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Old 5th May 2011, 19:01   #61
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Why only safety features, even comfort features can be optional. If a manufacturer puts in place a good system of registering buyers and notes their preferences at payment time, a buyer like me won't mind paying extra as customisation penalty for ABS+Airbags. I may not require ACC or bluetooth phone but may want leather seats, I may even forego rear power windows but may want electrically folding ORVMs, I may not need a smartkey but may want a sunroof. I may not want a factory fit ICE but may want alloys with my choice of rubber on them. The list goes on. Considering the premium we pay to get aftermarket alterations, I'd rather pay the premium to the maufacturer, have it a part of warranty for the things I choose, I'll wait for even 6-8 months for the car to be delivered. Why should we always get combo meals and not an option for an a la carte?
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Old 5th May 2011, 19:25   #62
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
Why only safety features, even comfort features can be optional. If a manufacturer puts in place a good system of registering buyers and notes their preferences at payment time, a buyer like me won't mind paying extra as customisation penalty for ABS+Airbags. I may not require ACC or bluetooth phone but may want leather seats, I may even forego rear power windows but may want electrically folding ORVMs, I may not need a smartkey but may want a sunroof. I may not want a factory fit ICE but may want alloys with my choice of rubber on them. The list goes on. Considering the premium we pay to get aftermarket alterations, I'd rather pay the premium to the maufacturer, have it a part of warranty for the things I choose, I'll wait for even 6-8 months for the car to be delivered. Why should we always get combo meals and not an option for an a la carte?
Although this sounds good, it is highly impractical from the logistics point of view.

The one manufacturers should do, however, is that keep an "optional" package of ABS+Airbags+ESP on all variants. They'll have the satisfaction of keeping the price of the low end variants "low" and customers could have the option of having a low-end with safety features. Everyone's happy.
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Old 5th May 2011, 19:40   #63
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Although this sounds good, it is highly impractical from the logistics point of view.
Don't understand why it's highly impractical. Costly considering the low sale volumes in India, yes, but can be implemented. The Nano at 1 Lakh was considered impractical at the announcement of Mr. Tata, ask the 10000 owners per month if it is so. I know that this analogy is not perfect but there's no analogy for a first time thing, is there? Remember that home delivary of groceries from a supermarket was also impractical at one time. Coming back to cars, for a model that sells 1000+ units a month, how much premium would customisation command? Anyone with good knowledge of assembly line production may please comment.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:13   #64
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
Don't understand why it's highly impractical. Costly considering the low sale volumes in India, yes, but can be implemented. The Nano at 1 Lakh was considered impractical at the announcement of Mr. Tata, ask the 10000 owners per month if it is so. I know that this analogy is not perfect but there's no analogy for a first time thing, is there? Remember that home delivary of groceries from a supermarket was also impractical at one time. Coming back to cars, for a model that sells 1000+ units a month, how much premium would customisation command? Anyone with good knowledge of assembly line production may please comment.
I've pondered over what you've pondered hundreds of times, and this is my idea of a concept that could really work:
  • Manufacturers manufacture a car; in only 2 variants; the cheaper one with A/c, rear Defogger & Wipe/wish, ABS & Keyless entry, and the latter with Climate control, Airbags and a sunroof extra.
  • All the stuff; handles, mirrors, casings etc., remain unpainted
  • The doorpads of these cars are sort of "stripped down" kind, without window rollers/buttons/mechanisms inside them; they will not come with factory fitted power windows, nor manual windows, but with provisions for either.
  • Nor will they sport any fabric on the doorpads
  • The OVRM casing will be empty, without any mechanisms, and no stalks/controllers. Power/Manual Mirrors (or) e-folding mechanisms can
  • Seats are loosely fitted with reusable covers.
  • Basic steel wheels & cheap tyres; used only during transit and then reused again.
  • No Audio.
The car is then customized at the dealers, as per the customer's choice, and even outsource over supervision to Ovion, Stanley, JBL, Pioneer, Michelin, Yokohama, Lenso, Neo, K&N etc. as per the customers' tastes.
Depending on the customers' needs and budget, the OVRMs can be painted, powered etc., manual/electric windows w/ single touch operation & relay, performance filters/exhausts. can be installed.
The customer will NOT be charged for the stuff replaced; like the loose seatcovers, re-used wheels, tyres etc., as these will be re-used.

I feel this is the only model that can actually work.
Esp. for a person like me who only wants factory fitted Keyless entry, A/c, Power Steering, ABS, Rear Wiper/defog, without having to pay for what I don't need, and the depreciation on what I replace.

