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Old 21st February 2005, 16:49   #1
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Default What price price-cut ?

The spares cost of several cars have dropped quite
drastically over the last couple of years. A case in
point: the price/spares cost of the Baleno have
plummetted recently owing to manufacturing in India.
The question is, does the quality suffer in any way ?

Hyundai would like us to believe so. They're known to
have claimed that Hyundai cars manufactured in India
maintain the same quality as in the developed world,
while their competitors do not necessarily provide the
same quality in India as elsewhere (Toyota, for one,
didn't like this assertion)! It is understandable that
manufacturers must provide the same quality for
cars/parts that have an export market also. But what
about cars/parts made exclusively for the Indian market?
Fiat spares are known to be of indifferent quality at
times. What about others ? Is there an 'India spec'?

There was a recent review in mouthshut.com by vshaleen
where a test-driven Baleno engine was claimed to be
unbearably noisy when revved hard, the gear stick
vibrated a lot even at low rpms, and so on. While
this could be an one-off kind of experience with
a lemon unit, could there be any truth in the
assertion that the new Baleno could be different from
the original in quality ? Anybody out there who can
compare the old vs. the new Baleno from this angle ?

For reference, ACI had praised the Baleno engine and the
gear shift in their older reviews. However, I know of
several people recently complaining about the gear shift
quality, for one thing. Is the engine still the same ?

Awaiting a good discussion.
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Old 21st February 2005, 17:11   #2
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yes i recently testdrove the baleno vxi...the gearshift is a bit too sticky for my liking.

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Old 21st February 2005, 19:44   #3
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i think it's a question of the product's life cycle.

as a manufacturer, we know that when a new product is introduced, all tools, dyes, moulds and manufacturing setups are new - and work at their best.

over a period of time, these tools begin to get worn out, have wear and tear and need regular service and quality inspections. if the product is percieved to be at the end of it's product cycle - i.e if the manufacturer is intending to phase the product out soon, they will not bother to replace these toolings - rather they will repair them. this repairing takes it's toll on the quality of the product.

also, prices come down not because they are manufactured in india - as companies achieve their break-even targets and achieve profitability from their sales, prices of products come down - because they don't further invest in new components.

this happens all over the world - not just in india - i think, the baleno is probabaly suffering from these maladies -
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Old 21st February 2005, 21:24   #4
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the baleno gearshift IS rubbery, and slows it down by atleast 0.25 sec in a 1/4 mile, IMO. the engine is also noisier than an OHC's, but then, Honda is Honda.

i don't know if it's because the moulds and dies are wear out, as cream pointed out. maybe it's just that the manufacturing standards in indian plants (maruti) are not as high as those abroad (suzuki japan).
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Old 22nd February 2005, 10:58   #5
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Worn out tooling may partly explain it for some models. But for Baleno ?
I don't think so ! Why ? Because at the rate it has sold, the total numbers
sold in India may be, say 20-25 thousands or so. At that rate, 800/Alto/Santro
would have to replace their tooling every month to maintain the quality !
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Old 24th February 2005, 10:36   #6
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Smile Before & After ... ?

Here are some quotes from ACI regarding Baleno
(could these be taken at face value ?):

* Engine :

At launch (12/99) :
-------------

" extremely refined and vibration free" (though buzzy,
typical of aluminium blocks).

After first round of price cuts (11/03)
---------------------------

" refinement is not its strength : the engine feels buzzy
and coarse at certain points in the powerband ".


* Gear box :

At launch (12/99) :
-------------

" gearbox typically Japanese -- slick and swift".

" well-weighted and precise gear lever".

After first round of price cuts (11/03)
---------------------------

" gearshifts, though direct, feel a touch rubbery".


But, in the same breath (11/03) "

" The engine and gearbox are absolutely brilliant ".


Any comments ... ?

Last edited by meerkat : 24th February 2005 at 10:38.
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Old 24th February 2005, 15:31   #7
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Cream, worn tooling is one side of coin. Consider the kind of refinement that goes into overall manufacturing process. In software, there are alpha, beta and production versions.

Most products become stable and of better quality once they mature. Most processes get streamlined and overall manufacturing becomes optimum. All this is supposed to provide better quality product.

Looks like in case of Baleno, local content is taking its toll. Quality Control levels are different for different vendors and probably that is why overall quality slips down.
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Old 24th February 2005, 15:44   #8
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Meerkat,

Your opinion on a car is relative to time and what the competition has to offer. In 1996, I thought my Esteem has all the power, handling and comfort I would ever want. Surely not the case today.

That, and local content, may have to do with Autocars 1999 opinion vs the one in 2003.

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Old 24th February 2005, 16:11   #9
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Default MouthShut

Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat

There was a recent review in mouthshut.com by vshaleen
where a test-driven Baleno engine was claimed to be
unbearably noisy when revved hard, the gear stick
vibrated a lot even at low rpms, and so on. While
this could be an one-off kind of experience with
a lemon unit, could there be any truth in the
assertion that the new Baleno could be different from
the original in quality ? Anybody out there who can
compare the old vs. the new Baleno from this angle ?

For reference, ACI had praised the Baleno engine and the
gear shift in their older reviews. However, I know of
several people recently complaining about the gear shift
quality, for one thing. Is the engine still the same ?

Awaiting a good discussion.
I disgree with this guy @ mouthshut. He feels that Flair was much better for him - 1.3 better than 1.6 . He also mentions that he was driving the mid cars for the first time . I really wonder what he expected of Baleno . As you have said , it could have been a one off kind .
Yes - my father had a Baleno , while I drove my friend/Business Partner' Honda City ( from 2000 - 2004) . I recently bought a Baleno - I do not find any difference in the engine or the gear shift . Iam very happy with the car . I dont find any vibrations too.
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Old 25th February 2005, 16:35   #10
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Gto its all about comparision.. when in 99 ACI comapred there was no 1.6 Accent nor VTEC..
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