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Old 9th July 2011, 15:31   #1
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Default Why does "What car" matter so much..

Well many of us have owned padminis/ambassador; 800, altos and santros as our first cars and we still get a smile on our faces when we drive/think about them. After all it was our "the FIRST car".

Times have changed and most of us have upgrade cars with time. Great! But at this point in time, where we have the maximum number of choices available ever, have we forgot where we started from. I have a few questions that have always remained unanswered.

1. My brother and me took test drive of A-Star in 2009 and my brother simply rejected the car saying "Maza nahi aaya", (I didnt enjoy it). How easy it was for him to say this? Common, 10-12 years ago an 800/zen looked like its the only thing in the world we wish and now a car much better than 800 and tumko maza nahi aaya (you didnt enjoy it)...INDIA Shinning is it?

2. Whenever I go around in an 800, I can see the attitude of people who dont know me is different than when I am say in cedia, civic, polo or swift? Why, is there anything wrong in going around in an 800? It deserves a sense of respect, afterall its THE CAR that put India on wheels.

3. And the most important point and its in the life of every being in one form or the other. A 5-15 year old kid will need a better car because their friends have it...800/santro/alto me to baithna bhi nahi (they dont even want to sit in 800/santro/alto..) Common, you are not even 15 but you dont want to go in a car which your parents dreamt about.

A 15-25 year old will need better car to show off. Badi gaadi honi chahiye (it should be a big car). My cousin who owns a civic/swift/santro asks for my cedia many a times only because my uncle had taken civic and he doesnt want to go on a new date on swift/santro and even Polo.. Fantastic... Will the gal run away if you go in a small car?

A 25 to 35 year old will need a car because most of the other colleagues have upgraded to a sedan and so they also want to..good, but then the circumstances of other colleagues may be different. I was only 22 and the youngest in the office when I joined. Most of the team was between 27 and 32 year old and owned a maximim of i10. When I bought a cedia, 5-6 of the team mates upgraded to a sedan within a year. What a coincidence... Will people look down upon you just because you have a hatch?

A 35 to 45 year old wants to upgrade their cars for snob value and they feel that their car should be of the same stature as their work post. Another reason that comes in here is that the kids at more than 5-7 years old and they start pressing the parents for better cars. Is it really that imporant to listen to your little kids or own a car of good stature that you will start burdening yourself.

A 45 to 60 year old again has to listen to their 15+ year old kids to upgrade, and despite the fact that many dont want to upgrade their beloved first cars at this point in time, they have to..I really dont have a question for this age group because whetever they do, they do it for their kids without any self interest. A no for an answer only comes when it is impossible, but for most stuff its only yes.

Of course, this is the trend which has come in because of dramatic change in our living standards over the last 10-12 years and will change, but will we forget where we started from and the lovely cars to which we actually graduated from two wheelers..

RESPECT YOUR CAR - You/Your parents bought it with your hard earned money..

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 9th July 2011 at 15:35.
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Old 9th July 2011, 16:25   #2
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Most of the post is highly generalized from a single point of view of a household that has had car(s) already. There are many people who buy car for the very first time very late because of various reasons/priorities. My views/perspective is very different being a first time car buyer at age of 30 after working for 7 years in a job.

I would really pity office/colleagues if they look down on someone, because he drives a smaller car/no car.
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Old 9th July 2011, 16:29   #3
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullfrog View Post
Most of the post is highly generalized from a single point of view of a household that has had car(s) already.
Well, i certainly agree to an extent, but I have seen this trend a lot in delhi atleast .
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Old 9th July 2011, 16:38   #4
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Totally agree with what you say. Our Indian mentality towards cars is funny. Would like to share a few instances:

- A close relative of mine refuses to sit in his dad's Alto. He used to say they should buy a Civic / Corolla / "at least an Elantra". He also refused to touch any bike other than Karizma ZMR - would rather take the bus instead. After a lot of drama he agreed to settle for an Apache RTR