If I ever become a car manufacturer, this is the model I will follow. It's a promise.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:16   #65
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by iSpoke View Post
Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia (earlier model 1.4 HTP) are two such cars that (Fabia used to!) comes with Airbags as Standard across all variants including the base one. Both of them are pretty well known for low sales figures mainly because of High Price tag.

Lesson learnt, the New Fabia comes with many useful features deleted but at a reasonable price!
Does it also come with Abs ebd, 4 disc brakes, all wheel drive with optional 2wd as is availabe in the base variant Aria?
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:38   #66
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

It is not practical to add ABS/Airbags at dealer end. These have to be done at assembly line.

Unfortunately the Indian manufacturers still think that customers who know & care for safety features would be rich & therefore ready to pay for the luxury+safety package.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:47   #67
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

The previous gen Verna came with an option of ABS in all variants, though it did not offer airbags in any variant. As ABS are active safety systems, I want ABS for sure, airbags are welcome too
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:54   #68
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

To my mind a SUNROOF is the most impractical "luxury feature" one can have on a car in India. Maybe nice for the Florida sun. But here ?? The dust ruins the tracks any which way, so offer us the cars without the sunroof & let us have a better price.

Safety features, such as all wheel disc brakes, ABS, etc are welcome instead of the fancy roof.

I think it is a great idea to offer a safety package on a base model, that way the buyer has the choice of opting for what one wants. Logistics should be quite manageable, it would make sense to wait for a tailor made car than to pick one of which x% of features you do not want or need !!!!




Cheers
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Old 5th May 2011, 22:57   #69
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Let me try to explain the situation again with your example itself:

Do you realize that having Idli in a shop selling just idlis is cheaper than the cost of having idli in a shop which offers Dosa, vada and omlettes.
Because there is some cost involved in providing additional choices.

Likewise, providing the option of putting ABS and Airbag even in base variants would mean the cost of base variants (even withouth them) will increase. Thus manufacturers will loose out the edge in India, as VFM is the primary selling point.

That is the reason no manufacturer provides them in base variant.
Interesting analogy. I think there is a subtle difference though. In the current scenario, all joints probably have all four on menu, only, as an industry standard, you have to buy the dosa along even when all you want is an omlette. And like you say, given a choice, no joint wants to offer omlette as an independent choice for the fear of losing the edge on cost. But then, say we change the rules of the game a bit and make it mandatory for all joints to offer it as an independent choice. Hey, everybody's back at the baseline again, aren't they? Only the baseline is different now with a higher average cost. But then, it solves our problem with the stalemate, doesn't it? And as for the higher average cost, well, the basic idea behind any standard is to bring about that greater common good (excuse the cliche!) at the premium of a few, isn't it? The question that still remains then is what is acceptable as a standard and I think vina made a few excellent points earlier on that. Quote below.

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Originally Posted by vina View Post
I would agree with almost everything you say except one thing - some safety features can be optional, others NOT.

And this is why I keep focusing on ABS (and no moderators, this is the right place, not some "ABS thread" to discuss these things)

when somebody choses to skip airbags, doesn't wear the (mandatory) seatbelt, or doesn't carry a fire extinguisher - he is risking his life and that of his passengers. I do have a problem with that on moral grounds, but I don't have a right to do anything except crib.

However when somebody skips ABS, or drives with a broken indicator light, or doesn't have good rear view mirrors he is risking his life, BUT my life too, if I happen to be around him on the road - and it is my right to be safe.

There are safe drivers, and I would put my views very clearly (rather than coming tangentially and mocking others while claiming not to) - airbags, ABS useless at low speeds for very careful drivers BUT when selling a car there is no way to know how a particular driver is going to behave. If a driver behaves badly, and some always will, or if a driver is incapacitated (sleep, heart attack ...) others' lives are at risk. And that is exactly why things like a good horn, good breaking system (ABS), good tyre treads, good lights can not be optional .
Cheers!

P.S. This is my first post. Hope the mods don't figure me better fit for forums on idlis/dosas over cars. Fingers crossed!
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:26   #70
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Does it also come with Abs ebd, 4 disc brakes, all wheel drive with optional 2wd as is availabe in the base variant Aria?
Yep, it comes with 4Airbags, Double ABS with EBD, 4Disk brakes, 4WD with optional 2WD the condition is you have to purchase 2 of them! It easily fits into budget of One Aria, right? kidding.

well, I didn't want to compare them feature-to-feature. The intention behind mentioning of these cars (Jazz & Fabia) was to drive home the point that we have/had some cars that comes with basic safety features like Airbag and ABS as standard across all variant. But both suffered due to the high price tag. If you take the case of Tata Aria, the sales numbers are not any good, the high price is the main reason in my opinion.

