thackervijay

Is there a market for premium hatchbacks in India?

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Many automobile manufacturers only launch sedan versions of their popular models in India. Examples of this include:

  • Honda Civic (in Europe the hatchback is far more popular)

  • VW Jetta (an ungainly version of the Golf)

  • Toyota Corolla Altis (saloon version of the Auris)

  • the recently phased out New Honda City (a butchered version of the last generation Honda Jazz)

  • Suzuki SX4 (looks far better as a hatchback)

  • Ford Fiesta

  • Fiat Linea (still no Grande Punto on sale)

Its 2009 now, and although one can now choose from a very large variety of cars in India now, there is an extreme shortage of good quality hatchbacks available in our country. Most of them have small engines (most powerful ones I can think of are the Palio 1.6, Getz CRDi and Fabia 1.4), flawed dynamics (Chevy SRV - looks sporty but a terrible drivers car) limited space and inferior build quality (eg. Indica, Swift - I drive the latter and it rattles more than a skeleton in a washing machine).

So are there any people out there who would be takers for a so called "premium" hatchback? Would you choose a Civic hatchback over a Civic sedan? Or a Golf over a Jetta? SX4 hatch over an SX4 saloon?

Or is there another hatchback that you would love to buy? Audi A3? BMW 1 series hatchback? Anything else?

Or do you think hatchbacks are inferior to sedans and only make sense if you want to buy a cheap (less than 8 lakhs) car?

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No!!!

In India car is more of a statement.

Hatch back is considered to be a half of a car.

Quite similar to the American market where people prefer SUVs for MPVs or Wagons.

Where as in India its completly ruled out all the estates launched till date are major flops.

Deepak DS

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i20 bookings stand at 195 for the first month...if this sign's of thing's to come I think there'll be no i30...mainstream car maker's will shudder to bring in 'premium' hatch's. It'll be difficult to wean buyer's away from the Indigo CS or the Ikon TDCI..frankly I can't find a reason beyond a few safety features..for going in for these hatch's, with underpowered engine's.

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I think these are some possible reasons:

1.The Govt small car excise norms restricting car and engine size.So even if a premium hatchback is launched it cant be priced competitively.

2.Market requirements which asks for a sedan model than a hatchback above 5lks.

3.75% of car sales in India is centered around hatchbacks which are less than 5lks. And people easily rejects the hatch backs when they are over priced.(SRV,Fusion).

Even if they try to bring those premium hatch backs into India their sales will be very less when compared to their sedan counter parts.

Since majority of people prefer a sedan around 8lks its vise for manufactures to go for sedan rather than hatch backs.

   

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Earlier people never thought of buying a hatchback above 4 lacs but that perception has changed mainly due to the success of Swift, so later on premium hatchbacks may outsell entry level sedans but i think it's unlikely because many prefer sedan because of the status attached with it.

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yes tanmay the status attached is acceptable but dont forget that swift diesel iswhat people has made it that success, ask MS to price its petrol swift above 5L and see how's the response, as you know the numbers they sold their zxi vrsion in that price tag, very less.

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I do believe that in India we have a market for premium hatchbacks. Take the examples of Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i10, and Hyundai i20. These have all the latest advancements and are leading the segment in the Indian car industry. The high sales figure of Swift and i10 and the appreciation received for the Hyundai i20 are live examples depicting the demand and success of premium hatchbacks in the country.

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