- My best friend asked me, looking at my Figo, "At this price you could've bought a luxury car". I asked him what he meant. He said, "Luxury car means sedan type like Esteem". I was

- My wife threatens to divorce me if I get a Nano. She doesn't mind traveling by bus though
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Old 9th July 2011, 17:12   #5
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
1. My brother and me took test drive of A-Star in 2009 and my brother simply rejected the car saying "Maza nahi aaya", (I didnt enjoy it). How easy it was for him to say this? Common, 10-12 years ago an 800/zen looked like its the only thing in the world we wish and now a car much better than 800 and tumko maza nahi aaya (you didnt enjoy it)...INDIA Shinning is it?
Yes or just changing times. 50 years ago, a cycle was perhaps luxury. 30 years ago the scooter took it's place. 20-25 years ago it was the M800 and today it's a C segment saloon (but not a equally good hatch). Just a change in perspective, nothing else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
3. And the most important point and its in the life of every being in one form or the other. A 5-15 year old kid will need a better car because their friends have it...800/santro/alto me to baithna bhi nahi (they dont even want to sit in 800/santro/alto..) Common, you are not even 15 but you dont want to go in a car which your parents dreamt about.
That's kids being kids. Nothing more than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
A 15-25 year old will need better car to show off. Badi gaadi honi chahiye (it should be a big car). My cousin who owns a civic/swift/santro asks for my cedia many a times only because my uncle had taken civic and he doesnt want to go on a new date on swift/santro and even Polo.. Fantastic... Will the gal run away if you go in a small car?
That's show-off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
A 25 to 35 year old will need a car because most of the other colleagues have upgraded to a sedan and so they also want to..good, but then the circumstances of other colleagues may be different. I was only 22 and the youngest in the office when I joined. Most of the team was between 27 and 32 year old and owned a maximim of i10. When I bought a cedia, 5-6 of the team mates upgraded to a sedan within a year. What a coincidence... Will people look down upon you just because you have a hatch?


A 35 to 45 year old wants to upgrade their cars for snob value and they feel that their car should be of the same stature as their work post. Another reason that comes in here is that the kids at more than 5-7 years old and they start pressing the parents for better cars. Is it really that imporant to listen to your little kids or own a car of good stature that you will start burdening yourself.

A 45 to 60 year old again has to listen to their 15+ year old kids to upgrade, and despite the fact that many dont want to upgrade their beloved first cars at this point in time, they have to..I really dont have a question for this age group because whetever they do, they do it for their kids without any self interest. A no for an answer only comes when it is impossible, but for most stuff its only yes.
I haven't seen this happening. But generally speaking (not a rule) , what your wear, travel in, mannerism tends to depict a picture of how well educated/successful you are. Cars also play a role here. But it's foolish to buy a car if you have to 'burden' yourself.



Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
- My best friend asked me, looking at my Figo, "At this price you could've bought a luxury car". I asked him what he meant. He said, "Luxury car means sedan type like Esteem". I was
Actually, I think that comes from the fact that space is considered a luxury in most small cars being discussed here - the M800, Alto & similar. People still have that perception . So by luxury it automatically translates to a saloon. More space for luggage & passengers (which is generally true). Comfort/safety is still a distant 2nd for most.

Last edited by asr245 : 9th July 2011 at 17:18.
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Old 9th July 2011, 17:17   #6
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

true....

After my 328 was totalled in an accident and i was going for a civic, my friends said...WHAT?? a CIVIC?? Atleast buy an ACCORD!!!

civic was the new launch in 2006 and i liked it....so i bought it. sensible sedan for a family man!

but what about people who make sensible choices with their brains and buy the right car for right kind of needs?
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Old 9th July 2011, 18:21   #7
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Quite an interesting thread!

Agree with asr245, it is merely a changing perspective. Up north, the snob or show-off is more pronounced than the rest hence most of these statements come up.

Dad's first car was std. M800 and man, I adored that piece of machine! I remember when he was due for a car upgrade from office, my happiness knew no bounds when he was going to get a M800 DLX (the one with a/c)!

