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Old 30th August 2006, 18:30   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infallible79
Hi,

I am in the process of finalizing a car for me in the 5.5-7L range. Upgrading from my 2003 Maruti Zen LXi. Here are the on-road prices I got from dealers in Pune.

Maruti Baleno LXi - 5.9L (After 70K discount)
Ford Fiesta 1.4 EXi - 6.47L
Chevrolet Aveo 1.4 - 6.6L (After 15K discount)
I cant answer your query, rather dont know, about whats the deal with the Baleno, but I got a black Baleno Lxi model for 5.68L OTR Chennai. Took delivery of the vehicle on 27.08.06 (3 days back).

Arent the taxes lower in Pune?
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Old 30th August 2006, 19:09   #47
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@infallible, you already came to a decision about the car OR are still deciding ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by infallible79
why am I getting such a huge discount on Maruti Baleno? When I asked this question to the dealer he was unable to give me a convincing answer.
Actually you are getting much more than the 70K discount that you think you are getting. The Baleno when introduced in '99 was priced around 8L odd rupees (or more). But then, at that price, the buyers had other choices like the OHC, Lancer etc, which either looked better or had a strong brand value. Thus the Baleno did not really sell at that price. Then Maruti brought down the prices by a lac or two and also introduced the LXi variant, which made it very VFM. This saw the car taking off (since the past 2 years or more) and ever since has been doing pretty good (though still not in the league of the NHC).

Quote:
Originally Posted by infallible79
Is Maruti Baleno getting phased out and thats why the dealers are selling it by giving attractive prices?
You could have people telling you both sides - it is going to be phased out OR it is not going to be phased out. What matters is how it fares with its competitors at the price it is pegged at and about availability of spares/support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by infallible79
As I dont want to go for a car which will be phased out in the near future (because of high spare parts cost in future), I really need to figure out the deal with Maruti Baleno. Help appreciated...
Today, most cars (other than Maruti) do not stay in the market for a long time. Honda updates their models (even though they are selling well) every 3-5 years. So, if you think you can get a car that never becomes obsolete, chances are pretty slim. Unless you are looking at a Maruti, as they do not have a history of phasing out their platforms.
Spare parts would still be available even if the car is phased out. I had an M800 (85 model), for which I could get spares even as late as 2003, both with MASS and grey market.
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Old 30th August 2006, 19:12   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
Also, to get a true picture of how well built it is, you must speak to the rally guys who prepare Baleno's for the INRC. The stories they can tell you about the variance in tolerances, assembly, weights, even the thickness of the actual steel goes is unbelievable.
This does not have any bearing on what you just said, but while attending a lot of automotive sporting events in North America, Holland and Australia, I have personally encountered assemblers and "backstage" rally guys (not actual drivers) making statements, they would strongly hesitate to sign and stamp on their company letterhead.

Would appreciate if you can point me at some reference material (URLs?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
- It is quicker than the competition, but only because it is not built to the same safety levels as the current generation of cars such as the Fiesta or even the Swift.
- Its speed comes solely because it is 300 kg lighter, and not because it has a superior engine!
OK, so that's your point of view on the weight of the Baleno. So many experts propound so many points of view. As I see it Fiesta 1130 kg., Baleno 985 kg., Swift 980 kg.
Small weight differences like this can be summed up by items like steel wheels instead of alloys plus extra electrical hardware for power winders, power antenna, power mirrors, power door locks, heavy-duty jack, steel instead of alloy seat frames, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
- The fact is that the Indian made Baleno was (and is) so badly made, that its parent company refused to let Maruti use the existing homologation form which was prepared for its Japanese made unit.
If I understand homologation at all, a product of BMW's Regensburg factory cannot use the homologation certificates of the same product from BMW's Dingolfing, Munich or Leipzig/Halle factories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
...And then we all complain when manufacturers do not launch their latest products in India. How can they when they are up against the costings of a 15 year old model?
Are every manufacturer's so-called latest models, always designed to outlast and outperform the ones designed earlier? I'm not so sure, although that is certainly a storyline that the vendor would like us to buy.

