Reasons why Indian customers overlook some cars

Besides, there are enough resources thanks to powerful media, advertising and the internet etc. Yet, there are some times when a buyer overlooks a few brands/models, unintentionally or even intentionally.

EightSix recently shared this with other BHPians.

The Indian Automotive Scene is no more the same it was 10 years ago. A buyer would no longer choose a car just because he liked it when he saw its ‘glorious’ butt ahead of him at some random traffic light or because his relatives/neighbours have the same car. There is an assortment of options for the buyer in each segment.

Therefore, a major chunk of new buyers do their homework and research well. Besides, there are enough resources thanks to powerful media, advertising and the internet etc. Yet, there are some times when a buyer overlooks a few brands/models, unintentionally or even intentionally.

For example, in 2010, when my father chose a Toyota Innova, he did not know that some particular brands and models even existed in India. Likewise, even today, he would never buy a German or an American car, so he won’t even consider those.

And it’s not just crossovers and sedans and SUVs where there are 7-8 options. Even luxury car buyers would put their money on a BMW or Mercedes or Audi, for most since this trio is their first preference. Whereas Volvos, Lexuses, even the Tiguan and Camry don’t even occur to some.

Similarly, I think MPV buyers would need to be reminded that there is a Carnival (or an year ago, the Hexa) in the market and not just the Crysta. Correct me if I’m wrong.

When cars are overlooked, a buyer misses on a better car, or in some cases, a better deal. Being overlooked by the majority is also the last thing an OEM wants for its brand/models.

Let us discuss some cars that I think are generally overlooked and their reasons. Chances are, during your car purchase, you might have forgotten/missed/overlooked some cars, and you are more than welcome to share such experiences with other BHPians.

#1: Too many options in the market

When there are too many options like in the compact SUV segment, there are a few cars that occur to you instantly, like the Brezza, Ecosport, Nexon, Creta, Seltos, Harrier.

But then there are cars like Freestyle, Duster, Kicks, etc. which might not flash before your eyes as instantaneously as these few I mentioned earlier.

Ask anyone to name compact SUVs (crossovers) and they will mostly mention the former names, not the latter. The sales charts of these cars will further prove my point.

While I generally keep myself up to date on the Indian car scene, when I was discussing Indian SUVs on a recent weekend road trip, I somehow totally forgot the MG Gloster exists as a potential Fortuner-Endeavour competitor!

#2: Lack of enough advertising campaigns

This thread idea has generated through my own experiences, so I must mention that I regularly skim through multiple car manufacturer sites as well as blogs, forums, automotive websites like most of you who clicked on this thread.

As a result, I get frequent ads from many brands. Based on what I see, I can tell you that I get more Jeep Compass ads than VW T-Roc. As a result, it is the Compass that would occur to me faster than the VW T-Roc.

Heck, if people like me don’t recall the T-Roc easily, they would end up buying a Harrier or a Compass. I don’t see as many Lexus ES advertisements as much as Mercedes C Class ones. I don’t see Toyota Camry advertisements as much as I see those of Skoda Superbs. In this case too, a glance at the sales charts tells you the impact of advertisements that puts cars in the consumer’s mind.

Do you know how the Isuzu MUX magically disappeared in the market? People don’t even remember this sales dud anymore despite it being a great car with amazing offers.

#3: Infamy or bad reputation

The list of cars here are all horrible & half-hearted attempts at making an automobile, and Team-BHP gave all of these the insult they deserve.

I forgot some of these cars before I read this thread and I’m guessing they disappeared into oblivion when they were launched, because buyers overlooked them. When a car gets a bad reputation, people start hating it, it’s sales decline within months of launch and then no matter how much the OEM tries to improve it later on, the car won’t be remembered by the customers.

#4: Brand Loyalty or bias

In the previous cases, it wasn’t exactly the buyer’s fault. There are many options and the car model that leaves a lasting impression in the buyer’s mind is the one that sells. But here is a case where buyers intentionally overlooks a car.

For example, someone may be buying Maruti Suzuki’s all their life and their car ownership would be something like — 800, Esteem, Wagon R, Swift, Ritz, Baleno, Brezza, Ertiga/XL6 — give or take a few models. Every next car that such people would purchase would be a Maruti Suzuki (I know one such person in the family), so they won’t bother with comparing options, reading reviews etc.

People like my father would never park a German or an American at their door (I’m gonna have a tough time if I ever want to convince him to get an Endeavour ) so my father would consider all other options but not ones from makes of these two nations.

I’m guessing that its not easy to convince a spouse or a parent to buy a car if they hold a bias against it, so you end up overlooking it despite your wishes.

#5: Sticker price

High price tag = less people will buy it = less people will recommend it = less sales = lesser attempts from the manufacturer and finally => car completely disappears from people’s minds despite it still being on sale, and is eventually discontinued. A decade later, it ends up in Team BHP’s list of ‘least VFM cars of the last decade’ or something.

#6: Cars from another segment

It fits in your budget, you like it but for the sake of practicality, you have to intentionally overlook it. I’m talking of the Mahindra Thar 2020 here — my relatives have a Ritz and want to upgrade to a compact SUV. But they won’t consider the Thar despite they the fact that they like it a lot, because it is from the lifestyle SUV segment, and is just not practical for their family of 4.

Of course, the Thar won’t disappear into oblivion for different reasons.

#7: When a model is dated

When a particular car model is dated, some people keep waiting endlessly for a facelift. When the facelift is delayed for too long, they just overlook the model altogether, despite a better facelift due to arrive. Of course, a dated model sometimes means it has lesser features, a lower safety rating etc. which can cause cars to be overlooked at times.

#8: When a car doesn’t offer what you want

This reason might seem the most obvious one of this list. But it is the one that influences the buyer’s choice the most. If a car does not offer good engines, transmissions, ride quality, ground clearance, safety, features, even looks, or affordable pricingyou would check it off without second thoughts.

That’s all the reasons I could think of. Please add your own opinion on this and share with us if you have intentionally or unintentionally overlooked a car.

Thanks to Eight-Six once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

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