Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 2nd November 2013, 17:07   #46
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 9,370
Thanked: 13,345 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

Can we define 'Perfect'? I don't think so. As an end user we can't define what is perfect for us how would manufacturer define the same.

As mentioned in the above post, a car made would appeal to a certain set of minds but not to the rest so the sense of perfect car is beaten.

There is nothing perfect in this world

Anurag.
a4anurag is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th November 2013, 18:00   #47
BHPian
 
anand_hc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 78
Thanked: 43 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

Interesting question. I agree with few points but most things are individual preferences.

Drive & handling, steering feeling, suspension, looks and many others are completely individual preference.

But Quality & Safety features are not.

Everyone wants their car to have consistent panel gaps, good build quality ,better ergonomics & most importantly safety features (ABS & airbags).

On these aspects, every manufacturer should get to a certain standard level. which as consumers we should force them to.

I would like to see quality and safety in each car than looking for perfect car.
anand_hc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th November 2013, 21:18   #48
BHPian
 
lemedico's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Agra, Cambridge
Posts: 80
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

Just like our subway sandwiches are made to order infront of us, some car manufacturers should start the idea that we go into a showroom and choose bits and pieces of our choice and have them bolted onto a desired chassis. Engine and gearbox will be custom as well, and if one wishes to have for example an ivtec on a hyundai then the company sources the engine for us. Obviously it will cost a lot of moolah but at the end we'll be glad to own a car that's equipped like a Japanese car, built like a German one and looks like something Italian. I'm day dreaming at night
lemedico is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 5th November 2013, 22:40   #49
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 3,068
Thanked: 6,238 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by anand_hc View Post
Interesting question. I agree with few points but most things are individual preferences.

Drive & handling, steering feeling, suspension, looks and many others are completely individual preference.

But Quality & Safety features are not.

Everyone wants their car to have consistent panel gaps, good build quality ,better ergonomics & most importantly safety features (ABS & airbags).

On these aspects, every manufacturer should get to a certain standard level. which as consumers we should force them to.

I would like to see quality and safety in each car than looking for perfect car.
Not true, i think quality is definitely a highly subjective topic. And like I said before you might find panel gaps relevant, but wife wouldn't have a clue what you are on about or why that is even remotely relevant. On ergonomics alone: lots of research show women look for very different things than men! What the hell is an universal definition of good built quality? Built quality on a Nano is likely to be different from a Roll Royce, so how do you define what is appropiate.

And even ABS and airbags are, at least here in India a personal choice and are more something on the option list then "standard equipped". Which just illustrates that how people value or rate it, is vastly different.

For me, perfect has to do with personal preference and fit for purpose. If your purpose is to have a cheap run about that will get you from A to B and nothing else you will be looking for something very different if you want to outperform the neighbors who just bought the latest Mercedes.

Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2013, 19:58   #50
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 863
Thanked: 622 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

What is the point of building a car to a quality that only 10 - 20% of the buyers are going to pay for?

An average i20 or a Swift buyer is not going to pay an extra 20 grand (a bargain if you get it for that price!) for adjustable suspension and engine settings. This would give you the best of both worlds.

Building to tolerances also cost money. Consistent panel gaps mean better production machinery and quality control processes. Again driving up the cost of the car. I believe this is one of the factors why manufacturers go for a compromise and a car ends up being above average in one aspect and so so in another.

Drive on,
Shibu.
shibujp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th November 2013, 14:57   #51
BHPian
 
Ferruccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 109
Thanked: 238 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

Let me try and explain why a 'perfect car' is as much an impossibility as a 'perfect husband' desired by a bride. Think of every model of car produced as a complex multiple act play where many of the key actors are located overseas and can only be reached by a very poor phone connection. Over the years, some of the ‘actors’ get adept at understanding the emotions that they are required to display and understand the emotions others will enact, despite the poor phone line. Conversely, some of the ‘actors’ of the play just don’t get it. This is why when the play is finally enacted in front of the audience, certain acts of the play are splendid whereas, some acts feel amateurish.

