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Old 1st August 2014, 11:33   #106
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Very relevant thread this one. I personally think the Indian car industry can be split in to ‘pre-swift’ and ‘post-swift’ era. From the point of view of a non-enthusiast back then, it was the Swift which broke all Indian concepts of how a car should look. At a time when all cars were distinct and classy, Swift came up with an unbelievable design and I still remember each and every person who saw that ‘thing’ ridiculed it. But we all got warmed up to it and it is one of the most successful models. So it is not all about how it looks, it is all about how we get used to it. Soon enough, all manufacturers started experimenting with the looks.

Just take a look at the industry today, you will find most of the classy, elegant models (whichever is left) at the bottom of the sales chart. The message is clear, we just want cars that look confusing rather than elegant. More confusing it is, more modern it will be perceived as.
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:36   #107
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

The FIAT Palio (not stile) was and still is the best looking hatch, for Me. Nothing has come even closer.
This evolutionary ugliness is not limited to cars alone. Even the motorcycles have lost their simplicity and become more uglier and uglier as the years pass. The Yezdi Road kings, The RD 350s and the RX100s are shapes, once extinct, we will miss for ever.
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:41   #108
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by Anand3553 View Post
Just take a look at the industry today, you will find most of the classy, elegant models (whichever is left) at the bottom of the sales chart. The message is clear, we just want cars that look confusing rather than elegant. More confusing it is, more modern it will be perceived as.
Second that. I would say more skewed lines, more modern. Also have to do with Hollywood Science Fiction movies of the late 90's and early 2000's with weird looking concept cars, that has embedded into viewer's minds that 'future car' must mean 'skewed-lines' car.
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Old 1st August 2014, 11:52   #109
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

From reading the replies on this thread, its quite clear that timeless designs (cases in point the Skoda octavia- new and old, Volkswagen Jetta= new, Polo, Lancer, Honda City VTEC first gen etc) never lose their appeal, and its the curvy swoopy designs that actually lose their initial appeal much quicker.

A case in point- I bought the new Swift a couple of years back, and while I still feel that the Swift is one of the better designed hatches amongst the current lot, and is tons of fun to drive, my first choice in terms of design was always the Polo. It is only the reputation of Germans being more expensive to maintain, and lesser on the reliability scale, that made me steer clear of any Euro brand. While I love clocking miles on my Swift, if I did not have apprehensions about the VW brand, I would have bought a GT TDI/TSI Polo in a heartbeat.

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Old 1st August 2014, 11:53   #110
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I think it has to do a lot with buyers. Majority of the people/mass do not prefer plain vanilla anymore. Clean and neat lines is preferred by enthusiast but not by masses anymore.
I have been thinking about the same for a while.. I loved OHC, Baleno and Lancer designs, of which Lancer is my favorite. The new design languages bring lot of crease and curves all over the body. Beyond the styling, I think it is a clever way to hide the thin sheet metal that is being used in the new cars to reduce cost
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:03   #111
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Originally Posted by Anand3553 View Post
I personally think the Indian car industry can be split in to ‘pre-swift’ and ‘post-swift’ era. From the point of view of a non-enthusiast back then, it was the Swift which broke all Indian concepts of how a car should look. At a time when all cars were distinct and classy, Swift came up with an unbelievable design and I still remember each and every person who saw that ‘thing’ ridiculed it.
Good observation. However, Swift was the car which broke 'sales shackles'. We were already 'warmed up' with cars like Santro & the Matiz with their unconventional looks for the year 2K. Even the Indica had an unconventional look for the time back then. However, sales suffered for the Matiz due to the Daewoo debacle and Santro took its own sweet time to get acceptance in our market. Indica too suffered from a lot of initial hiccups and was not a success intially. The Swift was a run-away success and the brand name helped a lot for the cause.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Anand3553 View Post
Just take a look at the industry today, you will find most of the classy, elegant models (whichever is left) at the bottom of the sales chart. The message is clear, we just want cars that look confusing rather than elegant. More confusing it is, more modern it will be perceived as.
Agreed with this thought. Masses just cannot differentiate between (perceived) modern and beautiful designs. Anything unconventional is now 'modern', however ugly it is. And modern is beautiful. There are hardly any takers for the plain vanilla...even when it comes to the ice-cream!
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:30   #112
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Let's forget about these normal cars and take the example of Ferrari.

Modern Ferraris are striking and most certainly eye-catching. But they lack a certain cohesiveness in their design. Most, if not all modern Ferraris have lost the beauty and charm that they used to be associated with. In a bid to create the best car out there, the design team will receive direct dictation from the team that puts the shell through the wind-tunnel.

Safety regulations also dictate the way a car needs to be designed.

These limitations are the reasons behind why the 250 GT and the 246 GT Dino will go down in history as some of the most beautiful Ferraris ever made.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:43   #113
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

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Good observation. However, Swift was the car which broke 'sales shackles'. We were already 'warmed up' with cars like Santro & the Matiz with their unconventional looks for the year 2K. Even the Indica had an unconventional look for the time back then. However, sales suffered for the Matiz due to the Daewoo debacle and Santro took its own sweet time to get acceptance in our market. Indica too suffered from a lot of initial hiccups and was not a success intially. The Swift was a run-away success and the brand name helped a lot for the cause.
True, but in the eyes of a common man back then, Swift is the car which convinced Indians that it is ok to own a car which is so 'un'car for that era.
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Old 1st August 2014, 12:58   #114
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May be it has got to be the cost cutting exercises at play, who knows?. I once met a person working with Renault R&D in Chennai and I asked him why is that the good cars that Renault makes elsewhere which can be easily affordable for Indian consumers like the Renault Clio, Megane and the like. All he said was that when a car company decides to roll out a model in a country like India, they look at markets they could export the same model. I really didn't understand the logic but car design for the ones a layman could afford has gone horribly wrong.

