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Old 16th May 2013, 14:11   #136
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
Having said that THAR CRDe is not perfect and I know it.

There are some facts about purchase behavior-
1. Some people like building their own 4x4. They will never buy new or like a new vehicle.
3. A lot depends on affordability and it's a fact!

1. Know about jeeps, gear ratio's, love spending time in scrap yard, meeting mechanics often, have lot of time, money and patience- build your own unique 4x4, don't even look at buying a new 4x4 of any brand. It will never satisfy you.

3. Need an all rounder and budget is not an issue, intend to do fair share of upgrades suiting individual tastes, in need of single driven personal 4x4 that stands out- buy THAR CRDe

At the end one must know what he wants! If you are looking for an SUV comfort in THAR, you will never find it. Set your expectations clear and you will be happy.
Dear Vinod,

I picked up a few lines from your post to understand M&M.
First, if Thar is not perfect, are there effort to achieve perfections OR the only target is to meet production goals?

It seems that true off-roaders shall not buy a Thar, they should build one. I think it is really difficult to produce a good off-road vehicle with such mindset to begin with. Having said that, Thar owners are actually 'building' one by fixing niggles like nut coming off and others.

Thar would still stand out (without increasing the cost) if such niggles are taken care before rolling it out of factory and putting little additional efforts to improve the body-work.

I am not an off-road guy but always wanted to buy a Thar since the day of its launch. But being in a single-car owing situation, I can not risk spending considerable amount of time in a garage. Offer a vehicle that promise reliability and quality and you will see many more buyers in waiting.

Last edited by sourabhzen : 16th May 2013 at 14:12.
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Old 16th May 2013, 14:27   #137
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I have not driven a Thar, but I must say that this thread is bringing in some interesting view-points.

I feel itís not fair to compare the Thar with some expensive vehicles in the same space, but do feel that our local brands have still a long way to go when it comes to quality, or rather awareness about quality.

For example, when the Aria / XUV 5OO was launched, majority of the reviews were raving about the vast improvement in quality, compared to the earlier offerings from these brands. And thatís where problem lays IMO. The benchmark/comparison is within the family, and not with the other players in the same space (Japanese, Korean, European etc.).

Often we hear people saying we did our best, or try our best etc. When competing in the world space, the manufacturer need to ensure that their definition of best is aligned to (or better than) the competitors.
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Old 16th May 2013, 14:47   #138
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I feel itís not fair to compare the Thar with some expensive vehicles in the same space, but do feel that our local brands have still a long way to go when it comes to quality, or rather awareness about quality.

For example, when the Aria / XUV 5OO was launched, majority of the reviews were raving about the vast improvement in quality, compared to the earlier offerings from these brands. And thatís where problem lays IMO. The benchmark/comparison is within the family, and not with the other players in the same space (Japanese, Korean, European etc.).
When you are out in the market to buy a vehicle and pay 8 lacs for it, do you compare it only within the family or do you compare it with everything else that is available out there?

How can one speak of what is fair? Is it fair for a company to sell a substandard defective product to a customer who is paying 8 lacs for it when the customer would have got much better quality by paying less than 4 lacs for a local garage built jeep?

Would any one pay 8 lacs for a vehicle only to realize they have been cheated and have been delivered something that does not function at all let alone delivering what the company promises? Is that fair?

Why shouldn't anyone compare with other players in the space?

If the other players, especially the non Indian players are offering much better quality, infallible reliability and at varying price points, then any customer or prospective customer will compare it with all that is available in the market and not just within the family.

The sooner companies like Mahindra's and Tata's realize and accept this, the sooner they will realize that the "swadeshi" appeal, SOPs, MOPs etc will take them only thus far. The customers have gotten used to a certain level of quality standards and it is time they tighten their belts else get ready for what is coming for them.

Customers want what they have paid for. Sadly, Mahindra and especially with the Thar does not offer this.
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Old 16th May 2013, 15:01   #139
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

Good production practise, excellence to the level of six sigma, management by objectives and formation of a Zero Investment Improvement comittee will do a lot of good at Mahindra, and your present work place, Tata Motors.

Strategic planning is for the future. Dont think of your monopolistic sales figure today. Think of a competitive world three years from today. Are you sure your customer will still buy it when there is competition ?

