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Old 5th January 2012, 00:36   #3736
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

The Vento vs Rapid face-off is a bit futile exercise - I think its a brilliant straddle by VW . When one wants less price , there's the Skoda - if one wants the badge, there's the VW . Of course there are other stuff like looks , etc which would play their own sub plots too - frankly I would be very surprised if the difference in NVH or handling would be perceptible to any normal driver , I remain skeptical about the claims of "improved" NVH when the same noise dampners are being used in both !

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BTW is Hyundai also planning to rise the prices? Also with this price rise does the new Ford Fiesta cost less then the Vento now ( for the similarly spec model ofcourse) ?
Price rise is inevitable for any car without nearly 100% localisation, just wait and watch - every car's price will rise.
Suppose we assume 90% localisation for a car , thus 10% used to be USD denominated imports . USD has appreciated by approx 18% against the INR (median of INR 45 / USD to INR 53/USD ) which means that the cost of making the car at the manufacturer's end has gone up by at least 1.8% - to that we have to add the additional incidence of customs as it is levied on the INR value . Other additional costs are increased excise duty ( works out @ 22% ) whose contributions would be apprx 0.4% . So at 90% localisation we would be inching towards 3% hike even with my severely limited knowledge of taxes , levies and what nots I don't think any car manufacturer would choose to absorb these costs especially not in the diesel units.

Last edited by souravc : 5th January 2012 at 00:49.
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Old 5th January 2012, 06:51   #3737
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I find this a bit amusing - when was Vento actually VFM? To put it better how would you define VFM? Is it just the price tag? If so, the SX4 is VFM. The Linea is VFM. The Optra is VFM. And now the most VFM C-segment sedan has to be the Rapid.
In my opinion Ninja, VFM doesnt necessarily mean cheap or affordable. It mostly signifies how are you getting your dough worth that you are plonking on a product. Basically are you getting the features you need and would like that a competitor product is offering at the same price point. Having said that your own analysis says it all.

Compare the prices between the high end diesel of the Fiesta and that of the Vento. I am not sure what was the thought process but reducing the price difference to just 25K from lets say around 1L where the Fiesta definitely offers more features in its high end is inexplicable. Remember the average Joe is not a TBHP car enthusiast and will be weighing their check against what they get in a car. This is not considering that in many states the above 10L price tag just ensures that taxes and registration cost a bomb.

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The writing on the wall is clear - for a potential buyer having A$$ as the top criteria, he is never going to consider the Verna below the Vento. But the Rapid is their safe-guard against the other entry level sedans (Linea, Sunny, Etios, Manza, etc) for a price conscious buyer. The Rapid looks all the more a better option, because it is cheaper than the Vento by a huge margin.
Excellent point. We need to start looking at Vento & Rapid together to understand VW strategy, not as competing entities.
I would have agreed fully to this but VW should also wake up and smell the coffee about the pretty rock bottom impression about Skoda's A$$ which has not helped it to push their cars in higher volumes. So in all I am not so sure that the Rapid has the ability to take on the Sunny, Etios and Manza. Specially when its priced more than these products and Etios is backed by the Toyota hassle free and customer friendly image. My $0.02.
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Old 5th January 2012, 07:07   #3738
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
I find this a bit amusing - when was Vento actually VFM? To put it better how would you define VFM? Is it just the price tag? If so, the SX4 is VFM. The Linea is VFM. The Optra is VFM. And now the most VFM C-segment sedan has to be the Rapid.

But then if I know you guys right, or for that matter for most of the guys looking at a 10 lakh sedan, price is never the sole criteria for considering a sedan to be VFM.
Why is not VFM? IMHO, the definition of VFM varies from person to person. For some VFM equates to pay less get more, for some others, it maybe the quality you get for the money you pay. I for one, consider the Vento as an absolute VFM car with a reasonable premium feel to it. Reason being, there are very few cars in the 10 lakhs range, which provides solid euro engineering, safety & sturdiness, drivability and pretty good FE. And in my books, the Rapid Elegance TDi is super VFM

