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Old 10th September 2009, 17:48   #1
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Default Redefining small car definition in India?

Toyota and Honda have asked the India govt to redefine the 'small car' definition. Instead of the length of the car and engine size, they want the fuel efficiency, emission norms, and passenger safety as the criteria for his definition.

Source: It's not the length that matters: Toyota, Honda- Automobiles-Auto-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

But I don't think any other manufacturer like Maruti, Hyundai, Tata etc may join this campaign, because they have a lot of 'small cars' in their kitty, and do 'India-specific' R&D. But Toyota and Honda are not doing this, and they have to do a lot of investments to make their cars 'Indian small car definition' compliant, or to develop new ones for India.

But one thing I don't understand is why Honda and Toyota want a car with 'passenger safety' to be termed as a 'small car'! Or do they mean the lack of safety features?

Interesting subject, I think.

Last edited by romeomidhun : 10th September 2009 at 17:53.
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Old 10th September 2009, 18:11   #2
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I do not support this move. In India, a "small car" should continue to be an affordable car of the masses, and not upper B+/C segments where Toyota and Honda have their entry-level models currently.

Last edited by theMAG : 10th September 2009 at 18:17.
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Old 10th September 2009, 18:16   #3
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Shameless attempt by Toyota and Honda to try to twist Indian regulations to suit their market strategy.

Reminds one of the attempt by Maruti to get the govt to ban diesel engines claiming that they were polluting (real reason being that Suzuki doesn't have any diesel engines). Just a few years later they are shamelessly selling diesel engines, and in fact its their hottest selling model (Swift DDIS).

Irrespective of all other factors, the vehicle length has to be a factor in a country like India where everything from road size to population/car density to parking space is in very short supply.

At least Toyota has access to a range of small cars, so why can't they make an honest effort like Hyundai, Fiat and the rest to compete?

Or if they wanted to lecture a government, why not their own govt where Kei cars have been the tradition for decades? Due to the Japanese govt regulations lot of innovations in efficiency, ergonomics, small engines etc have taken place. In fact the main reason Suzuki is successful in India, and successful through the recession is due to it's strength in small cars that it has been forced to develop through the Kei standard.

Last edited by chncar : 10th September 2009 at 18:25.
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Old 10th September 2009, 20:00   #4
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So now Toyota and Honda are firing shots keeping the gun on shoulder of one thing called Safety.
And for emessions, I think that fuel quality will make a huge difference. Is it that Toyota and/or any control over this ? I appreciate both the manufacturers for having good engine tech and producing engines that last long, but then even Suzuki does the same. Look which are the top two selling cars in India, Alto and Wagon R. Why ? We need these typical small cars and the need lead to Nano also.
Toyota and Honda are not in a position to give Suzuki ( and even Hyundai ) a stiff competition and hence they are ending up on these techniques. Its same Honda that did not care to give ABS till SX4 came in.

IMHO, the kei car rules are somewhat applicable here also. We need that type of laws but for India we can change engine capacity to 1000cc.

A pathetic joke from Honda and Toyota.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chncar View Post
Just a few years later they are shamelessly selling diesel engines, and in fact its their hottest selling model (Swift DDIS).

Irrespective of all other factors, the vehicle length has to be a factor in a country like India where everything from road size to population/car density to parking space is in very short supply.
Alto is hottest selling, next in line is Wagon R.

Agreed on length part. Kei car rules with larger engine is what India needs. Toyota has got Daihatsu models. Hyundai has capacity to move into that.
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Old 10th September 2009, 20:26   #5
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The stupidest thing is the cubic capacity barriers being the same for petrol and diesel engines to calculate the insurance!

They should actually have a higher slabs for diesel engines because they need higher cubic capacities to generate the same power.

We were paying an additional 2000 rupees every year for the Zen-D because of an additional 26cc, as the slab is defined at 1500cc.

It's high time govt. should redefine a lot of things in this automotive sector.

