Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 16th October 2010, 11:11   #61
Senior - BHPian
 
architect's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ghaziabad, U. P
Posts: 1,221
Thanked: 332 Times
Default

I know its not very clear from the photograph because the car is covered, but one look at the alloys and the fat 250-300 width tyres convinced me it was a German and a sports (sporty?) model at that.

Outer Ring Road near Vasant Vihar, Delhi, 15 Oct 2010 at 4.00 PM.
Attached Thumbnails
PICS : How flatbed tow trucks would run out of business without German cars!-15102010005.jpg  

PICS : How flatbed tow trucks would run out of business without German cars!-15102010001.jpg  


Last edited by architect : 16th October 2010 at 11:13.
architect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 11:44   #62
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 108
Thanked: 16 Times
Default

The German car industry was about premium marques and never faced the heat of competition for a long time. Two factors began to contribute to the change in the way of thinking and manufacturing:

Cost

Safety


Japanese brands began to enter the luxury segment with the Accura and Lexus wings of Honda and Toyota. I used to see billboards showing Accuras advertised as genuine Mercedes replacement parts! And at the same time, (88-90s) a huge article in Time magazine about how Lexus owners were pleased with the soft rides of their steeds, compared to the take-it - or - leave-it hard rides offered by the Teutonic offerings of Merc/BMW. The Japs were listening to their customers! And making cars available at an affordable price point. It was the last, more than anything else that led to Mercedes adopting a different way of design and manufacture. No more 2 tonnes of steel made up of a body bolted together with heavy bulkheads and cross members affording excellent safety for their occupants, but delivering death and destruction to the other party in a collision. The new bodies needed to have crumple zones, airbags, sacrificial engine and gearbox mountings AND light weight, and together with all that, they needed to be cheaper!

Japanese brands needed to travel the opposite direction: they needed to get safer, stronger (the first Celicas and Supras were called "rolling coffins" (TIME Magagazine '70s). I think the Japanese adapted better and faster and they were serving an Asian market that saw a wider climatic variation than the Europeans. Also its easier to add metal than to trim flab.

An acquaintance bought a fully loaded E class and while travelling in a less crowded highway (Hassan?) the ABS electricals conked out. He had no brake by wire! He coasted to a stop using a combination of shift down and handbrake. The vehicle was flatbedded(!) to the Bangalore dealer where when he asked for a refund, it was given without any resistance. I could hardly believe the re-telling of the account! Apparently the electronics were not sufficiently tropicalised. The first batch of W class that were assembled at the Pune plant as body in white were apparently the last of the old school Mercs.

And we have already heard of high rate of VW electrical failures, leading to their getting a bad rap in the Western market, something they are still struggling too recover from.

On the other hand, and strangely, German cameras, in their slowness to adapt to electronics are getting rave reviews from Everest climbers and Arctic and Sahara exploration teams. Apparently, after all the Nikons and Canons gave up the ghost, the Leica R8s and R9s were still happily clicking away! Go figure!

Last edited by proton : 16th October 2010 at 11:48. Reason: punctuation
proton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 15:09   #63
BHPian
 
stanjohn123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: TN 75
Posts: 996
Thanked: 290 Times
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlatzdaTurbo View Post
Though im pretty sure there might be a few cases of Audis having broken down and being transported on flat-bed tows, being an Audi owner and not seeing a single recorded (photographed) scene of an Audi being towed on this thread so far makes me so happy ! Boy i sure am in love
Lets just hope it does not happen to any Audi here in India. I'm a big fan of Audi these days.
stanjohn123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 15:09   #64
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,107
Thanked: 117 Times
Default

Well the upfront cost of the flatbed towing is more than the tow-crane towing. However, anyone who has done such towing (and esp if the distance was not a few km) would have realized flat-beds are actually cheaper.
* No destroyed front bumper
* No damage to radiator, condensor
* No damage to front cross member etc

So, I would prefer flatbed anyday unless my 4 wheels can be on ground while being towed.
lancer_rit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 17:12   #65
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dombivli/Gurgao
Posts: 2,516
Thanked: 989 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton View Post
On the other hand, and strangely, German cameras, in their slowness to adapt to electronics are getting rave reviews from Everest climbers and Arctic and Sahara exploration teams. Apparently, after all the Nikons and Canons gave up the ghost, the Leica R8s and R9s were still happily clicking away! Go figure!
Maybe it has something to do with the mechanicals vs electronics. GTO had posted earlier about a car that's purely mechanical without any (fancy?) electronics. Such a vehicle would not only be extremely cheap to build and maintain, but would also be much more reliable than its electronic counterpart. Whereas you can observe the mechanicals and get an idea of whether a part is about to give up or not, electronics will almost always die on you suddenly, without any warning. And with today's steering, brake and other safety features relying solely on electronics, it is a deadly risk that we carry around.