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Price rise is inevitable for any car without nearly 100% localisation, just wait and watch - every car's price will rise.
To add on, every other manufacturer is coming up with the new year price hike. I was told that there will be around 15-20K hike on the Vento pricing. Honda & Fiat have already updated the pricing with their 2012 range, and others like Ford will soon have price updates. Trouble with Vento is, the price hike intervals are too close.
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Old 5th January 2012, 10:06   #3739
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
The writing on the wall is clear - for a potential buyer having A$$ as the top criteria, he is never going to consider the Verna below the Vento. But the Rapid is their safe-guard against the other entry level sedans (Linea, Sunny, Etios, Manza, etc) for a price conscious buyer. The Rapid looks all the more a better option, because it is cheaper than the Vento by a huge margin.
Thanks a lot for that information on the current and projected price levels. BTW since when did Hyundai increase its price? Last time I checked the Verna Diesel SX variant was the one which was equivalent to the Vento TDI HL feature wise. Is the price of Rs. 10.2L you have mentioned in your chart of the Verna SX or SX(O)?

Now coming to the part I quoted above: I feel its just a way of looking at things differently. You are right in saying that VW as a group has both the ends covered. But I differ slightly in my approach in buying a C segment sedan today.

Now if today I am going to buy a C segment car I will am left with 4 categories:
1. SX4 , Linea and Optra: Highly VFM cars. SX4 has the maruti badge. And I feel the only people buying it today are either the ones who swear by MSIL products reliability and excellent after sales or want a car that will be cheaper to maintain. On both the counts the Rapid will lose to SX4 because the only fault with it is the apparent weak Skoda After sales. Optra finds its own die hard fans who will not like anyother car at that price point. The Linea is no longer a big player in the segment, the lesser said the better.

2. Hyundai: Excellent car with lots of gadgets and proved after sales.

3. Ford: Is again not selling due to the atrocious price tag.

4. German/European: Now this will include both the Rapid and the Vento. So If I end up narrowing down my choices to this group of cars I will either go for the Rapid if slightly cash crunched or the Vento if otherwise. But the point is I would have bought one of these anyways ( read as cross shopping between the 2). If I rule out the Vento for its shady after sales then I would surely rule out Skoda Rapid too. Similarly if I am put off by higher NVH levels or slightly bad ingress on the rear seats then again the problem lies with both the cars since they are nothing more then carbon copies of each other.
I agree a few number of customers at the base end of the segment might opt for the Rapid but then that number would be less. Also that could have been easily achieved by introducing a CL variant on the Vento and thereby reducing the price of TL slightly in the process.

I hope you understood what I am trying to say.
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Old 5th January 2012, 10:09   #3740
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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The Vento vs Rapid face-off is a bit futile exercise - I think its a brilliant straddle by VW . When one wants less price , there's the Skoda - if one wants the badge, there's the VW . Of course there are other stuff like looks , etc which would play their own sub plots too - frankly I would be very surprised if the difference in NVH or handling would be perceptible to any normal driver , I remain skeptical about the claims of "improved" NVH when the same noise dampners are being used in both !
Totally agree. It would have been fair to compare the post refresh vento with rapid to get the differences. Even in Team-BHP review the pre refresh vento has been compared with Rapid which is misleading in my opinion. Almost every single person who has been with me on my car has always asked 'Is it petrol or diesel?. Except for the cold start, you hardly get to hear any noise within the car.
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Old 5th January 2012, 10:12   #3741
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Price rise is inevitable for any car without nearly 100% localisation, just wait and watch - every car's price will rise.
Suppose we assume 90% localisation for a car , thus 10% used to be USD denominated imports . USD has appreciated by approx 18% against the INR (median of INR 45 / USD to INR 53/USD ) which means that the cost of making the car at the manufacturer's end has gone up by at least 1.8% - to that we have to add the additional incidence of customs as it is levied on the INR value . Other additional costs are increased excise duty ( works out @ 22% ) whose contributions would be apprx 0.4% . So at 90% localisation we would be inching towards 3% hike even with my severely limited knowledge of taxes , levies and what nots I don't think any car manufacturer would choose to absorb these costs especially not in the diesel units.
Extremely well reasoned out . But wouldn't that hold true for petrol vehicles also? So shouldn't the petrol ones too should be increased? I sometimes wonder if they sell the petrol units at a loss or very little profit in this current market. I am sure some sort of an equation is worked out to price the diesel unit markups to compensate for the lower profit or loss on the petrol units. So those complaining about diesel vehicle users paying less for fuel compared to petrol should stop doing so now as things are kinda awash. Price increases and markups are of course the prereogative of the manufacturer. Don't think Ford can afford any more price increases and now discounts being reported on the diesel too, its high end version would cost lower than the Vento if there is a price rise only in the Vento.

