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Old 1st April 2023, 16:47   #91
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

It is also something to do with these company's policies too. I recently went to a dealership to buy a vento petrol fuel pump for a friends car, which was off road and in a town 200 kms from the nearest dealership. I had carried the cars invoice with me, the car itself is 12 years old. The dealership sited company policy and refused to sell the part across the counter. The pump costs a whopping Rs 18000/- and neither is it available in the open market. With such experiences who will buy their cars, if you make the ownership experience so painful.
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Old 1st April 2023, 16:56   #92
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
It looked more like a Polo Cross/i20 Active competitor than a Creta or even Nexon.
Oh, not even Nexon?
Also, what's with raised and wierd looking roof rails?
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Old 1st April 2023, 17:29   #93
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

I have been in the market for my Honda Jazz upgrade for almost 3-4 years now and have done multiple bookings without taking any delivery.

During this period, I took test drive of both Kushaq and Taigun. The below reasons are why I never followed up again:
1. Both cars look and feel similar in size to Jazz be it the leg space or boot space. I found nothing worth mentioning.
2. Skoda's constant feature deletion. I was almost sold on Slavia and Skoda deleted so many features that I choose to stay away.
3. I read on the forum that a person got struck with family at mid-night. I have owned and driven multiple cars in the past. Only time I got struck was when I was using preowned Maruti Alto. I sold the car immediately post this incident. Luckily Jazz and City never gave such a scare.
4. AC being ineffective during my multiple test drives was a real dampener especially on 1.5 and even today, I am not sure if Skoda/ VW can handle Indian summers.

Hence Skoda/ VW missed the bus and they are not in consideration even now as my search for new car continues.
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Old 1st April 2023, 17:31   #94
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

These cars are really not in the same segment as creta/seltos/xuv700 or even astor. Yes, the engines are good but thats about it. The interiors are terrible and the rear seat makes them a strict 4 seater. Kushaq/Taigun are just polos on stilts. Infact thats what it is abroad. The polo suv is the T-Cross like how the Golf Suv is the T-Roc. These are not cars that are worth 20+ Lakhs on the road.

These will sell if they drop they make the top model sell at 18L OTR.
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Old 1st April 2023, 17:44   #95
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

I think it is relatively clear and simple why these cars don't sell.
Apart from performance, handling and safety, these cars don't have any USP and I don't think Indians value safety or performance as the top priorities while buying a car; else, the Koreans and Maruti won't be ruling the charts.

In my opinion, the reasons why these cars don't sell are -
  • Size matters, particularly for SUVs. These cars definitely look a size smaller than the Creta or Seltos and I feel some of the sub-4m SUVs like Nexon also have a better road presence
  • The interiors simply lack any feel-good factor, doesn't feel like that you are sitting inside a 20-Lakh car
  • Scores low on features:Price ratio, and there is absolutely nothing to stand apart from the competition and

These cars will have a niche for enthusiasts who value performance, safety and handling; Unfortunately, these are not going to set the cash registers ringing for VW-Skoda India even if they offer good discounts.
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Old 1st April 2023, 18:19   #96
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

This analysis is much more complicated than it seems. These cars are not not selling. They are selling less than the perceived competition. If you go by all the analysis here, you could ascribe the same to the Fortuner and its German competition who are not far off price wise.
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Old 1st April 2023, 19:34   #97
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

Nice thread.

This is how the conversation goes in Product design and Pricing with European brands.

Product - Lets bring a car in the market in this segment and lets price it higher, we are premium European brands man. This should reflect in the price.

Marketing - But that would make our cars expensive than the rest. We need to be in the same price range of the segment

Product - Hmmm... thats a valid point, In that case lets skimp on features and make
do adjustments in interiors and materials. We have European tag and should not
give all at the same price. Lets cut on quality then.

Marketing - Bingo, then we can price it same as rivals and deliver lower quality but a great brand tag.

Launch happens.

And the team keeps wondering why it does not hit the numbers.
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Old 1st April 2023, 20:11   #98
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

Another reason people don't buy them is because there are almost no customised after market modifications meant for these cars available readily. Fewer shops want to deal with the headache of VAG electronics & possible errors they may throw up.