As for cameras too, I purchased a Nikon FE last year (used), which came at a throwaway price. It's older in age than me, is in perfect working condition and has most of the features a high end automatic SLR camera will offer. Plus I can take it anywhere without worrying about frying its electronics. There are virtually none! I shot some pics at Matheran in a drizzle where I wouldn't dare take an electronic camera. The camera would be working perfect even for my grandkids. On the other hand my bro bought an electronic SLR from Singapore which went kaput after a few years. Replacement of the electronic circuitry would cost as much as a new camera. Currently it's lying unused with the circuit leaking current and autofocus not working. Such is the state of affairs of mechanical vs electronic devices.
honeybee is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 17:17   #66
Team-BHP Support
 
Akshay1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,384
Thanked: 5,229 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by architect View Post
I know its not very clear from the photograph because the car is covered, but one look at the alloys and the fat 250-300 width tyres convinced me it was a German and a sports (sporty?) model at that.

Outer Ring Road near Vasant Vihar, Delhi, 15 Oct 2010 at 4.00 PM.
If im not wrong that car is an R8. I hope its going for delivery and not broken down.
Akshay1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 17:44   #67
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dombivli/Gurgao
Posts: 2,516
Thanked: 989 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Somehow I feel that the thread title does not match the contents inside.
I agree that without these premium cars and their breakdowns, the flatbed truck business will run out of business. This is what the title says and this is what the discussions inside the thread should be.
But somehow its now turned into a "reliability of german cars" discussion.

Most of us would have had the experience of our Marutis,Hyundais breaking down and some mechanic in a corner of any road coming and fixing it. if not in a way mentioned in the manuals but atleast is his own "magical" way. many a times even if the warranty is void we don't care as much as we would do for a premium car.

I'm working in a German firm and I know that Germans generally don't go things not mentioned in the manuals or SOPs. So thats why they carry it to the dealership where all the necessary equipments will be available.

Reliability of german cars cannot be linked to the use of flat bed trucks.
I completely agree with khoj and jigbarai here.
I think the point behind this thread is to highlight the unreliability of some premium brands in a light-hearted spirit. There have been many reports on these forums of German cars breaking down in the most unexpected fashion and the thread is to bring this trend into focus.

To set the scores straight, Toyota is a name that is almost synonymous with quality. Yet they had to go back and reinspect their production processes after a massive recall in the US. So yes, breakdowns or defects can exist in any brand. But while a 2 lakh Maruti is very much less likely to break down just a couple of months into its ownership, you cannot say the same of a premium brand like Skoda or Mercedes. There are numerous owners posting here their premium cars are visiting the dealer workshops far too frequently to justify the premium price that they have paid. Also these breakdowns have not been a result of an accident or negligence on part of the owners, but more in the nature of manufacturing defects or complex electronics, which goes to show the manufacturer has cut some corners somewhere before ensuring that the package offered in India would meet the Indian climatic/traffic conditions.
honeybee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 17:49   #68
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 334
Thanked: 49 Times
Default

It seems that the flatbed is mostly used for luxury cars (it may change with time). Come to think of it. How many non European luxury cars are selling in India? Hardly any, except Accord.

The number of German cars that we see on the flatbed is directly related to the number of them sold.

OK I know Japs have supreme reliability, but anyone buying the above logic ?

The only two cars that I have seen on the flatbed are a NHC and an Octy (was brought in the service centre with dead battery). But whenever I see a Bmw or a Merc this thread comes to my mind .

