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Will Renault Kwid shake up the entry level segment

Discussion in 'Non FIAT Cars and two wheelers' started by Mabams1826, May 28, 2015.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,445
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    Ah, but you bear prejudices against the nano (even the newest avatar?). Not unlike so many/almost everyone. A fine vehicle, for what it is (which is not much), which is precisely like the original 500, mini and citroen cv2, the first 'ordinary humble middle class family cars' in automotive history, and equally innovative/pioneering.

    But you missed the point, the burden of my point:

    the Kwid and the Alto 800cc is exactly the same kind of car as the Nano: a cut price dinky car for first time 'aspirational' 'third world' buyers on budgets who must, however, buy a 'car' or rather a mere 4-wheeler, for status reasons, rather than content themselves with cycles, bikes, scooters, autos, cabs, buses, trains, and metros. As if these were plagues, which they often are in India admittedly.

    However, after spending hundreds if not thousands of crores on the nano project: it has not sold at all, despite having many many virtues and singularities, especially recent avatars.

    Why the hell, then, would anyone else (like Fiat/FCA) want to take such a wild bet with awful odds on this a1/a2 segment? Carlos Ghosn has tried this in India as in similar 'third world' markets several times over (Logan, Micra, Sunny, Evalia, Stile, Pulse, Scala, Duster, Terrano) succeeding only now with the KWID, after HUGE accumulated losses. In fact, who knows, yet, what profitability, if any, the KWID project is able to deliver him over the next year or three or five (not counting exports of the cars and/or the r&d that went into developing it for other, eg African or LatAm markets).

    A FIAT-branded Kwid wouldn't have gotten even a thousand bookings, let alone 50000, just as the Nano never took off either. But a Fiat 500X at 14-16 lakhs may sell 500+/- a month, the rest being exported, profitably in both cases? Likewise its platform and powertrain mate, the Aegea sedan? and so on.

    The odds are heavily stacked against the FIAT brand as it is, it simply cannot afford exorbitant Nano and Kwid (or Micra+Sunny+Evalia-type) punts on huge sales-numbers for the huge economies-of-scale that alone make such products viable Those huge sales numbers are impossible for the FIAT brand, no matter what they offer at no matter what price, after all, you will agree, no?.
  2. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Messages:
    495
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @prabhjot I will disagree on most of your points - below are the reasons.

    1. I personally do not appreciate you looking down on the average 'Joe" as third world folks with no brains. The reality is that we have no public transport to boast of in our metro's (forget the two tier cities). Whatever is there is crowded, dirty and also not very safe. This is based on experience including travelling by public transport in Gurgaon, Delhi, Guwahati & Bangalore. In Gurgaon, even in DLF phase 1 in my time travelling without a vehicle was a royal pain in the ass. Now between a 2 wheeler and a 4 wheeler, a 4 wheeler is obviously safer than a 2 wheeler and also helps protect from the elements. Hence the proliferation of cheap 4 wheeler s which would not change till we get real public transport. Now, within that segment the Nano is the worst, the Alto has not changed in the last 30 years and hence people are flocking to a much much better looking vehicle. I do not blame anyone for concentrating on looks - I do too. I would never in my wildest dreams spend say 10L in buying a Panda which is downright ugly and looks like a bigger Wagon-R from some angles.

    2. Tata failed to sell because it marketed the nano as the world's cheapest car somehow meant only if you could not afford anything else. I would suffer the Bangalore bus for the rest of my life than riding a Nano and that is the general mindset which I agree too. This is a classic marketing study in many top B schools.

    3. Of the cars that you specifically mention the Duster has been a success. The Evalia - what exactly were they thinking and whom were they targeting? of course there would be failure's sir. Maruti has failed with S-cross, Baleno, SX4, Stingray and so many more. Hyundai with the Eon. However, they just keep on trying and learning from their mistakes.
    Renault has finally succeeded with the Kwid.

    Unlike Fiat which just likes to stand and watch and that my friend is going to accomplish nothing.
    prashantgupta84 likes this.
  3. Ravi_M

    Ravi_M Regolare

    Messages:
    323
    Indore
    Indore
    Linea 1.3
    Just my 2 cents from personal experience of Nano -

    I am using it since 2012 now, always in the city. For the price I paid, it is a useful car. Just little over 2 Lakhs. No other cheap car was anyhere close to this. I have found it to be reliable, spacious with easy seating. It is a tin-can though, I don't know how good or bad compared to Alto, Eon, Kwid etc. I assume that Kwid is much better all-round. Haven't seen in flesh yet.

