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Old 22nd July 2006, 15:26   #1
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Default Indian IT pros don't buy flashy cars

I saw this news item on rediff and my first reaction was what BS, but then I gave a second thought.

I wondered what would I do if I had their kind of money. I am also an IT pro, but not that rich. No really, I took loan for my Baleno. I think I too wouldn't go for a flashy car, if I had access to infinite money, I think I'll mostly stick to C+ segment or at the most D segment, but within 20L. Don't know how to explain it, but that's what I think I will do. There is precedence, while abroad I settled for Acura 3.2TL after seriously considering BMW 328i and Lexus I300. I somehow couldn't bring myself to spend more money eventhough I could afford it.

How do I explain this. It is possible this behavior is specific to IT pros from 90s and before, where most of us came from middle class families that rarely owned cars. It may be also possible that most IT pros are not interested primarily in cars.

I am interested in thoughts members may have on this topic. I am basically trying to find out what kind of thoughts go through your head when you have to spend your own hard earned money on expensive cars. Do IT pros think differently or is it the family background that influences your choice.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 16:44   #2
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IMO - The article seemed to try simplify things too much. Lot of IT guys may be getting good salaries, but most of them are the first generation like that. There would be other things that are also priority, esp a house. Looking at the cost of real estate in cities like Blr today, the choices that the guys have for cars isnt surprising. Many would be doing a house and a good, new car at the same time, unlike our parents who would have got a house first and much later thought abt cars, if they got a car. In case of couples, they may be having two cars.

Also, the VFM factor would remain. The car has to still be VFM - something good, but not like pouring money on something that you can hardly enjoy to it's full capability.

Personally, I dont think that one's position in company would have had anything to do with the choice of cars that a person has.

Hey - there's another one here who's had an Acura 3.2TL!

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Old 22nd July 2006, 16:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
I saw this news item on rediff and my first reaction was what BS, but then I gave a second thought.

I wondered what would I do if I had their kind of money. I am also an IT pro, but not that rich. No really, I took loan for my Baleno. I think I too wouldn't go for a flashy car, if I had access to infinite money, I think I'll mostly stick to C+ segment or at the most D segment, but within 20L. Don't know how to explain it, but that's what I think I will do. There is precedence, while abroad I settled for Acura 3.2TL after seriously considering BMW 328i and Lexus I300. I somehow couldn't bring myself to spend more money eventhough I could afford it.

How do I explain this. It is possible this behavior is specific to IT pros from 90s and before, where most of us came from middle class families that rarely owned cars. It may be also possible that most IT pros are not interested primarily in cars.

I am interested in thoughts members may have on this topic. I am basically trying to find out what kind of thoughts go through your head when you have to spend your own hard earned money on expensive cars. Do IT pros think differently or is it the family background that influences your choice.
Hi,

1. I think family background is an influencer. I come from a middle class family myself. My father had cars but 2nd hand cars, never a first hand car. I am looking out at Corolla/Civic segment, not beyond.
2. Another reason is practicality. Even at this stage I shudder to think of all the city woes.
3. Fuel is not exactly cheap in India.
4. Taxes are high.
5. Indians are lower risk takers in terms of debt.

subbarp.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 17:06   #4
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forget flashy cars, i know more than a hanfsul of fully qualified actuaries who don't even own a car!!

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Old 22nd July 2006, 17:14   #5
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A good friend of mine is one such person and I keep pulling his leg because he drives the Dubai taxi (Camry) despite living in a place thats worth at least 20 times more.

After 2 years of incessant sledging and a recent drive in my humble V8, the gentleman is finally "considering" a 5 series - albiet VERY reluctantly. I believe he cant digest the attention that comes with it. I'm still pushing him to buy an M5 because its discreet enough if he's buying a 5 - not many people will know the difference and he's a person that enjoys driving like some of us.

I think its a good trait to have.

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Old 22nd July 2006, 17:14   #6
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It's our society basically. Where one's wealth or status is judged by the car he owns. I for instance, did nto dare buy a Honda while I was working for someone because my Boss had a old Esteem. I couldn't risk buying a spaking new car that is better than his... though he never would have cared.