Completely agree with bullfrog; what about those who still don't have a car!

Many have upgraded from Splendors to Altos, from Alto to Swift and from a Swift to an ANHC.

"What car" is certainly a very crucial decision - but more so, because
1) a LOT of people can afford a LOT of things
2) a lot of importance is attributed to the car
3) since people CAN afford a lot, they don't mind indulging to please their children.

Changing times!
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Old 9th July 2011, 19:03   #8
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Hey Gaurav, nice thread.

Totally respect your views on the changing times and perception of our society. I agree to most of your points but have a slightly tweaked view on some of them.

"1" I don't think there is anything wrong with your brother's rejection of the A-Star. If you are pretty used to drive and live in bigger and better cars, you will certainly not enjoy anything as cramped or light weight as an A-star. When I bought a Scorpio, everything else below it looks cramped and too tiny. Bought a Corolla 2 years later, and I still find it cramped.

"2" I have had the same experience whenever I drive around in my Alto. And I don't think there is anything wrong in driving these tiny hatches when you own bigger cars, but its the way our society is. 10-15 years back, Cielo's and Astra's were luxury cars and were meant only for the rich. You would hardly find 5-7 such cars in a locality, but not any more. Cielo's and Astra's have been replaced by City's and Corolla's and You would hardly find a building or house where atleast 2-3 such cars are not parked. Go to any DDA housing society in Delhi, be it H.I.G. or L.I.G., you would hardly find a slot to park your car.

"3" When you talk about different age groups and their behavior, it is not only limited to cars. Take anything, be it cellphones, clothes, shoes or any X,Y,Z thing related to our lives, you will find the same scenario every where. My point is, that once your are accustomed to, or I would say, spoilt to a certain level of luxury, it is very very difficult to look at anything below that level. Simple example: Till the time there were no Air-conditioners, or were limited to a room or two, it was easy to sleep anywhere in the house, even in peak summers and power cuts were not a big big problem. But once used to sleeping in A/C rooms and travelling in AC cars, it is impossible to adjust without one.

Talking about the show-off thing, I think this evil is not only limited to Delhi, but almost all of North India.
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Old 9th July 2011, 20:04   #9
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Well, change is the only constant.
Almost all your queries suits for those who own a car. For the first-time-owner all these really doesn't matter and this is just being me.
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Old 9th July 2011, 21:00   #10
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullfrog View Post
Most of the post is highly generalized from a single point of view of a household that has had car(s) already. There are many people who buy car for the very first time very late because of various reasons/priorities. My views/perspective is very different being a first time car buyer at age of 30 after working for 7 years in a job.

I would really pity office/colleagues if they look down on someone, because he drives a smaller car/no car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
Well, i certainly agree to an extent, but I have seen this trend a lot in delhi atleast .
I loved reading both of your posts. I could almost visualize your comments. Being an out an out Delhiite (and that too Punjabi), I know what Gaurav is talking about. Having lived in Bangalore for some time, I understand Bullfrog's perspective too.

Guys, its simple.

In Delhi, people want to buy the best car that they can afford. Car trends to be the first thing that people buy when they start their first job/join Dad's business. The extreme weather and 'junta image' of bikes make sure that most people up north don't like driving bikes either.

In Bangalore, people like saving money. I have many colleagues who have traveled multiple times on site, have plenty of Bank balance, have bought properties too. There are a LOT of people who would buy a car, when they absolutely need it(thank god for that else Bangy's already crumbling infrastructure will simply die).

Basically, I am not taking any side. All I am saying is I can understand how a lot of people down south may not relate to the topic much. In general, far too many people unnecessarily link cars to status and social gimmicks. I have nothing against buying aspirational brands and cars (in fact I support it), but only when you can clearly afford it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScorpMan View Post
Talking about the show-off thing, I think this evil is not only limited to Delhi, but almost all of North India.
I think the 'Show Off' thing is over publicized. A lot of people up north make the best use of their money . Simply have as much fun as they can have. I find nothing wrong in that. just as the 'Over Conservative' thing about south is also over hyped.

