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Old 6th May 2011, 20:45   #76
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
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).
I was a customer 2 weeks back & would have bought Figo ZXi with ABS if they had one. They did not offer it & i did not want to pay for airbags which is overpriced for me.

There is no way that ABS & airbags will become mandatory in India. Many other countries where car penetration is much more than India still does not have made them mandatory.

By the way how much would a Nano with ABS & Airbags cost
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Old 7th May 2011, 00:54   #77
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by vina View Post
I think it'll cost between 30k to 50k more - that is the difference for most other cars between ABS+Airbag and no ABS+Airbag versions.
Cmon man!!.. 50k means what % of nano's on-road cost?. Would someone graduating from a bike to car want it??.. Well, WE might want it, but what about aam jantha?

Are Indians educated on safety and its consciousness that much?
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Old 7th May 2011, 01:23   #78
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by Skyline GT-R View Post
I was a customer 2 weeks back & would have bought Figo ZXi with ABS if they had one. They did not offer it & i did not want to pay for airbags which is overpriced for me.

There is no way that ABS & airbags will become mandatory in India. Many other countries where car penetration is much more than India still does not have made them mandatory.

By the way how much would a Nano with ABS & Airbags cost
I think it'll cost between 30k to 50k more - that is the difference for most other cars between ABS+Airbag and no ABS+Airbag versions.
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Old 7th May 2011, 01:27   #79
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Cmon man!!.. 50k means what % of nano's on-road cost?. Would someone graduating from a bike to car want it??.. Well, WE might want it, but what about aam jantha?

Are Indians educated on safety and its consciousness that much?

Well, first of all I just replied the numbers, I don't know why someone would want it (didn't even intend to answer that question - didn't know that was the question). sorry about that.

Second top end nano costs 2L on road in Hyderabad. Base Alto costs 3L. Now if someone wants ABS/airbags (though with a top speed of 50-60, and the full frontal crumple zone, nano may not need airbags) and a car at less than 3L, nano will be his only choice if nano supports ABS/airbag.

ABS only will cost about 15-20k if factory fitted.
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Old 7th May 2011, 01:30   #80
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Since the purpose of this thread is to present a unified voice to those representing the auto-industry in our community, I would just for the record like to state.
"If given an option, I would take safety features such as ABS and Airbags over luxuries, any day of the week"

Hope my support helps, after all every little bit counts, naa?
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Old 7th May 2011, 01:41   #81
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
...


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.
while I don't agree with the language of the messages you quoted, the substance was quite accurate for the most part. a-la carte will be a bad idea and will subvert assembly line methods.

Assembly line porcess is based on finishing a product at different "stations" with each station specialising in one thing. The whole lot moves through all stations. If some cars skipped a station or two - it can cause a "traffic jam" at the subsequent stations.

Still some customisation is possible and is done.

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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.
a very good example quoted by yourself - colour of the car. Let me go to a little different track. While exterior paint on cars these days come in multiple choices, the anti-rust primers underneath are same. For these the whole chassis is dipped in one giant bath of the solutions and then dried in ovens. If (due to some reason I don't know - this is just an example and is quite hypothetical) somebody wanted two choices of the primer coat - two baths would be needed. That would require forking the assembly line, and re-merging it afterwards. Also throughput of the entire assembly line may be limited due to the merging changes.


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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
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.
It is not impossible - just that some kinds are easy to do, others are not.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post

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.
I couldn't agree more.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
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.

May I suggest that instead of this, direct measurement of driver alertness be made mandatory? Such methods exist and are not terribly expensive
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Old 7th May 2011, 07:33   #82
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Exclamation Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

My view on this is, car's shouldn't have so many varients. Just one Varient is enough just like Kizashi.

For an Example i am choosing is Mahindra Verito and how it should be marketed.

Mahindra Verito PL (Petrol)- Price 5.5 Ex
Mahindra Verito DL (Diesel) - Price 6.5 Ex
Mahindra Verito PLCNG (Petrol + CNG) - Price 6.2 Ex

Should Offer
  • ABS
  • Dual SRS AirBags
  • Power Steering
  • Adjustable Seat Belt
  • Things that can never be added as aftermarket.
Should Not offer
  • ICE
  • Power Windows
  • Any thing that people tend to change after buying the car
Sure the Company guys can do this, its a matter of guts to come up with a hatchback/sedan with only one varient in each fuel type.

Pros
You wont have assembly probs,since only varient in each fuel type.
Faster delivery of vehicle, No lxi,lx,vxi,zxi and so on.

Just provide the safety features and things that can't be added later as the only varient, and other things people may add according to their purse/style/comfort at the dealers, the dealers can earn more from the sale of accessories.


