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Old 3rd January 2007, 22:30   #16
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TATA'S will have to work on improving the quality of their cars if they have to fight with toyota.Again we have to see at what price toyota is going to offer diesel car.I dont believe toyota can offer a very high quality product at the price of tata indica.
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Old 4th January 2007, 01:38   #17
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Would help if they could benchmark Toyota/Honda like the way Hyundai did and succeeded. They seem to have some sort of attraction (and aping) towards Fiat which will not help them.
well hyundai took the easy route when they started out in the auto sector.instead of developing their own technology and mechanicals,they simply borrowed mechanicals from different companies and after some time started r&d on their own.whereas tata has from the very start designed and manufactured their own engines.since tata motors is an infant company,there are bound to be problems.look at hyundai,their diesel engines are from detroit diesel usa.
fiat has a lot of technology which tata can use.not to forget that most of the indian manufacturers are going to use the fiat's 1.3multijet engine.
oh another feather in tata's cap.....TCS being involved with ferrari.
(this is just information so kindly dont make it another tata vs the rest fight)
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Old 4th January 2007, 06:46   #18
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Actually I hope the title of this thread is a good one. Eventhough Toyota is a king elsewhere, they hardly managed to penetrate the market held by tatas and marutis. Tata in other hand had understood the Indian mindset well and gave products (yes, they had their own failures like sierra, estate etc initially) that suits this market and people. With Fiat's relationship both Tata and Fiat will be benefitting surely. Tata has problems in basic stuffs like handling, technology (read multi-jet), ergonomics and finish and Fiat has problems in its marketing and biz dev (read again multi-jet!). Tata will perfect its lower end line up with Fiats know-how, meanwhile Fiat will try to penetrate the mid-size/high-end line up with Tata's backup/ support/ spares network. Looks perfect isn't it?

As a knowledgeable automobile buyer, I would not want to buy a Tata till yesterday. But today, with Fiat beside, I would surely shortlist a multi-jetted Tata model in my options. But Tata has a long way to go...atleast 4-5 years to learn and correct its mistakes.
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Old 4th January 2007, 09:34   #19
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GUys...

Dont think toyota will devolop an all- new evhicle for India, cause that would be a very copstyl option, and they'd be wanting to lower the development costs, as margins for small cars are much lesser...

What are the possible options toyota have??? I've heard of Daihatsu sirion, toyota auris... Which car do you think toyota will introduce??? (And guys, please give practical suggestions... Please dont go on saying they should introduce the prius and indica price)
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Old 4th January 2007, 10:26   #20
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Well prior to the Sumo vs Qualis battle which Toyota won! There was another in which the Dyna was kicked out of india by a certain 407.
well, not exactly. it was swaraj mazda, Mitsu eicher & Allwyn Nissan who together with probably a little help from the 407 that saw the end of a poorly supported, yet fantastic truck, DCM Toyota. I dont think the 407 is even a match for the toyota truck. I have driven the Dyna & i can assure you that it is miles ahead of the 407.
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Old 4th January 2007, 10:43   #21
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The 407 was still the preferred choice amongst the tribe of professional drivers. The specific point that scored was the slightly forward nose / engine bay. Tata had done some market research when designing the 407. The same strategy of finding out what people want, has also paid off with the Ace.

IMO, the Alwyn Nissan Cabstar remains an also-ran, just about managing to survive in areas where M&M is popular. M&M has already put on road a common rail version on this [or a similar chassis] - got to see how it fares.

Last edited by condor : 4th January 2007 at 10:45.
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Old 4th January 2007, 14:07   #22
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The 407 was still the preferred choice amongst the tribe of professional drivers. The specific point that scored was the slightly forward nose / engine bay. Tata had done some market research when designing the 407.
Tata 407 was designed to compete with the Matador, not the Indo-Jap LCVs which belonged to a different category. Their competitor was the six-cylinder Tata 608 which failed miserably, forcing Tata to develop the four-cylinder 609 which was soon re-christened as 709.

407 completely decimated the Matador which vanished from the roads.

Of course, the fact that it cost Rs. 40,000/- less than the Indo-Jap LCVs (priced at Rs. 1,80,000/- in those days) meant that the sales of 407 exceeded the sales of all Indo-Jap LCVs combined!

Nobody ever questioned the technological superiority of Indo-Jap LCVs over the 407 but it seems the transporters' economics shifted the balance in favour of 407.
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Old 4th January 2007, 14:22   #23
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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Tata 407 was designed to compete with the Matador, not the Indo-Jap LCVs which belonged to a different category. Their competitor was the six-cylinder Tata 608 which failed miserably, forcing Tata to develop the four-cylinder 609 which was soon re-christened as 709.

