Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 23rd June 2015, 18:39   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 166
Thanked: 147 Times
Default Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

It has been a trend and a rather unfortunate one, that the Global Cars are stripped of safety equipment/critical features/good to have features, in their Indian versions. Its disheartening for any informed buyer to wait for a vehicle basis global reviews and then see the India version sans the features in the Global Version

The most recent case in example is of the Hyundai Creta. In one of the reviews in China, the reviewer mentioned that features like a Panoramic Sunroof are pretty standard for a car of this class; where as there is no sight of a sunroof on the Indian version. Also remains in speculation the 6 Speed A/T Gearbox.

This is just one example. There are numerous others from some of the largest car manufacturers in the world

What is the real reason for the companies to get away with this?

Acceptance of mediocrity by the India Customer
The Bureaucratic and Corrupt infrastructure leading to huge expenses apart from R&D, Marketing etc. that skews the margins
Saving additional features for face lifts
Perception of India as an economy where features such as a Sun Roof/AT Gear Box are still considered beyond the reach of the mass buyer

There is saving grace with companies like Mahindra leading the potential transformation with products like XUV at a competitive price, loaded with features, but still leaving a lot to be desired
amit_2025 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2015, 18:54   #2
BHPian
 
Bhodrolok's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 132
Thanked: 96 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Well we want all the fancy features but most are not ready to pay the premium. Value for money has become the driving principle in such a way that the money is minimal but the value expected is maximum
Bhodrolok is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2015, 19:11   #3
BHPian
 
landcruiser123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: MSP, MN
Posts: 827
Thanked: 1,068 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Forget sunroof and advanced gearboxes, the cars should first have ABS and dual airbags as a minimum.

We're a long way behind in safety department and this needs to be looked at first. The government hasn't really made a strong policy yet and there are no crash tests. No salesman will ever tell you that "this car is the safest in the segment." They just go blah-blah about the features it has- like a touch screen ACC.

Also, there's a consumer perception that these aren't exactly required. So manufacturers aren't bothered too.

As an example, Maruti sells all it's hatchbacks, Dzire and Ertiga with almost identical features in the V and Z variants. The main difference I've seen between V and Z variants is ABS(some V models have it), Airbags and Alloys(There are some minor features too.) Here's a trend: Price difference between V and Z variants is a lakh. The customer sees V and Z variants and decides to buy V because it saves him a lakh. He thinks he doen't need ABS and airbags. If he wants alloy wheels, he'll buy a set for 25k. Deal done!

It's not only Maruti, a lot of manufacturers do this.

I'll just say one thing- "You can't equate life to money."
landcruiser123 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2015, 22:53   #4
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: gurgaon
Posts: 453
Thanked: 414 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Almost all models in the Indian mass market (sub-d-segment) are "third world special"-versions of global models, often they aren't global models at all but are emerging market-only/mainly models, and often even there there is a skimping NOT on gizmo-s and "features" or abs+airbags etc but on BASIC chassis, suspension, steering, braking and tyre engineering.

The market's evolving in the direction of brand+styling+features, at higher prices of course, NOT in terms of the basic automotive "value"-s of build, safety, ride comfort yet decent handling, good braking, good emergency-manouever performance or even emissions, accessible and honestly-priced spares and service and warranties (in several cases).

IMO this is a phase, hopefully not too long, of 'aspirationality'-above-all + status +ASS assurance + resale value, currently at the expense of engineering: safety, comfort, durability-in-harsh Indian road+fuel+traffic+weather conditions, reliability, control etc.

The absence of this or that feature or gizmo is the least of the 'market failures' (whoever is at fault, including regulators) prevalent, increasingly?, in our evolving prospering market.
desdemona is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2015, 23:14   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,123
Thanked: 3,925 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Apart from feature comparison, it will be also interesting to see how much more (or less) we pay for the same car as compared to buyers in other countries. What I know is that we pay a lot more than them for global cars here in India. Any more views on it?

Regards.
saket77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2015, 23:24   #6
BHPian
 
kingofmyworld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Hyderabad / pensylvania.
Posts: 788
Thanked: 248 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

I wouldn't blame the manufacturer for this. It is people who are taking chances with safety at the cost of few thousands. I'm not saying everyone but a majority are. One common statement that we usually hear from people saying " We don't need ABS and Airbags since we drive only in the city and at a controlled speed ".

When people themselves want cars with no safety features and less equipment levels at a cheaper price, manufacturers will only concentrate on these points. Ultimately manufacturers are here to make profits and focusing on segments that drive volume is the only way to make profits.
kingofmyworld is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 01:21   #7
BHPian
 
jetti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 432
Thanked: 354 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Indian customers asked for a cheap ride and that is exactly what the industry is giving them. It is only now that the government is also waking up with respect to safety.

Last edited by jetti : 24th June 2015 at 01:23.
jetti is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 01:43   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 514
Thanked: 423 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_2025 View Post
It has been a trend and a rather unfortunate one, that the Global Cars are stripped of safety equipment/critical features/good to have features, in their Indian versions. Its disheartening for any informed buyer to wait for a vehicle basis global reviews and then see the India version sans the features in the Global Version

What is the real reason for the companies to get away with this?
I think this is a business decision from the car manufacturer taken after considerable analysis. They have no positive or negative bias towards a nation.

Such decisions are taken through a process and not by one individual.

When they decide to offer some features in other nations, the intention is to stay competitive to get as much market share as possible and to remain profitable enough. When they don't offer those features in India, the intention is same.
Rahul Bhalgat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 08:20   #9
BHPian
 
pamiboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cochin
Posts: 259
Thanked: 101 Times
Default

I completely agree with the above post. It's simply not manufacturers ganging up against the Indian consumer (even though it may seem so). There's a lot of cultural and economic reasons for that decision. As previous posts suggested, they are in this country to make profit for their shareholders first. Improving the life style of Indian consumers is not their prime motive. If it makes a business case, yes they will do it otherwise. Right now the Indian consumers are giving priority to new designs and a laundry check list of electronic / lighting gizmos.
The saying that makes sense is "be careful what you wish for, because you will get it eventually".
pamiboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 08:52   #10
BHPian
 
BeantownThinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 159
Thanked: 221 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Why blame only the manufacturers for the "ride"? It is the mass consumer that wants to be "ridden". The straight indication for this is vehicles featuring the above stated are available from all manufacturers be it ABS, air bags, et al. It is the end consumer that chooses to ignore them and opt for mid-variants to save money. Over the years the manufacturers have understood that this is what the customer wants and gives it to them.

And what happens to the variants featuring all bells and whistles, so to speak? They lie unsold with the dealer. It is only a small portion of consumers who choose to the buy the best variant.

Also in a large market like India it is unbelievable that there is no central authority enforcing safety and consumer protection in the automobile sector. So no matter how shoddy the product, the manufacturers get away with it. There is absolutely no standardisation when it comes to safety and quality.

So the manufacturers believe "When in Rome be a Roman".
BeantownThinker is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 09:11   #11
BHPian
 
Wheeliej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 278
Thanked: 42 Times
Default

Agree. Take the case of the auto variant. The world over auto transmissions far overtake manuals. But in india the common grouse is auto is more expensive, it is not fuel efficient enough and thus there are far more manuals on the roads. People tend to gravitate towards the lowest cost model, so naturally the manufacturer will try to cut costs wherever possible. Nobody wants to pay for the bells and whistles.
On the other hand manufacturers too tend to overcharge on the higher variants in order perhaps to make up for the (perhaps) lower margins on base variant. So the normal cost of a few additions in the next variant x 1.2 is what puts the buyer off. for eg. For leather seats they will want to charge higher than after market rather than lower.
Wheeliej is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 09:19   #12
MSC
BHPian
 
MSC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Mandi HP.33.
Posts: 136
Thanked: 102 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

This is true for almost each and every car manufacturer. Every manufacturer exports vehicles Made-in-India to markets throughout the world. Essentially, same vehicles are made at same plants but cater to different countries and hence different equipment list.
We always face cuts in many areas.
1. No or weaker crumple zones.
2. No ABS.
3. No airbags. Even the so called top variants have minimal airbags.
4. No EBD.
5. No Traction control.
6. Thinner sheet metal for panels. You can press panels of almost all vehicles below 10 lakh with your fingers.
7. Even basic equipment like passenger side rear view mirror is an accessory according to our biggest car maker.
8. No defogger except on top variants.
MSC is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 09:29   #13
BHPian
 
neutralgrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 75
Thanked: 16 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Adding to what has been said in all the above comments, albeit from a different angle. We Indians are brought up with idea of going with the flow drilled into our minds. We are not encouraged to be different at all. Or at least my generation was.

When ever one of us opt for a top end variant, we are given gyan by our families and friends to either go for the lower variant of the same segment for lesser moolah or go for a lower variant of the higher segment for the same amount.

Since we all follow the crowd, we are more worried about what others will say and think about us. If we are more discerning and take issues like safety and quality seriously I believe the market will change. The manufacturers will be forced to change for the better.
neutralgrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 10:29   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
dZired's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 1,723
Thanked: 7,446 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

We cant just blame the manufacturers for lack of features or for launching stripped down versions of international models. Majority of the customers don't really care for features like Automatic Climate control or Cruise control. As long as the car has an external appeal, people don't care to spend extra bucks just for the sake of getting 'high-end' features like sunroof, ABS or Airbags.

As mentioned by fellow members, most models have their least sales figures in the top end variants.

Last edited by dZired : 24th June 2015 at 10:31.
dZired is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2015, 11:37   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Kochi
Posts: 63
Thanked: 52 Times
Default re: Why do Indian cars lack features / safety kit (vis a vis their int'l versions)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheeliej View Post
So the normal cost of a few additions in the next variant x 1.2 is what puts the buyer off. for eg. For leather seats they will want to charge higher than after market rather than lower.

That is right. The price increment from variant to variant is not justifiable in India. Definitely OEM manufacturers should be able to provide add ons at prices lower than in the after market since they do bulk purchases. The customer is ensured of better quality and finish.

On a different note, maybe the Indian consumer is himself to be blamed since a lower entry level price tag seems necessary to entice him to the showroom and the loss from the lower models are made up by the gain from higher models.
arunkumarsarat is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Maruti considering safety features even for small cars volkman10 The Indian Car Scene 30 22nd October 2015 21:39
List: Indian Cars & Safety Features offered TheLizardKing The Indian Car Scene 55 19th November 2014 13:13
Safety features in lower variants of B2, C1 & C2 segment cars zenren The Indian Car Scene 36 12th November 2014 02:59
Fiat Palio 1.6 vis-a-vis 1.2 (ELX): power matters trravindran Hatchbacks 0 15th October 2009 22:09
Honda and Toyota - and their lack of success in F1 ranjan united Int'l Motorsport 25 22nd June 2006 10:02


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 12:06.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks