Indian cars are commodities or aspirational purchases

Indian cars are commodities or aspirational purchases

02/15/2021

All of this makes me wonder if the desirability factor doesn’t matter in today’s car purchases.

EightSix recently shared this with other BHPians.

When we buy cars these days, do we consider them to be commodities or aspirational purchases?

Is a car still a status symbol? Well, a ₹60 lakh Mercedes is, but what about a new Alto or even a Wagon R?

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All the big luxury marques — the German trio or even Lexus or Volvo — do they have any aspirational value? On the streets of Mumbai, Mercedes’s are all over the place. Now if the average Deepak buys a Wagon R, he would just buy it to get his commute done from point A to point B — so the aspirational value is lost.

Would you strive for some car in the present day, like — work hard all your life and walk into the showroom one fine day with the ‘I want this car only’ expression?

I believe cars were all about aspirations few decades ago, but now they are just not the same anymore. It’s not just the story of how a farmer from Tamil Nadu bought his first car — the three-pointed star after falling in love with it since school. Even people who bought Santros and Safaris and Wagon Rs back in the day considered them to be aspirational.

There is one particular brand which is really pushing this ‘aspirational’ factor in the global car scene — Tesla. Everybody wants to own one. Other manufacturers don’t seem to be working on this factor.

Another concept I can connect this to is the dilution of brands. Brands that dilute themselves by trying to be an all in one place for different types of cars just end up loosing their aspirational value. What if, a Mercedes were as small as a Baleno and could be bought at the cost of a MG Hector?

I see BHPians posting car advertisements from 10/20 years ago and talking about how they influenced them to love the car. What happened to those TV commercials that connect with the heart? These days I mostly see TVCs about apps to connect to your car!

Which car has a unique selling point these days that you can buy with a budget? There is not a single car that I love and also afford.

Financing options, lease schemes etc, have made it easier for many people to buy a car these days so I think what people do is just get a car that they need. Not that they want.

Is it the manufacturers who are at fault for not being able to make that connect with the aspirational consumer? Very few cars are actually desirable.

All of this makes me wonder if the desirability factor doesn’t matter in today’s car purchases.

Thanks to EightSix once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

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