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Old 20th June 2013, 22:08   #16
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

Yes, part of brand image is the price that people have to pay for the product as that affects perceived quality. Unfortunately most of what we pay in India for a vehicle with import parts goes to the Indian and local govts.

As a result, Indian vehicles are looked on as lower end and imports as higher end because of their higher price. After living in the US for a long time and getting used to those prices, why anyone would pay the kind of prices for luxury vehicles here defeats me. It's almost 3 times as much as the US and with very little good roads to drive them on.

So, may be the ROI for luxury vehicles is not from driving pleasure, but neighbour's envy?
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Old 20th June 2013, 22:23   #17
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

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After living in the US for a long time and getting used to those prices, why anyone would pay the kind of prices for luxury vehicles here defeats me. It's almost 3 times as much as the US and with very little good roads to drive them on.

So, may be the ROI for luxury vehicles is not from driving pleasure, but neighbour's envy?
Well, if it is any consolation to anyone, there are lots of countries out there where the same car would cost two to three times as much as in the US.

My Jaguar XJR I bought in the US carried an original MRP of $76.500 new. It would have cost close to Euro 155.000,-- in my home country the Netherlands. More than double. Probably even more in Sweden or Finland.

As we have no car industry in the Netherlands all cars are 2-3 as expensive as in the States. Unless you're into a Spyker or a Donkervoort. They might be Dutch, but they ain't cheap!

The neighbour envy must be a factor I'm sure, although very few will own up to it. Whatever floats your boat, as long as you enjoy your car.

Jeroen
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Old 20th June 2013, 22:26   #18
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

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Isn't it also a question of some of these things -
  1. Per capita income and affordability... .
Sure, those are important factors. I was trying to highlight (and may be did not do justice with my examples) on how the brand perception can be different from country to country.. Another example: I find people perceive Audi to be better than BMW in India. Whereas in the US, the perception is reverse. Also, cars here seem to have a lot more "bling" than the same models in Western countries, possibly to justify the higher price?
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Old 21st June 2013, 10:14   #19
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

While considering India, just two things come to my mind: Brand value and price.
The upper middle class and the people who are affluent(i mean the majority and not us bhpians who scrutinize every bit of the car we buy) don't care on whats under the hood. As long as it is from brand which is famous and is looked upon, they will buy it. So anyway, even if parts are shared, they won't be affected or rather, they won't worry about such things.

Parts sharing does have its pros as well; You can obtain parts more easily and prices may be slightly lower as well. I can agree with what Jeroen sir has said as well, if i had a car, it would have to be exclusive and not have the same stuff as another car from another manufacturer. Nowadays, its like manufacturers are trying to simplify their jobs by sharing parts. So i guess the next major car would be a bimmer with a toyota body and ford's steering wheel and jaguar's gear shifter and the all important DSG box. .

This is more of simple economics than anything else that i can think of. Lesser R&D costs and at the same time you get to plonk part A into car B.
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Old 21st June 2013, 10:35   #20
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

I believe that Volvo & Jaguar still uses Ford engines. But does that make them less desirable?
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Old 21st June 2013, 11:35   #21
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

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[*]The base A-Class diesel is powered by Renault dCi engine. I maybe driving a Mercedes, but the engine is essentially the same which is found in a Nissan March.
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[*]There are rumours that the next gen C-Class may use 1.6 diesel engines from Renault (Link to Team-bhp news section)
On a global level it may be very ok to do so as Mercedes doesnt have the same premium brand image the way it is portrayed in India, the A Class is just a hatchback option & the C class a sedan from the Mercedes stable so for the global audience it would be fair.

But yes in India sensibly we dont get that Renault engine in A Class (Good move by Merc IMO)

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[*]BMW and Toyota collaborating on developing sports cars. The next Toyota Supra could be the first offspring of this relationship (news link from Autocar UK)[/list]Personally I support these alliances, provided they don’t dilute a brand’s identity.
^ Now i think that alliance will be giving birth to some fantastic product & something to look forward to
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Old 21st June 2013, 11:45   #22
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I believe that Volvo & Jaguar still uses Ford engines. But does that make them less desirable?
My Jaguar has a 4.0 liter super charged V8. It sound magnificent and propels this 1750 kilogram monster to 100 km/h in just over five seconds.

Like it matters who's engine it is. If it sounds like this and goes lilke this, I'm good to go!

By the way: On my V8 engine it does say Jaguar in big red letters on the timing covers. But that might just be branding. Even so, when you open the hood it does looks good too!

Jeroen
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Old 21st June 2013, 13:45   #23
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

The base X1 is lacking as compared to a Top End Jetta in terms of features. In some ways maybe even a top end Verna. So in terms of just kit, I am quite sure the luxury brands dont stack up.