Nobody thinks twice about buying a big apartment though...
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Old 22nd July 2006, 19:52   #7
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Nice thread, Samurai and one I would agree with. My roomie in boston is an IT Pro and could easily afford a far better car than the Accord that he drives. After pushing him for years, he is finally contemplating between a 'Vette and a BMW. I think a lot lies in the conservatist attitude of IT pros. Why only cars...I have not seen too many IT Pros with a flashy lifestyle.

Without meaning to offend any, I think it also has a lot to do with the religious background and upbringing. Security in the form of land assets and solid investments means a lot to some backgrounds. And the flashiest people I have come across are Gujjus and Punjus. I am a Gujarati myself.

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Old 22nd July 2006, 21:36   #8
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Default More thoughts on IT pro's .. like me

Auto's and travelling, and having fun this way are also lifestyle activities in countries like US. [I refer to US mostly because that's one place I have seen]. The geographic diversity and the size of countries like these also contributes a lot to the way they travel and tour, and hence their attitudes towards cars. This is one of the differences we have. While we do have the diversity, in a smaller geographic area, we still dont think about travel and automobiles the way they do. And this contributes in hugely to why we see automobiles more as a means of transportation. And why one settles for a relatively conservative set of wheels.

I, like many others who have lived in the US, have also supported folks back home. Earnings are split, and hence one doesnt enjoy as much as one can, while he is there. While I did enjoy my cars and did my travelling, I sometimes feel coming up short on savings and stuff. Others would have focussed more on building assets. While a select few have done both.

I have heard of IT pro's having bought more than one flat here in Blr - as an investment. If I were doing something like that, I would also have been conservative in my choice of a car ..

Yes, lot has to do with our social background and upbringing.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 22:01   #9
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Hi,
first of all, a very nice thread to start with. Below are my own observations and what I felt could be the reasons.

1. Indians even now are conscious about money (although I am seeing things changing quite a bit now a days) and consider VFM more important. Hence a car which will always depreciate would make them (well most of them) think n-times (n would probably tend towards infinity!!!) before shelling out money for expensive car. They would rather spend the money on some assets like land which has a better chance of appreciation.

2. In India I have found that it is better to lead a non-flashy life-style rather than standing out in the crowd for you own safety. The more attention one attracts (at least regarding display of wealth) puts greater risk. At least in US even if you buy a BMW/Merc/Volvo/Lexus you would be still one of many whereas in India you would be amongst the elite few.

3. Infrastructure --- with the pathetic roads and hopeless traffic I don't know whether anybody really would have much of driving pleasure. Chances are it would take that person longer time to reach destination since it would need real careful driving.

Anirban
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Old 22nd July 2006, 22:13   #10
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Hmmm, I come from a middle class family too and I'm not sure I would buy a large sedan myelf. I would prefer a hatch or a 600cc> bike considering the traffic conditions here. But if I were outside the country I suppose I'd have no restricions.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 22:35   #11
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Question number 1: What's a flashy car in Indian context?

Question number 2: What should be someone's minimum income (monthly) to buy a so called flashy car?
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Old 22nd July 2006, 22:39   #12
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Smile Simple explanation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
I saw this news item on rediff and my first reaction was what BS, but then I gave a second thought.

I wondered what would I do if I had their kind of money. I am also an IT pro, but not that rich. No really, I took loan for my Baleno. I think I too wouldn't go for a flashy car, if I had access to infinite money, I think I'll mostly stick to C+ segment or at the most D segment, but within 20L. Don't know how to explain it, but that's what I think I will do. There is precedence, while abroad I settled for Acura 3.2TL after seriously considering BMW 328i and Lexus I300. I somehow couldn't bring myself to spend more money eventhough I could afford it.

How do I explain this. It is possible this behavior is specific to IT pros from 90s and before, where most of us came from middle class families that rarely owned cars. It may be also possible that most IT pros are not interested primarily in cars.

I am interested in thoughts members may have on this topic. I am basically trying to find out what kind of thoughts go through your head when you have to spend your own hard earned money on expensive cars. Do IT pros think differently or is it the family background that influences your choice.
Greetings Samurai - from one IT Pro to another!

