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View Poll Results: What petrol C segment sedan would you buy?
Honda City 1.5 iVtec 113 55.39%
Fiat Linea 1.4 Fire 91 44.61%
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:12   #871
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Ah, that's a slipup on modernity. But even though it was outdated, the damn thing performed day after day compared to its chief competitors
Thats because they got almost 12 years to debug it in other countries! Just kidding here.

Anyways, hope they continue to provide the latest without 'testing' the Indian public anymore.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:13   #872
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Thanks for confirming the mileage.
Most of the service center's does this kind of service these days, i repeat a regular service at dealer has following:
Could be. But all my previous service experiences took a whole day - includes an 800, a Santro and a Palio. Maybe now its 2 hour service for everyone.

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Ouch i feel bad for my swift! I was more referring to lack of character from the car.
trust me, swift wasn't on my mind here.
Anyway, character is something that you will NOT find missing in this car. Its got killer looks and a fast engine that that goes with the looks.

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Yes let me rephrase, biggest let down for a customer like me, is lack of engine options. Hope thats fine?
I don't know of Karan, but i would agree. I would have picked up the Linea had it came with a 1.6 or a 1.9 MJD with 100+ horses. My Palio 1.2 is a great car but with A/C on and luggage its S.L.O.W on the highways. I didn't want to have the deja vu.

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The ANHC costs nearly the same as the OHC Vtec did 10 years back. Whats the price of a newer generation? Ask Maruti which sells the Ritz (int'l wagonR replacement) at 75 grand more, or Skoda (Laura is the new Octavia) at 3 lakhs more. Honda & Toyota always give us the latest products. Toyota even discontinued the Qualis at a time when it was the segment leader!
Excellent point GTO. Toyota and Honda always refreshes their models and never resorts to gimmicks of keeping a successful old model with a higher priced newer one.

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On the contrary there are many things which would help others, egs: Magnum Honda experience?? I would love to hear about it and then decide if i need to change Whitefield service, since its been deteriorating.
Magnum experience has been good Jaggu. I recommend you take your CRV there once to see if it works for you. I guess you are closer to Whitefield, but they might have a pick and drop.

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Travel experience, how much fun it was to drive the car, what was the FE. Any issues like grounding, poor visibility during rain etc etc
I recently did an 1800 km, 2 week drive across Kodai,Munnar and a few spots across Kerala - and this car has made the overall driving experience very pleasant. I will post my travelogue soon.

I did not have a major issue with GC yet. I have negotiated some speed breakers with 5 adults and a kid in this car. But if you are a little careless and don't slow down enough it will bottom-out.

Last edited by SkyWalker : 9th October 2009 at 12:14.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:18   #873
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2) Fiat in 2005 and in 2009 are very different when it comes to reliability, may not be AS reliable when it comes to small niggles, but nevertheless the car/brand in India is pretty reliable and customer service also has improved
I agree with you Jaggu. My post was intended to talk about one of the choice from the two competitors in case of reliability. I am not at all saying that Fiat cars are not reliable, its just that Honda have a leading edge over Fiat in this case.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:20   #874
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Absolute out of the box thinking. Thanks for sharing, I (and am sure many others) thoroughly enjoy such posts.

You only missed out on one point : The best seller is also priced higher. Still it manages to maintain its top position month after month. The person who talks with his cheque book is making a stronger point than one with a keyboard.
Thanks GTO,
Yes, you are right, Best Sellers deserve to be priced higher. I as a consumer do not mind paying a premium (if reasonable) to be seen with the best seller. It is not just with cars, but also with the others like Best address Homes, iPhone or HTC phones (for Phones), LCD TVs, eating in a premium restuarant, travelling on a particular airline (e.g. Kingfisher or Singapore airline) etc etc.

