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Old 13th April 2012, 14:35   #61
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
I think that he is trying to say that sacrificing margins will impact the brand perception in the long run. Benz has enviable level of brand recognition as a rich man's car.
And BMW and Audi is not ?

Not just the world, but India too has moved on and everyone recognizes these three brands to be on par. Brand Recognition is a means to an end. If it doesn't get them sales when they compete among your peers, its time to admit - their Brand Recognition has taken a toll.


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The corporate edition variants might get the numbers but diluting the luxury image will be a disaster, because if its space and features you want, the Superb is a better buy than the E.
You are mixing two different things.
a. The Corporate Editions never went down to a lower level or diluted the brand.
b. Yes, Superb/Accord has comparable space to E. Let me also add - Tata Safari has better space than an X1. And the point is?

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Debasis Mitra, sales & marketing director of Mercedes Benz India rather high headed, 'We are not selling commodity but luxury. Numbers are not the prime focus today.'
Of course not! "In fact we are making our next C class a limited edition and sell only 59 of them and thus improve our brand perception even more!"

Sounds a lot like sour grapes to me
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Old 13th April 2012, 14:58   #62
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post

And BMW and Audi is not ?

Not just the world, but India too has moved on and everyone recognizes these three brands to be on par. Brand Recognition is a means to an end. If it doesn't get them sales when they compete among your peers, its time to admit - their Brand Recognition has taken a toll.

And the point is?
BMW has near equal recognition, Audi (sedans) are nowhere in that league, Q7 is popular, A4 is quite common, anything else is an exotic because its so rare. Benz doesn't have cut price models, their sales are hit and its not because of brand recognition, people like something new and their product lineup is a bit staid.Outside the metros Benz is still strong and I don't see them as bit players any time soon.

The point is when you spend a lot of money, you are making a statement, exclusivity is part of that, people who own a BMW make it a point to say "not CE, highline/some higher series". Its because when its common, the brand does get diluted, and the CE is too common to get a second look nowadays. Between X1 and Safari,maybe the X1 buyer is convinced the trim bits wont fall off one day and is least concerned about space and initial cost.
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Old 13th April 2012, 15:04   #63
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Thumbs down Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Just looked at Merc's new price list. They have raised price of C63 AMG to 79.83 Lacs ex-showroom from 65 Lacs last week . Do they think Indians are fool! This is very unfortunate, they sure will make Merc a rare brand in India in next couple of years.
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Old 13th April 2012, 15:15   #64
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Originally Posted by rishi_kapoor View Post
Just looked at Merc's new price list. They have raised price of C63 AMG to 79.83 Lacs ex-showroom from 65 Lacs last week . Do they think Indians are fool! This is very unfortunate, they sure will make Merc a rare brand in India in next couple of years.
I dont think they think Indians are fools, it is the finance minister who thinks so!
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Old 13th April 2012, 15:16   #65
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
BMW has near equal recognition, Audi (sedans) are nowhere in that league, Q7 is popular, A4 is quite common, anything else is an exotic because its so rare. Benz doesn't have cut price models, their sales are hit and its not because of brand recognition, people like something new and their product lineup is a bit staid.
Let me modify that and say People like something new in the same league! If I am buying a Corolla, i wont go out an buy a Linea because its the same size and i want something different. They are in a different league - and it shows in sales numbers.

And about Audi not equal to MB in brand - yea, maybe in a village living under a rock somewhere.

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Outside the metros Benz is still strong and I don't see them as bit players any time soon.
I don't think anyone is claiming MB to be a bit player. It is a strong brand and will remain same for ages to come. The only trouble is when you put a 'halo' around MB as holier than thou in the trio.
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Old 13th April 2012, 15:37   #66
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Yesterday the report was published that BMW leads the war of the German trio. The numbers show that BMW lead the way selling 2369units followed by Audi at 2269 and Merc comes in third at 2130.

If we analyse the numbers carefully i think Mercedes has done a phenomenal job with the current lineup. They do not have a direct BMW X1 rival, they don't have any stripped down editions, their ML is due for replacement sometime this month, their GL is also due for replacement this year, the S-class replacement is due soon and yet the difference is only 239 units for the first 3months that's apparently 80units a month. I think if it was not for the corp edition or the X1 BMW would be down in third.

All credit to AUDI to make it to the number two spot with their service network not so good and their brand awareness in India is also less when compared to the other two. They are for sure making up numbers with the A6 and their SUV's. If they price the Q3 right its a matter of time before they top the sales chart.
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Old 13th April 2012, 15:59   #67
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
.

And about Audi not equal to MB in brand - yea, maybe in a village living under a rock somewhere.


I don't think anyone is claiming MB to be a bit player. It is a strong brand and will remain same for ages to come. The only trouble is when you put a 'halo' around MB as holier than thou in the trio.

I don't know about a village under a rock but outside your bubble, Audi is not in that league, if pricing alone was considered you could say that they are at par. Audi has moved up the chain a lot(worldwide), but for the first time luxury car buyer, the ones you dismiss as living under a rock, Benz will be car to buy. The new growth will come from those regions, BMW is well placed to expand there but Audi which has horror stories floating about its service costs will be hard pressed.

Its not the halo, rear wheel drive spells exclusivity in Benz/BMW. FWD in Audi means a better looking VW( its not a compliment). Benz - BMW - Audi(quattro) for me, you can disagree but the fact is people hate to have to explain their 50Lakh car purchase, ( in my village people, say Benz when they see one and big car for whatever else appears expensive) buying a Benz takes car of that - outside the Metros and Major Urban Centres.
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Old 13th April 2012, 16:33   #68
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
but for the first time luxury car buyer, the ones you dismiss as living under a rock, Benz will be car to buy.
Nah, you got it all wrong! The truth is - the first time car buyers you mentioned are not living under a rock and hence MB is the last

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
Audi which has horror stories floating about its service costs will be hard pressed.
There's enough service horror stores for all three brands - and may be more for MB coz they have been here the most. Its not easy to maintain a German brand compared to a Japanese. Common knowledge.

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Its not the halo, rear wheel drive spells exclusivity in Benz/BMW. FWD in Audi means a better looking VW( its not a compliment).
We can talk a lot about this topic - but since you are quoting an average chauffeur driven luxury car purchaser - remind me - what does a FWD vs RWD vs Quattro mean to them?

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
Benz - BMW - Audi(quattro) for me, you can disagree but the fact is people hate to have to explain their 50Lakh car purchase, ( in my village people, say Benz when they see one and big car for whatever else appears expensive) buying a Benz takes car of that - outside the Metros and Major Urban Centres.
I agree! Your average villager might take time - after-all MB has a lot of legacy (and i mean that in a good way). But not for a modern user who is in tune with times. The world is flat.


Anyway, lets move on. This will eventually lead to ad-hominens. My only point in the whole debate was - lets accept BMW & Audi has done a great job in beating MB despite a 15 year head-start. I am predicting Audi to be #1 in 2013, but i will be happy if MB actually tries to compete. Good for the buyer!
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Old 13th April 2012, 16:43   #69
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Whatever the Sales charts might say, and they might say the same story for quite some time to come; more often than not, in Gurgaon/NCR, I see BMWs and Audis being driven by so-called Urban Yuppies (no offence meant to anyone), and the fewer Mercs that I see, are mostly chaffeur driven.
It seems that BMW & Audi vie for the attention of a significantly different audience, than the Mercs.

Probably, a break-up of the sales numbers would also speak out the same story. Am I totally off the mark here?
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Old 13th April 2012, 16:48   #70
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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I dont think they think Indians are fools, it is the finance minister who thinks so!
Ajmat, do you really think change of duty will add 15 Lacs to a 65 Lac rupee car? I agree there will definitely some impact but not in the tune of 15 Lacs.

