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View Poll Results: Is downsizing the next trend in Indian auto industry?
No- Size does matter! 225 52.45%
Yes- Small is beautiful! 204 47.55%
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Old 17th June 2018, 14:40   #1
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Default Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

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Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

We all are very well aware of the massive shortage of roads (to drive) and even parking spaces in some of cities in India.
I for one live in Delhi and although my daily commute is of only 1km to and fro office, it takes atleast 15 minutes to complete it. In most markets in Delhi not only is the allocated parking spaces full but also parking is done in double beyond the authorised allocation. I distinctly remember on my weekly off days I was able to get parking in first basement car park of any mall in Delhi some 5 years back, But now more often than not during the same weekly off and same timings I have to take car to the second basement car park.

My point is given the rapid increase in suv culture (the endys and fortuners) together with crossovers and also not forgetting the ever increasing population in urban areas and the incomes of people, is it going to be a thing in near sighted future that we may see a different trend, where in people are not buying longer and larger cars but infact smaller hatchbacks after selling their larger longer cars?

Am I thinking on the wrong lines? Is it that this crossover culture is indeed what I am referring to where in people wanting to buy proper suv buy a crossover vehicle as a compromise and downsize vehicle even before buying one.
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Old 17th June 2018, 17:48   #2
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

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Originally Posted by aviral2122 View Post
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Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?
Perhaps the Moderators can convert this thread into a poll ?

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Old 17th June 2018, 18:20   #3
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I share your thoughts. It is a pain to drive a SUV in a city now. A crossover is a much more convenient vehicle. Having owned a Pajero for last 7 years, I now feel I should get a smaller vehicle, however I would still prefer a crossover with good ground clearance thanks to our roads. As for a Pajero and it's capabilities , well I did not get a chance to test them out fully in the last 7 year's, this is after the fact that I have been to Leh many times and also served as a marshal for the Raid De Himalaya.

My reasoning after all these years is that a crossover would be a good choice since we are anyway not utilizing the SUV fully, at least in my case.

Last edited by GTO : 19th June 2018 at 10:16. Reason: typo
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Old 17th June 2018, 18:38   #4
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

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I share your thoughts. It is a pain to drive a SUV in a city now. A crossover is a much more convenient vehicle. Having owned a Pajero for last 7 years, I now feel I should get a smaller vehicle, however I would still prefer a crossover with good ground clearance thanks to our roads. As for a Pajero and it's capabilities , well I did not get a chance to test them out fully in the last 7 year's, this is after the fact that I have been to Let many times and also served as a marshal for the Raid De Himalaya.

My reasoning after all these years is that a crossover would be a good choice since we are anyway not utilizing the SUV fully, at least in my case.
Well I "feel" (could be wrong) that a majority of users of suv buy it just for the size (kilo to rupee factor?) and road presence it offers more than its off-road capabilities.

Also I haven't owned a suv till date but I once travelled 250 Kms in the outgoing (now gone) fortuner on a good highway and the journey was not pleasant, I incidentally travelled the same journey within a weeks time in a Skoda Laura and that was far more comfortable than the Fortuner . I am thin and 5- 9ish so maybe that itself answers it.
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Old 17th June 2018, 19:16   #5
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I honestly feel that a 4.3-4.5 meter car/crossover/SUV is ideal for our cities. If you have a tall family the sub 4 meter vehicles just do not cut it. They are always cramped for leg space and boot space especially if you travel with 4 passengers.

Ideal will be the C segment vehicles for the cities.

Yes if you are a nuclear family with small kids, the hatches tend to work.

My two cents.
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Old 17th June 2018, 19:29   #6
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Everytime I want to change my Brio to a bigger car like the duster or creta, my wife asks "park kidhar karega". She just loves that the Brio fits and turns anywhere. That's why my plan for a bigger car is endlessly waiting.
May be by the time I have kids I will have decent options in compact cars
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Old 17th June 2018, 20:58   #7
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I can relate to what you are saying. I sold my beloved ecosport to buy a compact automatic (polo).
Size does matter in the mind. I always felt hesitant to take ecosport out for city commutes because somehow the size played on my mind, even though it was not a full time SUV. I ended up hiring ola uber almost every time we wanted to go out anywhere within Bangalore. Eventually got a replacement polo.
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Old 17th June 2018, 21:48   #8
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

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Originally Posted by aviral2122 View Post
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Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?
Thank you for bringing this point up for debate and discussion. To the author’s emphasis on length (and width) allow me to add bhp.

