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Old 5th May 2011, 11:50   #16
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

My Answer: 'A big NO'.
As individuals, we are a enthusiastic lot.

But look at the bigger picture. Are the bigger corporates interested enough?
What has TATA done to Indian car picture all these days? Have they produced one automotive component that has made headlines?
What has MUL done to India in the last 30 years? Yes they might have tuned their Suzuki components for India but nothing more.

What are we going to spend our money on to produce better cars in India?
Speed? We don't have good enough roads. A 0-100 from 15 seconds should do great for our cars here.
Emissions? We still don't have quality fuel. Government doesn't care about emissions. Just travel to B-centers or smaller cities. They are pathetic. Air quality is really bad when you enter smaller cities. We don't even car about the dust on roads. Just see the number of Autos/ lorries that emit bad smoke. Do we care? NO.
Handling? What is that? My car steers light in the city. Thats more than enough ain't it?
Space? Do we care for efficient utilization of space? I guess NO. If you have the money, buy a hummer and drive along the narrowest streets. Park anywhere you want, all you would do is end up coughing Rs 300.
Looks? Yes we care a lot. But we cannot see radical enough cars. We simply don't accept them. Hell with aerodynamics.

And the Indian buyer is not spendthrift enough for a car maker to sell his R&D here. We are all about volumes.
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:26   #17
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

Design i believe is in the genes. What else can explain why Italians are so good at it from time immemorial. Not just in automotives, but in all spheres. Just look at the way our cities are designed, the way our houses are planned, the way our streets look. It will take atleast a century for Indians to appreciate design. Unless that happens good design talent will not emerge. Just because a few old Maharajas appreciated designs and paid hefty amounts for good designers, will not make all Indians design conscious. It has to be taught from childhood. Design is like Wine. You need to learn to appreciate it. And that habit doesn't come overnight.
Has anyone seen the interiors of AlBurj hotel in Dubai. It's a classic case of fine design spoiled by a prince who doesnt understand design.
These days every Indian corporate worth his salt is going to design houses in Europe for their re-branding purposes. From ADDA's corporate identity to NDTV's everthing is work of foreign designers. This despite having 1000s of design institues and colleges in India.
At the end of the day it's not design talent that generates good design, it's good taste i.e the ability to appreciate good design, that would inturn inspire designers to come up with great designs. Simply said till the time we have a majority which feels "what's wrong with Dzire's boot", good design will not happen in India

Thought i'll share this old video ad which emphazises on perfection, one of the core principles of good design.

Last edited by Daewood : 5th May 2011 at 12:51.
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:56   #18
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinya_jag View Post
My Answer: 'A big NO'.
As individuals, we are a enthusiastic lot.

But look at the bigger picture. Are the bigger corporates interested enough?
What has TATA done to Indian car picture all these days? Have they produced one automotive component that has made headlines?
Have you ever heard something like "Nano"?
yep, I know anybody will immediately jump to argue that yeah the same car that catches fire, right? And there lies the roots of modern India's culture!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinya_jag View Post
What are we going to spend our money on to produce better cars in India?
Speed? We don't have good enough roads. A 0-100 from 15 seconds should do great for our cars here.
Emissions? We still don't have quality fuel. Government doesn't care about emissions. Just travel to B-centers or smaller cities. They are pathetic. Air quality is really bad when you enter smaller cities. We don't even car about the dust on roads. Just see the number of Autos/ lorries that emit bad smoke. Do we care? NO.
Handling? What is that? My car steers light in the city. Thats more than enough ain't it?
Space? Do we care for efficient utilization of space? I guess NO. If you have the money, buy a hummer and drive along the narrowest streets. Park anywhere you want, all you would do is end up coughing Rs 300.
Looks? Yes we care a lot. But we cannot see radical enough cars. We simply don't accept them. Hell with aerodynamics.

And the Indian buyer is not spendthrift enough for a car maker to sell his R&D here. We are all about volumes.
Most of these are the privileges offered to only Developing country citizens! I'm not saying that these issues should be there, but it takes time to get out of the mess, specially when we have these unlimited number of scandals unfolding every other day.

Yes we can! But it will definitely going to take much more time.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:07   #19
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

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Originally Posted by iSpoke View Post
Have you ever heard something like "Nano"?
yep, I know anybody will immediately jump to argue that yeah the same car that catches fire, right? And there lies the roots of modern India's culture!
If I remember correctly, the Nano was designed by the I.DE.A Institute in Italy!
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:58   #20
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

^
I once heard about this, thanks for the details. Well, that would be another feather into TATA's cap, that Indian corporates have now grown up to outsource designing department to Italy.
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Old 5th May 2011, 14:08   #21
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

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^
I once heard about this, thanks for the details. Well, that would be another feather into TATA's cap, that Indian corporates have now grown up to outsource designing department to Italy.
Well, I guess TATA have a long standing relationship with this institute. Even the Indica is from the same design house
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Old 5th May 2011, 16:06   #22
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

To all those who say that India cannot be a design hub, there is no doubt good evidence to back you up on this. I am not going to sit here and say that India will design the next S-Class or BMW.