    BUT, though Nano hasn't had the success TATA expected, it is really a useful car for those at lowest rung. My friends have driven Nano from Indore to Varanasi twice and Mumbai to Indore once without any problem. In fact I have witnessed a Nano, with full load of passengers, overtaking my Linea on NH3 last July (Of course, I didn't race). I think, with 4-5 passengers, it drives better, while with less, it is more bouncy.

    Nano deserves better sales. Though, people capable of spending 2 Lakhs might have preferred Maruti for obvious reasons!
    prabhjot and asimpleson like this.
  4. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    @Raj_pol +1 to your views especially the Nano positioning by TATA. It failed as it was positioned as the cheapest car and a few stray fire incidents drove the final nail in the coffin.

    Anyways, there is no point for FIAT to chase the mass market. Instead play niche with its strong hold of making drivers cars which anyways are too few in the market.
    jackharrisw, Raaz and prabhjot like this.
  5. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    2,999
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    The problem with Nano has been a failed take-off or sales fiasco. Since the inception of project with all its difficulties it was more a wonder for the west, the international media, which was awestruck and is always more inclined to cover the future frugal means of 4 wheeler personal vehicles. Pretty soon the once claimed price figures turned out to be a myth, and that is why it is not a superhit in cities either. However, people with larger hatches and sedans and SUVs all have started to see the sense in Nano for a single or two people commuter with AC, primarily due to pollution and traffic.

    The Nano is certainly not bad; but if you compare with competition and increasing purchase power with quick loans etc.; and yet again the risk averse and society image associated with certain cars, people will take double the loan and buy a 'proper looking' entry level hatchback even if it means alto or kwid which is pretty evident by now. The intended people for whom the Nano was made, with elaborate efforts and investments no doubt especially if you see what Bajaj etc. keeps attempting...:vomit:

    Tata should IMO take that cheap to make concept and keep the Nano tag alive. It is possible that with some more conventional hatchback looking shapes it might see success in future, provided they keep investing in that idea.
    prabhjot and Ravi_M like this.
  6. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,445
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    It is not I who is looking down on 'third world'-ness: it is the car companies and the government with its policy of state sponsored private 4-wheeled "middle class" bottom-rung automobility, when it should be public transport and footpaths and walkways and BRT-s and trams + the likes of UBER etc etc that it should be 'sponsoring'. Give me a Tata marco Polo AC bus, low floor, anyday over these Nano-Kwid boxes-on-wheels.

    I live in Gurgaon and have studied the matter closely, also for Mumbai: the current policy of pandering to the car companies and the 'middle class' 'aspirationality' for a gaddi is a total and totally self-defeating FAIL that is, as we speak, getting worse. Sponsor bikes and 2-wheelers, if you have to i say, there are so many excellent options available, rather than permit this crap-at-a-cutprice Nano to Kwid segment or indeed subsidise cars from the higher and highest segments, which is the prevalent transport, taxation and land policy in all of Delhi NCR.

    btw, i often use the Metro+an autorick in Gurgaon and delhi, use my Vespa much more than my t-jet, and indeed sometimes use Meru/Ola cabs too. Having a KWID or some such is no existential necessity as you portray it, at all. EVEN with the current totally negligent public transport setup. EVEN in Gurgaon/Dilli, let alone Mumbai.

    We are indeed 'third world' in our public urban and transport etc policies: having lakhs of Kwids on our roads or Fiats or VWs or Mercedes will not change that. It is MOBILITY that should be a state sponsored and guaranteed "right" not private 4-wheeled automobility, so the question of regulating or taxing away the nano-Kwid-alto segment being tantamount to a form of elitism does not arise.

    Lakhs of gridlocked dinky or any other cars and suv-s do NOT amount to an escape from the "third world condition". They only prove and reinforce that condition (you should try breathing the foul air of Gurgaon Dilli these days).
    asimpleson likes this.
  7. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,445
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol

    Our discussion here got me thinking:

    Have you noticed that apart from Fiat and the Ford Fiesta and the Polo GT tsi as well as the 12-16 lakh crossovers/suv-s (esp S Cross, Duster and Safari Storme) all the new launches, with the exception of the Tata Zest and Bolt which have really pukka engineering: all recent launches are STILL of the 'third world' type: i.e., with cost-cut engineering+lowered build quality and crash safety, cheapened steering and braking systems etc? Even Ford has given up on the Fiesta, their entry-level model globally, and is offering very un-EuroAmerican Brazil and India-targtted specials, the Ka/Figo+Aspire? Toyota's Etios and Liva? Hyundai's i10 and i20 are under-engineered for India, the indian Swift and the new Baleno is much lighter and flimsier than the european ones with diluted brakes etc, the Verna and the City are again targtted specifically at 'emerging markets', while the indian Honda JAzz is again much lighter and flimsier than the American Honda Fit, with smaller skinnier tyres etc? The Ciaz pretty much sells in any numbers only in india, having flopped in China?