A base variant Creta/Seltos/Nexon etc would have plenty aftermarket options that plenty shops would've worked on. So people buy their base variant car and customise it to cosmetically look like the top variant at a fraction of the cost that the company charges for the higher variant.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 1st April 2023 at 20:13.
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Old 1st April 2023, 21:30   #99
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

I think VAG cars are doing as much numbers as they can without copying competition too much.

They are not even planning to compete with segment leaders in the crowded small suv space (though they might claim otherwise).

Driving VAG cars in family, I believe most buyers are urban, and those who buy for themselves (like one would buy a tv). Not bothered to explain to their extended family or relatives why they made the choice. Not much bothered about resale as well.

Also they would be typically a family driving mostly with 4 or less (so snug seating for 4 is all that is needed), 5 th can be accommodated reasonably at times.

Last edited by dsr001 : 1st April 2023 at 21:36.
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Old 2nd April 2023, 11:02   #100
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

While VW Polo enjoyed relative market success owing to its no nonsense styling and fun-to-drive dynamics, VW and its sister Škoda hasn’t been able to replicate this success with any of its subsequent launches. This has to do with products like Taigun brought in late and overpriced.
Visually and equipment wise, both VW Taigun and Škoda Kushaq are below even Brezza. Now that’s a sad place to be in when the pricing is at Creta level. While the driving dynamics is arguably better, it doesn’t justify the premium price tag when we look at the interior quality.

Stripped down versions like “Onyx” doesn’t help either. Most buyers in the price range are looking for aspirational products and not stripped down versions of products.

It would serve VW and Skoda well to position the products as fun and youthful with low cost of ownership. Millennials who are going to be first time car owners soon would love to look up to the VW stable. It would be a shame to disappoint them with just two products.
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Old 2nd April 2023, 12:15   #101
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

I feel we are also overlooking the fact that, despite the VAG 2.0's emphasis on localization and Indianisation, they have always produced and will continue to produce vehicles for us with a European perspective. In the form of Kushaq/Taigun they have created a "khichidi" of a product, one that lacks the Skoda quality and the bling & road presence of an SUV.

The phrase "Jo dikhta hai wohi bikta" was again what the VAG designers overlooked. So how would anyone test drive and know your car's amazing chassis and fantastic DSG transmission, which are provided to make it a pleasant driving machine, unless they come to look at the car in the first place?

Rubbing salts to the wound was the early niggles (especially the EPC and AC issue). The latter is the most troubling and in South where VAG's biggest market is a subpar AC remains a big no. I remember a BHPian asking about sunfilm option for his VW Taigun to reduce the heat getting in so that his AC can be more effective.

Now, moving on to my experience. The first time I visited a VW showroom was in 2011 with my father to look at Polo. We were searching for a little hatchback with 200–300 km of monthly usage. Our first pick was Polo, but while having a good diesel engine that my Dad liked, our driving didn't warrant it and the 1.2 MPI wasn't that great. Because of better cabin quality than Maruti and comparable engine refinement, we ultimately chose Hyundai i10.

We visited Skoda in 2022 when we were once again looking for a new vehicle, this time an SUV. I began inspecting Kushaq from the boot, then the back seat, and ultimately the driver's seat. The back seats were roomy and had supportive cushions, and the boot was deep. But, as soon as I sat in the driver's seat, the headliner and poor plastic quality was an immediate turn off. Another surprise came when we saw the model's pricing, 20–22 lakh for top model. I decided to take a look at the Octavia standing nearby while my family was looking at Kushaq. Simply put Kushaq felt like the general coach of a train in front of Octavia. On top of that the price of Octavia was only 3-4 lakhs more after discount. So again we dropped out of VAG group and still looking for a car. (didn't get the Octavia as my family was not in favor of getting a car soon to be discontinued)

Now from my experience neither the VAG group a decade back had anything to keep/bring many customers in their showroom and convert them into sales nor today. Also similar mistakes was done by Ford the only difference is that VAG has far more money to still be here. Even Adil Darukhanawala (EvoIndia) highlighted this fact in one of his podcasts.
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Old 2nd April 2023, 13:11   #102
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

Elitism. They themselves and their fans diss on other 'poorer' brands and narrow the potential market they can address.

