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Old 7th June 2010, 13:57   #1
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Default Drought of sedans in the sub 10 lac range

I am not sure if such a topic already exists. If yes mods please merge.

What we are seeing is a flood of hatches right from the Nano to the Jazz. There are a lot of choices for consumers especially in the 4-5 lac segment. And notably most of these hatches are recent launches (<2 years). There are almost 20-22 odd cars you get to choose in the hatch segment today (without getting into fuel and variant types, which would then increase this to almost double).

However the situation gets reversed when you move to the 3 box segment on this side of 10 lacs. Although youíll see quite a number of cars existing in this range as and is also evident from the Sedans Under Rs. 12 Lacs - A Quantitative Ranking thread posted by smartcat but is it the case in reality? Letís explore more.

The list of cars available in this range is (not breaking it up into fuel type or sub-variant):
  1. Tata Indigo
  2. Mahindra Logan
  3. Maruti Dzire
  4. Tata Manza
  5. Ford Ikon
  6. Hyundai Accent
  7. Ford Fiesta
  8. Chevrolet Aveo
  9. Fiat Linea
  10. Hyundai Verna
  11. Maruti SX4
  12. Mitsubishi Lancer
  13. Chevrolet Optra
  14. Honda City
  15. Mitsubishi Cedia
There is a long list of 15 cars. But if I actually have to buy one today from all practical purposes what I see is the list gets shortened to just 7:
  1. Maruti Dzire
  2. Tata Manza
  3. Ford Fiesta
  4. Fiat Linea
  5. Hyundai Verna
  6. Maruti SX4
  7. Honda City
Because of all practical reasons and with all due respects to enthusiasts, the remaining 8 cars that I dropped are either too old, or sell once in a blue moon. Hence if I have to buy a car today keeping all the typical parameters in mind then I get only these 7.

But again 5-10 lacs is a pretty long range. Mostly buyers will not have this long a range of budget. The budget range is usually in 2 lacs (+/-20%). The range of 5-10 lacs can actually be divided into:
  1. 5-7 lacs
  2. 6-8 lacs
  3. 7-9 lacs
  4. 8-10 lacs
Each of the above sub-range will not have more than 4 of the 7 options which is far less than what a hatch buyer will have in any price range upto 7 lacs. The situation is better even in the 10 Ė 15 lacs segment where you get on an average 5 options : Cruze, Altis, Civic, Laura and Jetta.

Now if you closely examine the 7 shortlisted above youíll see that 2 of them are due for a new model in next ~1 year. These are the Fiesta and Verna. What this will mean is that the resale values may plummet once the new model is available. Hence a resale sensitive buyer (which most Indians are) may not choose these 2. And so the options drop down to just 5.

So 5 lacs range and not more than 5 cars to choose from! This is severe drought. Today, I have a budget of 10 lacs and I am struggling to find a car other than a Honda City and even that does not completely meet my requirements.

Now when is the monsoon arriving? Lined up next in this price range is the VW Vento, Linea T-Jet (again a variant and not a entirely new car) and Etios in 2010, the Fiesta, Verna and Kizashi (?) in 2011. But then thatís all I know of.

So the drought doesnít seem to end in 2010 at least. Will 2011 be the year of sub 10 lacs sedans like 2010 has been for hatches?
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Old 7th June 2010, 14:42   #2
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Well 2011 does have VW Vento, Toyota Etios (sedan), new Ford Fiesta, new Chevrolet Aveo, new Hyundai Verna, Nissan Micra based sedan, don't know if i left out any other. So looks like the sub 10 lakh segment will get some new interesting members
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Old 7th June 2010, 14:46   #3
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The existing verna will get another upgrade next month. Stop gap measure for 10 months before the new verna comes in India.
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishaanranderia View Post
Well 2011 does have VW Vento, Toyota Etios (sedan), new Ford Fiesta, new Chevrolet Aveo, new Hyundai Verna, Nissan Micra based sedan, don't know if i left out any other. So looks like the sub 10 lakh segment will get some new interesting members
Dont forget Skoda's replacement for the Octavia, could be the Fabia sedan!
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p'arth View Post
Today, I have a budget of 10 lacs and I am struggling to find a car other than a Honda City and even that does not completely meet my requirements.
Very true. I'm in the same situation. It's hard to decide whether to go ahead with City or wait for VW Vento.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
The existing verna will get another upgrade next month. Stop gap measure for 10 months before the new verna comes in India.
Just a face lift? Any more information?

