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View Poll Results: What type of vehicles should be given for Media Drives
Final Version (WYSIWYG) No Beta Testing 207 78.41%
Pre-production versions (That can be improved later on) 57 21.59%
Voters: 264. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th February 2019, 21:57   #16
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Voted for the "fully developed" product.

We've come very very far from the early days of automobile manufacturing and have plenty of computational and simulation tools + vast amounts of real-life-scenario data from all over the world that it makes no sense at all to send out a pre-production model. If anyone does so, that would be laziness and incompetence personified!
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Old 5th February 2019, 22:26   #17
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Unless a manufacturer specifically wants to do a 'beta test' for any particular reason, I absolutely see no reason for a media drive car to not be fully developed product. The reviews are the ones that live on forever and is referenced by people throughout the life cycle. Sending out a pre production car for this is a sure shot way of generating a poor response.
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Old 6th February 2019, 00:21   #18
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

As almost all the members have mentioned that the final production versions must be given for media drives. It just isn't sensible to give flawed product for review when one is trying to promote it.

Also, it doesn't make financial sense. Usually TD & display vehicles are from the last pre-production batch (ramp-up phase) and mass production. Now, Tata probably sent Harrier vehicles from one earlier phase. If that is the case, Tata would have saved cost of around 25~30 vehicles max. This turns out to be approx. Rs. 5cr (considering all top variants, only ex-showroom price as most won't be driven/ registered). Now, this is very small fraction when compared to overall project cost.
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Old 6th February 2019, 00:56   #19
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Even though most of us criticize the reviews from mainstream journalists for being biased or influenced, their comments might do some damage to a car's sales.

Unlike many here, most rely on the reviews on the internet / youtube to form an opinion, rather than bother to go to the showroom and take a test drive.

Comments like 'harsh ride', 'high NVH' or 'rough plastics' might influence some buyer's decision. Even though these might be ironed out in final productions cars.

It is up to the manufacturer then to figure out whether they actually saved money or lost more by losing prospective customers.

In my opinion, let the professionals do the testing and call the journos only once the final production cars are ready.
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Old 6th February 2019, 01:08   #20
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Apart from the test units being half baked , there are instances in my memory where the media cars were shod with premium rubber while the production versions ended up with other tyres. That was one big shot cunning marketing move from the auto maker.
It is common to have multiple suppliers for same vehicle, review units may have only one among those but I am talking about cases where, review units were shod with tyres that didn't make it to production.
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Old 6th February 2019, 02:56   #21
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Some companies resort to providing better quality vehicles for Media events/Initial testdrives than they eventually begin to deliver to the customers. Some launch cars with better equipment/loading and subsequently start deleting features down the line once the product is decently established.
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Old 6th February 2019, 10:54   #22
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipul_singh View Post
Wider question: is there ever a 'final' version of a car? My understanding is that manufacturers keep tweaking and improving vehicles (and manufacturing techniques) based on user and ASS feedback.

So a car bought 6 months after its global launch would likely be subtly different from the one at launch. It is not only the pre-production cars which are different from the 'final' version, as there is no 'final' version anyway.

I am not from the automotive industry, and could be utterly wrong.

With my previous experience in working at a major automotive production plant, below are my 2 cents;

1) Once the vehicle enters the trial stage of production in the plant, it goes through different production trials (PT1, PT2 etc). Each trail build has it's on internal customers (different teams within the organization), and the parts used has it's own level of maturity. Majority of tweaking, changes, dimension corrections, tolerance corrections are done through the initial trial lots.

2) Once all the criteria (part criteria such as fit & finish, quality approvals ,tolerances, purchase criteria like mass production PO, supplier production capacity approvals etc) required for the part to be used in cars are satisfied by supplier (in terms with OEM standards), the project enters the PRE-SOP stage. (PRE-Start Of Production)

3) By this time, all the criteria for parts are freezed and further changes in parts are rarely done.

4) Media vehicle productions are made during PRE_SOP stage, with all bells and rings. (These vehicles usually gets unprecedented level of attention in the assembly line, for various reasons).

5) There are huge list of criteria to be satisfied by each department, before the SOP (Start of Production aka Mass production) is done. Once the SOP is kicked off with lot of celebrations at plant, engineering teams will not be able to make immediate changes to a product with respect to value engineering, cost down, localizations etc. This embargo period may vary from OEM to OEM, usually extend upto 3 months from SOP.

6) Even then, if any major quality or field concerns are noted immediately after SOP, changes are made to part, to fix the issue and limit the damage.

7) There are internal process through which, such PRE-SOP vehicles are put on auction for employees to buy.

Ideally, one can call the JOB NUMBER 1 (1st vehicle produced during SOP) as the final version of the product. There after the car enters life cycle changes which can include, activities like VAVE (value addition, Value engineering), localization, cost down etc.

And, if am not wrong, media drives are usually conducted just before SOP (aka Mass production) in plant. So, it means, the media gets the PRE-SOP vehicles which are near complete product. As per my understanding, pre production refers to various production trials conducted in the plant, and those vehicles are not salable and hence cannot be taken out of plant premises for external use like media drives.

