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Old 9th September 2010, 17:47   #61
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The only thing i can think of in addition to the ones given already is to allow the vehicles to be customized. Eg: Option of selecting wheels, tyres, music system etc.
Rather than buying standard OEM and trying to exchange them later, it would be better if there are factory options which can be selected while ordering the vehicle.

Oh yes, lot of training for the grease monkeys
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Old 10th September 2010, 09:09   #62
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I think most of what we would expect from a car above 10L from MM and Tata has been discussed.

I am pretty sure guys at Tata and Mahindra do understand what will make a successful product above 10L. The issue is, if they are ready to change the way they work. Do they really have the passion and desire to improve right from people to design to manufacturing to sales and service.
Most of these really successful automotive companies took herculean efforts to improve everything and reach where they are today. Spending billions on six sigma, process control is not for nothing.

I have read this many times on T-BHP "wish they get a vehicle designed by Tata and manufactured by Mahindra". Isn't this an indication that Tata's might have got their design center's sorted and Mahindra has their production quality sorted. ( I am sure they can improve these departments also, but the other areas really need immediate improvement)

I am sure they have all the intentions to make a good product, but are those intentions getting converted into realities. The product has to have that quality and passion inside every part of the vehicle, passion in every sales person and every service station. Once they have a product with exterior, engine, suspensions, interiors fit and finish all ready at a reasonable price, they wouldn't need to spend money on advertisement like. "Jaisa dikhta hai waias hota nahin". (they can just show their cars rather than showing people who are not like what they look)

I have personally loved safari since childhood and wanted to buy it.Even after hearing so much about the niggles in a new Safari, I went to a showroom to test ride the Safari. The ride and sales experience was poor. It was the same with Mahindra, Scorpio 4X4 was 2nd on my list, however it looks like Mahindra is happy selling bolero's and scorpio's to people for the villages. Pan eating sales person, who didn't even know if there was a 4X4 version came in Scorpio. (and he claimed to be selling Scorpio's from years).

Its the company's DNA that needs to change.
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Old 10th September 2010, 13:00   #63
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I being an NRI (return) who lived in Australia for over 9 years of my life, would like to add, the 2 Indian companies in question have a lot of catching up to do in terms of the products that they produce. Obviously it would be immature to expect world class quality from companies that are relatively new, but eventually the two companies will outgrow the domestic (indian) market and will have to look at exporting to international markets for further growth. So the two companies have to speed up development keeping that in mind.

Lets look at the products for a second. The Mahindra Scorpio VLX M/T (Airbag) costs approximately 12.10 lakhs ex showroom Delhi. That would equal to approx AUS$ 29,000 -30,000. Now if I was in Australia I could have bought the following 4x4's for the price:
(All be it soft off roaders, but very capable ones when taken off road, especially the X-Trail)

Toyota Rav4
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan X-Ttrail.

And as you all will know 2 out of the 3 mentioned above since they are being sold in India, that they are a far better product in terms of build quality, mechanical engineering, handling, durability and comfort than the Scorpio and the Safari. Once again I am not here to bad mouth Indian companies, I being an Indian myself am looking forward to seeing our very own Indian companies competing and matching the Japanese rivals in terms of product quality.

So I guess if we were to look at the rise of Japanese companies, we will find that in the 60's and 70's while entering the American market, companies like Toyota and Honda too faced similar problems of people not wanting to pay more for Japanese cars and all. So what did the companies do? well they added value to their products, and loads of it. for a similar priced car to what the american companies were producing (ford, GM etc), the Japanese companies loaded their cars with extra features like power steering, A/c, leather seats, etc etc and so people started seeing the value in spending as much for a Japanese car as compared to an American made car.


Both of our Indian companies have to try and improve considerably. I feel of the two companies, M&M has been trying a bit harder as every new model upgrade of the scorpio since 2003 have had improvements that make the car a lot better in terms of fit and finish as well as the engineering side of ride, handling and engine.