If this was the case then Standard Herald and Rover 2000 would still be there on Indian roads. But have they not faded away to oblivion.
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Old 16th May 2013, 15:02   #140
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Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post
I am not an off-road guy but always wanted to buy a Thar since the day of its launch. But being in a single-car owing situation, I can not risk spending considerable amount of time in a garage. Offer a vehicle that promise reliability and quality and you will see many more buyers in waiting.
sourabhzen,

If you are in a single car situation, then the Thar cannot be any option. I don't know about your family situation. But what will you do about family? Where will they sit? Wives expect plenty of comforts, like bottle holders, space to keep their purses, papers etc. children require comfortable seats where they can play without having to be worried about safety. Children will most definitely not pay any attention to their own safety. As a driver of the vehicle, there is only so much you can do and you have to depend on the basic vehicle characteristics.

Many have said that you can fit a front facing seat and add seat belt for the child. I had done that and found it just does not work and had reverted to original seats. Adds more defects to an already defective vehicle.

Like Vinod Nookala has mentioned
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
3. Need an all rounder and budget is not an issue, intend to do fair share of upgrades suiting individual tastes, in need of single driven personal 4x4 that stands out- buy THAR CRDe
So if you have a family and travel along with them a lot - then Thar is not for you to have it as a single vehicle. Assuming you get a defect free vehicle or if you are willing to live with the defects and keep rectifying them, then it can be your additional vehicle.

Besides as Vinod says, If budget is not a constraint - then why stick to only Thar as an option? Why not consider so much more available out there - Duster, Endeavour, Fortuner, Vitara, Captiva, Sante Fe, old Tucson, Xtrail, and now Ecosport (ecosport is not a 4X4 but it packs in a lot of punch) and many more set to enter the Indian market.

These may not be complete off roaders. But the target customer for the Thar is the customer who is entering the offroad experience and is not likely to use the vehicle more than 10% time for offroad. The rest 90% will be regular driving.

If someone does want true offroading, then the gypsy and old rebuilt jeeps will be much better value for money rather than paying 8 lacs for an unreliable product full of promises as well as defects.

Last edited by anda60213 : 16th May 2013 at 15:22.
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Old 16th May 2013, 15:27   #141
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by anda60213 View Post
When you are out in the market to buy a vehicle and pay 8 lacs for it, do you compare it only within the family or do you compare it with everything else that is available out there?

I guess we are talking of the same point here. If the first line in my comment is what angers you, please read it again. I said, there is no point in comparing the Thar with some expensive vehicles in the same space e.g.; Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler etc. (by same space, I mean the vehicle type).
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Old 16th May 2013, 15:38   #142
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I guess we are talking of the same point here. If the first line in my comment is what angers you, please read it again. I said, there is no point in comparing the Thar with some expensive vehicles in the same space e.g.; Land Rover Defender, Jeep Wrangler etc. (by same space, I mean the vehicle type).
Thanks for the clarification although saying that "its no use comparing" is quite different from saying "its not fair comparing".

And yes, I agree. It is indeed no use comparing Thar to any of the others. Most others in the same space (however you define space) have already established reputation of providing quality and reliability even if what they promise may not be all that Thar promises and even though they may come at high price point. But then as Vinod has said "if budget is not an issue".

So for those for whom budget is not an issue, they will obviously go for a vehicle which is reputed to be defect free.
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Old 16th May 2013, 16:01   #143
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I have been following the thread closely. It's not so much about "is the Thar a good vehicle?" but more about "Is the Thar at X quality and Y price-tag, worth it?".

This is a very personal choice. Something like whether to buy a BMW 330i or a 520d? There is no one right answer. To each his own.

The ones that went for the Thar expecting it to be awesomely reliable, they feel cheated. And I truly empathize with them. I was aware of this thread http://www.facebook.com/DisasThar and others like it BEFORE I went ahead with the purchase decision. It was a very risky thing to do, and I admit it.

