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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 22nd September 2004, 16:23   #1
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,726
Thanked: 89,202 Times
Default

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?

India has terrible roads - There are potholes everywhere, and some of the roads could give the craters on the moon a run for their money!! Instead of fuel economy, the focus should be on a better suspension, comfortable interiors, a modern chassis and the ability to soak up bad roads effectively.

India has no road manners in practice, half the streets dont have proper street lighting, driving licences are given out at random, breaking signals / traffic rules is not unusual - Bottomline? Our roads are outright dangerous!! Instead of fuel economy, the focus must be on safety - Both active and passive. But how often do you hear of people checking for rear seat belts, ticking the air-bag options or going for better and grippier rubber?

When you go to buy a shirt, do you focus only on the price? Or are you willing to pay a premium for something that looks and feels better? Instead of fuel economy, the focus must be on other tangibles/intangibles : The feel good factor, longer life etc. I have seen people who drive their Mondeos and City Vtecs with an extremely light foot just to get that 10% more fuel economy!! Whats the point? Forget such performance cars. I have also witnessed Zen MPFi owners never going above 1500 rpm to get the maximum mileage. Thats a great car to drive too. Why dont you just go and buy a diesel instead if thats all you care about?

This exclusive focus on fuel economy has reached such ghastly proportions that even manufacturers are intentionally under-sizing their tyres. The 85 bhp Mpfi esteem has acceleration that can shame a Mercedes C Class but Maruti offered it with 155mm tyres!! What kind of grip, handling and braking do you expect out of puny 155 tyres? Its not only stupid - its outright dangerous!! Not only to the person whos driving the Esteem but to everyone else on the road and highway too.

Indians behave as if the fuel economy is the most expensive part of owning a car!! Wake up, its depreciation that is. Not fuel economy. In some cases its maintenance costing, not fuel economy. As a component of total ownership cost, fuel economy is only one. Theres depreciation, cost of maintainence, insurance and so on. How often do you hear of a person who shopped around for a better deal on his insurance?

Of course, if there is like a major difference where one car is giving you 6 kmpl and the other is delivering 12. Then FE can become a talking point. Buttttttttttttttt really well-engineered, safer and more modern cars are being side lined by the Indian consumer because it gives you 10 - 15% less fuel economy.

Dont get me wrong. I am not saying that caring about fuel economy sucks, but there are other things that count also. Safety, ride quality, comfort, interior room..all count toward a pleasurable ownership experience. As long as my cars give me an acceptable level of fuel efficiency, it is fine with me.

And if you do care so much about saving money on petrol, get a better car and install an alternative fuel system on it (Auto LPG?). It will save you more money in the long run.

The value of life is really not too much in our country. Else with such pathetic driving conditions, you would expect people to focus on safety/ride quality and not fuel economy as the "be all" of buying an Indian car. I have actually heard some ignorant idiots saying "Yeah, it gives 11 kmpl in the city. It's a great car. That other one gives only 9 - its horrible". 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
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 16:30   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
shravan316's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,029
Thanked: 3 Times
Default

u said it GTO ....."sad but true."
shravan316 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 16:38   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
normally_crazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,367
Thanked: 387 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]The value of life is really not too much in our country
GTO,

India is a poor country , whether we like to hear it or not. the focus of the people here is to save money at any cost. they are not bothered about anything else including safety else forget cars we would not have people travelling on train rooftops or hanging out of trains.

everyone is in a hurry to earn and save for himself ..thats it.

no discipline, no compassion,,, thats the way life has become !!!

these guys want a car ( status symbol ) but shouldnt pinch them so FE takes precedence over safety and suspension....

and as u say the conditions of our roads..who cares ?? the patch of road in fornt of my house is ok..damn everything else !!

ITS ALL IN THE MIND AND MONEY IS EVERYTHING.

gosh i think im going way

forget it .
normally_crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 16:41   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
normally_crazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,367
Thanked: 387 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Why the heck does the Indian consumer care ONLY about fuel economy so much
GTO,

WE DONT CARE ABOUT FE, WE ARE OBSESSED WITH IT !!!
normally_crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 16:43   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Rtech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 5,769
Thanked: 212 Times
Default

I think you got it right NC!

Also Don't forget, most people think that if they get into an accident, it is God's will, and there is nothing they can do to prevent it. So i guess they say why bother spending on safety!

Rt
Rtech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 17:03   #6
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,726
Thanked: 89,202 Times
Default

Like I have mentioned, if people were smart enough to save on money....they would also look at savings through depreciation, insurance, maintenance costings and so on.

Fuel Efficiency is not the be-all of car ownership. If you want to save money, you have to think smarter than just 1 or 2 more points in fuel averages.

GTO
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 17:05   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Shan2nu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Hubli - Karnata
Posts: 5,525
Thanked: 87 Times
Default

Actually, calculating fuel fficiency the way it's done doesn't make sense, and it will never be the same every time.

I great engine in a heavy car may not be FE but that doesn't make the engine bad.

It makes no sense buying a big, heavy car and then saying, it's not FE!!!

I bet a Vtec engine in a Tata Safari wouldn't even give you 7 kmpl.

If you really want to see how FE your engine (by itself) is, then you gotta idle your car for a given period and see how many litres it consumes.

Then you'll know, whether a Honda is FE bcos it's a great engine or bcos it's fitted onto a light chassis.

Instead of kmpl, see how efficient your engine is in terms of "litres per hour".

I know the Vtec is a FE car but i never seem to care about it when i drive.

I concentrate more on the speedo and tacho meters than on the fuel gauge.

