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Old 12th July 2011, 20:43   #1
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Default Maintenance & Spare Parts of Discontinued Cars

@Mods: I have tried to locate a thread which treats this subject on a macro/generic level and was unable to find one. If one exists kindly merge/move this post as you find appropriate. Thank you.


I have been reading about Hyundai Tuscon purchases by a couple of members in a pre-owned condition. Generally one would be very tentative even wary, of such i.e. discontinued vehicles but these gentlemen are none the worse for taking the risk. I am also aware of the thread by GTO on the merits of the pre-owned route.

My question however is what criteria should one employ for deciding specifically on cars whose production has been stopped. What are the maintenance nightmares one could possibly end up with? Maruti Esteem for instance sold by the boatloads, so ideally it's spare parts and maintenance should not be a problem. However what about the folks who are buying the Ford Mondeo? How hard a hit will they have to take if god forbid they have a major breakdown/accident?

Is there a short list of criteria which can be used as a one size fits all kind of filter, to rule out potential problem cases where maintenance in case of a major breakdown/accident is going to end up costing more than the vehicle itself?
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Old 14th September 2011, 15:41   #2
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Default Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

Car manufacturers who wound up their Indian operations and discontinued cars/models.

One's a phenomenon India has seen sparingly : eg. Peugot, Opel, Daewoo (sold-out) and the other's something that is fast becoming a trend : eg. Getz, Zen, City.

I recently called up an A.S.S. for Opel (Chevrolet) to fix up a service appointment for my Corsa; the lady asked whether it was for a routine service or a complaint in particular. Without even waiting for an answer, she said, in case parts replacement was necessary, spare parts availability was a problem and it could take long. While the situation may not be as alarming as she made it sound to be because the dealership is winding up (pun un-intended) its franchisee with Chevrolet, it is still something owners of such cars can ignore.

This problem has cropped up because GM thought - Opel isn't working out in India, let's pull out and throw Chevrolet inside the circus.

A similar problem is also being faced by owners of existing car manufacturers in India but whose cars have been discontinued. I came across a thread where a member had problems sourcing parts for his Estilo (a Maruti product!); despite the eternal Zen having been discontinued only ~5 years ago. Given the fiercely competitive Indian car market, "facelifts" and constant improvements to existing car models is fast becoming a trend. Take the acclaimed City for instance.

If A.S.S. start having problems sourcing car parts, someone relying on independant garages for servicing is going to have a really bad time. And it is indeed reality - a garage I contacted for my Corsa asked for up to a week to source parts if any need replacement.

During a recent conversation with my folks, we were discussing if it was time to replace the Zen and the first thing mum said was, "I'd like a car which doesn't suddenly go out of production"; the exit of Opel, the Estilo that replaced our version of Zen and talks of an imminent City facelift prompted that statement. And there's quite a bit of reasonable logic there.

The average car buyer looks to keep his vehicle for 5 years at least, quite a few even 10. Now, I'm wondering - what does an average Indian customer do? Buy his favourite car and then?? Agreed, the good ol' days when M800, Esteem seemed to have no end have long gone so it would be unrealistic to expect a car model to last 10 years now. But, does it mean, models are discontinued left right and centre?

Isn't it the responsibility of a car manufacturer to ensure spare parts availability/support to each model they have produced? I was once told that spares are available for 10 years post discontinuation - that doesn't seem to be in reality.

To progress in the rapidly evolving car market in India, car manufacturers are changing strategies far too quickly. In the end, I think it is none other the consumer himself who's losing out. He'd consider replacing his ~5 year old car because he fears the car/model will be phased out and support will be an issue.

Imagine the hit the car's resale value will take! Buy a car for 5 lakhs, suddenly the model is phased out and be lucky to sell a ~5 year old car for 1 lakh.

Treasuring a car more than 5 years doesn't seem like a good idea anymore. I'm worried about my Corsa and Zen; and a year or two down the line, maybe the ANHC too!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 14th September 2011 at 15:50.
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Old 14th September 2011, 16:34   #3
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

I really don't care if the car I own is discontinued or is given a facelift. Facelifts and revamps will happen regularly and one should not be worried of getting their cars outdated or something like that. It is like a cycle of birth and death meaning one will die if one has taken birth. Same implies for cars also.

Now the main issue is the availability of spare parts. The manufacturers should provide spare parts supply for at least five years from the date of discontinuation of a model.

Due to this problem people often buys a car whose spare parts availability is not a problem, for example Maruti Alto or any Maruti car. People still believe that it is easier to find Maruti/Hyundai/Tata/Honda spare parts than VW/Fiat/Chevrolet etc.

PS – Some local auto parts manufacturer produces duplicate parts of discontinued cars which are available in the city.
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Old 14th September 2011, 16:49   #4
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

I think there is a law according to which the manifacturers need to ensure spare part supply after production of the car/bike/vehicle ceases.

Not sure what happens if the company goes broke and closes down.
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Old 14th September 2011, 17:06   #5
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

Yes sourcing parts for discontinued car is an issue. One need to put in some efforts to find out a place from where he would buy spares.

Also I'm not at all worried if the car I own gets a face lift or is discontinued. I'm not so worried about resale value either. I would rather favor a manufacturer who discontinue cars/models time to time and bring in latest ones and not some outdated/discontinued cars/models in some part of world as a new car!!
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Old 14th September 2011, 19:49   #6
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

My 2007 santro limited edition met with an accident. I got it repaired at the HMP (Hyundai's Own) Authorized service station.

My rear tail-gate was banged up real bad. There used to be a recess in the rear door, this was the handle to close the hatch, when opened. The replacement part was for a generic santro Xing and missed all the features, that the limited edition had. The Service center told that the part cannot be sourced at all. Similar was a problem for my front window switch, which is ahead of the gear lever (In Limited Edition). The part took 3+ weeks to source and costed 2000/- incl labor and fitment. If this is the state for Hyundai, and that too Santro, which is in production till now, imagine the state of otehr vehicles.
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Old 14th September 2011, 20:04   #7
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

I never prefer to buy a limited edition/special variant/IPL-world cup Variant of any car or bike.

Maruti has offered limited editions in many of its models including Alto, Swift, Ritz and many others which I don’t remember.

There used to be an Alto Variant which comes with red wheel caps. Now does Maruti still provide those OEM wheel caps as spare?
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Old 14th September 2011, 20:11   #8
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

Guys- you are missing the point of the OP. This is a very valid concern and to talk about red hubcaps and "facelifts" is to not give it due seriousness it deserves.

When Daewoo was going under, I know at least a couple of owners who panic-sold their Matizes. Who knew it would be resurrected as the Chevy Spark? My friend let his go for 40K or some equally pathetic amount- he rues it to this day.

I wonder how people source parts for Opels and Premiers and Peugeots that were all launched and then became extinct. Car companies are supposed to a "going concern", so them going away is really alarming

Long-term sustainability of a carmaker and make is definitely something I would consider when making a purchase. Which is why I hesitate to recommend Fiat to anyone in the market: what if they go under? Stop selling the Linea? Fall out with Tat etc. (just an example guys- don't flame me for it!)
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Old 14th September 2011, 20:41   #9
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

The issue is not with frequent facelifts, the fact that my 1-year old car model will have better features or special editions. The issue is not even so much about resale value.

What I wish to discuss is - to what extent does the average Indian customer factor in the threat of the now-common model discontinuation phenomenon while deciding the car. And how do/should car manufacturers plan support for the models they so generously discontinue.

PS : noops - thank you!
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Old 14th September 2011, 20:48   #10
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

Well. when I was buying parts for my zen in 2005, I found that there were small parts for the Matiz like some seals which were easily available at the car parts shops in Hyderabad. These are the really non-descript shops which also deal with refurbished parts. If the part availability is a problem, the consumers will turn to these shops for their requirements.

