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Old 12th November 2006, 11:34   #46
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Tata cars are cheap yes. But that comes with lower quality levels. In many cases, like with our Indigo, that means higher maintenance costs than other comparative cars, because things keep breaking regularly. Even the FE is nothing to talk about (petrol, I haven't owned a Tata diesel because they sound like tractors).

Even in the case of their "premium" offerings like the Safari, things just keep going wrong. And then you have to keep going back to them to get it fixed. What's the point of spending 8-13 lakhs if you can't rely on the car for peace of mind?

Someone mentioned Mahindra and the Scorpio. For all the patriotism we feel towards them, Mahindra rewarded us with a car that has a tendency to roll over pretty easily and get you killed. The whole first gen Scorpio is a highway death trap, and they just kept marketing it because they would rather save themselves than you and your family. Looks to me like this kind of patriotism is a one way street.
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Old 12th November 2006, 11:34   #47
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Proton is a bad example. Proton is what Malaysians were FORCED to buy as there was no alternative - any foreign import was slapped with a 240% duty at one time, which went down to about 150% when I was around there. So people had no choice but to buy Proton -
the point is valid but over the past two-three years, tariffs have come down and Hyundai, toyota etc are making major in-orads despite Proton's price advantage

The Patriotism quip is more of a statement that Tata should not just rely on this.

The Indica is made to a "basic" standard to a "basic" price but I really wonder how well it would have done without the diesel option
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Old 12th November 2006, 12:33   #48
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If the criticism is helping tata to bring better products (which they are trying to some extent), let us be more harsh. Again since Tata is exporting their cars to overseas markets, they will be more challenged to achieve better quality.
So till Tata becomes truly world class, let us apply a minimum amount of patriotism
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Old 12th November 2006, 12:35   #49
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The IT revolution in India has helped tata too a large extent[atleast 85% of the call centre staff are transported using tata vehicles]

Would we see so many Indica's on the road if it were not for those call centre cars?Most likely majority of the indica sales figures are from this segment[the taxi segment].

But if the Indica were a completely unreliable vehicle[forget luxury] would the taxi segment have adopted it?

Last edited by rahul_intlad : 12th November 2006 at 12:41.
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Old 12th November 2006, 13:17   #50
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Few points:

a) anecdotal evidence is just that, and stories about certain brands get told more. Honda started out with a terrible me-too copycat image, Hyundai more recently overcame that. Tata cars have surely improved. You can find stories about any brand of any product. I type this from a high end HP Laptop which has a similar story ? HP sucks ? Dunno

b) Don't compare different packages. There have been multiple cars from multiple brands in the family. The only one to have 'totally stopped' ever was my OHC, and that due to a battery problem - cannot really call Hondas lousy for that, can we ?

Tatas run tens of thousands of kms, and when they do need work, it sooooo affordable to get things redone you don't mind it too much. I cannot really say that about all brands.

c) While sales and quality don't have a proportional relationship, the foll is true:
- below a certain level, quality will surely affect sales. Else we'd be overridden with chinese bike imports
- overall packaging and sales have a very high correlation - quality/price/featurelist/space/maintainability have all got to be decent/acceptable for the consumer to accept a product. Tata has certainly improved on that combined score continuously.

- Tata has not "upgraded" from being truck manfrs to car makers - their trucks come with way more reliability and wayyy longer warranties than the cars. The car market is different, the expectations, needs and thus parameters are v different. The truck dealers are way more trusted and respected by their customers than the car dealers are - and deserve to be.
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Old 12th November 2006, 13:18   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat
the point is valid but over the past two-three years, tariffs have come down and Hyundai, toyota etc are making major in-orads despite Proton's price advantage
The markets are open now. Proton sold cars for 20 years with price protection and found themselves naked when the tariff barriers were brought down as part of the AFTA (Asian Free Trade Agreement) mandate. Malaysia delayed implementation of these mandates by over 3 years to continue protecting Proton in the hope that they will turn a new leaf. They didnt.

