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Old 18th November 2013, 22:01   #61
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I have a question, the discussion seems to assume that German means a luxury vehicle with cutting edge technology.

It is more sensible to do a like to limee comparison. So is a Swift/ City more reliable than say a Polo/ Vento. They have similar levels of tech and I don't see the Germans being particularly unreliable or expensive to maintain ( pls dont bring tsi into the equation yet, as we don't hacee similar tech from the Japs)

The second point is about dealer attitude, which varies from city to city and also by dealer. I remember how Maruti used to have a devil may care attitude till late 90s before competition from Korea as well as from within dealers improved things. Germans do not have many dealers and hence their monopilistic attitudes are ruiningbit for customers. While this is no excuse for a shoddy service, I feel the manufacturers are taking steps to correct this ( delisting authorised dealers with poor response, etc).

However given how capital intensive these businesses are, unless there are a lot of takers for these dealerships, company cannot do much. So they are tied-up with some dealers in spite of bad service attitudes, as there are no other takers for dealerships in these cities.

Disclaimer: I own a Polo, my dad has an i10 and a very close friend as a new gen swift. I have not found Polo to be expensive to maintain compared to other two cars ( incl. small repair jobs not involving paint). Also service exp has not been worse ( in fact lobby area, workshop exp is better for me)
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Old 18th November 2013, 22:53   #62
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

I feel the words "NEED NOT" must be deleted from the title of the thread. What do you mean they need not? Have they told you their official policy that they need not provide good service. Or, are you endorsing that they need not? You make it sound like we are begging for service. It is their duty to provide good service. It may be a different matter that they are not doing right now. I think words "Need Not" must be dropped and "will not" must be replaced by "may not". We can only speculate that they will not improve. How can we confirm that they WILL NOT improve?
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Old 19th November 2013, 06:24   #63
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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What do you mean they need not?
This point is clearly mentioned in Point no:10.

GTO narrates his nightmares with Merc here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...enz-india.html (My problems with the Mercedes C180. And Mercedes Benz India.)
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Old 19th November 2013, 10:46   #64
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
This point is clearly mentioned in Point no:10.
I re-read your point no 10 and it sounds presumptuous to say "once you reach the levels where you have to make a statement with your car" because I know folks who are close friends who did not buy the car to make a statement (but there are many who do). Nor have they reached any level

You have also left out VW from point # 10 - so your logic of why Germans need not give good service will not be applicable to VW; because as per your statement only Audi, MB and BMW owners buy to make a statement, service be damned; and hence VW (or Skoda) owners do not by only to make a statement and hence care about service. Which means some Germans will care about service.

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Old 19th November 2013, 11:02   #65
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I re-read your point no 10 and it sounds presumptuous to say "once you reach the levels where you have to make a statement with your car" because I know folks who are close friends who did not buy the car to make a statement (but there are many who do). Nor have they reached any level
As youíve rightly said there are many who do. And yes, a few that donít. Exceptions make the rule always.


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You have also left out VW from point # 10 - so your logic of why Germans need not give good service will not be applicable to VW; because as per your statement only Audi, MB and BMW owners buy to make a statement, service be damned; and hence VW (or Skoda) owners do not by only to make a statement and hence care about service. Which means some Germans will care about service.

Cheers,
That was an omission. VW and Skoda are included. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 19th November 2013, 11:20   #66
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
As youíve rightly said there are many who do. And yes, a few that donít. Exceptions make the rule always.

That was an omission. VW and Skoda are included. Thanks for pointing that out.
But then your logic is contradictory because VW and Skoda owners will care about service; and hence "Germans need not give service" is wrong.

Generally, to say "Exception makes the rule always" is to create an escape hatch for a claim in case it goes wrong!

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Old 19th November 2013, 11:21   #67
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
That was an omission. VW and Skoda are included. Thanks for pointing that out.
Not exactly. Audi, VW, Skoda are the same stable. Porsche and RR (or is it Bentley) and (I think) Bugatti have semi-independent status under VW.
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Old 19th November 2013, 11:23   #68
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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No company tells you upfront what it will cost you. The representative costs are available with all manufacturers. I used mediocre for German service as well. Don't take it literally. It just means "better product, ok service" vs "ok product, better service." While we are at it, you calling German service shoddy isn't appropriate either. Peace.
Actually, I had no problem with the word as such nor did I mean it was inappropriate. I know you didn't mean anything bad and in fact it's definitely better than 'shoddy'. What I really meant was you can't term something mediocre just because it's not state of the art. We should call it proven and tested
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Old 19th November 2013, 11:57   #69
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
Lack of Reliability:
Why do german cars have relatively lower levels of reliability?
This is a problem associated in giving customers cutting edge technology.
Technology that is beneficial to the customer but at the same time not yet completely proven and therefore prone to unreliability. It’s a trade off, you can either play safe like the Japanese and provide proven but relatively older technology but at the same time highly reliable.
For instance, the new (yet to be launched in India) S class comes with a lot of new technology that is not present in the existing S class such as Magic Body Control - a nice term for the technolosy used to soften the suspension before bumps , Active Body Control - a second active suspension system to level the car, , Bas plus cross traffic assist – automatically stopping the car with traffic that comes at it even at 90 degrees etc and many many more.
How much of this would be reliable in India’s hot and humid conditions ? Only the guinea pig also called “customer” will answer that question.
Just trying to understand what is your expectation from this thread. Are you trying to say that:
1) Buyers exercise caution before buying a German owned automobile, or completely boycott those products?
or
2) German brands should stop selling their cars in Indian market, or probably sell models which are a couple of generations old (and hence lesser technology)?
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:22   #70
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by diffsoft View Post
But then your logic is contradictory because VW and Skoda owners will care about service; and hence "Germans need not give service" is wrong.