Its simple really. In the US, if on deputation, we earn - lets say, $ 8000 per month. Now the cost of a Honda Accord is abt $18000 roughly. Thats a conversion ration of 1:2.25.

Vroom over to India/Bangalore, I definitely dont get $ 8000 * 46.6 = Rs 3,72000 per month for the same job. How much is a Honda Accord here? Abt Rs 18 lakh onroad. The conversion ratio becomes atleast if not more than 1:18 . Suddenly the same choice now loses its VFM option here.

The same analogy applies to fuel costs, cost of using infrastructure, local conditions unsuitable for driving etc. The net result of all this is, perhaps an NRI returning to India might strive to maintain the same quality of life/choices etc from the US for a maximum of 2 years. After that reality bites and people tend to homogenize their choice in line with the masses.

Having said that, I do own a flashy car - a gleaming black Swift with flashy chrome alloys
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Old 22nd July 2006, 22:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen
Question number 1: What's a flashy car in Indian context?
For me anything above Corolla/Civic category is flashy, I guess it changes from person to person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen
Question number 2: What should be someone's minimum income (monthly) to buy a so called flashy car?
More than monthly income, I think it is the ability to pay cash down. I somehow can't imagine somebody buying flashy cars on loan.

Although I recall a story told by my boss. When he graduated from grad school in late 70s, one of his Indian classmate bought a brand new corvette after getting his first job (US$18K/year). He apparently was paying more than 50% of his salary towards loan/insurance payments. My boss on the other hand bought his first new car after 13-14 years of working, he still has that car. He has owned only 3 cars in nearly 30 years, current one is a 93 Volvo. Fortunately, his wife has changed many cars, minivans, SUVs and currently owns an Acura RL.

Last edited by Samurai : 22nd July 2006 at 22:56.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 23:22   #14
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I agree. Its a lot about how much your earn. The Income to Cost-of-Car ratio is very high in US compared to India so one can afford to buy much better cars. However if one looks at Indians in US, a lot of them can afford to buy much better cars but end up buying Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords which are very bland cars in US context. So, higher income is not enough. Propensity to spend is usually lower for Indians. I would wager that upbringing has a lot to do with it.

In my opinion, cars in D segment (Laura, Accord, Camry, CRV etc) or higher are flashy in Indian context. I also believe that one should have two to three times the cost of the car as Annual salary to afford flashy cars. The above is based on the assumption that people wouldn't mind spending around 10% to 15% of their income on car (EMI, Insurance etc)
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Old 23rd July 2006, 00:35   #15
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Well I am an Indian IT Pro living here for the last 8 yrs, out of which i have been working for 5. I come from a well off family but that was not until recently. Have lived most of my life in a middle class family.

I guess it boils down to personal choices and how your parents were. In my case, my dad was a spend thrift and my mom was a savor, so i got both qualities and hence my lifestyle is better than 95% of the indians here, I spend on eating, clothing, cars, vacations and other stupid expenditures to the fullest but at the same time i do make sure i save enough to get by. Indians are not in a habbit of taking much risk, they want to be safe, its not always the best bet.

I live my life as it was my last day(well not really, i am a lazzy a$$), but still close to it, so when it comes to spending, i will. I earn descent money and wouldnt ever have a problem in spending as much as i earn on things i like, hence my collection of cars are pretty much close to what i earn.

Indians love to see money in their bank rather than make use of it to live life, I have a friend who earns more than me, but lives worse than my servent would, reason being he is scared all the time and for him he likes to see the money under his @$$ rather than make use of it for his life...I mean my Q to him is what if you die tom, whats all that money good for you.

Anyhow in india its more difficult to spend on a flashy car considering salary, but it has become much better than it use to be. Before people with good money didnt want to spend more than 3-4L on a car, but now people with much less money are spending 8-10L on cars and everything else, thats y you are seeing all the boom in the economy, its all the extra disposable income with husband wives working and all kinds of people getting jobs, this is only going to grow and people will understand the ways of life and how to live life to the fullest...slowly but surely...and all the banks will really help...

Last edited by 1Day : 23rd July 2006 at 00:38.
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