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Why is not VFM? IMHO, the definition of VFM varies from person to person. For some VFM equates to pay less get more, for some others, it maybe the quality you get for the money you pay. I for one, consider the Vento as an absolute VFM car with a reasonable premium feel to it. Reason being, there are very few cars in the 10 lakhs range, which provides solid euro engineering, safety & sturdiness, drivability and pretty good FE. And in my books, the Rapid Elegance TDi is super VFM
While Hyundai gives a plethora of features combined with an A$$ having extensive reach. Something which weighs heavily on an average car buyer's mind. So an attractive pricing (read lower) would definitely help push sales. In my opinion the premiumness and German build tag can only go as far or stretched to an extent in the average car buyer's perception.
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Old 5th January 2012, 11:07   #3742
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Very good discussion, my 2 cents...

Valid point, you can add polo also on to the list, the combined capacity of polo+vento+(now rapid) = more or less constant month on month. May be because the vento and polo demand has more or less stabilized, they want to utilize the capacity and hence the rapid? Rapid isn't exactly setting the sales chart on fire, though I admit I have no clue about its waiting period. Strange are the ways of VW.

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2. Monthly charts - Whats the Vento + Rapid combined per month sales ? 3600 - 3700 , right ? How much would you think is the per month capacity of the Chakan plant for supplying power trains , etc ? Has Vento ever clocked more than 4000 per month sales , even when it quoted 3-6 months waiting ? Thus obviously there has been capacity diversion from Vento to Rapid and from VW group perspective its all hunky dory ( though severe under achievement )
I'll try to explain this, VFM is subjective and depends on the following aspects - Price to size, Price to power/feature list, brand perception, segment standards etc. There is a seperate thread in the forum discussing this.

Vento was certainly VFM when it originally came out, it set the pricing standards for other competitors that we are comparing it with here. The HL diesel was priced a little lower than honda city top end, which is why it earned the tag of VFM in the segment. Verna and fiesta followed but the price benchmark has already been defined by the vento. No one initially claimed verna to be VFM in the segment. It changed with subsequent price hikes of the vento though.

And in your comparison, you need to compare vento HL with verna SX and not SX(O). I'm not even considering fiesta here since they had priced themselves out of the race. Now they are offering substantial discounts and if it continues, we can expect the numbers to improve.

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I find this a bit amusing - when was Vento actually VFM? To put it better how would you define VFM? Is it just the price tag? If so, the SX4 is VFM. The Linea is VFM. The Optra is VFM. And now the most VFM C-segment sedan has to be the Rapid.
Agreed, but what we are debating here in the quantum and frequency of increase. Vento was launched an year and half back and the price has already been hiked 3 times (considering this 4% increase too). The first 2 were pretty substantial and this frequency of increase is what is not acceptable as per me. The second increment was also complimented with some additional features, but the additional features were only to make way for the rapid and these added features didnt command the quantum of increase, right? Verna which was released a month or two after the vento, has undergone only one price revision in the same period. This is the reason IMO, the vento is no more the VFM in its segment.

Regarding localization, doesnt every manufacturer try to improve on this over the period of time? Isnt this a part of their product planning strategy? Thats the only way to improve efficiency and margins over the long term, isnt it? I dont have visibility into their localization strategy and hence cannot comment, but for arguement sake, lets take the example of alloys which are quoted at a whopping 20k per piece not localized yet? Their margins would have improved if they had put in the effort instead of hiking the price, right?

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Price rise is inevitable for any car without nearly 100% localisation, just wait and watch - every car's price will rise.
You made a very valid point, I completely agree with you. Couldnt understand this whole strategy of VW, but i aint an expert on this field either. I only look at it from logical perspective and none of these make sense to me.