Last edited by redbaron91 : 6th February 2019 at 11:05.
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Old 7th February 2019, 00:48   #23
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

I believe in 'first impression is the last impression'.

If i see a reviewer put a pic of a rough edge, a misaligned panel, or complain of poor NVH, am not going to verify whether its a pre-production vehicle or its the final product. I will just put it as a negative.

Specially now a days, news spreads like rapid-fire through social media. So if a pre-production vehicle is been reviewed and it's negative's get highlighted, it will definitely affect the product.

Media drive vehicle's should be the final product which customer's will receive. If the company wants to improve further, that can be done on customers feedback on the final product too. We have seen many such examples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Some launch cars with better equipment/loading and subsequently start deleting features down the line once the product is decently established.
That's cheating the customers! Instead of deleting feature's, i would accept a reasonable price hike!

Last edited by Samba : 7th February 2019 at 00:56.
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Old 7th February 2019, 12:05   #24
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipul_singh View Post
is there ever a 'final' version of a car?
Good point, but sort of off-topic. We are talking about a pre-production car versus the final one that is delivered in a showroom to a regular customer. You are talking about continuous improvements which any product goes through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
Comments like 'harsh ride', 'high NVH' or 'rough plastics' might influence some buyer's decision.
Reminds me of a time that I was testing a car and found the ride to be way too harsh. Checked the tyre pressure and it was like 50 PSI . Lowered it to the recommended 30 - 32 and all was well. Since, we've made it a rule to check the tyre pressures while testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by albertprince View Post
Apart from the test units being half baked , there are instances in my memory where the media cars were shod with premium rubber while the production versions ended up with other tyres.
Who else but Skoda. From our vRS review:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
Funky 17" "Hawk Anthracite" rims shod with 225/45 section rubber. The wider tyres are absolutely necessary to put down all the 227 horses down (even then, the tyres chirp). While our test car was equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 rubber, customer cars have been fitted with Hankook Ventus S1 Evo 2 tyres. Do note that these Pilot Sports are among the best performance tyres on the market and our handling observations are based on these
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Old 8th February 2019, 03:09   #25
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Voted for final spec cars. The companies better put their best foot forward. I only remember that Team-BHP mentioned that the 2011 Verna drives were on pre-production cars and had inconsistent panel gaps.

They can use the feedback from the media drives to drive improvements in facelifts(Add climate control- old Innova), next gen(low rear seat resulting in less under-thigh support- Ciaz) etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Reminds me of a time that I was testing a car and found the ride to be way too harsh. Checked the tyre pressure and it was like 50 PSI .....
Does that happen often or is it just a rare oversight ? I'd expect them to keep cars in the best shape possible. I can understand in dealer test drives.
Quote:
Who else but Skoda.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 8th February 2019 at 03:11.
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Old 8th February 2019, 19:29   #26
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Interesting Thread.

Funny, till now, I always thought the media cars and test drive cars were actual production cars ( WYSIWYG ) with proper registration and certified to be driven on the roads.

As a user / reader and possible customer, I strongly vote for Option 1 . After zero-ing on the budget and type of car we want, most of our purchase decisions are based on the road test / review of the cars which then probably gets influenced or reinforced by factors like Peer / friend / family recommendations.

Having said this, I strongly believe getting the production version for test drives ( media cars ).

Just FYI :

I bought my first car ( 2011 Hyundai i20 Diesel ) after reading all owner threads and reviews on T-Bhp. My second car, the Honda Accord , was also partly influenced after reading the reviews and ownership threads on T-Bhp

Last edited by nikhilarni : 8th February 2019 at 19:31.
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Old 8th February 2019, 20:44   #27
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

I believe that the final version of a vehicle should be given to the media. A huge number of people actually follow the media reviews quite closely and these reviews become one of the deciding factors while making the final decision. If a pre-production version with missing features is given for review, it would surely come out as a bad point about the car thus giving the model negative publicity.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:06   #28
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

For me, it has to be the final version offered for the media drives, as various aspects contained therein would remain same on the product for sale. This makes the comments/ observations made by the reviewer relevant to the product and the buyer has the opportunity to make an informed decision by verifying its suitability to his needs.

I say, what is the point in reviewing a product with riders such that “We do hope that this feature makes it/ does not make it, to the final production version”, when the buyer would remain confused whether the review is relevant or irrelevant.
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Old 9th February 2019, 11:21   #29
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Default Re: What type of vehicles should be provided for Media Drives?

Pre-Production models have been given to journalists since quite a while now, i have a thread running on it here;

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/inter...ournalism.html (Reviewing of "Prototype" Cars: A new trend in automotive journalism?)

Just because some issues were pointed out in the Harrier media drive & to dodge those questions Tata Motors personnel would have said ' Hey, these are just pre-production vehicles... dont scrutinise them ' IMO we should not waste time to discuss, as all companies give their best of production models to the media guys & if they are pre-production then they would/should have been camouflaged like the vehicles posted in the above thread link. If not then they are very well from the FINAL PRODUCTION LINE !

Last edited by karan561 : 9th February 2019 at 11:25.
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