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Old 8th January 2020, 10:56   #1
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Default Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Country of origin is defined as the country with which a particular product or service is associated. Country of origin effect (COE) can be defined as any influence that the country of manufacture, assembly or design has on a consumerís positive or negative perception of a product. However, the concept of country of origin is increasingly complex.

Country of origin information constitutes a product trait that is external to the product itself. It serves as a surrogate for product quality, performance, reliability, prestige and other product characteristics that cannot be directly evaluated.

Generally from a very basic reading and know how of cars from Team BHP, experience of owning one and several other mediums we draw conclusions or rather perceptions about different brands. For me, Maruti Suzuki and recently VW & Ford are the brands which I have owned. We all with varied experiences can put down and discuss the different traits in brands which draw parallel to the their country of origin. ex: German cars are considered to be made with a lot of attention to detail with focus on safety whereas Japanese cars are more into petrol engines with supreme reliability. On the other hand, Ford losing it's characteristics of built quality and fun to drive cars to survive in India.

My first small addition to this would be 'For petrol cars there are hardly anyone better than Japanese cars whereas for Diesels Germans are the best with their torque monsters'
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Old 8th January 2020, 11:21   #2
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

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Originally Posted by VWAllstar View Post
Country of origin information constitutes a product trait that is external to the product itself. It serves as a surrogate for product quality, performance, reliability, prestige and other product characteristics that cannot be directly evaluated.

My first small addition to this would be 'For petrol cars there are hardly anyone better than Japanese cars whereas for Diesels Germans are the best with their torque monsters'

Agree with Japanese = highly reliable petrol.
For Germans = Please add low reliability due to over engineering. I dont know how an old vehicle like Vento and Polo, still had so many engineering faults until 2015 2016 batches.

I think Indian cars have a peculiar characteristic of rattles - Tata, Mahindra, Force. May be because these are commercial vehicle companies at core, but have moved to the passenger segment. Maruti, well, thinks that its a part of the Indian consumer experience and I think deliberately engineers it INTO the vehicles :P

Last edited by 2000rpm : 8th January 2020 at 11:24.
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Old 8th January 2020, 16:06   #3
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

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Originally Posted by VWAllstar View Post
My first small addition to this would be 'For petrol cars there are hardly anyone better than Japanese cars whereas for Diesels Germans are the best with their torque monsters'
If we are talking about small cars (in India), then yes, the Japanese make the best petrol engines.

But, for diesels, Hyundai, FCA & Toyota also make some very fine diesels.
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Old 8th January 2020, 16:54   #4
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Interesting topic!

I believe their is a certain regional aspect to what is perceived as certain car characteristics as well.

Petrol versus diesel is based on very different criteria. In many western countries if you would consider yourself a petrol head, you can never ever own a diesel.

Also, diesels are for company cars, not for privately owned car. Look at a diesel car in many western countries and I will show you a company car, with a sales rep in it.

Certain brands also have their own brand perception in certain countries. If you own a Volvo, any Volvo, you are a bore. If you own a BMW you are a terribly aggressive driver and will never let anybody pull in. (The latter has been proven in test multiple times). In my home country the Netherland only builders/contractors will own/drive a Mercedes.

The lists goes on.

In the USA, if you drive any foreign cars, a substantial part of the population will consider you unpatriotic. In Europe if you own an American car, you owe something that is vastly inferior to any western/eastern brand no matter what.

In Europe most people would probably still tell you that Japanese cars are more reliable then any other manufacturer.

Daf, at the time, was considered a car for women only. No real men would be seen dead in a Daf.

In general I would say in Europe when it comes to car characterization it is mostly what it says about the owner/driver then anything else. Google “what a car brand says about yoy” and you will find dozens and dozens of website, combining brands with certain traits.

Not necessarily very scientific, but then again main stream opinion rarely is.
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Old 8th January 2020, 17:43   #5
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

There is another very interesting aspect of cars design and shape based on their country of origin.If you closely observe the Americans are generally quite tall and healthy people and their roads too are big and arrow straight as such see their cars are too long and wide and muscular. The European people are smart and good looking ones and ditto their cars viz. Ferraries, BMW,s Mercedes,Peugeot etc. the Japanese and Korean people don't have sharp and pointed facial features but are hardworking and efficient and so are their cars ,very efficient and reliable but won't stand out on their design strength.
See a Santro or Wagon R you could easily tell their country of origin.Nissan GTR very strong super car ,but with not as beautifull or evolved a design as a Ferrari.

Last edited by Sandeep500 : 8th January 2020 at 17:48.
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Old 8th January 2020, 17:58   #6
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

I guess what you mean by country of origin is that the country of the headquarters of the company whose badge is there on a car. That's a very simplistic way of looking at it. But practically it is not that simple.