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4. German/European: Now this will include both the Rapid and the Vento. So If I end up narrowing down my choices to this group of cars I will either go for the Rapid if slightly cash crunched or the Vento if otherwise. But the point is I would have bought one of these anyways ( read as cross shopping between the 2). If I rule out the Vento for its shady after sales then I would surely rule out Skoda Rapid too. Similarly if I am put off by higher NVH levels or slightly bad ingress on the rear seats then again the problem lies with both the cars since they are nothing more then carbon copies of each other.
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Old 5th January 2012, 15:59   #3743
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Thanks a lot for that information on the current and projected price levels. BTW since when did Hyundai increase its price? Last time I checked the Verna Diesel SX variant was the one which was equivalent to the Vento TDI HL feature wise. Is the price of Rs. 10.2L you have mentioned in your chart of the Verna SX or SX(O)?
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And in your comparison, you need to compare vento HL with verna SX and not SX(O).
I think you guys are referring to the old prices. The current price of Verna SX is 10.2L ex-showroom Delhi; taken from the Hyundai website directly. Not sure 100%, but I believe Hyundai raised its prices recently with the increase in the value of the dollar.

The current price of SX(O) is 1,089,997 INR.



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Now if today I am going to buy a C segment car I will am left with 4 categories:
.
.
.
I hope you understood what I am trying to say.
Nice way of looking at it. Possibly the approach a person would take who knows his cars well.

However IMO and what I have observed among the people around me (the non-TBHP non-enthutiast crowd) is they go with a pre-decided budget and look for cars that would fit in. Only when the choice of cars available within the budget don't really match their requirements do they up the ante or relook their expectations.

Even a search on the "What Car" section would give numerous threads starting with "What diesel sedan in 10 lakhs", "Which hatchback in 5 lakhs" and so on.

A similar analysis like one that you did above comes after the budget is decided. And in quite a few cases, a lot of adjustments are done, even with respect to the brand loyalty. A colleague of mine with A$$ as top criteria started with Maruti & Hyundai, and finally decided on Skoda.

However this is completely OT and I'll stop here

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Agreed, but what we are debating here in the quantum and frequency of increase. Vento was launched an year and half back and the price has already been hiked 3 times (considering this 4% increase too). The first 2 were pretty substantial and this frequency of increase is what is not acceptable as per me.
+ 1 to this. VW seem to be going the Toyota (Innova) way, which in the long term might not be great for the product.



Btw all of you seemed to have jumped at my statement of considering the price as the basis of "VFM". Of course, price is just one of the factors that contribute to the VFM aspect. I did clarify on it in the next statement itself.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 5th January 2012 at 16:00.
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Old 5th January 2012, 16:53   #3744
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That's the AT variant of Verna SX-O. 1.6 SX CRDI costs - 9,49,994 in delhi.

What you say about price is very true, probably the major contributor to the VFM tag, but there are others too. And by the way, this discussion has been very productive, thanks to contribution from people like you. Please dont think otherwise.

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I think you guys are referring to the old prices. The current price of Verna SX is 10.2L ex-showroom Delhi; taken from the Hyundai website directly. Not sure 100%, but I believe Hyundai raised its prices recently with the increase in the value of the dollar.

The current price of SX(O) is 1,089,997 INR.


Btw all of you seemed to have jumped at my statement of considering the price as the basis of "VFM". Of course, price is just one of the factors that contribute to the VFM aspect. I did clarify on it in the next statement itself.

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Old 5th January 2012, 17:14   #3745
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I think you guys are referring to the old prices. The current price of Verna SX is 10.2L ex-showroom Delhi; taken from the Hyundai website directly. Not sure 100%, but I believe Hyundai raised its prices recently with the increase in the value of the dollar.

The current price of SX(O) is 1,089,997 INR.
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That's the AT variant of Verna SX-O. 1.6 SX CRDI costs - 9,49,994 in delhi.
Yes I just checked the website too. You misread the price list mate. The Verna Diesel SX is priced at 9.5L ex-showroom delhi. This is the model that matches Vento HL feature to feature and maybe has some more too.

The SX O is 10.2 L and the AT is 10.9L as quoted by you above.