On the other hand, brands like Volvo which are so called luxury but not really there are the real exclusive ones since they have differentiated technology (5 cylinders etc) and some kit not found anywhere else. Ofcourse, they are literally exclusive too since there are so few on the road!
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Old 21st June 2013, 15:02   #24
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

Why does it really matter if an engine is made by company X and ends up being used in car Y? Audi uses VW. Mercedes uses Renault. Volvo & Jaguar use Ford engines - and the list goes on. It's only because the manufacturer of those engines make really sound worthwhile machines is why they're increasingly seen, adapted and tuned for the so-called exclusive cars.

Also, apart from the obvious benefits of partnerships between the manufacturer of the engine and the automobile in which the engines goes into, there are always other factors including lowering costs, effective logistics management and technology sharing that both of them tend to gain by this engine-sharing business.

IMO, neither does it decrease the value of an exclusive car (BMW, Mercedes, Audi et al) nor do these brands end up losing their exclusivity with this particular business model. Rather, what does hamper their exclusive image is if they start lowering prices, cutting corners in quality and bring in barebone "Business" or "Corporate" models to gain more market share and be more available to the common man - now that is when luxury doesn't remain exclusive after all!

Last edited by 9thsphinx : 21st June 2013 at 15:04.
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Old 21st June 2013, 17:20   #25
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

There are two categories of the very expensive vehicles, luxury vehicles like RR, Bentley, etc. and performance vehicles like Ferraris, Lambos and the Range Rover. I won't mind the luxrury brands sourcing drivetrains from those who have the cutting edge technology. The performance vehicles can borrow parts only from Formula1 and WRC, not from mass production lines. Even the luxury brands have to be careful in not borrowing from mundane brands.

Hand-me-downs from luxury cars to lower segments are good, for instance the i20 is loaded with features which might have been available only on the S-class of a decade ago! However, if the dCi engine makes its way to a Merc A-Class, I feel Merc is diluting its brand.

Brand dilution is bound to happen as news spreads among the luxury car buyers that important components in these cars are from the more mundane brands. Then hand-me-up parts sharing will be limited. I can see marketing campaigns coming up from luxury brands in a few years time emphasising they don't use any components from mundane brands.
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Old 21st June 2013, 21:30   #26
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

One of the good examples would be LOTUS which always sources its engines from Toyota but makes really great sports cars!
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Old 22nd June 2013, 00:59   #27
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

I am in support of part sharing and extending features from luxury segment to the below ones as it will always help car manufacturers to search for innovations and come up with something extra ordinary for the super luxury segment. What may be luxury in today's world may become a necessity tomorrow, just like how seat belts and airbags are so popular today. Probably 2 decades back these would have been counted as Luxury features which would have been available only in high end cars. Same way, imagine if Volvos kept the seat belt feature to themselves. The other way round, it may be a little hard to digest for the people who shell out a premium to own the top brands. But personally I don't think brand dilution will happen unless top brands skimps on quality / performance by adopting something from a lesser brand.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 07:41   #28
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
My Jaguar has a 4.0 liter super charged V8. It sound magnificent and propels this 1750 kilogram monster to 100 km/h in just over five seconds.
Like it matters who's engine it is. If it sounds like this and goes lilke this, I'm good to go!
By the way: On my V8 engine it does say Jaguar in big red letters on the timing covers. But that might just be branding. Even so, when you open the hood it does looks good too!
Jeroen
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One of the good examples would be LOTUS which always sources its engines from Toyota but makes really great sports cars!
Good examples there. BMWs application of the 1.6 Prince engine in its 1-series, Mini range is another example of bringing in individual touches to a commonly used engine.

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Now i think that alliance will be giving birth to some fantastic product & something to look forward to
Indeed! Considering what Toyota has done with the GT86, I am looking forward to this one. Read somewhere that it could be based on the 6-series architecture.
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Old 23rd June 2013, 10:16   #29
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Default Re: Are luxury car brands losing their exclusivity?

IMHO I would like to look at both sides of the story: Yes mostly we can blame this to consolidation of players. Just look at the VW behemoth and they were even working on gobbling up Suzuki! The advantage with this is that just like early days of car making, the niche coach builders and car companies will start gaining patronage again. True auto enthusiasts will shun the current high end brands and will go for these specialised niche car makers like Noble or Lightning Car Company or Connaught Motor Company and if we stretch a bit, even the essence of Lotus and Koenigssegg!

The bad part is that 'oh these cars will be expensive' which means unless your parents worked ultra hard you can not own them before you 'age'!
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Old 23rd June 2013, 17:52   #30
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So, may be the ROI for luxury vehicles is not from driving pleasure, but neighbour's envy?
Well said. No one will come straight out and admit to this but deep down, this is certainly a factor.
'If you've got it, flaunt it' seems to be the order of the day in this growing, booming economy of ours which appears to have a very large population of people with more money than sense...
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