Anyways, In my interaction with their dealer T&T over last 6 weeks, I found them utterly snobbish and least customer focus and thats what drove me away from them to BMW. Just see the statement by one of their senior leader on "selling luxury and not commoditity", this shows how they overprice their cars in India. In US a college going cousin bought a C 4matic for under 35K, do you call that luxury segment? Give me a break you are selling a Mercedes not a ferrari!

If they can offer me 4.5 Lacs discount on their C 250 CDI Elegance 2012 model then I am sure they are selling it way over price, because even with this discount they will be making good money.
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Old 13th April 2012, 16:57   #71
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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( in my village people, say Benz when they see one and big car for whatever else appears expensive) buying a Benz takes car of that
Is it that this could be one of the factors working against Benz (at least in TierII - TierIII cities). A three-pointed star means the "seth" inside must be having loads of cash !! An Audi or BMW helps you enjoy the luxury with relative peace of mind. Just a hypothesis. I may be (or probably am) totally wrong here ...
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Old 13th April 2012, 17:17   #72
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Nah, you got it all wrong! The truth is - the first time car buyers you mentioned are not living under a rock and hence MB is the last


There's enough service horror stores for all three brands - and may be more for MB coz they have been here the most. Its not easy to maintain a German brand compared to a Japanese. Common knowledge.


We can talk a lot about this topic - but since you are quoting an average chauffeur driven luxury car purchaser - remind me - what does a FWD vs RWD vs Quattro mean to them?

The first time luxury car buyer may have adult children who think Audi is good enough, I doubt he will be willing to pay up for something he feels doesn't have pedigree.

RWD/Quattro = bragging rights, its a good opportunity to boast when someone asks about it. Owners like to think its superior because its different - chauffeur driven or not.

BMW has a good rep for service compared to the other two so horror stories(costs) are few, like I said before elsewhere they will rule, Benz still has more than fighting chance with Audi, the problem is once people see so many BMWs, herd mentality takes over(rightly, in the matter of after sales).

I see BMW having half the market for in 5 years, Benz may be out of the game in all the major cities. If BMW brings that 6series CLS competitor (dont remember the model)priced around E 350 territory, I don't see why anyone would want to buy either Benz or Audi. The new C class is on the way, lets wait and see what MB manages with that.
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Old 13th April 2012, 17:29   #73
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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The first time luxury car buyer may have adult children who think Audi is good enough, I doubt he will be willing to pay up for something he feels doesn't have pedigree.
So are you essentially saying old pops who doesn't have educated children will choose MB.? We are on the same page!

Anyway, like i said, I think i hijacked this thread enough, Lets move on. My last post on the same. All I can say - good to have competition!
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Old 13th April 2012, 17:32   #74
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I sometimes feel that over all numbers excluding month of March should be considered.
Companies offload lots of numbers due to year end and give huge discounts, the buyer's perspective changes from what they want than what price is offered, case in point, my friend bought an A4 2.0 just because BMW didn't have too many cars in March and Audi gave a hefty(ridiculous) discount for a specific color which my friend didn't mind.

His perspective changed as he is on temporary work transfer from US. He did calculations to if he would sell in an year and the maths was so clear in favor of discounts. Remember Audi converted a hardcore BMW fan owning X5 and 3 series in the US.

The number game is all true but doesn't really matter, it just shows the idiosyncrasy of Indian market.
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Old 13th April 2012, 22:37   #75
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Merc will take atleast 2years atleast to put up the fight in the numbers game. They need to get in their new C class and the X1, Q3 competitor fast. Sure their new ML will be there next month and the new GL be in by the end of the year. The new S will come along somewhere in Q3 next year but the problem for them is they don't have any volumes model apart from the E which is due for a major face lift sometime next year. I am sure the new BMW 3 when launched in India will just stamp the competition.

Competition is such a great thing.....
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