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Old 9th February 2010, 16:23   #301
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Its so weird that people are waiting and willing to put their money on VW's Polo with 3-pot engines and never talk about VW's A.S.S though there is enough evidence on TBHP regarding the way VW manages brand SKODA in India.

Most stayed away from Fiat considering its past and some thinking about TATA's A.S.S level.

Punto MJD's 76bhp @ 4000 & 197nm @ 1750 = Underpowered car
Polo Crde 75bhp @ 4200 & 180nm @ 2000 = Something to wait for?


I may not be a Hyundai fan but agree to the fact that they make better quality cars then our NO:1 car manufacturer!!

I would have waited for Polo only if they had a 1.4ltr/4-pot/at least 90bhp petrol engine with pricing comparable to Punto or may be i20.
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Old 9th February 2010, 17:01   #302
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That's a very good analysis. I too hope that the underlying quality of the car has not been affected by the cost cutting process. However I'm a little bit more sceptical than you are.

If VW is willing to do away with clearly visible features (climate control, electrically controlled mirrors with LED indicators, detailed headlight and tail-lights etc etc), then I think they've also done away with some features that are not clearly visible to us. For example, instead of rear disc brakes we will get drum brakes in the Indian Polo. They might be using thinner sheet metal than the European Polo. Or less damping. Or simpler crumple zones. Or cheaper suspension components. Or...

And the powertrain has indeed been compromised. We're getting 3-cylinder engines here with a 5-speed manual gearbox. No TSI. No 6-speed gearbox. No 7-speed DSG.

In my opinion, without the TSI and DSG, this car is just a Fabia with a different body-style. The Indian VW Polo is a far cry from the VW Polo that has won rave reviews (and lots of awards) all across Europe.

I beg to differ. I work in an Indian car company as an Exports Manager. So be informed that the Tatas and Mahindras that are sold in Europe have to be structurally modified to make them comply with the stricter European crash test norms but cost constraints ensure that the ones sold in India do not (thats right, the Tatas and Mahindras sold in India are far less safer than the ones exported - so much for our indigenous pride!). Re-engineering the car's structural integrity involves a significant expense since this goes way beyond sticking on airbags or incorporating an ABS system. Which means it is reasonable to assume that VW(for the Polo)/Chevrolet(for the Cruze)/Fiat(for the Punto) etc. will not have tinkered around with the basic underlying structure of the car since the expense of this re-engineering exercise will exceed any savings from employing "thinner sheet metals" or "simpler crumple zones".

So the point is the car will have the same torsional and dynamic rigidity, a similar composition of varying strength steels but this steel (among other components) will be sourced locally, thats all.

Now, for a more subjective perspective - I think if VW can offer us a Polo for 5L ie at almost half the rate at which it is sold in Europe, itd be fair to not expect them to offer niceties like DSG and TSI. Both of which are things in my wish-list and yours, but probably not in the wish-lists of over 30000 of the 35000 Indians whom VW is targetting in the coming fiscal.

Last edited by R17 : 9th February 2010 at 17:14.
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Old 9th February 2010, 18:15   #303
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Re-engineering the car's structural integrity involves a significant expense since this goes way beyond sticking on airbags or incorporating an ABS system. Which means it is reasonable to assume that VW(for the Polo)/Chevrolet(for the Cruze)/Fiat(for the Punto) etc. will not have tinkered around with the basic underlying structure of the car since the expense of this re-engineering exercise will exceed any savings from employing "thinner sheet metals" or "simpler crumple zones".

So the point is the car will have the same torsional and dynamic rigidity, a similar composition of varying strength steels but this steel (among other components) will be sourced locally, thats all.
This logic is a bit specious. As Indians, we have to make do with the same structural integrity, but none of the active safety systems that are making the key difference between being dead in a nicely crumpled car and being alive in a similarly crumpled car.

And then manufacturers have the gall to hark to the safety ratings they get abroad.

At the end of the day, we are getting the shell with some bits thrown in.
And its take it or leave it.

Of course, going by the polls and the sales figures, its take it for most.
A shame, really, because people would rather pay 10L for a "sedan" that still has the same two airbags, but not for a hatch that has 6-8 with a similarly sized engine.