Thanks
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
The existing verna will get another upgrade next month. Stop gap measure for 10 months before the new verna comes in India.
I think the commercial for this was shot at ITPL bangalore a couple of weekends back (On a Sunday). Wife had seen it and was asking me if a new Verna is coming. When I showed her the current Verna, she said the front was a little different! Sorry, but no pics :(.
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Old 7th June 2010, 18:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p'arth View Post
if I actually have to buy one today from all practical purposes what I see is the list gets shortened to just 7:
  1. Maruti Dzire
  2. Tata Manza
  3. Ford Fiesta
  4. Fiat Linea
  5. Hyundai Verna
  6. Maruti SX4
  7. Honda City
Because of all practical reasons and with all due respects to enthusiasts, the remaining 8 cars that I dropped are either too old, or sell once in a blue moon. Hence if I have to buy a car today keeping all the typical parameters in mind then I get only these 7.

But again 5-10 lacs is a pretty long range. Mostly buyers will not have this long a range of budget. The budget range is usually in 2 lacs (+/-20%). The range of 5-10 lacs can actually be divided into:
  1. 5-7 lacs
  2. 6-8 lacs
  3. 7-9 lacs
  4. 8-10 lacs
Each of the above sub-range will not have more than 4 of the 7 options which is far less than what a hatch buyer will have in any price range upto 7 lacs. The situation is better even in the 10 Ė 15 lacs segment where you get on an average 5 options : Cruze, Altis, Civic, Laura and Jetta.

Now if you closely examine the 7 shortlisted above youíll see that 2 of them are due for a new model in next ~1 year. These are the Fiesta and Verna. What this will mean is that the resale values may plummet once the new model is available. Hence a resale sensitive buyer (which most Indians are) may not choose these 2. And so the options drop down to just 5.

So 5 lacs range and not more than 5 cars to choose from! This is severe drought. Today, I have a budget of 10 lacs and I am struggling to find a car other than a Honda City and even that does not completely meet my requirements.
Oh you have read my mind yaar! Exactly the same confusion that I am undergoing. Less those two which are due for replacement, the list becomes
  1. Maruti Dzire
  2. Tata Manza
  3. Fiat Linea
  4. Maruti SX4
  5. Honda City
Looks of 1 and 2 may not appeal to all. For me 3 is too long to fit my garage and the lane and I feel that more importance is given to style, engine bay and boot with the rear legroom and head room at a premium. With due respect to the strengths of all the models, honda city emerges as a strong contender, but at the extreme end of the budget!. That takes me back to the hatches again.

Hope the draught may end some time.
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Old 7th June 2010, 19:03   #8
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P'arth, I completey agree with your views. I had the exact same feelings, and I am very frustrated by lack of choice in this segment. I really feel the choices are too few considering the amount of money one is paying; 10L is no small amount and yet such lack of choice is really sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p'arth View Post
Hence if I have to buy a car today keeping all the typical parameters in mind then I get only these 7.
Unfortunately, if the budget is strictly 10L, then even Honda City is out of this range, at least in Bangalore where OTR is above 10L for City. So this leaves us with even lesser choice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by p'arth View Post
Now when is the monsoon arriving? Lined up next in this price range is the VW Vento, Linea T-Jet (again a variant and not a entirely new car) and Etios in 2010, the Fiesta, Verna and Kizashi (?) in 2011. But then that’s all I know of.

So the drought doesn’t seem to end in 2010 at least. Will 2011 be the year of sub 10 lacs sedans like 2010 has been for hatches?
I am really hoping this segment will explode soon with lot of choices and new cars. By the way, Kizashi is likely to be priced closer to 12L (or even more), and even the new Fiesta may cost more than 10L. So it is likely that the improved, newer versions in this segment actually move up to the next segment, and this segment remains as "dry" as it is today. This is my worst fear. The drought may not end in that case.

