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Old 9th May 2011, 17:01   #1
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Default Buy @ launch or wait

This query is based on the recent launches and its associated issues reported in the various forums.

Seen the new launches it is surprising to see the issues reported, some are minor niggles in nature while there are many major lapses too.
For example EGR replacemet, head leakage , software upgrades, etc.

Should'nt the new launches be done after an extensive marketing feedback? We have new features added on the newer vechiles leaving the early customers feeling cheated as in some of them the feature cannot be retrofitted even if wanted to at extra cost. Example is the EORVM.

Considering the above two cases,now comes the dilemma, if we are awaiting a new launch (considering no hurry in having one- may not be the primary one), what is the expected time (or is there any) one should await for such issues to be addressed and value add features be available as standard , based on customer feedback ?


Cheers!
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Old 9th May 2011, 17:43   #2
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Few desi manufacturers (TATA & M&M) QC sucks big time, which is why we see niggles and few parts failing initially.

But this is not the case with Suzuki, Toyota, Honda and other manufacturers. Which is why people await the release of these vehicles and buy them immediately when they are launched.

So your buy depends on who the manufacturer is ?

Cheers,
Rajesh

Last edited by 2500cc : 9th May 2011 at 17:57.
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Old 9th May 2011, 18:01   #3
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Considering the above two cases,now comes the dilemma, if we are awaiting a new launch (considering no hurry in having one- may not be the primary one), what is the expected time (or is there any) one should await for such issues to be addressed and value add features be available as standard , based on customer feedback ?


Cheers!
Too specific a question to be generalized IMHO. It really depends on the product itself. For eg: When the New Swift is launched it will already be highly localized and there wont be much upgrades on it. Similar is the case with the New Verna, whereas, cars like the Polo, Vento and Micra or the soon to be launched vehicles from Renault amongst others will continue to receive minor upgrades and corrections based on the increasing levels of localization and better understanding of the market.

On another note, its always better to wait for about 6 months and get some feedback from owners [T-Bhp helps ] and then make a decision.
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Old 9th May 2011, 18:32   #4
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
This query is based on the recent launches and its associated issues reported in the various forums.

Seen the new launches it is surprising to see the issues reported, some are minor niggles in nature while there are many major lapses too.
For example EGR replacemet, head leakage , software upgrades, etc.

Should'nt the new launches be done after an extensive marketing feedback?

Cheers!
I know a number of people who follow this method - Never to buy a product immidiately after its launch. One should wait for others to buy it and use it extensively, so that after the product has been used they will come to know what it lacks or what are the problems associated with it. Bascially they do not want to get surprises when they buy the product early. Even though they might have waited for ages for that product they will not buy it immidiately. Ofcourse one might say how long should one wait or what if a fault is discovered even after waiting for sufficient time. Ultimately it all depends on individuals.
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Old 9th May 2011, 19:19   #5
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Great topic!

If you are fanatic about reliability, it's probably a good option to wait for a while until the manufacturer sorts out initial niggles. While Tata & Mahindra are the worst culprits here, even reliability legends like Toyota & Honda have faced problems with fresh launches in India. Early Innovas suffered big time from excessive smoking problems, while many a Honda Accord (previous gen) were stranded due to dislocated fuel pumps.

Also, look at the brand's track record in reliability. Some brands just can't make reliable cars (e.g. Mercedes) while others are plagued with niggles (e.g. Fiat).
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Old 9th May 2011, 19:26   #6
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Actually there is no hard and fast rule for this. You never know when your car is recalled by the company even after two years of ownership like it happened with owners of Honda City, Maruti Swift and others. Like people who bought ANHC in oct 2008 were lucky that there car was not part of the recall whereas those who bought car after couple of months bought defective car. So it is not necessary that fresh stock would be OK or the later stock is OK. All matter here is luck.
We can expect less niggles from manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, VW etc. There 'may be' more issues with TATA, Maruti cars.

Last edited by bluevolt : 9th May 2011 at 19:28.
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Old 9th May 2011, 20:03   #7
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

All of us may have come across people for whom driving around in the latest set of wheels is a big priority. They are the same guys who will change their cars every 6 months to 1 year max.

Others like us who look to keep a car for the long term would want to be absolutely sure that there are no niggles and the car would run trouble free for years and years. In such a case it would make sense to wait for a couple of months and allow the car company to gather initial feedback and make necessary corrections
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Old 9th May 2011, 20:14   #8
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

About waiting before buying a car that has just been launched, from the technical aspect, I agree, it would make sense to wait while the company identifies and fixes the niggles.

But from the perspective of loading cars with more features, have there been instances where manufacturers have equipped cars with more features almost immediately after its initial launch?

One can say that it is only after about 2 years that a facelift/revamped model (if necessary) hits the market.

With brands like Honda and Toyota announcing recalls for relatively new products, it is obvious that not every new release is niggle-free. So, it would obviously make "sense" to wait a while, realize the problems/shortcomings with a particular and then buy a "fixed" one.