Except few people (include most t-bhp'ians) our market demand cares much about the the gadgets his affordable price tag could buy but least bother about safety and that clearly reflects into the strategy these companies develop for India. You see, after price cutting now Skoda Fabia is selling way better (average 1500 pm) as compared to discontinued fully loaded version (500-700).
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Old 6th May 2011, 17:34   #71
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
Why only safety features, even comfort features can be optional.... Why should we always get combo meals and not an option for an a la carte?
There is a big difference between making combo/a la carte meals and making multiple optioned cars. I didn't wanted to be harsh, but I have to be in saying that do you know anything about mass manufacturing of cars (or any other complex system of similar size or bigger). I'll suggest all those who are giving such analogies to first study (if possible then visit) how such things are made and understand how much planning and effort is required. All such people can take the above words as a mark of protest from the people who are sweating to produce each car, including me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Although this sounds good, it is highly impractical from the logistics point of view.
The one manufacturers should do, however, is that keep an "optional" package of ABS+Airbags+ESP on all variants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline GT-R View Post
Unfortunately the Indian manufacturers still think that customers who know & care for safety features would be rich & therefore ready to pay for the luxury+safety package.
Absolutely wrong. Its the customers who feel that safety features are for people who have extra money and not the manufacturers. Manufactures can provide the features as optional, but there should be sufficient demand to make the business case. Else, all the customers should be ready to share the burden of extra cost required for all the logistics.

I am quoting a portion of my previous post to make few things clear (yes, I am defending the whole Automotive industry).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
Very few people (in % terms) actually opt for these safety features (I am also not one to opt, as I normally drive around 80kmph that too on highways). Most of the people (apart from auto enthusiasts like BHPians) get these features because they wanted the 'top-most' variant, and for them these features hardly matter. The customer clinics and dealership surveys in cities including Metros and A+ give this astonishing trend. (The 13 cities where BSIV is the current emission norm comprise of Metros and A+ cities, as far as SIAM is concerned)

Now, what if a manufacturer starts giving the safety features in all the variants ? The cost of each variant will go up by say 50k. This hits hard the VFM quotient as customer perceives to be getting something which is not necessity. So, the manufacturer stand a threat of loosing customer. Why would a manufacturer would want to create such a scenario. Yes, Nissan Micra and Toyota Etios are different on some counts, but its again more related to the manufacturing complexity. These OEMs are producing or gearing up to manufacture vehicles mainly for exports. The projected volumes for India are much less than the global markets. So they can have a body and other components suitable for airbags and ABS, thus can offer these features as optional, if required.
The last paragraph is also applicable to the increased cost due to provison of optional features. Add Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia (initial version) to that list and please check how many numbers each is selling/ sold in India and then compare the same with their global volumes. You'll get the fair bit of !dea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky_63 View Post
To my mind a SUNROOF is the most impractical "luxury feature" one can have on a car in India. Maybe nice for the Florida sun. But here ?? The dust ruins the tracks any which way, so offer us the cars without the sunroof & let us have a better price.
Don't forget the people spitting from buses and trucks, it may land directly in your lap (if aimed properly).
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Old 6th May 2011, 17:48   #72
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
There is a big difference between making combo/a la carte meals and making multiple optioned cars. I didn't wanted to be harsh, but I have to be in saying that do you know anything about mass manufacturing of cars (or any other complex system of similar size or bigger). I'll suggest all those who are giving such analogies to first study (if possible then visit) how such things are made and understand how much planning and effort is required. All such people can take the above words as a mark of protest from the people who are sweating to produce each car, including me.




Absolutely wrong. Its the customers who feel that safety features are for people who have extra money and not the manufacturers. Manufactures can provide the features as optional, but there should be sufficient demand to make the business case. Else, all the customers should be ready to share the burden of extra cost required for all the logistics.
I do not understand what you find wrong with my post!

In congruence with what you just posted, I am saying the same thing - logistically speaking, it is impossible to have customer-customized cars.

About an "optional" on all variants, probably I did not put forth myself correctly.

What I meant is - on the low-end variants where the manufacturer does not offer ABS etc, it should be at least be "optional"; so those who want it can have it.

Practically speaking, in the cost sensitive Indian market, it would be a while until the manufacturers will have ABS+Airbags etc. complulsory. Till then, safety should not compromised.
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Old 6th May 2011, 17:55   #73
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Looking at the negligence of the government in making ABS or airbags standard, Car makers themselves are working at it! ANHC and Jazz were the first cars in their respective segments to offer these safety features as standard. Great going Honda! Now all the cars sold by Honda in our country come with ABS and airbags in them. The new Fiesta would also come with ABS and airbags standard. Good to see Ford taking steps too
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Old 6th May 2011, 20:06   #74
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I do not understand what you find wrong with my post!
Sorry mate, it was a silly typo error on my part. Actually I meant to quote your post after "Its the customers who feel that safety features are for people who have extra money and not the manufacturers."

