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Old 14th April 2012, 01:02   #76
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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. ...
Fortunately or unfortunately there are LOTS of villages living under a rock in many places in India; you might need to get out of the metro to see & understand those! And in those "under the rock" villages, MB still enjoys a STRONG un-diluted brand name synonymous to luxury [which need not reflect in the sales]! They definitely had the first mover advantage.

But time passed and the rivals have caught up & moved ahead in the game & MB is still arrogant or clueless of how to change the game! Rather than introducing competitive products or prices or warranty schemes, they still hold on by blaming the competitors of un-ethical pricing & the likes!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 14th April 2012 at 01:04.
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Old 14th April 2012, 01:20   #77
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Originally Posted by rishi_kapoor

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!
I would not compare US car price to India's prices. These are 2 completely different markets. You can get 330i or A4 for the same price range as well.

And btw, C 4matic does fall in small luxury car segment along with 3 and A4 in US of A.

Now coming back to topic, having owned multiple generations of both BMW and Merc in past, I can say that Merc produced most lousiest product ever in last decade or so. They lost market share more because of their own mistakes (very unreliable product line-up like M class, R class). But having said that, all new Merc models are much better and I predict that Merc will fight back strongly.

Last edited by Nitrous Power : 14th April 2012 at 01:26.
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Old 14th April 2012, 13:35   #78
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Helped 6 people buy a luxury car in the last 2 months. 1 chose Mercedes, 2 BMW, 2 Audi & 1 Jaguar.

This is AFTER test-driving & bargaining with all the three brands. Two swore off Mercedes because of the reliability issues most people in our circle have suffered and 3 influential wives found the three-pointed star "too boring". The dude who bought a Jag wasn't even willing to consider one, until I told him & wife to take a spin in the XJ-L. That was it. Atleast 1 was influenced by BMW's long maintenance plans.

On the street, BMW followed by Audi are seen as more youthful, stylish & aggressive. I'm willing to bet good money that the average age of a Mercedes buyer in India is noticeably higher than that for Audi or BMW.

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Old 14th April 2012, 20:25   #79
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Good news !
After this i hope that Audi are mentioned in the same breath as the other 2 , IN INDIA.
As much as everyone talks about the market opening up to 'Mercedes alternatives', most often it just meant BMW.
Being an Audi A4 3.0 TDi owner , i know that though the overall recognition of the Audi brand has gone up by leaps and bounds since their inception here , somehow they just were not mentioned in the same breath as BMW and Merc. I honestly dont know why. If world sales are checked, Audi again stand at number 2 right behind BMW and well ahead of Mercedes. I mean people around the world are not idiots to like a brand are they ?
About all this 'rebranded VW' hogwash, by those standards even a Lamborghini is a re-badged Audi today ! So many components are provided by Audi to Lamborghini. But does anyone say that ? Ofcourse not !
'Re-badged VW' is 1 of the most common nonsensical statements that Audi critics have.
Anyways coming back, its good to see Audi in the fray now & the Q3 and A3 will really heat things up between Audi and BMW but i still doubt if they will be numero uno by 2015. Thats their ambition but BMW are bloody quick in their strategies.
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Old 15th April 2012, 16:02   #80
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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 GTO View Post
On the street, BMW followed by Audi are seen as more youthful, stylish & aggressive. I'm willing to bet good money that the average age of a Mercedes buyer in India is noticeably higher than that for Audi or BMW.
Oh yes, I guess it’s a global phenomenon with the Mercedes – even so much that some of the publications refer it as ‘uncle car’. Not that I fully agree with that statement, and I feel the newer models from them is bringing back the youthfulness, be it the C, SLS/CLS range, or even the upcoming GL.
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Old 15th April 2012, 16:43   #81
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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 GTO View Post
Helped 6 people buy a luxury car in the last 2 months. 1 chose Mercedes, 2 BMW, 2 Audi & 1 Jaguar.

