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Old 14th April 2024, 13:05   #1
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Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers



Introduction


We see new cars emerging in our market regularly, and while various car brands launch excellent vehicles, some of these models don't quite meet sales expectations. Let's find out which cars they are and why they don't sell!


VW Virtus



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-20220308030907_virtus_2022-_1_.jpg

The VW Virtus is an excellent sedan with impressive engines, attractive looks and features. Currently, it sells between 1500 to 2000 units per month, but it deserves higher sales figures. The lower sales numbers are primarily due to the current high demand for SUVs and VW's brand image, which is often associated with poor after-sales service. However, the Virtus itself doesn't have any significant drawbacks and certainly deserves to sell at least 5000 units per month.


Honda City



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-citycityrightfrontthreequarter.jpg

The Honda City is one of the most iconic and longest-running cars in India. The sedan stands out for its spacious interior and refined engine. However, in recent times, it has lost popularity due to several factors, such as the absence of a turbo petrol engine, a higher price for the features it offers, and a somewhat dated appeal. Currently selling between 1000 to 1600 units per month, this car definitely has the potential to reach 4000 units a month with the right updates. It is ideal for those who prefer a no-nonsense and reliable car.


Skoda Slavia



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-01_skoda_slavia.jpg

The Skoda Slavia is a sedan known for its elegant looks, often referred to as a budget Octavia. It boasts feel-good features, ample space, and solid performance. Currently, it sells between 1500 to 2000 units per month. The lower sales figures are primarily due to Skoda's brand image and minor issues like rattling noises from the dashboard and brake noise. However, the Slavia too, like its sibling, doesn't have any major drawbacks and has the potential to sell around 5000 units a month.


Skoda Kushaq



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-16_skoda_kushaq_wp.jpg

The Kushaq was the first product launched under the VW Skoda 2.0 strategy. This SUV offers essential features, great performance, and well-sorted dynamics compared to its rivals. However, these positives have not been reflected in the sales numbers. The SUV faced widespread criticism for its issues, size, and price. Although Skoda has introduced more features and addressed these issues, a negative image has persisted. Currently selling between 2000 to 3000 units a month, the Kushaq has the potential to reach 6000 units a month with effective advertising and the introduction of new features like ADAS.


VW Taigun



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-wp13105206volkswagentaigunwallpapers.jpg

The VW Taigun is the sibling of the Kushaq, offering similar great performance and features. The Taigun, too, like its sibling, has low sales because of its size and high price for what it offers. VW should consider introducing more features in the base variant. Currently, the SUV sells between 1500 to 2000 units per month but can easily achieve 4000 units a month with the right updates.


MG Gloster



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-wp8217536mgglosterwallpapers.jpg

The MG Gloster is an excellent SUV that offers ample space, comfort, and a variety of features. However, its sales have been negligible, primarily due to the dominance of the Toyota Fortuner, which has a better reputation and reliability. The MG Gloster's after-sales service is relatively unknown, and the car doesn't appear as appealing to buyers despite its VFM proposition. The Gloster IMO, deserves to sell 3000 units a month.


MG Hector



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-mg-hector.jpg

The MG Hector is famous for its features and spaciousness, selling between 1500 to 2500 units each month. Its sales suffer due to subpar engine options, low mileage, and the brand image of MG. Despite these shortcomings, the Hector provides excellent value for money, offering features usually found in the luxury car segment. It has the potential to sell over 6000 units a month.


MG Astor



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-screenshot-20240423-115146.png

The MG Astor offers good features and is one of the most VFM SUVs in its segment, especially in the base variant. However, its sluggish engines, poor brand image, and unknown after-sales service hinder its sales. Currently selling 500 to 2000 units monthly, it can achieve at least 6000 units with better service and marketing.


Kia Carens



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-hiwcarensthirdimage.png

The Kia Carens, known for its powerful engines and practical features, sells between 4000 to 6000 units each month. It stands as a strong alternative to the XL6 and Ertiga, offering more features, a similar safety rating, and a better brand image. With these advantages, it has the potential to sell between 7000 to 10000 units a month.