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Old 7th May 2011, 11:32   #83
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Companies are providing ABS/Airbags as package because the labour overhead on a "optionalised" unit is more & it complicates the assembly line so more revenue (profit) has to be reaped from that to recover the cost incurred.
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Old 7th May 2011, 11:54   #84
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
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.
My friend, no one has raised any question about your sweat and hard work; I am surprised why you brought this up.
When we talk about safety features offered as standard in the base variant, it would probably have been a different story had Maruti or Tata taken this initiative as against Honda (who are known overpricers in India). So the entire automobile industry (read manufacturers other than Honda) cannot and should not take this as an indicator and try to see the results by taking some efforts themselves.

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
I am quoting a portion of my previous post to make few things clear (yes, I am defending the whole Automotive industry).
In this case, I have to defend the average Indian car buyer. If I can use your analogy here, what we are trying to say is that the manufacturers should allow us the benefit as customers to choose how to spend our money (also earned through sweat/ hard work). It is not fair to expect us to pay for top end versions just because we want some of those features. The entire point is that a lot of customers who may want these features compromise because they cannot afford the top end versions including all the bells and whistles. Moreover it will allow the production on the assembly line to be scheduled based on the type of orders and as far as I know, planning should not be that messy an issue if the customer is willing to wait a few weeks extra (as some have already indicated).
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Old 7th May 2011, 17:26   #85
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by vina View Post
a-la carte will be a bad idea and will subvert assembly line methods.
If we are customising fitments done at trim part of the assembly line where the body shell gets fitted with all other things, optional fittings won't be that hard I guess.

Quote:
Assembly line porcess is based on finishing a product at different "stations" with each station specialising in one thing. The whole lot moves through all stations. If some cars skipped a station or two - it can cause a "traffic jam" at the subsequent stations.
No need to skip stations leading to jams. It's not like altogether new parts are to be fitted, only some have to fitted and some not. While I agree that it will escalate costs to an impractical level to be effective for the buyer if the demand is small, can still be achieved with sufficient demand maybe. In early days, american cars came with lot of customisation which was abandoned to make mass manufacture easier.

Quote:
It is not impossible - just that some kinds are easy to do, others are not.
I think it would be more difficult for a plant where production rate required is high and automation is more and even a minute spent more in customisation becomes overwhelmingly costly, typical for large manufacturers in Americas and Europe. Here, I can't say. I remember a thread on this forum which discussed why some car models (Civic, IIRC) are much more expensive here than in US. Annual production rate for a popular car like that is in the 100,000s in the US and we know how much the Civic sells here, despite selling well by segment standards. Another important point was the localisation percentage. In the context of this discussion, I tend to think that trim level components would mostly be localised. Customisation would require more human input so another prohibitive cost for developed countries would be the increased labour overhead which, while high for them, may be relatively much less for India. OTOH, at times, customisation may prove more practical in increasing sale volume. For exa. I may choose to have option of onboard GPS in India rather than Cruise Control. If that is not available, I may walk away from the product. Or, in the example quoted by another friend earlier, I may want an ABS option in Figo at mid-trim level but not getting it, I may go for Swift VXi + ABS.
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Old 7th May 2011, 17:36   #86
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
If we are customising fitments done at trim part of the assembly line where the body shell gets fitted with all other things, optional fittings won't be that hard I guess.


No need to skip stations leading to jams. It's not like altogether new parts are to be fitted, only some have to fitted and some not. While I agree that it will escalate costs to an impractical level to be effective for the buyer if the demand is small, can still be achieved with sufficient demand maybe. In early days, american cars came with lot of customisation which was abandoned to make mass manufacture easier.


I think it would be more difficult for a plant where production rate required is high and automation is more and even a minute spent more in customisation becomes overwhelmingly costly, typical for large manufacturers in Americas and Europe. Here, I can't say. I remember a thread on this forum which discussed why some car models (Civic, IIRC) are much more expensive here than in US. Annual production rate for a popular car like that is in the 100,000s in the US and we know how much the Civic sells here, despite selling well by segment standards. Another important point was the localisation percentage. In the context of this discussion, I tend to think that trim level components would mostly be localised. Customisation would require more human input so another prohibitive cost for developed countries would be the increased labour overhead which, while high for them, may be relatively much less for India. OTOH, at times, customisation may prove more practical in increasing sale volume. For exa. I may choose to have option of onboard GPS in India rather than Cruise Control. If that is not available, I may walk away from the product. Or, in the example quoted by another friend earlier, I may want an ABS option in Figo at mid-trim level but not getting it, I may go for Swift VXi + ABS.

