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Old 11th February 2007, 01:55   #31
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This is very common across the region. Japanese cars rule in Hong Kong also and here're a few observations I made:

a) Build quality. On the whole, Japanese manufacturers do take more pride in their workmanship... less rattling of bits & pieces, panels are assembled with more care.

b) Success breeds more success. I know people who've been put off European cars simply because being less popular, very often you have no choice but to go back to the distributor for parts & service, now I'm not sure about India, but here the distributor charges big dollars for anything. For the modder, more popular models are likely to have more mod parts available locally, rather than having to ship everything from overseas. I'm actually very fond of Fords but it's very disheatening when everytime something goes wrong the cost of parts is higher than the residual value of the car itself - which brings me to resale value: Japanese cars do run trouble free forever, which, to be fair, isn't the case with European cars with the same level of care, and I think the resale value reflects that (I presume it's the same in India where Japanese cars command much, much higher resale than European ones).

c) Driving quality. Whether you like it or not, the majority of people have a car to get from A to B. Now Japanese cars tend to have really, really light steering with little to no feedback, OK we Euro fans don't like that, but a lot of people actually prefer that airey fairey feel... You can tell them about driving pleasure or even safety (Japanese cars, on the whole, are more flimsy than their equivalent European counterparts) but do they listen?

d) Car buyers on the whole are very unforgiving - most European cars suck eggs in the 70s, I guess they never recovered from that.

For the longest time, my dad refused to buy Japanese cars for some obscure reasons dating back to the 30s (something about a war...). Now he won't drive anything but (his latest acquisition, after getting rid of the 10 yo, completely trouble-free Camry, is another Camry, the new 3.5). Admittedly, it REALLY REALLY is a lovely car to ride in. I was riding in my GF's BMW 323 this evening and commented on how well the sound insulation was compared to my little Polo when she commented that my dad's Camry is infinitely better, to the extent that you wouldn't believe you were sitting in a car at all.

At the end of the day, most people don't track their cars, they don't drive it at speeds where high speed stability or even suspension/chassis hardness becomes an issue, Japanese is the obvious choice. I don't really think it has anything to do with market maturity - if Toyota is now bigger than GM, I'm afraid that's where the market appears to be heading...
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Old 17th February 2007, 17:00   #32
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Originally Posted by ameya View Post

Abroad, your personality is often judged by the car you drive. Basically, we still have not matured as a car buyer. We pick up any **** as long as it is cheap. Safety doesnt even feature on the Indian´s priority list.
We still dont know class, tradition, taste, style, quality, brand name, performance, safety etc.
Which is maybe why poorly engineered korean and japanese cars sell like hot cakes in India.
I happened to notice this, and the first thing that came to my mind was "What happened when Toyota and Mazda conquered the American car market in the 80's, when they were not even heard of. GM and Ford, the largest car companies of America at that time, the toughest of competitors had to get together in a process of co-opting in order to fight the Japanese. But the Japanese eventually won. Does it mean that the Americans don't know how to buy cars as well?"

The fact is, the Japanese treat the "business" differently. Agreed, the Toyota has the lean manufacturing system, probably leanest manufacturing and all that, but at the end of the day, they do businesses differently. So, comparing cars based on the country of origin is not really a great idea (Excuse me if I am wrong).
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Old 15th February 2008, 14:53   #33
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1. Space
2. Fuel Efficiency, mileage
3. Running costs and basically costs, costs and costs.....

All companies need to think on these lines whenever they come up with their launches in INDIA, but to a certain extet they may be relaxed now as the common man here now has started thinking big and is relaxing his stand on stuff like mileage.

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