But then, you wouldn't have the "novelty" factor of owning a freshly launched car; especially if they happen to be slightly different like Nano or Etios (a entry-level sedan from Toyota)
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Old 9th May 2011, 20:40   #9
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

It is always better to play the waiting game. I had my own share of experience when i bought my Linea. the starting niggles really bum out the initial ownership experience and make you question your choice.Even the workshop guys are not that "car friendly" as they get to know more about the car few months down the line.
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Old 9th May 2011, 20:43   #10
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

I think that when successful cars abroad are launched in India, the localization may be low. 6 months down the line, the localization may go up. So if you buy at the launch, you will get a car that has more "foreign" parts. In some ways, that may offer better reliability than a 'localized' car.
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Old 9th May 2011, 22:03   #11
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

I personally think it depends on the brand.
Many manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda, etc. seem to have better products at the start. I remember when the Accord and Passat were launched in India, the initial lots were CBUs with better kit and quality.
However, with cheaper cars and other brands such as Fiat, Tata, Mahindra, and even Ford to an extent, it is better to wait till the cars have been tested and the niggles sorted out. Also, waiting longer always results in better deals.
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Old 9th May 2011, 22:13   #12
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
I think that when successful cars abroad are launched in India, the localization may be low. 6 months down the line, the localization may go up. So if you buy at the launch, you will get a car that has more "foreign" parts. In some ways, that may offer better reliability than a 'localized' car.
Yes. I remember swift had imported gear box when it launched in India.
and one more point is when a car is launched its price will be high.It can be because of low localization and there will not be any offers. Ford cars are famous for this.And what about the resale value. Even if we buy one car at a higher premium and having some imported parts depreciation will be same and some times more because of higher maintenance cost.
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Old 10th May 2011, 04:22   #13
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

@devil_klm: Typically the price increases post-launch due to rising costs of material. Unless, the car is towards the fag end of the production line. We were one of the first buyers of the Fiesta TDCi ZXi, and the Classic with similar equipment is only marginally cheaper with apparently cheaper quality parts.
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Old 10th May 2011, 04:37   #14
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Great topic.

Well, I was (and still am) in a similar dilemma. My heart has been set on the Polo 1.6 and when they launched i swore to myself that i would buy one the day they start giving out EORVM.

6 months later the wish came true but at the cost of rear power windows control from driver side and Remote window closing (cant get the term).

So question is how long should one wait before its too late. I strongly believe this could largely depend on the brand and their experience on the targeted segment. Let me explain : With the polo it was VW first entry into the hatchback segment in India, although they had enough market experience from selling quite a few Jetta's and Passats they overlooked some of the basic stuffs that a top of the line hatch should have (eg: EORVM, ACC). And then they bring out upgrades eventually and annoyingly you cant have them fixed if you have already bought your car. On the other end of the spectrum is Maruti, Unless and until competition brings them to their knees they wouldn't bring out any major upgrades. I remember picking up the Swift way back when it was launched and the current spec retains most of the features as is. Dont get me wrong, I love my swift (Despite the rust, the breakdowns, Maruti's initially annoying services, skinny stock tyres, rattling that i'm confident will lead to cancer some day). But the fact is they only tend to change from the initial spec unless and until there is a compelling reason (Competition / public). Even if i'm ready to pay close to a lakh extra for the polo to include ACC, Rear power window control, OEM better system (like em laura's) I cant. I'll have to wait until VW finishes their homework, and decides to incorporate some of the features.

So, its really a matter of experience that a particular brand has with the segment. Could this be failed study, may be.

Last edited by azeemhafiz : 10th May 2011 at 04:41. Reason: missed out my love for Swift.
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Old 10th May 2011, 07:07   #15
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Default Re: Buy @ launch or wait

Excellent topic Volkman!

To an extend the decision can be made based on the spec sheet and also by the literature available on a specific car (online or print media). And as a final step – personal interaction with the car.

Below are some scenarios I can think of:

Buy @ launch:
  • If the car is an international model, and from the reviews and literature, you feel that the machine you’re getting is aligned to what is offered internationally, no harm in booking a car at launch (recent example – VW Passat).
  • Market specific cars, which is on a proven template, and priced to the market. These cars are normally safe to buy at launch, as they are catering to a specific market, and most probably aligned to the needs. These cars generally will have a run of 12-18 months before getting any updates (e.g.; VW Vento, Ford Figo, Fiesta, Toyota Etios etc.)
Worth wiating:
  • An entirely new offering from a manufacturer. Even after endless market studies, sometimes new players in a specific segment may not know if their offer will appeal to the buyers. Price correction, feature updates etc. may follow
  • You know that a next generation model, or facelift is due, and in some cases the new version is already available in other markets (e.g.; VW Jetta, Chevy Captiva etc.)
  • You liked the car, but some specifications which are available in other markets, was not offered in the initial launch. And you feel (or hear) that it could be offered at a later stage (e.g.; Skoda Yeti)
  • Certain CBUs. You feel that the car is not working as a CBU and its possible that it will go via local assembly route, or at the danger of being discontinued.
  • And finally, Look at the track record of the manufacturer. As mentioned in previous posts, some manufacturers are known to take time to stabilize after a new launch.
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