On the contrary, the newer offerings often mirror the sinking purchasing power of the dollar. $20,000 in 2006 does not buy as much Detroit Iron or Stuttgart Iron or Nagoya Iron as it did in 1986. ("Iron" of course is figuratively speaking).

That said, key parameters among seasoned car-buying experts, are longevity, durability and consistent road behavior over an extended lifespan.

Ram
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Old 31st August 2006, 00:13   #49
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At the risk of getting into a never ending debate, I answer your queries below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
...I have personally encountered assemblers and "backstage" rally guys (not actual drivers) making statements, they would strongly hesitate to sign and stamp on their company letterhead.

Would appreciate if you can point me at some reference material (URLs?).
You want them to write and sign their statements on a company letterhead? Why? So the countries largest automobile manufacturer can then snub them from all future assistance? Attend a few rallies in India and speak to the countries top tuners if you really need the reassurance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
OK, so that's your point of view on the weight of the Baleno. So many experts propound so many points of view. As I see it Fiesta 1130 kg., Baleno 985 kg., Swift 980 kg.
Small weight differences like this can be summed up by items like steel wheels instead of alloys plus extra electrical hardware for power winders, power antenna, power mirrors, power door locks, heavy-duty jack, steel instead of alloy seat frames, etc.
I will get the exact, company provided figures for these cars tomorrow. Once again I'm talking about the findings from the rally world where the tuners strip the cars down to the bare chassis before stiffening them. Thats where you see a clear difference. Its only obvious.

Take the Esteem and the Swift as an example. The swift is a smaller car, but being 2 generations ahead of the Esteem, its weight has increased to allow for better crash protection which is mandatory these days. These differences are not only from the increased equipment levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
If I understand homologation at all, a product of BMW's Regensburg factory cannot use the homologation certificates of the same product from BMW's Dingolfing, Munich or Leipzig/Halle factories.
I'm not talking ARAI homologation. I'm talking motorsports.

Before a vehicle is allowed to enter the National Rally Championship (in the case of India) or any international event (in the case of the world), it must be homologated with the MAI (India) or the FIA (World). Basically it is nothing but a detailed description of every component that goes into a particular model of vehicle.

Although the Japanese made Baleno was visually identical to the Indian made Baleno, Suzuki Japan refused to allow the FIA homologation to hold good in India as, in their opinion, the Indian made Baleno was just not upto the mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
Are every manufacturer's so-called latest models, always designed to outlast and outperform the ones designed earlier? I'm not so sure, although that is certainly a storyline that the vendor would like us to buy.
Your statement above sounds very familiar to what I heard as a kid when the Maruti 800 was first launched. I remember all my relatives saying that it was a toy car, cannot survive our roads, too small, will be blown off the road in a strong wind etc etc. But we all know what happened.

Most newer models (there are always exceptions to every rule) do perform better, have better equipment levels, more reliable, run much cleaner and far safer than their predecessors.

These are the facts. Lets be realistic about them and not blindly defend a product because we happen to own it.
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Old 31st August 2006, 01:31   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Well, the Baleno has been around for 7 years, and is pretty much a decade old design. Competitive forces alongwith the cost component (old design = lower cost due to machine depreciation, localisation etc.) will result in the lowest price.

The Baleno has a huge fan following because it is the only 6 lac performance sedan available. Plus it has proven reliability, FE, ride quality and service backup. That said, it is also outdated in many areas.
Thanks GTO, I have been scouting around to freeze on my next car, the two cars that I am actively considering are Maruti Baleno and Ford Fiesta. I could not understand the price difference between Baleno and the Fiesta...thanks to your post I can understand the reason for the price disparity.