I got bit emotional and was also running short on time, so didn't checked the preview, and the context of quoting your post got changed a big way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
Looking at the negligence of the government in making ABS or airbags standard, Car makers themselves are working at it! ANHC and Jazz were the first cars in their respective segments to offer these safety features as standard. Great going Honda! Now all the cars sold by Honda in our country come with ABS and airbags in them. The new Fiesta would also come with ABS and airbags standard. Good to see Ford taking steps too
There are two aspects of that; one that is understood by you and the second that makes business case for them. As I mentioned earlier, these models are having much higher global volumes as compared to minuscule volumes in India. So, whatever they are manufacturing in India has the same design, planning and logistics setup as elsewhere in the world, except for the localized components for Indian market. Honda and likes of it are into the B+ & above segments, where if any manufacturer provides all those features, customers may prefer the car. But as proved by Indian masses, the models like Jazz couldn't jump up to the sales charts.
If you ask someone who has driven an equally priced car in Europe or US as in India of the same manufacturers, they can easily tell the difference in the quality. That underlines the fact that how much these manufacturers care about Indian customers.

Last edited by AutoNoob : 6th May 2011 at 20:22.
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Old 6th May 2011, 20:21   #75
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Note for mods, a little OT content to illustrate a few points. Kindly delete if felt inappropriate.

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
There is a big difference between making combo/a la carte meals and making multiple optioned cars.
Oh yes, totally agree. For one, making meals to serve every customer's satisfaction every single time is very difficult, in a way more difficult than making cars because unlike cars, the demanded food has to be served in a matter of minutes and unserved, perishes in a matter of hours. Ask McDonald's, a 22 bn $ + revenue company (little less than Suzuki, Volvo, Mazda which are around 25 bn $ IIRC and little more than Tata motors which is around 20 bn $).

Quote:
I didn't wanted to be harsh, but I have to be in saying that do you know anything about mass manufacturing of cars (or any other complex system of similar size or bigger).
My knowledge or ignorance about anything is irrelevant since I'm not the one putting on airs of superiority here. I have made a few observations on the topic in discussion and if you feel so hot about them as to make comments as quoted right above, I suggest that you kindly soak your harshness in cold water for a while and turn it into amiability lest the heat earn you a rebuke.
Quote:
I'll suggest all those who are giving such analogies to first study (if possible then visit) how such things are made and understand how much planning and effort is required.
If you do have knowledge of assembly line cost escalations involved in customisations of various kinds, we'll all be grateful if you shared it with us. If the abovequoted was just meant as a slight for me to shut up simply because you don't like what I wrote, forget it, you only put your foot deeper in your mouth with such unsubstantiated talk.
Quote:
All such people can take the above words as a mark of protest from the people who are sweating to produce each car, including me.
I don't see any reason for a protest, with due respect to your sweating in car production. A resistance to change is the recipe for extinction of an industrial process. If customisation were so impossible, we would all be driving only black cars. Perhaps you know who wrote this: "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black". A very great man that, still fell prey to rigidity in the end.
Finally, I mean no offence to AutoNoob or anyone else even if they disagree with me and would feel nice if the discussion remains friendly.

If customisation were so impossible, we would only have one variant of each car model and not the three to four variants that we have today. I'm only talking of taking this one or two steps further. With the rate at which previously high end features such as steering audio controls, AT, ACC, cruise control, ABS+EBD, ESP and others are making way to lower segment cars, customisation becomes more viable with each passing year.

ABS and airbags should not be clubbed in the options. Airbags could be optional for anyone who values their safety a little less but ABS should be mandatory across the board in all vehicles because a skidding vehicle is essentially out of control and a hazard to others in the vicinity. And this is not just on wet roads. A tyre can skid on a perfectly dry tar road if the day is hot and the braking at high speed harsh enough to lock the wheels (known as reverted rubber aquaplaning). The point is, I may have ABS in my car and I would also not like the cars around me to crash into me because their owner wanted to save a few thousand bucks by not having ABS. It's the principle of mandatory third party insurance. A very long post now. Enough for the time being.

PS- Why I insist on bringing on comfort features in the gamut of safety features as options is that over long drives (exceeding three-four hours), stamina, available concentration power and drain on energy due mounting discomfort assumes a rapidly increasing impact on safety. Even on shorter drives, discomfort=distraction. Not all comfort features would contribute as aid to safety but some definitely do.

Last edited by Delta Wing : 6th May 2011 at 20:45. Reason: Adding PS
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