So here are my quick answers to a few FAQ's that I face ..
  • Is the Mahindra Thar overpriced : Yes.
  • Is it possible to get a better quality Mahindra Thar at the current price point : Possibly, Yes.
  • Is it possible to get the same Mahindra Thar (as it exists today) at a lower price point : Definitely, Yes.
  • Is Mahindra being fair to its customers : No
  • As a customer, do I feel any brand loyalty to Mahindra : Hell, No.
  • But aren't they helping the community - look at their "special initiatives" like Mahindra Adventure: Hogwash marketing stuff. They don't even allow you to take your "own" Thar on any 1+ day event. In my opinion, its primarily because all defects would come to the forefront - fact is that they can replace multiple problems in own vehicles and no on will be the wiser. But what they will tell you is that "their vehicles are specially prepared for this" or "they can guarantee the condition of their vehicles but not user vehicles" as "we are not sure how each owner treats his Thar".
  • Is Thar a true-blue offroader : Hell, No.
  • Is it a family vehicle : No.
  • Can it be the only vehicle : No.
  • Can it be a primary vehicle within the city : Yes. With a few mods.
  • Would I recommend the Thar : Does ANY car less than 15L (even 30L for that matter) available in the market today garner the kind of attention on the road that the Thar does?
  • Wait till the Wrangler comes, it will kill the Thar : Ok, lets wait and watch. Maybe it will, maybe it will not. Depends on the price point. Personally, I will be comparing "Thar + customization" expense to "Wrangler+customization" expense.

I don't like Mahindra and I agree with most of the Thar-basher's on this thread - the ones who are criticizing the vehicle from a "quality" or "price" perspective.

But as a product - Mahindra is bang on. They are taking advantage of their monopoly and skimming the market, so what? I personally feel the iPhone is overpriced but everyone else in my family has one. That's MY problem. Not Apple's.

Do not compare Honda quality of 4L vehicle with Mahindra quality of 8L vehicle. Look at it this way - at 8.5-10-12L whatever, do you get a Jeep as reliable as this. I don't think so.

So this is what I told myself before I bought my Thar : Boss, you are buying a Jeep, a few trips to the garage should be OK with you. That's what owning a Jeep is all about. If you are not prepared for this commitment - then you don't deserve a Jeep.

My expectations were aligned to Mahindra's reality. That's the only reason I was kind of OK with what I got, and more than happy with what I customized it into.

Last edited by manveet : 16th May 2013 at 16:14.
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Old 16th May 2013, 16:24   #144
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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Originally Posted by manveet View Post
  • Is it possible to get a better quality Mahindra Thar at the current price point : Possibly, Yes.
You know the saddest thing today is that you are asking a question about "QUALITY" and "PRICE POINT" in the same line.
In todays world of use and throw where we give a party if a brand new thing works out of the world, people have stopped expecting anything.

Features and PRICE POINT in the same sentence make sense.
But what does product Quality or the QC process have to do with price. If in any company the quality of a product (NOT FEATURES) depends upon the price of the product, then it means, that the company in question has an ethics issue, wherein it thinks that people who cannot afford a high price have lives which are cheap.

A quality miss can result in somebody's death. Quality has nothing to do with price. If you are building a product like a car, which can actually be cause of death, if your QC process is dependent on price of product, then I believe such a company is unethical, and buying such a car will put the owner at risk

So whether its a 1 CRORE car, or a 1 lakh car, the quality of the product should not have any link with the price. Its not a silly toy, the breakage of which will just cause some monetary loss. Its a car, and shoddy quality can actually cause far more damage.

PRICE POINT and FEATURE LIST is what can come in the same line, because the price of a vehicle is dependent upon features.

for example, if you are marketing a truck with 2000kg payload capacity without breaking its axle for 10 lakhs, you can ask 15 lakhs for a payload capacity of 2500kgs. Of course, the market can debate whether 5 lakhs for 500kgs extra capacity is VFM or not.

However, if your 10 lakh truck breaks its axle with 1500kg load, while your competitors 12 lakh truck with 2000kgs rating does not break its axle with 2000kg load, and you give the price as an "excuse", it means that the ethical and value system of your company management is broken. you have lied to the customer w.r.t payload capacity.

Sadly, in today's world, the customers are happily getting cheated by an unethical QC process, and they are so happy being cheated that they are actually buying the cock and bull stories.

Once again, QC should have nothing to do with PRICE. PRICE <=> FEATURES.

IF you cannot meet your QC at price X, then either you sell at X+ or you reduce features from F to F-

Reducing QC to QC- to meet price X is unethical.
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Old 16th May 2013, 16:24   #145
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Does ANY car less than 15L (even 30L for that matter) available in the market today garner the kind of attention on the road that the Thar does?
The vehicle does & will garner road attention even if it is stranded on the road not able to function. Is that what one expects? Not me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manveet View Post
So this is what I told myself before I bought my Thar : Boss, you are buying a Jeep, a few trips to the garage should be OK with you. That's what owning a Jeep is all about. If you are not prepared for this commitment - then you don't deserve a Jeep.
Like you said - individual choices. You may be ok with a few trips to the garage calling it the jeep experience. What some people call "jeep experience" others call it as "niggles" and yet others call it "sub standard quality". Whose definition is more correct? Maybe all Maybe none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manveet View Post
My expectations were aligned to Mahindra's reality.
That's what I would say is the bottom line, isn't it? Mahindra way is to get people to align to their reality and other product manufacturers offer a product which matches the customers reality and expectations.