Honda Amaze



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-amazeamazerightfrontthreequarter.jpg

The Honda Amaze, a compact sedan, provides excellent space and attractive design at a low price point. However, its sales are impacted by its competitor, the Dzire, which, being a Maruti, is perceived as more reliable and is favoured by fleet operators. Despite this, the Amaze stands out with its CVT gearbox. IMO, it easily deserves to sell 5000 units.


Skoda Kodiaq



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-31_new_skoda_kodiaq.jpg

The Skoda Kodiaq is a fantastic SUV, offering great space and features. However, its sales remain low due to its high price and the brand image associated with Skoda. Nonetheless, I believe this car deserves to sell at least 2500 units a month. The new Kodiaq is expected in early 2025.


Conclusion



Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers-screenshot-20240520-132305.png

Cracking the code of the Indian car market can be tough. Some cars have good features and engines but don't look great, while others look nice but don't perform well. Not all cars are popular with buyers, but there are definitely some really good ones out there. If you know about any other underrated and capable cars, please share them here.

Last edited by MotorDev : 20th May 2024 at 23:03.
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Old 21st May 2024, 05:39   #2
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st May 2024, 06:05   #3
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

And why not include the equally or more competent new Hyundai Verna (2023) here ? Overall, the VW twin sedans , Honda City and the Verna are amongst the best packages out there in terms of space, comfort and performance. Sad to see they are being rejected because of their body style. Aesthetics and driving dynamics have taken a bit of a holiday in the public minds.
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Old 21st May 2024, 10:02   #4
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

I disagree with the fundamental premise of this article. IMHO, every car sells as many units as it deserves - no more, no less. Reason = the market is the ultimate truth.

If a car sells fewer units than anyone's perceived potential, the reason for the discrepancy is invariably due to some incomplete part of the "package". The factors are a multitude: fuel efficiency, product positioning, cost, design, ease of maintenance etc.

Take the Kodiaq for example. It doesn't sell more due to lack of diesel (fuel efficiency), expensive repair bills (ease of maintenance), and non-imposing styling (product positioning). To sell more, Skoda needs to fix one or more of these parameters.

The same logic applies to every car listed above. Moral = if a product fails, the issue is invariably down to the package, and not down to the market.

Last edited by buzzy_boy : 21st May 2024 at 10:04.
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Old 21st May 2024, 10:24   #5
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotorDev View Post

The MG Gloster is an excellent SUV that offers ample space, comfort, and a variety of features. However, its sales have been negligible, primarily due to the dominance of the Toyota Fortuner, which has a better reputation and reliability. The MG Gloster's after-sales service is relatively unknown, and the car doesn't appear as appealing to buyers despite its VFM proposition. The Gloster IMO, deserves to sell 3000 units a month.
I didn't expect to see this car here.

We have an MG Gloster, I plan on writing a long term review of the car in June-july (after all exams are over). we completed 10,000KM on it (would be more if it weren't for my 12th grade).It is a brilliant car. It is for people who preferred to be chauffeured around than driving enthusiasts. Takes a long time too accelerate in the city but is fantastic on the highway (feels like you are on a cloud). It has a lot of good things and recent price cuts make it even more VFM.

The after sales is absolutely amazing for hector but gloster owners are treated horribly. (My father's friend has had the same experience)

Sales people don't know half of the features, specs of the car. Can't answer a single question when you ask them. I asked the salesman, why the Gloster (more premium product) has a smaller screen than hector, his answer was "hector screen is vertical, Gloster is horizontal, other wise same size"

They misplaced the advance cheque we gave them, which lead to our car not being booked on time. Price hikes happened in between, which lead to us dropping from 4*4 savvy to 4*2 savvy. They had the audacity to tell us that we didn't give them a cheque. (they found the cheque magically a few days later)

They delayed delivering our car by 5 months. Promised to deliver in November 2022 (gave advance in July 2022) and the car was delivered in march 2023.The car had 120km when it was delivered to us. Another incident happened because of them but I am not able to put into words properly.

It is damaged every time we give it the service centre. It went for its 10,000KM service recently and they put a huge scratch on the left side rear quarter panel. My father had to fight with multiple people to get it fixed (they delayed fixing it, causing us to not have our for 10 days!!). If they promise to take the car by 8:00, driver will call and tell "I will come at 12:00 to pick the car" he will come at 1:00. There is zero communication between different departments.