As a Sales & Marketing Director for over last 4-5 years, i have learnt simple things w.r.t COnsumers

1. Majority of consumers like to indulge in the expereince of the product or service (and not worry about technical aspects of it)

2. COnsumers like Consistancy w.r.t Performance, Price, Service etc, This also means a bit of predictablility (what i get in return). example is Motorola Razor was a extreemly successful product, but the marketeers played arroudn with price very frequently and people stopped buying it becasue people who boght the phone 3 months ago at RS 16000/- found that the phone is available at RS 12500/- and never bothered to buy a Moto phone in future.

3. Every person can not be a customer to a company or product. Success of the business or product is to develop a proposition for a set of target consumers and ensure that they buy it (at a premium) and company makes money and consumer keeps coming back as a repeat customer.

W.r.t. All these three aspects Honda scores very high in India. FIAT scores only high in the first aspect, They are on thier way w.r.t second and third aspects, but a long and difficult climb ahead.

When i bought my Palio 7+ years ago, i was not knowing how to drive, I bought the car becasue that was the only car in hatchback which i could comfortable sit and stretch my legs on driver's seat and second reason was my hero Sachin Tendular was the ambassador of Palio at that time.

Even though i enjoyed with Palio, i did not become their repeat customer becuase they were not consitant with their service levels. But their Ambassador Sachin continued as my hero as he still consitant with his performance and often meets/exceeds expectations. This is a classic case where the Brand and the Ambassador were a bit disconnected in terms of VALUES they represent.

Another confession is when i wanted to upgrade, i never seriously considered a FIAT (Linea) in my consideration list. I never asked for a Test Drive, i only saw the car once in Center One mall in Vashi, Navimumbai for 5 minutes.

Whether i will stay with Honda when i upgrade next ?, good question, answer depends on how consistant would be my (good) expereince with Honda and what would be my needs/wants at that time and what options are available. I for sure do not know answer yet,

Considering the progress being made by FIAT, it might be FIAT as well.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 9th October 2009 at 12:25.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:23   #875
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Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
Could be. But all my previous service experiences took a whole day - includes an 800, a Santro and a Palio. Maybe now its 2 hour service for everyone.
Almost everybody has express service these days, MUL takes under 2 hours.

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Magnum experience has been good Jaggu. I recommend you take your CRV there once to see if it works for you. I guess you are closer to Whitefield, but they might have a pick and drop.
Thanks, i stay very close to Magnum Will try since Crv after the coorg, udupi trip has a battered front suspension.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
I recently did an 1800 km, 2 week drive across Kodai,Munnar and a few spots across Kerala - and this car has made the overall driving experience very pleasant. I will post my travelogue soon.

I did not have a major issue with GC yet. I have negotiated some speed breakers with 5 adults and a kid in this car. But if you are a little careless and don't slow down enough it will bottom-out.
This doesnt mean you will wriggle out of travelogue ok! Just kidding, yes but we would all love to see these places and hear about your driving experience.

EDIT:@StarVegabond: very good readings and last bit is what we all as automobiles entusiast/consumers look forward from the manufactures, be it H, M, T or F.

Last edited by Jaggu : 9th October 2009 at 12:27.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:29   #876
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Yes, that accomodation comment is surely an exagerration. However, what isn't an exagerration is that my 7 year old OHC has ZERO niggles, and brand new Fiats seem to have their own share. I don't know if I'd be happy with niggles in my brand new car. The only new car in my family which has had such niggles is the Tata Indigo.
ZERO niggles but there's nothing which can go wrong with it. There are no fancy electronics, basic suspension, no gadgetry at work. All the niggles that we have been talking about are not show stoppers, sure its a bother visiting A$$ but its heartening to see that newer batches feature none of it.

