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Old 19th February 2018, 18:04   #16
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

We definitely need some control on 4 wheelers. The numbers are just multiplying every year. A day will come when there will be no space on roads to drive. Whether 4m or not, will not matter.
People in my office are good to do & most of them are having big cars. Daily single person coming to office & returning back in an innova is a crime. And their argument is public transport is unreliable & 2 wheelers are unsafe! But then who is stopping them from car pooling.
And who is making 2 wheelers unsafe? One of us driving a big 4 wheeler (car/truck/van) & not caring about the people on road.
Try driving a bicycle on Bangalore roads & people will honk as if you are an easy target to be driven over.
Only solution is tax heavily on 4 wheelers - any kind. Car parking in offices should not be free at all, atleast Rs 100 per day should be charged for parking.
Parking any where in the city should not be free - like Europe. In a place like Dusseldorf which is hardly crowded, I ended up paying 6 euros for parking for 2 Hrs.
All this money should be used to develop cycling lanes through out the city or providing some kind of cycling infrastructure.
Disclaimer - I own a car but use it only for family outing on weekends or long trips. I never drive alone. If I have to drive to office, I make sure I am pooling with others (quickride app). Thats why my overall mileage is like 4/5k per year.

Last edited by Sheel : 15th January 2020 at 18:08. Reason: than = then.
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Old 19th February 2018, 18:04   #17
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

First things first, a smaller engine doesn't necessarily warrant good fuel efficiency. This video makes it pretty clear:


I will agree that this rule has forced car makers to squeeze in more and more space and even features into a small body. Compact sedans have been getting better with time. If we look at the last gen Dzire and the current generation, you see a marked improvement across equipment levels, packaging and even design or shall I say boot integration to be more specific.

Every manufacturer has brought something different to the table. The Dzire offers unmatched piece of mind and a plethora of features while the Aspire TDCi has given a new meaning to the phrase "fun to drive".

My point is, that a rather makeshift segment born out of what was considered to be a crap ridden rule has brought about a ripple effect amongst manufacturers.

Another bitter truth is that the C2 Segment has moved up the price ladder. Cars like the Verna and the City are venturing into D1 territory and even the next gen Vento is most likely to be priced up there if not higher. Compact sedans become a good alternative then. Here's a price comparison between a fully loaded C1 segment sedan and a C2 sedan:

Volkswagen Ameo Highline TDI DSG: 10.94 Lakhs OTR

Volkswagen Vento Trendline TDI Manual: 10.50 Lakhs OTR

Maruti Dzire ZDI Plus AMT: 10.25 Lakhs OTR

Maruti Ciaz Sigma 1.3: 10.56 Lakhs

The definition of a sedan to typical Indian folk is something like this:

"A car with a boot slapped onto it's back and ample amounts of space"

Have a look at these two examples. If you keep aside space in the case of the Ameo and Vento, the two cars are very close. For a meagre 40K extra, you get a DSG gearbox, and a fully loaded sedan as well.

In the case of the Ciaz and Dzire, its even closer. Both are closer on space and also share the same (mediocre) diesel mills. But, the Dzire gives you a lot more equipment which almost equals the Ciaz's top variant. Ditto with the VW twins as well.

Its only when you look closely at the segment is that you realise as to why every manufacturer wants to have a pie of it. The aspiring Indian who cares more about features and less about what a true sedan is will undoubtedly go for the compact sedans.

I still prefer a full sized C2 segment sedan over a compact one. I can't digest the looks, but if you can, then they do make a compelling case.

Regards,
Vishy

Last edited by vishy76 : 19th February 2018 at 18:07.
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Old 19th February 2018, 18:48   #18
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Ciaz has a 1.4l petrol engine and 1.3l diesel engine.
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Old 19th February 2018, 21:42   #19
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Car manufacturers needed the numbers, and this piece of legislation has done just that. Plenty of cars are now on our roads ,and the car buying is not going to stop overnight. Remember how the 2L diesel engine ban in NCR imposed by the Supreme Court was revoked? My assessment is there are now too many stakeholders, too many jobs in the auto manufacture and auto ancillary industry for the government to abruptly raise taxes to discourage car buying. What we need are are visionary corporate leaders who understand that the transition to Electric Vehicles is necessary and can only happen if sustained efforts are put in. The recent statements by the Mahindra group Chairman in this regard have been most encouraging.
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Old 19th February 2018, 22:13   #20
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

We just need better designers!

This was done by one Dante Giacosa, decades back. Would have qualified for the rule. The car also ruled the hearts of educated Indians for decades, over the other one that looked like a mechanised Buffalo!

10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?-img_16051.jpg
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Old 19th February 2018, 23:53   #21
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Sub 4-meter cars, so called 'Compact sedans' are the result of improvisation from the manufacturers. There's no hiding the fact that they don't always are pleasing to look at.
Since providing a bigger boot and decent cabin space within 4 meters is the goal, why not design an elongated hatchback.
For example, Audi A3 Sportsback. There's enough bootspace, cabin space and it looks great.