When you are selling mass market cars but think you are somehow a luxury brand, your expectations and customer expectations doesn't match.
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Old 2nd April 2023, 18:10   #103
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

After reading this thread, I think VW and Skoda are still where I left my Polo in 2014. I bought a flash red Polo in 2010. It was love at first sight for me and my wife. It was the first car I bought with my own money (my first car, a Maruti Suzuki Alto LXi, was bought by my father). The dealership experience was horrible from the booking till the delivery. The after-sales service story was on another level. There were multiple issues, but the ASS could not find the reason behind the problem, and they couldn't rectify it in one or two visits. The car had to stay with ASS every time. After every visit with ASS and after every argument with friends and relatives about why we bought a VW, we would say, "After all, it's a Volkswagen." But still, the Polo is etched in our memory forever.


After all it is a Volkswagen
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Old 2nd April 2023, 21:40   #104
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

This is a great thread! My reply is going to be long, so please skip it if it doesn't interest you.

I had some points in my mind but most of them are already covered. But dare I say, I disagree with a lot of what is written here. And many people won't like what I am going to say next but a lot has got to do with the 'Indian mindset while purchasing a car' and trust in a brand's strategy.

Tried to compile a list of the reasons and discuss as to why the twins don't sell as good and it is as follows :


Poor Reliability & Expensive service

For Poor Reliability, I believe this is being said keeping the past history of customer experiences in mind with the brand in the early years.
If you are talking about premature engine part failures, gearbox issues etc., I think the brand has tried to turn a new page with the 2.0 strategy and people will have to give them a chance.
For customer peace of mind, they are offering upto 7 years extended warranty for these 2.0 cars. I think that is excellent!

And what I am going to say next will probably not go down well with most people so apologies in advance for the same but if you can give a brand like TATA a chance keeping in mind the poor QC and the ever present issues with products like the Harrier (this forum itself serves as proof), a product that exists with niggles till date inspite of being in the market for almost 4 years now, you can definitely give the VWs 2.0 strategy and cars a chance.
There are incidents (mentioned in this forum itself) where people went to the showroom all happy and smiling on the day of delivery of their Harrier and while cranking the engine up, all the the lights on the HUD lit up like a christmas tree. But hey, people are buying it for numerous reasons still.


As far as as Expensive Service is concerned, I think again you are talking about the historical aspect here. On the contrary I have heard the opposite from YouTube videos/reviews. The cost has come down courtesy localisation and maintenance packages.


Poor interior quality and Fit & finish issues

Yes, this is one point that I agree on 100%, hands down! They could offer better materials (in terms of plastic used) inside the cabin, more soft touch here and there, cover exposed parts better and offer better fit and finish.
In a market where, as they say, 'jo dikhta hai, wohi bikta hai!', there is tons of scope here.


Diesel Offerings

Well Petrol is the way we are headed for in the current times keeping in mind the emission norms & taxes. You will have to take this one up with GOI. Can't really blame a brand to not offer in an area where there is no scope in terms of sales.
And trust me, if you buy a diesel engine powered car today, its value will be reduced to that of paper in the next 5-6 years.


Product/Offering Size (Dimensions)

Well again keeping in mind the YouTube reviews, the dimensions might look small on the outside but the cabin, both at the front and the back is roomy enough. The long wheelbase gives a spacious cabin. Usable boot space is ample enough as well.
As per what I have read above, inspite of the space available, people are going for 'visual bulk'. Reviews suggest people being comfortably seated, having enough space so don't know what to make of this point.


Feature Offerings

The cars could may be do with a bit more features and as such the offerings are not bad that you reject the product outright.

I bought the recently discontinued Octavia and when I had gone for the test drive of the same, the sales guy had asked me as to what cars did I have in mind. I mentioned two very different cars at the time, one being the Octavia ofcourse and the other being the new Tucson.

He outrightly and honestly said, 'Sir! These two are different kinds of offerings but as the prices are nearby, I understand you shortlisting them. Before you start the test drive, do keep in mind that VW group offerings will never be able to compete with the Koreans in terms of feature count inside the cabin but what we can offer is a much safer cabin, a proven at that with ratings, along with better driving dynamics, handling and stability. You can drive and experience the same by yourself right now. If you wish to get down to features and care for them outright, I think you will be happy elsewhere. I would understand your decision and would respect the same.'

I was shocked!! I mean, sales guys generally pitch the hell out of a product in every way possible to a potential customer and here I am with a guy doing mostly the opposite.

Having owned the car for 4 months now, today I weigh the value of his words in gold.

