The original hatchback was Maruti and it pretty much set the trend for how hatchbacks are viewed.
Moving from hatchback to sedan is a huge lifestage shift for the person
And the community digs are hard to avoid when moving from INR 400,000 hatchback to INR 700,000 one.
Expensive (and I am talking people perspective) hatchback is not value for money… If I am spending so much money… I should get lot more!!
It took “B” premium segment a while to become a big market (and that happened because there was a set of people who had INR 100,000 or lil more to spend than buying a Santro or a Wagon R) but the next level shift for the consumer would never be a hatchback… and as a second car in the house… the price tag would keep people away.
Premium hatchback manufacturers need to find a niche (in the mind of the consumer) and make it grow. Automobiles like technology have the task of educating and moving consumers up stream…
The perceptions of hatchback need to change.
Sedans did very well when they launched lower priced cars and helped the transition from hatchback to sedan… The numbers that Swift Dezire achieved after launch vs Swift launch would sure tell interesting story.
And the brands will need to identify the segment (visible or latent…) to create a positioning for their hatchbacks… And the answer does not lie in extensive quantitative and qualitative research and auto clinics.