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Old 13th July 2019, 14:14   #1
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Default Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

Just heard that Top Gear's Indian magazine is shutting down as BBC & Worldwide Media (Times Group - their Indian publisher) are parting ways. Goes to show the challenging times that print media is facing, and also the complexities of licencing a foreign brand here. It can result in an unfavourable tug of war between the parent company & the Indian group.

Apparently, other publishers are in "talks" with the BBC, but I can't imagine it'll be easy for a new publisher to relaunch the magazine in this environment.

Good luck to Girish Karkera & team . I believe Girish had taken the mag to a really strong circulation.

Related Thread (BSMotoring sold to the Delhi Press)

Last edited by GTO : 13th July 2019 at 14:15.
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Old 13th July 2019, 15:06   #2
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

I am not judging anyone or their method of working. So don't get me wrong, but from reader's or buyer's prospective, these media houses in general have lost my trust.

Reviews feel more like an advertisement for that respective product with a few customary negatives thrown in.

There is nothing much to learn from the reviews apart from visual aspect or the spec sheet. Both these are like advertisement & actually are job of the manufacturer.

Very few actually remains who goes into comprehensive reviews with long term ownership aspect & present the true picture as a buyers point a view.
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Old 14th July 2019, 14:26   #3
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Just heard that Top Gear's Indian magazine is shutting down as BBC & Worldwide Media (Times Group - their Indian publisher) are parting ways.
Very sad, but this is eventually going to happen, wouldn't be surprised if the same story is repeated for other media houses.

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Originally Posted by NaXal View Post
Reviews feel more like an advertisement for that respective product with a few customary negatives thrown in.

There is nothing much to learn from the reviews apart from visual aspect or the spec sheet. Both these are like advertisement & actually are job of the manufacturer.
Very true That's one of the reason, why I stopped buying the automagazines long back. During my college days I used to admire there beautifully crafted magazines on paper/book stalls and would desperately look to own one. As I started reading these, I would struggle to read genuine information between the advertorial pages.

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Very few actually remains who goes into comprehensive reviews with long term ownership aspect & present the true picture as a buyers point a view.
What with the advent of internet and online forums like TBHP. Since the time I got hooked to TBHP I could trust no other but the genuine, unbiased official reviews on TBHP. The facts stated there would be either corraborated or corrected by the ownership experience of TBHPians who would have run and owned the automobile for thousands of kms. When such wealth of information, available for free, without any advertorial baggages, why would one look elsewhere

Last edited by AutoIndian : 14th July 2019 at 14:28.
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Old 14th July 2019, 15:59   #4
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Default Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

I used to be a regular of Top gear India when they launched. The USP of the magazine was the rather humorous style of writing inspired by Clarkson and Co. However, the style of writing was the only USP and it got pretty monotonous. The test drive articles were very short and hardly had any details.
And they were always one month behind the others on reviews and news. Hence I stopped buying the Top gear magazine since about 2 years now. I rely on our very own Team bhp reviews and member insights which are in a different planet when compared to the advertorial style write ups most magazines carry now.

I do occasionally pick up Autocar India or EVO at the airport, mainly for my 7 year old son who is now on a reading spree of sorts. Else I do not think there is any need for any auto magazine at all. News? You get it here in our forum first and we can be rest assured that the speculative kind of news is put to rest very quickly here. And reviews? No one other than team bhp does it better. Miles ahead!
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Old 14th July 2019, 19:22   #5
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

I never subscribed any auto magazines, used to buy them from shops if there was something interesting in them.

Since 2014, with the rise of Smartphones and Tablets, and with Jio providing unlimited data, I had access to the same content online, that too as videos, pictures, articles, etc. The latest information was available in seconds instead of waiting for a month.

I discovered TeamBHP in 2014, ever since that I haven't bought a single auto magazine. Its true TeamBHP has been making good quality reviews, comparisons and everything at zero cost to the consumer, that's what Jio did too. Providing high quality content at zero cost.
The print media could not survive such an onslaught from both TeamBHP and Jio together. I believe in a few years, even more print media will shut down.
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Old 15th July 2019, 10:11   #6
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

Even though I haven't read Top Gear magazine, I was an avid reader/collector of Autocar magazine. Fast forward to the smartphone age and the time I joined TeamBHP, I slowly stopped my Autocar subscription. The main reason is the lack of unbiased report. Also, you get an easy access to online portals in this age and people tend to find it difficult to store/carry these hard copies.

The only time I read the magazine is when I visit the car service center where they have these lying in the customer lounge . All are now busy with youtube channels and in few years a car magazine will be a rare sight.
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Old 15th July 2019, 10:33   #7
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

Completely off topic...
Can Team BHP come out with a print version. Printing few hot threads every month.
Next question would be why would one pay for something that is available for free.
Answer would be love and trust of it. There is a wide gap with absence of quality stuff. There are still people who prefer reading over browsing.

