D/E segment buyer mentality
Seems like D and E segment buyer dosent really care about value pricing. They want the latest and greatest as its mostly for status enhancement and are willing to pay top dollar. Anything on the shelf for more than 2 years loses interest (old CRV, Mondeo,Terracan etc)
Notice all cars critized for being over priced are doing well....Laura, Camry and now CR-V.
In my opinion only a part of the D segment buyers are real owners, for others the cars are bought for by their organization(s) for them. My suspicion is E segment may have more personal cars than D. Some of the D/E segment cars are even used by star hotels/ embassies/ .... for their guests.
Its a bit ironical that people are FE (or cost per kilometer) conscious even in D segment, diesels seem more successful than Petrol engines in this segment.
It is also not always abt price....for example, the Laura. It is a fantastic car with a huge array of gadgets usually seen only in Mercs.
It is a couple of lakhs more expensive than say the Accord or Embera, but when you are spending 17-18 lakhs, I guess you can put in a couple more...
One thing is definitely true... Anything above C segment and people seem to get completely bogged down with the image and snob value.
One of our senior program manager was to upgrade his car recently. He badly wanted a diesel... So Fiesta was a contender... But he was equally interested in City as it has "a chic image"... He acknowledged that he is not interested in Petrol but unfortunately "Honda has an image" that he was loathe to give up on. When I suggested that knowing his driving style I strongly believe he should also have a look at the Verna he simply wrinkled his nose and gave me a crestfallen look.
Ultimately he bought a Honda just for that image though he felt "its dashboard is horrendous and the car is not as sprightly... and is a petrol". What happened afterwards is of course another story and equally ludicrous :D
The point is image is too overpowering for cars in the D and higher segments.
I guess Mpower you are right about the newness but what I think is that most of the D/E segment cars sell initially but only the good ones are succesful over an extended period of time. Look at the Honda Accord still selling very strongly whereas sales of the cars like the new Camry fade away after the intial rush.
Actually I was talking to my dad about getting a new car and told him Octavia diesel is perfect for him. He was totally against it saying that it looks so old and stagnant even though the engine and chassis are awesome. He wants the latest release either Cedia or Civic (dosent care which one) to show off to his friends I guess.
You are right about the Accord, its the gold standard and no direct competetion, but HOnda realizes that in order to keep interest up, they have give it the new look quickly.
Guess there could be a facelift for the octavia soon so maybe that could be something you could look forward too.
Coming to your point,thats precisely why the corolla is in the dumps right now,toyota just did not bring about any freshness in the corolla brand and the car is suffering the most in the Indian market but this same car is doing quite well against the same competitor globally[even in the US markets] .
However even the Toyota Innova,The NHC have done quite well even though they were priced much higher than their predecessors and cant actually be called VFM at their present price tags.Small car buyers are actually preferring the Maruti Alto over the Maruti 800.This phenomenon is not restricted to the C/D segment buyers only.
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