    India is being type-cast as THE quintessential 'third world'-type market by the car companies. Even the exports are only of such models, the Duster exported to europe being Europe's best but still discount-car (a Dacia), the Ecosport widely pilloriedin europe as ford's worst attempt in decades.

    It seems to me then, that for the sake of the future of not just car CULTURE in India, but also for the long-term technical, r&d and export-abilities and competitiveness of the Indian car industry, we must clamp down, via engineering and emissions+safety etc regulations, on such cars.

    The government MUST force the industry to UPGRADE not to DOWNGRADE (while adding bling and touchscreens) engineering and manufacturing quality of cars. China has been pushing such improvements in their local car industry for ten years already, and their new crossovers and suv-s are said by western industry insiders to have really really closed the gap on all-round deep-automotive-quality relative to what is R&D-ed, dsigned, engineered and made in Europe or the USA or indeed Japan and Korea.

    Instead the government, by allowing this free-for-all in the (sub)small car space, is incentivising the local and global car firms to specialise in the lowest-end, jugaad-oo stuff albeit with good paint and dashboard plastics and even touchscreens.

    India has the chance to become a HUB even before China does, quite like Brazil and mexico, for global exports of the HIGHER/highest quality.

    Instead, we are locking ourselves into a niche role as the world's centre for well-made and well-serviced but base/entry-level/elementary/infantile cars and engines and powertrains. Even as we provide the car makers who've invested here in these India-special (i.e., diluted) cars every protection (tariffs of 100-140% on imported small cars) unlike China where there has been a constant effort to protect and nurture, yes, but in the full blast of global quality and price competition (tariffs at 25%). Why no small turbopetrols made in India, other than the Fiat t-jet and the Tata Revotron? Just because Maruti, Hyundai and now Renault can get away with lapsed 800cc na tech? When do we get DI, variable valve timing, variable valve lift, at this rate, made in India at Indian prices? Mild hybrids petrol engines? Never.

    The signs are NOT good. India is more and more becoming the centre of dated automotive tech- and engineering-based cars (however 'good looking' and gizmo-laden). I mean if even a Toyota yaris or a Fiat Panda, European entry-level cars, are 'too expensive: there will not be enough sales' in India...!

    This is because we have a free-for-all here, a nearly completely de-regulated, engineering-standards-less car market here, anything goes if it sells.

    Much better to start pushing india as a manufacturing and export centre for higher and increasing-quality of bikes and scooters and even 3 -wheelers, while forcing car makers in the b2 to c2 segments to start offering their best global engineering quality, no? Meanwhile, India can become a global hub for inexpensive but high-quality urban and inter-city buses, metro-wagons, trams etc.

    This push upwards in terms of quality and export-ability is happening in a big way for motorcycles (eg., TVS and KTM-s) and even is incipient for some trucks (BharatBenz, Eicher-Volvo, Tata Prima).

    It is time for the same in mass market cars! That way a renault Clio or Twingo can be made here rather than the Kwid, the Panda or 500 or Fiesta or Yaris here rather than their pale-counterparts like the Suzuki Swift (desi edition) or the hyundai i20 'elite' (at considerable price premia for what??)

    That requires strict and elevated standard-setting, EVEN if it necessitates new investments and EVEN if it means millions will have to continue to enjoy their Bajaj Pulsars and their TVS Wego-s and their REnfields (and use UBER or OLA) for a few extra years as they wait to truly UPgrade.
    asimpleson likes this.
  8. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

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    2,999
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    @prabhjot, we ought to mention here that a company like Mahindra cannot always get the exteriors right (eg. TUV300) that is more streamlined and conventional shapes that people could find more acceptable. However, a dual mass flywheel and a twin stage turbo is such a welcome move for this segment. Once again maybe Fiat could have lead but unfortunately the VGT alone isn't good enough. And TUV will be fun enough for city and highway both. Now give that Turbo on MJD and watch the mircale I say!

    Mahindra I must say aspires to be popular and embrace technology more eagerly.
    mangeshtendulkar and prabhjot like this.
  9. rishike007

    rishike007 Esperto

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    1,416
    Mumbai-Pune
    Pune- Mumbai
    Grande Punto 1.2
    Kwid is another example set in India by Renault that looks can sale any stupid car.
    The car is not having to much gadgets but still got 50K bookings. The car price is the major attraction for this entry level segment. It is a cheap car with cheap features.

    Also in this segment lots of cars are having great resale values. Don't know about Renault's resale values but still Kwid can kill the resale values of Maruti & Hyundai cars for sure.

    Now people have new option for Alto800, WangonRs & Eon. Kwid looks good compared to these cheaper cars.
    mangeshtendulkar likes this.
  10. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

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