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Old 17th July 2019, 20:50   #1
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Default Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

I've been thinking about this for a lot of time. The SUV craze, just like other trends won't last forever and I feel the next trend will be of luxury segment hatchbacks which currently there aren't really any of. Here's why I think they will work
  • More and more car buyers are millenials are buying the cars so an upmarket hatch will be perfect
  • As cities get crowded, even CSUVs are getting cumbersome to drive. Another plus point for hatches
  • It has been proved that this segment is viable (the Polo GTI even though not a full fledged luxury hatch has done commendable numbers for itself)
  • No true options available all the way from the Polo GT to the Mercedes A Class
  • A need for a good subtle second car for luxury car owners(An E Class grabs a lot of attention but a Golf won't)
  • Less and less Indians are now using their cars for their commute due to congestion and availability of services like Uber means cars are becoming more of an aspirational purchase, so a hatch with a premium badge will score more against a regular Hyundai Creta or Tata Harrier IMO
  • Not everyone likes the tall stance of CSUVs or the sheer length of executive sedans.
  • Sky rocketing petrol costs and more fuel efficiency will definitely work in their favour

I'd like to iterate that by no means am I trying to say that it will become the best selling segment but one that will see a sharp incline. Ofcourse this won't be the case for the next 5 years atleast but maybe after that?

What do you guys think?

Cheers!

Last edited by porsche_guy : 17th July 2019 at 20:53.
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Old 17th July 2019, 20:55   #2
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Default re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Luxury hatchbacks are giving way to compact SUVs - they are the past unfortunately and not the next trend. Volvo V40 was the most recent victim of this trend.

It will take a couple of design cycles before this SUV trend saturates and buyers switch back to hatchbacks and sedans again.
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Old 17th July 2019, 22:44   #3
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Default re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Luxury hatchbacks are giving way to compact SUVs - they are the past unfortunately and not the next trend. Volvo V40 was the most recent victim of this trend.

It will take a couple of design cycles before this SUV trend saturates and buyers switch back to hatchbacks and sedans again.
I think the EV push will also contribute to more Tesla like luxury hatches which are loaded with technology and luxury.

And yes, I do agree that the SUV craze will take some time to fade away
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:12   #4
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Default re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!

I think crossovers & SUVs are here to stay. They will only become more dominant.

Equally, I am of the firm opinion that there is space for a more premium hatchback above the likes of the Elite i20, Polo & Baleno. Back when the Getz was launched, it was way ahead of its time. But larger & premium hatchbacks later on have proven that customers are willing to pay for a premium small package.

The Elite i20's top diesel variant is at 9 lakhs ex-showroom. A market can easily be created for a 12-lakh rupee hatchback that is a size bigger, has more power and more features. The S-Cross 1.6L attempted this (would have been more successful if it wasn't for the huge engine premium, cheaper 1.3L variant & better styling).

It'll be very easy for the likes of Hyundai & VW. They simply have to bring in their i30 (related thread) or Golf (related thread). Hyundai will definitely bring the i30 here.

Last edited by GTO : 18th July 2019 at 10:15.
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:26   #5
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche_guy View Post
I've been thinking about this for a lot of time. The SUV craze, just like other trends won't last forever and I feel the next trend will be of luxury segment hatchbacks which currently there aren't really any of.
Actually, as long as the road infrastructure in India deteriorates (as is the case in any big city today), people will keep buying more and more SUVs. I can cite my personal example. I have never been a fan of SUVs, and always preferred sedans/ hatchbacks, yet when the time came to change my car earlier this year, I had no option but to take a good long look at all the compact SUVs available in the market. There are practical benefits to SUVs even within the city, let alone long highway journey. While I still settled for a sedan, I know of many others who trust blindly in the SUV image and also, its practical benefits.

Luxury hatchbacks wil find it tough to penetrate the market, is what I think. At that price, the typical Indian will probably find it a better bet to purchase an SUV or a C1 /C2 segment sedan.
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:29   #6
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Equally, I am of the firm opinion that there is space for a more premium hatchback above the likes of the Elite i20, Polo & Baleno. Back when the Getz was launched, it was way ahead of its time....
Unless some brand comes with something revolutionary like great EV hatchbacks, I doubt it'll compete with sedans like how the of Baleno, i20 and Jazz compete with the Dzire, Xcent and Amaze.

The tax breaks for sub 4-m cars (with small engines) helped premium hatches. Anything bigger, the hatchback becomes more expensive than the sedan equivalent as it needs more beefing up of the rear end for crash safety. And sedans above 4m don't feel cramped like a compact sedan v/s the hatchbacks. In the US, the hatchback Corolla is more expensive than a similarly spec'ed Corolla sedan.
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:39   #7
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

CSUVs are popular in the parts where I live because roads are perennially bad. As in B-A-D bad. From my past experience, hatchbacks (and sedans) are simply inadequate to deal with whatever the corrupt local administration throws at us.

If one were to think about it - because government hospitals are ill-maintained, we flock to plush private hospitals. Similar threads exist with government schools and public transportation. Going one level beyond abhorring the shambolic public transportation, we've now gone beyond hatchbacks to CSUVs because of the Government.

Just a narrow PoV but still a bone-jarring one from an underdeveloped part of Chennai. Luxury hatchbacks just won't make it through my area.
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Old 18th July 2019, 10:46   #8
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Sedans and Hatchbacks will be on a downward trend. Anything with a UV ( style or name) be it a C/S/M/Mini/Micro.. is bound to further erode the hatch/sedan segments.

All new manufactures start their portfolio with a C/S UV and will expand in the same segment going more premium.

This is also the global trend and will continue to stay so.

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Old 18th July 2019, 11:12   #9
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Luxury hatchbacks are very popular abroad however in India, this concept hasn't been well taken by the masses or may not be very successful given the fact hatchbacks still appeal to middle class to upper middle class. In India, people spending good amount of money, would rather buy a big SUV rather than buying a luxury hatchback. Traditional OEM's won't get into this except big luxury players like BMW with MINI or Mercedes with their B Class.
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Old 19th July 2019, 10:56   #10
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Well hereís the thing. We already have the cars that the OP is looking for. Itís called the d segment. All the d segment sedans are very closely related to these bigger luxury hatchbacks like the i30, golf, corolla, ..etc. No one seems to be buying those. So what hope is there for their hatchback avatars ?
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Old 19th July 2019, 11:46   #11
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Nope, there is absolutely no market here for large hatches.

Case in point, the S-Cross. Excellent car by all means, but does not sell, just because it is a Large Hatch (as per EU classification).
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Old 19th July 2019, 12:28   #12
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

On the flip side, I think there is an untapped market for a compact diesel automatic ( not crappy AMTs). To this day there is none.

This will certainly appeal to those who drive a lot but still live primarily in cities.
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Old 19th July 2019, 13:06   #13
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

Being a Millenial myself ( Not sure if 28 classifies as one ) sometimes I regret buying a car. Why ??

1) Finding a parking spot is becoming a big headache ( With my experience in Chennai, Visakhapatnam )
2) There are non enthusiasts who don't believe in investing in automobiles, they prefer travelling foreign destinations
3) With the likes of Uber/ Ola, it is a very comfortable alternative for intra city rides to malls/ cafes/ pubs

But everything said and done, going by the increase in the purchasing power of higher middle class Indians and urban DINKS ( Double income no kids ) demography, there definitely is a market for more premium hatchbacks. Live example for this - Dezire ( Avg OTR of 8 Lakhs ) replacing the humble Alto ( Avg OTR of 3.5 - 4 Lakhs ) as the highest selling car in India for many months

Only time will tell if an i30 or a Golf would be launched and enter the top 10 cars selling !
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Old 19th July 2019, 14:22   #14
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

It would be cool if these cars made it to India -

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Audi A1

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Skoda Fabia (2020 render)

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Kia Ceed

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Hyundai Veloster

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Toyota Corolla Hatchback

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Renault Megane
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Old 19th July 2019, 14:48   #15
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Default Re: Premium / Luxury hatchbacks - The next trend?

I also wish this trend isn't restricted to large hatchbacks. I would love an Alto sized car that is well equipped, comfortable and above all, safe. The only options right now are expensive CBUs like the Fiat 500, which is a shame.

As a VW owner, if they ever launch the Up! (and equip it properly), I'd be first in line for it, even if it costs as much as a Polo.
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