In car terms, there are brands that deliver wonderful service standards but absolutely mess it up when it comes to styling. There are others who do wonderful reliability but make butt ugly designs. There are those who do sublime handling but their engines are geriatric.

In my career spanning over 2 decades heading Product over half a dozen auto brands in India and abroad I have seen these islands of excellence develop and prosper surrounded by oceans of mediocrity. At the core of these islands of excellence are usually a bunch of enthusiastic and passionate petrol-heads. Sadly, most auto companies are mostly populated by people who couldn’t care whether they sell cars or soap.

However, at the risk of sounding bigoted I’d say that races with strong martial backgrounds usually ‘get cars’. Hence, the Germans, Japanese and the Sardars are good guys to have working on cars. Maybe we should try Gurkhas too.

Returning to the analogy of the ‘prefect husband’ remember Draupadi forced God to give her a perfect husband and he had to give her 5 different guys. Maybe the answer is to have 5 different cars in your garage, a generous bank account and a spouse who understands this madness!

Hope my 2 bits help.
Ferruccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th November 2013, 16:24   #52
BHPian
 
Ferruccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 109
Thanked: 238 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemedico View Post
Just like our subway sandwiches are made to order infront of us, some car manufacturers should. Obviously it will cost a lot of moolah but at the end we'll be glad to own a car that's equipped like a Japanese car, built like a German one and looks like something Italian. I'm day dreaming at night
Korrect Doc. A proto small car costs upwards of a Crore just b'cos it is not mass produced.

And equipped Jap, built German, styled Itie doesn't work. A Jap car will be reliable AND dull as ditch water in most cases. A Kraut car will always be a pain to maintain. And a Alfa Romeo will always look like a dream and have terrible resale value.

Absolute perfection is boring. It is the kinks in us, our life and our cars that make life interesting. Hell is a place where everything is just perfect and there is nothing better to aspire for!
Ferruccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th November 2013, 18:06   #53
BHPian
 
rejoycjohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore / Calicut
Posts: 442
Thanked: 708 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

In my opinion there have been two perfect cars in the Indian market.
1 Maruti Suzuki Zen
2 Volkswagen Polo

Honestly nothing else that I have driven till now ( below 10 L ) have come close to these two cars in terms of styling, driving pleasure, build quality and the overall package.

Now what is a perfect car for me. It starts with the styling which is completely subjective. I love the way these two car look, the cute curves of the Zen and the subtle straight lines of Polo made me fall in love with them. In 1993 when Zen was launched to be honest it took a while to digest its looks, but then soon I felt the design melting into me.
Even today when I see a well maintained zen, I just cant take my eyes off it.

Many cars came by like Getz, Swifts, i20s , but nothing was able to entice me like the original zen did. Even today if Maruti can offer that car with more creature comforts that the modern day demands, I will buy it like many other zen lovers in this forum.

Then when you get inside the car , the way that you are treated with a simple elegant dash, the ease with which you reach a comfortable driving position. The positioning of the steering wheel, the gear box, the pedals, the seat adjustments everything just fall in place within a couple of minutes.
Again Zen and Polo they just fit the bill.

Now the power, well both these cars are not really the most powerful in today's world. But both have adequate power for the Indian road conditions. Cruising at 80 / 90 km/hr in Zen or at 120-130 in a Polo is not a challenge. And lets be honest, we dont have autobahn's here or any tracks where you can go give your 200 Bhp car a workout.
If you want a 100 bhp hot hatch, now you have a Polo GT TSi and GT TDi ready to be delivered in the showrooms.

Handling , not the best, but Zen definitely handled better than Altos/ Santros/ Wagon Rs / Eons/ I10s. The first generation Polo had a stiffer suspension than the newer ones, so it indeed handled better around corners. The newer ones with a tyre upgrade can do the trick for most of our daily driving conditions.

Build quality; The Zen that we have back home is around 13 yrs old, I have heard worse rattles in a 5 year old swift. May be we are lucky, but the general feedback is a positive one for Zen.

