Thursday, February 14, 2013
By Pawan Rana
Car buyers in India shift focus to beautiful cars, mileage only consideration takes backseat
What is common in Maruti Swift, Mahindra XUV 500, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Swift Dzire? Most of these cars are best selling in their segment. Ever wondered why? It is the mileage delivery or the brand or is it merely the design? It is in fact a mix of it. Reversing its Kanjoos image, who was always on the look out of Kitna Deti Hai, the Indian car buyers now considers several things before buying a car. Looks and design of the car are in fact the most important ones. The reason why these cars have excelled in their respective segments is due to their awesome appearance that wooed the hearts of millions besides their robust car brand and performance chart. Interestingly, the price and mileage considerations in buying a car have taken a back seat recently.
This is perhaps the reason why a 25 kmpl car Tata Nano failed for fetch even 1500 car buyers recently which is the second lowest car sales it has witnessed since its launch. Experts believe that it is the too small, boxy, tall boy appearance that is demeaning the Nano from getting good response despite being the lowest priced car in the country. Whereas Maruti Alto 800 that has more attractive appearance and high price than Nano got unprecedented sales since its launch last year. So, is it time for car makers to conclude that it is looks that work and not mileage or other things? Probably, no. Hyundai has stepped up the image of Hyundai Verna to new fluidic design and doubled its market share. But with the design makeover, the car maker has translated the same performance that the Verna is known for.
There are some model cars that could not perform following their weird design, Maruti Estilo and Maruti Ritz are best examples of it. This is the reason why the Estilo cannot carry on the lineage of Maruti Zen further as it lost the design appeal that Zen had. Thus what car buyers want is a mix of good looks, good mileage, performance, brand image and also resale value of the car.