10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?-160710.jpg
Image Source: Audi-mediacenter

Maybe people who want to own a sedan and are going for sub-4m ones due to their affordability over their full-size sedan counterparts? I don't have a clue!

Last edited by Aditya : 20th February 2018 at 10:42. Reason: Inserting image as attachment
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Old 20th February 2018, 00:26   #22
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puneeth2 View Post
Sub 4-meter cars, so called 'Compact sedans' are the result of improvisation from the manufacturers. There's no hiding the fact that they don't always are pleasing to look at.
Since providing a bigger boot and decent cabin space within 4 meters is the goal, why not design an elongated hatchback.
For example, Audi A3 Sportsback. There's enough bootspace, cabin space and it looks great.

Maybe people who want to own a sedan and are going for sub-4m ones due to their affordability over their full-size sedan counterparts? I don't have a clue!
Except the fact that such proportionate cars like the A3 Sportback are certainly not small.

Keeping it under 4mt, you can manage cars like i20 and Baleno, which have roughly similar body size to the A3, except the elongated boot. Most of the compact sedans are based on cars which are smaller (i.e Brio->Amaze , i10->Xcent, Swift->Dzire and so on).

The A3 Sportback is 4.3 mt long, and in India, the one which matches that body type most would be the S Cross.

Last edited by ts1506 : 20th February 2018 at 00:27.
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Old 20th February 2018, 01:58   #23
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

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Originally Posted by ts1506 View Post
Except the fact that such proportionate cars like the A3 Sportback are certainly not small.

Keeping it under 4mt, you can manage cars like i20 and Baleno, which have roughly similar body size to the A3, except the elongated boot. Most of the compact sedans are based on cars which are smaller (i.e Brio->Amaze , i10->Xcent, Swift->Dzire and so on).

The A3 Sportback is 4.3 mt long, and in India, the one which matches that body type most would be the S Cross.
Not the exact car. I mean, that kind of body style on those smaller hatchbacks. I believe it results in a much larger(taller) boot than that in compact sedans.

Last edited by puneeth2 : 20th February 2018 at 02:00.
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Old 20th February 2018, 02:00   #24
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Superb thread!

If we look back since the 10 years of this rule, I feel it has only benefited the vehicle manufacturers and upto a little extent the customers. All the talks of reducing the congestion on our road went for a toss when these vehicles started topping the sales chart month after month.

Thanks to this, manufacturers were able to achieve economies of scale like never before. The profits of leading manufacturers soared as a result as they were able to share the body parts along with engine options across the range. Initially Tata and Maruti benefited the most from this rule. Indigo CS being the first car launched, followed by Dzire. While the Dzire ended the honeymoon for Indigo CS; Honda, Toyota, Ford and the likes never had a good lower displacement petrol engines. Result is that Jazz, Liva and Figo are sold with < 1.2L engines while the cars needed a slightly bigger unit to work. Hyundai also had to discontinue the 1.3L Getz engine in favour of the 1.1L unit (IIRC). If this was not enough, some of the manufacturers plonked in a 3 cylinder engine


If the Government really wants to tax vehicles more rationally than maybe they should look at creating narrow slabs for engines. Eg. 1L to 1.19L, 1.2 to 1.39 and so on. This would enable the manufacturers to offer better choices and from customers standpoint, the prize of a vehicle having a slightly higher displacement engine will still remain affordable.

PS: I had clicked these spy shots while I was studying in Pune back in 2007. These were one of the very first images of Tata Indigo CS to be published. It was very clear that the cars were Indigo and had a shorter boot size. I remember that Logan had been introduced in the marked at that time and it was expected that it will crack a good market share from Tata Indigo.

I had emailed these pics to ACI, that time, ACI used to award a 1 year subscription of the magazine if the spy images were featured in their edition. To my delight, these images were published in ACI November 2007 edition (along with a credit). This being a big development back then also found a mention in the editorial column . Attaching the pics here:
Attached Images
    
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Old 20th February 2018, 10:30   #25
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puneeth2 View Post
Since providing a bigger boot and decent cabin space within 4 meters is the goal, why not design an elongated hatchback.
For example, Audi A3 Sportsback. There's enough bootspace, cabin space and it looks great.
The maximum you can eke out of that 4m limit would be the Jazz. That is in no way an elongated hatchback. If you look at taller versions, it would probably be the Quanto?

