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Old 16th September 2011, 13:19   #106
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Why the heck does the Indian consumer care ONLY about fuel economy so much? Of course it is important and Indians are among the most value conscious around the world. But is it the only gauge of a good car versus a bad car?

Sad but true

GTO

yes, you right, it's not the only gauge and it shouldn't be. we should be considering all other things like you mentioned safety, comfort, pleasure too. but i think FE is also very important, not becasue of it will run cheap but because it tells the refinement of engine, it is less burden on environment. for that matter it is also first quoted thing in advertisements across europe(with greenhouse gas emmisions figures). because EU has made other safety features mandatory and they are more environmental conscious and aware.
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Old 16th September 2011, 13:49   #107
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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The typical Indian car buyer would rather run the risk of getting permanently injured (or much worse fatally injured) in a car accident than see that all important fuel gauge go down sooner than expected.

Sad but true

GTO
A little harsh on the buyers. To answer this charge in a single sentence, I would say a price-conscious buyer tries to replace the car's safety features by what is the cheapest: human labour.

Most likely on the expressway the cars which I see zoom past me will be the bigger and the better (and also the costlier) ones. The ordinary 800s, Zens and vans usually stick to the left lanes, mindful they do not have a strong enough shell to protect them in case of a collision or flipover, nor do they have any airbags or ABS to help them react better to emergencies.

While in the cities where the smaller cars show off due to their inherent nimbleness, I have yet to see a trend where the smaller (rather the less safer) cars trying to vie for a space on the road with the bigger and safer cars.

Being a good driver and being able to avoid emergencies by anticipation and safer driving can save you money otherwise spent on airbags and ABS, still gets you from point A to point B and still gets you home safe and sound. Where you see one Alto or one Maruti 800 crashed, there are literally thousands of others which don't.

I don't drive the Ikon the same way as the Santro. Or I wouldn't drive my M800 the way I would drive the Ikon.
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Old 16th September 2011, 15:16   #108
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

Any time @Jesse... not that I know much .

Only considering fuel effiency as a buying parameter is not appropriate. If we have to choose the most optimum car for ourselves we need to take into account the total cost of ownership. This could involve several factors such as
-->Initial cost of the car
-->Fuel effeciency
-->Average usage along with how long does one intend to keep the car
-->spare parts and routine servicing costs
-->crash/repair damage. This is covered majorly via cost of insurance
-->depreciation and value in 2nd hand market

If we choos from rival brands after such analysis then I am sure we can choose the most optimum ride for ourselves. Cheers!!
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Old 16th September 2011, 16:19   #109
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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The ordinary 800s, Zens and vans usually stick to the left lanes, mindful they do not have a strong enough shell to protect them in case of a collision or flipover, nor do they have any airbags or ABS to help them react better to emergencies.

While in the cities where the smaller cars show off due to their inherent nimbleness, I have yet to see a trend where the smaller (rather the less safer) cars trying to vie for a space on the road with the bigger and safer cars.
The trend here is different. It is primarily the Alto which is seen to fly with the wind on our (apology of) highways. The Alto is light, powerful for its weight, nimble with skinny tyres and highly unsafe after 80kmph. But seeing the number of guys (never women) who send it flying with barely any control, I seriously wonder if they are on a Kamikaze mission with their cars being an expendable weapon.
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Old 8th October 2011, 02:28   #110
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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The trend here is different. It is primarily the Alto which is seen to fly with the wind on our (apology of) highways. The Alto is light, powerful for its weight, nimble with skinny tyres and highly unsafe after 80kmph. But seeing the number of guys (never women) who send it flying with barely any control, I seriously wonder if they are on a Kamikaze mission with their cars being an expendable weapon.

Happened to me when I was returning from Solapur. There was a black alto driven by a youngster with what looked like his parents in the car with him. He was driving aroung 80Kmph, when I overtook him. The Solapur Pune road is a two lane highway most of the way due to the work in progress.

He then tried to overtake me dangerously three or four times, once almost colliding with a truck. I slowed down and let him pass. That car is a city car - period. I know FE is important, but what good is FE if you are not in a condition to enjoy the car...ever.
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Old 2nd November 2011, 22:15   #111
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

FE is a deal maker or breaker at least in the small car segment.

It is more because the way our mind is tuned. India is or definitely was a poor country. Not every body can think of taking out cash from their pocket every now and then, unless, they have got reserves of vitamin M in their banks or are certain of a bright financial future. Cars are not alone used as an adrenaline pump as we BHPians think. It serves a bigger purpose - transporting.

We should respect the dreams of the financially not so fortunate too. At least for a day, you should be in their shoes to realize why exactly they are thinking so. A typical example is me myself when I earlier used to earn freely without much family responsibilities. But, now I am feeling the pinch. I am now starting to wonder how I can satisfy my passion for driving in this era of ever-rising petrol rise, exploding traffic and increasing pollution.

