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Old 21st June 2009, 20:35   #1
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Hello friends!
I understand that a self introduction is encouraged for a new member and so here it is (my first ever post).
I am a 64 year old teacher of Engineering at a University in Kolkata (hence profold). My wife is a Scientist, daughter working away at Bangalore and a son studying Engineering 3rd year (expected in July 09). My family had been wishing to have a car for the past 15 years and I resisted it because we live very close to our working places and don’t need a car to commute for convenience, neither does the economics (spreadsheet) justify it. This March I relented and withdrew my veto and willingly participated in the research.
Chanced upon the Team-BHP forum from Google search and have been browsing the forum since April 09 and joined in May 09. Since then I have been browsing Team-BHP may be 8 hours/week. One need not be a member to get the benefits of the Team-BHP forum, but I opted for the membership because I liked the camaraderie, good taste, sense of humour, good and contemporary (IMHO) English and good content organisation.
Team-BHP forum helped me to get acquainted with cars in Indian market, shortlist car models and participate in decision making. On the basis of majority decision (notwithstanding my reservations) “i-10 Magna 1.2” was selected and purchased (dealer Sainy Hyundai, Kolkata, used Team-BHP checklist to the extent possible for pre-purchase inspection) by my wife on 19 June 2009. Expect delivery after under-body coat, fitment of ICE and other accessories and registration on 24 June. The car would be driven by a driver. Hope to contribute about initial ownership experience after the first 500 km.
Once upon a time (1974-1976) and far away (UK) I owned a multiple-pre-owned, ramshackle, accident damaged LHD (originally from Italy) VW Beetle. Under the tutelage of senior students, I had the fortunate experience of completely stripping down and repairing the car (engine, transmission, electricals), restore the body work with tin-smithy and fibreglass epoxy patch up. The result was fully satisfying. After coming back, I never owned a car.
My technical work till 2007 touched upon mostly aerospace vehicles, Railway and underwater vehicles. From 2007, I decided to brush up my knowledge about automobiles as students started working on steer-by-wire and other X-by-wire stuff and I discovered the depth my ignorance about modern automobiles. About the same time came in contact with an organisation dedicated to automobile R&D.
I hope to learn a lot not-only about car ownership pragmatics but about empirical technical knowledge from fellow BHPians.
Reagards and best wishes.
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Old 21st June 2009, 20:47   #2
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Welcome to the forum professor. I am sure you will enjoy here and we all will learn a lot about life, Kolkatta, education etc etc from you.

Again, nice to have you around here sir.
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Old 21st June 2009, 21:43   #3
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Welcome Sir and Congratulations on your new car. And we eagerly look forward to your Reviews/ posts.
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Old 21st June 2009, 21:49   #4
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Welcome Sir ! We are sure you will enjoy your stay in the forum.
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Old 21st June 2009, 22:37   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
My family had been wishing to have a car for the past 15 years and I resisted it. This March I relented and withdrew my veto and willingly participated in the research.
Better late than never, welcome to the car owners club.

Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
but I opted for the membership because I liked the camaraderie, good taste, sense of humour, good and contemporary (IMHO) English and good content organisation.
Well said, This is the exact reason why most of us are here

Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
On the basis of majority decision (notwithstanding my reservations) “i-10 Magna 1.2” was selected and purchased
It seems you have a democratic family, good that you have atleast right to one vote, for many of us Wifey rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
(dealer Sainy Hyundai, Kolkata, used Team-BHP checklist to the extent possible for pre-purchase inspection) by my wife on 19 June 2009. Expect delivery after under-body coat, fitment of ICE and other accessories and registration on 24 June. The car would be driven by a driver. Hope to contribute about initial ownership experience after the first 500 km.
please post your detailed buying experience as well as "Democratic decision making" process followed.

Once again welcome to the Team BHP, we also aim to learn lot many things from you.
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Old 22nd June 2009, 00:31   #6
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Welcome aboard sir.

A very interesting introduction you have there. Your family must be thrilled to "finally" have a car!