On the street, BMW followed by Audi are seen as more youthful, stylish & aggressive. I'm willing to bet good money that the average age of a Mercedes buyer in India is noticeably higher than that for Audi or BMW.
A few instances that seem to indicate the same trend:

A person I know (Typical Chairman of a Public Ltd. Co.) first in 1995 got himself an E-Class Merc, and still has it and loves it. His next purchase was in 2000 a S Class - influenced in part by me and he hates it and it's reliability. I had then simply used the logic that from a E-Class the logical upgrade is the Merc also the reliability & 2000-2005 product quality drop issues were not known that well at that point of time. He then in 2010 got a Merc GL SUV- again influenced by me and he now hates this one as well for the product quality and the fact that the sat nav does not work along with a relatively harsh ride and basic cabin - post the 2005 mumbai floods having a car/SUV with higher GC was desirable in our part of town (office next to the mithi river).

Recently also guided the same family to an Audi A4 purchase for a younger person just starting off and the family loves this one.

Assisted another friends dad (car selected by the children for the Dad who is also the chairman of a small public limited company) in choosing an A4 over the 3 series and C-Class and they too are loving it considering the overall value, confort and feature list.

Yes the Merc buyer age group does seem to be higher and they are not really happy with the reliability though they keep going back to it. While BMW and Audi do attract the younger lot.

Did notice while influencing this and other purchases that the Merc loyalists are now considering the Jags and BMW's as well with the Jaguar image of being a car to keep forever and also with the BMW getting a bit more comfortable over time on the suspension side with a softer ride compared to earlier while retaining the driver dynamics.

BMW does seem to be doing the balancing act of being a premium product like Merc quite well while also giving out the image of a car of the young at heart.
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Old 15th April 2012, 17:35   #82
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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. 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.
Absolutely. Numbers Vs brand perception is a complicated debate, specially so at the upper end of the pascar market. Currently its mostly the upper rungs of the corporate ladder that use the Audi's & BMW's - a group overlaps with the socio-economic strata that Merc is targeting. This is purely an assumption from my side. If so, then there is limited risk of brand 'de-valuation' for Audi, BMW. The alarm bells may start ringing, with regards to the 'luxury' brand perception, when the numbers rise and more of the mid, senior-level corporate employees start driving Audis and Beemers. To over-simplify, Audis and BMWs will sell in large numbers, to a wider demographic ( at the possible risk of lower margins) while Merc will cater to the more discerning buyers as they focus on their bottom lines from a business perspective.

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A Jaguar representative making that statement will be out of his mind, Jag is nowhere in the league of BMW or Merc in terms of technology, their engines are outsourced and the platforms are quite old, they are more like the volume Maseratis
Not so sure. Technical capabilities aside - Jaguar is perceived as a performance-luxury brand with snob value to rival (better?) the German trio. Perceptions are not always, and in some ways not meant to be, backed by facts
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Old 3rd May 2012, 08:36   #83
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Following are US sales data for Merc, BMW & Audi from WSJ:

April 2012 (April 2011):

Mercedes: 24,305 (19,157)
BMW: 21,062 (18,801)
Audi: 11,521 (10,018)

2012 YTD.(YTD 2011):

Mercedes: 88,959 (75,152)
BMW: 82,611 (71,417)
Audi: 40,991 (35,401)

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/pag...tml#autosalesE
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Old 29th May 2012, 22:18   #84
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Nitrous,

Thanks a lot for those figures this is exactly what I have countless times said it in many posts, People have jumped ship too early in India when just with a margin of 100 cars some other VW Group company goes ahead and everyone assumes time is up for Mercedes-Benz. In fact the way I see it Come June 2012 and the time for real Mercedes-Benz will begin, The W222 S-Class launches,

Coming to the topic, Audi has a huge advantage due to early mover advantage but in China Mercedes and BMW are catching up a lot faster than Audi is in the U.S in fact in a class like S/7/A8 I know very few people there who even talk of the A8 and the sales charts should be enough for anyone to judge, considering they have ridiculous commercials on TV showing how S is now old age and A8 is new, well someone needs to show them almost every review where S beats the A8 in Comfort and Dynamics, and lets not even get to Audi and it's quality which is greatly exaggerated only because they offer a mixture of various materials, Not saying Audi is bad but honestly unless you got their models with Quattro there is little advantage in their FWD cars,

In India also I believe none of us at this point can say a brand is losing it only because a few XYZ we know bought other brands, in that sense so many I know have bought S-Class or Mercedes (few on the forum itself - Androdev) the market is too small and still long way to go before we have a clear winner, but I can assure you in the Long run catching up with BMW is going to be hard, and keeping the global picture in mind all 3 are only going to be swapping their places as new products come out but I still believe the Rise of Mercedes begins now, and the world will be left scratching their heads on how it began esp. once the current horrible E / C are replaced in 2013 and 2015,