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle for both north ans south Indians. I would encourage people to refrain from using 'stereotype' images for people coming from a specific region. I get cheesed off when people have preconceived notion about me based on my ethnicity (most of them have little knowledge about my cultural background anyway!).


EDIT: please delete my next post. It was a typo result.

Last edited by Abhi_Automobile : 9th July 2011 at 21:26.
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Old 10th July 2011, 01:29   #11
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Whatever you said revolves around the same point STATUS.
A hatch over a Nano.
A sedan over a hatch.
A civic over an average sedan and so on.

I agree completely, that it is one of the major factors for car sales in India. But you will have to agree a Man is known by the car he drives.
Not by the job he does, not by the person he is. A sorry state of affairs.

This is also a reason why Toyota & Honda sells and why Ford and GM struggles. Apart from A.S.S and reliability the brand makes the difference.

This is also a reason why Audi A4 can be priced much higher than Passart even though both are similar cars.

This is the reason why people buy Scorpio, where Innova is better car.

Having said all these I will have to admit I would still go for A4 instead of passart and Scorpio instead of Innova. After all we are only human.

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Old 10th July 2011, 04:24   #12
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

All the statement here are very true.
-When we got our first car, our close relatives, IIRC 4 of them bought car (1st cars) within 6 months
-When we upgraded from Alto to Wagon-R (Not an real upgrade, I nearlly totaled the Alto in an Accident) one of our neighbor & one of my brother's friend upgraded from M800 to Santro & Esteem
-When we got a Civic our relative sold his 1.5 year old spark and got home a used used Corolla

This is human mentality, which always keep comparing something which is above us. Never looks below

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
My wife threatens to divorce me if I get a Nano. She doesn't mind traveling by bus though
hahaha.
Same here brother. My fiancee is ready to divorce me before getting married if I get a Nano. Status matters
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Old 10th July 2011, 08:45   #13
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Isn't that only natural? To go for bigger & better(perspectives matter).

My first cycle was Hero Jet- a typical bicycle with curved handle bars, then I wanted a BSA SLR, and then a Hero Ranger. I think these were in increasing order of glamour quotient. And all this while Dad was footing the bill.

Next I wanted a bike but settled for LML SelectII. Man, I loved that.

Sense & sensibilities change over time. Having a good cycle was The Thing at one point. Now it is different. I don't think it is right to compare your life with that of younger generation. The way I look at it is my father was more well off than his father.

Last edited by rtandon : 10th July 2011 at 08:46.
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Old 10th July 2011, 11:15   #14
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
I was only 22 and the youngest in the office when I joined. Most of the team was between 27 and 32 year old and owned a maximim of i10. When I bought a cedia, 5-6 of the team mates upgraded to a sedan within a year. What a coincidence...
Aspiration for bigger and better is pretty natural. As people's aspirations have increased, even cars have become bigger. Just look at two very old brands, Civic and Corolla. In 80s they were perhaps smaller than the Swift, today they have grown to pretty large sedans. Aspiration is good, it drives the economy and growth. It is good that all of your colleagues changed to sedans from a hatch, so many people got jobs as a result, money rolled hands.
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Old 10th July 2011, 11:30   #15
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Default Re: Why does "What car" matter so much..

Very good discussion. I think the frequent upgrading trend also has a lot to do with the ease of car finance availability nowadays, as compared to the situation 8-10 years back. More and more Banks are ready to finance any type of car with minimal documentation. This trend will only increase for sure. People really don't mind changing cars for mere snob value due to this ease in financing, even though the depreciation can hit the wallet heavily.

I agree with some of the other posts regarding the Indian society mindset. There is a significant "change in status" perception when we use a 2 wheeler or a low cost car. Don't believe me? Try taking a 2 wheeler inside Leela Palace hotel, Bangalore (they don't allow 2 wheelers inside)

Last edited by KarthikK : 10th July 2011 at 11:32.
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