Do tell us some more about the following if you can :
Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
.... My technical work till 2007 touched upon mostly aerospace vehicles, Railway and underwater vehicles. ..... About the same time came in contact with an organisation dedicated to automobile R&D.
cya
R
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Old 22nd June 2009, 08:06   #7
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Welcome to the community sir.
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Old 22nd June 2009, 23:57   #8
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Thanks everybody for the warm welcome.
It really feels great to be accepted.
I would try to respond to most of the points mentioned in the posts, one by one.
Rehaan wishes to know a bit more about my technical work. My primary occupation as a professor requires classroom teaching and research guidance on “automatic control”. As my own doctoral work related to aircraft control, I had a chance to participate in teams who contributed to the flight control aspects of Combat aircraft and India’s missile program. In the process, I picked up some basic things about (i) technical management of complex industrial R&D projects and about (ii) Software for “safety critical” systems. A multinational research organisation (focussed on automotives as well) located in India thought my experience would be useful and made me a member of their (external) “advisory board”. To be frank I still feel uncomfortable that I am more at home with aircraft gas turbines than turbo-charged automobile engines. But I am determined to overcome my limitations.

(As I do not wish to violate the fine prints of non-disclosure agreements I am refraining from actually naming the organisations but fellow BHPians will certainly be able to make right guesses.)

I can share a bit of fresh good news with fellow BHPians. One of the IIT’s has taken aspects of automotive technologies as one of their thrust areas of research and postgraduate teaching. Today I had the privilege of a day long exposure to their present work and future plans.(comes as a perks for an advisor ). Guys, it was really educative . Promptly borrowed two books from them.
May be there is already a thread on formal education in automotive engineering. I hope to post more details there as and when things take concrete shape.
Hope to write about the car selection process in next post as suggested by StarVegabond.
Regards
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Old 23rd June 2009, 00:44   #9
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A very warm welcome to you Sir on Team BHP. That was a lovely introduction there. The i10 is one of the best hatches money can buy out there. A decision well made and I'm sure the family must be really happy. No one driving your family yet? I'm sure someone will now.

Hoping to see a running report along with pictures of your new car in another thread.

Have a great stay
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Old 11th July 2009, 20:56   #10
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Default Selecting a car for the FAMILY

Hi everybody.


During the welcome, about a fortnight ago, StarVegabond suggested that I write about the car selection process, both the technical and the “democratic” aspects.
Here is my (late) response.

Selecting a car for the family is never easy. I learnt it in the hard way.
For mobility beyond a 3km radius (as far our local shared (Kolkata) auto-rikshaw will ply), our family used to rent cars. When the average monthly non-reimbursable cost touched Rs 15k, the pro-car lobby in the family gained ground. So a car we must have. Though outvoted, I sincerely took the selection as research project.


I jotted down the perceived reasons for buying the car by interviewing each member and assigned points for each reason. From the recent bills from the rental agency the distance travelled per month was found to be merely 900 km. From the BHP forums, backed by rough calculations in a spreadsheet, it turned out that this usage cannot justify the additional cost of capital for a diesel version.

In fact the spreadsheet also revealed that to be economically viable, the family should have a pre-owned car under 2 lakhs, an FE of about 12 km/l, seating capacity 3.1+ driver (40% of the time there would be just one passenger, 30% of the time two, 20% three passenger, 10% of the time 4 passengers). An Alto (2005Lxi) or a M800 (2007) nicely fitted the description. Both these models are known to be hassle free and when the Junior finishes his driving lessons, these are the best first cars to consolidate the driving expertise.
The moment my verdict, backed by the point scores, was out, members of the family changed their tracks. No more objective analysis, no fuzzy reasoning with score points, it must be a new car with AC and it must accommodate 4 passengers plus a driver. Budget became flexible thanks to the Central Govt pay scale revision of the wify, who would provide the finance.
With a changed mandate, I started my research again, about car dimensions, on road prices, user reviews, T-BHP advisories and resell values. Called up and visited (painful without a car) dealers to ascertain prevailing discounts, calculated EMI’s and recurring expenditures, transferred each and every data into a new spreadsheet. Indica Vista, Indgo CS, Astar and i10, survived the screening. Swift and Ritz were a bit pricy (by this time power steering and power windows became must-haves), though test rides were taken. Spark entered and exited the list a number of times for wrong reasons, I must admit. Indica Vista lost because it was 4” too wide for the garage space available next door. After test rides, looking at the interiors and considering discounts (none for Astar), only i10 survived. Good discounts and some budget stretching allowed us to select i10 Magna (kappa) 1.2 . At that point of time, we assumed that i10 would have an FE of 12 km/l in the city.



Plan to write about the purchase process and the experience of first 500 km soon.
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Old 13th July 2009, 13:31   #11
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Welcome on the forum Sir. Hope you bought the i10 1.2 Kappa? Do let us know how was your experience with this car?

Also, what was the on-road price since you mentioned this car was available with a lot of discounts. I am curious to know since i have the same car
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Old 13th July 2009, 17:51   #12
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Smile Welcome from Kolkata!

Though a bit late in the day, but welcome to TBHP sir. Glad to see a senior member from Kolkata. You have a very witty style of writing, although appreciating the wit takes a bit of careful reading.

We will appreciate if you contribute to the vintage and technical threads. Also, for logistical help on your car (or anything else automotive) dont hesitate to get in touch with me or any of the other Kolkata TBHP members.

Where in Kolkata do you stay?
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Old 13th July 2009, 19:15   #13
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Profold
As a newbie myself, who has yet to post his own introduction, I do not know if I have the status to welcome you to the forum, although I have been browsing it for a while now, and have registered for the same reasons you have. Welcome anyway

I almost had my intro ready on Notepad. But after your intro and selection process write-up, I do not wish to subject fellow BHPians to a bland piece of non-literary work.That I need to go back to the drawing board , or not being an engineer, Notepad, is pretty obvious. Since spreadsheet formulas will tax my grey matter and then suggest that I switch from my NHC to a Nano, I am not even going to try.
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Old 13th July 2009, 20:30   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
During the welcome, about a fortnight ago, StarVegabond suggested that I write about the car selection process, both the technical and the “democratic” aspects. Here is my (late) response.
Dear Prof, thanks for taking efforts to write your experience. It is never late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
Selecting a car for the family is never easy. I learnt it in the hard way.
For mobility beyond a 3km radius (as far our local shared (Kolkata) auto-rikshaw will ply), our family used to rent cars. When the average monthly non-reimbursable cost touched Rs 15k, the pro-car lobby in the family gained ground. So a car we must have. Though outvoted, I sincerely took the selection as research project.


I jotted down the perceived reasons for buying the car by interviewing each member and assigned points for each reason. From the recent bills from the rental agency the distance travelled per month was found to be merely 900 km. From the BHP forums, backed by rough calculations in a spreadsheet, it turned out that this usage cannot justify the additional cost of capital for a diesel version.

In fact the spreadsheet also revealed that to be economically viable, the family should have a pre-owned car under 2 lakhs, an FE of about 12 km/l, seating capacity 3.1+ driver (40% of the time there would be just one passenger, 30% of the time two, 20% three passenger, 10% of the time 4 passengers). An Alto (2005Lxi) or a M800 (2007) nicely fitted the description. Both these models are known to be hassle free and when the Junior finishes his driving lessons, these are the best first cars to consolidate the driving expertise.
The moment my verdict, backed by the point scores, was out, members of the family changed their tracks. No more objective analysis, no fuzzy reasoning with score points, it must be a new car with AC and it must accommodate 4 passengers plus a driver. Budget became flexible thanks to the Central Govt pay scale revision of the wify, who would provide the finance.
With a changed mandate, I started my research again, about car dimensions, on road prices, user reviews, T-BHP advisories and resell values. Called up and visited (painful without a car) dealers to ascertain prevailing discounts, calculated EMI’s and recurring expenditures, transferred each and every data into a new spreadsheet. Indica Vista, Indgo CS, Astar and i10, survived the screening. Swift and Ritz were a bit pricy (by this time power steering and power windows became must-haves), though test rides were taken. Spark entered and exited the list a number of times for wrong reasons, I must admit. Indica Vista lost because it was 4” too wide for the garage space available next door. After test rides, looking at the interiors and considering discounts (none for Astar), only i10 survived. Good discounts and some budget stretching allowed us to select i10 Magna (kappa) 1.2 . At that point of time, we assumed that i10 would have an FE of 12 km/l in the city.
this is a wonderful and insightful write-up about how a Indian family makes a high value purchase decision. this shows how a decision is a mix bag of evolving needs/wants, objectivity and emotions, several anchors who influence the outcome.


Quote:
Originally Posted by profold View Post
Plan to write about the purchase process and the experience of first 500 km soon.
eagerly waiting to read the next chapter
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Old 13th July 2009, 22:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Welcome on the forum Sir. Hope you bought the i10 1.2 Kappa? Do let us know how was your experience with this car?

Also, what was the on-road price since you mentioned this car was available with a lot of discounts. I am curious to know since i have the same car
dear mobike008,
thanks for the welcome.
Yes, Kappa Magna it is. See my 500 km experience post in the ownership review thread. Briefly, I purchased from Saini Hyundai and the on road price for basic was around 4L1k+1k (extra for registration at Beltala-Kolkata instead of Alipur).
Cheers.
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