@libran: Hi , just replied to your pm on pg.
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Old 14th September 2011, 21:00   #11
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Default Re: Of manufacturers who left India and/or discontinued cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnrajdeep View Post
If the part availability is a problem, the consumers will turn to these shops for their requirements.
But this is a situation, no car owner would want to experience in.

1) there is no guarantee on the originality of the parts
2) there is no guarantee on the job
3) finding a garage/mechanic you can trust your car with is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Of course, not all discontinued cars will lie unused/unoperational. But would you really want to live in that fear - the peace of mind on ownership itself would be lost? You wouldn't want to take the car out of the parking lot, lest something break down or someone damage it and you having to run around the town finding a nut!
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Old 14th September 2011, 23:58   #12
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Default Re: Maintenance of discontinued cars and their attractivesness as pre-owned cars.

When buying a second-hand car which has been discontinued, the condition of the vehicle at the time of purchase itself is of prime importance. If for example one picks up a two year old vehicle which is in excellent condition, the likelihood of any major mechanical trouble is very little.

However sourcing parts for cars that have been out of production for a while (like Matiz/Cielo/Nexia/Siena) is pretty difficult, and one generally has to turn to non-OEM parts. This while not ideal, is possible. This situation though should not arise if one does not purchase a vehicle that is:

1. more than 5 years old
2. has been out of production for more than 2 years
3. is from a company that has wound up and exited the country

I believe (not sure, though) that all vehicle manufacturers have to provide spares for 5 years from the time the vehicle is phased out - please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 7th October 2012, 15:30   #13
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Default Re: Maintenance of discontinued cars and their attractivesness as pre-owned cars.

I know, old thread, but a still-valid discussion.

What about websites like http://www.eurocarparts.com ? They seem to have parts for even Daewoo Nexia. Is that reliable? Has anyone in T-BHP have experience buying spares from EuroCarParts?
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Old 7th October 2012, 16:40   #14
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Default Re: Maintenance of discontinued cars and their attractivesness as pre-owned cars.

Hmmmm,

I had thought this issue was not of much significance and had been given a quiet burial. Interesting someone has found it relevant enough to resurrect it.

I am wondering aloud and please feel free to correct me if anyone has knowledge which is more accurate/contemporary. Scrap dealers carrying inventories of spare parts of discontinued vehicles are a resource that can prove very handy for people in predicaments which the subject of this thread is referring to. They are also a resource for people looking for discontinued vehicles and wishing to refurbish them and upgrade their rides.

If any member has had the need to deal with such scrap dealers and can list their details here it can prove a life saver so to speak.

Coming back to the subject of this thread, I have been seeing adverts of more than 15 years old Mitsubishi Pajeros' AT with most likely 100-150K on the Odo even though the adverts claim otherwise, available at prices which are quiet low. The reason for me being attracted to them being - a spine related condition which has restrained me from driving so I need to look at an AT option and it has to fit within the constraints of my budget. Now if these old workhorses can be refurbished , they being available at a price which is almost a pittance so to speak, does it make sense to look this way? Should I decide to look this way, is the probability of the parts being available high enough to warrant the risk?

Last edited by RS_DEL : 7th October 2012 at 16:53.
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Old 1st May 2013, 07:37   #15
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Default Spares availability for cars sold in India

So you finally went ahead and purchased your most coveted car! After a couple of years, you'd see the company launch new models and after a couple of more years, you car becomes "middle-aged"

After such a timeline, what are the chances of us getting spares for our vehicles? What is the duration the dealer would be able to source the spares for our particular model?

I'm confident about Toyota and have even seen people buying spares for the Qualis, however, how can we rank other manufacturers in this respects?

I'm more concerned with manufacturers such as the VW group, Nissan, Renault etc.

Any thoughts/suggestions/experiences to be shared?
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