At the end of the day, most people's logic about wanting a cheap hatch for city driving leaves me wondering if only people buying sedans are venturing onto the highways! Or are people so rich that they have a hatch for city use and a sedan to use for elsewhere?
I would rather just have a decently specced hatch. The boot is a pointless vanity for me.
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Old 9th February 2010, 20:40   #304
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I beg to differ. I work in an Indian car company as an Exports Manager. So be informed that the Tatas and Mahindras that are sold in Europe have to be structurally modified to make them comply with the stricter European crash test norms but cost constraints ensure that the ones sold in India do not (thats right, the Tatas and Mahindras sold in India are far less safer than the ones exported - so much for our indigenous pride!). Re-engineering the car's structural integrity involves a significant expense since this goes way beyond sticking on airbags or incorporating an ABS system. Which means it is reasonable to assume that VW(for the Polo)/Chevrolet(for the Cruze)/Fiat(for the Punto) etc. will not have tinkered around with the basic underlying structure of the car since the expense of this re-engineering exercise will exceed any savings from employing "thinner sheet metals" or "simpler crumple zones".
Going by the same logic, these Indian car companies would also make a single "basic underlying structure" and export the same abroad. In that way, they would not have to incur "significant expenses" when "re-engineering the car's structurual integrity" so that they "comply with stricter European crash test norms".

Since you work for an Indian car company and you are telling us that this expensive "re-engineering of the car's structural integrity" takes place, the only conclusion we can have is that the cost of the "re-engineering" is less than the additional profits (from cost savings) from selling the inferior structures in India.

The same logic would then apply to VW, or any other foreign car manufacturer. If they could incur a one time cost to "re-engineer the car's structural integrity", and then earn an incremental profit on each inferior car sold in India, there would be a point (in terms of number of cars sold), above which this would be a more profitable strategy. Note also that VW has an ambitious sales target for the Polo in India.

We have clear evidence that other "re-engineering" has happened in order to cut costs. New (inferior) headlamps and tail-lights have been designed. A new grille has been designed. So why not "re-engineer" the car to reduce the per unit cost incurred on the "basic underlying structure", since in India cars do not have to "comply with stricter European crash test norms"?

I'm not convinced.

Last edited by theEnd : 9th February 2010 at 20:42. Reason: quote tag broke
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Old 10th February 2010, 13:22   #305
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[quote=theEnd;1724455]Going by the same logic, these Indian car companies would also make a single "basic underlying structure" and export the same abroad. In that way, they would not have to incur "significant expenses" when "re-engineering the car's structurual integrity" so that they "comply with stricter European crash test norms".

Going by what logic? The crux of my point was that over 80% of the sales for Indian companies (conservatively) is for the Indian market - ergo, there is no need to spend on the R&D, the crash testing etc which is needed to develop a structure that can withstand the foreign crash tests. This has held true for Mahindra Scorpio/Xylo and also for the Tata Indica/V2/Vista/Indigo/Manza ie all the above mentioned cars have a different structure in their foreign and domestic guise. Which is why the Scorpio was and the Nano is getting re-engineered for their US odyssey. A very small chunk is reserved for exports and an even tinier chunk for markets like US, Europe. Most of the exports are for SAARC, ASEAN, Africa which have no established crash test norms yet. So the companies did not find it feasible to engineer their cars to be compliant. Till now. I have good reason to believe that the same does not hold true for either the Aria or the Mahindra W210.

The same logic would then apply to VW, or any other foreign car manufacturer. If they could incur a one time cost to "re-engineer the car's structural integrity", and then earn an incremental profit on each inferior car sold in India, there would be a point (in terms of number of cars sold), above which this would be a more profitable strategy. Note also that VW has an ambitious sales target for the Polo in India.

That’s now how it works in an auto company (or for the sake of argument, we’ll state “in most auto companies”). They don’t go about engineering different underlying structures for the same platform unless theres an initial mandate – say, as it was for Gen2 Ford Focus, which currently employs a dated C170 platform in North America and a fresher C1 platform for the rest of the world. So the issue isn’t just a one-time expense of “re-engineering the car’s structural integrity”, its also about establishing a company wide mandate of downgrading the engineering prowess of a car for a particular market. Such mandates are not easy to pass in penny-pinching, corner-cutting Indian forms, so it wouldn’t be an unsafe assumption that it would be extremely difficult (key words – “extremely difficult”) to pass them in global firms like Fiat or Chevrolet or VW. (that’s right - car companies are here to make money but they also do spare more than a passing thought about their product quality). Now, even if we disregard the above assumption, passive safety is about designing crumple zones, cross members, deformation structures, all of which is completed during the designing phase and often largely before a computer screen. Why would a company care to get into the entire exercise again when it would cost it nothing to just follow the same design but execute it with local materials. Steels are graded for strength so while an Indian sample of HSS (high strength steel) is cheaper than a foreign sample, its supposed to withhold the same standards.