But having said that I would like to point out that my question is framed for the future, not the present. In the 80's the Korean car industry was a laughing stock. However now 30 years later, they are a serious contender to some of the most established brands in the industry.

Another point I would like to point out is that there is a very strong desire for automotive designers. I know several good friends who are engineers who openly admit that they would love to learn automotive design but dont have the capital to achieve it by going to a foreign university.

As for those who say that our professionalism is lacking, let us remind ourselves that our sons and daughters are responsible for the resurgence in our economy. We have our own space program and we have sent many satellites into space. And let us look at our engineering and IT talents. Sorry I dont believe that Indians dont have a good work ethic or talent. We would simply not be here if we didnt have it.

We Indians may not be the most organized people in the world but we are certainly resourceful. We know how to achieve the most with very little money or technical know-how. Now dont get me wrong, I am not building castles in the sky, I am a realist. I am making a point to say that I am certain the potential is there.

Oh and by the way, I think the fact that the Cruze and Altis are having a pitched sales battle emphasizes the fact that Indians do appreciate good design.

Last edited by crazycardude198 : 5th May 2011 at 16:10. Reason: more information
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Old 5th May 2011, 16:15   #23
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

It is easy to generalise and say that Indians have ability or lack creativity or even that our country lacks good roads. While many of these statements are subjective, the crucial point is not any one of these. Can India become a car design hub ?

The answer does not depend on any one factor.

1. Indian companies (with exceptions) need not be interested in design centres. A foreign manufacturer can very well decide to establish design centres here. It only depends on when they finally decide that it makes econonic sense to shift to here.

2. The chief designers can (initially) be foreigners. Don't tell me that we won't get enough talented people to work under them.

3. I personally don't think that Indians are less creative than anyone else. Think of our artists or ehtnic designers. It is just that there is less exposure and less opportunities to expess their creativity as well as less guidelines to work under.

4. The design centres would not be designing to meet Indian standards. They can be European or American standards.

5. The design and quality guidelines would be set by the parent company. We are very good at meeting specifications. Our IT firms are good examples. Contrast this with the average non-IT product developed in India. The difference is that the former is designed to a specification laid down by someone else for use in another country. Sufficient quality control would necessarily be there.

6. There need not be too many very good roads for setting up a design centre. The same condition would apply to a global manufacturing centre also. Some testing can be done on the expressways or highways or even test tracks. And, the quality of Indian roads is definitely going up. It might also be possible to conduct tests abroad.

In the current global scenario, we can not predict with certainty what might or might not happen. Most factors however favour India to becoming a design hub.
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Old 5th May 2011, 17:35   #24
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

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Originally Posted by iSpoke View Post
Have you ever heard something like "Nano"?
yep, I know anybody will immediately jump to argue that yeah the same car that catches fire, right? And there lies the roots of modern India's culture!

Yes we can! But it will definitely going to take much more time.
I was probably taking on a different note when I said that TATA has done nothing. Let me make my point clearer here:

I love the Nano for what TATA and NANO have done for India. Forget that it catches fire, but it is the right kind of Car for a country like ours. They hit the nail on the head right. We still need a little more time for accepting what they have done.

But, Nano is still a package that TATA has built for which they get parts done from everywhere in the world. Bosch still designs those engines. IDEA still designs their car shapes. TATA being a global brand can make business out of NANO package.
The TATA ACE can also be a very good example for a TATA package. Not NANO alone.

But my point was that TATA has not done any considerable progress when it comes to R&D for automobiles.
Say: Designing engine components or Designing aerodynamics, body parts, or suspension components etc.

I guess we have a bigger problem to solve. And packaging will do great for India than R&D, as we are only catching up on the Automobile front. We were easily 50 years behind when it came to machine manufacturing when compared to Countries like Germany/ Sweeden/ Finland etc.

I would say, we will leave these stuffs to the experts. We must be concentrating on bigger problems that we have. TATA is making great strides by addressing them.

Pardon me if I have written something wrong here.
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Old 5th May 2011, 17:38   #25
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

I think this thread has deviated from what the OP meant. Wasn't the question about the industrial design and not the component or machine design ? As the all three are quite distinct.

Industrial design (looks, touch & feel) needs a mix of ingenuine creativity and always focus on the usefulness. A different kind educational background is needed for this stream of design as compared to component/ machine design.

Some may ask (and may also give examples) that creativity is never bounded by education and there have been a number of creators who couldn't get good education. But we are talking about India being design hub in future and that definitely means refinement and commercialization of design. For this to happen the creators have to be trained in concepts (like importance of proportions, functionality of each proportion in a car design) and tools to put their design in virtual world to visualize it and refine it before taking it any further. There are many institutions that offer such kind of courses, one of the prime being Industrial Design Centre at IIT Bombay.

