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Old 5th November 2013, 15:56   #46
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Default Re: Why are most European cars Unreliable in India

Originally Posted by eq24 View Post
As some one rightly pointed out what happens when in a few years our markets really mature and people realise that a European car for all its niceties is a nightmare to own and the Jap/Korean competition is so much better.
Realisation methinks has already dawned on this fact in our market.
Look at the sales of the Jap/Korean hatches and small and mid sized sedans vis a vis their European counterparts.

This thread brings very aptly brings out all my desires and fears - I would also have considered a European car when I changed mine last year, but for those fears (of costs and reliability issues).
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Old 5th November 2013, 17:17   #47
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Default Re: Why are most European cars Unreliable in India

Originally Posted by avisidhu View Post
While I agree with other points in your post, not sure about these two. I'm quite certain the european cars in our country are less abused compared to japs and koreans. Their reputation as high maintenance vehicles preceeds them, and euros are (arguably) generally purachased by city dwelling educated folks.
Who give it to their chauffeurs.
I live in Mumbai. Half the cars are germans around where I live and work.
But they are always driven by the driver - who typically enjoys exploiting the brand value and dynamics (and of course the horn), or kept parked on the side for that odd drive because the owner is too scared to drive it everyday.
Either circumstance isn't too comforting.
I've educated my driver on how to use the DSG, but then again, there are many of my friends - who still won't put the DSG in 'N' at a signal on their cars. I can only assume their drivers are worse.

Also, I have seen many owners buy these cars only for their highway trips because they can handle the roads better - because these cars with their suspension can handle the worst of roads in comfort and higher speeds. But the damage from those bumps and potholes would still be taking place.

Yes, they might be less abused than korean/jap suvs/muvs and taxis, but I think that many privately owned japs are quite well maintained in comparison. Just an observation on the roads, and among my friends.
Just as an example: Compare how Honda Accords/Camry's are driven in the city v/s a C/E/3/5/A4/A6. I am sure you will see more European guys trying to cut you off, or race, or fly over the next pothole.

High maintenance - is a relative term. Most owners are aware of the same, but don't mind paying 10-15K a year more in maintenance for a 20L car - the status symbol, build quality, dynamics, features just make it seem worth it.
Problems only arise when something major goes wrong - which brings us back to square 1.

Don't get me wrong - these cars are not very reliable to start off with. These manufacturers just want to up the other in terms of features, and don't have the same pursuit of perfection that you would find in a Japanese.
I am just saying, that due to poor customer education, and poor service quality of European brands it making it worse, along with the fact that their cars are designed for environments very different from where the bulk of their sales happen.
This is why the Vento will be much more reliable than the Jetta/Passat.

PS: We just got home an Etios, because at the end of the day - the japanese assurance is needed in a house full of Europeans.

Last edited by lamborghini : 5th November 2013 at 17:19.
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Old 5th November 2013, 19:45   #48
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Default Re: Why are most European cars Unreliable in India

In all such comparisons the first argument is that India is a very bad country for a car to live in. Well the fact is that
. Modern European cars have dismal reliability the world over, you have to just read the reliability surveys and the user forums. So it is not just in India.
. Indian climate is not all that bad compared to the rest of the world. The heat is there in US and middle east, the humidity is there at all the coastal regions in the world. In fact it rarely get below zero - a regular feature in West, and extremely taxing on the batteries and the engines. So Indian climate can not to be blamed.
. Indian fuel is blamed a lot of times. But not only do the Japanese and Korean cars run merrily on this fuel, but so do the older Mercedes of 20+ years vintage. So it cannot be fuel.
. Then there is "Made in India". Most of the Japanese/Korean cars made in India, run without much problems. Most of the German cars are "CKD", which should offer some protection against claimed bad manufacturing practice in India, but the Japanese/Korean cars have reliability and the Europeans do not. So it cannot be Indian Manufacturing.

Some components which fail
. The AC of German cars have a life of their own. I know of a number of my friends having German cars whose AC packing up within a couple of years. I have rarely heard of this happening in a Japanese/Korean car.
. The DSG which is failing pretty regularly is a fully imported assembly. Most of the other "Automatic" gearboxes are also full imports. The only thing that could stop an extremely reliable Mahindra Scorpio was it imported Automatic Gearbox.
. The sensors of German cars are mostly imported and fail, many of the sensors of Japanese/Korean cars are made in India and do not fail.

The fact is that modern European cars are built to a cost to an extent that the components keep failing. This was not the case till 20/25 years ago, when the Gernam cars were built like a tank and were quite reliable.
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Old 5th November 2013, 20:05   #49
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Default Re: Why are most European cars Unreliable in India

The "unreliability" issue is not specific to India but Globally. I've seen many peugeot, VW, Fiat owners complain in Kenya as well, reasons being same.

The main reason is that Europeans have been manufacturing products to suit their environment and have little experience when it comes to selling globally.

The case is contrary when it comes to Japanese/Koreans who make products primarily for exporting. The former do not customize or adapt to the respective countries. Neither do they train the local dealers, consider spare availability, enlighten users etc.

On the other hand, Japanese manufacturers consider localization first, which makes the vehicle successful in the respective countries, spares available easily and at a low cost. However, if you consider cars such as Lexus, landcruisers, similar issues are faced, just that because there are few of such cars, belonging to rich people, these issues never surface.

I guess European vehicle markets should manufacture spares locally and customize for the local market. I'm sure these measures would improve their reliability. Our users should also be enlightened/matured on caring for such vehicles. Its just like the way we care for an iPhone vs a cost-effective basic phone!

Finally, European manufacturers believe only in replacement of parts every "x" period, whether or not they're damaged - hence increasing maintenance costs.

Last edited by nitinbose : 5th November 2013 at 20:07.
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Old 12th November 2013, 14:20   #50
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Default Re: Why are most European cars Unreliable in India

Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
The Germans add gadgets to the vehicle and make it more sophisticated and costly to look with the reliability on the electronics more but on the other hand Japanese have low gadgets and rely on the fundamentals of engineering.

Well, looks like Toyota actually caused a death recently due to badly designed ECM: http://www.edn.com/design/automotive...s-consequences
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Old 18th November 2013, 13:47   #51
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Default Re: Why are most European cars Unreliable in India

Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
So Lexus cars are low on tech and gadgets?
That you want to club gadgets with tech, I think, is being convenient. But I will, resist the temptation and, stick to tech and leave out gadgets.

Take for example, DSG. The VW group has been receiving a lot of flak due to their faulty DSG boxes, but "inexplicably", they have been sticking to this new tech. The Japanese are waiting for the technology to be perfected before they make their move. A few more years and they would be in.

A little history would affirm this assessment. Europeans have long moved to complex turbo-diesels, while the Japanese has been reluctant all along and has stuck to simple NA petrol engines. Heck, they don't even seem to have any inclination towards turbo-petrols either. But, am sure, once the technology is perfected, the Japanese would follow.

Actually, the Europeans are culturally very different from the Asians. Japanese, form what I have come to understand during my decade long interactions (vendor-client) with them, is that they don't tolerate mistakes. They are scared to get things wrong. So, they are scared of adopting nascent technologies.

The title of this thread seeks to address the reason for unreliability of European cars, but has turned out to be a praise showering one. It is as though reliability is a secret ingredient that the Japanese has discovered, which they keep safely in their vaults and then put a drop each on the cars when they come out of the factories.

I say, it's cultural.
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