Polos are supposed to be well built. But as we all know there are issues that many of our fellow members have faced. So its not possible to give a complete thumbs up in this department for Polo.

Equipment level; satisfactory , considering the price at which these cars were / are offered in our country. Honestly I do not fancy reverse camera or a 6th gear or DRLs. If you want them you can always get it retrofitted.
The stock sound system is decent too when you compare to a Punto or an i10. I agree that i20 have a better sound system and for Figo, its the best in the class.

I know there are many who love Palio GTX in this forum, but then it just didnt work for me. I love the way it looks from the rear 3 quarters and the spec ( 100 Bhp ) that too in those days!! I actually wanted to fall in love with that car, but then the front , the dash and the interiors just failed to inspire me.

Punto would also have been in the list if not for its not so inspiring interiors and specs.

Another car that comes close to my list of perfect cars is Swift. I love the driving position, the dashboard , handling, engine and I even have no complains about its looks. Swift would have replaced Polo if Polo was never launched in India.

So manufacturers have provided us the perfect cars. Atleast I was able to find two of them.

Last edited by rejoycjohn : 8th November 2013 at 18:13.
rejoycjohn is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th November 2013, 12:15   #54
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 35
Thanked: 20 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

I think what the OP wants to ask/say is that why is it difficult for so many manufacturers to make a car for the masses which excels in almost everything.

Take the Fluidic Verna for an example. Lets talk about it's Diesel(128bhp) SX variant. It's approx 9-9.25lacs ex-showroom. It's got the looks. It's got amazing interiors, has very comfortable rear seats, has decent legroom, headroom and shoulder room. It has gadgetry which you actually use(Bluetooth, Parking sensors and camera, electro chromatic mirror, etc). Coming down to the cost of service, spares and maintenance, they're very reasonable. It's engine is nothing short of a marvel! Such a power engine with such amazing FE and to top it all, it's amazing level of NVH and smoothness.
But if only they had double tested the suspension, it would have been a perfect car. It certainly had a good thing going for it, but the negative reviews it gained from owners of it about the suspension, effectively took down all the positives. It does sell in decent numbers till date, but if you actually use the car on highways or straight stretch of roads, you'd wish you had gone for something with a stiffer suspension.

The same can be said about a few hatchbacks and SUV's.
The Duster, for once, is highly overpriced. Some people say the R&D costs and other factors greatly add to the cost of vehicles. But i say, Duster was an already existing product. The dCI engine is age old. And the company itself isn't very new to India. For all technical reasons and purposes, the Duster is just a Compact Sedan (or even a Hatchback) on steroids. It's weight, it's gadgetry, it's engine, it's tyre size, it's overall dimensions. Effectively, we Indians are just paying for it's GC and the pseudo-image of an "SUV".
No doubt, it's a very great vehicle for the great India. It's almost a no-full vehicle which can be taken on any types of roads. But the pricing is scandalous. I mean, if you actually look at what you pay 13-14lacs INR for, you'd be really putting things into perspective.


What India needs, is some ingenious car maker to come up with a manufacturing quality and technology of world class and start pumping out vehicles with the feature sets and costs ideal for the middle class Indian folk.
Heck, Mahindra cracked the budget SUV bracket with Scorpio 11 years ago. But it failed to follow up on revising/renewing it ever since.
It did a brilliant job with the XUV, kudos to them.
The Verito, with just a slight modern looks and a new dashboard and centre panel, could be a block-buster hit with it's suspension, GC, ride quality, FE and price.

Somewhere and somehow, car companies in India arent going that extra mile for the Indian audience.
DeepakS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th November 2013, 17:17   #55
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Pune
Posts: 309
Thanked: 756 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

After being involved in several car purchasing decisions with my family, friends and relatives, I have deduced the following thing about cars: They are just like humans (or 'wife' more so), each of them have their set of behavior, expectations and a 'nature' . You just have to find the right match for yourself, it might not be a good choice for someone else but its definitely the best one for you. And after-sales-service is like 'Sasuraal'. A combination of both the service and the car itself will make owning a car a headache or a dream.

