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Old 3rd January 2008, 19:06   #31
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I Might be slightly off topic here but BMW India is really ripping off customers, its not like all BMW's sold everywhere have these "run flats", and add this to indian road conditions its just their way of asking us to go forth and multiply and pay them a whooping 22K for every puncture. The sales rep trying to sell me the X3 actually told me that if I cant afford a puncture why would I wanna buy a beemer in the first place?

Also I find it ridiculous, if not overpriced to pay more than 100000$(USD) for a car which is less than 30,000$ in the US and then pay for these punctures and also deal with their attitude. sue them, make them pay or ask them to leave the country!

-Sundar
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Old 3rd January 2008, 20:59   #32
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That's not classy at all. Pathetic behavior from BMW staff. I don't understand why they can't devote money to training the people who work for them. It's not like they don't have money. Snobbishness from people who are selling goods/services just doesn't make sense, either you open up and behave professionally or close shop and sit at home. So childish.
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Old 3rd January 2008, 21:00   #33
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Originally Posted by sundy View Post
I Might be slightly off topic here but BMW India is really ripping off customers, its not like all BMW's sold everywhere have these "run flats", and add this to indian road conditions its just their way of asking us to go forth and multiply and pay them a whooping 22K for every puncture. The sales rep trying to sell me the X3 actually told me that if I cant afford a puncture why would I wanna buy a beemer in the first place?

Also I find it ridiculous, if not overpriced to pay more than 100000$(USD) for a car which is less than 30,000$ in the US and then pay for these punctures and also deal with their attitude. sue them, make them pay or ask them to leave the country!

-Sundar
First of all, it is like all BMWs (with the exception of the Ms) sold everywhere have these "run flats".

Second, you don't have to replace a run flat tyre every time you suffer a loss of air pressure. You only need to replace the tyre if you've driven a fair distance on a totally de-pressurised tyre.

Third, what the sales rep said is a bit arrogant, but it is all relevant isn't it...if your car costs 45 lakhs, surely you'd be able to budget for new tyres IF you need to replace them.

Fourth, all cars cost more in India than they do abroad. I agree we feel the sting here, especially with our lower purchasing power, but this is not something that is unique to BMW, it's how the Government of India wants it.

Last, you sound like a communist. Why should a company leave India, because you don't like their product / attitude?
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Old 3rd January 2008, 21:03   #34
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Originally Posted by raul View Post
That's not classy at all. Pathetic behavior from BMW staff. I don't understand why they can't devote money to training the people who work for them. It's not like they don't have money. Snobbishness from people who are selling goods/services just doesn't make sense, either you open up and behave professionally or close shop and sit at home. So childish.
Dude, I don't know how much you've interacted with BMW and their Indian dealers, but I have a bit of experience with one of the dealers and several of BMW's staff, and, to be honest, my dealings with them have been the best I've had in my car-buying life. So far, so good. I'm sure some dealers are better than others, but to paint them all with one tainted brush is a bit harsh.
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Old 3rd January 2008, 23:59   #35
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Let me clarify, my reference to BMW staff was in context of his experience, with that particular person at the showroom, it was not a sweep against all BMW staff or showrooms. I am sure we will all have different experiences, some good, some bad. I am sure you would not be amused if you were in his place. But you had a great experience and reported it here.

Last edited by raul : 4th January 2008 at 00:01.
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Old 4th January 2008, 00:05   #36
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...I am sure you would not be amused if you were in his place. But you had a great experience and reported it here.




20 characters min
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Old 4th January 2008, 10:23   #37
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Originally Posted by sundy View Post
I Might be slightly off topic here but BMW India is really ripping off customers, its not like all BMW's sold everywhere have these "run flats", and add this to indian road conditions its just their way of asking us to go forth and multiply and pay them a whooping 22K for every puncture. The sales rep trying to sell me the X3 actually told me that if I cant afford a puncture why would I wanna buy a beemer in the first place?

Also I find it ridiculous, if not overpriced to pay more than 100000$(USD) for a car which is less than 30,000$ in the US and then pay for these punctures and also deal with their attitude. sue them, make them pay or ask them to leave the country!

-Sundar
Sundy, you have been misinformed... Run flats do not need to be replaced everytime you have a puncture and now do they cost 22k to repair ! Infact, you can get a run flat tyre's puncture repaired at any tubeless tyre store.

About BMW's being overpriced...yes they are... and as KBK rightly said so are most other cars in India. And you also seem to have your numbers wrong... The 5 series costs more than 100000$USD here and it does not sell less than $30,000 in the US...The car starts at 50,000$ for the base, without the bells and whistles that come on the Indian version.