407 completely decimated the Matador which vanished from the roads.

Of course, the fact that it cost Rs. 40,000/- less than the Indo-Jap LCVs (priced at Rs. 1,80,000/- in those days) meant that the sales of 407 exceeded the sales of all Indo-Jap LCVs combined!

Nobody ever questioned the technological superiority of Indo-Jap LCVs over the 407 but it seems the transporters' economics shifted the balance in favour of 407.
Also the engine in 407 is bulletproof, literally.
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Old 4th January 2007, 14:57   #24
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Quote:
The specific point that scored was the slightly forward nose / engine bay. Tata had done some market research when designing the 407.
Interesting. Can you please elaborate?
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Old 4th January 2007, 15:17   #25
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Compare the cabins of the DCM-T Dyna / Mazda / Nissan Cabstar, and the home-grown 407. The first three have a flat front - a cabin-on-engine. The 407 differed from the others by having a semi-forward engine mounting - a mix between having a full nose, and a cabin-on-engine.

Remember reading reports that Tata had done some market research which had given them indications of this layout being favored by drivers in this segment. While the reasons that the drivers would have had may not have made techonological sense, the design definitely seemed to have catered to a certain need of the actual users.

Along with the 407 we had the 608 & 709 on a similar build. Of course, we later had a regular cabin-on-engine layout with the turbo'd version of the 407.

A full nose would have used up space and reduced the cargo bay. The semi-forward layout gave a balance. The service network - official/authorized and other-wise also helped this range succeed.

Another factor one can consider is that the only real competition the 407 had was the Cabstar. And Cabstar didnt last. Dyna was more in the 9-10 tonne range, and had to contend with the established Tata 1210. Eicher was there in the same range, but has survived, and is growing. The HM Isuzu FVR 16 tonner could not take on the Leyland's.

The Swaraj Mazda was a little below that, and may have got stuck in-between the lower & upper range. I still seem to see relatively more Mazda's as passenger vehicles than as cargo carriers.

One of the big reasons the Ace has succeeded so much is because it has given the owner-operators something more than a 3-wheeler - a step forward in terms of size, capacity, safety [3-wheeler vs 4-wheeler] - and aspirational needs.

Last edited by condor : 4th January 2007 at 15:33.
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Old 4th January 2007, 16:46   #26
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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
... Dont think toyota will devolop an all- new evhicle for India, cause that would be a very copstyl option, and they'd be wanting to lower the development costs, as margins for small cars are much lesser...
It'll probably be a high volume phased out model from elsewhere on the planet, as the tooling would have depreciated substantially & therefore would not cost much for Toyota to make in India. Being a tried & tested platform / vehicle would be another advantage in terms of R&D & manufacturing costs.

Methinks that although the styling will be important, perceived quality levels & the Toyota nameplate will do wonders for this end of the market.

Currently, in my opinion, the only areas Tata would score over the Toyota would be in terms of the number of service outlets & the perceived value of spares - not the actual costs.
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Old 4th January 2007, 17:22   #27
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Another factor one can consider is that the only real competition the 407 had was the Cabstar. And Cabstar didnt last. Dyna was more in the 9-10 tonne range, and had to contend with the established Tata 1210. Eicher was there in the same range, but has survived, and is growing. The HM Isuzu FVR 16 tonner could not take on the Leyland's.

The Swaraj Mazda was a little below that, and may have got stuck in-between the lower & upper range. I still seem to see relatively more Mazda's as passenger vehicles than as cargo carriers.
407 was a 4-tonner while the Dyna was a 6-tonner. It was another issue that the 407 would regularly be taking anywhere between 6-8 tonnes as actual payload - the Tatas knew this would happen.

Hence, for the actual user the 407 = Dyna.

The 1210 is not a 10-tonner but a 12 tonner. The Tata model numbers are a combination of tonnage and output (bhp) rounded to the nearest 10. Hence the 407 was a 4 tonner with 70 bhp, 1210 is a 12 tonner with 100 bhp, 1516 is a 15 tonner with 160 bhp, 609 was a 6 tonner with 90 bhp and so on and so forth. They also have models like the 2316, 2520 etc that we dont see much in our country.

The Cabstar was more in the 407 league in terms of capacity, but the 407 effectively took care of the Cabstar, the Dyna, the Swaraj Mazda T3500 and the Mitsubishi Canter.

As for the Ace, it was simply a matter of giving the market what it wanted - it has nothing to do with aspirational matters as this is a commercial vehicle. It is a phenomenal success for this simple reason - can the hype and address the requirements. How many ads have you seen of the Ace?