I guess my earlier post was redundant, you already know most things pretty well. I also understand why you were miffed at Autonoob
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Old 7th May 2011, 18:03   #87
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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I guess my earlier post was redundant, you already know most things pretty well. I also understand why you were miffed at Autonoob
I don't claim good knowledge in automobile industry at all, was considerably more ignorant till I joined TBHP
Back to safety features. The cost for fitment of ABS would go down if it were to be implemented across the board. Provisioning for airbags would remain costly at base trim levels of Nano, Alto etc since even 10 K escalation means more percentile price increase for the vehicle at 2-3 L as compared to a car at 7-9 L. Let's consider the average B or C segment Indian car buyer again. For a person for whom having traveled in buses, local trains and on bikes, a Nano or an Alto is already a much bigger jump in safety quotient. With a stretch to afford the base variant, it might not be considered prudent by many to spend on optional safety features, unless they became standard. And for those who would spend on safety, they have to circumvent all the mid level trim costs and go for the top trim for these safety features by which time the price is unaffordable.

As an aside, I think it is far much more important to make ABS mandatory in bikes than in cars because a skidding bike at speed almost invariably falls and the injury levels on a bike are generally always higher. Everyone sees bikes screeching/ skidding almost everyday and the number of fatalities in two wheeler accidents is not even funny. In this country where people feel offended if they are forced to wear helments for their own safety by the government, the manufacturers can't really be blamed for supplying only what is in more demand.

Last edited by Delta Wing : 7th May 2011 at 18:28.
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Old 8th May 2011, 01:33   #88
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

I wholly agree that the buyers must have a choice of choosing safety over luxury. Unfortunately only the premium versions of all cars in India are fitted with the safety features. One of the reasons for this is that majority of the buyers will prefer to spend on a music system than on Airbags.
Only those who are more aware choose to opt for the safety features. But manufacturers do not find it economically viable to cater for this small percentage. Hope this vicious circle of supply-demand comes to an end soon & the manufacturers realise that the people must be given an option to choose their own safety (& also that people driving diesel cars have as much a right to safety as their petrol counterparts, eg. no Ritz ZDI, only Zxi available))
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Old 8th May 2011, 02:20   #89
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Default Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

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Originally Posted by Delta Wing View Post
I don't claim good knowledge in automobile industry at all, was considerably more ignorant till I joined TBHP
Back to safety features. The cost for fitment of ABS would go down if it were to be implemented across the board. Provisioning for airbags would remain costly at base trim levels of Nano, Alto etc since even 10 K escalation means more percentile price increase for the vehicle at 2-3 L as compared to a car at 7-9 L. Let's consider the average B or C segment Indian car buyer again. For a person for whom having traveled in buses, local trains and on bikes, a Nano or an Alto is already a much bigger jump in safety quotient. With a stretch to afford the base variant, it might not be considered prudent by many to spend on optional safety features, unless they became standard. And for those who would spend on safety, they have to circumvent all the mid level trim costs and go for the top trim for these safety features by which time the price is unaffordable.

As an aside, I think it is far much more important to make ABS mandatory in bikes than in cars because a skidding bike at speed almost invariably falls and the injury levels on a bike are generally always higher. Everyone sees bikes screeching/ skidding almost everyday and the number of fatalities in two wheeler accidents is not even funny. In this country where people feel offended if they are forced to wear helments for their own safety by the government, the manufacturers can't really be blamed for supplying only what is in more demand.
Hi Delta

while you are right about percentage increase in prices for nano - it is also to be noted that most guys graduating to a nano would be already safety conscious (many would not be - I agree, but youngsters prefer a super-powered mo-bike over an underpowered car, and people travel safer when they are with their families) - I think several guys buying a top-end nano may opt for something like ABS. I personally somehow believe that Airbags are not much useful anyway.

Regarding your comment on two-wheeler safety, I can relate to it personally. In late 2002 early 2003, I used to travel between Noida and Ghaziabad every night around 2am, and almost once a week I saw a fatal accident involving two-wheelers. I got so sick of it in time that I told the cab driver who used to drop me home to drive past full speed whenever he saw anything like that.

And Helmet saved my life twice, so I wear it even when pillion riding.


That said, I'm not sure how effective ABS will be on a bike (I don't have knowledge either way) - but if it can save lives I would in fact lobby for it becoming mandatory immediately.
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Old 9th May 2011, 10:01   #90
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Question Re: Optional safety features with base variants.

Can someone with enough knowledge about the subject please calculate the cost of ABS on a car taking into consideration economies of scale if its made standard across the industry?
I think it will help substantiate the argument so that people can make an informed judgement.
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