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Don't overlook the fact that the first gen Astra had a TERRIBLE engine. Opel quickly updated in 2 - 3 years. However, once the Astra ran high miles, the upkeep was so bad that it all but ruined the Opel brand in India. Get this : GM discontinued the Opel brand altogether in favour of Chevy.
I would disagree with you there. Compare it to the competition it had then, Ford Escort with 58 bhp and the Daewoo Cielo. Later version came with multipoint fuel injection delivering more power which would have been decent even by today's standards.
Ask a layman car buyers on the street about the Opel brand and he would invariably say that it guzzles fuel and the parts are expensive. If you want to have gadgets in your car get ready to pay for it when it goes wrong.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Do you know that the first Skoda workshop in Mumbai ran on a generator? Still, the Octavia was a heck of a car for its time and deserved the success it got. Too bad that went to Skodas head. I sincerely hope they make amends because the Superb (and Laura too) is such a fantastic machine. It deserves better customer support.
I dont have any doubts on the car, its very good one indeed. What I am trying to say is that its not that spare part prices were jacked up suddenly or that the service used to be reasonable and then suddenly turned bad. People overlooked all those thing because all they knew about Octavia was sterling fuel efficiency from the diesel variant.


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LOL! I as an Indigo owner can tell you its the exact opposite. Sure, we'll hear of the odd Indica owner that had no problems for 1.5 lakh kms, but we are NOT considering the reliability of one car. Rather, we are evaluating that model over 1000 - 10000 examples. No manufacturer becomes a genius at making a handful of zero-trouble cars, respect to the ones who do it with 50,000 cars. And a majority of Indicas / Indigos have frequent niggles & problems. I hear that the Vista has been a step ahead, but too early in the day to comment. Few Vistas have run 50,000 kms.
You have missed the context. I compared it with the segment's worst not the best. If the segment worst isnt so bad, arent we are making a huge deal out of Honda's reliability?
By the way its not an odd Indica I talked about. I am talking about the Taxi Indica's that run around all day as office cabs.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:39   #877
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Adding to Extreme Torque's post.

Honda was very lucky compared to GM. GM and Ford came here early and found a totally disorganized market. Also the fuel quality was too bad for any of their engines. They had to bring older ones. Honda when it launched City in 1998 missed this mess luckily.

For something like poor fuel quality (we have not mentioned adulterated fuel - rampant in 90s) there are no easy solutions regardless of your technical expertise.
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Old 9th October 2009, 12:55   #878
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Originally Posted by Ram_NP View Post
We saw more Linea pages/thread (IMHO) becasue the first batch of Linea owners (on Team - BHP) were really aggresive in taking up the Fit and Finish issues in the forum and with FIAT. I am sure this has helped next batch of Linea's to be niggle/trouble free to some extent.

I feel the newer threads of Linea has less report of rattles + niggling issues.
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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
+1 on these thoughts. fully agree, AKS, VahanPujari, Geeash, Sathya_SC, nehaamit etc have really pushed FIAT/Tata to improve.
Yes. Ram_NP & StarVB,

We initial batch-owners really stretched Fiat, very very aggressively, often exaggerated, held Fiat to ransom almost & sometimes even for non-existant issues. Made Fiat to send officials from Pune to our town, made TASS to come home to check the car at our wish, made them to work unscheduled, sent strong mails to CEO etc etc. It was because of Fiat's past & almost all of us were buying a Fiat for the first time.

In the process, if it had helped the next batch of buyers, am glad for the little part played

Last edited by VahanPujari : 9th October 2009 at 12:58.
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Old 9th October 2009, 13:20   #879
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
ZERO niggles but there's nothing which can go wrong with it.
Nothing that can go wrong with it? About 7,500 parts that have to work in harmony, thats what! The other extreme is the current gen Accord which works with the same extreme reliability or the LS460 which has as much gadgetery as the S Class yet is as reliable as the Corolla.

Japs have learnt how to make the most reliable cars, whether with electronics or not. Its an accepted fact. Koreans are close.

Quote:
All the niggles that we have been talking about are not show stoppers, sure its a bother visiting A$$ but its heartening to see that newer batches feature none of it.
Most of my Indigo niggles are not "show stoppers" either, yet I find them annoying and absolutely unacceptable for a new car in 2009. Its a buyers market today!