Over the past 45 years that I have been reading about cars in a serious way with the interest of a keen enthusiast two things stand out – (i) the increase in car sizes, at least in India, but globally too; (ii) to a greater extent the very significant increase in horsepower under the bonnet. The increase in size has to do with comfort, leg space, ego, status etc - ever noticed how builder-contractors and real estate businessmen almost always drive around in large SUVs not to mention politicians of all shapes and parties. The increase in bhp has to do with desire for speed, vroom-vroom and you guessed it, ego. Both the size and the bhp continue to surprise me. Where size goes the cars today in the main are not bigger than the gas guzzlers of America of the early-1970s, 1960s and 1950s. Though in the strictly Indian context proliferation of cars above 4.5 metres in length, even as a percentage of total, has increased off the charts.

Some hard data needs to be looked at. So I pulled out my 1974 Observers Book of Automobiles to check for length and bhp of 10 fairly standard cars of the era I was growing up in. These cars are the mid-segment ones mind you. I have kept out that era’s comparables to the i10 or Alto because length has not changed much at the bottom of the pyramid. I have rounded up the engine CC to the nearest 100 for ease of reading and comparison. Where I say”… equivalent of today’s…” means the car was bought by customers of the same socio-economic segment of today and then. You may disagree on the comparisons but the increase in size and bhp is the point being made. Read on.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 1800 --- 4.2m --- 122 bhp ….and this is was a very popular luxury sports car for every day use

Audi 100LS --- 1800cc --- 4.6m --- 100 bhp ……very roughly the then equivalent of todays Audi 6 albeit half a notch lower. Compare it with length of 4.9m and 190 bhp of the A6 today

BMW 518 --- 1800cc --- 4.6m --- 90 bhp ……you don’t need 200bhp to have fun. Please note this was the first generation BMW 5 series. Compare it to today's 4.9m and 190 or 250 bhp

Citroen 1220GS --- 1200cc --- 4.1m -- 60bhp…..this was a popular mid-segment family car; something like today’s Toyota Etios

Datsun 240K GT --- 2400cc --- 4.4m --- 130bhp …..the top model of Datsun at the time. The page talks of the luxury specs it has. Today a model wont be considered top of the line if generated less than 175 bhp.

FIAT 132GLS 1800 --- 1800cc --- 4.4m --- 107bhp……this was one but the top fiat model. All but one FIAT models of regular cars were smaller and lower in power.

Ford Escort --- 1100cc --- 3.9m --- 48bhp…….the standard family car of the time in UK/Europe. A segment defining car. Like the Honda City of today.

Mercedes Benz 230/4 --- 2300cc --- 4.7m --- 110bhp…..I suppose the equivalent of today’s ‘C’ which has a similar length and 170 to 204 bhp

Peugeot 304 1300cc 4.1m 65bhp ……roughly equivalent to today’s Corolla

VW Golf 1500cc 3.7m 70bhp……one car that has stayed with size and power give or take a little.

Today we see posts talking of a car being underpowered at 100 bhp. The cars are being sold to our egos and desire for status. Mind you I am no exception. I am as guilty as anyone else with two large cars!

As the move to electric powered cars comes about which are partly or wholly charged by the grid it is likely regulations will come in restricting the size of your electric motors to just what is needed to carry 5 passengers at a reasonable speed (say 80 kmph). I don’t see Government's around the world encouraging cars with 150 bhp charging off the grid when all you need is 55bhp to move your family around in a car with reasonable safety features.
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Old 17th June 2018, 21:56   #9
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

I don't support the trend of having smaller cars- although it has led to some unique innovations like sub 4m sedans and SUVs.

