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Old 7th January 2011, 06:59   #211
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post

2) Kill the Thar CRDe and launch a Deluxe MDI with better engine, 57 OKBJ Track, 53 FFRA Rear & Power Steering (optional). This way you will have a vehicle with ex-showroom of 5.5 Lakhs. The 100s of off-road jeepers will consider buying it and the Lifestyle market will move on to the Getaway, Xenon, etc....


Having been an autobuff all my life, I am almost certain that you will probably sell less than 100 Thar CRDe to individuals. The main reason is that for the price being asked, the lifestyle buyer will want a lot more from you.
I agree with the above points, I'm sure most of us want a basic jeep with AC / PS and a hardtop, with better fit and finish, no rusted parts and a feeling that the jeep is so well put together that it may outlast it's owner. I'm happy if the jeep can do 120 kmpr, have decent FE onroad, have very good low end tourque, is a great off roader, with a nice driving position, also the insrutment cluster is something that a person lives with everyday of his life, and this needs to be good to see.
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Old 7th January 2011, 07:15   #212
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

In regard to the accessory kit:

Will this be sold as a complete package or can one buy ONLY the following:
1. Insect mesh
2. Headlight/ taillight grill
3. Roll cage
4. Alloy wheels??

Also, are there front indicator grills available for the Thar?
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Old 7th January 2011, 07:24   #213
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Tremendous review. Enjoyed every bit of it. Can't get more detailed than this. Standing ovation for you two.
As for the Thar, my take is, the owners will love it and hate it at the same time.
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Old 7th January 2011, 07:48   #214
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Folks who are going to shell out 7 lakhs have a right to have expectations and be disappointed as do those who have been waiting for the Thar for ages, I think a lot of that is coming through but let's be realistic and not cynical.

Most folks are asking for a Wrangler or at least something close to it, but there is no way anyone can deliver that to you for 7 lakhs in India today, so the criticism has to factor this in.

....

From a product managers perspective would you fund a project like the Thar just for India? What will be your business plan? And we do feel a smaller SUV/Jeep like the Wrangler can work here, there can clearly be a market for a vehicle like that with its interiors and off road ability but developing that from scratch here or licensing it will cost big big bucks. That sort of investment would require serious management buy in, complete organizational alignment rather than a one off project, and a proper go to market strategy, and pricing would be way way more, lets talk at least 12-14 lakhs given how much the Wrangler costs in the US and given the pricing we see for cars in India today cost I do not understand how it can be expected to get a well done 4x4 Thar for 7 lakhs.
Jeep Wrangler costs in ballpark of 10-11 lakhs in US. Thar is 7.XX. They are not 'that' far away in terms of cost to customer. Again it would be a tragedy if someone from Mahindra tells us that an Indian company cannot beat Chrysler on account of the advantages that they enjoy like economies of scale and economies of labour, access to cheaper parts bin than Chrysler and come up with a product that is priced around 45% lesser than the base Chrysler Jeep and come with almost breathing distance of Chrysler's quality (which is not so high in the first place).
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Old 7th January 2011, 08:15   #215
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Just a question. If the Thar had a HArd Top(optional) but a factory fitted AC, would you guys have bought it despite the interior fit and finish?
Honestly, I would have and I don't even mind the 25k price increase. The rest can be worked around at the dealer's end.
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Old 7th January 2011, 09:30   #216
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Just a question. If the Thar had a HArd Top(optional) but a factory fitted AC, would you guys have bought it despite the interior fit and finish?
Cyrus, I beg to differ. What first comes with the Jeep needs to be in good shape. This is almost like how corporates market their products. Buy THIS, take THAT free and don't complain about THIS. I would prefer THIS to be perfect and care two hoots for THAT! If Mahindra can't make a good dashboard, then please don't expect me to pay for one and then throw it and customize another. Sell me a Thar without the dashboard.

Give me a well-finished Jeep with nothing extra. I am happy. What needs to be finished has already been slogged to death.

P.S: I also align Mahindra customization department to that of a beauty saloon and not a gym. Just makeup!

Last edited by discoverwild : 7th January 2011 at 09:41.
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Old 7th January 2011, 09:56   #217
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Cyrus43 View Post
Just a question. If the Thar had a HArd Top(optional) but a factory fitted AC, would you guys have bought it despite the interior fit and finish?
That is not a simple question to answer Cyrus. If the HT has the same fit-n-finish of the dashboard, then the answer is NO.

Ultimately, one has to feel good about the money spent. I spent 90k on my Jeep rebuild (body+paint+full wiring) last year. But I am happy with the result, so I have no regrets.

Actually, this might be a business opportunity for people who are in car modification business. They can offer something like this:

"Bring us a brand new Thar, and we will strip down to the body and rebuild it entirely with good quality dashboard, custom seats and hard top."
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Old 7th January 2011, 09:58   #218
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

The price of the THAR CRDe should be seen as 5.9L and not at 7.XL. Mahindra does not get the extra money shelled out, and this is the standard price that any person in India would be paying. So what are the options at this price range (under 6L):
- Etios
- Swift
- i10
- smaller cars

Hmmm... at the current configuration it's a tough race, but now I see where you guys are coming from for the AC, interior and hard top. That would have tilted the scales for sure - at least for me.

But even now, in the current configuration, the THAR does pull at the heart strings. Who knows, if the pull gets bigger I just might buy one. Waiting to try it after it's launch in Chennai..
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Old 7th January 2011, 10:05   #219
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by discoverwild View Post
Cyrus, I beg to differ. What first comes with the Jeep needs to be in good shape. This is almost like how corporates market their products. Buy THIS, take THAT free and don't complain about THIS. I would prefer THIS to be perfect and care two hoots for THAT! If Mahindra can't make a good dashboard, then please don't expect me to pay for one and then throw it and customize another. Sell me a Thar without the dashboard.

Give me a well-finished Jeep with nothing extra. I am happy. What needs to be finished has already been slogged to death.

P.S: I also align Mahindra customization department to that of a beauty saloon and not a gym. Just makeup!
I agree with the above, Mahindra should get the basics right to start off with, I mean what are they trying to do here, hard to figure, look at what Beat packs in for 375k OTR, one feels he's getting something good for his/her money's worth, and Mahindra wants to sell a jeep, which has body shell which is 2-3 decads old, and to top it off, rusting body parts, a dash board from the 1980's, and yet ask for a decent sum of money doing the same, I think Mahindra should know, it's not a sellers market anymore, it's a buyers market, it'll just take one good diesel off roader to come in from one of the big manifucturers to rap up the Thar, imagine Gypsie being offered with a diesel, PS, AC at a good price, I'm sure everyone would turn away from the Thar in a jiffy.
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Old 7th January 2011, 10:31   #220
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

@DB:

Thanks for clarifying the IFS CV joint issue on your post number 200. To be honest, I am somewhat disappointed with the Thar CRDe, but have not ruled it out completely. I would prefer to wait until few lifestylers bang rocks with it first...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrus43 View Post
Just a question. If the Thar had a HArd Top(optional) but a factory fitted AC, would you guys have bought it despite the interior fit and finish?
@cyrus:

With AC, even a dealer installed on is fine. However, the dealer should be given clear instructions on the cost & installation. Tejas got a ridiculous quote of 48K which I am sure is very much on the higher side. An uncle of mine recently installed an AC in for his Maruthi 800 at MASS for 24K. Given the Thar already has the fan etc.. it should be 25K tops at the dealer including labor. Some on goes to check out the Thar CRDe and asks about the AC and gets a 48K quote, it will be a sticker shock for him.

Re Hard Top, the average person cannot get it done cleanly outside. Most jeepers want some soft of top. How many people have successfully done it? The top on my jeep took two years with an alcoholic tinker.. How many people have that time & patience? Factory HT will have to a factory/dealer option.

Mahindra doesn't have to provide AC & HT as standard, but it should make it an easily installed dealer option with a standard price. This way customers will feel better about it.
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Old 7th January 2011, 13:10   #221
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post

Question - Frankly, I am 70% convinced to buy the Thar. 30% not, because of the whole IFS commotion saying it's fragile. Is it really so fragile?
My answer, mentioned here for all to read, understand and appreciate – there is absolutely nothing to even remotely suggest that the “Independent Front Suspension” (IFS) of the Thar is fragile. The suspension on each side consists of a lower control arm, an upper control arm, a torsion bar and a shock absorber. The two sides are connected by a stabilizer bar. You seem to have two main apprehensions, 1 ----- the CV joints will break, and 2 ----- the suspension bushes will not have adequate life. Please remember that any suspension has design jounce and rebound characteristics. If you remain within the limits of the design, there is no reason to expect any failure of CV joints. The main reason why CV joints fail is due to a phenomenon called “necking”. This means that if a CV joint gets stretched or compacted beyond its design operating angles, in other words if the CV elements operate beyond their design domain, in limiting condition, the balls and sleeves would rub each other. This is known as necking. In general, as a rule of thumb, a 30% margin (hint!) from design critical value is kept to ensure a mathematical design life expectancy of infinity in such critical components, yes, infinity, that means the CV joints will last the life of the vehicle. The life of a representative vehicle is defined as 3,50,000 kms. Therefore, if you remain well within this tolerance band, I do not see any reason for you to become anxious. I have seen “those modified vehicles” ! and it will be best if I will refrain from commenting except for the smiley. My above comments are sufficient. Therefore, please remove that silly notion from your mind that CV joints will break. There is something like engineering in this world. If followed, they will not break. The answer to point 2 is that from 2005 onwards, we have completely changed the design assumptions of front suspension control arm bushes. The inner sleeve thickness is increased. The tooth angle on the inner sleeve is changed. The omega (angular dimension) for unit torque is drastically reduced and the torque procedure / sequence is upgraded. As a lot has been mentioned about my Thar MH01V521. I am very happy to see that my effort is appreciated. I will give an example of another 4 wheel drive Scorpio which was run for 1,36,600 kms in a target period of 13 months and the front suspension demonstrated exactly same result after 13 months as when it was new. Tyre life isalso one parameter to judge this by. So, what is “target performance”? Conduct suspension performance characteristic tests before and after a life test. The graphs must match. They do. And, by the way, 100 cycles of our ADT (accelerated durability trial) is enough the break the backbone of any vehicle if it is not good enough. And nobody prevents you from doing whatever you want to your vehicle after you register it. MH01V521’s twin has gone through theADT test twice! And everybody knows that MH01V521 is a life test vehicle. Everybody knows what hell it goes through everyday. It just came back from Jaipur, setting roads on fire all theway. Everybody has seen its potency when it explodes. And, by the way, we have removed the rubber bushes from the stabilizer bar and introduced ball joints to reduce friction.
Hello Sir,

A few questions.

1) Why does the Thar CRDe, Tip forward (stance)

2) When a Winch is added (Thar Adventure) the vehicle looks like its is tipping forward more.

3) In IFS the the Curved Lower arms Move Up-Wards, hence the CV-Trans-Axle get pulled outwards. This is very noticed in scorpio, hence the Track widens, I think this does put a lot of stress on the CV joint and they fail as we have observed.

4) Were the above mentioned vehicles fitted with Winch to put additional weight on the front Axle.

5) Were the vehicle run in 4WD & 4WD Lo in the ADT Circuit/Test.

6) Was a winch equipped Vehicle Run through the ADT

7) Off-Road we have seen the IFS on 521 cause the vehicle to jar and stall, remember the First Tall Climb in EXAMM after Lunch. the same effect was noticed on the Force Gurkhas, the IFS does not allow you to use the power as you wish.

Regards,

Arka

Last edited by ex670c : 7th January 2011 at 13:18.
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Old 7th January 2011, 13:27   #222
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

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Jeep Wrangler costs in ballpark of 10-11 lakhs in US. Thar is 7.XX. They are not 'that' far away in terms of cost to customer. Again it would be a tragedy if someone from Mahindra tells us that an Indian company cannot beat Chrysler on account of the advantages that they enjoy like economies of scale and economies of labour, access to cheaper parts bin than Chrysler and come up with a product that is priced around 45% lesser than the base Chrysler Jeep and come with almost breathing distance of Chrysler's quality (which is not so high in the first place).
Hi, you can't do a direct translation usd to inr, that would make most of us very happy, what does the CRV cost in the US and here, its $21.5 k in US and nearly 25 lakhs on road here. There are n number of examples of cars in the US costing a fraction of what they cost here inspite of significantly lower costs here with lower purchasing power.

Having said that most of the things folks want will merit a complete redesign and given the niche and small market size for jeeps I am skeptical any car company can justify the necessary investments. It does't make economic sense, developing a car from scratch like the Scorpio for instance can cost hundreds of millions of dollars if not more.

I remember reading it costs Honda around 2 billion usd to develop a car from scratch and they have the global market to leverage in heavy selling models and markets. Can you do this sort of thing for the Thar or any new jeep in the smaller India market with its niche product segment at a reasonable price point to make a viable business plan ?

The only reason the Thar happened is because of Behram, they have put together what they could, in the circumstances this the only way it could have happened to keep costs low and make it viable. If you want a proper modern jeep with 2011 interiors can that really happen at 7 lakhs and even at 12 lakhs, will any car company invest the money to develop for a niche market?

This is a decent start, things can improve but we have to keep the context of the whole Thar development project and manage expectations accordingly. And there has been discussion on this in the forum for the last 2 years.
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Old 7th January 2011, 13:32   #223
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

"As a rule Man is a fool,
When it is hot he wants it cool,
When it is cool he wants it hot,
Always wanting what is not!!!"

Guys there is something called economics. When a company manufactures a vehicle it keeps certain numbers in mind. We at Team-BHP are NOT that number. We are a small part of that number.

My salute to DB Sir for persevering with Thar. I know how difficult it is to convince management to commit resources for a project. We all might harp on cratering to enthusiast but face it. Company will finally see how money it will make by selling a particular model.

TATA, Maruti, Mahindra all have enough money to make that elusive perfect vehicle. But will it make economic sense? Will they sell enough of it to recover the lower cost? Or will it be better to price it higher and expect to make fatter margins on lower number of sales???

A line has to be drawn. And in case of Thar it has been drawn well indeed.

For people who want Wrangler fit and finish, here is an easy way out. Buy a Wrangler (@10+ lacs i guess??).

For people who are not happy with the technical stuff they can go an buy a vehicle that passes their standards. Or just like they used to do in past, they can buy an old rusting Jeep and restore it.

Again saluting DB sir and the Team. You guys did it. And please do not give up on this Jeep. Let it evolve.

Peace
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Old 7th January 2011, 13:34   #224
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

I agree with some of your statements.

Bankers, Lawyers, Executives and suchlike are the typical chaps who buy Harleys. Look at our own Bullet Club in India and take a member profile view.

Same goes for the majority of Urban dwellers who buy SUV's - whether in India or abroad.

" The whole legend of Harley Davidson motorbikes is built around the biker gang/outlaw lifestyle. But I would be surprised if bikers from gangs are even 5% of actual buyers. "

Guys who want to be seen to be tough, macho - the kind who might be involved in activities like offroading, the operative term being 'seen to be.' These people would never actually get their hands (or their tyres) dirty.


Ah, but what about the quality of interiors, you say? Shouldn't a lifestyle vehicle necessarily at least give the impression of being upmarket? Well, no not really - Mahindra specifically put in the cheapest, flimsiest parts they could find because they always intended that the style-conscious buyer should throw them out as soon as he bought the vehicle. I mean, at about 9-10 lakhs (onroad price + customization) you get double the pose value of a 23 lakh Fortuner! What more could the average college boy or the 30+ guy with mid life crisis issues want?
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Old 7th January 2011, 13:51   #225
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

Spikey my man

With all due respect to you and the team and all our friends at M&M, I am really sorry bud, but the below argument just doesnt cut it from a consumer point of view!

Internal organizational issues that may or may not be there are really not something that any consumer will be or indeed is bothered about.

Consumer wants quality and value for the bucks he is spending. Simple.

The end-product Thar,at its asking price, measured in terms of fit, finish and quality, is nowhere even close to expectations and completely belies the hype created in the magazines, the auto shows and the bated-breath speculation on Fora such as our August one here and elsewehere.

Sorry but thats my view - and I reserve my privilege to state it plainly as a direct customer/ owner of M&M products for many years. My Dad saw it along with me and his first comment was "Isnt this one just the same as the old one we had?" - meaning our ancient old first gen MM540 of 1986. And when he heard the price of 7 lacs he was deeply shocked. because in 1986 we had paid about Rs1.10 lacs for that old Off white MM540 - advertised at the time with the Orange-ish coloured jeep sitting on a beach somewhere)

I think it is about time M&M jumped to being a "Consumer led" organization rather than remaining a stick-in-the-mud production/ factory setup -led organization.

Cheers!


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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Where will you place the standard tools (Jack, Tommy etc ) then?



A gives 2 assignments to B. The assignments are C and D respectively. The target cost for C is XYZ, where Y=Z (both Y and Z are neither positive nor negative, but both are even numbers, X ~ arithmetic mean of 1 and 11), whereas target cost for D is <<<<<X. The time allotted for completion of this activity is E and F years respectively. E>>>>>F, with both these factors (time and money), assignment C and D are completed, but the level of performance (read quality) expected from both the assignments is the same. Where on earth is this justified? This is not an excuse, it is a naked truth! Shankar ji paisa bolta hai! Got the drift?

Last edited by khan_sultan : 7th January 2011 at 14:00.
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