So coming back to these VW 2.0 cars, yes, not making an excuse, the cabin could do with a bit more features but what about offerings from other brands not giving you the right kind of high strength steel at places where it matters thereby compromising on body shell stability and strength?
Same goes for the recently launched Verna and the presentation. There was no mention of high strength steel.

P.S. If anyone thinks I am bashing the Koreans, my previous car was a Hyundai Venue. I got wiser with time and learned about things that matter.


Product Placement

I think the products are well placed for the prices they are offered at coupled with discounts. Yes, they could do with a couple of more features here and there (the top variants powered by the 1.0 and 1.5L engines especially) but that's about it.


Issues seen at launch (Initial Batches) and post launch feature trimming

Well almost every new car from every manufacturer faces troubles and niggles with the initial batches. Don't understand why VWs 2.0 offerings are being bashed differently with regards to this. The issues came (EPC errors, AC cooling, power window issues etc.) and were eventually rectified. Although, I believe, the same could have been done a bit more swiftly.

The post launch feature cuts baffle me though.


Large service network and touch points

Well again one has to be enlightened with the current 2.0 strategy. The service network is expanding. This is a work in progress and the brand has to be trusted. Can't do much here if the customer turns a blind eye to a brands efforts. Some other Indian brands already have enough service centres yet the experience is horrible and the service personnel skill is below par. People still buy their cars taking a leap of faith.
Well, take that same leap of faith here as well.


Sales Experience

I had a comfortable budget for the Slavia/Virtus (1.5L variants) but went with the Octavia eventually. I dealed with two different dealers from two different cities of two different states. Was always felt welcome. Took test drives twice. During the whole buying process my experience was awesome.
Maybe yours wasn't.

Some advice here : If you like the offering but your sales experience is turning out to be poor, try a different showroom. Don't reject a good product outright because of this.


Extremely Poor Resale Value of cars

Well if more cars ply the road, with a better brand service network, this issue will go away. Again, all comes down to trusting the brand and the process of the new strategy.


Mindset of buying cars which are more SUV-ish

This makes me giggle. Till date have failed to understand what aspect of the Korean twins, TATA offering(s), offerings from MG, offerings from Mahindra etc. in the same or nearby price bracket make them an SUV.
None of these are SUV-ish, VW twins included.

Want to buy an ACTUAL SUV? Buy a pre-owned endeavour or a new/pre-owned Fortuner.


Advertising

The brand could certainly make do with a bit more publicity. They could highlight more of what works for them, example, the 5 Star NCAP rating.



I would end my post by highlighting what another fellow BHP-ian said above because in my opinion he summed it up really well. What he said stands true for the low sales seen for the VW 2.0 twins coupled with the points I highlighted :


Quote:
Originally Posted by fhdowntheline View Post
Unfortunately, India is not a very mature car country in all aspects. Therefore subtlety doesn't work here. People like( need) loud ,brash and in-your-face for everything these days.

We suffer from an 'Indian Buyer Mindset' issue, in which, we want more road presence, with even more features but at the lowest price possible compromising other critically required bits that truly matter and go a long way (like safety, driving dynamics and highway stability).

Last edited by TSI_Exhaust : 2nd April 2023 at 21:48. Reason: Spell check
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Old 2nd April 2023, 22:26   #105
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Re: The real reason why Škoda Kushaq & VW Taigun don't sell - A Case Study

Quote:
Originally Posted by pqr View Post
SAVW got a combination of four things wrong with their MQB 27 IN platform based SUV products.
  • Price-to-size ratio.
  • Price-to-feature ratio.
  • Quality with respect to PQ25 platform based products.
  • Lack of diesel as a fuel choice.
Still, they got two things right.[list][*]A driver’s car.[*]A safe car.

SAVW got the value proposition wrong for India 2.0 SUV products. They don’t have attributes that Indian customers actually value (care), so it is not doing well for now.

Enthusiasts will continue to buy and recommend, but their market size will be too small to support the volume needed to break even as per Indian industry standards.
Bang on. A failure to understand the average Indian customer who wants to extract the maximum value for what he pays. The kias and hyundais, like everyone else says, know this value proposition. They load their cars with features and they sell, and outsell others.

As for the VW 2.0 cars, try adding a 360 degree cam, a subwoofer / better audio and advertise for the driving experience

Yet, someone like me would still go buy the VW for the safety and driving dynamics it offers. I actually like this size for the Taigun.
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