The 2010s have changed the dynamics of car industry when it comes to country of origin. Most companies are owned by foreign owners (in some cases by multiple owners from different countries). E.g. JLR owned by an Indian company. Volvo owned by a Chinese company. MG jointly owned by American and Chinese companies. Ford India will eventually be owned by Mahindra.
Then, there are plarform sharing, car sharing, badge engineering between brands. E.g. Renault-Nissan-Dacia-Datsun (France-Japan-Romania), VW-Skoda-Audi-Porshe (Germany-Czec Republic). Plus, companies use different trademarked car names in different markets.

E.g.
MG Hector = Chevrolet Captiva = Baojun 530
Nissan Sunny = Nissan Versa = Nissan Almera = Renault Scala
Maruti Suzuki Baleno = Toyota Glanza
Hyundai Verna = Hyundai Accent
Chevrolet Beat = Chevrolet Spark = Daewoo Matiz
Hyundai Creta = Hyundai ix25
Renault Duster = Nissan Terrano = Dacia Duster
Mahindra Alturas G4 = Ssangyongg Rexton
Mahindra Verito = Renault Logon = Dacial Logan
Nissan Micra = Renault Pulse

Many modern cars also import several parts from foreign manufacturers to complete its production setup fast and launch the car. Only later they localize it either on a license or by starting own manufacturing. Then there is engine sharing too.

Given all these complexities, It will now be very difficult pinpoint the origin of the country. Under these conditions, simply generalizing characteristics based on the badge will only trying to confuse ourselves.

If the purpose of this topic is to evaluate a car for buying, then one could check the history of the particular car's manufacturer/shared platforms/previous badges/parent company's support and other parameters. Simply looking at the badge's country of origin and deciding to buy is not just like going on a blind date, but marrying that date as well.

Last edited by manjunathkl : 8th January 2020 at 18:01. Reason: Added an important point
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Old 8th January 2020, 19:36   #7
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Maruti echos Indian mentality a lot.
Reliable, cheap to maintain, fuel efficient, long lasting, good resale value.

To sustain in the Indian mass market, even Toyota and Ford are going the Maruti way!

Toyota made Etios/Liva a decade back as a car made for India & now they have a tie up with Maruti!
Ford went the Maruti way with their new Figo and Aspire chucking their Ford DNA and now they are on the way to have a joint venture with Mahindra.

'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' is an old saying & its the success mantra for any company throughout the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Interesting topic!

I believe their is a certain regional aspect to what is perceived as certain car characteristics as well.
An excellent sum-up. Loved reading it.

Last edited by Samba : 8th January 2020 at 19:44.
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Old 8th January 2020, 20:26   #8
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Quote:
Originally Posted by VWAllstar View Post
Country of origin is defined as the country with which a particular product or service is associated. Country of origin effect (COE) can be defined as any influence that the country of manufacture, assembly or design has on a consumerís positive or negative perception of a product
Very unique perspective, thanks for bringing it up.

In addition to above factors for COE - I will also add, the entity or the person from a country responsible for bringing the car to life!
And in this regard, here's an interesting article (link) - talking about the meaning / origins for some of the famous car brands across the world

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I believe their is a certain regional aspect to what is perceived as certain car characteristics as well.
Quite right. The regional flavour or the legacy (culture) of the region is very peculiarly seen or perceived in some popular cars. For e.g. the way I interpret this is - when I think of Ferrari, I can visualise the flair and panache of the Italians. For Mercedes, BMW, Audi - I visualize the solid German engineering aptitude. For Honda, Toyota, it's the total quality/ reliability of the Japanese at work.

Wow, this stuff is too good.
I drive a VW and many a points mentioned in here are quite right when I look at myself in the mirror
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Old 9th January 2020, 04:47   #9
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Default re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

This genuinely applied before globalisation and cross ownership made these concepts defunct to a large extent. However, certain characteristics still do remain. For example, Americans are only slowly moving to more economical cars, despite the price of gas rising so much. Indians still obsess over mileage and very few would ever buy a sporty car. This has led to manufacturers catering to those client based requirements
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Old 9th January 2020, 08:42   #10
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Default Re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Nice thread . Throwing my two paisa in this discussion:

India = Greatly improved in the last 5 years, with cars like the Hexa, Marazzo etc. Our product development capability is becoming strong, although not quite global-level yet.

Japan = Reliable, superb petrols, lighter build, excellent space packaging, neutral handlers (hardly any that are sharp), practical.

Korea = Quality, all-rounded models, ambitious car makers, VFM, lots of kit, usually neutral or boring to drive.

Germany = Safe, innovative, fun to drive, solid build, the best at high speed.

Italy = Well-styled, weird ergonomics, great ride & handling, inconsistent build & quality.

French = Weird styling, and even worse ergonomics.

China = Not quite there yet, but will be in 10 - 20 years. Aggressive, ambitious & lots of funding.

American = Sexy + timeless styling, SUV & crossover experts, pathetic India / Asia strategies.
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Old 9th January 2020, 11:06   #11
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Default Re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Interesting topic!

In general I would say in Europe when it comes to car characterization it is mostly what it says about the owner/driver then anything else. Google “what a car brand says about yoy” and you will find dozens and dozens of website, combining brands with certain traits.

Not necessarily very scientific, but then again main stream opinion rarely is.
Enjoy https://www.skyparksecure.com/blog/w...ays-about-you/

Jeroen
Very intuitive post Jeroen. Few insights came across as new to me. Rather than the driver the car makers always have some or the other trait which is borrowed from the country of origin. From the very little work I have done with German Nationals, they are very meticulous and this trait shows in the car details as well. Moreover, they are very simple and functional unlike their neighbors who prefer style and uniqueness (Italy = Fiat) Nevertheless, a very different angle and a good read read indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nice thread . Throwing my two paisa in this discussion:

India = Greatly improved in the last 5 years, with cars like the Hexa, Marazzo etc. Our product development capability is becoming strong, although not quite global-level yet.
GTO you have summed up really well. Short and crisp. With regards to India, I too feel we are way behind making a USP of ourselves. I have traveled internationally very little so with limited knowledge I can say that India makes cars for all levels of affordability (if that can be a USP) We have new cars from at as less as 2.5 Lakhs and no cut for the most expensive ones. Another would be how we treat our cars. For us, after house and educational expenses cars are the next most priced possession. So we make sure they are revered and taken care of. Although, with better financing owners have started to change cars more frequently than before.
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Old 9th January 2020, 11:25   #12
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Default Re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

One of the other interesting aspect is that the change of hands when it comes to ownership (mostly) have not diluted the key characteristics and USP of the brands. For example, Volvo still retains its Scandinavian traits and simple lines, Mini is quintessentially British and so is Jaguar.

And one notable exception I noticed – I drove a Tesla Model 3 couple of weeks back, and it hardly felt American
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Old 9th January 2020, 11:31   #13
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Default Re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

I was just thinking about this topic while coming to office today morning without realizing there is a thread now! Agree with most here. If I have to pick the biggest negatives in each type of car by region (applicable for available cars in India only):

- Indian(Tata, Mahindra): Missing refinements
- Japanese: Moderate build quality and lacking fun factor
- Korean: Decent in everything, best in none! Also, lacking build quality in general
- European: Styling understated and not catchy (not that its a bad thing always), lacks features, ASS, sometimes overpriced
- American: Practicality, extremely slow to respond to market demands
- Chinese: Driving dynamics, unknown build quality

All the above points are from general perception perspective I believe.
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Old 10th January 2020, 10:18   #14
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Default Re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

Discussions in this thread also allude to brand equity going beyond just the country of origin.

That said, it is interesting to note certain brand perceptions which are unique to India as it appears. Contrary to their image in India, brands like Renault (Dacia), Honda, Skoda or Toyota are known to be affordable, VFM, practical elsewhere around the world - Something which we associate Maruti with in India

Last edited by GeeTee TSI : 10th January 2020 at 10:20.
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Old 10th January 2020, 10:46   #15
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Default Re: Car characteristics as per country of origin (e.g. Japan = reliability)

I am reminded of the post below from 2011 by Sridhar-V while reading this thread:


https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post2509041 (Forster resigns from Tata Motors)

Quote:
Originally Posted by shridhar-v
There are 2 aspects to quality - basic design characteristics & process quality.
.
.
.

Mr. Moolgaonkar's visionary investments are what is carrying them thru today. But the current bunch is squandering the advantage.

Digressing slightly from the main topic of the thread, but this is what my thoughts are about country specific auto brands:

Indian brands: I find a lot of people prejudiced against buying them
European brands: These are the car brands I recommend my in-laws to buy!
Korean brands: The brand(s) I find them (in-laws) and others in my circle buying
Japanese brands: This is what I buy (read: Toyota)
American brands: no one cares or talk about them (atleast in India, barring Tesla)
Chinese brands: a lot of people are beginning to talk about them

Last edited by aah78 : 12th January 2020 at 22:09. Reason: Post linked. Quote trimmed.
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