I can share my viewpoint on comment on component/ machine design too (based on my experience in this field), but I think that may off topic considering the OP.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:23   #26
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

A Big YES from me. For years I have hoped that India could one day become a design hub for the world, and now that you ask then my answer is a definitive yes. We have designing in our genes, but those genes got hidden somehow during the past few centuries. Right here on T-BHP guys have shown us pictures of temples, forts, palaces, and monuments that boast of designs that are held in awe even today. Indians have shown caliber in all types of design assignments abroad: both technical and artistic. Here in our own country these talents get buried below mounds of corruption and bad politics; and I can well understand the emotion of nay sayers. But, I am sure these talents will bloom once design assignments come home; just like it did in the case of IT.
Cheers.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:38   #27
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

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Also, most importantly, in my view, we lack the zeal to provide impeccable quality. How many of our engineers do follow the precision in its true sense, especially manufacturing.
That statement nails it.

This topic is really close to my heart as I was once that wide-eyed kid who knew he was going to design cars when he grew up. Never having a doubt in my skills, I went on to become a mechanical engineer with the aim of attending some renowned college later to learn more about designing. Long story short, I am not working as an engineer/designer. I left that field altogether after feeling disillusioned. I don't wish to go into details, but want to share my random rants on design.

I personally feel that we have not matured enough as a nation/culture to appreciate good designs. There are lot of enthusiastic people around who take up garage projects and then end up feeling satisfied with mediocre results. Gaudy and tacky best describe most of the attempts at auto design by Indians (cars and bikes included). We seldom appreciate cars for their external beauty, rather judging them based on the price and brand (NHC, ANHC, older Corolla). We are so easily impressed by any car that our favorite bollywood celebrity is driving. Our environment and surrounding make a lot of difference too. I don't believe that design has to be in our genes, but what we are exposed to on a day-to-day basis affects our perception of a good design. Like one member mentioned in this thread before me, just look at our badly designed cities, streets, houses, pickup trucks, rickshaws/buses/commercial vehicles and almost everything else. How can we expect a child to grow up and have a sense of "good" design.

One more thing to blame is the lack of resources at our disposal. A typical highschool graduate kid living in USA, trying to restore or redesign a car as a summer project has easier access to resources, tools and guidance than an engineering graduate here in India. Few years later when they are both at a design institute, guess who has a better practical and hands-on experience with designing?

To the member who gave the example of Korean auto industry: Only in last 2-3 years have they started to come up with designs that are somewhat innovative, before that the Korean designs were just average or copycat at best. Matiz and Optra were not designed by Koreans.

And this is strictly my personal opinion, but the quality of new auto designs is going down the drain everywhere. Maybe our generation simply doesn't have a good aesthetic sense or maybe I am living in the shadow of past beauties.
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Old 5th May 2011, 23:25   #28
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

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Design is like Wine. You need to learn to appreciate it. And that habit doesn't come overnight.
Totally digging your quote there. Well said!
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Old 6th May 2011, 07:32   #29
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

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This topic is really close to my heart as I was once that wide-eyed kid who knew he was going to design cars when he grew up. Never having a doubt in my skills, I went on to become a mechanical engineer with the aim of attending some renowned college later to learn more about designing. Long story short, I am not working as an engineer/designer. I left that field altogether after feeling disillusioned. I don't wish to go into details, but want to share my random rants on design.
Completely agree with each and every word you have mentioned (pretty aligned to what I posted earlier).

And I agree that designer mind need not be attributed to the genes. I feel, the influence /sensibilities come from the culture / surroundings we grow up. Itís quite possible that India can be a design hub for automobiles which are directed to our own market. But the opening post is about India being an international design hub.

To sum it up, this is what I feel. India can be an International design hub:
1) For products which are conceptualized and supervised by someone who are aligned with the brand sensibilities. And that could be a major cost advantage for those players.
2) For products which are aimed at certain markets. For e.g.; a car which is done for India and some markets like Latin America.
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Old 6th May 2011, 08:53   #30
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Default Re: Will India become a design hub in the future?

A topic very close to my heart, and ofcourse, it's a hornet's nest, full of varied opinions and ideas. Here's my take on the topic:

Like many ppl here(tbhp), I too grew up going ga ga overs cars in my childhood, made it through my education, and have even successfully attained what I hoped to, i.e work in an automotive design firm, and one of the biggest too perhaps. And from my experience, it's been a great journey so far, and all the ppl I've met so far and almost equally, if not more, enthusiastic about cars and automotive stuff

Now coming over to the topic, as AutoNoob has put it, has many different aspects, and true that in the field of Industrial Design (ID), we are still a long way off from the European designs. However, in this age of communication, we have been able to close the gap, and in my opinion, will soon be able become a design hub

As someone else has put it, we need to develop brand India, i.e like Germans are known for god engineering, Italians for great aesthetics, we need to come up with Indian designs, which are special to India

One thing we do need to change is our 'Chal ta hai' attitude. We need to design and engineer our products to suit the user and not the other way round.

India is on it's way to becoming a design hub and I totally believe in it
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