Might be the newer generations in India do not think too much on FE, because they have not seen much financial burdens in their homes as in older times.

Coming to the point why we care ONLY about FE. If one goes only for FE, without even thinking about the initial cost of the car, maintenance costs, reliability, then it is an obsession. Otherwise, it is only just a part of not having much money reserves.

Depreciation - I do not get the point of foreseeing the future. How can a Swift buyer be so sure that Maruti does not withdraw the Swift for a better version within the next 3 years? Nothing is sure about the future. In that case, what about my Baleno? I, like others thought the Baleno, being a VFM car at the time of buy, would fetch me good in the after market.

Safety - slowly but definitely getting into the minds of the people. Gone are the days when we could have ignored safety, thinking that unless we ride rash, we would not face much difficulty. Welcome the days of speed, even if we ride safe, a slight impact from a speeding Volvo could crush us inside our lightly built car(for FE). Welcome the days of speed where we surely have to depend on air-bags and ABS. As GTO rightly said, sad but true. Money is more valued than life itself. We are in a mad rush for money, not life itself. True that money is needed for a better life, but running after money, somewhere we forget about our own, as well as our fellow being's life :(

Do I feel contradicting? Yes, a bit. But what my conclusion is that, make safety a necessity than an option. This has to be enforced. Or else we will always see non-ABS and non-air-bag versions of a car out-selling the ones with them.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 19:47   #112
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

Even though there are other factors that should weigh heavily during a purchase decision of a car such as build quality, safety features and resale value, the most important thing on our people's mind is fuel efficiency.

Cannot blame them either for simple reasons such as the steep fuel price hikes every now and then and also auto majors (read Maruti) bombarding with every commercial with just the tagline 'Kitna deti hai?'

Now do they highlight other features about their cars. NO
Are they having cars which are built to last and with enough safety features. NO
Do they update their model lineup with new platforms and variants regularly. NO

Just build light cars which are cheap to buy and run and lo you have the country's biggest car maker of them all!
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Old 4th July 2012, 08:16   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg
Even though there are other factors that should weigh heavily during a purchase decision of a car such as build quality, safety features and resale value, the most important thing on our people's mind is fuel efficiency.

Cannot blame them either for simple reasons such as the steep fuel price hikes every now and then and also auto majors (read Maruti) bombarding with every commercial with just the tagline 'Kitna deti hai?'

Now do they highlight other features about their cars. NO
Are they having cars which are built to last and with enough safety features. NO
Do they update their model lineup with new platforms and variants regularly. NO

Just build light cars which are cheap to buy and run and lo you have the country's biggest car maker of them all!
Can you really wonder, in a scenario where the sense of deprivation is so immense and a car is still a luxe item for most people.
We are lucky that a decent number of people such as those on this Forum and other urban dwellers have possibly evolved beyond pure FE, but I don't mind telling you that it does make a difference even for us, to whatever extent.
Why drive a Fuel inefficient ca when one has a choice?
Saving for the future and spending less is in our genetic make up, especially in the middle classes.
This bit is OT:
Next, isn't this country so terribly skewed?
We see such fantastic cars and such well off people, all of whom are building some huge houses and things. The poor construction workers who build those houses don't even have toilets or bathing spaces to use!
The penetration of mobile telephones across the length, breadth and depth of India is unimaginable. Yet, the penetration of toilets across the same India is pathetic!
There is much wrong with our society and us. Whatever we do cannot sweep it away.
Need a massive cleanup job a d very quickly indeed!
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Old 4th July 2012, 09:21   #114
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

Just read the opening post by GTO. I can't help but wonder whether this question is relevant 8 years down the line?

Fuel efficiency is always going to be a factor for any car buyer. But I feel the Indian consumer today, has moved on from his obsession for fuel efficiency. Thanks to the plethora diesel cars on offer I guess.

Just googled for petrol prices in 2004. Used to be Rs. 36/ litre back then. When you consider the average mileage of about 11 kmpl, the cost per km worked out to about Rs. 3.25 . Pretty similar to what most diesel cars cost to run today. When you consider the impact of inflation and erosion in the value of money, its bloody cheap today than what it used to be in 2004.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 4th July 2012 at 09:24.
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Old 4th July 2012, 12:38   #115
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat
I feel the Indian consumer today, has moved on from his obsession for fuel efficiency. Thanks to the plethora diesel cars on offer I guess.
The Indian consumer has not moved on anywhere from his obsession. He is still obsessed (nothing wrong in that IMO), just that while using subsidised diesel, he is not bothered about FE since he is anyway paying around 1/3rd less for each litre of diesel and for a similar engine getting more kmpl too. Deregulate diesel prices and bring it on par with petrol-price and then we wont see many guys lining up for diesel-cars even if priced same as petrol cars, forget paying a premium of 1lakh that they do now. Torque, FTD etc will no longer be relevant.