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Nice way of looking at it. Possibly the approach a person would take who knows his cars well.
Thanks for the kind words

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However IMO and what I have observed among the people around me (the non-TBHP non-enthutiast crowd) is they go with a pre-decided budget and look for cars that would fit in.

Even a search on the "What Car" section would give numerous threads starting with "What diesel sedan in 10 lakhs", "Which hatchback in 5 lakhs" and so on.

Btw all of you seemed to have jumped at my statement of considering the price as the basis of "VFM". Of course, price is just one of the factors that contribute to the VFM aspect. I did clarify on it in the next statement itself.
This is exactly the reason why I am worried. Next time someone puts that question to me in the "What Car" Section, I am afraid I may have to add a note saying if you can extend your budget whenever recommending the Vento. A price difference of nearly 70k over its rival is not going to really help the sales. VFM has different meaning for everyone but VFM in terms of pricing does appear on everybody's checklist.

But this price rise will surely help the sales of the Rapid.
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Old 5th January 2012, 20:48   #3746
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I sometimes wonder if they sell the petrol units at a loss or very little profit in this current market. I am sure some sort of an equation is worked out to price the diesel unit markups to compensate for the lower profit or loss on the petrol units. So those complaining about diesel vehicle users paying less for fuel compared to petrol should stop doing so now as things are kinda awash.
You are about to open a Pandora's box here, but you are correct - cross subsidization happens across products in every company . This would be more so as the production of each of the car manufacturers is still skewed towards petrol while demand is hugely skewed towards diesel - thus cross subsidisation is the only way to clear inventory else its blocked working capital

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While Hyundai gives a plethora of features combined with an A$$ having extensive reach. Something which weighs heavily on an average car buyer's mind. So an attractive pricing (read lower) would definitely help push sales. In my opinion the premiumness and German build tag can only go as far or stretched to an extent in the average car buyer's perception.
Very true , no wonder Verna is topping the charts month on month . In fact if Fluidic Verna was there when I bought my Vento I know for sure that it would have run close . Great looks, good features , good finish, good price , good engine much more proven A.S.S [ Vs ] fantastic TDi , good build / finish, badge , questionable A.S.S , Awful dealers - I would be more tilted towards Fluidic Verna the moment the dealer would not have picked my call for the third time in a day and never called back. Now lets add to the mix that I do not even read TBHP or other such resource which says Fluidic is possibly wobbly above 120 kmph - Fluidic Verna would have been a no brainer for me .

In this process I am sure Rapid would not have figured as I don't like the "fabia"-ish bonnet and the extremely plain jane back .

If VW is the odd one to reprice then they would be punished for sure but I do believe that all cars would be repriced ( except the slow movers )

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Very good discussion, my 2 cents...

Valid point, you can add polo also on to the list, the combined capacity of polo+vento+(now rapid) = more or less constant month on month. May be because the vento and polo demand has more or less stabilized, they want to utilize the capacity and hence the rapid? Rapid isn't exactly setting the sales chart on fire, though I admit I have no clue about its waiting period. Strange are the ways of VW.
Right you are , missed out Polo . Give the Rapid a couple of more months to stabilise , we forget that in Dec there was no offer on Vento or Rapid ( as well as Verna ) whereas there were offers on everything else around these.

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Vento was certainly VFM when it originally came out, it set the pricing standards for other competitors that we are comparing it with here. The HL diesel was priced a little lower than honda city top end, which is why it earned the tag of VFM in the segment. Verna and fiesta followed but the price benchmark has already been defined by the vento. No one initially claimed verna to be VFM in the segment. It changed with subsequent price hikes of the vento though.

I always give a car at least a year before I buy it, when I had a look at the Vento ( look + drive ) I knew that the price is an introductory one ! That's why i booked it on the day it arrived at the showroom and was available for a test drive - have not yet reached the stage where I fish out the cash just by reading about the car

Agreed, but what we are debating here in the quantum and frequency of increase. Vento was launched an year and half back and the price has already been hiked 3 times (considering this 4% increase too). The first 2 were pretty substantial and this frequency of increase is what is not acceptable as per me. The second increment was also complimented with some additional features, but the additional features were only to make way for the rapid and these added features didnt command the quantum of increase, right? Verna which was released a month or two after the vento, has undergone only one price revision in the same period. This is the reason IMO, the vento is no more the VFM in its segment.

I agree that quarterly increase is stupid - frankly increase in Jan does not make any sense as anyways there has to be an adjustment ( most likely) post budget

Regarding localization, doesnt every manufacturer try to improve on this over the period of time? Isnt this a part of their product planning strategy? Thats the only way to improve efficiency and margins over the long term, isnt it? I dont have visibility into their localization strategy and hence cannot comment, but for arguement sake, lets take the example of alloys which are quoted at a whopping 20k per piece not localized yet? Their margins would have improved if they had put in the effort instead of hiking the price, right?

Fixing a vendor is a tedious process - if we cut out the noise regarding "india shining" that we hear , we can see that our manufacturing is yet to be in the big league . It takes time to localize , it happens only when the company is convinced that the processes will conform to their standards, quality would be uniform and to their liking and most importantly , if any IP is involved then it would be protected ( Suzuki didn't transfer the gear box die to Maruti till they bought 80% in the company ). I am not too sure why VW didn't localise the alloys but given that wheel is a critical component I would not be surprised if they are not sure about the vendor quality
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Btw all of you seemed to have jumped at my statement of considering the price as the basis of "VFM". Of course, price is just one of the factors that contribute to the VFM aspect. I did clarify on it in the next statement itself.
Even a lakh more is good as long as the addictive torque is there , I jumped at you as I thought its "SVFM" , S= super Yours Veedub is VFM with a lot more goodies than my SVFM pre-refreshed Vento. How many KMs on the odo? We are planning a Mumbai TBHP meet on the 15th Jan at Karnala bird sanctuary , are you interested in getting your blue devil too ?
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Old 5th January 2012, 21:06   #3747
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We are planning a Mumbai TBHP meet on the 15th Jan at Karnala bird sanctuary , are you interested in getting your blue devil too ?
Dang Souravc, someday I will drive Bagheera all the way from Kolkata to Mumbai. Don't tempt me like this
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Old 5th January 2012, 21:55   #3748
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Originally Posted by souravc View Post
Very true , no wonder Verna is topping the charts month on month . In fact if Fluidic Verna was there when I bought my Vento I know for sure that it would have run close . Great looks, good features , good finish, good price , good engine much more proven A.S.S [ Vs ] fantastic TDi , good build / finish, badge , questionable A.S.S , Awful dealers - I would be more tilted towards Fluidic Verna the moment the dealer would not have picked my call for the third time in a day and never called back.
lol. Imagine what was my condition. The Verna was released just 2 days before I did my booking of the Vento. The diesel Verna was available (promised) in max 4 weeks, while the Vento commanded atleast a minimum of 2 months (longer for the blue color). Plus I couldn't TD the Verna so I couldn't verify the suspension issues! Those 48 hours were horrible enough as I swayed towards both sides. Finally sense prevailed!

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Even a lakh more is good as long as the addictive torque is there , I jumped at you as I thought its "SVFM" , S= super Yours Veedub is VFM with a lot more goodies than my SVFM pre-refreshed Vento. How many KMs on the odo? We are planning a Mumbai TBHP meet on the 15th Jan at Karnala bird sanctuary , are you interested in getting your blue devil too ?
Well I might be in Bombay the next weekend, but won't be able to get the lady along. Maybe I can hitch a ride?

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
Dang Souravc, someday I will drive Bagheera all the way from Kolkata to Mumbai. Don't tempt me like this
And why not? Except the section through MP, the road's pretty decent. I had a plan to make a new year trip to Cal, which was unfortunately veto-ed!
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Old 6th January 2012, 10:25   #3749
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Well I might be in Bombay the next weekend, but won't be able to get the lady along. Maybe I can hitch a ride?
Anytime , let me know
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Old 6th January 2012, 11:50   #3750
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Default Re: Volkswagen Vento : Test Drive & Review

Is there another hike around the corner. Another price hike and the vento goes to the 18% tax category (from 15%) in Bangalore. That is going to have a huge difference in price. And not to mention the difference between rapid and vento top-end will also go up.
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