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Old 7th May 2007, 10:19   #16
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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Awesome information there Arun!

Heres another Q -
Do ALL vehicles spend some time in the windtunnel (and if so, is it always fullsize, or mostly scaled down?)

And by ALL vehicles i mean to include trucks and busses in the question as well....

Well its not always the case, yes most reputed automakers do, but again it depends upon budget constraints of programme.

Some times its done on scaled down model too, some companies having money & facilites they do it on full scale vehicle too, but mostly now a days its simulated on computer, and they can actually get the data close to real life situations.

As using computer simulation provides accurate data, so now a days its being done virtually, although windtunnels do exists today, & needs a lot of money to install the equiptment & carry out the tests. I know one european manuf. even doing extereme weather testing like snowfall, high gusts etc. indoors.

Got a good book with lots of pics of their facilities, gifted to me by that manuf. but it is in german, i will try to scan few pages & PM to intrested fellows.

& about trucks & buses, yes it is done in windtunnel as well, but as i said earlier life is shifting towards virtual.Not only windtunnel testing but crashes & even rollover simulations can be effectively carried out virtually.
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Old 7th May 2007, 12:18   #17
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3.Business Model: Japanese mfg concentrates more on very very optimised details of every part to save, weight, cost & dev time, while germans follow ruggedness, durability & safety more. An avaerage japanese car may be good for 6-7 years of use, but german vehicles never die.

First of all, let me say that I am very grateful for your first hand insights on auto manfg. As a person tracking the industry, this has been helpful. regarding Business model, I feel the need to express a different opinion. If you equate German cars with ruggedness, safety, then fine. But for durability, I hope you are only considering BMW and not Daimler (Merc) and VW. As you can research for yourself (perhaps some annual reports, auto oragnisations of repute), the durability and long-term reliability of Merc and VW has been on the decline for years, which has also been reflected in their financial troubles and some management churning. Perhaps this link can help.

ConsumerReports.org - Reliability trends, how they age 4/07

Consumerreports is subscribed by 6 million, and the above trend is based on 1.3 million users. As you may be aware, their recommendations influence a lot of buying decisions in the US, simply because they are reputed to be largely honest and independent in their reports. In fact none of Merc cars are recommended by them which was also pointed out by Fortune last year, which said Merc was cheesed off, but then Fortune went on to justify ConsumerReports only.

Japanese cars may be less rugged, but what does ruggedness imply. If you have access to decades of full reports of IndustryWeek, Autoweek, ConsumerReports, Global Insights, AutomotiveNews, Ward's Automotive, JDPower, and general business pubs like Fortune, Economist, etc; you may find out (this is no secret anyway) that Japanese cars, particularly of Toyota and Honda, enjoy 4 or 5 star safety ratings from NHTSA, IIHS, and EuroNCAP, give higher FE, less headaches, and are far more long-term durable and reliable than German cars. They age more gracefully, and do last longer than German cars. Sadly German cars (at least worldwide) are now beginning to get a reputation of being unreliable long-termers. Of course, they are better looking as are all American cars, but as the decline of German and US car makers, and the continuing rise of Toyota and Honda over the last 3 decades are shown, customers do want better looking cars, but most of all they want a car that will run for a long time at a low cost without headaches. That as you would know is what sells any product, not just cars. If Japanese cars were less durable, less safe, they would not have enjoyed such long-term success.
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Old 21st February 2009, 15:13   #18
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Well I'll put it to a brief as far as my thinking is concerned,

After The product planning dept decides that such and such product is required in the market, they propose it to management. After finalizing the project, engineering team takes over and decides on the critical dimensions, the hard points, layout, USPs etc etc, and styling team is given a go ahead. One styling is freezed out of may be three or four and the basic body is made. Simultaneously other teams like Steering, suspension, Engine and Transmission and Integration work on the complete assembly. This whole cycle occurs three to four times, regularly updating the styling. ( It is because of this the concept car styling and production styling varies a great extent!!) , In between crash tests R12, R94 etc happen in computers and updatation occurs, after all these prototyprs are made and tested, crashed and analysed. Vendors are decided and included in the design process bby now. There are various stages of prototypes made... lets say A, B, C.... in the various stages of the design. Fibnally tooling is made, In this also design modifiations happen....