My example, I own a Beat, one fine day I find the service center in Pune is closed, after multiple calls, came to know that the showroom and service center will now be converted to Audi's. Chevrolet or Pashankar auto did not even call or send us a mail telling us about this major decision of theirs. Consider Maruti, we had a 6 year old Zen which was sold to my cousin (no paperwork was done), even today, I get calls on our landline saying that the car is due for service and ask if they need a pick up and drop (since it was registered on my Mom's name), she still gets a birthday greeting !

I like the Beat, we liked the Zen too, but now I never recommend anyone to go with a Chevrolet. I just lost confidence in them. All the points have been made by t-bhpians so far. My two cents : A company can never make the best product in a price sensitive market like India, something has to give, but the perception the brand creates makes a great difference in the decisions of normal people.
NiInJa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th November 2013, 17:49   #56
BHPian
 
gk_fiesta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bangalore/Kochi
Posts: 41
Thanked: 34 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

Well, this 'Perfect car' thought has occurred to me as well. If there has been so many models of cars being manufactured with some being big hits and some flops, the manufacturers would have been wise enough to build better and improved cars.

There are few points that come to me when I think about why companies are not making that 'perfect car'.

Like many pointed out, the perception of the buyer of what is perfect for them is different for everyone. Few might like the features in Hyundai cars, and some may like the driving dynamics of the Ford vehicles. In T-Bhp new car reviews also we see that it starts off with 'What you'll like' and 'What you won't'. So this says it all. I have always been curious to search for a car which has minimum 'What-you-won't' points. But it doesn't happen.

Secondly, I believe the manufacturers are not here to give a small subset of customers (which includes us T-Bhpians) a driving nirvana, though even within T-Bhpians there will be cases where somebody's 'Like' for a certain vehicle/feature could be somebody else's 'Dislike'. Eventually the manufacturers are here to touch their sales targets, and make profits. They would be trying to keep the input costs to minimum. If any feature (say like, a steering mounted controls or a cruise control) will be added only if this incremental cost of manufacturing will give substantial increment in their sales. Or the question will be other way around - if they omit certain features will a potential customer back-off from buying the vehicle?

I understand that it is very difficult to build a car which is superlative in all aspects like engine, performance, drivability, features, fuel efficiency etc, and something which the majority of the junta would love. If a company has to change the engine and performance related features that would call for a lot of re-engineering and it less likely. But there are certain things which has left me confused - To give an example: Why my Ford Fiesta does not have a dead pedal, and a seat belt warning indicator which my Santro (a segment lower, and 3 years older) have. May be, like I mentioned, Ford guys would have thought that these features would not bring them enough incremental sales!!
gk_fiesta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th November 2013, 12:44   #57
BHPian
 
Nanometer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 33
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Why can't manufacturers build "perfect" cars?

I would say the perfect car is more a catching up with times thing , 800 was a perfect car to start owning a four wheeler , then you move up to bigger cars and better cars of that time , so its a evolving science and manufactures keep trying or experimenting with better and better products for edge over competition , they have to get ROI for the experimenting and hence they introduce different cars with different strengths and weaknesses. Its finally a business and business has to have profits to run.
Nanometer 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
"Cayenne" we "XC-eed" in our "Endeavour" to "Safari"? Taking powerful metal off-road SS-Traveller 4x4 Excursions 55 10th November 2016 22:56
What do manufacturers do to "Detune" their cars for indian conditions? hellspawn Technical Stuff 20 12th October 2010 21:15
Running-in cars. Why don't manufacturers do it themselves? romeomidhun The Indian Car Scene 4 7th August 2009 21:01
Warranty on Indian cars - why disparity among manufacturers? sbasak The Indian Car Scene 12 29th November 2007 12:40
Why foreign manufacturers don't sell small cars in India sbasak The Indian Car Scene 25 14th November 2005 08:41


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:36.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks