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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 19th August 2007, 11:45   #61
Ram
Senior - BHPian
 
Ram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Singapore, Mumbai, Nagpur
Posts: 2,165
Thanked: 144 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by revvhed View Post
I would like to re-iterate Rtech's point. The argument about the Wagon-R's luggage space after the CNG cylinder doesn't hold much water because anyone who's tried to take a cab from the airport would probably know that with the CNG cylinder the Padmini's boot doesn't even take one suitcase properly. You HAVE to have a cab with a carrier and put your suitcases on the carrier and (maybe) your handbaggage in the boot.
Fiat/Padminis have been taxis in Bombay for 53 years. For how many of those 53 years (1954-2007) have CNG tanks been around?

Like the 3-cyl. marine diesels wafted in one time and stunk and stained their way out, the CNG may go too!

Isn't it heard that CNG...
  • yields poor acceleration
  • runs the engine too hot
  • and wears it out earlier?
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 12:00   #62
Ram
Senior - BHPian
 
Ram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Singapore, Mumbai, Nagpur
Posts: 2,165
Thanked: 144 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by revvhed
"It's a tinny, delicate, cardboard car. It will never survive Indian road conditions. It's unsafe, the metal is so thin. ......." (I'm sure there was a similar line of thought even when they switched from the Ford Prefects down to the Padminis. Wasn't the metal of the Prefects much much thicker and weren't they considered more sturdy than them darn new age FIATs ??) BUT were we proven wrong or wot ?
Were WagonRs ever used as taxis anywhere in the world?

Fiats were used somewhere as police cars.



Just yesterday, @Karl and @President photographed a 1963 Fiat taxi on the street in Mumbai.

I wondered: How does a 1963 Fiat 1100 outlive a 1983 Maruti 800 ?

Superior materials, european design, simplicity and extensive testing?

In my engineering opinion, the tinny Jap Kei car was designed to be disposable, so cheap flimsy materials were used. The tinfoil was pressed with folds and creases for structural firmness. But the car was never intended for repairs with the tinworker's gas torch, which burns holes in the thin metal very easily.

Japanese Kei design specified a high compression all-aluminium engine, stressed to put out maximum bhp (turbocharged if necessary) but effectively unrepairable and to be trashed when worn.

By way of analogy, a cheap disposable BIC ballpen vs. an old Plato/Wilson/Montblanc fountain pen.
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 14:02   #63
Senior - BHPian
 
AMATMO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bangalore\GOA
Posts: 1,456
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by salilpawar1 View Post
But what is the guarantee that the new WagonRs/Esteems would be maintained in a good condition. After 5 years or so, you'll see them with broken headlamps, malfunctioning seats, cheap bling bling accessories and so on....

We need to understand that these cabs would be bought by the private taxiwallahs and not the big taxi companies (which have a better management system when it comes to maintaining cars)

The current fare of Rs.13/- won't be sufficient to generate a profit margin with these new cars. So maintenance would obviously be neglected.

Moral of the story:
After 5 years, it would be the same old story. Filthy Padminis would



be replaced by filthy WagonRs/Esteems/Indicas.







Instead, if every taxiwallah spends around half a lakh rupees and spruces his taxi like this Padmini below...



Then even a Fiat might enjoy the cult status of the faithful London Taxi






Guys, do you get the analogy?


true true i feel the same after all padmini has the right to be called as mumbai cab(like the london cad).it is symbolic..a car that is unique to our country and has the grace of london cabs...i feel sad about the news
AMATMO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 18:53   #64
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Mpower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,432
Thanked: 1,682 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
Were WagonRs ever used as taxis anywhere in the world?

Fiats were used somewhere as police cars.

Just yesterday, @Karl and @President photographed a 1963 Fiat taxi on the street in Mumbai.

I wondered: How does a 1963 Fiat 1100 outlive a 1983 Maruti 800 ?

Superior materials, european design, simplicity and extensive testing?

Japanese Kei design specified a high compression all-aluminium engine, stressed to put out maximum bhp (turbocharged if necessary) but effectively unrepairable and to be trashed when worn.

By way of analogy, a cheap disposable BIC ballpen vs. an old Plato/Wilson/Montblanc fountain pen.
Are you actually suggesting that we continue with the 20 year old Padminis for Mumbai taxis? Even if PAL restarted production, I would'nt recommend that opion. From what I can see, with diesels being ruled out it must have been a close fight between Xeta CNG and Wagon R LPG. Euro cars like Palio, Ikon or Corsa are probably nowhere in the shopping list. Only the Logan might come close.

