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Old 8th December 2015, 20:17   #181
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post
Out of curiosity : were there any accidents/engine failures during any media drives. I understand this could cause some real concern to the manufacturer.
There have been accidents at test drives, (usually when the "general" media are using the cars, vs. the auto journos). Eg. that EcoSport crash around the time of launch which was discussed quite a lot.

However, crashes are almost always due to human error. If a car crashes, it doesn't speak a lot about how good or bad the car is, and other than some sensationalism (and speculation), doesn't add much to the discussion. Not worth mentioning in an Official Review.

As for engine/part failures, I'd say there's two categories:

If the car is a pre-production prototype / test mule, and things wrong, it might not be right or fair for us to mention it.

If its a production car, and theres a failure, we'll evaluate how relevant it is and how much importance it should be given. A lot of times, the failure could be from abuse. (Eg. tons of braking tests = horrible faded brakes). Usually we will try to drive another car to see if it too has the same problem. Sometimes we even go to the showroom and take a quick test-drive of the car there to double check and compare.

Things are obviously evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but if we think there's a possible issue in the production test-drive car that is likely to affect owners of the vehicle, we'll mention it!

Last edited by Rehaan : 8th December 2015 at 20:20.
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Old 8th December 2015, 21:43   #182
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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.. Sometimes we even go to the showroom and take a quick test-drive of the car there to double check and compare.
...
Wow... thats a lot of effort put into reviewing a car! No wonder we get some of the most amazing reviews.

Thank you TEAM!
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Old 9th December 2015, 09:27   #183
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by nijelj View Post

So I guess my question to the mod team is, are you Batman?
Off work, we are Batman, during normal working hours , we are the
Joker


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Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post

Out of curiosity : were there any accidents/engine failures during any media drives. I understand this could cause some real concern to the manufacturer.
Most mishaps are to do with going off the road (poor judgement in overtaking etc.). Usually bent wheels, burst tyres. The media cars especially the German manufacturers give the car a thorough going over between journalist batches.
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Old 9th December 2015, 11:43   #184
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
There have been accidents at test drives, (usually when the "general" media are using the cars, vs. the auto journos). Eg. that EcoSport crash around the time of launch which was discussed quite a lot.

However, crashes are almost always due to human error. If a car crashes, it doesn't speak a lot about how good or bad the car is, and other than some sensationalism (and speculation), doesn't add much to the discussion. Not worth mentioning in an Official Review.
Understood.

I did read on the Ecosport crash on Team-bhp. That didnt stop me from buying it though !!

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
As for engine/part failures, I'd say there's two categories:

If the car is a pre-production prototype / test mule, and things wrong, it might not be right or fair for us to mention it.

If its a production car, and theres a failure, we'll evaluate how relevant it is and how much importance it should be given. A lot of times, the failure could be from abuse. (Eg. tons of braking tests = horrible faded brakes). Usually we will try to drive another car to see if it too has the same problem. Sometimes we even go to the showroom and take a quick test-drive of the car there to double check and compare.

Things are obviously evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but if we think there's a possible issue in the production test-drive car that is likely to affect owners of the vehicle, we'll mention it!
If you do that, thats great. Because these news will have 2 sides. Some might brag about the some while others try to cover the whole things up. Facts may not come out.

But I also feel that these crashes/engine failures are also covered up well by media. I think the ecosport crash for that matter, was only there on team-bhp.

Majority of the people who buy these cars are not on Team-bhp or may not be following auto-mags before their purchase. They just go by what they feel, or by the suggestion of their autoenthusiastic friend or relative.
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Old 9th December 2015, 11:49   #185
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Sometimes we even go to the showroom and take a quick test-drive of the car there to double check and compare.
Before reporting on the BR-V preview in Japan, I had to visit the Honda showroom in Bangalore. Looking at all the BR-V photos in my mobile, I had to figure out which BR-V part is in common with Jazz, Mobilio and Civic.
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Old 9th December 2015, 16:06   #186
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Things are obviously evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but if we think there's a possible issue in the production test-drive car that is likely to affect owners of the vehicle, we'll mention it!
Like the Swift LXi/VXi brakes, yes

With these media drives of late some reviewers try handbrake turns (sensationalist videos), and other stunts when "testing" the car. Don't the manufacturers issue any guidelines? Also, wouldn't this potentially ruin the car in general and for the next scheduled reviewers? Do you guys try and get the first batch with the car, or do reviewers not have much of a say in this?
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Old 10th December 2015, 22:09   #187
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Default Re: Man finds out that his BMW M3 was used in Top Gear stunts!

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- Given to a company employee for use.

- Given to a dealership.

- Sold off / auctioned as a used car.
Hey GTO and all the other MODS who go for the Official Reviews a thought has sprung in my mind after reading through the posts in this thread, especially yours.

>> When ever you guys go for TD, please click pictures of the VIN and post in some part of the review as it will be a caution for buyers if they spot the car being sold off by the dealer at huge discounts or even as a used car.

What say?
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Old 10th December 2015, 23:10   #188
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Default Re: Man finds out that his BMW M3 was used in Top Gear stunts!

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Hey GTO and all the other MODS who go for the Official Reviews a thought has sprung in my mind after reading through the posts in this thread, especially yours.

>> When ever you guys go for TD, please click pictures of the VIN and post in some part of the review as it will be a caution for buyers if they spot the car being sold off by the dealer at huge discounts or even as a used car.