Cheers,
Everybody cares about service, be it a BMW, Audi or Merc owner too. It is common knowledge that you will not get good service from the germans. And the germans know that we are aware of the fact that we wlll not be getting good service from them but still have NO CHOICE but to buy their cars if we are interested in driving pleasure, or to make a statement or to just enjoy the levels of luxury that their cars provide. So they are aware that they NEED NOT give us good service but we will still buy their cars because we have no choice.



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Just trying to understand what is your expectation from this thread.
Read the second sentence in the opening paragraph of this thread.
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Old 19th November 2013, 12:23   #71
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

I thing this thread needs to be slapped back into the fact that cutting edge technology is NOT equal to beta product version with yet unresolved bugs.

I also wish to know which technology prowess are the people referring to here, when they claim that latest technology = car break down more frequently.
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Old 19th November 2013, 13:09   #72
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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I thing this thread needs to be slapped back into the fact that cutting edge technology is NOT equal to beta product version with yet unresolved bugs.

I also wish to know which technology prowess are the people referring to here, when they claim that latest technology = car break down more frequently.
A turbo charger spins in the range 100K - 250K rpm. It is an insane speed for a mechanical component. It is not a beta product, just the operating conditions are severe and it has to be produced within budget.

Same with DSG. It has tons of actuators, sensors, electronics all housed in a compact package that needs to work at lightening speed under harsh conditions and should cost less than say 1 Lakh.

I can add adaptive suspension to this list.

Another frequently failing component is AC but my guess is they have improved these to match the Indian climate. This is relatively low tech and I am sure you will hear less of these AC problems in German cars.

They are not NASA and drivers are not floating in space so 99.99% reliability is doesn't meet the cost-benefit criteria. A failure of turbo, DSG, suspension, etc. just requires basic roadside assistance, in majority of the cases the cars can be driven in "limp-mode" so you are not stranded.

Yes, you can perfect these components to provide 99.99% reliability and make within budget eventually but by that time no one really is excited about it.

Last edited by androdev : 19th November 2013 at 13:11.
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Old 19th November 2013, 13:23   #73
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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A turbo charger spins in the range 100K - 250K rpm. It is an insane speed for a mechanical component. It is not a beta product, just the operating conditions are severe and it has to be produced within budget.
But my understanding till now was that countless Turbo diesels that I have come across (since 90s) were all with turbo chargers.
Doesn't carry the same horror stories ...
Quote:
Same with DSG. It has tons of actuators, sensors, electronics all housed in a compact package that needs to work at lightening speed under harsh conditions and should cost less than say 1 Lakh.
Direct Shift Gearbox is ultimately an automatic transmission.
If it jams/doesn't work as intended then don't you think it is still a beta product?
I came across a thread that was talking about global recall of some DSG ... because of frequent failures.
I mean if the car doesn't move at all, what is the point in having this technology?
Quote:
I can add adaptive suspension to this list.
Same concept as above, if the suspension fails (or is prone to failure) shouldn't it only appear in the concept cars of auto shows?
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Another frequently failing component is AC but my guess is they have improved these to match the Indian climate. This is relatively low tech and I am sure you will hear less of these AC problems in German cars.
ACs have been here since 1950s, and anyone not able to make a reliable one (same goes for window/split home ACs) deserves to sweat it out everyday in the blistering heat of Delhi's heat in May/June.

The fact that initial batches of german vehicles came with such frequent problems = beta product.
Quote:
They are not NASA and drivers are not floating in space so 99.99% reliability is doesn't meet the cost-benefit criteria. A failure of turbo, DSG, suspension, etc. just requires basic roadside assistance, in majority of the cases the cars can be driven in "limp-mode" so you are not stranded.

Yes, you can perfect these components to provide 99.99% reliability and make within budget eventually but by that time no one really is excited about it.
But what about the money I have to spend to get it rectified (after warranty)?
What about the time and effort wasted while the vehicle lies in the garage?
And I am sure there would be lot of consequential damages which would never be covered under regular warranty (whereas the point is that something defective led to consequential damage)

Last edited by alpha1 : 19th November 2013 at 13:26.
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Old 19th November 2013, 13:57   #74
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Interesting thread, I do want to say you are quite correct in your Analogy especially since the points you put do make sense. As a one time user of the Octavia and having burned my fingers with Skoda, I do understand the rationale behind the statement. We bought it because at the time it was considered premium and as far as the service aspect was concerned, Skoda was least concerned. We were lucky and disposed of the car with a not big loss but same can not be said of others we knew. We bought a Civic after that and 1 lakh km plus and the thing just refused to die. So we sold it because we were well bored but the car would have continued.