My father gave them a different number when we checked the car out for the first time, we asked them to change the number ~45 times after buying, but they don't. They still call to the original number.

The only reason we are bearing everything is because the car is absolutely amazing. Can't get a better car even if you spend more money in other premium brands. I can't recall who it was (sorry!) but someone on this forum said, 50L is perfect amount of money to spend on a car. This car is a shining example for it.

Last edited by chiekennugget : 21st May 2024 at 10:28. Reason: Grammar
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Old 21st May 2024, 10:26   #6
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

The sales of car brand is dependent on the network of its dealerships and service network. Most of the above brands doesnt have the reach yet and so the sales are not as you estimated.

Apart from that - initial cost of purchase & maintenance cost (combined to TCO), feature list, engine & transmission options also are major factors.

For example

MG Hector - No AT offered on diesel
Honda City - Ageing design and localisation impacted to quality levels or atleast the perception
Skoda Slavia & Kushaq - Brand trying hard to shed the image of heavy maintenance
MG Gloster - Apart from Chinese perception (need to market heavily the JSW collaboration) to shed that image and it takes many years to build the trust and loyalty Toyota Fortuner has now
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Old 21st May 2024, 10:26   #7
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhdowntheline View Post
Aesthetics and driving dynamics have taken a bit of a holiday in the public minds.
This is the same as saying "I like brinjals, so everyone else MUST like brinjals" . Not every person in India who purchases a car cares about driving dynamics, we cant look at all of India's car buyers through the lens of an enthusiast focused forum like Team-BHP. And, aesthetics are extremely subjective, one person can think the new Verna is the ugliest car ever made and another person can look at the same new Verna and say its the most beautiful car since the Jaguar E-type (this too, is obviously a subjective assessment).

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_boy View Post
The market is the ultimate truth.
Truer words have not been spoken on this forum!
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Old 21st May 2024, 10:50   #8
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_boy View Post
I disagree with the fundamental premise of this article. IMHO, every car sells as many units as it deserves - no more, no less. Reason = the market is the ultimate truth.

If a car sells fewer units than anyone's perceived potential, the reason for the discrepancy is invariably due to some incomplete part of the "package". The factors are a multitude: fuel efficiency, product positioning, cost, design, ease of maintenance etc.

Take the Kodiaq for example. It doesn't sell more due to lack of diesel (fuel efficiency), expensive repair bills (ease of maintenance), and non-imposing styling (product positioning). To sell more, Skoda needs to fix one or more of these parameters.

The same logic applies to every car listed above. Moral = if a product fails, the issue is invariably down to the package, and not down to the market.
So very true. I am a firm believer that the Indian auto market is slowly but surely becoming a buyers' market. With the range of vehicles available in the market, the buyer has a wider choice and is the final BOSS.
Also, still it is very price sensitive and is driven strongly by the gadgetry offered by the brand (useful or no is a different discussion altogether.)
The luxury brands are a glaring example. They have diluted their USPs, priced it higher with sky high maintenance costs and has lead to sluggish and flat sale figures.
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:11   #9
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_boy View Post
I disagree with the fundamental premise of this article. IMHO, every car sells as many units as it deserves - no more, no less. Reason = the market is the ultimate truth.
Well said. This line is like that typical paid reviews we see from Autocar and other channels where they say in their comparison verdicts. "This car is a great car with XYZ great factors. Unfortunately, this comes last in our comparison "
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:16   #10
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

The new Hyundai Verna should have been included in this list.

=>It is the best package among the rivals,
=>More on power
=>More on performance (comparable to the VW twins)
=>Better DCT than DSG
=>With almost all the goodies of features
=>Looks are subjective
=>And more importantly a 5 star rated.
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:16   #11
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordrayden View Post
This is the same as saying "I like brinjals, so everyone else MUST like brinjals" . Not every person in India who purchases a car cares about driving dynamics, we cant look at all of India's car buyers through the lens of an enthusiast focused forum like Team-BHP.
Sir, by that logic, nobody should also complain of the car companies not bringing their latest and greatest to India. We as a market need to respond to good products well, just as this thread lists out. A car like Wagon-R clocked >200k sales last year, what kind of message do you think that gives out to other car manufacturers?