Maybe the car manufacturers and their marketing teams think that this segment is a "no man's land" in Indian market. They can (at least try to) play volume games in sub-7L market, and then target the rich customers above 10L and exploit high profit margins. Somehow I feel people with budgets in 7-9L range are caught in this no man's land. May be I am wrong, but it will be great if some marketing gurus can explain this lack of choice.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 7th June 2010 at 19:07.
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Old 7th June 2010, 19:07   #9
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The VW Vento, the new Verna and the Toyota Etios will probably fill this void to some extent. I am looking to buy a sedan to replace my Ikon soon and looks like I dont have too many choices other than the City. All the others are pretty old designs and are likely to be replaced soon and I don't like the SX4.
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Old 7th June 2010, 19:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
P'arth, I completey agree with your views. I had the exact same feelings, and I am very frustrated by lack of choice in this segment. I really feel the choices are too few considering the amount of money one is paying; 10L is no small amount and yet such lack of choice is really sad.



Unfortunately, if the budget is strictly 10L, then even Honda City is out of this range, at least in Bangalore where OTR is above 10L for City. So this leaves us with even lesser choice.




I am really hoping this segment will explode soon with lot of choices and new cars. By the way, Kizashi is likely to be priced closer to 12L (or even more), and even the new Fiesta may cost more than 10L. So it is likely that the improved, newer versions in this segment actually move up to the next segment, and this segment remains as "dry" as it is today. This is my worst fear. The drought may not end in that case.

Maybe the car manufacturers and their marketing teams think that this segment is a "no man's land" in Indian market. They can (at least try to) play volume games in sub-7L market, and then target the rich customers above 10L and exploit high profit margins. Somehow I feel people with budgets in 7-9L range are caught in this no man's land. May be I am wrong, but it will be great if some marketing gurus can explain this lack of choice.
Precisely my dilemma. I was looking for a sedan in the 6-8 lakh range, but was not happy with offerings at all. Honda city in Karnataka is too expensive. Finally settled for the Figo.

As you said Dr AD, I also feel, Honda having pushed the benchmark higher, the new Fiesta and Verna will also end up in the same price category.

We have to pin our hopes on Etios and Ventos. Hope they will be priced sensitively. Otherwise we will have to look at the used car market.
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Old 7th June 2010, 20:10   #11
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Also among the 5,

1.Tata Manza:Although a large seller,the Tata badge puts off a segment of buyers.
2.Fiat Linea: Fiat *** and dubious history makes this car also a No-no.
3.Maruti SX4:Is a good allrounder,but again consumers still feel iffy about paying 8 lakhs for a "maruti"

So we are essentially left with 2 choices Suzuki Dzire for the 5-7 lakh range and Honda City for the 8-10 lakhs range.

No wonder these 2 sell like they do.

Last edited by avishar : 7th June 2010 at 20:11.
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Old 7th June 2010, 21:01   #12
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If only maruti can come up with a SX4 ddis with sensible pricing, i feel it can still shake the segment with its good looks, diesel economy & maruti peace of mind ownership. My 2 cents guys
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Old 8th June 2010, 09:53   #13
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Parth, I m in the same club as yours. Want to spend, but dont have choices that either would stay or offer great features.
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Old 8th June 2010, 14:30   #14
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Well, this thread reminds of 2003-2006 saga where we had a lot of mid-segment cars in the 6-9L range and most of them suited the requirements of a large segment. The Sedan was the rage during those days with everyone ditching the hatchbacks,

However, now the situation seems to be totally reversed, we now have more modern hatchbacks with slew of features and options.

BTW, one more observation, doesn't this reflect car manufacturers now aiming at the market trend to move into the volume segment which is the B/B+ segment. Also, this segment of cars now also offers space, features which are at par or sometimes even above the C-segment cars as also easily fits in the price band for a first time buyer, is more fuel efficient,

Also, consider the fact that excise duty is reduced for a sub 4-metre car with limited engine options thereby resulting in more sales volumes, it makes more sense for the car manufacturers to launch market specific products in India. All these B/B+ segment cars conform to the International and Indian norms and are probably the best sellers for their respective companies.

So, it seems that the Era of Hatchbacks is coming back, should we call it the Nano effect.
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Old 9th June 2010, 10:04   #15
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Had the Chevy Cruze been available in petrol, it could have been another good option. Especially the LT variant would have landed in ANHC pricing. So folks with a budget ~10 lac and a slight stretch would have got a D Segment car.

Any inputs if a petrol Cruze is due sometime in near future?
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