Honda accord cost $40,000 in India... $22,000 in USA
Toyota Camry costs $65000 in India .... $25,000 in USA
And the list goes on..........

So at this rate should all these auto manufacturers leave in India? Might work for you ... not for me
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Old 4th January 2008, 12:03   #38
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Second, you don't have to replace a run flat tyre every time you suffer a loss of air pressure. You only need to replace the tyre if you've driven a fair distance on a totally de-pressurised tyre.
Thats still a whopping 25 grand!

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Third, what the sales rep said is a bit arrogant, but it is all relevant isn't it...if your car costs 45 lakhs, surely you'd be able to budget for new tyres IF you need to replace them.
Sorry KBK. I dont agree with that; even if I spend 30 lakhs on a 3 series, paying 1 lac to replace a set of 4 tyres is just too darn high. Its not the question of whether I can afford it or not, but paying a lac for new rubber every 25,000 kms is unrealistic.

We all complain about the high servicing costs of MBenz and BMW (Expectedly as high?) The tyres alone will cost several times the servicing costs over 25,000 kms.

Last edited by GTO : 4th January 2008 at 12:04.
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Old 4th January 2008, 12:55   #39
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GTO, you're right, it's a BIG expense, but honestly for the peace of mind it gives, I think it's relative. Let me explain...

Since you mentioned the 3 series, we'll use the 325i as an example (since I have the figures for that car!). The RFTs for the 325i run 21700/- each, so a set of 4 = 86,800/-. This is approx. 2.4% of the cost of the car.

By contrast, let's take the cheapest car you can buy today, the Maruti 800. In it's basic trim it is about 2.25 lakhs? Not sure. A set of four (comparatively rubbish tyres) would cost you about 7,500/- or so (my guess). This is 3.33% of the cost of the new car. Of course the Maruti tyres will not provide anywhere NEAR the levels of grip or safety that the RFTs will give. Still, who do you think is likely to feel the pinch more, the 800 buyer or the 3 Series buyer? This is why I say it is relative.

I feel that our mind-set needs to be given a chance to adapt to these new technologies that can and will save lives. Yes, it is expensive to buy these tyres. Again, this is the Government's doing, thanks to the excessive duties. Nobody here makes run-flats, so they have to be imported. All these years we have been accustomed to buying relatively cheap, higher profile tyres (often through grey market channels of distribution), now we find it horrific that these new RFT low-profile tyres cost so much. Let somebody have a puncture on the highway one day with a run-flat shod car carrying his wife and kids and suddenly that will be the best 22,000 he ever spent in his life!

Honestly (and I know it's shooting for the moon) the Government should be encouraging things like run-flat tyres so that everyone can benefit from them, not only BMW users. If they did away with the exorbitant duties, the costs would drop significantly.

I guess, in the end, even a 3 Series owner has a choice. He does not HAVE TO buy a set of RFTs when his OE tyres go bald. He can always buy a regular set of tubeless tyres with a similar profile and load / speed rating.

The question then is, will BMW void the warranty on his suspension, like Nick claims they did to him?

P.S. Decent 17" tubeless GSD3 Eagles or PS2 Michelins would be approx. 11,000/- each, so the total cost for a set would be approx. 40,000/- less than a set of RFTs. Merits some thought, wouldn't you say?

Last edited by kbk_75 : 4th January 2008 at 13:04. Reason: Added P.S.
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Old 4th January 2008, 13:08   #40
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Originally Posted by kbk_75 View Post

I guess, in the end, even a 3 Series owner has a choice. He does not HAVE TO buy a set of RFTs when his OE tyres go bald. He can always buy a regular set of tubeless tyres with a similar profile and load / speed rating.

The question then is, will BMW void the warranty on his suspension, like Nick claims they did to him?
I hope not ! Thats might be my action plan for the future

But since BMW does provide a space saver spare as an accessory, i presume there shouldn't be any issues with warranty. Besides rubber parts are never covered under warranty anyway nor have i heard of companies complaining if you replace tyres with same size and speed rating. If anything the normal tubeless will better the suspension.

Honestly i don't know what the whole fuss is about these Run Flats... BMW has offered state of the art tyres that reek safety, yes they do have their drawbacks but you cant really put a price on safety. Besides if someone really has a big problem with Run Flats he/she should sell them and get regular tubeless right after delivery and go home with some additional savings !

Last edited by Sahil : 4th January 2008 at 13:10.
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Old 4th January 2008, 13:31   #41
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The important point here is, will changing the tyres void the warranty on your suspension? Obviously they won't cover your tyres, but what about the mechanicals?
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Old 4th January 2008, 15:06   #42
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The RFTs for the 325i run 21700/- each, so a set of 4 = 86,800/-. This is approx. 2.4% of the cost of the car. A set of four (comparatively rubbish tyres) would cost you about 7,500/- or so (my guess). This is 3.33% of the cost of the new car.
Oh come on, KBK! That’s like saying, the whopping 1 Lac official cost of an E-Class mirror assembly is reasonable, since the percentage calculation (relative to cost of car) is the same as the mirror cost of some 10 lakh sedans.