On one hand we see enthusiasts blasting companies like Jeep, VAG for not being proactive enough, on the other hand the same set of people are discouraging any move by the brand to make itself significant.

I strongly believe in the statement, "Put your money where your mouth is". We as a market cannot blame car manufacturers for the sub-standard product lineup in India because the cars mentioned in this thread are not appreciated with sales numbers.
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Old 21st May 2024, 11:44   #12
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_boy View Post
I disagree with the fundamental premise of this article. IMHO, every car sells as many units as it deserves - no more, no less. Reason = the market is the ultimate truth.
Although this feels like it is the truth, I do have another take on it. Particularly related to Maruti, the market leader. Our subpar crash safety requirements are exploited and it is able to undercut competition by a huge margin. The latest swift is an example for it. It is safer now, but it is pricier, and lost on the 4 cylinder engine. Also the lobbying power it has because of the nature of its inception and the market position. In my opinion, car companies should be able to stay afloat and offer different models, even without having a huge chunk to its own. That is not happening now. Its either volume or very high margin game. The market is not a free market, but a skewed one in favour of a few players.
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Old 21st May 2024, 12:31   #13
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

IMHO, Every vehicle which is CMVR certified in India is competent to sell in the Market. A car is selling less because its competitor is able to offer better value for the entire Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of the Vehicle. (Eg Sales comparison of Skoda Kushaq vs Hyundai Creta, The slaes numbers says it all).

Soda-VW cars sells usually less because of Small Sales & Service Network, Expensive After Sales Service and Limited Product portfolio.

Honda cars sells less because Japanese lagged to innovate. Honda is slow in responding to the Market Demand. The result is less foot fall. Customer does not want to take risk with car company who has only Three cars in portfolio, I hope they donot have the end up like Ford. (Honda City's charm has reduced, Elevate could not Elevate Honda's sales and Amaze is striving for major update).

MG is relatively a new brand and also has a Chinese image associated to it.
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Old 21st May 2024, 12:42   #14
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Car purchase in India is a major decision next to purchasing a house. Its a tricky market due to a plethora of reasons as mentioned below:

1) Space - One may aspire to buy a Gloster but have only have the space available for an Astor. So there goes Gloster, I know you will scream that same is applicable to Fortuner but then Toyota has built that "you have arrived" image with the brand so no comparison

2) Milage - People are extremely conscious about milage and consider car as a luxury item more than necessity

3) Commuter Two wheelers - Again a lot of sales are taken away in smaller cities due to favor tilting towards commuter two wheelers and hence families would prefer buying two bikes rather than 1 VFM car

4) Maruti Vs Rest of the World (Manufacturers) - Maruti has ingrained this thought process in our minds that owning a Maruti = peace of mind (in every respect). I often get the understanding that people will buy a Maruti with subpar build or less features in the same price but expects top build and feature rich cars from other brands in the same price point

5) Literacy - No matter how safe the build is or how helpful the features are unless folks know they exists for a reason or for their safety, they won't really get impressed by all this. The prime example of sunroof against meaningful safety features, yes we are catching up but the in general people think of it in this way only

6) Brand Image - Yes some of these brands are not helping themselves at all, even if the knowledge is less people know that some of these brands do treat us as third world

7) Enthusiasts Vs Common Man - No I don't want a very expensive enthusiast's car by stretching my budget only to drive it amongst cows, goats, jay walkers, bad roads, no roads (hope you get the drift)

8) Showoff - No I am also conscious enough that I don't want to buy a big car to come across as a showoff

9) Brand - Chinese is stigma enough, but things are changing. Brands like Jeep are positioning themselves as expensive brands without giving a thought that " Tall is the new long" so don't copy paste what works in Europe or US, build bespoke for India
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Old 21st May 2024, 13:25   #15
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Re: Competent cars that deserve to sell in higher numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by aenkay91 View Post
Sir, by that logic, nobody should also complain of the car companies not bringing their latest and greatest to India. We as a market need to respond to good products well, just as this thread lists out. A car like Wagon-R clocked >200k sales last year, what kind of message do you think that gives out to other car manufacturers?
The only message it gives is that our country is piss poor and added taxes mean most of us genuinely CANNOT afford any car beyond this. Hell, even buying Wagon-R is a stretch for most people.
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