On the other hand even though the Tata Safari was introduced in the late 90's, 1999 i think, I personally have not seen that much improvement in the ride and handling side of things. They have improved the engine considerably, but even though the new engine (the 2.2 DICOR) is similar to the M&M's 2.2 Mhawk, personally I feel the M&M is better tuned and more user friendly.

So as of now, looking at the Ex showroom price of indian companies in India and keeping in mind the price of other products from other manufactures in overseas markets in mind, I would have to say I do not see much value in buying a 10 lakh Rs + car made by either M&M or Tata.

But lets say for the quality of product that M&M produce in the Scorpio and looking at the feature list of that model, I think an OTR price of RS.10 L for the 4x4 Scorpio would justify me spending over that much on that product. Any price higher and I would not see any justification to but this product. At RS. 10 lakhs OTR, the price would come to approx AUS$ 24,000, and at that price I am quite confident the Scorpio will sell in ok numbers in the Australian market too.

So come on M&M you are almost there, just need to knock off a few lakhs in the production costs.

Last edited by amrisharm : 10th September 2010 at 13:01.
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Old 10th September 2010, 13:29   #64
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After going through the thread I can safely conclude that we Indians are super unforgiving when it comes to cars from the land. Let us try and understand that these companies have ventured to go where many might have feared. Agreed that the BMW's & Mercede's of the world started off in a similar manner & have reached the pinnacle of motoring today, but just count the no. of years it has taken them.
Some 1 also wrote in the same manner about Lambo. I am not sure but the damn thing is a pain to drive on a daily basis. Its bloody tough in bumper to bumper traffic. There's a distinct knocking when driven at slow speeds. Any way coming back to the topic. The most impt thing that we need is ATTITUDE CHANGE. Which car is absolutely & 100% trouble free. I have known of cases where ppl have bought cars worth 1+ cr and they have turned out to be horrible (more so when they undergo conversion from LHD to RHD & the guy messes it up). Couple of years back I came across a showroom BMW 650i (U know the costs) in which the driver's door could not be opened from outside. Apparently there were some electric problems which these guys could not sort for quite some time. One of my client's new C class experienced a cylinder failure within 3 months of ownership. Yet these guys kept their heads on their shoulder reported the problem & stayed calm till the issue was sorted out.
Unfortunately I feel that most people who can afford a 10+L car are the nouveau riche and hence throw around super amouts of weight. I have seen such specimens in Tata and M&M showrooms. They ask the sales guys questions which I am sure even their counter parts in Mercedes will not be able to answer. E.G. One guy in the showroom was asking what the Bore & Stroke were in the Tata Safari. This guy apparently was a marine engineer & was almost taking the guys test on how the engine works. Come on give the poor guy a break.
If people say that their experience with the sales team @Hyundai & Maruti are superb, I am sorry but I beg to differ. On my last visit to Sai Service (Andheri) I asked the sales guy what was new in the Alto BS4 over the BS3? His reply "BS4 has new safety features". When asked what, he replied they were inside the engine. I almost burst out laughing (wifey's frown was enough to cut me off though). A Skoda sales man had once told me that ABS stands for Anti Braking System.
The 1st thing we need is to accept that these brands can also be GOOD & NOT JUDGE THEM ON THE BASIS OF THEIR PAST PRODUCTS.
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Old 10th September 2010, 22:07   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Remember- being an Indian homegrown manufacturer should be a matter of pride, and not an excuse to justify slack to pass on to the always-ignorant customer.
Thats well said "theMAG". I 100% agree to your points. The wobbly mid row comfort in Scorpio is known for ages.. but the problem does not seem to fade even in the refreshed scorpio. On the road i can see many indica's with disoriented rear wheels, abused travel cars. Nano's on the other hand catches fire (late August'10) but Tata does not seem to admit it, they recently launched a safe car campaign for Nano.
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Old 11th September 2010, 13:29   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick1977 View Post
Yet these guys kept their heads on their shoulder reported the problem & stayed calm till the issue was sorted out.
thats the difference, see
with most Indian manufacturers, there is no real commitment, and even in the rare instances where they show it, it still rarely translates to results.
Take the case of a complaint thread that's running right now elswhere in the forums
Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_12001 View Post

I had even contacted Tata motors northern region office and even lodge a complaint at their customer care number but i got reply from Northern region office that nothing will happened and you can do whatever you want to do.