Members can vote which thread deserve to be printed.
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Old 15th July 2019, 12:02   #8
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

Frankly I will be one who will not regret is demise. I am sure there are many more like me. However, all the best to the protagonists.
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Old 15th July 2019, 15:35   #9
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

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Frankly I will be one who will not regret is demise. I am sure there are many more like me. However, all the best to the protagonists.
Your feelings will be definitely echoed by most of us here at Team-BHP.

Auto mags retain just one USP - beautiful pictures in good paper. With screens getting bigger and better all the time, even that edge is disappearing fast. Not sure how long even the other biggies can survive on just that.
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Old 15th July 2019, 15:52   #10
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

I used to be an ardent reader of car magazines for more than a decade, but off late I stopped buying them for the past 2-3 years. I have tried to summarize some of the reasons behind this change of heart here...

- The actual pages I relish and read in a magazine is actually less. For example, all the Motorsport related news and article sections were of no interest to me, so I generally flipped through them.

- The reviews and the images are not too detailed due to space and page restrictions (admittedly, team-bhp has spoilt us here)

- The 'fun factor' seems to be missing. About a decade ago when car and bike launched were fewer and far apart, the magazines used to have those lovely travelogue like comparisons where they would take few cars from a segment from state to state with lots of images and nice little details which they don't seem to do anymore as they simply don't have the time I suppose. Those articles are my favorite, and I remember those issues fondly even today

- The pain of managing the old issues. My mom keeps complaining about the hundreds of issues that I have at my hometown. No time to read them again, no heart to discard them and the nostalgia they provide.

- The online era, with so much information available at hand - as and when it happens, it makes reading month old news on the magazines feel very outdated. We now know almost everything about the Kia Seltos, while the next month magazine will have it as a breaking news!

- My general shift in reading pattern from books and paper to digital formats. Not just magazine, even Newspaper and books are becoming redundant at my house as I have somehow over the years moved to digital reading only. My off-screen reading time has almost become zero!
I have 3 books I have purchased over the last year which I am struggling to finish - including Valentino Rossi's autobiography suggested by team-bhpians on the Books thread. Bad for my eyes, but still good for the environment.

Last edited by aravind.anand : 15th July 2019 at 15:57.
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Old 17th July 2019, 22:38   #11
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

Will not be missed. I wonder why people still buy them; the content is not at all detailed. And seeing adverts on every other page throws me into a fit of rage. Who will keep paying ~150 rupees to see more ads than useful content?

I hope other mags try to learn some lessons from this and go back to the roots of honest, unbiased and detailed reporting.
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Old 17th July 2019, 23:56   #12
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

The problem is not auto magazines specifically - it's print media in general. The internet has simply made them irrelevant.

Quality content like reviews, videos etc. for cars certainly have a market. I get my dose of Indian content from Team BHP, F1 news from Autosport/Planet F1, international news + humour from Jalopnik and a few other YouTube channels. The common point - all of them are online and nearly everything is free!
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Old 18th July 2019, 05:36   #13
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Default Re: Top Gear magazine (India) winding down

Sad. In my view, this was a magazine that stood out. The last issue I picked up was over 5 years ago though. I still rent car magazines from the library from time to time. I feel I am more focused with a book than I am with reading content on my phone.

TG India's approach was not about if a car was .1 sec slower than the other. They took a more casual approach which is what I liked about them. It was also not about the latest or greatest to hit the streets. They had good photographers too. The drive reports had more useful information compared to the short and useless Test Drives. The drive reports focused on the car as well as the where they were going and what they experienced on their journey. Also; with the backing of the parent TG UK, you got to read reports from other parts of the world and for cars you'd generally not find in Autocar or Overdrive, which was more focused on our market (Understandable). TG India was the only publication that did a comprehensive report on the Lexus LF-A.

All said and done, monthly automobile publications are a hard sell in our country. I am amazed that TG India lasted this long. As trends indicate, the new generation consider it less important to own their own set of wheels. Selling a car magazine gets even harder.
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Old 2nd August 2019, 14:01   #14
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Default Top Gear India Stopped!!!

I just got off the phone with a person from Times of India. She said Top Gear publication has been stopped and they are returning my subscription

She had my name & address etc. and validated the same to send the cheque.

I, for one, am quite shocked - I thought that it was doing as well as any auto magazine can. I have subscribed to it right from the first issue.

Good bye, TG! You will be missed.

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd August 2019 at 07:42. Reason: Typos
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Old 2nd August 2019, 14:45   #15
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Default Re: Top Gear India Stopped!!!

Not a surprise considering the health of the auto sector. I guess all major auto makers must be in cost cutting mode, which will affect the fortunes of those who depend on ads from them.
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