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Old 26th July 2017, 13:18   #1
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Default Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

A few days ago, dad sent me photos saying that a part of rear wheel well cladding is missing on both sides in his new WR-V S iVTEC.

Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!-img_6589.jpg
Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!-img_6590.jpg

He contacted the dealer regarding for a clarification. What the dealer told was shocking. S variant doesn't get any cladding here. All S variant cars they had in stock did not have this cladding. Only VX variant gets it Here is a pic of the same area in VX variant from our official review. You can clearly see the cladding is present.



This Monday the car had gone to service station for 1st service. He checked out both S & VX variants at the service centre. That confirmed what the dealership had said - the cladding is skipped in S variant.

This is taking cost cutting to the extreme. Usually one would expect at least the mechanical packages to be similar across variants, barring cases where a particular variant gets different engine/gearbox option. Differences are expected in features. Owners of S variant have to be content with ugly looking holes meant for fixing the cladding, and a see through wheel well where you can see the silencer, insides of bumper and ground behind the car from the wheel well itself. It looks downright cheap to have an open wheel well like this. This cladding is something that dad noticed. Now I wonder what else could be skimped.

Also its not that Honda is offering the base variant at mouth watering rock bottom prices. It costed nearly 9 big ones OTR. It isn't even VFM, forget cheap. Even at this price Honda is indulging in such cheap cost cutting tactics between variants. This is not done at all. It further strengthens the often repeated fact that the newer Hondas are anything but premium. They are built to a cost, without passing the benefit to their customers. The pricing is still premium & all that cost cutting does not reflect into pricing. Cost cutting also has its limits, and Honda has crossed that limit. I wonder when will Honda learn? Doesn't the failures of Mobilio, new Brio teach them anything at all?

Last edited by AkMar : 26th July 2017 at 13:40.
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Old 26th July 2017, 13:48   #2
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

Well, this isn't surprising.

I see they've corrected this in the current City but in the earlier versions, the City did not have cladding for the boot door. Imagine a 10 lakh car with wiring exposed on the inside of the boot.

I own one of those and it is ridiculous.

Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!-newhondacity19.jpg

I believe you should have the option of buying the wheel cladding separately and get it fixed.
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Old 26th July 2017, 14:18   #3
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

This is not really a surprise!

If it helps, the rear wheel wells are completely naked in both Crysta and new Fortuner. Also, the front wheel wells have partial cladding only. And that is consistent across variants for Toyota, even the fully loaded variants don't get it. Atleast Honda did this only for the base variant.

Looks quite bad on the new Toyotas with its humongous GC especially for the light coloured cars, let alone the impact on NVH.
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Old 26th July 2017, 14:36   #4
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

@Akmar

Even my wifes Honda Brio does not have the Air Intake duct. Its present on top end variants only. They skimped even on the part that helps the engine run more efficiently. I just ordered it on my first service with Honda and the part was also very cheap.

You can ask or rather insist that honda sell the Wheel clading part to you and get it fixed in your Dads car. Dont let it affect your joy and ownership experience.
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Old 26th July 2017, 16:57   #5
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

Honda's learnt all sorts of wrong lessons in cost cutting and did a very bad job at it. Their Brio, Amaze and Mobilio are perfect examples of blatant cost cutting. The feedback from RavenAvi's diesel City, speedsatya's diesel Amaze made matters worse. THe City 4th generation niggles (Honda City (4th gen) niggles: A compilation. Are Honda cars niggle-free anymore?) hit the final nail in the coffin. These combined with not so good feedback on Honda India's sales and service, made me eliminate Honda's cars alltogether from my prospective list.

This is a stark contrast to the image the brand had in India a decade back. A close friend of mine still owns a decade old Accord in US with 185K miles on clock.
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Old 26th July 2017, 17:38   #6
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

We got to blame ourselves (not literally us but the car buyers in general) for giving preference to comfort and gimmicky features for our money over some basic features and quality.