We have clear evidence that other “re-engineering” has happened in order to cut costs. New (inferior) headlamps and tail-lights have been designed. A new grille has been designed. So why not “re-engineer” the car to reduce the per unit cost incurred on the “basic underlying structure”, since in India cars do not have to “comply with stricter European crash test norms”?

Inferior headlamps and tail-lights do not impact the passive safety of a car / its cross members and crumple zones do – every car company that seeks to localize will attempt to first localize the non-priority elements.

I'm not convinced.

That’s cool – I’m not losing any sleep over that
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Old 10th February 2010, 14:19   #306
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Lads lets play nice !!!


re-engineering grilles and lights are quite simple. Sit down your engineers in a room and start discussing cost savings in a car, and for sure the first things to go will be aesthetics!!!
Crumple zones and the impact of lighter sheet metals on the other hand, requires extensive (and by extensive, I actually mean to the order of stellar magnitudes) Finite Element Analyses as well as expensive real time crash tests. I somehow highly doubt that any manufacturer is going to invest that kind of time and money into cost cutting !!!
No, the things that will go are expensive aesthetics and luxury features.
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Old 10th February 2010, 14:42   #307
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Originally Posted by HammerHead View Post
Its so weird that people are waiting and willing to put their money on VW's Polo with 3-pot engines and never talk about VW's A.S.S though there is enough evidence on TBHP regarding the way VW manages brand SKODA in India.

Most stayed away from Fiat considering its past and some thinking about TATA's A.S.S level.

Punto MJD's 76bhp @ 4000 & 197nm @ 1750 = Underpowered car
Polo Crde 75bhp @ 4200 & 180nm @ 2000 = Something to wait for?


I may not be a Hyundai fan but agree to the fact that they make better quality cars then our NO:1 car manufacturer!!

I would have waited for Polo only if they had a 1.4ltr/4-pot/at least 90bhp petrol engine with pricing comparable to Punto or may be i20.
I think you missed the bus somewhere...most of us are actually waiting for the 1.6P version. Also, some like the looks of the car enough to wait for it

Most importantly, it less of BHPs and pots and more of drivability that matters according to me. And most of the initial reactions have been really good about the drivability of the car. Hence the eagerness...
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Old 11th February 2010, 17:41   #308
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Hi Guys, Just spoke to the Mktg Mgr of VW India to confirm details of launch. He says there will only be one version launched now, the 1.2 Petrol. The other 2 will follow over the next few months. They dont know which one will come first but most probably it could be the 1.2 diesel n then the 1.6 petrol. The prices for 1.2 Petrol will be announced in first week of March and not 23rd Feb as mentioned elsewhere. Thats it...

Am just sad that i will have to wait longer for my 1.6 POLO :(
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Old 11th February 2010, 18:24   #309
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Hi Guys, Just spoke to the Mktg Mgr of VW India to confirm details of launch. He says there will only be one version launched now, the 1.2 Petrol. The other 2 will follow over the next few months. They dont know which one will come first but most probably it could be the 1.2 diesel n then the 1.6 petrol. The prices for 1.2 Petrol will be announced in first week of March and not 23rd Feb as mentioned elsewhere. Thats it...

Am just sad that i will have to wait longer for my 1.6 POLO :(
looks like VW want to see the FIGO prices before there own announcement , this can be shrewed pricing strategy to Price the POLO close to the FIGO.
let wait for the best...
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Old 11th February 2010, 23:36   #310
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Thanks R17 for the further clarifications. Sometimes I guess that I'm overly pessimistic, but your logic now makes sense to me. I certainly hope you're right. Would really like to get a Polo 1.6 and I just hope its not too 'compromised'.
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Old 12th February 2010, 04:27   #311
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I think you missed the bus somewhere...most of us are actually waiting for the 1.6P version. Also, some like the looks of the car enough to wait for it

Most importantly, it less of BHPs and pots and more of drivability that matters according to me. And most of the initial reactions have been really good about the drivability of the car. Hence the eagerness...
I am sure you wanted to say "missed the point" .

