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View Poll Results: Would you buy a flopped car?
Yes, if I really like it or the price is good 423 73.31%
No way I'm bringing a flop home 154 26.69%
Voters: 577. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14th January 2020, 14:19   #16
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Buying a Flopped car may be a gamble, but at the end of the day its always about a balance.

How badly you want a car and does it tip the scales in favour while comparing with "why you think it flopped"?

I bought a flopped car myself. It was the Fiat Grande Punto. I knew it was a gamble; Fiat support was non existent, interior quality was iffy etc etc. But to me the other benefits over weighed the potential road blocks that I would be facing in ownership of this car and the decision was made. Something I am very satisfied with. It could have gone wrong, but then the risk was always a calculated one and I would have lived with it.

Similarly, if I was in the market to buy a car while S Cross DDIS 320 was launched, I would have bought that as well. We all know this car flopped. But we also know that it flopped due to some nonsensical pricing and not so exciting looks of the car. The product in itself was quite capable and had Maruti's backing.

Of course there could be a risk of lower resale in future along with a long list of things that can go wrong (depending on why the car flopped). But that is something I feel, I can over look for the pleasure of owning and driving the car I want.

I think this topic will have a lot of opinions, but the bottom line is that, the biggest pro of buying a flopped car is: 'This is the car you want'- provided you wanted it in the first place and are not just enticed by the higher discounts.

Last edited by vibbs : 14th January 2020 at 14:28.
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Old 14th January 2020, 15:09   #17
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Want to add an exception to what is mentioned.

If there are badge engineered version of successful model which was flop due to idiotic pricing and after sales. You can have “ exclusivity” while not having to worry about spares too much. ( Eg: Nissan terrano / Renault duster)

Ps: I own a Terrano between.
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Old 14th January 2020, 15:38   #18
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

We started discussing the pros & cons to buying a car that flopped in the market.
Nice thread to read and thank you GTO for starting this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
I would say, it depends - mostly on the reasons why the car flopped in the first place. I might not pick up a Nissan Kicks even if the discounts are very attractive, but I would pick up an Abarth Punto - which is an even bigger flop by any measure.
+1 CrAzY dRiVeR.

To add onto this, I also believe the timing of a product matters immensely. I am referring to some awesome cars like :
Ford Mondeo
Chevrolet SRV
Fial Palio GTX

These models were launched when a car was a royalty/premium in the Indian market. And these were either too premium (steeply priced) or way above market's needs (performance).

I wonder what kind of "Disruption" these models would cause if launched now!!
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Old 14th January 2020, 15:48   #19
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Advantages & disadvantages to live with a flopped car mostly depends on personal perspective.

Advantages-

Save money-

Most dealers cant clear the stock from their previous year inventory, so when they sell the car in the next year, that add's at-least another Rs 30,000+ discount.

Awesome exchange value for you current car!
Eg- In 2017, my friends Dzire got a 1.2L higher resale value at a Fiat showroom than what he was quoted at a Maruti showroom!

Offering more freebies or a free insurance is common on flopped models.

Most of the fun to drive cars have flopped, so for Bhpian's getting such a car with huge discount is always mouthwatering!
If we see the list - Palio 1.6, Old gen Baleno 1.6, New gen Baleno Boosterjet, Getz Crdi, Chevrolet Srv, Linea Tjet, Abarth Punto, Liva 1.5 TRD and the list goes on & on. All the above cars never fail to bring a smile on the drivers face!

Poor resale is both an advantage and an disadvantage. The buyer is at profit and the seller is at loss.

Am not much bothered about exclusivity, those who bother, for them its a positive.

Disadvantages-

Getting spares. I have lived with a Fiat Uno for 13 years. So before every trip, I had to be really cautious and get the car thoroughly checked-up. I knew, if anything goes wrong, sourcing spares will be a headache for me.

Unless you know a car well, do not buy a flop car. Mechanics can take you for a ride more easily.

Its always safer to have the flopped car as the 2nd car. Fixing an accidental repair or a mechanical failure can take more time.

Most of the enthusiasts cars are not fuel efficient & and generally these cars are costlier to maintain in the long run.

Lacks the snob value. Your neighbor/friends/relatives will always think you are mad! Like, instead of buying a Swift or I20, why you bought a Punto!

Few points I keep in mind while going for a flopped car.

Currently I own an Etios and a Duster AWD. The Duster is soon going to be a rare car!

Am not much bothered about the Etios, as it's already 8.5 years old and I know, getting spares for a Toyota wont be a problem. After 8.5 years am not much bothered about the resale value too.