What say?
While it seems like a nice idea, it wouldn't be ethical IMO. Most of the auto companies sell off the media fleet vehicles after a year or so. And when they sell such vehicles, it is made clear that it was used as a media test car and hence the huge discounts. If someone decides to buy the vehicle at the reduced price, it is their decision and they should be willing to face the issues the car might have. With great discounts comes great risk
Also, the media fleet doesn't usually have one car. There are multiple cars for most models and new vehicles are also made media test cars depending on the need. And it is the company which sells such cars off. The dealers aren't involved in most cases.
Like GTO said, one should stay a thousand miles away from buying a media test vehicle. In 5000 kilometres, the components would have seen what they wouldn't in multiple times that figure.

Last edited by amansanc : 10th December 2015 at 23:20.
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Old 10th December 2015, 23:15   #189
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Default Re: Man finds out that his BMW M3 was used in Top Gear stunts!

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While it seems like a nice idea, but it wouldn't be ethical IMO.

Most of the auto companies sell off the media fleet vehicles after a year or so. And when they sell such vehicles, it is made clear that it was used as a media test car and hence the huge discounts.
Not all of the dealers are transparent in their selling standards. How will a customer know if the car was a TD car or not if the dealer doesn't reveal?

I know that the customers won't read Team-BHP like we enthusiasts do but there would be a spread of awareness.

Ethical or not!
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Old 10th December 2015, 23:29   #190
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Default Re: Man finds out that his BMW M3 was used in Top Gear stunts!

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Not all of the dealers are transparent in their selling standards. How will a customer know if the car was a TD car or not if the dealer doesn't reveal?

I know that the customers won't read Team-BHP like we enthusiasts do but there would be a spread of awareness.

Ethical or not!
Wait wait. You were addressing the Mods, right? When they go for media drives, the cars are given by the manufacturer. Dealer doesn't come to the picture. Selling of TD cars by dealers is all together a different issue for which something else needs to be done.
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Old 10th December 2015, 23:35   #191
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Default Re: Man finds out that his BMW M3 was used in Top Gear stunts!

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Wait wait. You were addressing the Mods, right? When they go for media drives, the cars are given by the manufacturer. Dealer doesn't come to the picture. Selling of TD cars by dealers is all together a different issue for which something else needs to be done.
Yes buddy. I am addressing the MODS and nothing against you.

All I meant is it is best to have a picture of the VIN posted indirectly so it is good for readers to know if they come across it in future say it can be checked by members just the way we have it in the VIN decoding thread.
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Old 10th December 2015, 23:50   #192
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post
Out of curiosity : were there any accidents/engine failures during any media drives. I understand this could cause some real concern to the manufacturer.
Quote:
With these media drives of late some reviewers try handbrake turns (sensationalist videos), and other stunts when "testing" the car. Don't the manufacturers issue any guidelines?
With 100 individuals driving your car, manufacturers have come to accept that 1 or 2 will be damaged. It's the 'cost of doing business'. At media drives, there is always a spare car or two. This helps if another one is put out of service.

Some journos think that redlining a car and cornering / braking the heck out of it is the only way to test a car. While we do high-revv it ourselves, we put a lot more kms in 'real world' conditions. Stuff that would tell a regular owner what the car is like to live with.

Some brands do insist on 'safe driving'. But well, at the end of the day, it's each individual's judgement.

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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Like the Swift LXi/VXi brakes
We were lucky there. Because we tested a BHPian's car - and he'd bought the VDi - we got to know about its poor brakes. If we'd gotten a media car from Maruti, it would be a ZXi / ZDi and we'd never have known about the awful brakes of the lower variants.

Quote:
Also, wouldn't this potentially ruin the car in general and for the next scheduled reviewers?
After each drive, cars are given a once over to ensure that they are working perfectly. In some drives, cars are sent to the nearby dealer's workshop to quickly fix / change whatever is required.

Before a car is given to us in Mumbai, it's checked by the dealer. Except the odd instance here & there, we haven't really gotten a poorly functioning car.
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Old 11th December 2015, 12:40   #193
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Default Re: Man finds out that his BMW M3 was used in Top Gear stunts!

a4anurag,

Moved your post & replies here (from the BMW thread).

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All I meant is it is best to have a picture of the VIN posted indirectly so it is good for readers to know if they come across it in future say it can be checked by members just the way we have it in the VIN decoding thread.
I don't see any value in this.

- Out of 30 media cars, we would post a picture of one VIN. No point.

- The odds of a potential customer of that particular car (whenever it is on sale) reading our thread is less than 0.01%.

If someone is buying a used car, it's up to him to get it professionally evaluated. I don't think a single VIN is going to help anyone.
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Old 15th December 2015, 15:03   #194
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
With 100 individuals driving your car, manufacturers have come to accept that 1 or 2 will be damaged. It's the 'cost of doing business'. At media drives, there is always a spare car or two. This helps if another one is put out of service.

Some journos think that redlining a car and cornering / braking the heck out of it is the only way to test a car. While we do high-revv it ourselves, we put a lot more kms in 'real world' conditions. Stuff that would tell a regular owner what the car is like to live with.
Understand that and I do accept it.

But I am more concerned on how media could twist stories. Imagine someone who is driving the car ends up being the reporter, in case of any crashes or minor niggles; I am sure he is going to put this on the car/manufactures than owning the accident to his/her error.
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Old 15th December 2015, 15:44   #195
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

I hope my question is not repetitive, I have seen auto websites posting long term ownership review. I want to understand if car companies loan them vehicles for a considerably long period so that they can 'live' with it and experience better under real world conditions.
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