Jokes apart, it's fine to say that you like the Polo and would like to wait for it, however, Hammerhead's point was that most Indian customers, have decided once and for all that Fiat is taboo, hence the 4 cylinder MJD and the 4 cylinder 90PS petrol engines in a car that looks better than the Polo (I think the Polo looks great, and comes right after the Punto in my books, it's only the rear tail-lamp execution where the Punto scores significantly more) still doesn't see the the success it deserves.

However, it's a slow and steady game and I am quite optimistic about Fiat; the Polo is welcome, it might just make some wise people take notice of the Punto .

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Old 12th February 2010, 10:42   #312
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Am just sad that i will have to wait longer for my 1.6 POLO :(
Slightly to spoil everybody's party, I have a Serious questions about 1.6 , 1.7 mills .Where are the road to take a Car beyond 100 KMPH ??? Even on highways also, you never know ,from which side a Cow / buffalo will suddenly decide to give u a greeting right in middle of road, off course you have bull carts ,Trucks,tractor trolleys ( running on Right hand Lane) vying for their space on highways , I agree everybody loves them , but is it worthwhile to invest in a 1.6, 1.7 Mills , when you actually know that you gonna never able to make full use of that power .

Let us Think Practically here

Again I would say , Heart Always Rules over Head for Us, Auto Enthusiasts.
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Old 12th February 2010, 11:43   #313
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Slightly to spoil everybody's party, I have a Serious questions about 1.6 , 1.7 mills .Where are the road to take a Car beyond 100 KMPH ??? Even on highways also, you never know ,from which side a Cow / buffalo will suddenly decide to give u a greeting right in middle of road, off course you have bull carts ,Trucks,tractor trolleys ( running on Right hand Lane) vying for their space on highways , I agree everybody loves them , but is it worthwhile to invest in a 1.6, 1.7 Mills , when you actually know that you gonna never able to make full use of that power .

Let us Think Practically here

Again I would say , Heart Always Rules over Head for Us, Auto Enthusiasts.
I dont think its so much about going beyond 100kmph as honestly I have done it even with my Alto in Mumbai. Its more about the drivability and the eagerness your car has to your actions. I want a car thats quick off its feel, never shy of overtaking a truck, and mostly, one that makes an envious engine sound
I wont mind 150kmph on the Mumbai Pune Expressway though...
I agree with your last statement though...Its about the heart my friend
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Old 12th February 2010, 12:38   #314
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Slightly to spoil everybody's party, I have a Serious questions about 1.6 , 1.7 mills .Where are the road to take a Car beyond 100 KMPH ??? Even on highways also, you never know ,from which side a Cow / buffalo will suddenly decide to give u a greeting right in middle of road, off course you have bull carts ,Trucks,tractor trolleys ( running on Right hand Lane) vying for their space on highways , I agree everybody loves them , but is it worthwhile to invest in a 1.6, 1.7 Mills , when you actually know that you gonna never able to make full use of that power .

Let us Think Practically here

Again I would say , Heart Always Rules over Head for Us, Auto Enthusiasts.
I agree.. rarely cross 100km/h on my everyday commute in Mumbai. But for reaching that speed, as well as for overtaking, I have frequently felt that my 87bhp Swift was underpowered. With a full load of passengers (which is rare), it is extremely underpowered. Then again, you have to drive enthusiastically to notice this, and not be one of those people who are constantly thinking about fuel efficiency.
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Old 12th February 2010, 13:55   #315
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Slightly to spoil everybody's party, I have a Serious questions about 1.6 , 1.7 mills .Where are the road to take a Car beyond 100 KMPH ??? Even on highways also, you never know ,from which side a Cow / buffalo will suddenly decide to give u a greeting right in middle of road, off course you have bull carts ,Trucks,tractor trolleys ( running on Right hand Lane) vying for their space on highways , I agree everybody loves them , but is it worthwhile to invest in a 1.6, 1.7 Mills , when you actually know that you gonna never able to make full use of that power .

Let us Think Practically here

Again I would say , Heart Always Rules over Head for Us, Auto Enthusiasts.
Buddy more bhp does not mean that you will always be zipping car beyond 100 kms and plus. Here in US most of the cars are 165bhp and some even 250 bhp and more...so it does not mean that they all are driving beyond 80-90mph. Those extra bhp comes in use when you've to overtake slow moving trailers or trucks on freeways or for spirited driving sometimes :P
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