This was definitely not the case with Tata.
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Old 12th November 2006, 13:30   #52
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Originally Posted by iraghava
You know TATA can keep playing this game of being cheap & diesel powered but frankly once other players come into this market they're gonna have to pull up their socks, fast.
Every wonder why other players are not coming into this market for years and are letting Tata sell more than 1 lakh Indicas year after year and make tons of money in the process ? Definitely not for patriotism or social service

Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava
1. Does it have a good engine? NO
2. Does it have a good gearbox? NO
3. Are the NVH levels acceptable? NO
4. Is it a pleasure to drive? NO
5. Is it a quality product? NO
6. Does it have good interiors? NO
7. Is it a great handler? NO
8. Is it a reliable product? NO
No offence mate, but there is no simple yes or no (or absolute) answers to any of above questions. Rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 and you would find that they meet the requirements of the segment to which Tata is trying to sell. They have a product which meets the needs of that segment perfectly in terms of space, comfort, ruggedness, pricing and cost to run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava
And actually there's no question of price point, Indica is the only diesel hatchback today and so it sells depite all the shortcomings. I don't consider the Palio a contender due to Fiat's own problems & higher price point. But my opinion is that once the Swift/Getz diesels are here the more demanding customers are going to shift from Indica's in droves despite the higher cost.]
Do you actually believe that demanding customers are buying Indica today? Think about Swift's back seat and Getz price and you will realize that majority of Indica customers will stay with Indica. I think that Swift/Getz diesel will not make more than 5% dent in Indica sales, just my opinion ofcourse.
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Old 12th November 2006, 13:34   #53
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IMO, At the end of the Day , any Product will survive in the Market only if it is a Good Value Proposition to a large number of consumers in its target segment.

Tatas and Mahindras are doing quite well in reaching their target segments..There is a tremendous scope for improvement by both but they are on the right path.
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Old 12th November 2006, 13:36   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dceite
And Indica sells in large numbers because:
1. Taxi owners have no other choice. Padmini and ambassader are almost dead. So they are only left with the Indica because its a cheap and spacious diesel car.
Agreed that Indica sells in large numbers because of taxi owners. Are we saying that Taxi owners don't care about quality of the product ? They are quite business savvy and figure out the difference it makes to them (in terms of lost business) when the car is in garage for repairs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dceite
2. Most of the new car buyers are not T-bhpians like you and me. The key word with Indian Janta is "Average kya hai??". It is this attitude, coupled with the fact that its a diesel, that people fall prey (if i may say that!) to it.
I don't believe people are that gullible these days .

The point I am trying to make is that quality is a relative term and the quality that Tata offers on their product is acceptable to a large number of car buying population in India.
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Old 12th November 2006, 14:08   #55
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Angry Cheap whiskey anyone...?

Firstly, anybody who says that a product should be purchased by others because it's made in their country has a completely skewed sense of patriotism. That should have nothing to do with commercial decisions. Product superiority should.

Secondly, we must laud Tata for having the largest R&D department in the world - over 1.2 billion people... yup, am talking about the great Indian public.

Which is why they half build a car & then throw it out onto the eagerly awaiting, unsuspecting, 'patriotic' masses, who rush out & burn their savings on one of their products, only to have it re-launched within a short period as V2, V3, V4 or VVStupid with "great new improvements".

Not that one can compare, but to put this into perspective:
Mercedes takes out an average of 50 patents for new technology every time they launch another S Class.

"EPDM Rubber Profiles".
A small story before I get to the main point. Years back, a Tata print advert really got my goat & still rankles when I think about it.

When Tata re-launched the Indica as the Indica V2, one of it's adverts stated that the "new" V2 had "EPDM Rubber Profiles". Which meant they now used a standard rubber compound for the damn window surrounds so you wouldn't get water on your groin when it rained. EPDM was now used instead of using charcoal dust, gum & papier-mache like they did for the V1, to stay in line with every other manufacturer in the world,

My point: Instead of realizing their mistake & having a quiet recall & replacement of the faulty product, they simply said "screw you" to the existing customers & launched a new model with a higher price & parts that should've been properly engineered & there in the first place. I have yet to see any vehicle manufacturer tom-tom about EPDM rubber profiles being fitted in their vehicles as an improvement.

Why IndiXXs Sell.
Excellent pricing.
Often first time buyers.
Diesel.
Spacious for it's class.

Methinks the sales process goes like this:
First time car buyer walks into the Tata showroom. Asks five questions:
1. Diesel hai?
2. Average kya deti hai?
3. With A/C?
4. Paanch jan baith sakte hain?
5. EMI kitne ka padega aur down payment kya hai?
Upon getting satisfactory answers from the salesperson, the deed's done, loan sanctioned, papers signed, & delivery taken.