Last edited by fi.robin : 16th October 2010 at 17:52.
fi.robin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 21:47   #69
BHPian
 
Haroon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jedda/Bangalore
Posts: 383
Thanked: 552 Times
Default

There is one more naughty angle to the aftermath of premium cars breaking down-

There is always the next business meeting or party or golf game etc where the guy can say (acting innocently naughty)- "Oh my BMW.. has broken down again, this month itself I have spent 4 laks on repairs". So people around will instantly know he has a BMW or whatever exotic and 3-4 lacs does not make a dent in his pocket etc...
Haroon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2010, 10:23   #70
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dombivli/Gurgao
Posts: 2,516
Thanked: 989 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon View Post
There is one more naughty angle to the aftermath of premium cars breaking down-

There is always the next business meeting or party or golf game etc where the guy can say (acting innocently naughty)- "Oh my BMW.. has broken down again, this month itself I have spent 4 laks on repairs". So people around will instantly know he has a BMW or whatever exotic and 3-4 lacs does not make a dent in his pocket etc...
Please tell me you are kidding. The amount of expenditure that some of the people seem to incur on their premium cars is enough to buy a whole car and run it for a few months.
honeybee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2010, 10:58   #71
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bombay
Posts: 950
Thanked: 89 Times
Default A list perhaps, of stricken Teutons?

>>>

Would t-bhpians who

i. own a Teuton (Audi, BMW, Mercedes) and
ii. have used a flat bed lorry to transport their car to the workshop

like to create a list of such occurrences?

Especially if they had occasion to use the flat bed within three years of (new car) ownership?

This will help us to understand the issues with these brands significantly better than generalised comments (and assorted brand bashing). Also are we to focus only on the premium German trio or lead our researches further afield into VW and Opel territory?

Regards, drive safe
issigonis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2010, 11:45   #72
Senior - BHPian
 
Sn1p3r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: City of Spas
Posts: 1,020
Thanked: 205 Times
Default +1

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
>>>
This will help us to understand the issues with these brands significantly better than generalised comments (and assorted brand bashing).
+1: The thread is losing its sheen. It will be far better if photographs with specific issues can be put up with owner comments and resolution.
This will help others future/current owners take necessary precautions and actions to prevent or be wise if they are already stuck in a situation.

Cheers!
Sn1p3r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th October 2010, 14:20   #73
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 108
Thanked: 16 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sn1p3r View Post
+1: The thread is losing its sheen. It will be far better if photographs with specific issues can be put up with owner comments and resolution.
This will help others future/current owners take necessary precautions and actions to prevent or be wise if they are already stuck in a situation.

Cheers!
+1!

I likey! Specifics are good.

So, okey-dokey, I'll set the ball rolling.

On 3 Oct, at 3:30 pm, I lined up at the Downtown Showroom on Magrath Road, Bangalore for the test drive when we were told test drives were being discontinued because the demo car was kaput! Since there were no signs of it, I didn't see the flatbed, but I suppose the showroom manager's words would have to be taken in good faith, as no conceivable purpose can come to my mind for him to mislead the customers by using that reason. Quite the opposite in fact.

Now I will contact my friend and ask him for the details of the E Class refund. It may be possible that he would have had to agree not to publicise the issue for the matter to be settled amicably. Lets see...

Yes we know, Truth must out! Vague generalisations help nobody. And humorous observations are suspect. Smile when you say that, stranger!
proton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th October 2010, 20:47   #74
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 745
Thanked: 198 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (4)
Default

Any car can break-dowm. Its only that the latest models cannot be set right by other mechanics and have to be towed to the authorized service stations. This trend is being seen across the industry irrespective of whether it is Indian or foreign brand, except for a few older models of the brands. One reason may be the reliance on hi-tech wizardry, but it sure pays to the company to get the vehicle repaired only at the showroom.
simplyself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th October 2010, 11:37   #75
Senior - BHPian
 
faithless_1984's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Delhi
Posts: 1,517
Thanked: 181 Times
Default

Spotted another masterpiece on a flatbed yesterday...
Attached Thumbnails
PICS : How flatbed tow trucks would run out of business without German cars!-img00836201007291849.jpg  

faithless_1984 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mumbai Fire Brigade Trucks - Volvo FM400 & MAN trucks Rosso Corsa Commercial Vehicles 11 6th March 2013 15:49
Pictures and Information about tow-trucks of all kinds anjan_c2007 Commercial Vehicles 4 3rd May 2011 22:53
It's NHAI's duty to provide tow away service rkg The Indian Car Scene 2 29th July 2010 17:02
The Volkswagen Touareg can tow a 747 pawan The International Automotive Scene 10 5th March 2007 19:59


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 02:05.

Copyright 2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks