A car with its spiritual roots in the Jeep and marries the family orientation of a station wagon with butch looks and rebellious independence of offroaders and pickups. But indeed the SUV is no truck. Lumberjack sat not in the front seat; instead it’s the soccer-mom with carpools and parent-teacher meetings to attend who took the steering of an SUV. It’s the car that takes the entire family, including Mojo the cat and Sumo the dog, to places outside the city for weekend getaways.
In fact there’s very little sports in SUV. Still higher up on the sports utility vehicle value chain, BMW is clear that its SUVs, SAVs aka Sports Activity Vehicles, are not positioned in the traditional mould. According to a BMW spokesperson; although the BMW X3, X5 and now X6 have off-road capabilities, their designed perception is not about a rowdy, off-roader driving through mud and dirt. The X3 is just like the BMW 5 Series — premium car and premium clientele.
Sure, these mean machines can take on the road not oft taken , but today SUVs in India are certainly more comfortable on paved roads. If anything it’s symbolic of a romantic vision of adventures leading into the wild, say carmakers. Take Tata Safari Dicor’s ‘Reclaim Your Life’ campaign; no concrete roads in sight, instead it’s the young city guy, wild outdoors and the car perched on what looks like Tolkien’s picture of the mountains of Gondor. Within its large frame the SUV carries a certain charm appealing to office bound city dwellers romanticizing about the off-road experience.
In the West owners of SUVs have acquired a bit of a reputation over the years. Lobbyists, within and outside governments, have been beating down on citizens, asking them to stop cruising in their gas guzzling tank-like utility vehicles. Instead, they say, opt for more green rides. But while the age of the SUV is bruising elsewhere , in Indian cities folks are saying ‘SUPER SIZE ME’, And car makers are more than happy to serve up a super-sized selection to hungry customers.