Some time down the road, they're sick of the problems, sick of the lousy A.S.S., sick of the lack of refinement, hate their Tata & now want a Maruti / Hyundai. As simple as that.

An IndiXX is like cheap bad whiskey.
You take it for the first time, enjoy it for the high it gives you, enjoy it while it lasts, hate it for what it does to you the next day.
And you never touch it again.
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Old 12th November 2006, 14:30   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salilpawar1
Why are u comparting the NVH levels of a diesel Indigo (SX) with an Esteem/Accent/Ikon?
Esteem D was a relatively poor vehicle and i wonder if it is sold now. Accent CRDi is much more expensive. Ikon 1.8D is definintely outdated.
I am merely comparing it to its competitors. Which incidentally both the Indica/go don't have & the nearest are the cars listed above. And had a ride in an Esteem Diesel a few weeks back while being taken to the airport & the NVH atleast from the back seat was pretty decent, better then the Indigo anyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by salilpawar1
What if u tell you Fiat's new 1.3 Multijet Diesel might also become a part of Indica due to the Tata-Fiat alliance? Anyway Swift Diesel and Palio Diesel can never match the killer prices of the Indica.
No need to tell me. Let me tell you if you're waiting for an Indica with a multijet engine it's gonna be a LONG wait. TATA won't launch it for the increased price & Fiat ain't that stupid to give them the technology to see their own sales suffer. And about the prices see that's my point you are putting the price before anything else even basic standards expected of an automobile today and that is why you think it's a great product & I beg to differ. I'm prepared to pay more simply to get the quality that I expect a modern car to give me. Many people are not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_intlad
The IT revolution in India has helped tata too a large extent[atleast 85% of the call centre staff are transported using tata vehicles]

Would we see so many Indica's on the road if it were not for those call centre cars?Most likely majority of the indica sales figures are from this segment[the taxi segment].
Rahul yes the IT sector has played a big part but the question is can you suggest an alternative to the Indica/Sumo for that sector at that price? It's cheap, diesel powered, can be fixed by any Tom, Dick & Harry & you get cheap local spares for it. What more does a taxi owner want?

Last edited by iraghava : 12th November 2006 at 14:33.
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Old 12th November 2006, 14:39   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elf
My point: Instead of realizing their mistake & having a quiet recall & replacement of the faulty product, they simply said "screw you" to the existing customers & launched a new model with a higher price & parts that should've been properly engineered & there in the first place.
I think you should know that when the V2 was launched Tata announced that all existing customers would be eligible for retrofits to carry out most of the changes in the first lot of cars.

They still do this - how many manufacturers pass on improvements to customers that had bougth the product earlier? For free?

They do not say 'Screw you' to existing customers - I will testify to that with my first hand experience. Other manufacturers have done so, but Tata havent. Hell they even replaced the Air Filter assembly of older vehicles after the newer ones featured redesigned Air Filters that reduce intake noise, so they dont stick to replacing just the essentials. How about replacing gear levers so that you can continue to change CDs on your HU even if you are in (1) or (3) ? They changed that too - for free.
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Old 12th November 2006, 14:41   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava
Rahul yes the IT sector has played a big part but the question is can you suggest an alternative to the Indica/Sumo for that sector at that price? It's cheap, diesel powered, can be fixed by any Tom, Dick & Harry & you get cheap local spares for it. What more does a taxi owner want?
No alternative atleast for the time being. Maybe the Logan,although not sure about it yet.
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Old 12th November 2006, 15:05   #59
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I would prefer to good after-service to reputation; in Goa the Tata dealers and Mahindra dealers are and work like Government offices - pass the buck type, maintaining strict office timings, making bad comments on co-workers, etc
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Old 12th November 2006, 15:26   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
I think you should know that when the V2 was launched Tata announced that all existing customers would be eligible for retrofits to carry out most of the changes in the first lot of cars.
I'll confirm that. The first lot of Indicas (about 90k of them?) did get upgrades for design improvements (recalls are done when things totally do not work, or endanger people - not for things that don't really work as well as the new components) made to the V2. Tata PR obviously sucked at deriving mileage out of this. This included suspension changes, if I remember right. Now thats something I have not seen from too many manufacturers.

Yes the dealerships suck by and large, their component supplier quality needs further improvement but you can hardly doubt their intentions or deny the improvements being made over time.

Not that I'm buying and Indica/go anytime soon, but fair's fair.
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