When i had contacted Tata Motors, This case could be closed as I was flexible and agreed to take even Rs 25000.00 which Dealer was already willing to pay me at the time of booking but they refused to pay me as they were thinking that as me very flexible so they have chance to bargin with me.

Tata motors can easily close this matter by telling its dealer to pay the money to customer but I got the reply from Mr. Gaurav( Northern region office) that nothing can happen and if you go court you will waste your time and money.

I was hurted not because of money but hurted by attitude. Maruti was enjoying more or less a monopoly for a decade(1984-1995). There was no serious competition for maruti but they gave us quality products and services at that time also that is why Maruti is most trusted brand even better products are available in the market. so it does not mean that Tata Motors is improoving customer relations so they should given liberty to do this kind of small cheating.

The main problem in Tata Motors is their attitude that is why their Dealer are like this. I am not saying all dealers but most of the dealers are like this.
I think Tata Motors fault is more then its dealer because they did not created the atmosphere and culture to treat their customers in good manner. Customer should feel proud and respected.

AK
from that thread, and my own experiences, tata seems to be at the mercy of its dealerships (cant comment on mahindra much) , when it should be focusing on its customers. people there are saying that any problems that arise are due to the dealers, and not to tata. If other manufacturers can give a consistent and good experience ( dealerships of indian manufacturers also give a consistent user experience, but not in a good way ) And I'm not talking about high end marques. I'm talking from experiences with dealerships of their competition in the UV sector - toyota and chevrolet - why cant they?

Last edited by greenhorn : 11th September 2010 at 13:30.
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Old 11th September 2010, 21:11   #67
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I dont know if am to question gto. But his observation about tata engines needs second thought. Atleast some tata owners have to suffer engine complaints well before 10000kms. And the Tata service people wont be able to repair it fully and customers have to really fight for the repairs to be done free of cost. Atleast some rich man have to sell his new car due to engine problem in half the prices.

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Old 12th September 2010, 00:44   #68
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I would buy Tata Vista/Manza or Safari for VFM if they come up with diesel Automatic transmission with little bit improvement in interiors .

We in india seem to give too much importance to the brand than it deserves.

For example, I owned two Honda cars in the US. My 1998 Honda Accord (bought brand new then) needed transmission replacement twice with in 10 years - Once under 3 yrs warranty and another one after 6 yrs.

My Honda Odyssey(high End) engine and trans were not great either. It was just okay compared to Toyota or GM's car. But the Hondas are known for their safety features and always fared #1 in crash test in the respective segments.

I feel that Hyundai cars are much more smoother and reliable than Honda cars.

My friends in India advised me to go for Honda for their brand and "prestige" but I want VFM with a decent reliability than the brand
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Old 12th September 2010, 14:31   #69
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You simply can't have the interiors like the Scorpio or the Safari. Even at their current price points it is unacceptable. But enough has been said about all that.

At 10L plus, it is not just the sum total of the vehicle itself that is important for me, it is the entire experience of owning it that should be different:

1. No more unexplainable rattles or niggles. This is actually bug, than a feature, for god's sake.
2. Do not fill up the product with ten thousand silly gizmos. Give me 10 gizmos and features, but make sure they are top-notch.
3. As mentioned by GTO and others - warranty: Pamper me with one that goes beyond the standard deal.
4. Revamp QC so that I don't have to chase the company to honour the warranty.
5. Make the whole experience of going to the ***/dealer something that is nice and worth looking forward to than something that makes me cringe.

A 10L plus budget is not something I can easily afford, so it won't even come into consideration for me unless the whole experience is outstanding. If I have to put up with the same pain points of owning a sub-10L vehicle in one that cost a lot more, I would gladly sit it out.
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Old 12th September 2010, 16:15   #70
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My observations regarding Mahindra
I have been the owner of classic and two boleros since the last 15 yrs
the engine performance is the pits, imagine a 2.4 ltr engine putting out a paltry 65 bhp ( bolero SLX ) and only now does the bolero vlx put out 97 bhp - needs to be peted , or you will end up riding a pregnant cow !
Q: why do mahindra owners not buy boats?
A: They get all the sea sickness driving their cars !!
well, we all want to buy indian but than putting up with the arrogance of the dealerships is too much - i had to wait 3 mos to get a black vlx from the Vijawawada dealer, was unsuccessful and had to settle for a white vlx from another dealership
this will be my last mahindra i promise
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Old 12th September 2010, 22:41   #71
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Default Beating the best at their game

After reading many responses, a crisis of confidence is evident. The points highlighted by most are valid but the challenge is to overcome the odds.

The luxury auto market is very difficult to penetrate because of the expectation from a new enterent. The only way forward for both the companies is to develop 'out of the umberella brand' for their luxury offerings (Lexus, Accura, etc). It would be prudent for them to involve the expat technical staff of luxury brands (retired too) in sorting all the niggles and also give 'on hands' assistance to them and their vendors to achieve the specifications. This is because the only way to acquire tacit knowlegde is to work along side the experts over a long period.

The worst strategy to adopt in this market is to work on a value for money proposition. That would be a poison pill for the brand.

Best wishes in their endevour to come out winners!
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Old 13th September 2010, 12:55   #72
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My 2-cents worth in this discussion.

I bought myself a Scorpio automatic earlier this year. Lovely vehicle - people talk about instability at 140-150 kmph but with a wife and 2 small kids have I ever done more than 120kmph? NO. So I don't care how it handles above 120kmph and it is quite dependable there.

Niggles - now there are some niggles that did leave me worried. Fresh vehicle off the blocks cannot afford to have electrical problems and honestly all Scorpios have it (at least that is what the A$$ guy leads me to believe).

Steering - here is where I really felt Mahindra has miles to go - especially after I returned from a business trip from the US where I drove the Ford Escape for a month. When I got home I felt that my Scorpio was like to truck to steer. Felt really sad that Mahindra was miles behind - that too compared to a Ford which is not known to sport the smoothest of steering.

Price - if one compares converting to AUD (as amrisharm has done) or USD one will realize that these vehicles don't come cheap - they are priced at pretty much what competition is priced outside India. That leads to 2 lines of thought - either M&M and Tata are making a lot of margins or we have a real problem on our hands with manufacturing in India.

I really think that the Govt should gradually start reducing the tax on CBUs to put pressure on M&M and Tata to improve still further.

Last edited by ananth_iy : 13th September 2010 at 12:56. Reason: Spelling
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Old 13th September 2010, 13:42   #73
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Yes I will buy a TATA/M&M vehicle if I am in the market for a 10L+ vehicle. The TATA Prima was on my wishlist if it retailed for around 10L.

My only requirement would be minimum trips to the service centers in between the services and no silly niggles like power windows not rolling up and down.

As long as there is a continual professional development in the QC departments of both the companies , which there is at the moment, it should be fine.
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Old 13th September 2010, 16:11   #74
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lovely post indeed Ananth. I do agree with much of what you say in it. Also completely agree with Amrisharm on his post.

Especially ref the fact that these vehicles are priced at the equivalent of better vehicles. For example a Scorpio in India is priced around the equivalent of a Hyundai Tucson in Australia or the UK - give or take a bit.

Hence, I can and will expect all the same if not more safety features and ergonomics, fit and finish quality etc as I would get from a foreign vehicle.

Yes it would be lovely if the government reduces some of their taxes and levies on CBU's SKD's etc so that we, the great Indian consumers, can get access to better vehicles at equivalent prices.

Only some stiff, solid competition in this form can shake our indigenous manufacturers out of their endemic lethargy towards large scale, high speed, execution led improvement!

a couple of things and inherent attitudes are to blame here - our Indian tendency to compromise on quality. We are a bit penny wise and pound foolish - love to save some cash and buy things that will "serve the purpose" rather than expend a little more and buy real quality.

It appears also that these manufacturers have also got it into their heads that Quantity (in terms of the no of gadgets offered) will be an effective substitute for Quality. Our uniquely Indian "Jugaad" type activity - where we do tend to cobble things together to make them serve instead of going the extra mile and building something of real solidity and lasting value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ananth_iy View Post
My 2-cents worth in this discussion.

I bought myself a Scorpio automatic earlier this year. Lovely vehicle - people talk about instability at 140-150 kmph but with a wife and 2 small kids have I ever done more than 120kmph? NO. So I don't care how it handles above 120kmph and it is quite dependable there.

Niggles - now there are some niggles that did leave me worried. Fresh vehicle off the blocks cannot afford to have electrical problems and honestly all Scorpios have it (at least that is what the A$$ guy leads me to believe).

Steering - here is where I really felt Mahindra has miles to go - especially after I returned from a business trip from the US where I drove the Ford Escape for a month. When I got home I felt that my Scorpio was like to truck to steer. Felt really sad that Mahindra was miles behind - that too compared to a Ford which is not known to sport the smoothest of steering.

Price - if one compares converting to AUD (as amrisharm has done) or USD one will realize that these vehicles don't come cheap - they are priced at pretty much what competition is priced outside India. That leads to 2 lines of thought - either M&M and Tata are making a lot of margins or we have a real problem on our hands with manufacturing in India.

I really think that the Govt should gradually start reducing the tax on CBUs to put pressure on M&M and Tata to improve still further.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 13th September 2010 at 16:18.
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Old 13th September 2010, 22:50   #75
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Quality for a customer is a perception. A manufacturer tries to give a ‘look’ to the car, which will add to the customer perception of quality. For a manufacturer, the quality is in maintaining the tolerances specified for each part that goes into the car, and the assembly.

For the outsourced parts, the manufacturer has to depend on the vendor and checking of random samples. Since every car is built to a price point, it translates into a price point for every part. The price point of a particular part, can translate into limitations on the technology used, and thus limitations on the tolerances specified.

To give an example, let us say you want a metal rod one foot long. You can go to the shop; the salesperson will measure off one foot with a tape, cut it, and give it to you. However, if you want one foot with a tolerance of a hundredth of an inch, you will have to buy a rod slightly longer than one foot, take it to a workshop, and have it cut to the required tolerance. The workshop charges could be higher than the cost of the rod itself.

If you do not want to spend more than the cost of the rod, you have to accept the ‘tolerance’ limit of the salesperson.

Tolerance levels on machined parts are not a problem. Therefore, the engines and transmissions of almost all cars will be reliable. Nevertheless, the cost of the engine and transmission increases with power and torque, so again there will be a limit on what the VFM car manufacturer can offer.

People compare an expensive car with a VFM car, and say the VFM car should have tolerance levels in fittings, comparable to that of the expensive car, and a more powerful engine. In that case, the VFM car will cost as much as the expensive car!

IMHO, the average Indian customer equates a costlier car with more comfort and more space, he cares two hoots whether the gap between two plastic panels is 0.1 mm or 1 mm (he will care if it is one inch!). The nouveau rich will only go by snob value and the price, the pricier the better, to boast to their friends.

For Indica, Ratan Tata had the slogan, space of an Ambassador at the price of a Maruti. When launched, the cheapest variant of the petrol indica was very close to the Maruti 800 in price.

If the new slogan is, the size of a Hummer at the price of an Octavia, it would be a winner.
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