Quote:
Compare it to the competition it had then, Ford Escort with 58 bhp and the Daewoo Cielo.
And only a year odd later came the 100 BHP Honda City. For the record, the Esteem was quicker than the Opel Astra if we have to go by times.

Quote:
Ask a layman car buyers on the street about the Opel brand and he would invariably say that it guzzles fuel and the parts are expensive.
Deservedly so. The Astra was a heavy guzzler and parts were killer expensive. Heck, they brought in a diesel whose accelerator pedal was heavier than the clutch. Only car I've seen so far to have this characteristic. Its due to the mess around the Opel brand that GM entirely did away with it in India. Smart move with a new brand Chevy + far more applicable Korean-designed products (Spark, Optra etc.). Value was redefined.

Quote:
People overlooked all those thing because all they knew about Octavia was sterling fuel efficiency from the diesel variant.
Not to forget, the stupendous reliability and the lack of ageing in the car. Octy 1.9 TDis feel the same at 80,000 kms as they did at 20K. The interiors are incredibly well put together too. It was the benchmark for sheer quality at the time of introduction.

Quote:
I am talking about the Taxi Indica's that run around all day as office cabs.
And they do require more work from time to time. Like I said, we are talking about 50,000 Indicas averaged which have a far higher failure rate than other cars.
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Old 9th October 2009, 13:31   #880
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Good points in your argument.
1. Qualis is almost 100% reliable
2. Innova is the new segment leader there
3. Camry somehow is uninspiring
4. There have been rumours of the Fortuner for the last 6 years to 7 years at least - thank heavens it has finally come. May end up being a segment leader at the price vs value equation.
5. Ref Altis - your comment about pricing - is it a positive or a negative comment? I didnt catch your drift and would like to get your view because in my own opinion it is a rather overpriced car.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
A Qualis of last model year vintage and an Innova of the first year of launch have the same resale (if the Qualis isn't more)! Such is the markets love for that car. Toyota was literally testing the waters with the Qualis. Minimal investment. Even today, they are rather slow. The Camry is still imported as a CBU and the Fortuner took all of 4 years to come home.

But no one can deny that Toyota (alongwith Honda) updates its products today and offers only the latest. Look at the Altis! What pricing!
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Old 9th October 2009, 13:38   #881
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nothing that can go wrong with it? About 7,500 parts that have to work in harmony, thats what! The other extreme is the current gen Accord which works with the same extreme reliability or the LS460 which has as much gadgetery as the S Class yet is as reliable as the Corolla.

Japs have learnt how to make the most reliable cars, whether with electronics or not. Its an accepted fact. Koreans are close.
S-Class have always been the pinnacle of technology. Mercedes does it and others follow. That said I have no idea whatsoever of the reliability record of S-Class vs the LS.

Again whats the benchmark for the current Accord. If its the current Superb than I am sorry to say that Accord is pretty much bare bone compared to the Skoda.

Before we continue further with the debate I think I need to ask you what does a jap car does which others cant? Have we agreed that the engines are just as reliable if not more? As far as I knew the bone of contention with Euro is electronics and they are always accused of having more of them than required.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Most of my Indigo niggles are not "show stoppers" either, yet I find them annoying and absolutely unacceptable for a new car in 2009. Its a buyers market today!
Peeling chrome strip and seat height adjustment going down... afterall how many times would you visit the A$$ to resolve these issue?


