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Old 18th October 2011, 21:54   #1081
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

@Kaviprem:

Isn't the Merlin supposed to slot above the Safari? What is the price of the Safari? Forget what the price of the Merlin will be, even the Safari at this price is overpriced to "can I say it without offending any one" XUV500 ..

And don't worry about "non-existant" SUV, within a few weeks, you will be seeing more of them than you can digest ;-)

Any thread about a model that has not been released will have certain amount of speculation, for and against the product. This is quite natural and shouldn't be taken personal.

For example a fan of the Company brand will post a speculative message like. " I know from internal sources that this is the best SUV ever launched and will kill the Fortuner".

Other who are more neutral may post something else but everything except the photos on this thread is pretty much speculation. maybe we can ask the mods to change the rules so than you can speculate provided your speculation is favoring the product, but not otherwise.

I don't ever recall saying that Merlin will be a bad product, my view is that without a price correction, the vehicle will be doomed.

Last edited by 4x4addict : 18th October 2011 at 22:01.
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Old 19th October 2011, 00:09   #1082
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

I agree that at Safari's present price point the XUV presents better value, but its the same with every other UV in the market including the Scorpio. I don't see the Mahindra fans claiming the Scorpio is going to be doomed?!! No automaker is going to revise prices as a kneejerk reaction to the initial euphoria of a model. Counter it with discounts maybe, but until the revised prices are announced in 2012 everyone will prefer to wait and watch. Nov - Dec is a dull period in auto sales as it is.

Tata priced the Aria variants poorly and is suffering for this fallacy. Somehow certain sections of the forum are convinced or hoping the same will be repeated with the Merlin. But definitive predictions that this will be the case and the vehicle is doomed even before launch is simply stubborn hatred, unfortunately there is no use reasoning against this as well.

@ 4x4 addict

I don't care if you prefer to see certain vehicles and not others, that's upto you. There are plenty of scorpio taxis doing their rounds. Of course that is not the reason the Scorpio became a success, mahindra got most things right from day one and kept improving it, theres no denying that.

This fact along with the 3 front facing rows meant that Taxi/Fleet customers do make a large chunk of the sales. I see them at airports, taxi stands, fleet cars etc... Why do you think they've released a Scorpio EX with the Bolero 2.5 engine, black bumpers et all @ 7 odd lacs, its obviously for the taxi/fleet segment.

There will be plenty of XUVs with yellow boards as well, priced slightly higher and deservedly so than the Innova its definite that there are taxi/fleet buyers who will find the XUV far more desirable.
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Old 19th October 2011, 00:23   #1083
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post

Against a merlin that costs between 13 to 15 lakhs, I think a 1 lakh increase in each variant of the XUV500 will be very much acceptable.

If you notice, my team bhp handle is not Scorpio Lover or Fortuner Lover, so it helps to see the pros and cons of various models objectively
Perhaps not having such a handle helps you to see models that are not launched yet objectively and predict their prices and fate with certainty! I rest my case
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Old 19th October 2011, 06:31   #1084
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
. There are plenty of scorpio taxis doing their rounds.
This fact along with the 3 front facing rows meant that Taxi/Fleet customers do make a large chunk of the sales.
@shortbread, there is no denying that Scorpio is bought by some as taxis. But to say that taxo/fleet customers form a large chunk of Scorpio sales is not right. IMO, it cant be more than 10% of its sales. I have rarely seen a yellow board Scorpio.
But, even if you assume 50% of Scorpio sales is taxi/fleet even then it outsells the Safari in the private market.

Now I own a Safari and have some attachment to the brand. And I would say this- Safari is a better vehicle than Scorpio. But almost everyone I know in my family or friend circle who bought a SUV by comparing both these products, ended up buying a Scorpio. Mostly for the following reason: low turning radius (I cant tell you how many associate the Safari's large turning radius to its bulk and say they are scared of driving a very large vehicle), drivability of the vehicle, also lower price.
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Old 19th October 2011, 08:24   #1085
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

@tata/safari fans:

Please don't get the wrong impression that I am a Safari hater. Despite being a Scoprio owner, I totally agree with rrsteer comment above that Safari is undoubtedly a better product than the Scorpio. I chose the Scorpio over the Safari for the following reasons in order of importance to me.

1) Price. Fully loaded Scorpio 4x4 with ABS/Air Bags costed me 11.3 on the road. Fully loaded VX 4x4 would have costed me approximately 1.75 Lakhs more than than with including life tax etc. In my opinion, Safari cannot justify that much premium over a comparable Scorpio. It can definitely command a higher price but not this much !!

2) Front facing third row seats. The safari's third row seat is not usable on long drives by kids or adults. In the Scorpio, on long drives, my kids go to the forward facing bench third row and sleep peacefully. The Scorpio third row is not really usable by adults for long distance, but works perfectly for kids, leaving the middle row for adults to sit in reasonable comfort.

3) Overall reliability and durability of Scorpio compared to Safari. This is debatable endlessly on this forum, but you cannot ignore a vehicle that sells on an average 4 times as much as it's competitor.

Personally, I have ruled out the XUV500 as I need a seven seater and XUV is not a seven seater.

Merlin's success will depend on pricing. I am sure many of us in this forum myself included want Merlin to succeed or at least do better than Safari or Aria, but Tata must feel the same way and get off their high horse and accept the market realities.
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Old 19th October 2011, 09:50   #1086
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I feel that Mahindra has a more visible, hands on - top-to-bottom management. Tata Sons seems to be a behemoth and hence may be a bit too democratic in all their decisions. I say this by looking at the XUV 5OO. It certainly was a brave management decision to okay the styling that we see today. I don't think Tata Motors has such people who will take these kind of brave decisions. The Tata Merlin is doomed even before it is even released. I own a Safari that I bought 6 years ago. I'm sad that the product hasn't progressed even after all these years. That the company would work so hard to develop a new platform and then dress it up like an old model, resembles my grandmother who thought a heart transplant and a new set of 90's style clothes would allow her to live on forever.
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Old 19th October 2011, 11:28   #1087
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
1) Price. Fully loaded Scorpio 4x4 with ABS/Air Bags costed me 11.3 on the road. Fully loaded VX 4x4 would have costed me approximately 1.75 Lakhs more than than with including life tax etc. In my opinion, Safari cannot justify that much premium over a comparable Scorpio. It can definitely command a higher price but not this much !!
Ditto. The above point was the clincher for me too, when I had to choose between the Safari and the Scorpio [albeit the EX & SLE variants respectively] back in Feb 2010. Even though the Safari is more spacious, more comfortable for driver & passengers and better looking [IMO], the on road price difference of almost 75k was a bit too much for my already stretched wallet. Also, the SLE came with ABS, which the EX didn't have. Tata should really look at this aspect vis-a-vis the competition when they launch the Merlin, because all said and done, a lot of buyers in this segment are upgrading from a hatch or budget sedan, and price is the first thing they look at.

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 19th October 2011 at 11:30.
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Old 19th October 2011, 12:35   #1088
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Am really looking forward to the go-to-market strategy that Tata adopts in view of the very interesting and successful XUV strategy for MM.

Scenario Analysis:
- MM has put its cards (XUV) on the table and they are pretty good and the market is responding very positively!

- From this thread its safe to infer that Tata has an almost finished/spec'ed product which apparently and suddenly seems fairly basic if compared to the bells and whistles that go with the XUV. This largely eliminates any feature-driven strategy and entirely boils down to the pricing.

- After the Aria pricing feedback from the market, Tata might as well bid goodbye to the 8-15L market if they goof up the Merlin pricing

- What Merlin has going for it
1) Simplicity of Design - Not to sound anti-XUV, but I suddenly see there's a market for simpler looking vehicles without cuts/slashes/bulges which looks proportionate and performs well. Interestingly, I have family members who want to buy the XUV for the opposite reason and not to forget the red lighting!. Frankly if the XUV was a bit simpler and had a low-ratio transfer case, it would seal the deal for me too!

2) For the last 13 years, people have pointed out what they want and don't want in the Safari. Merlin must ideally have used all that information!

3) The gap between the Scorpio 2wd and the XUV W6 is what the Merlin can really fill without cannibalizing any intra-company Aria sales. lol.

4) The Safari still holds a good aspirational-lifestyle vehicle perception. Merlin should capitalize on that.

The Merlin launch strategy should bring out/is going to take the best of product placement and pricing for it to do better than what the Safari ever did. Especially with the Cheetah lurking in the shadows!

I wish Tata had as great professionals in the marketing/pricing department as the ones who make their ads!
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Old 19th October 2011, 15:04   #1089
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

One thing that i wanted to ask the experts out here is that is the news confirmed that the current 2.2 Safari and the Merlin will sell side by side ?
Lets not forget shall we that the safari has always been in competition with the scorpio and the XUV is in competition with the Aria. No matter whether Tata says that the Aria belongs to the Endeavor category and what not but in real terms it will end up being compared to the XUV only.
Hence the only feasible option for Tata would be to phase out the current Safari and bring in the Merlin at its price range.
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Old 19th October 2011, 15:33   #1090
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

I had recently been to Mangalore from Mumbai and back in a scorpio - with just 5 of us (which includes the driver).

It was about a 14-16 hr drive one way; but i am 5'11 and trust me had a torrid time. could not stretch, could not move - it was the most tiring journey i had ever taken.

i truly feel that only the driver and co-passengers are really at ease in a scorpio. i drove in my indica xeta a few years back (was driving) and trust me; my wife who is 5'4 and another friend 5'8 did not have any issues sitting at the back.

anyways it alwyas depends from person to person
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Old 19th October 2011, 16:03   #1091
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Source: ICB

Interior images of Merlin emerges.

Nice layout, this looks like the lower spec one as Steering mounted controls are missing and also integrated HU. Faux wood finish looks okay.
Attached Thumbnails
Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90-tata-merlin-suv-interiors-2.jpg  


Last edited by Y@SH : 19th October 2011 at 16:05.
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Old 19th October 2011, 16:09   #1092
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y@SH View Post
Source: ICB

Interior images of Merlin emerges.

Nice layout, this looks like the lower spec one as Steering mounted controls are missing and also integrated HU. Faux wood finish looks okay.
Looks pretty bland. But best to reserve the judgemment till the launch. Any ideas when it is slated to be announced (or has TATA postponed the launch to do a rethink after the XUV)
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Old 19th October 2011, 16:11   #1093
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_upreti View Post
Looks pretty bland. But best to reserve the judgemment till the launch. Any ideas when it is slated to be announced (or has TATA postponed the launch to do a rethink after the XUV)
I think the launch of XUV500 has sent tata back to the drawing board. A launch of maybe Q1 2012 is a possibility.
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Old 19th October 2011, 17:23   #1094
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y@SH View Post
I think the launch of XUV500 has sent tata back to the drawing board. A launch of maybe Q1 2012 is a possibility.
All TATA needs is a decision on positioning Refreshed Safari with a winning price.

Tata must acknowledge XUV has raised the bar for a good feature rich new product competitive pricing is key for its success.

Seems TATA is so used to SUV-Duopoly with Mahindra and is awaiting Mahindra to raise the XUV price
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Old 19th October 2011, 17:44   #1095
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Default re: Tata Merlin - Safari replacement? *UPDATE* Uncovered Pics on Pg 90

Random Fact
Of 50 bookings received by a Mahindra dealer at gurgaon in one day , 20 were scorpio prospects.
Source - GM of showroom.
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