AUTO PUNDITZ
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Auto Punditz Poll Results – Tata Hexa an SUV / MUV?

We have been getting a lot of feedback on categorizing Tata’s Hexa as an MUV in our sales figures charts. Our intent of terming it as a MUV is considering the prospect customer base for the model; i.e. a Hexa prospect is one who is looking for a capable 7 seater and is extremely feature rich and doesn’t compromise on premium-ness. We do agree that an XUV500 / Compass / Creta buyer may also consider Hexa in their consideration list; but we anticipate that the numbers of such cases may be lower. Technically, Hexa can be considered as a SUV according to the definition (SUV – a passenger vehicle similar to a station wagon but with the chassis of a small truck and, usually, four-wheel drive). However the fact is, There is no universally accepted definition of the sport utility vehicle! And also by the definition; the so called monocoque based vehicles & without 4×4 availability shall be off the list.

Hexa was based on the Aria and was also seen as Innova competitor right from the start. Even the bodyshell of Hexa is same as Aria and from the side there is no visible difference. Moreover Tata had clearly differentiated it with its sibling Safari. Hexa is clearly marketed as a seven-seater when compared to Safari. The Ground Clearance, Approach Angles, Departure Angles and Breakaway Angles are more practical in Safari than Hexa. Hexa is a people’s mover with off road potential while Safari is hardcore off-roader. We faced a similar dilemma while categorizing Etios under Compact Sedan category – yeah, we are aware that technically Etios is over 4m in length and ‘technically’ we can not put it under the Compact Sedan category. However, our logic of placing it under the CS category is basis the customers’ consideration set. We believe that an Etios customer may consider Dzire, Amaze or Xcent in his/her list (not many will compare with City, Ciaz or Verna).

Auto Punditz have always believed that Sales Figures help us understand the performance of a particular model against the market size and potential. That’s the reason why we have presented relentless reports month-after-month and off-late we have even started categorizing models for our readers benefit. We have always taken our readers feedback very strongly and this poll is a result of the same. It shall help us get connected much better with you and would request your honest response on the poll. Do share the same with your connections and help us get maximum responses for better assessment.

So the results are out:

It was an extremely close match between the two options and was nothing short of a nailbiting-contest when we were counting the votes. We received a total of 147 responses and the categorization of votes is as shown below:

Though MUV emerged as a winner in the poll; it was ahead of the SUV categorization by just 1 vote! We also got a feedback on Twitter mentioning Hexa to be categorized under ‘Family SUV‘ segment. The survey results clearly indicate the confusion in the brand placement of the model and is also affecting the retail performance of the capable vehicle. With Hexa, Tata not only redefined it’s quality aspects; but also bought in a real competitor to Innova/XUV. However, it didn’t fare as expected and was able to sell an average of just 1,000 units in past 22 months (total 22,097 units sold). We expect the model to fare much better in coming time and also the consumer having greater acceptance of the model than it’s counterparts. But all said and done, Indian Automotive Market doesn’t show mercy and only the best survive!

We have already initiated a study on the segmentation of vehicles according to the Indian context and shall release an article too on the subject in coming days.