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Old 5th March 2010, 17:09   #1
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Default Why aren't alloy wheels standard in Indian cars (when they are on bikes)?

I'm sure everyone will remember the days (pre 2005) when alloy wheels were considered luxuries in bikes. With the advent of the 3rd Gen Pulsar, all bike manufacturers (including the Japanese ones) were forced to give alloys as standard on their 150+ cc bikes.

The Discover and later the Platina came shod with alloys forcing the bike manufacturers to give alloys with their 100cc + bikes. If you look at our roads now, finding new bikes with spokes is a tough job!

What is stopping car manufacturers to give alloy wheels as standard in their cars? (Case in point - the City and the Octavia)
Which car manufacturer is going to take the first step?

Pulsar history - Bajaj Pulsar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 5th March 2010, 17:17   #2
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Cost, Cost, and Cost.

This is the only logical reason that I can think of. Alloys as standard mean higher car prices. Additionally I am not sure how effective these alloys will be in rural markets where not so good roads exist.
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Old 5th March 2010, 17:22   #3
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Simple - Cost factor.
Potentially I wouldn't upgrade my steel rims to Alloys for one reason that it cannot be mended due to the damage caused by the potholed roads; however, manufacturers can see a business opportunity here by providing a standard quality alloy wheels & an option to replace the alloys at cheaper price.
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Old 5th March 2010, 17:28   #4
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apart from cost, alloy wheels are more of a cosmetic option that customers opt for. a manufacturer can't really provide a wide range here. so better to provide standard wheels. whoever wants alloys can buy it in the after market as per their choice
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Old 5th March 2010, 19:16   #5
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To Keep Costs Down
Make Profit On Aftermarket Ones (honda)
Give Skinny Tires That Would Look More Skinny On Alloys
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Old 5th March 2010, 21:35   #6
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To badly keep costs down to a minimum. I've even spotted some Civics without alloys being sold last year , not to mention a lot of Corollas!
I don't think they'll ever be standard unless the manufacturers give a lot of options to fiddle with the alloy choices at the time of purchase
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Old 5th March 2010, 21:47   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman7 View Post
Additionally I am not sure how effective these alloys will be in rural markets where not so good roads exist.
That's like saying the only the Ambassador is suitable for Indian roads. Come on times have changed. Alloys can be used on all sorts of roads. And in case you the roads you drive on are bad you can always "Upgrade" from OEM alloys to Aftermarket Steel Rims. Or maybe the the manufacturers can offer steel rims as optional extras for those who don't want alloys. I will just take one manufacturer to offer alloys as standard across the range and others will be forced to follow.
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Old 6th March 2010, 00:39   #8
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I seriously feel that sometime soon one manufacturer will keep alloys as std fitment in one of the cheaper cars and all other manufacturers will follow suit
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Old 6th March 2010, 01:00   #9
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its cost as said by other here. Also the alloys were not standard options in bikes couple of years back. Only in last 2 years trend of alloy in bikes has started. also i dont see much aftermarket alloy options for bikes so people happily buy one from manufacturer!

Quote:
I seriously feel that sometime soon one manufacturer will keep alloys as std fitment in one of the cheaper cars and all other manufacturers will follow suit
Looking at current price war in hatch segment, auto Cos are not even giving spare wheel of similar size ( Polo 14 inch spare instead of 15 inch). So alloy wheels as standard looks far as of now!
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Old 6th March 2010, 03:15   #10
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I think the biggest factor is volumes, Two wheelers outsell cars in India on an approx. 4.5:1 ratio. Bike makers can source the alloys at far cheaper prices.
I cant fully agree that manufacturers save a lot from a car's price by not fitting alloys, considering cars cost 10 to 15 times more than a bike on an average, it should in theory be a far lesser price increase in fitting a 6 lac car with 4 alloys as compared to fitting 2 alloys to a 60 k bike. But the volumes of alloys ordered by bike makers are much larger than car cos.
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Old 6th March 2010, 07:51   #11
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In a country where ABS, airbags, rear view mirrors, day/night mirrors and fog lamps do not come standard in cars, what is the point in complaining about alloys not being offered as a standard fitment?
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Old 6th March 2010, 08:25   #12
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Traditionally motorbikes use wire wheels with four separate components - alloy hub, steel spokes, steel nipples and wheel rim. Once assembled it has to be trued. So when it comes to mass production alloy wheels might be cheaper compared to the traditional spoked wheels which takes more time to assemble than to cast an alloy wheel.

In case of cars the wheels are made of pressed steel, usually consisting of two sections. These wheels are economical to make with lower material cost in a robotised wheel manufacturing unit. So alloys do not make sense as a cheaper alternative even in mass production.
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Old 6th March 2010, 11:51   #13
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Think we will have to wait for someone to do a 'bajaj'. It was Bajaj which started to offer alloy wheels as standard and then everyone else had to follow suit.
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Old 6th March 2010, 12:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Traditionally motorbikes use wire wheels with four separate components - alloy hub, steel spokes, steel nipples and wheel rim. Once assembled it has to be trued. So when it comes to mass production alloy wheels might be cheaper compared to the traditional spoked wheels which takes more time to assemble than to cast an alloy wheel.

In case of cars the wheels are made of pressed steel, usually consisting of two sections. These wheels are economical to make with lower material cost in a robotised wheel manufacturing unit. So alloys do not make sense as a cheaper alternative even in mass production.
Thanks for the explanation.

Also cars have four wheels compared to two in bikes and hence cost impact will be higher.
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Old 6th March 2010, 12:30   #15
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Like everyone has already said, it's cost.

I would like to point out that, for the safety, performance, looks consious buyer the MOST Auto companies anyways offer stuff like ABS, Airbag, Alloys etc. in the top end version.

I would not want the alloys to be STD fitment unless it's priced affordably. Please check the prices of OEM replacement Alloy Wheels. Extremely prohibitive.

P.S: How much does a Pulsar Alloy wheel cost?
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