Last edited by clevermax : 10th September 2009 at 20:29.
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Old 10th September 2009, 20:31   #6
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why cant toyota bring in their Igo(correct me if i'm wrong with the name) which will definitely fit in that size, honda also has many cars that are identical to the suzuki, zest and life looks more like wagon R i couldn't get the size specs but looks small and has 6xx cc three cylinder engines.Toyota yaris is another small car which may fit in to this segment. bring them in go in for indianisation than being a 100% import on some ornomental parts keeping the vitals 100% japanese.
or do some minor changes to fit into the market fiat punto reworked their bumpers to fit in.
its good they expect standards in small cars as well. if i have to reply to them i just would say there is another important definition for indian small cars *PRICE* and will ask them to do their homework on it
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Old 10th September 2009, 20:44   #7
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Though the intention of Honda and Toyota is clear, the govt should try to bring efficiency and pollution while calculating various taxes/incentives.

This should be for all vehicles not just passenger cars.
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Old 10th September 2009, 21:56   #8
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(sarcasm)

I support this move.

Quote:
WE, the PEOPLE OF INDIA, do hereby solemnly declare that with immediate effect, 5 meters shall be shorter than 4 meters.

We further confirm that cars without airbags and ABS, and costing 7 lakhs INR and above shall be deemed to be small cars; but cars with ABS and airbags, and costing less than 6 lakhs shall be treated on par with Rolls.
(/sarcasm)

On a very serious note, have a look at

Kei car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and

Category:Kei cars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Toyota is conspicuous by its absence from that list.

Edit:- in the context of retuning, "ECU learning" we have discussed extensively elsewhere on this forum, etc, what is the point of defining FE as a benchmark?

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 10th September 2009 at 22:00.
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Old 10th September 2009, 22:34   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
On a very serious note, have a look at

Kei car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and

Category:Kei cars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Toyota is conspicuous by its absence from that list.
Well Toyota is in control of Daihatsu that is present in that list. Daihatsu defeated Suzuki for the first time in around 33 years to become no. 1 kei car selling brand in Japan.
Daihatsu Move is a very strong competitior to Wagon R. IIRC, the latest generation of this Move car has the longest wheel base in all the Kei cars. So its not that Toyota is absent, its present there indirectly.
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Old 11th September 2009, 01:43   #10
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we sincerely thank toyota and honda for bringing in quality and reliable cars.
If they wanna play their role in the small car segment they have a segment called premium small cars, let them play the game are there.
If they want small car with better features they are welcome if they are ready to bring it under the budget price. Honda and Toyoto please dont make cars unaffordable for us. Speaking of which today i spotted one among the first few nano's on road. I saw a Yellow colour registered nano in alwarpet. looked like the top end modal i just got a glimpse of it on the move the fit and finish of the car was good and man the car was so compact. sorry guys this is the first time i'm seeing a nano in flush
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Old 11th September 2009, 08:17   #11
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IMO the limit on dimensions of the car can be retained but the limit cubic capacity of the car can be relaxed a little. 1.2l for Petrol engines is too low, so is 1.5l for Diesel engines.
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Old 11th September 2009, 09:21   #12
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Car should be defined in specific categories based on lenght.

Passenger safety should be increased in stages to add more stuff on a mandatory basis.

After Seatbelts, we should now add ABS, Tyretronics & 2 Airbags in the essentials segment - Only the basis smallest of small cars (nano) should be allowed without these 3 addtions for now as they serve a different demand.
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Old 11th September 2009, 10:35   #13
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So what these companies are saying is that cars with smaller dimensions and smaller engines should not be classified as small cars ?
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Old 11th September 2009, 10:39   #14
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I completely agree with few above fellow BHPians , that Honda & toyota are trying to lobby based on their business strategies . IMO its not the incapabilities of these manufacturers to produce small cars as per the limitations laid by the GOI , As they have all required technologies. Its only that they have to focus more on the indian markets & develop more specific products . IMHO they should bench mark their counterparts like suzuki in India & Learn from them & have agood long term business plan
The reason of safety features , Fuel efficiency seems to be a lame excuse for some serious intentions of these manufacturers to change the direction of the blowing wind .
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Old 11th September 2009, 10:42   #15
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ROFLOL!!!
Are they even serious?

A large car = small car because length and size are not he criteria.
Then why call it a small car?
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