Regards...
Shan2nu
Shan2nu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 17:11   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Technocrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mid West
Posts: 14,897
Thanked: 2,481 Times
Default

Excellant rite up & very well put GTO, here are my views on it

i would say first we need to classify the various type of people who buy cars in India ( am excluding those who buy MPVs, MUVs & SUVs this is just for cars)

Class A : People who need a car just for the need of convenience i.e. more people in vehicle, a little carriaeg capability, protection in rains & which doesn't cost much to maintain

Options : M800. older fiats, Omni

Class B :Almost the same as above with additions of styling & lil power & easy to drive.

Options : Zen, Santro, Alto, Indica, Palio 1.2, Corsa Sail

Class C : These are performance/luxury seekers with limited budget.

Options : Palio 1.6, Siena/Petra, Esteem, Indigo, Ikon, Accent, City 1.3 & the now cheaper baleno, Corsa
*
Class D : Same as above but with enough budget ( not as much as mercs)

Options : City 1.5, Vtec, Lancer, Skoda Octavia, Optra
[quote]

Class E : Almost same as above but emphasis is more on style statement

Options : Vectra, Optra(top end), Accord, Corrolla, Camry, Sonata

Class E :Merc Freaks

Options : Merc & may be an imported car too

Now out of these tell me which ones will be the bread & butter for the car manufacturing companies. I believe you know the answer.

Frankly speaking India currently has best of all the worlds( i.e. mileage, comfort & affordability & decent performance) the only ones who feel highly deprived, be it cars or bikes, are the ones who need more & more power with a chassis, body & rubbers which can compliment the engine.

I hope i made some sense
Technocrat is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 18:11   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
Rtech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 5,769
Thanked: 212 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Instead of kmpl, see how efficient your engine is in terms of "litres per hour".
Just a titbit of info on this.

The Octavia 1.9TDi gives 0.6 liters/hour while idling without the AC on. With the AC on, the figure varies between 0.9 - 1.2 liters/hour.

Gotto love that computer while stuck in traffic jams! Its really amusing seeing how FE goes up or down. However, some facts here to bust the myths.

For example, you hear everyone saying that its better to shift early to save gas. Well, when i do that on the Octi and then accelerate normaly to pass a car, I actually consume MORE fuel than I would have if I had it in a lower gear but at a higher RPM.

Think about that next time you believe you're saving fuel by driving at 35kmph in fifth gear!! It works, but only if your speed is constant, which it never is in the city.

Rt
Rtech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 20:28   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 146
Thanked: 50 Times
Default

when car is the next biggest investment after house for most of the people..for which they pay EMI's (imaging car EMI's taking 40% of your salary) I guess focus on spending less on fuel makes sense ...and with the fuel prices rising by the day...

when we compare with the developed nations...we have to see what percentage of money do you spend on the item...in US price might be a few dollars per gallon ($2 per gallon I suppose) so a max person will spend on fuel is $200..<6% of total ..in India that goes more than 10%..so the sensitivity to FE is high and rightly so...

I hope I make some sense...

~maniac
serious_maniac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 20:30   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 146
Thanked: 50 Times
Default

though many times you see obsession bordering on foolishness...buying diesel for <1000 km per month run...so yes..people need to be more sensible ..

!maniac
serious_maniac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 20:44   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Stratos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Mumbai, IN
Posts: 2,593
Thanked: 1,210 Times
Default

Well!! I can be counted in the group of peoplewho are a little obssesed with FE. If u think from a common mans point of view..he will be saving money where ever he can. His aim for using a car is to go from place A to B and that to in not so heavy cost. Yes for me..both matter .. performance and FE. But its not originally seeing FE...when v buy something.. v want it in a good price so v bargain..its similar to it!! now this is wat i think!!! This is how i am!!
Stratos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2004, 23:51   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Pune
Posts: 55
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (rtech @ Sep. 22 2004,16:41)]For example, you hear everyone saying that its better to shift early to save gas. Well, when i do that on the Octi and then accelerate normaly to pass a car, I actually consume MORE fuel than I would have if I had it in a lower gear but at a higher RPM.
I read somewhere that a turbo diesel engine has a flatter torque curve... It's more efficient to shift at the higher revs (actually the highest possible revs).

(I don't recall where *that* excellent explanation and comparison (to a non-turbo) was posted on the web)

mvk
GreenHex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2004, 00:09   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Stratos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Mumbai, IN
Posts: 2,593
Thanked: 1,210 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (GreenHex @ Sep. 22 2004,22:21)]I read somewhere that a turbo diesel engine has a flatter torque curve... It's more efficient to shift at the higher revs (actually the highest possible revs).
Whoa!! didnt knew that... any more info on this???
Stratos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd September 2004, 11:22   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Pune
Posts: 55
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Stratos @ Sep. 22 2004,22:39)]Whoa!! didnt knew that... any more info on this???
GOT IT!

http://www.e31.net/

especially...

http://www.e31.net/torque_e.html

- mvk
GreenHex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cochin - Trivandrum (200kms) in 2 hours. How the heck is it possible ? supremeBaleno Route / Travel Queries 62 10th October 2016 15:03
Now how the heck did my windshield develop the crack?!! Zappo Technical Stuff 44 12th February 2015 21:35
Where the Heck is Mori ? reply2ab Travelogues 18 5th August 2010 23:34
What the heck is this Covini C6w???? ArmourOfGod The International Automotive Scene 0 29th October 2005 14:35
What the Heck is Scorpio for? BUSA The Indian Car Scene 127 18th October 2005 03:22


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 17:36.

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