skoda fanboys on the forum.

Rohan (ducks to avoid brickbats from Maruti, Tata and Fiat fanboys)
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Old 4th June 2010, 14:49   #2
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Nice observations, Rohan.
I guess people find reasons to buy the car they decide to buy. I think RDP has put it best in his thread on Manza ownership.
By the way, did you take a look at this similar thread?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...bly-loyal.html (Car brands that you are inexplicably loyal to!)
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Old 4th June 2010, 14:55   #3
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You havent mentioned anything about Hyundai.

Does it say something about this thread?

A Sonata owner once said and i quote "My car has everything a Beamer and a Merc has, at half the price".

I feel Hyundai customers are as passionate about their cars as much as the manufacturers are passionate while designing and making them.

Honda has a huge fan base as well for its City and Civic which offer less for more.

The reason probably why Fiat owners go on and on about their cars are because the cars in spite of being flimsy retain good handling and driving characteristics.

When you buy one you'll probably understand.

Ps- Even after 8 years of hard driving, my door handles are still intact.

Cheers and let me go into my hole before you lot come out with your brick bats again

Last edited by Grafin : 4th June 2010 at 15:04.
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Old 4th June 2010, 14:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Nice observations, Rohan.
I guess people find reasons to buy the car they decide to buy. I think RDP has put it best in his thread on Manza ownership.
By the way, did you take a look at this similar thread?
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...bly-loyal.html (Car brands that you are inexplicably loyal to!)
Yes I was reading RDP's Manza ownership thread this morning. In fact, his writing inspired me to contribute something to the forum in the form of this thread. I just hope that this thread promotes a healthy debate and does not turn into a place for brand bashing.

I did have a look at the brand loyalty thread also. While that thread promotes brand loyalty, this thread is meant to discourage blind loyalty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grafin View Post
You havent mentioned anything about Hyundai.

Does it say something about this thread
As mentioned above, I am a Hyundai customer. I am giving open opportunity to other members to mock Hyundai fanboys.

Rohan

Last edited by rohan_iitr : 4th June 2010 at 15:02.
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Old 4th June 2010, 14:59   #5
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Ha ha, nicely put Rohan! May be because these cars are "stars" and yours (Hyundai) is a "character artiste"! One does not find character artiste fanclubs!

I actually wanted to be a Honda fanboy, but could not afford to presently, so decided to be a Maruti fanboy! So that I can get the best bang for my buck if trade it in for an upgrade in the near future!
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:07   #6
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Default Kudos to the topic!

Rohan...way to go! I think people are carried away by the brand thing. And more often than not, these brands are not even some aspirational brands like 'Aston Martin', 'Ferrari' or 'Proshe' etc either. They are just everyday brands which get too much attention. Hers is what I had posted on another thread:

see a lot of PREJUDICED opinions here, which is disappointing. In India (and mostly around the world), there are two clear stables.

Quote:
1) EURO Supporters: Regard German engineering supreme and for them VW stand for 'quality'. Mostly follow VW (Audi,BMW and Merc are Luxury so out of reach for most). FIAT is mostly an 'emotional' buy. RENAULT etc. don't command any kind of following in India.

I think that Euros have the best 'quality' cars (compare build quality of Passat and Camry to feel the difference). But what about their 'bland' styling and overpriced values!

2) JAP Supporters: Harp for Jap reliability and now 'style' too. Honda is life for these guys. Toyota is bigger more reliable but also 'boring'.

I agree with the reliability part but am not so sure about 'quality' content. Some cars like CIVIC reek of quality but others are so-so. Is ANHC interiors really that good; I think even the Jazz has better interiors.Also, since when did Honda become a luxury brand to command a premium??

I guess all I want to say is that lets treat cars on what they are and not for the brand they carry. That does not mean brand is not important ( Sonata transform is decent car not selling because Hyundai for luxury car= Cheapo!) but lets not deviate from the crux: THE CAR!
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:10   #7
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Nothing about others like Hyundai, Skoda, Toyota, Chevrolet, etc, etc ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Quotes from Fiat owners (and my replies)

1. My car has a soul, it speaks to me when I drive it.
My reply : I have no idea what you're talking about.=
My Reply : Of course you would have no idea if one drives a soul-less car

Runs for cover. Do not take reply to heart!!!

Last edited by praful : 4th June 2010 at 15:12.
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:13   #8
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But brand loyalty is something more: it is unexplainable! The brand and that individual share a relationship, they have a bond! It adds some colour and life to car-ownership, no?

It's like in sports, you support your team through the good and the bad, right? Or do you half way through the match switch t-shirts and support the winning team?

I guess the whole passion thing comes in because at heart we are all subjective, and hence we have emotions and feelings for a certain brand. Establishing brand loyalty is a crucial part of business in most industries - this is also a huge barrier of entry for new players in the market! Brand loyalty gives several car makers leverage to sell their cars over other newer competitors.

I don't know where my post is going... just stream of thoughts
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
As mentioned above, I am a Hyundai customer. I am giving open opportunity to other members to mock Hyundai fanboys.
Alright, here goes. Quoting Jeremy Clarikson's immortal words.

Quote:
There’s something I’ve found out as well. If you buy a Hyundai, or any car from that part of the world, you will be seen as a bore. Invitations will dry up, your kids will refuse to speak to you, your wife will sleep with your friends and you may end up committing suicide.
Jeremy Clarkson Hyundai Accent review | Driving - Times Online

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
So basically, what I have noticed is that some people (including Team-BHP members) have an unnecessary and unexplainable passion towards their car brand. In some instances, these people are so blinded by their passion that they can't see obvious shortcomings in their car
So what's your point here? It just means that the Marketing dept has done a fantastic job in building the brand. Every car has some obvious shortcomings and most owners are indeed aware of them.

Last edited by Gilead : 4th June 2010 at 15:17.
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:30   #10
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I dont see a purpose here.

Point 1: The more you associate yourself with your car brand the more you ll get offended at quirky statements.

Point 2: Everybody can take a dig at every other car manufacturer. No Car (and manufacurer) is God and hence all have thier own weaknessess as thier strenghts.

Point 3: Respect it (Point 2) on move on.

Last edited by Mi10 : 4th June 2010 at 15:33.
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
Alright, here goes. Quoting Jeremy Clarikson's immortal words.

I remember one which still is the best of the lot.

he described the Perodua Kelisa as

"a car built in a jungle clearing by people who go to work in shoes made from leaves".

He once said that the people on the Hyundai stand in a motor show had "eaten a dog" and that the designer of the Hyundai XG had probably eaten a spaniel for his lunch.
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:34   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by praful View Post
Nothing about others like Hyundai, Skoda, Toyota, Chevrolet, etc, etc ?



My Reply : Of course you would have no idea if one drives a soul-less car

Runs for cover. Do not take reply to heart!!!
+1 I agree with you mate . A hyundai i10 has no soul compared to Fiats.
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by designersf View Post
+1 I agree with you mate . A hyundai i10 has no soul compared to Fiats.
I did not mention Hyundai i10 in my post anywhere now!! Lol.

But, I think its natural to support a brand more than another. Its quite similar to supporting say your favourite football team, you know they are definitely not the best but their combined set of characteristics appeals to you and that is a highly personal choice.

But I think the thread starter is not trying to convey that, he's trying to bring into focus the kind of people who actually go ahead to almost Obsessive Compulsive Disorder standards of being 'fanboys' to particular brands.
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:40   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by designersf View Post
+1 I agree with you mate . A hyundai i10 has no soul compared to Fiats.
Any car will have a Soul if the owner has one
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Old 4th June 2010, 15:54   #15
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There is only one explanation for this - Attachement.

Human beings have tendency to get attached to material belongings. Praising a brand we own gives a sense of pride, satisfaction (albeit hollow) because we have spent money on it and are attached to it.

So, in a way, we want to defend our decision of buying that particular brand. It fulfils our own *ego*, we are in a denial mode to consider ourselves as *losers* because we bought a brand that has not great reputation and is a headache to own and live with.

So - as Lord Buddha and Gita says - Attachement and Ego, are the man's greatest enemies. So true.
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