I just want to be sure that Maruti will not phase out Baleno, if that is the case I may end finalising on Fiesta.
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Old 31st August 2006, 03:11   #51
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see the ACI's september issue. according to them maruti is phasing out the current baleno (check out the new pics) and bringing out the SX4 based new baleno..to be launched in 2007. they also say that now maruti believes in replacing models...not selling three generations side by side. that means the current baleno is here only a for a few more months. atleast i will not buy a baleno if i already know that a better, modern, safer, advanced, new generation model is coming up to replace it.
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Old 31st August 2006, 04:19   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
Yes, it has its positive points just as any car in the market has, buts lets not go overboard shall we. And then we all complain when manufacturers do not launch their latest products in India. How can they when they are up against the costings of a 15 year old model?
Right!...
Baleno is VFM and that fact is undisputed. But at the same time it can not be held as a better package in comparison to the present generation cars.
There's a generation gap... to cover that Maruti has priced it where it should be.

So more than the much appreciated engine its the price that is making the Baleno, a product worth considering.

A month back we considered Baleno, Aveo... etc. but ended up buying a NHC!.. one can wonder all day and night as to why the overpriced, underpowered & ugly NHC!!.. but the answer is very obvious...
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Old 31st August 2006, 09:58   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb
see the ACI's september issue. according to them maruti is phasing out the current baleno (check out the new pics) and bringing out the SX4 based new baleno..to be launched in 2007. they also say that now maruti believes in replacing models...not selling three generations side by side. that means the current baleno is here only a for a few more months. atleast i will not buy a baleno if i already know that a better, modern, safer, advanced, new generation model is coming up to replace it.
I really doubt Maruti will phase out the Baleno. I think the Esteem will be the next car to get the kick. It doesn't sell anymore (rightly so). Maybe then the current Baleno's price would be lowered even more to Esteem territory to make way for a newer entrant from Maruti in the 6-8 lakh segment.
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Old 31st August 2006, 10:22   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
Your statement above sounds very familiar to what I heard as a kid when the Maruti 800 was first launched.I remember all my relatives saying that it was a toy car, cannot survive our roads, too small, will be blown off the road in a strong wind etc etc. But we all know what happened.
I was not a kid when the Maruti 800 was first launched. I was 26, and a software engineer analyst at TCS, my third job. I bought that first generation Maruti 800 and drove it from Bombay to Hubli, Bangalore, Trichy, Chennai, Madurai and back.
Needless to say it was nowhere as rugged as the Fiats and Ambassadors we had been used to.

The considerations for buying a Maruti 800 (Suzuki Fronte) was that it cost only Rs. 55,000 off the showroom, it was thrifty on fuel and it was more convenient to park. It also had and still has the safety, not far from that of an autorickshaw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
...and not blindly defend a product because we happen to own it.
You are making an allegation that because my current daily driver is a Baleno, I am defending it. That allegation coming from you Rtech, is even amusing.

Offtopic:
What do I know about C segment, D segment and E to G segment cars?
1985 onwards, when I was your age, I lived and travelled in California, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, in these cars:
Ford Maverick, Ford Tempo, Dodge Aries, Buick Regal, Ford Fiesta, Ford Escort, Ford Sierra, Ford Taunus, Ford Scorpio, Volvo 340 and 360, Opel Corsa, Opel Kadett, Opel Ascona, Opel Rekord, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Caravelle, Mercedes [COLOR=#000000]190-E W201[/COLOR], Renault 19, Renault 25 and Peugeot 505.
BTW, Corsa, Fiesta and Polo are B-segment cars in Europe.

Back in those days, the new features salesmen talked to us about were, Double-overhead camshaft, Benzin-einspritzung (Fuel injection), Voice functions in the car (Renault 25) and the fact that diesel was greener than petrol.

Some high points for me were test-driving a new Jaguar XJS and a new Ferrari Testarossa in 1986 in Holland.

Excuse me for sounding like an old man. I am one -- with many lakhs of global driving miles on me.
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Old 31st August 2006, 10:25   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech
I think the Esteem will be the next car to get the kick. It doesn't sell anymore (rightly so). Maybe then the current Baleno's price would be lowered even more to Esteem territory to make way for a newer entrant from Maruti in the 6-8 lakh segment.
Exactly what I felt. But then, the new Esteems seem to be selling like hot cakes as per the Maruti dealers. Also I see a lot of them on the roads too. The 5L sedan segment needs some more action with some new models.
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Old 31st August 2006, 10:29   #56
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Touche, Ram

Off topic - I know, but...
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Old 31st August 2006, 10:33   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram
You are making an allegation that because my current daily driver is a Baleno, I am defending it. That allegation coming from you Rtech, is even amusing.
Here's the problem. You are taking my comments as allegations! I was simply stating simple truths about the car. However, if you find that amusing, I'm glad I could bring a smile to your face.

