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View Poll Results: Are panel vans (refer pics in post 1) worth a launch in India?
Yes 62 72.09%
No 24 27.91%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14th April 2011, 23:44   #1
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Default Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

A car with a nose and no projected boot is called a "hatch".
A car with a nose and a projected boot is called a "sedan".
A car with no nose and no projected boot is called a "van".
A car with everything big and heavy is often called a "SUV".
A car with a drooping nose and a large belly fuselage is called "MUV".

I think that sums up a short lesson to learn identifying cars in their physical shape atleast in India. Thats because its only these cars that have ever been launched in India and most Indians relate to them. Not much that there is much left to offer (in sense of car styles), I feel India has been pampered with limited style and less utility. Now we have so much grown with the idea of small hatches and bigger sedans that its more or less imprinted in the minds of the people that hatches are small and cheap (relatively) whereas sedans are bigger and expensive. So if I have a budget of 10L, I buy a Honda City (just an example) and if I have 6L, I end up with a hatch. My feeling is that with such a mental setup, we often loose the point of utility. One reason for which I fell station wagons never became famous (the likes of corsa swing, seana adventure, baleno altura). Marina was just bought by radio taxi walas.

I want to present another style of cars which have a massive utility throughput but are near impossible to be launched in India because of the narrow approach towards automobiles in India. I am not being a critic, just trying to talk of an average man. Ok coming to the car style I want to present, its often referred as the "panel van". Defining it with nose and boot, it is a car with a nose, and boxy fuselage. To explain further I am referring to the cars that look like these :

Renault Kangoo
Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?-2008renaultkangoo2.jpg

Fiat Doblo
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Fiat Fiorino
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Citroen Berlingo
Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?-berlingo.jpg

VW Caddy
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Major advantages: Invariably tall boy design means ingress egress is very easy. Would be comfortable for elders. Also a large boot space means a lot can be carried. Importantly, the boot space is boxy so items of strange physical form can be accommodated easily. Even carrying pets could be easy.
The cargo version can be used for a variety of purposes to suit the needs.

The only question is is our automobile brain ready to accept such car designs. Looks are highly subjective so I don't want to debate on that, what my point is the utility factor. What do you think, are they worth a launch in India?
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Old 14th April 2011, 23:55   #2
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Surprised as to why these manufacturers are reluctant to launch these people-carriers? I would buy one, blindfolded! I reckon this is the most practical way to travel in comfort and style.
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Old 14th April 2011, 23:56   #3
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

I am not sure why such design is not very popular in India. These sort of cars do seem to have good internal space and are generally great for families to drive within city. I don't know about cross country driving in such cars. Scion xB is one such car which I have always liked. Not a huge engine = decent FE, spacious, and quite contemporary look.

The closest to this design I see in India is WagonR.

Cheers,
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Old 15th April 2011, 01:22   #4
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

This would be quite an interesting segment. what would you price these at?
I think they will be quite a hit with the school mums.
Also the Yeti comes quite close to this design philosophy, but just look at the price of that beauty.
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Old 15th April 2011, 11:00   #5
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Right now, someone wanting a compact 7 seater for mostly city use has exactly one option - the Maruti Eeco. And then there is nothing until the Innova.
Yawning gap exists for these people carriers. Slightly more upmarket than the Eeco, priced around 5-6 lakhs with a few goodies, should sell well IMHO.
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Old 15th April 2011, 11:08   #6
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

You should add the Renault Scenic to that list. It is a brilliant package.

Rented it once from Dublin, and drove it for about 1200 kms, and fell in love with it.

Great ride, handling, comfort, space, power delivery, refinement. In fact there was hardly any negative that I could find. Would love to see this in India.
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Old 15th April 2011, 11:20   #7
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
Major advantages: Invariably tall boy design means ingress egress is very easy. Would be comfortable for elders. Also a large boot space means a lot can be carried. Importantly, the boot space is boxy so items of strange physical form can be accommodated easily. Even carrying pets could be easy.
The cargo version can be used for a variety of purposes to suit the needs.

The only question is is our automobile brain ready to accept such car designs. Looks are highly subjective so I don't want to debate on that, what my point is the utility factor. What do you think, are they worth a launch in India?
Thanks for the thread.

The answer is there in your post itself - 'utility factor'. In most of the markets the above cars are used as utility / delivery vans. And even the manufacturers market it in that way. The only exception I could think of is the Skoda Roomster, which now looks like a less sophisticated version of the Yeti.

But yes, just for the space offered, these cars may work well in India (and these genre is not considered as premium, and hence could have a cheaper price tag).

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
You should add the Renault Scenic to that list. It is a brilliant package.
Yes, but is Scenic considered as a panel van? Doubt so!
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Old 15th April 2011, 11:26   #8
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Voted "Yes", as I am on the lookout of similar vehicle, & actually waiting to hear more on VW Caddy (as this is the only one that I expect to be launched in India in near future, amongst the listed vans)
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Old 15th April 2011, 11:37   #9
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Such a "panel van" would probably compete with Innova and Xylo in India.

In urban India the primary tendency from a consumer point of view is to purchase a vehicle for nuclear families. The minivan concept is not very strong, so far. Innova and Xylo probably come closest to being a minivan. Yet they are not, at least going by US style minivans. Bigger MUV like a "panel van" would be automatically conceived as a large family mover or a taxi. So they will be bracketed with the current contenders.
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Old 15th April 2011, 12:17   #10
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Would the Xylo CS be a part of this category?
It would be interesting to have these in India, but as we know well the pricing needs to be optimal and the package needs to be VFM. Low enough to be affordable but high enough to have some snob value
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Old 15th April 2011, 12:37   #11
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Voted Yes

In many ways they are simply the intermediate segment to the Wagon R on one side and the omni/echn/venture on the other side.

Somehow have never felt comfortable getting into the rear seat of one of these though on paper it seems to imply that these are more comfortable.
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Old 15th April 2011, 13:54   #12
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

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Old 15th April 2011, 14:05   #13
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

While the cars in this "segment" really challenge and stretch the ability of a customer to accept a wonky design, the utility and practicality offered by them does ask for a second thought. I've seen some of these in Europe a long time back. I wonder if they would really click in India though. I think looks are an important criteria in India.
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Old 15th April 2011, 14:15   #14
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Although Scenic is not a panel van, it is very similar in shape, space and utility. It is a VFM product.
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Old 15th April 2011, 14:20   #15
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Default re: Would you like to see this body style (Panel Vans) launched in India?

Yup. Bring them on

The speculated vehicle Nissan NV200 should make a good choice. It is the only panel van coming to India probably next year. It isnt quite as stylish as the ones above but should win many with its space.






Last edited by designersf : 15th April 2011 at 14:22.
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