The problem may not be grave with the Luxury brands as the M B A, as most people owning these cars are rich and one would assume they have the means to get most wrongs righted. Again as Androdev said in a previous post that it is not that people buying these cars are superfluous show offs. They appreciate high end technology and also factor in costs, time and money, to mitigate any faults in such products.

Now coming to the Aam Aadmi Germans (common man Germans), having even a simple problem here can be grievous. Take the lower end VW's and Skodas, these probably will be only vehicles and what is a common man supposed to do when his car fails and sits in the garage for weeks. The impact would be nothing less than catastrophic. Putting your entire life on a hold for the time.

The Germans can not ignore this segment, so I feel packaging should be done to consider reliability as a top priority.

Again are you listening Lexus, Acura and Infinti. It is time to start in India. Instead of the Camry Hybrid, it was the right time to launch the IS hybrid. I drive a Lexus certainly has more ring then I drive an Audi and almost equal with Mercedes.

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
I feel the words "NEED NOT" must be deleted from the title of the thread. What do you mean they need not? Have they told you their official policy that they need not provide good service. Or, are you endorsing that they need not? You make it sound like we are begging for service. It is their duty to provide good service. It may be a different matter that they are not doing right now. I think words "Need Not" must be dropped and "will not" must be replaced by "may not". We can only speculate that they will not improve. How can we confirm that they WILL NOT improve?
It's his analogy and he has clearly stated reasons for the same. It is a stark reality and to be honest when our Octavia had problems my father had to almost beg for those guys at Skoda to help us out. They still did not. Going by sales numbers I think the market has more or less confirmed that they will not improve.


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Originally Posted by androdev View Post

They are not NASA and drivers are not floating in space so 99.99% reliability is doesn't meet the cost-benefit criteria. A failure of turbo, DSG, suspension, etc. just requires basic roadside assistance, in majority of the cases the cars can be driven in "limp-mode" so you are not stranded.

Yes, you can perfect these components to provide 99.99% reliability and make within budget eventually but by that time no one really is excited about it.
But do you really feel road side assistance really exists in all parts of India, what about rural parts?. I belong to Himachal pradesh and such services really are not that good. Most of the times these guys drive from Chandigarah and by the time they reach you and decide to tow the car back, not only is your day gone, lack of basic facilities near by can make life quite challenging and God forbid you have young kids or elderly people, a small holiday can soon turn into an episode of Survivor(Not that dramatic of course, but you get the point).

My point is, and I really do understand your points, in fact you are one of few people on the forum who have really driven a lot from the German range and thus can speak from experience, that people paying a premium for Germans and then facing such reliability problems leave them with a bad taste, some thing if left unchecked for long can transform into real problems for these brands, atleast in the lower end range of cars.
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Old 19th November 2013, 14:54   #75
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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But what about the money I have to spend to get it rectified (after warranty)?
What about the time and effort wasted while the vehicle lies in the garage?
And I am sure there would be lot of consequential damages which would never be covered under regular warranty (whereas the point is that something defective led to consequential damage)
I was trying to explain why introduction of technology (read more moving parts) lowers the reliability in many cases in exchange for superior user experience. If someone wants an electric motor to adjust the seat instead of a mechanical lever, they should also know that an electric motor is not as reliable as a mechanical lever. Sorry you can't have the reliability of a mechanical lever and have the comfort of electrical adjustment. There are million PhDs awarded and still being awarded to make an electric motor cheaper, smarter and more reliable. An electric motor eventually fails, in other words it does not have "infinite mean time to repair". A mechanical lever doesn't, esp a German one ;-) Just because you paid more for an electric motor, you are not entitled to improved reliability compared to a mechanical lever.

I can not possibly offer a simpler explanation on why technology lowers reliability in many cases. An improved lubricating oil lowering the failures of turbo, etc. is an example where technology improves the reliability, so it is a mixed bag.

Coming to "BETA with defects" point: What is beta for you is not beta for others. There are early adopters in every field either they don't care about the risks or they understand the risks. If it is really BETA and unfit for market, do you think these companies would have survived this long with such fan base?

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Originally Posted by eq24 View Post
My point is, and I really do understand your points, in fact you are one of few people on the forum who have really driven a lot from the German range and thus can speak from experience, that people paying a premium for Germans and then facing such reliability problems leave them with a bad taste, some thing if left unchecked for long can transform into real problems for these brands, atleast in the lower end range of cars.
To be honest like all other fellow members who own German cars I wanted to ignore this thread because it is hard to convince others that I am neutral and unbiased. I drive both German and Japanese cars and purchased them after due evaluation. They both approach the customer differently, with equal levels of integrity and thorough competitiveness. I do not see the Germans as thieves that are stealing my money. Some might say I can afford and stuff. But the truth is if I just have 15L budget for my dream car today and just can not deal with car related expenses, I would buy a Polo TSI for 10L and set aside 5L to deal with end-of-world situations. God bless the Germans :-)

Last edited by androdev : 19th November 2013 at 15:10.
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