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Old 12th June 2008, 12:43   #1
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Default Are Indian Automobile Manfacturer's R&D Thinking Right ??

Before I start : Mod's - If a Similar Topic Exists please merge ... thx

A R&D Head of a Automobile Company was giving a Talk at a Auto Componenet Manf's Office this week... Here are the excerpts -

1. The India Customer is very VFM Concious

2. Quality is Secondary -

3. Driver Aid's (Comfort, electronic's .. etc) are a Luxury and are not really required in India.

4. Abroad the Focus is on Driver Luxury / Aid's (he meant development focused on Driver) but in India we need to concentrate on the Rear Seat ...(This includes the power train, electronic's etc..) cos most of the time the Owner is sitting in the rear seat with the driver driving .. So if the development focus is on the Driver's Seat the he enjoy's more than the owner ....blah blah ...

After this Point i had to walk out cos the above Talk was getting a bit too amusing to hear .....

My Thought so far is : Does the R&D dept really understand today's Automative Market in India ... ??

By not developing / focusing on the Driver's Seat are'nt they limiting the gorwth of the industry ?? (unless a manyfacturer offer's something in their product the end user will never get educated ..like for ex: ABS - Why is it needed, how it will help....)
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Old 12th June 2008, 13:29   #2
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I feel the R&D head is not the right person to talk about these points. His job is to work on R and D of a vehicle based on management's direction. A Market research or sales and marketing head could be better equiped to talk these things.

On the points itself, the R and D chief cant be more wrong in saying concentration should be on rear seat. With more people wanting to drive themselves and driver salaries hitting the roof (in bangalore the minimum salary for a car driver is 6000 for a 9 to 6 job plus insurance taken in his name).

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Old 12th June 2008, 14:40   #3
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I think what R&D person is talking makes total sense.

Probably it doesn't because you don't feel so ... but then remember, car makers have to look at majority market, not "niche" enthusiasts.
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Old 12th June 2008, 15:19   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUV View Post

2. Quality is Secondary -
If R&D head is speaking like this, its scary to touch the products of this company even with a Barge pole. I sincerely hope its not Tata.
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Old 12th June 2008, 15:19   #5
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Regarding points 1 & 2, Autocar India editor Hormazd Sorabjee said something similar in an old issue - something along the lines of - The Ford Escort which ruled the JD Power charts in India is long gone but the Tata Indica (at the bottom of the same charts) has gone from strength to strength...shows that Indians don't want absolute quality but are satisfied with acceptable quality at a VFM price.
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Old 12th June 2008, 15:48   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
If R&D head is speaking like this, its scary to touch the products of this company even with a Barge pole. I sincerely hope its not Tata.
no matter how many people deny it but its the truth in indian market not only the automobiles sector but everything
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Old 12th June 2008, 15:53   #7
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All the heads of R&D department in auto manufacturing companies will be some honchos from abroad who does not understand the head and tail of Indian market and what it wants.

IMO, in India its mainly driven on cost. The quality comes secondary. It is not only automobile, in white goods too.
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Old 12th June 2008, 15:56   #8
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Well, the very purpose of R&D is to create VFM by improving quality!! Diluting quality and giving VFM is not a big deal. I hope the R&D chief is not thinking to replace window glasses with tarpoline cloth
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Old 12th June 2008, 16:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUV View Post
2. Quality is Secondary -
Giving a talk like this to a component manufacturer is unfathomable . What is the message the automotive manufacturer is sending out to its vendors?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I sincerely hope its not Tata.
If it is Tata, its time to get out of TELCO@NSE/BSE..

Last edited by Su-47 : 12th June 2008 at 16:07.
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Old 12th June 2008, 16:24   #10
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Certainly its not. In any case we are not heading in the correct dimension.

India still goes by cost.
While buying the cars, the main criteria is Cost and even this looks logical but then every other thing goes into thrash. Specially the features that reduce driving stress or are safety features are given the least importance.

It will take a lot of time for the market to evolve. I am not sure whether it will be able to even evolve in the first place or not. Even the feedback to companies are not generally useful.

Its nothing but ignorance, IMO that has lead to this scenario. If we start demanding better, they have to deliver.
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Old 12th June 2008, 17:08   #11
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Gaaij,

What was it about Deming(?) who said quality comes at a price. That is what the gent would've meant yaaars!
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Old 12th June 2008, 17:31   #12
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The only way the manufactures mindset will change about quality is when there is a strong regulatory body which advocates and penalizes on manufactures if they compromise safety in the name of agressive pricing tacticts! If they made airbags mandatory in cars it would have saved many lives. Who can force this on manufactures?

Have we ever seen any company who manufactures in India did a recall? In US Ford almost shelled out billions of dollars when they recalled all the bridgestone tires on their trucks due to poor quality threading! I have read many threads where people have to take their new cars for repairs and even some inherent problems were written in auto magazine the manufactures are not even paying heed to it. Why? because we got tuned to this and accepted that poor quality is part of our life and people choose to wear helmets and drive cars rather than demanding air bags in cars.
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Old 12th June 2008, 19:48   #13
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The R&D head's statements have to be accepted with a pinch of salt for our market.
Pont no.1 - true.
2. Quality- sad, but true.
3. Driver's aid- Not true (The SX4 and the swift has given us enough proof).
4. Back Seat- Not true (again the swift/ dzire hasn't really concentrated on the backseat drivers)
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Old 12th June 2008, 21:06   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastcarz View Post
The only way the manufactures mindset will change about quality is when there is a strong regulatory body which advocates and penalizes on manufactures if they compromise safety in the name of agressive pricing tacticts! If they made airbags mandatory in cars it would have saved many lives. Who can force this on manufactures?

Have we ever seen any company who manufactures in India did a recall? In US Ford almost shelled out billions of dollars when they recalled all the bridgestone tires on their trucks due to poor quality threading! I have read many threads where people have to take their new cars for repairs and even some inherent problems were written in auto magazine the manufactures are not even paying heed to it. Why? because we got tuned to this and accepted that poor quality is part of our life and people choose to wear helmets and drive cars rather than demanding air bags in cars.
It exists and its called ARAI. Its their job to certify new cars for safety and emissions.
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Old 12th June 2008, 23:24   #15
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Is ARAI more a research institute right? I think all the manufactures are members of it. Are they also a regulatory body which monitors and set mandates for manufactures?

Well, like sudipt123 said, research is pretty much market driven! and I think there are enough variants of cars for everyone to be happy
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