It's irritating that Jazz and WR-V (and i20 as well) which are billed as premium hatchbacks miss some basic features like speed sensing door lock and dedicated central lock buttons. It's an important safety feature as well.

Last edited by Yieldway17 : 26th July 2017 at 17:41.
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Old 26th July 2017, 18:01   #7
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

There is not a single Honda for sale that even vaguely interests me. The quality of the City is just awful, I find it funny that it does so well, never mind that it is so overpriced. Their service is just awful, way too expensive and the dealers try to cheat you unless you know something about cars.
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Old 26th July 2017, 18:35   #8
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AkMar View Post
rear wheel well cladding is missing on both sides in his new WR-V S iVTEC. This is not done at all. It further strengthens the often repeated fact that the newer Hondas are anything but premium.
Not surprising, in my 2014 Amaze EX there isn't any internal adjustment/joystick for the ORVM's. To adjust the ORVMs, you have to roll the window down, stretch and move the mirror with your hands!
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Old 26th July 2017, 19:39   #9
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

Skipping on features is one thing, and then skipping the essentials altogether is another level of cheapness. Going by that logic, they should launch a barebones version of all their cars, like Premier did with their Driveaway chassis versions. Honda has been notorious for this habit, and we have seen missing NVH shield and air intake ducts in lower variants of Hondas.

Quoting from BHPian Frankmehta's review:

Quote:
In other news, I opened the bonnet of the car to top up the windshield washer fluid today and was shocked to see the under surface of the bonnet. From what I remember, the Brios and Amazes in the showroom had this plastic contraption on the undersurface of their bonnets. Basically, this was a guide for the cool air from the bonnet into the air intake of the air filter box.

I was alarmed and I asked my Honda SA and also the RSM of Hallmark Honda. They said they would check and get back to me. Both opened the hoods of the Amazes around them and sent me a photo.
Both photos had the damn air intake thing on their bonnets, and this meant either two things, Honda forgot to put it onto my car (highly unlikely) or it was removed for some purpose and never put back.
All these thoughts were racing in my head, when suddenly the RSM sent me a text message saying all models after the Honda Brio 'S' variant had this plastic intake.

I was taken aback. I agree, Honda should skimp on the creature comforts of the higher models to give us base models, but since all variants came with the same engines, it also meant their requirements of air intake were equal. The fact that my car didn't come with this guide (abysmal example of cost cutting) meant that I was feeding hot air from the engine bay into the intake box. Basically the job of this intake guide is to direct cool air into the box, without mixing it with the hot air in the engine bay. With my 'guide' missing, I was involuntarily feeding hot air into my engine. NOT DONE, HONDA! I am going to the workshop tomorrow and demanding this 'basic' plastic fitting be fitted in my car (I don't mind paying for it, but it is sure to leave a bad taste in my mouth)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3813469 (Mrs. Frankmehta's Honda "CRIO™": Brio with a City Engine!)

Quote:
I went to Honda today and ordered the part nos. They said the part nos. Could not be ordered from my car's VIN which means that my model, the E, base variant did not come with the above Cooling Duct and Cloth inside the bonnet.


So they used their boss's VIN (top variant) and ordered the parts for my car.
The cooling duct is a mere Rs. 489 rupees but the insulating cloth was 700 bucks. (that's expensive)
Also, clips and install would add around 3-400 rupees.

Phew, at least I can retro fit these essential parts, which technically should have come pre - installed in all variants. After all, the poor engine needs to breath well, be it the base variant or the top variant..


In all, another top class experience with Hallmark Honda and I appreciate how they deal with fussy customers like Me.
They said this is the first time an E model customer has asked for a part like this and they will receive it from their Honda factory soon...

I am relieved.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post3814383 (Mrs. Frankmehta's Honda "CRIO™": Brio with a City Engine!)