For an elongated hatchback you would probably have to look at the Astra or the Megane versions sold in Europe.
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Old 20th February 2018, 10:52   #26
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puneeth2 View Post
Since providing a bigger boot and decent cabin space within 4 meters is the goal, why not design an elongated hatchback.
For example, Audi A3 Sportsback. There's enough bootspace, cabin space and it looks great.
There already is a sub 4m version of this car in India that is reasonably priced and pretty much has the same parts but a cheaper interior. It is called the Polo GT TSi
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Old 20th February 2018, 10:53   #27
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

To sum up:
- The sub-4 metre rule did not reduce congestion on our roads;
- The <1.2L/1.5L engine rule did not improve fuel consumption or fuel import bills;
- Buyers shifted from 2-wheelers to 4-wheelers with rising affordability;
- India-specific small cars were created which do not have any export potential.
Thank you for starting this interesting thread. I have been always thinking hard over the appeal of these sub 4m sedans. Prime case is Dzire (old model) and Baleno. Not many realised that the boot hinges eat into the usable space, yet many customers took this over the Baleno. From my days in the showroom, I observed that people usually upgrade in the following manner - entry level Hatchback, Sedan (sub 4m or full size) and then an SUV / premium sedan. Now, the Dzire is a perfect upgrade for someone coming from 800, Alto or WagonR. These people do not look at other options as they feel that society perceives them as 'Arrived in life' when they have a sedan. Cars like the Swift, Baleno etc are bought by the children of folks who have upgraded to Dzire / Ciaz - reason being they want a good car, yet don't want to overshadow their parent.

I find this really interesting. Its not that the sub-4m cars are bad / good over the hatchbacks, but this is purely an Indian phenomenon. Back in 2009, I remember reading that the Indian Punto and i20 came with slightly modified bumpers to fit into the sub-4m rule.

Quote:
So is it time to scrap the rules governing small cars, tax vehicles more rationally and evenly across all segments, and let the Indian automobile industry bring us world-class cars and engines?
The best idea would be to tax cars based on pollution per km. This way the Camry hybrid (122.8 gm/km) and Honda Jazz 1.5 iVtec (124 gm/km) fall into the same category. Note - Jazz is UK-spec.
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Old 20th February 2018, 12:10   #28
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

The first thing govt has to decide is whether they want promote people to buy cars or not. I strongly support in promoting this, as currently the car penetration is very very low n India. If they decide yes, then the next thing is to provide adequate infrastructure like congestion-free roads using the tax they collect from cars and fuels.

Now, coming to the sub-4m discussion: yes, its is time to scrap this rule, but not by increasing the sub-4m car tax to that of bigger cars. The ex-showroom price and tax has to be uniform across the country. The tax figure can be set based on the price. If priced less than 10L, 20%, between 10 and 20L, 30%, between 20 and 30L 40%, and above 30L, 50%. Simple!

Last edited by romeomidhun : 20th February 2018 at 12:40.
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Old 20th February 2018, 12:35   #29
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

This 4m rule made little sense when it was introduced.

However, if it were to be removed now, it will cause unnecessary revenue loss to manufacturers who pumped in money to develop cars & engines which are tailor-made to these specifications.
For example:
VW downsized it's 1.6L Diesel to 1.5L.
Vehicles like Dzire, Brezza, Nexon, TUV etc were designed specifically for 4m length.

If this rule were to removed, then a new entrant could simply offer already existing slightly larger alternatives to the above and swing the market in it's favor.


Lastly, if the restrictions are removed, then we may see slight growth in the engine capacities and body lengths year on year, with each manufacturer trying to project the larger engine displacement as it's USP.
This will be great for the consumer, but it will again involve additional cost for the manufacturers.

Last edited by abhishek46 : 20th February 2018 at 12:47.
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Old 20th February 2018, 14:02   #30
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Default Re: 10 years of the Small Car rule (<4-metre, <1.2L petrol, <1.5L diesel) : Has India benefitted?

Hi,

According to me, this is an obsolete rule now!
Leave everything aside we as enthusiasts need better products, read engines. Why are we deprived of the Brio 1.3, Jazz 1.5, 1.6 iDTEC in Hondas? Manufacturers can do whatever they want to make their products sell but not burn their midnight oil for how to save tax by skimming their international engines and body shells.

I'm old school and believe in no replacement for displacement. I think if this displacement restriction goes away then there will be more focus on higher capacity engines. Tata & Mahindra developing tiny 3 cylinder mills to cash in the 'small car' segment!

In addition, I don't agree that sub 4m sedans are selling as they are more affordable and full size sedans have moved up a segment. If this rule was not there then the sedan segment would have also bifurcated like the hatchbacks! There would have been more affordable full-size sedans hopefully.

In today's world I strongly believe that this rule should only apply to intracity taxi operators or all sub 4m sedans should only be cabs... small, frugal (engined) & with some extra space for luggage! What do you guys say?

This rule should be amended to say 'upto 1.6(P) & 2.0(D)' engine capacities. Keep length & GC practical as per type of car (hatchback/sedan/SUV)

--surjaonwheelz

Last edited by surjaonwheelz : 20th February 2018 at 14:05.
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