And contrary to general opinion, FE is not a bad word for various reasons :
- the E stands for efficiency which in most realms is a good to have thing.
- we are talking fossil-fuels here, which will soon disappear and if we can use it more efficiently, why not ?
- FE is about technology - the old-school thought of if it is powerful it will be low-FE does not apply if the right technology is used. And this should be encouraged.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 4th July 2012 at 12:43.
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Old 4th July 2012, 14:06   #116
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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The Indian consumer has not moved on anywhere from his obsession. He is still obsessed (nothing wrong in that IMO), just that while using subsidised diesel, he is not bothered about FE since he is anyway paying around 1/3rd less for each litre of diesel and for a similar engine getting more kmpl too. Deregulate diesel prices and bring it on par with petrol-price and then we wont see many guys lining up for diesel-cars even if priced same as petrol cars, forget paying a premium of 1lakh that they do now. Torque, FTD etc will no longer be relevant.

And contrary to general opinion, FE is not a bad word for various reasons :
- the E stands for efficiency which in most realms is a good to have thing.
- we are talking fossil-fuels here, which will soon disappear and if we can use it more efficiently, why not ?
- FE is about technology - the old-school thought of if it is powerful it will be low-FE does not apply if the right technology is used. And this should be encouraged.
Nothing wrong in being energy conscious. I never said we should not be obsessed with FE. My post was just a general reflection of the present state of mind of the Indian car buyer. I never took any stand .

You are contradicting yourself when you say ....

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
He is still obsessed (nothing wrong in that IMO), just that while using subsidised diesel, he is not bothered about FE

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Deregulate diesel prices and bring it on par with petrol-price and then we wont see many guys lining up for diesel-cars even if priced same as petrol cars, forget paying a premium of 1lakh that they do now. Torque, FTD etc will no longer be relevant.
Don't think so. Even if a litre of petrol costs same as diesel, the diesel car will still be cheaper to run. So if you feel we are so obsessed with FE, then don't you think we would prefer the diesel car that delivers 1.3x mileage when compared to a similar petrol car? The wide spread of torque is an added bonus. A lot of people I know would still buy the diesel car.

For the record I have four petrol cars in my garage and not a single diesel car. But that's another story .
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Old 4th July 2012, 14:43   #117
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat
Even if a litre of petrol costs same as diesel, the diesel car will still be cheaper to run. So if you feel we are so obsessed with FE, then don't you think we would prefer the diesel car that delivers 1.3x mileage when compared to a similar petrol car? The wide spread of torque is an added bonus. A lot of people I know would still buy the diesel car.
Agree that diesel-car will be cheaper to run in kmpl terms (maintenance could be more though), but what you are missing is the current price differential between an equivalent petrol and diesel car, with the latter costing atleast 1 lakh more. If diesel were to cost same as petrol today (would take a miracle for this to happen) and the diesel-car still costs 1lakh more than the petrol variant, I doubt a lot of people you know would still buy diesel. The reason why people pay 1lakh extra for diesel car is because they can recoup this via lower fuel price over the running period.
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Old 4th July 2012, 14:56   #118
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Agree that diesel-car will be cheaper to run in kmpl terms (maintenance could be more though), but what you are missing is the current price differential between an equivalent petrol and diesel car, with the latter costing atleast 1 lakh more. If diesel were to cost same as petrol today (would take a miracle for this to happen) and the diesel-car still costs 1lakh more than the petrol variant, I doubt a lot of people you know would still buy diesel. The reason why people pay 1lakh extra for diesel car is because they can recoup this via lower fuel price over the running period.
If diesel prices get aligned with petrol prices, diesel car prices will also start getting aligned with petrol car prices. The difference though will exist, but not as much as you find today. Today car companies are having to price their petrol cars extremely low and then offer further discount since there are no takers. Whereas for the diesel car they have people standing in queue. Simple demand and supply equation.

IF the Govt. does nothing about rationalising diesel prices, I fear companies may simply withdraw their petrol models from the market in the coming days as it is not worth having a production line for such low volumes.

I am afraid we are drifting OT with our discussions.
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Old 4th July 2012, 15:00   #119
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Unhappy Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Next, isn't this country so terribly skewed?
We see such fantastic cars and such well off people, all of whom are building some huge houses and things. The poor construction workers who build those houses don't even have toilets or bathing spaces to use!

Well said. You reflect exactly on my thoughts. Take the example of diesel as an example. Diesel cars (that cost upward of 4L OTR) are mostly out of reach of the construction workers and the most they can afford are entry level two wheelers like TVS50, Mopeds etc, which run on petrol. Due to the huge disparity in the price of diesel and petrol, these poor guys running cost is almost the as that of a guy having a diesel car. Now that surely does not sound good. Its a terribly skewed pricing policy which ensures that the poor guy only becomes poorer whenever he tanks up his moped. So he is forced to extract more per litre of petrol and naturally worries only about fuel efficiency.
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