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Again, this is the Government's doing, thanks to the excessive duties.
In the States too, run flats for some cars run upto twice as much as the cost of a regular tyre. The Michelins in my C cost 9,000 a piece, so BMW’s Rs.22,000 price cant be blamed entirely on the import duties.

I agree that run flats have their advantages, primarily in terms of “running flat” and safety. Mind you, run flats aren’t burst proof, though I am convinced that they would be more resistant.

But they also have their disadvantages. The ride is harsher, the noise is higher and actual reviews (internationally) seem to suggest that they wear out quicker.

Run flats are also notorious in requiring a full replacement for nail punctures (significant); something that a regular tyre would take only a 100 bucks to repair.

Buttttttttttttttttttttttt A full size spare is still indispensable and if you can change to a spare, do it! Would I rather drive 40 kms (with reserved speeds) anyways and pay 22,000 for a replacement, or spend 10 - 15 minutes in changing to a spare? In the last 25 highway trips of mine, I have had only 1 puncture (in my jiju’s Laura). Go figure on the probability. Took only about 10 minutes to change too.

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The question then is, will BMW void the warranty on his suspension, like Nick claims they did to him?
Net net, leave the choice to the customer. For instance, a car that is used exclusively in the city will really not benefit from run flats. I repeat your question : Will BMW honour the warranty if the rubber is changed to regular? If BMW does honour the warranty, kudos to them for the proactiveness.

What we, as Team-BHP can do, is keep prospective buyers aware of the expensive replacements. Not everyone does the kind of research we do when buying a car. Even in my case, I never bothered to ask about the servicing costs when picking up my C, and later got a shock upon received the bills. If only Team-BHP was around at the time.

One question: Do Indian BMW’s come with Michelin PAX? If so, then it can be mounted only with specialized tyre equipment, which no non-BMW shop will have. What if I am driving to Goa, where there isn’t a BMW shop for a 100 km stretch?

P.S. : Here is a tip for you guys running on run flats : Insurance covers tyre damage. So drive your run flat to ruins anyways, and then claim insurance.

Last edited by GTO : 4th January 2008 at 15:11.
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Old 4th January 2008, 16:40   #43
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i too don't agree with this % of the total cost logic. but i guess the problem is dealers require huge margins on spare parts to operate in such low volume luxury segment.

during the initial purchase, the huge margin goes to the manufacturer to justify their operations in India. during the servicing, the huge margin goes to the dealer to make their ROI look good.

why don't manufacturers themselves own and operate dealerships for such low volumes?

i can pay more up front, but i hate unplanned expenses that sneak into my account books. maybe one can afford, but one always feels being milked.
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Old 4th January 2008, 17:26   #44
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From what a BMW India's seniormost official told me (it doesn't take long to figure out who) when I asked him about warranty issues if a person shifts from run-flats to standard tubeless, he said warranty stands null and void. This was at the BMW driving experience at Aamby valley. And if he says it, well, there, Nick's chances look slim.

From what I understand, it's always better to check up on warranty, especially premium cars when you change mechanical parts, or parts that can alter the functionality or performance, before making such alterations.
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Old 4th January 2008, 19:16   #45
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@ GTO: No, I'm really not justifying the high cost of anything. Why should I? It's not like I own shares in any tyre companies! I'm just trying to say to people who moan about certain expenses that you need to do your homework and try to factor-in the total cost of ownership BEFORE you buy a car, like you mentioned yourself. Buying a car is just step one. Insuring it, registering it, fuelling it, maintaining it, paying for contingencies...all add quite significantly to the cost. I guess this board really is a great place to make people aware.

@ Andro: Well yes, the dealers do have very high margins on spares, but not so high on consumables, including tyres. Like GTO said, RFTs are expensive to begin with. Even in the grey market a 17" RFT will cost around 20,000/- which is a 10% savings on the dealer price. If you hate unplanned expenses, then you want what BMW call their BSI+R plan, where you pay a fixed amount up-front, before your first service, and virtually all repair and service costs are then waived, including most consumables. If more manufacturers offered this, it would not only be a lucrative revenue-stream for their dealers, it would even give people like you the peace of mind of knowing what your total ownership cost is going to be.

@ Squid: Well, if that's true, then that's sad. I know their policy abroad is different. So this is where they join the rat race in India and "join them, since they can't beat them!"
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