In the good old 80's and 90's cars used to have designs that were iconic, although there were some instances where an ugly duckling slips out of nowhere. They were designs you could easily recognize even after years. Most of us remember the good old Maruti Zen for its beautiful design and in your face simplicity and practicality except the turning radius of course. But when it came out in its new avtar "ahh my god!!!" that Wednesday Thursday Friday feeling. Look at Hyundai now, they seem to have a single drawing board. The i10 thankfully looks like the i10, the i10 Grand well a bigger i10, the xCent an even bigger i10 and an i10 Grand with a namesake boot, the i20 a bigger i10 and an i10 grand, the verna a bigger i20 with a boot. This is how the new design theory is going on with all manufacturers. The only things that actually change are the headlamps, bumpers and a lot of chrome strips everywhere (i hate chrome strips on a car)

If you want a well designed car that will last in your mind forever, the only way to go is a Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes, Audi and upwards.
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Old 1st August 2014, 13:00   #115
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Amazing thread. Even I have thought about these things so many times. This year at the Auto Expo 2014, I was so excited to know that Maruti intends to relaunch the good old gypsy once again. I think if the prices are competitive and Maruti upgrades it with modern technology, it will eat up the Compact Suv market.
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Old 1st August 2014, 13:02   #116
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

The moment I saw the new i20 and subsequent 5-7 posts all praises about the new design, I knew something was wrong.

Quirky is the new style I guess, right from the old Endeavour to i20, designers have ruined everything in the name of facelifts and what not!

Those round edges have given way to hexagons and octagons, classic design to fluidic (is gassic next?) - I think its high time minimalist designs are brought back
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Old 1st August 2014, 13:08   #117
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Great Thread. I had a look at the new Alto and did not like it. The old Alto looked much better. I too echo the same feelings like others.

I liked the old-gen CRV and 1st Gen City. But, for Verna i like the fluidic Verna compared to the bulky previous generation. The earliest Accent was also very good. Low slung and superb feeling.

Germans have sold the car mostly on engine, driving pleasure and non cosmetic aspects. People still go the Germans for these aspects. And that could be the respect they have not been affected much. Hyundai was a relatively new player and cant compete with in the market with those features. They had to do something new and make themselves strong. They took to the Fluidic design and as a result even forced the once segment leader honda city to catch up with it

I dont like VW and Skoda going for unified design theme. I am completely in loss of words. I want Octavia and Rapid to look different. I am fan of the old Octavia.

People wanted different looking cars to stand out from the rest. This could have prompted the designers for an out of box (pun intended) thinking and the result is what we have
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Old 1st August 2014, 13:17   #118
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

Dear Behram Dhabhar,

What you said about k10 is correct.For me the seating is spot on in this vehicle.The only negative is the safety at higher speeds.In city and rural roads its really fun to drive.

Still feels lancer was the best of the lot.....for me the interior layout of lancer was too good.I like the 80-90 ,s dashboard designs very much.And in k10 somehow i can relive that feeling....it s a mini baleno for me.....

Nowadys polo attracts me a lot...but very pricey to maintain....

In Suv,s i like the classic shape of tavera.I used it for 3 years and really liked the vehicle.not much refined but FTD and convinient...
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Old 1st August 2014, 13:24   #119
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With Renault and Nissan sharing platforms across the range of their cars like Micra/Pulse, Sunny/Scala, Terrano/Duster, they are definitely not here to offer their best cars. They are simply selling what the market wants as per their market study to get a share of the automobile sale in this highly populated sub-continent. I don't see the benefits coming back to us in return. Their best models are not even launched here with a few exceptions like Nissan X-trail and other few models. If they had given us a choice atleast, I wouldn't have said this. But no! It's like.. You guys get this much only. We just want a part of the huge population's earnings. Our best cars are not for you or say your market which is ready to buy anything cheap or economic. Everybody is here for a piece of the pie, Is it? I would love to believe its not so, despite of the evident.
When Toyota surprised themselves with the huge success of the Qualis, I think every car maker got a wakening call that looks don't matter to this market. Qualis sold on the basis of reliability and other scoring points I know. It still has a surprisingly high demand in the second hand market. But we are discussing design here. Can we blame the makers if we showed them this is what we accept.
Apart from us enthusiasts, there is a much larger population in our country which will form the major part of these market studies. Why would the makers bring their best and try the gamble (which has not went well with many good cars in India), when the market gives easier ways of making profit.
A confused market ready to shell out and many makers to exploit it. Design takes a back seat as it's been proven that there are takers for anything here. Why would they spend more on developing timeless classy designs.
For an enthusiast, that's
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Old 1st August 2014, 14:56   #120
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Default Re: What happened to good looking cars?!

My top 5 Indian Cars
  • Honda Civic
  • Lancer
  • Palio Sport
  • Honda Accord (1st Gen)
  • Old Zen

Owned 3 out of those, 2 currently

I think if I have to blame OEMs for the poor design trends are
Hyundai - The fluidic design language with creases on doors, Honda spoiled their 3rd gen City with this design
Maruti - Ritz, Wagon R, Estilo, Dzire!!! Do I need to say more?
Toyota - Qualis, Innova, Etios Liva

Last edited by 2000rpm : 1st August 2014 at 15:01.
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