Quote:
Offtopic:
What do I know about C segment, D segment and E to G segment cars?
1985 onwards, when I was your age, I lived and travelled in California, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, in these cars:
Ford Maverick, Ford Tempo, Dodge Aries, Buick Regal, Ford Fiesta, Ford Escort, Ford Sierra, Ford Taunus, Ford Scorpio, Volvo 340 and 360, Opel Corsa, Opel Kadett, Opel Ascona, Opel Rekord, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Caravelle, Mercedes [COLOR=#000000]190-E W201[/COLOR], Renault 19, Renault 25 and Peugeot 505.
BTW, Corsa, Fiesta and Polo are B-segment cars in Europe.

Back in those days, the new features salesmen talked to us about were, Double-overhead camshaft, Benzin-einspritzung (Fuel injection), Voice functions in the car (Renault 25) and the fact that diesel was greener than petrol.

Some high points for me were test-driving a new Jaguar XJS and a new Ferrari Testarossa in 1986 in Holland.

Excuse me for sounding like an old man. I am one -- with many lakhs of global driving miles on me.
lol Ram. I have now read that paragraph of yours umpteen times! I think all the regular members here are aware that you spent a good deal of your life abroad. But thanks for the reminder anyways.

Last edited by Rtech : 31st August 2006 at 10:39.
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Old 31st August 2006, 10:47   #58
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Guys this is my take on Baleno.....

Pros:
Engine made for easy city driving ...low end torque is awesome...
A/C chilller.....
Seats are one of the best
Handling is brilliant even at 980kg it goes like a stink

Cons:
Gear shift is not in Suzuki class infact pathetic but its responsive
Sheet metal of the boot is as thin as a paper
Panel gaps are huge at some places...
Lots of plastic things make noise which need to be screwed or tightened
Stock tyre 165/80-13 isn't good....wheel spins like crazy even in 2nd gear
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Old 31st August 2006, 10:50   #59
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guyz,

read in this month auto car or overdrive abt the service exp faced by a delhiate for his honda.........belive me own a maruti and u will have hassle free service. absolutelu no worry abt the spares...i own a zen and have absolutely no complaints. We also own a palio...fantastic car...but service n spares are pain....last time visited the bosch service station...feels like good...lets see....but maruti customer service is top class...and one fantastic reason to own a maruti
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Old 31st August 2006, 11:22   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram
Offtopic:
What do I know about C segment, D segment and E to G segment cars?
1985 onwards, when I was your age, I lived and travelled in California, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, in these cars:
Ford Maverick, Ford Tempo, Dodge Aries, Buick Regal, Ford Fiesta, Ford Escort, Ford Sierra, Ford Taunus, Ford Scorpio, Volvo 340 and 360, Opel Corsa, Opel Kadett, Opel Ascona, Opel Rekord, Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Caravelle, Mercedes [COLOR=#000000]190-E W201[/COLOR], Renault 19, Renault 25 and Peugeot 505.
BTW, Corsa, Fiesta and Polo are B-segment cars in Europe.

Back in those days, the new features salesmen talked to us about were, Double-overhead camshaft, Benzin-einspritzung (Fuel injection), Voice functions in the car (Renault 25) and the fact that diesel was greener than petrol.

Some high points for me were test-driving a new Jaguar XJS and a new Ferrari Testarossa in 1986 in Holland.

Excuse me for sounding like an old man. I am one -- with many lakhs of global driving miles on me.
Ram, pardon my asking but do you need to bring this up in every post of yours if you happen to be contradicted by someone? IMHO, it serves no purpose whatsoever to the point under discussion....Sorry if I'm sounding critical but it does happen so frequently
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