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And only a year odd later came the 100 BHP Honda City. For the record, the Esteem was quicker than the Opel Astra if we have to go by times.
We arent talking about performance are we? Esteem isnt a comparison for its feather light and most crammed of the lot. As trapezio said fuel was also a factor when Opel and Daewoo set up shop. They deliberately debuted with outdated technology so that it could run on the inferior fuel and changing technology takes time.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Deservedly so. The Astra was a heavy guzzler and parts were killer expensive.
Yes they were but because it brought things which were unseen for the time. The equipment list on the original Astra would still shame the latest gen AHNC. Integrated stereo, MID, chilled glovebox, automatic telescopic antenna had it all even then.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Not to forget, the stupendous reliability and the lack of ageing in the car. Octy 1.9 TDis feel the same at 80,000 kms as they did at 20K. The interiors are incredibly well put together too. It was the benchmark for sheer quality at the time of introduction.
Yes and I am not contending that. The primary reason why Skoda sold was fuel efficiency of the TDi engine and it was the reason why everything else was overlooked.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
And they do require more work from time to time. Like I said, we are talking about 50,000 Indicas averaged which have a far higher failure rate than other cars.
You still havent replied to my original query the context of which was the comparison with the segment worst.
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Old 9th October 2009, 13:56   #882
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When I looked around for reliability reports of a Linea, I couldn't find one. But I found something on Punto that is not very encouraging.

Quote:
Fiat Punto (1999-2006). There are too many troublespots on a car thatís supposed to represent easy ownership. Just 40 per cent of owners in the survey definitely recommend it.
Source: Which

Aren't we sold the same Punto here (of 2005 launch)? Does this also possibly indicate the reliability factor of its sibling Linea?
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:40   #883
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Talking about electronics, Indian Accord does not have gadgets. In U.K (there its not the same Accord though) where its loaded with electronics, it came tops for reliability followed by Jazz. Honda had four cars in top 10. All Euro cars were also present in the survey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonymousCoward View Post
When I looked around for reliability reports of a Linea, I couldn't find one. But I found something on Punto that is not very encouraging.



Source: Which

Aren't we sold the same Punto here (of 2005 launch)? Does this also possibly indicate the reliability factor of its sibling Linea?
If you start looking at reliability surveys, Fiats compete for last 3 positions.

Last edited by srishiva : 9th October 2009 at 14:45.
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:49   #884
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
S-Class have always been the pinnacle of technology. Mercedes does it and others follow.
I think I do know a thing or two more about Merc ownership. And the S-Class isn't necessarily a rocket ship. At the end of the day, its a car whose primary purpose has to get you from point A to point B. Heck, the Toyota Prius has probably given us a more relevant advanced technology than the S did in the last 10 years.

Further, lets see the typical components that fail on an S Class : Air suspension (a feature they have had for decades), electronics (another that they've had for over a decade), fuel delivery system problems (pretty much around since the first motorised Mercedes was made), automatic gearbox (ditto and lexus has one gear more BTW), airconditioning (ditto) etc. etc. Get the jist? What exactly is innovative of the typical failures of the S Class?

Mercs innovation : Credit given. However, for a new feature to perform, it has to work first. I'd rather have 8 fully working features than 10, of which two don't. If Merc can't make their innovation work in the real world, its better for them to first work on functionality rather cause headaches to its owners.

Further : The Lexus has all the features that the S Class has. And then some more. Each of them have a couple of things that others don't. And don't miss the fact that Lexus mechanical failures are a small percentage of that for the S Class.

Quote:
That said I have no idea whatsoever of the reliability record of S-Class vs the LS.
Easy to get yourself updated. Look up Consumer Reports rankings where the Lexus LS - their flagship car with the MOST features + electronics - has been ranked the most reliable. Really as simple as a google search. Some years, the complicated LS did as well as a damn Corolla! It entirely proves your point inaccurate that more features = less reliability. The winners are the ones who can provide more, yet maintain their core functionality. For the record, Consumer reports is going what Team-BHP does, but on a far larger scale. Information derived from millions of car owners. No automotive advertising accepted.

Quote:
Again whats the benchmark for the current Accord. If its the current Superb than I am sorry to say that Accord is pretty much bare bone compared to the Skoda.
By itself, the Accord functions just as reliably day after day as any top notch automobile should. And while on the Superb, take the previous gen as an example since the new one has just been launched : Problems with the gearbox, ECU, trunk lid etc. Wait & watch on the LT gearbox of the Superb. Or look up international reports of the same car. Hey, we even had the owner of a Russian Skoda owners club comment on Team-BHP. You'd do well in reading up his post.

On the talk of the features : You'd be truly negligent if you think that features alone cause a problem. The real problems are the ones that affect a cars functioning. Neither does a sunroof nor a xenon light has an effect on the car running. We are talking about MECHANICAL failures year, not of electric seats!

My point : I am not talking about the features, or the extra fittings that can go wrong. Its the CORE of the car; its functioning and the all too important reliability of mechanical components that is being discussed here.

Quote:
I need to ask you what does a jap car does which others cant?
Good question : Japanese manufacturers have mastered the art of precision building & efficiency better than anyone else. Simply put, their cars are the most trouble free. Buy some well recommended books off Amazon. My respect for Toyonda has only grown in the last 5 years. No passion blinding me here, just an educated observation.

Quote:
As far as I knew the bone of contention with Euro is electronics and they are always accused of having more of them than required.
My Merc has had many non-electronic failures & early replacements too (front suspension, engine mounts, turbo pipe etc.). Of course, the electronics is another area where the Germans have gotten it all wrong.

Quote:
If you want to have gadgets in your car get ready to pay for it when it goes wrong.
You need to update your facts. Its not the gadgets, but the mechanical components that went wrong.

And if you think that the market is ready to cope up with unreliability + frequent cost of repair of goodies, get a reality check.

Quote:
Peeling chrome strip and seat height adjustment going down... afterall how many times would you visit the A$$ to resolve these issue?
The question is : A 7 year old car doesn't visit the A$$ more than once a year. Therefore, how much more convenient is it to own a car that performs day after day? There is a reason why Toyota is today the No.1 manufacturer worldwide. Closer home, Japs command about 75% of our market. With good reason too!

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Esteem isnt a comparison for its feather light and most crammed of the lot.
We were discussing BHP, the most obvious benefit of which is performance. The Astras performance at the time of introduction was far from earth-shattering.

Quote:
As trapezio said fuel was also a factor when Opel and Daewoo set up shop. They deliberately debuted with outdated technology so that it could run on the inferior fuel and changing technology takes time.
Outdated technology and fuel problems? My '95 Zen was designed to run on unleaded fuel and did just as well.And somehow, that outdated technology you speak about still didnt work, did it (i.e. Opel). "Here guys, take a free bottle of anti-gumming solution and drop it in your tank with each fillup".

Quote:
Yes they were but because it brought things which were unseen for the time. The equipment list on the original Astra would still shame the latest gen AHNC. Integrated stereo, MID, chilled glovebox, automatic telescopic antenna had it all even then.
The market clearly showed what it wants to buy. Maybe Opel could have done better by selling a car that the market really wanted? Last I checked, Opel has been exterminated from India, while Honda is still around. But yet, full thumbs up to the quality of the Astra interiors. Only the Skodas can match them in less than 15 lakhs. And talking of shame, the interior quality of an Astra can put a Linea to shame even today.

Quote:
The primary reason why Skoda sold was fuel efficiency of the TDi engine and it was the reason why everything else was overlooked.
Unfortunately, you have gotten the primary reason wrong. The Elantra was as fuel efficient, and with more power, still bombed. The Octavia was a success due to its sheer quality, premium brand positioning, 1.9 powerful + efficient diesel and stellar reliability.

Quote:
You still havent replied to my original query the context of which was the comparison with the segment worst.
Umm, could you please repeat the question with more clarity? I missed it. However, nope, neither I or the rest of the market are making a big deal of Jap reliability. We appreciate cars that perform day in and day out without complaint.

Last edited by GTO : 9th October 2009 at 14:59.
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Old 9th October 2009, 14:51   #885
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If you start looking at reliability surveys, Fiats compete for last 3 positions.
Most international surveys will not include Tatas, made in India Marutis, Mahindra lots of cars from china, so fiat cars could score low among the globally available cars, but would possibly be mid way in an India focussed survey.
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