Besides expecting a functioning vehicle is not that big of an expectation. When one pays a price for a vehicle, it is a fundamental assumption that the vehicle must & will function.

One can understand small issues like door knob coming off, the a/c knob coming off or the soft top frame becomes loose and squeaks or the door alignment makes a thud noise etc.

The vehicle still functions with these problems and one can make an attempt to learn to live with these.

But if the vehicle does not function at all unless you do a 30 point check up before each trip and still be worried whether or not you will make it to the destination in one piece (vehicle as well as yourself) - then one must wonder what "jeep experience" is one referring to. I surely do not "deserve" this jeep experience. I deserve a lot more.

Last edited by anda60213 : 16th May 2013 at 16:43.
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Old 16th May 2013, 16:28   #146
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

I have had a Thar for a few years now. I do some mild offroading in it and all the long distance trips with the wife and kid are done in the Thar. My daughter prefers the Thar to the Santro, City, i10, i20 and the Passat.

I have spent a lot of money customizing it with a fwd facing rear seat, roll cage, music system etc and have made it comfortable enough for me. I also use it as a daily driver.

I love the Thar and enjoy driving it, however the wife refuses to drive it on most occasions!

Do I think the Thar is worth the price - no!

Would I buy another Mahindra product - no! The Thar has spoilt Mahindra products for me. Before the Thar, I used to drool over the Scorpio, Bolero and other older jeeps. When the Thar came out, I thought my prayers had been answered and the wife agreed to let me buy one so that I would stop bugging her. She did not expect the disastrous interior quality (all the plastics inside the Thar have broken multiple times) or the fact that the Thar has been in garages for long periods of time (I have been through the coolent leak and other issues).

Would I recommend the Thar to others - no! And in fact I can say that a number of people have called me to ask about the Thar...friends, friends of friends, and even people who have found me on tbhp who I have never met. I have told them all not to buy one.

Would I buy a Thar now knowing what I know about it - probably not! I would prefer spending money and restoring an older vehicle to suit my needs.

Last edited by manasm : 16th May 2013 at 16:29.
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Old 16th May 2013, 17:01   #147
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Default re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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The vehicle does & will garner road attention even if it is stranded on the road not able to function. Is that what one expects? Not me.
Neither do I. Honestly, I feel bad that you had to go through all of this - and no one deserves these kind of issues in a new vehicle. Am truly with you on this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anda60213
Like you said - individual choices. You may be ok with a few trips to the garage calling it the jeep experience. What some people call "jeep experience" others call it as "niggles" and yet others call it "sub standard quality".
All are quality issues, and no matter what you call them - are unacceptable. So I agree with you on this one as well. All I am saying is that calling it a "Jeep experience" makes it a little easy to live with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anda60213
That's what I would say is the bottom line, isn't it? Mahindra way is to get people to align to their reality and other product manufacturers offer a product which matches the customers reality and expectations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anda60213
But if the vehicle does not function at all unless you do a 30 point check up before each trip and still be worried whether or not you will make it to the destination in one piece (vehicle as well as yourself) - then one must wonder what "jeep experience" is one referring to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by anda60213
Besides expecting a functioning vehicle is not that big of an expectation. When one pays a price for a vehicle, it is a fundamental assumption that the vehicle must & will function.
Right, I agree with you on all above as well.

But the reality is that as on date Mahindra is the only company in India selling a NEW Jeep. Till that time, one can either buy it with all its issues or chill out in life, wipe the drool off ones tee-shirt everytime a shiny one goes by. And that is the single-most factor that is influencing a lot of buying decision.

So if there would be a Honda Jeep I would buy it for a 2 Lakhs more. Or a Tata Jeep, or Jeep Jeep, whenever that launches. But till then I have to live with reality and pay a premium for doing so - in terms of time and money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anda60213
One can understand small issues like door knob coming off, the a/c knob coming off or the soft top frame becomes loose and squeaks or the door alignment makes a thud noise etc.

The vehicle still functions with these problems and one can make an attempt to learn to live with these.
Just for the record, I have had NONE of these issues thus far, touchwood. But then I don't have much of the OE stuff remaining.

