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Old 1st November 2007, 11:28   #16
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Ultimately it may so happen that Indians will be the only people who will buy Maruti (aka Suzuki), as per latest reports even the Japanese have reduced buying Suzuki and Suzuki sells more cars in India than anywhere in the world. therefore they have to catch Indian market tightly before they loose India too
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Old 1st November 2007, 12:27   #17
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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
How many PSU bus drivers follow the manual? With lifetime job security assured, they treat their vehicles like enemies. One of the first things they do is to remove the speedo cable so that they can indulge in all sorts of corrupt practices. Many don't even bother to press the clutch while changing gears, irrespective of the make of the bus.
I agree with you about how they drive; but it has nothing to do with the reasons you are suggesting.

Ever tried driving a bus?? I learnt driving on one. That was in late 1980s.

A bus clutch has enough "power" that if you are not careful, you will be thrown up like jumping on a trampoline. (hmm... I have exaggerated a bit .. but that should give you an idea of how hard clutches of heavy vehicles are - especially the older ones). So, if gears shift without using the clutch, people will go in for the easier option.

And ever tried turning a heavy vehicle's steering wheel?? It is easier to turn the steering of a Mark II Amby.

And the vehicle used to be emply while I was driving; so just imagine what the situation would be, with a vehicle carrying 50 passengers. (assume 60 KG weight per passenger).

Believe me, driving a heavy vehicle is no mean feat. But then most newer vehicles have power steerings and clutches are softer.

About the speedo cable - it used to cost a good 200 bucks in 1987; and would last for three months; nothing more. Vehicles run even without speedos; so a commercial vehicle operator, particularly one operating on fixed routes would prefer not to spend money on speedo cables. (But operators of contract carriages which have no fixed routes will go out of way to ensure that their speedos work).

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 1st November 2007 at 12:29. Reason: fixed minor typo and grammar mixtake
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Old 1st November 2007, 12:54   #18
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Good on maruti to think of something like this. They started the revolution & have kept abreast of the competition till now. Hope they can maintain that lead with newer & better technology.
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Old 1st November 2007, 13:08   #19
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It is high time that the auto majors starting investing in R&D capabilities in India. This move from Suzuki really augurs well for the future!
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Old 1st November 2007, 13:47   #20
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Originally Posted by VBV View Post
So which competition (apart from Tatas) are designing and developing cars in India? Is there heat coming from the competition that Suzuki feels?

AFAICT, this is just another name for KPO (Knowledge process outsourcing). Almost every auto manufacturers outsources some part of their design process (at least for components) to India. Suzuki is simply following the leaders.

And Suzuki did not come to India in the first place with any altruistic motive. I remember reading somewhere several years back that Suzuki came to India only because Nissan (or was it Toyota) cars were so good and saturated the Japanese market that Suzuki had no option but to chose some other market than Japan. And yes, the license-permit raj in India at that time did help them (and the fact that they got the right contacts).
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Old 1st November 2007, 16:31   #21
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
AFAICT, this is just another name for KPO (Knowledge process outsourcing). Almost every auto manufacturers outsources some part of their design process (at least for components) to India. Suzuki is simply following the leaders.
A 'proper' auto R&D centre is a lot more than a KPO unit engaged in designing components. The exercise doesn't end with designing; you also need to create, test and perfect what you have designed. For that you need to create substantial infrastructure, not merely a big office with lots of workstations.

Here's a list of facilities at Tata's ERC at Pune:
  1. Test Beds
  2. Chassis Dynamometer Emission Lab
  3. Electrodynamic Vibration Shaker Platform
  4. Instrumentation Laboratory
  5. Laboratory for emissions testing
  6. Test Tracks
  7. Four Poster Servo-Hydraulic Test Facility
  8. Crash Test Facility
  9. CAD Centre for designing and styling
  10. Anechoic Chamber
More details available here:

Tata Motors - Research
Tata Motors - Research
Tata Motors - Research
Tata Motors - Research

Given the magnitude of Suzuki's proposed new investment and the size of the plot the facility is going to be created on, one can expect a full-fledged R&D setup and that's good news for India.

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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
And Suzuki did not come to India in the first place with any altruistic motive.
Agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
I remember reading somewhere several years back that Suzuki came to India only because Nissan (or was it Toyota) cars were so good and saturated the Japanese market that Suzuki had no option but to chose some other market than Japan. And yes, the license-permit raj in India at that time did help them (and the fact that they got the right contacts).
GOI chose Suzuki over others because Suzuki's bid was the lowest, in fact, substantially lower than that of the nearest bidder.

Last edited by directinjection : 1st November 2007 at 16:33.
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Old 1st November 2007, 16:59   #22
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
I agree with you about how they drive; but it has nothing to do with the reasons you are suggesting.

Ever tried driving a bus?? I learnt driving on one. That was in late 1980s.

A bus clutch has enough "power" that if you are not careful, you will be thrown up like jumping on a trampoline. (hmm... I have exaggerated a bit .. but that should give you an idea of how hard clutches of heavy vehicles are - especially the older ones). So, if gears shift without using the clutch, people will go in for the easier option.

And ever tried turning a heavy vehicle's steering wheel?? It is easier to turn the steering of a Mark II Amby.

And the vehicle used to be emply while I was driving; so just imagine what the situation would be, with a vehicle carrying 50 passengers. (assume 60 KG weight per passenger).

Believe me, driving a heavy vehicle is no mean feat. But then most newer vehicles have power steerings and clutches are softer.

I second that.

Tatas, Ashok Leylands and Mahindras have made life hell for the MPV, LCV and HCV drivers and in turn for others on the road.

Tatas should make a public apology for the clutches they make and for not providing basic power steering to their buses and trucks. next time a PSU bus stops right in front of you to drop or pick up passengers (instead of pulling over to left near the bus stop), do not blame the driver, blame Tata's and their ERC.

Just check out the Volvo B7R's plying all over Maharashtra. Light clutch, very well weighed power steering, accurate 6 speed gearbox (6 speed!!! mind you), very good driving ergonomics, very good power to weight ratio, smooth and silent (for a bus) engine. Now that's called a bus.

Last edited by anandpadhye : 1st November 2007 at 17:01.
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Old 3rd November 2007, 03:00   #23
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Would it be cost-efficient for city buses to have automatic transmissions? I agree there is a mileage penalty.

But, with the way traffic is, I don't blame the drivers for avoiding the clutch, especially the way they are in Tata and Leylands. Since the clutch is ruined in the first 3 months of the bus entering service, it is going to affect mileage any way.

Why not switch to the automatics and make life easier for the drivers?

Someone's got to do a cost analysis taking in to account the following:

1) initial investment premium
2) maintanance cost difference
3) Driver injury prevention (measured in work-related sick leave)
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