For easier mobility, the government should invest more in public transport and improve last mile connectivity for existing routes.

Everyone owning a personal car in urban India will make congestion and parking a nightmare.
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Old 17th June 2018, 22:12   #10
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

The question is not about downsizing and also there is no one size fits all kind of scenarios. Fundamental city cases translate to :

- A two car case where the second car would be the car for city drive preferably an AT. Also the first is used for highways. But there are also cases where the first car is heavily used in the city as well along with the second. Hence the case of one size fits all is very difficult.

- Many cases people do want a better spec'ed smaller lower segment car with AT transmission. Thats ideal for city. But what it misses is the boot and the large space for highway runs. One can potentially argue that for such cases, I can rent out cars.

- So to answer : Is it a valid move? Probably yes. It also depends on how much is the bigger space a need for a daily basis
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Old 17th June 2018, 22:14   #11
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

Going by the current changes in the market as well as the intense growth in car sales, I have no dreams of buying an SUV at least, just for the size factor. Having a 7 seater MUV helps for those who live with parents or a joint family. Apart from that, I will be more than happy to have a fully loaded and well performing hatchback for personal use and for taking immediate family around town. Hence, when I upgrade my Celerio, which is currently used single occupied at majority of times, it will be to a hot hatch and not a sedan. The smaller dimensions of a hatchback makes it easier to move around in town, and to navigate narrow roads where required. Having good power on tap also allows to fill gaps in traffic and get ahead of slow moving buses, trucks etc. We have a sedan at home primarily used by dad which will see an upgrade due to the need for two extra seats to an MUV or SUV but again, where the need be for more seats, we also have the option to use two cars.

Given the same lines, I prefer to invest in a big bike to satisify my adrenaline rush rather than geting a premium sedan or a powerful SUV. So, at least in my personal opinion, small car is the way to go when the primary use is within the city and for single occupancy/nuclear families. When the need is for more seats/luggage space, then obviously a big car makes more sense.

Last edited by audioholic : 17th June 2018 at 22:18.
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Old 17th June 2018, 23:06   #12
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

I am an avid SUV fan and don't like sedans at all. I prefer longer and wider a cars and the dimensions are my primary search criteria for any segment. In all TBhp reviews the comparison of dimensions is the most interesting snapshot for me. The longest of the lot will grab my attention and probably my choice.
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Old 18th June 2018, 07:55   #13
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

I guess the theme on this thread is similar to the one here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/what-c...-next-car.html

I feel, there's a conscious trend for most in the urban areas (who have the luxury of dedicated parking) to now have dedicated cars for specific purposes: a small car for the city and a largeish one for highway drives.

So, yes, there could be a trend of downsizing but that is being compensated through a larger garage.
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Old 18th June 2018, 12:24   #14
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

I think the title of the thread should be "....next trend in Indian cities?".

I think this trend is because the market is maturing and more and more people are buying based on their needs rather than to one-up their neighbour. Not to mention smaller cars getting better equipped with each iteration. Even though I find it hard to understand the sub 4m rule, it has lead to some serious innovation over the years in terms of space management, only downside being the smaller engines. Both these things have compelled buyers to look at small cars which are a more practical option.
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Old 18th June 2018, 12:32   #15
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Default re: Is downsizing your car to a smaller one the new trend in Indian cities?

Downsizing as a trend?

That's a very interesting observation. Well can't speak about the general trend, but I for one have already downsized and there were a few reasons for doing so.
Parking was a major concern - not just in mall's or markets but also outside our own house. Can't seem to find big enough parking spots. Ever noticed how mall's thesedays have reduced the size of their parking bays to accommodate more cars?
The other factor was the insane depreciation in the value of these big/expensive cars. It is too big a factor to ignore.
Also, having a relatively small car helps is tackling the traffic situation as well.
Maintenance was not a criteria that influenced my decision but I guess for most people that would also show up on this list.
And I guess, as of now, I am content with my decision. Rest only time will tell.
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