Edit: I just read TSK's post above and agree with him completely. IMHO we need to delineate the company and the product for what it is vs. the options available. The Thar is still more reliable and better quality than an MM540 built with a new engine from a local garage in Gurgaon or Mayapuri. THAT is the frame of reference here, and to no great credit to Mahindra.

Last edited by manveet : 16th May 2013 at 17:10. Reason: Read TSK's post above mine.
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Old 16th May 2013, 17:31   #148
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The Thar is still more reliable and better quality than an MM540 built with a new engine from a local garage in Gurgaon or Mayapuri. THAT is the frame of reference here, and to no great credit to Mahindra.
I disagree. I have personally met owners of rebuilt jeeps here in Pune and seen their vehicles. The defects in brand new Thar are far more than in any of the rebuilt ones that I saw and these would have costed me less than 4 lacs.

The only thing whichs gets Thar to stand out (and that is the promise they offer, which unfortunately remains unfulfilled) are

1) BS IV crde engine. Rebuilt ones are not able to get this at all

2) IFS which makes it easier on long drives and hence not restricted to pure off-road use.

You see there's a difference between reliability and promise of features. Does the Thar offer better features than the rebuilt ones? In terms of the above two points - yes.

Is it more reliable than the rebuilt ones?

Depends on who has built the rebuilt jeep. With someone reliable, you will definitely get a vehicle far more reliable than the factory built Thar.

There is of course the question of can you get someone reliable to give you a good rebuilt jeep?

One could argue here that a known and consistent defective vehicle is better than an unknown built one. One tends to trust a known devil.

That argument hardly justifies the exsitence of defects in the product.

Last edited by anda60213 : 16th May 2013 at 17:55.
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Old 16th May 2013, 20:41   #149
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Post re: Why I won't buy a Thar... booked Thar!

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I am not sure that this thread is going the right direction. Am seeing a lot of posts from bigwigs, everyone is right from their own perspective, their own interests.

But come to think of it, there could be many instances where one may not feel like buying a particular car even if its a sales success. Do we go about capturing all those. In which case I can atleast pen down 5 very successful cars I wont even touch.

This thread is moving fast, in the wrong direction.
I would like to disagree with you on this.

Whether I agree with Thar bashers or Thar defenders is of less significance. A thread like this brings the best out of legends like Behram Dhabhar. For newbies like me it gives immense opportunity to learn about 4x4 vehicles, how they were conceptualized, what were the reasons for choosing a set of components etc.,

I am sure a little difference of opinion will not breed animosity between members but will in fact challenge them to dissect the topic and while doing so we all will benefit, learn new things and that's what I feel is the prime goal of this forum.

Please bring all such seemingly divisive topics, I am loving it.

Let there be peace.

Cheers.
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Old 16th May 2013, 21:17   #150
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What i could understand that some people buy a Thar just because it turns heads while parked by the road side (or in a break down state)!!

So MM dont need to worry about it's QC and we should not be debating here!

Yes, we deserved a better manufactured vehicle from MM, its a good product and a lots of sweat and blood hours have been put into it to make a corporate agree to let their workers make such a vehicle.

It reminds me a the story of the VW Golf GTi in the 70s, a team of 5 german engineers played around with the Golf and put in their own ideas to make a pocket rocket out of it, despite a big NO from their boss.

After the prototype Golf GTi was built, they let their boss test drive it and managed to convince the management to give a go ahead for production of 5000 units of GTi. But guess what?? VW kept building the GTi and people kept buying it, and some one in VW realised that they have crossed 50,000 units! Now there are many OEMs are manufacturing their own version of GTIs, but there is only one GTi!

Im sure in indian corporates, we would hardly come across a similar story and the BD with his team come close to what VW guys did for Golf GTi.

What im trying to say is, that MM is here to make money, and as some one mentioned, they RULE their segments and nothing comes close to what they make and sell.

Thar is one of the product which went one step further from Mayapuri, Dabwali, Moga, Meerut etc or the garage which build their own versions from the ex-army 540/550s and Gypsies. Thar gave an option to offroaders, which never existed before.

Thar has a twin brother with DI engine with solid front axle, it just lacks the CRDe but thats a good alternate option for offroaders looking for a performance rather than just turning heads!

BD fathered a product desired by enthusiast, and he stands by it and has no equal at the moment.

FM tried to take on Thar by launching their "Mater", but where is it?

BD is now trying for a 2nd child with TATA, lets see if it is worth its salt to take on Thar.
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