I feel its better to use a car well, dispose it and get a new one rather than flogging a old almost dead horse. There are things like emissions and safety norms that become outdated after a while.

Lastly, your garage relveals that you chose to buy 2 tinny Japanese marutis over a rugged European FIAT Petra/Palio or an Opel Corsa for example. How come?

Last edited by Mpower : 19th August 2007 at 19:01.
Mpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 19:09   #65
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,457
Thanked: 282 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhilashvk View Post
Why not Indicas? Diesel diet will be more cost effective, isn't it?
All Padmini taxis in Bombay are Gas(forgot whether it's CNG or LPG) for
almost 10-15 years, I think. I assume they will go for the gas fitted WagonR.
carboy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 19:20   #66
Ram
Senior - BHPian
 
Ram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Singapore, Mumbai, Nagpur
Posts: 2,165
Thanked: 144 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Are you actually suggesting that we continue with the 20 year old Padminis for Mumbai taxis?
No. I'm only saying that the Fiat 1100Ds and Padminis were good solid cars and there is no real economical replacement for them. No successor in spirit so to say, if you get my drift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
I feel its better to use a car well, dispose it and get a new one rather than flogging a old almost dead horse. There are things like emissions and safety norms that become outdated after a while.
That's for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower
Lastly, your garage reveals that you chose to buy 2 tinny Japanese marutis over a rugged European FIAT Petra/Palio or an Opel Corsa for example. How come?
I thought (and still do) that the Maruti offerings are VFM.
Yes, they're tinfoil, but I'm not flogging them as taxis. And I won't be keeping them for as long as cabbies expect to.

And certainly, now that you mention it, I would have loved to have an Opel Kadett/Astra, if the line had continued. Have used Opels in Europe (Kadett, Ascona, Rekord, Omega, even a Corsa hatch once)

Cheers...
Ram

Last edited by Ram : 19th August 2007 at 19:22. Reason: spelling mistake
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 19:34   #67
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Mpower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,432
Thanked: 1,682 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
No. I'm only saying that the Fiat 1100Ds and Padminis were good solid cars and there is no real economical replacement for them. No successor in spirit so to say, if you get my drift.
Yes I do now, thanks for clarifying.

I always wondered why the Padmini became the Mumbai taxi when the rest of India unanimously picked the Ambassador as the vehicle of choice for any kind of taxi. Down south until about 12 years ago, 100% of tourist taxis were Ambys. (pretty sure the same situation for TTs up north as well)

Amby was a lot more spacious, bigger boot, had a better ride quality and offered a diesel long before PAL did, whereas Padmini was always known as the sporty one. Methinks it was a sort-of patriotic decision with the factory being in Mumbai rather than something driven by pure logic.

Last edited by Mpower : 19th August 2007 at 19:47.
Mpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 20:10   #68
Team-BHP Support
 
karlosdeville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pune
Posts: 9,628
Thanked: 8,107 Times
Default

Heres a 1963 Fiat 1100 Super Select I chased and flagged down yesterday. After all these years, the car still had most of its original fittings, incuding scratchless bumpers (!) covered in antirust, and the horizontal needle speedo. Its quite obvious seeing the lines of the car that shes been well looked after. The driver said that there are still 3 such cars plying Bombays streets, and I left thoroughly impressed!



karlosdeville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2007, 20:51   #69
Senior - BHPian
 
AMATMO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bangalore\GOA
Posts: 1,456
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

IMO if the the taxi owners are prevented from using those horrible stikers,horrible wheel caps,and horrible grills (i like the original chrome grills)and are advised to spend a little on the interiors than i think Fiat 1100 can be more impressive than the london cabie
AMATMO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 07:51   #70
Ram
Senior - BHPian
 
Ram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Singapore, Mumbai, Nagpur
Posts: 2,165
Thanked: 144 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
I always wondered why the Padmini became the Mumbai taxi when the rest of India unanimously picked the Ambassador as the vehicle of choice for any kind of taxi.
Amby was a lot more spacious, bigger boot, had a better ride quality and offered a diesel long before PAL did, whereas Padmini was always known as the sporty one. Methinks it was a sort-of patriotic decision with the factory being in Mumbai rather than something driven by pure logic.
Fiat/Premier scored over Ambassador in economy, quality, customer care and resale value.

Economy
Of all Indian cities, Mumbai may have been first to drift away from joint family system to nuclear families. So Mumbai appreciated a slightly smaller car earlier.
The Fiat was always easier on petrol, nimbler to accelerate and stop than the Ambassador and lighter and more pleasant to drive.

Quality
Quality of the Fiats delivered was superior.
Back in the early seventies, Ambassadors were actually delivered without dashboard instruments. Some customer-care huh!? HM actually delivered unfinished Ambassadors without a speedometer, because they claimed they were (would you believe it) out-of-stock!

Back then you took your brand new Ambassador to a garage to get all the missing parts put in and loose bolts tightened!

Still some people booked a new car when they took delivery of a new one, because it would take years for the booking to mature and a matured booking commanded a good premium!

Customer Care
The Walchand Hirachand Doshi group, had built a good reputation for their Chrysler imports and customer service thereof. Customer care at Bombay Cycle & Motor Agency, Opera House was good and the Kurla factory delivered consistent quality.

The Birlas on the other hand, hadn't heard of customer care. We lived in the licence raj. They could manipulate their way into licences. Their customer care to this day, I'm told, is still abysmal !

Resale value
In 1981, as a freshly qualified 23-year-old B.E. in his first job, I remember wanting to stop using my dad's car and buy my own car. The first Maruti would not be seen for another two years. I took home Rs. 1,100 per month. Petrol was Rs. 6.38 per litre. A new Fiat 1100D cost Rs. 22,000. A new Ambassador cost Rs. 26,500. But while a 10-year old Ambassador could be had for Rs. 8,000, a 10-year old Fiat still cost Rs. 12,000.
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 15:20   #71
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: mumbai
Posts: 1,578
Thanked: 120 Times
Default good stuff

good pic there of the 1963 version..
i hav seen a taxi even older than this one plyin in and around kurla area.. the 1956 model.. which is even more smaller and different looking frm the rear side.

some days ago i rode on a similar taxi.. which was a 1958 model.. the owner told me tht he had replaced the body frm a newer version like the last design. but it was orignally a '58 example still runnin!!
fx45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 16:11   #72
Senior - BHPian
 
rahul_intlad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,577
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

I just love that engine sound from the fiat.

Talking about the fiat and the Ambassador,which car came with gears on the floor first,generally tend to associate the fiats with the steering mounted gears.
rahul_intlad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 16:13   #73
BHPian
 
President's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: FIATFUL Mumbai
Posts: 906
Thanked: 176 Times
Default Wagon N or Esteem Taxi

Be it the Wagon R or Esteem Taxi to replace present Padminis. Strong signal for existent and future Fiat owners/lovers........start collecting your new spares from the existent available market. Invest in storing the parts right away. I bet they will give off superior returns than no mutual fund will in the coming future.
President is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 16:45   #74
Senior - BHPian
 
planet_rocker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bong-land
Posts: 2,320
Thanked: 365 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by President View Post
start collecting your new spares from the existent available market. Invest in storing the parts right away. I bet they will give off superior returns than no mutual fund will in the coming future.
you said it! - even this has kept me worrying about the availabity of spares in this part os the country.

@ Mr. Dhabhar / 1100D - your take on this?
planet_rocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th August 2007, 17:00   #75
Senior - BHPian
 
msdivy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,445
Thanked: 838 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Yes I do now, thanks for clarifying.

I always wondered why the Padmini became the Mumbai taxi when the rest of India unanimously picked the Ambassador as the vehicle of choice for any kind of taxi. Down south until about 12 years ago, 100% of tourist taxis were Ambys. (pretty sure the same situation for TTs up north as well)

Amby was a lot more spacious, bigger boot, had a better ride quality and offered a diesel long before PAL did, whereas Padmini was always known as the sporty one. Methinks it was a sort-of patriotic decision with the factory being in Mumbai rather than something driven by pure logic.
1) Mumbai doesn't have broad roads like say Calcutta or Delhi. Amby look big and doesn't seem like fitting into Mumbai roads. But Fiat had this sleek design and since it will be used as city-taxi, seemed perfect.

2) The perception that Ambys are for long distances and Fiats are for short commute helped Fiat.

3) Ambys usually carry lot of people. But in Mumbai people often travel alone, may be a couple and occasionally three or four. Fiat fits the bill.

Just my thoughts.
msdivy 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
Hyundai to replace Santro with i10 in taxi markets Aditya The Indian Car Scene 31 26th February 2015 16:44
Only a WagonR can replace a WagonR ! From F10D to K10B.. DCEite Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 27 19th April 2014 23:02


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:22.

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