Quote:
I finally got the call from Hallmark Honda on Thursday evening informing me that my 'parts had arrived.'
I booked the appointment for yesterday and dropped her at 9 am sharp. I got a call at 12 pm, that work was complete. I have finished 5000 km on the car, so another 5000 before the next service, hence just asked them to fix the new parts and a fused parking bulb.
Here's some photos of what they did.


The 'cooling duct' is actually made of a very soft and flexible silicone material, and my dad who works with such materials said it produces a cooling effect when air passes through it. Somehow, I feel this should have come with the car. I even got the insulating hood fitted at the bottom of the bonnet and drove her 1 km in sweltering heat. I am dead sure I will have to drive her for a few km more before giving any judgement on whether this cooling duct has made a marginal difference to performance or not.
Regards,
Shashi

Last edited by Leoshashi : 26th July 2017 at 19:41.
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Old 26th July 2017, 23:40   #10
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

Is Deetjohn's post above invisible to all who are just singling out Honda. Even top variants of Fortuner at 40 lakhs and Crysta at 30 lakhs come without it. Shouldn't we also comment on this? Or, have we given Toyota a license to do whatever they please? Honda at least is not providing it on base variant.
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Old 26th July 2017, 23:57   #11
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

There's a base variant 4th gen Honda City in our extended family which was bought around mid-2014. It has a single reverse light. The space for the bulb in LHS tail lamp is sealed. Honda decided to save 5p on a reverse light bulb for base variant customers.

Last edited by BigBrad : 27th July 2017 at 00:16.
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Old 27th July 2017, 00:05   #12
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In a cost competitive market like ours such examples of cost cutting will always be there. In setting benchmarks, the quality of products in the market is governed and controlled by offerings of the market leader. It is the responsibility of the market leader to drive innovation and improve quality in the market.
The practice of Maruti Suzuki to include airbags in their premium sedan forced Honda to offer airbags in Honda City 10 years back. The market is ripe for another disruptive move by the market leaders to improve quality of cars in India. Till then such practices will be rampant.
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Old 27th July 2017, 00:19   #13
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
This is a stark contrast to the image the brand had in India a decade back. A close friend of mine still owns a decade old Accord in US with 185K miles on clock.
Stark contrast to the reputation that they had in UK around 15 years ago (don't know about now) when, if one bought a Honda, one got everything. In contrast, buy a VW, and you could throw 2/3rds of the manual away because "this feature may not be available on your model" and it wasn't.

And now, In India, VW keep "facelifting" the Polo with extras and Honda are taking them away?
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Old 27th July 2017, 09:06   #14
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Default re: Honda's extreme cost cutting: WR-V base variant doesn't get wheel well cladding!

It is no secret that Honda is the new cost-cutting champion, has been since the release of the previous-gen City. I say this with first hand experience of driving a colleague's then brand new City costing nearly 15 large.. it was rattling all over the place and he also had numerous complaints against the vehicle like poor build, rattles, panels creaking and also a couple of failures in the form of sunroof and touchscreen. Long story short.. it was sold.

The Honda that made the Civic and 9th generation Accord was a different Honda. In their second coming in India with the Brio, Amaze and subsequent City "facelifts", they have completely destroyed their reputation.. amazingly not enough people admit it only due to the fact that the company has a ton of goodwill/old reputation to ride on.. otherwise it stands nowhere in the local scene today. Toyota too, is heading the same path rounding off the Japanese automobile triumvirate.

The Japanese have survived on reliability and fuel efficiency long enough.. time to increase the build quality and overall tactility levels to keep up with the Koreans and Europeans, by this I mean not safety (which isn't dependent on build) but better cladding, better rubber insulation, better feel and just, an overall refinement.
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Old 27th July 2017, 09:45   #15
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Why is this cost cutting happening only for India made cars? I don't see any such cost cutting happening in cars sold here in Australia. I think even Thailand market gets decently specced safe cars. It is not that we are getting Honda cars for cheap money. We do pay a premium for whatever is being sold by HCIL. Why this double standards Honda?
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