Some more numbers from US for reference :

3 / C / A4 24 698 / 18 107 /

5 / E / A6 12 709 / 13 873 / 3581 (A6 is cheapest in US Base)

7 / S / A8 3380 / 2559 / 1065

X5 / ML 8675 / 11 480

Z4 / SLK / TT 610 / 1091 / 547


Also below is overall car sales for the EU. Have left a few cars other than the luxury car brands if anyone is keen to know where some of the cars we have in India are ranked in the EU in terms of sales ranks. And again as you see in almost all segments BMW and Mercedes are ahead and if Audi leads it's only by a small margin on the E, which is such a bad product good lord who in the world allowed it on the drawing board, but lets hope the facelift towards the end of the year will change it enough to get a nice push but still the margin is quite less considering it's the oldest in the class,

Europe Q1 2012:

Pos Model Q1 2012 Mar Mar-12 2011
1 VW Golf 124,019 1 53,609 1
2 Ford Fiesta 94,076 2 49,639 2
3 VW Polo 90,289 4 38,374 3

16 Mercedes C Class 43,323 14 18,977 16

19 Fiat Punto 39,668 31 13,586 11
20 BMW 1 Series 38,693 17 18,110 29

24 BMW 3 Series 37,402 15 18,678 17
25 Audi A3 34,999 23 16,199 25

28 BMW 5 Series 31,961 26 14,411 24
29 Audi A4 31,195 24 15,499 20

32 Audi A6 29,970 33 12,725 49

36 Mercedes E Class 28,433 32 13,241 31

38 Mercedes B Class 27,970 34 12,234 74

43 Audi A1 24,196 37 11,808 42

47 Hyundai i20 21,855 49 9,647 54

57 Hyundai i10 19,807 51 9,415 61

62 BMW X3 18,425 60 8,249 77
63 Mercedes A Class 18,417 62 8,160 45
64 Audi A5 18,313 56 8,899 68

72 BMW X1 16,839 67 7,846 52
73 Audi Q3 16,654 72 7,193 206

75 Suzuki Swift 16,562 66 7,969 73
76 Skoda Yeti 16,231 79 6,557 82

79 Range Rover Evoque 15,172 71 7,437 182

83 Audi Q5 14,687 82 6,076 70


Regards,

P.S : Don't take the above as a bashing to any brand, but it's strange how the attitude towards Mercedes here is, and it greatly needs to be understood correctly, don't make someone sleeping sound like the dead!

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Following are US sales data for Merc, BMW & Audi from WSJ
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Old 29th May 2012, 22:40   #85
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^ the game was for Merc India to lose and they lost it. BMW due to its pedigree will be always the hot bloodied choice but Merc was left high and dry by the loyalist as they did not treat the customers right. Also their product strategy in India has always been found lagging along with the quality but that's taken care of now.

Audi for the uninitiated was not a great brand in Europe but the VW group did all they can to upmarket it. They have succeeded and the green pastures were gazed much faster than the existing players.

No doubt that India strong growth has caught Merc's top management and going by the response and publicity they are he'll bent to regain the crown.

Perceptions matter, I advices a friend for ML but he instead got a Q5 just because resale for 4circles is more in SUV segment. ML wins hands down as a better buy but it never came out publicizing and actually hard selling their goods.

Competition is a good thing for sure. Let the Teutons collide and customer have some more fun.

Cheers!
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Old 30th May 2012, 13:07   #86
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

I guess the time is ripe for Lexus and Infinity to be unleashed onto the Indian customers. The demographic profile of the people who buy the german trio know these brands pretty well. Infact the last time I was at Frankfurt I was suprised to see more Infinity campaigns than their domestic.
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:18   #87
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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Nitrous,

Thanks a lot for those figures this is exactly what I have countless times said it in many posts, People have jumped ship too early in India when just with a margin of 100 cars some other VW Group company goes ahead and everyone assumes time is up for Mercedes-Benz. In fact the way I see it Come June 2012 and the time for real Mercedes-Benz will begin, The W222 S-Class launches,

Coming to the topic, Audi has a huge advantage due to early mover advantage but in China Mercedes and BMW are catching up a lot faster than Audi is in the U.S in fact in a class like S/7/A8 I know very few people there who even talk of the A8 and the sales charts should be enough for anyone to judge, considering they have ridiculous commercials on TV showing how S is now old age and A8 is new, well someone needs to show them almost every review where S beats the A8 in Comfort and Dynamics, and lets not even get to Audi and it's quality which is greatly exaggerated only because they offer a mixture of various materials, Not saying Audi is bad but honestly unless you got their models with Quattro there is little advantage in their FWD cars,

In India also I believe none of us at this point can say a brand is losing it only because a few XYZ we know bought other brands, in that sense so many I know have bought S-Class or Mercedes (few on the forum itself - Androdev) the market is too small and still long way to go before we have a clear winner, but I can assure you in the Long run catching up with BMW is going to be hard, and keeping the global picture in mind all 3 are only going to be swapping their places as new products come out but I still believe the Rise of Mercedes begins now, and the world will be left scratching their heads on how it began esp. once the current horrible E / C are replaced in 2013 and 2015,
You are correct.
+The "numbers" game started with corporate editions, and do not necessarily bring in the correct picture with regards to preferences and perceptions. There are many people who used to pick up a 3 series CE over c and a4 because it was way cheaper. If you check the 3 series on the road, it would most probably be a CE. Ofcourse the others did bring out CE edition later. BMW also have more models like x1 x3 which merc simply do not have. out of which x1 being cheaper does generate numbers.

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I guess the time is ripe for Lexus and Infinity to be unleashed onto the Indian customers. The demographic profile of the people who buy the german trio know these brands pretty well. Infact the last time I was at Frankfurt I was suprised to see more Infinity campaigns than their domestic.
What does Lexus have to offer. Most lexus(s) are uninspiring to drive, a lot like toyotas -boring although very luxurious. So, if not for the drive, I believe everyone shopping from this category would want a badge value. Lexus is not as prestigious a brand as german trio or Jag. Morevoer, with toyota's categorization of this country in their overall plans means they will never assemble it here. So, it cant even compete on price.
Infinity, although it has driving dynamics better than Lexus, is not a known brand here. With even volvo (which is relatively more known brand) struggling, I doubt inifinity can do anything here at this time.
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Old 30th May 2012, 16:38   #88
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

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What does Lexus have to offer. Most lexus(s) are uninspiring to drive, a lot like toyotas
.

Apart from the ES cars (which are Camry/Avalon based) the others are rear wheel driven. The high performance Lexus' come with F badging (Lexus IS-F etc). Add to this that these cars are regarded as ultra reliable. Lexus as a brand is quite up there in the developed markets.


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Infinity, although it has driving dynamics better than Lexus, is not a known brand here. With even volvo (which is relatively more known brand) struggling, I doubt inifinity can do anything here at this time.
Volvo might struggle, it was never a brand of the leage of the Germans. But Lexus and Infinity are quite known to the profile of people (read the CEO, chairmans etc) who buy the German makes, most of them visit US and Europe quite frequently. But then, the "dhoti clad betel spitting multi milionaire" might still be retaining the past.

Last edited by 1100D : 30th May 2012 at 16:39.
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Old 31st May 2012, 14:07   #89
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

I think what would bring more credibility to this discussion is how much revenue each brand captures in India. This would give the clear picture and dispel the question of Corporate editions/X1 series etc as the cause for increase in the numbers.

To me the actual amount of money being burnt (ok fine spent) by the consumer on the brand would indicate whether its a true luxury brand (or) not. I believe that the number of cars should be only used to calculate in mass market segment & amount of revenue to gauge the reach of luxury cars in India. After all the consumer would spend more money only if the brand gives him a feeling of luxury, status & appeal.

While i am a fan of BMW cars & Audi SUV's, i get a feeling that Merc probably could be the number 1 in india in terms of sheer amount of money earned by selling automobiles. What do you guys think?

Last edited by urajkumar : 31st May 2012 at 14:10.
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Old 31st May 2012, 14:19   #90
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Default Re: BMW India maintains its lead over Mercedes: EDIT- Now Audi overtakes as well

Or alternatively, who sells more cars beyond a certain price point, say 60-70 lakh.
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