Last edited by Steeroid : 4th January 2007 at 17:23.
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Old 4th January 2007, 17:31   #28
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The only competition to ACE is the Minidor(three wheeled) and Vikram(3 wheeled again).
With similar price and better stability on overloading(this is what is usually done, 2 tonnes on a one tonner) ACE is a winner. And in the commercial segment Tata brand is more respected than the Vikrams and Minidors
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Old 4th January 2007, 18:21   #29
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Remember reading reports that Tata had done some market research which had given them indications of this layout being favored by drivers in this segment. While the reasons that the drivers would have had may not have made techonological sense, the design definitely seemed to have catered to a certain need of the actual users.
Very true and correct, Condor.

DRIVERS probably prefer semi-forward or normal control vehicles (i.e. those with a nose) because:

(1) they consider it safer.
(2) It's easier to do routine inspection, maintenance and repair of the engine

On the other hand, OWNERS prefer full-forward control because it increases the cargo area.

I don't know what DRIVER-CUM-OWNERs prefer.

For some reason, American drivers too prefer normal control (with nose) vehicles. There was this case study about a prominent American auto maker in which the development of a very successful people carrier/van was discussed. It was mentioned that one of the basic instructions given to the designers was that the vehicle must have a nose.

I also remember reading a case study in Business India which said that in the event of frontal collisions, 407 used to survive and could at least limp-home to a workshop whereas the full forward control Indo-Jap LCVs got immobilised in the event of a head-on collision and had to be towed to the workshop. Don't know how correct this report was though.


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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Along with the 407 we had the 608 & 709 on a similar build. Of course, we later had a regular cabin-on-engine layout with the turbo'd version of the 407.
The cabin-on-engine (i.e. full forward control cab) first appeared on the 609, not 407. Full-forward 407 appeared much later.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Another factor one can consider is that the only real competition the 407 had was the Cabstar. And Cabstar didnt last.
Dyna was more in the 9-10 tonne range, and had to contend with the established Tata 1210.
Cabstar probably gave the least competition to 407. 407, though designed to compete with the Matador, actually competed with all the Indo-Jap LCVs.

Dyna was a six-tonner (GVW), not in the 9-10 tonner category, even though it used a larger load body. Dyna did not compete with 1210, as rightly pointed out by Steeroid. Dyna, Eicher-Canter and Swaraj-Mazda were all 6-tonners and had similar specifications. Only the Cabstar was smaller.

Actually, these Indo-Jap LCVs were designed to carry high-volume but low density/weight cargo like refrigerators, TVs, washing machines. Hence, though they had relatively big load bodies, their load carrying capacity was less, almost in the 407 category.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Eicher was there in the same range, but has survived, and is growing. The HM Isuzu FVR 16 tonner could not take on the Leyland's. The Swaraj Mazda was a little below that, and may have got stuck in-between the lower & upper range. I still seem to see relatively more Mazda's as passenger vehicles than as cargo carriers.
Swaraj Mazda was the only Indo-Jap LCV manufacturer which obtained collaborator's know-how for making passenger vehicles also. Others only obtained Japanese know-how for making trucks. Hence, the mini-buses from Swaraj-Mazda were of a much better quality and became popular. Others developed mini-buses on their own and hence their quality was poorer.

Last edited by directinjection : 4th January 2007 at 18:27.
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Old 4th January 2007, 19:29   #30
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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Remember reading reports that Tata had done some market research which had given them indications of this layout being favored by drivers in this segment. While the reasons that the drivers would have had may not have made techonological sense, the design definitely seemed to have catered to a certain need of the actual users.
Tata probably claimed that but popular opinion at the time was the TATA simply reverse enginnered the Mercedes Benz Sprinter LCV (known as TEmpo Traveller to us). The similarities between the 2 (cab layout only) cannot be ignored.

It true that trucks with noses are prefered for safety but that is mostly for hwy vehicles. The full forward control makes it much more compact for crowded cities where you have to make U turns etc. Most of the 4 -6 tonners are used for city delivery.

Another feature of the Indo Jap LCVs and the main reason for the forward control was that they were tilt cabs. Within minutes you can tilt the whole cab and have full access to the engine.

Swaraj Mazda and Eitcher Mitsu were the only real 2 survivors out of the 4. The Cabstar came back to life after Mahindra took over. I feel these vehicles were too ahead of their time. The cabins and instrument panels were even more modern than the so called premium cars sold at the time (Contessa and 118NE). This was percieved as unwanted by operators. Also I dont know how well they took to overloading and how expensive the spares were. The Dyna was the most poorly supported with DCM having zero engineering ability.

Last edited by Mpower : 4th January 2007 at 19:31.
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