Now for the Duster-

If I plan to sell the car early, i will get a poor resale.
So keeping it for a longer period makes sense.
Get the maximum period of extended warranty offered by the company.
Get the car thoroughly checked before going for a road trip.
Maintain a very good rapport with the service center guys.

Last edited by Samba : 14th January 2020 at 16:01.
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Old 14th January 2020, 16:14   #20
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Nice thread!

Since i have mastered the art of buying flop cars as can be seen from the list below, i can certainly contribute here.

My cars since 2006:

Swift zxi
Fiat Palio 1.6 stile sport
Skoda octavia vrs
Tata safari dicor gx 4x4
Fiat punto 1.3 emotion pack
Mitsubishi pajero sport 4x4
Renault koleos 4x4 AT
Toyota etios 1.5 D
Tata nexon diesel XZA+

As one can see, most of the cars i bought can be called a flop or moderate success at the best, but i still bought them since i liked them and heart ruled over head during those decisions and not much because of the discounts, etc.

The truth is Indian car buyer isnt mature enough and buys cars which have either minimum total ownership costs and peace of mind or when he decides to spend, he goes for maximum prestige value and appreciation from the society. Buyers now are gradually maturing but still there is a long way to go. Since i am a petrolhead who researches and compares cars technically, i could never come to agreement with this typical indian buying behaviour and i chose what i liked about the mechanical brilliance of the cars. But, so far i am totally satisfied with my choices and intend to continue my buying pattern.

The downsides that i face are:
1. Lesser resale value
2. Waiting period for non service parts especially in case of accidental damages
3. Additional efforts towards upkeep since service may not be as good as popular cars.

But, still when it comes to buying car for my personal use, i will always prefer to use the car that i like over compromising on what sells in the market. But, for my company operations and for my non-petrolhead family members, i have started buying cars that sell in decent numbers.
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Old 14th January 2020, 16:16   #21
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Pros:
• Some sort of exclusivity? You might be the only one driving it in your society, office complex or zip code.
This is true. When I drive the Forester, it is pretty common to see people wanting to take a second look. There would be those 2 wheeler guys who overtake you and turn back to check the logo to see which is this 'rare' car. Then there are those who know about the car (many of them have seen/driven Subarus abroad) and they approach you to express their appreciation for the car. Occasionally I also had people enquiring about when I am going to sell the car and leaving their phone numbers behind.
But this can only happen with the flop cars which happened to be fundamentally great cars (Palio GT, Ford Mondeo, Suzuki Kizashi etc fall in to this list).
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Old 14th January 2020, 18:04   #22
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
[center]
• Resale value. If no one wants it new, no one wants it used. Flopped cars get bad prices in the used market, and they take far longer to sell.
Let me give you a perspective on a flop car from a regular used car buyer. I just dont search for them. A flop car never makes it to the consideration set of a used car buyer.

If someone like me, who has bought 7 used cars in last 10 years, is not open to flop models, forget tentative buyers.

Reasons
  1. When I buy an used car, I expect maintenance and buffer for it. The problem with used cars is that they are not easy to fix even after paying reasonable amount of money. For example, no regular garage wala would touch my Palio.
  2. If I am to sell the car soon, flop cars lose value by the quantum with every owner change.
  3. Imagine what comes to your mind when I say the following names - Kizashi, Vitara, Chevrolet SAIL, ARIA. These flop cars have a neutral / negative aura around them, even though these cars are pretty ok vehicles. Doesnt make my heart go, I want that car! (some successful cars also make you feel the same, like the 2nd Gen City. No offence to any of the owners ))
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Old 14th January 2020, 18:17   #23
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Another Pros comes to my mind:
These cars are also not popular among car thieves , which means you need to worry less about your car being stolen
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Old 14th January 2020, 18:19   #24
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

While I do not endorse the idea of buying a flopped car, the same cannot be said of my brother. He takes chances on buying such models, some of them have been really good ones while the others have been a let down. His history reads thus...
1. Fiat Palio D
2. Maruti Baleno (old)
3. Chevy Spark (for his wife)
4. Cruze
and the latest entrant is the Renault Captur.

While I have loved and admired the Fiat and the Cruze (despite service and spare issues), the others have been a let down. I am not commenting on the Captur as it is only a couple of months old (purchased in Nov at a throw away price of 11.6 lakhs on road for Platine) in Kerala. His opinion however is that one must enjoy the car he / she drives while owning it without worrying too much about after sales and resale. I had a hearty laugh at him once when the diesel pump of the Palio failed when we were in Kanyakumari and we had to get it done at Madurai. It took us a whole month to get the car back.
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Old 14th January 2020, 18:53   #25
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

A year ago I bought a new Ford Figo Sports TDCI.
Already the Figo is not so popular car with the mass market and a sports version of it made no difference. Enthusiasts were more Keen for the Abarth or the Polo GT TSI and did not consider Figo S.