Last protoype is made... pre production pilot batch...
Marketing dept debriefed and they start with their plans, logostics comes...
Development review is done, Assembly and maufacturing lines are checked and rechecked for quality and quantity. And after achieving acceptable quality levels, vehicles are despatched to dealers ( specific ones)...
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Old 22nd February 2009, 21:27   #19
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How do they produce prototypes??

i was wondering..even now.

since prototype cars may or may not be produced as in case of 'TATA Magna'

But how they source parts (completely working) like brake light, head lamp, dash board (since these are plastic moulded) tool cost will be higher.

but metal parts can be fabricated and tinker skills can be used.. but the cosmetic plastic parts like brake light, headlight, dash board are tough to make and get good finish through other methods .

anyone clarify this thing.
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Old 29th October 2011, 17:03   #20
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Default Re: New Car development : An insider perspective - From drawing board to customer

Happened to come across this old thread, thought of asking a few questions.

Originally Posted by arunforu1 View Post
Followed by a pilot launch of few vehicles for testing purpose to selected customers or agencies to get actual customer feedback & changes are done to design as desired.
Arun, How do auto makers outside India approach this method?

Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post

By "surface", i dont mean the coating or the paint thats given to it, rather its the quality of the surface itself (roughness, waviness, orange peel, luder bands).
What strategy is employed to counter these imperfections (during design) specially orange peel, luder bands? Anything particular during forming?

Originally Posted by arunforu1 View Post

But it took only 5 minutes to scrap that design on suggestion of a foolish engineer in a cost cutting meeting. Sadly his design was replaced by a bench of perforated sheet: foolish argument was that it is intended for a truck & driver could put his own cushion.

But then law changed after 6 months & his design was finally included.
Yeah, me too encountered such morons during my brief 4 year stint

Originally Posted by arunforu1 View Post

Well to gauge response, as i mentioned in original topic, a pilot launch is done. Vehicles are given to trusted old customers or to testing agencies. This is done to actually gauge the response plus ironing out flaws.after PILOT LAUNCH, the vehicle is out in market.
Some even do a Pilot launch after the actual launch. Believe me!

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Old 29th October 2011, 19:51   #21
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Default Re: New Car development : An insider perspective - From drawing board to customer

Came across this thread cross reference on another.

Interesting statement that German cars are designed to be rugged. May be there is some difference in perception. Older Mercedes were extremely rugged, but in recent years that has taken a massive beating. It is not only the electronics which fail, mechanicals are also to blame. To highlight a few areas

. Brake shoes wear out at least twice as fast on German cars as on Japanese or even Indian cars
. Air conditioners are a perennial problem in German cars, in contrast to trouble free units of Eastern Manufacturers
. Rubber parts also last much less in German cars than in others.

On the whole I would blame the design for these failures, as you pointed out that all these are taken care of at the design stage. Would like to hear your views on this.
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Old 7th December 2014, 11:23   #22
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Default The Birth Of An Automobile

These days,every segments of cars and bikes are flooded with options. Some lead, some lose and fall flat. Some innovate, some diversify but many play safe.
These days , its all about numbers. The initial bookings, the initial queries, and even the number of recalls.
These days it is a war. A war of words. Good cars are aggressively challenged. Thrashed, are the bad cars.
It's about spy shots and fervently coming up with a rendering from the camouflaged shots.
These days, Fuel Efficiency, Reliability, Features, VFM are few of the words that constitute the New-Car Testament.

I've been in ardent adherence towards this New-Car Testament in a more enthusiastic bias. I and even "we" follow a car right from it's launch, or even from the unveiling of its prototype or concept as its being called now.

But I never ever had the idea of how a car took its shape, not to mean it literally. Other than watching a few TV shows that telecast the making of a car that involved programmed robotic arms to gentle human arms, never I knew the birth of a car. The inception of an idea. Which slowly takes shape like a child in its mother's womb. But after reading this "insightful" article, my amateurish doubts got cleared.

Link :http://www.motorbeam.com/2014/12/gen...idea-to-sales/

Note : Most of the information provided in this article could have been well known for many stalwarts, seniors, and the distinguished. But this is for people like me. People who are youngsters, evolving from their teens, their enthusiasm evolving from a mere poster in their study room to the radical dream of owning the car or bike in that And I warmly welcome other Team-BHPians to provide other informative and insightful add-ons or even complete this novice attempt. Cheers.

Source : MotorBeam

Last edited by karzzexped : 7th December 2014 at 11:28.
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Old 7th December 2014, 12:50   #23
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Default Re: The Birth Of An Automobile

At the end of the day it is all about business. An automobile these days is the product of several phases from market feasibility studies to product development & testing.

What we have achieved over the years is just too little when compared to other fields such as Aerospace of IT. Cars haven't much evolved much over last 100 years, still we are struggling to get over 30% thermal efficiency from our so called modern Direct Injection Turbocharged petrol engines.

So automobile industry is now all about improving market share & maximizing profit & at least in Product Design & Development stage we have a long way to go.

If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.

These are the word of Bill Gates & I think he has a valid point about our cars.
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