The actual price of the car was 9.2 Lakhs on road (Mumbai) and I got it for 8.3 Lakhs i.e a mere 90k discount. I have no regrets of it now and I know when I plan to sell it post 5 years, I would get just around 40% of the amount I bought it for. But the 5 years I shall spend with it will be truly worth 100% of pleasure

A friend was offered a Linea Tjet 2019 make at 8.5 Lakhs which is supposedly listed at 11.5 Lakhs. An upfront 3 Lakhs discount may help cover the expenses for the exorbitant part costs. But it is not the car which was a flop but the brand altogether. So if they exit then whatever discount one may have got would not be able to cover the ownership cost and trouble.

But on the other hand, S Cross 1.6 is a flop car but an extremely good buy for we enthusiasts. Stonker of an engine, good support nation wide of MS and decent resale value as well.
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Old 14th January 2020, 19:01   #26
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

By some measures, all enthusiast cars were flop car - Palio S10, GTX, Adventure, Abarth Punto, vRS, JTP Tiago.
Also most CBUs are flop - CRV, X-trail etc.
I would make a bet on flop Japs as reliability is a given for them Japs.

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Last edited by Sheel : 14th January 2020 at 19:12.
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Old 14th January 2020, 19:27   #27
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

VW Polo GTI, Audi A4 3.2 FSI, Audi A4 3.0 TDI, Fiat Abarth Punto, Fiat Linea TJet, Suzuki Kizashi, Maruti Baleno 1.6, Fiat Palio 1.6, Fiat Palio 1.6 Sachin Tendulkar Limited Edition...the list goes on.

All the above are flop cars and as you can see they were amongst the better enthusiast cars of their time.

In India cars flop because there aren't too many enthusiasts around to buy them. Flops don't necessarily mean it's a bad car.

A classic case is Audi who have watered down their portfolio from cars with very strong engines to ones with WEAK engines.

Why?

Because weak engines sell far more than the strong engines.

If you are an enthusiast and looking for a car - FIRST look at the flop cars - you might find a real bargain on the list.
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Old 14th January 2020, 19:41   #28
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

To an enthusiast, there's no such thing as a "flop". But he won't say no to a car that's relatively less of a flop and more dependable. Yes, we have seen examples of this kind in the past too! i.e., Ford Fiesta S, Ford iKon, Skoda Laura, Skoda Octavia VRS, Honda City Vtec (OHC) etc.

Some more notable "flops"- Mitsubishi Cedia, Lancer etc.
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Old 14th January 2020, 20:05   #29
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My 2 cents. At least in the Indian market, all numerically flop cars are not bad cars and the other hand, so called all numerically successful cars are not of great reliability either. The masses buy the Marutis and Hyundais only for the heck of hassle free aftersales network.
On the flip side, if there are products better built, there is no need to frequent the network for regular breakdowns.
I have the experience of Maruti, Honda and Renault. I have frequented the Maruti more often than not for unnecessary niggles.

Long story short. Even if a flop car (again, numerically), at least petrolheads should assess the capability of the car rather than what the masses would decide (mostly out of ignorance!)
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Old 14th January 2020, 20:53   #30
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Default Re: The Pros & Cons to buying a flopped car

Different Horses for Courses

Flop Model + Successful Brand - i.e Zen Estilo, Hyundai Eon, Hyundai Santro, Xcent
  • Always a market for the bargain hunter,
  • Uses proven mechanicals most of the time
  • Easy to sell on due to brand
  • Ubered

Flop Model + Flop Brand - Renault Captur, Tata Hexa, Chevrolet's
  • Discounted
  • Hexa excluded, most are real dogs anyway
  • Begins and ends life as a self drive taxi - fleets can't be bothered
  • Likely sold as insurance write-offs

Good Model + Flop Brand - Ford Figo, Nissan Sunny, Nissan Kicks
  • Gets Ubered - drivers want something dependable but cheap
  • Gets bought by someone who will run it to the ground
  • Given as "lucky draws"
  • Passed down the family tree for free - good enough to keep not to sell for peanut

The Orphan Terrible - The bad variant people regret having bought - Jeep Compass 1.4, Ford Ikon 1.3, Corolla 1.4 - White elephants, stuck till dead or unless a willing elephant sanctuary is found.
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