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Old 13th February 2009, 11:54   #31
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See this good paper on the above:

vasudevadata - ProductReliabilityandFirmValue1992.pdfGood Article
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:57   #32
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I agree completely with supremebaleno, as the years go by the quality of the cars offered have been ridiculously coming down.
Take Maruti for instance the sheet metal they use seems to be made thinner with each passing version upgrade ( maruti lovers excuse me as this is just my observation). An old 90'M800 seems to have thicker doors compared to new Alto/WagonR.
They are not making cars CHEAPER they are making CHEAP Products..
Another example is Old Palio Vs New Stile, new one does not give the exact tank feel.. The compromises show for those who notice..
Also, we feel that having a car is a privilege of the rich, and it is taken for granted that car will have faults and u need to have the moolah to take care of it. If u raise the point then u are referred to as "kanjoos".
I've heard guys saying "Arre itna paise ka khayal tha to gaadi kyon liya" meaning " If you are so money minded then why buy a car" . Does it mean that just because I have a car I should have a cash balance of say 25K anytime to take care of any problem? Whether It is dealer or the manufacturer ultimately the car lovers suffer..
General public has "Chalta hai" attitude.

As TSK1979 says Atleast Write review's so that everyone knows your experience and be careful.
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:16   #33
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Wow Tsk, you've raised some fundamental questions in this post.

Lets face one basic truth:
Cars sold in India are not of the same quality as those sold in the developed world.

But this problem is not limited to cars, it concerns everything, be it white goods, be it soft drinks, be it packaged foods, be it drinking water. We're a third world country, and we will be treated as one, unless, we demand our rights.

I've seen a Santro in Switzerland, and it had airbags, better tyres, better interiors etc... for a price lower than India. Why??? Cos, we dont care. For instance, if we had to buy a particular model of a car, how many of us would buy the fully loaded variant with ABS, Airbags, EBD, etc... Fact is that most people would compare prices and say, hey lets settle for a cheaper variant, anyways with Indian speeds, who needs ABS ? So, when a manufacturer sees that Indian consumers are price sensitive, what does he do, he tries to cut corners wherever possible, so that means, thinner sheet metal, more plastic, no safety features, no accessories, and a low sticker price to attract the bargain hunters.

Indians as a society either cannot afford to pay more or dont want to pay more. This means that manufacturers will reduce costs whereever possible, and that will impact quality and reliability of a vehicle.

What can be done to address the issue? Nothing as of now. Its all part of a learning curve. All these years, we were just thrilled to be able to buy a car, slowly we're beginning to question the quality and reliability of these cars, slowly but steadily, some of us are willing to pay more for better cars. This increasingly aware and affluent Indian will demand better products, which the market will have to provide. Maybe the next 5 years will see a sea change in the Indian automobile industry. We just need to be more demanding of our car manufacturers. Keep wanting more.

Forums such as Team BHP are also doing their bit in helping spread awareness and creating a more informed consumer. They are providing information on good and bad products, known and unknown issues, good and bad dealers and therefore helping in rewarding performers while punishing non performers.
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:18   #34
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Originally Posted by suman
Perhaps its also to do with the lack of enforcement of free & fair pricing. Manufacturers have the freedom to price based on competition & not on what the cost should be.
Do you mean that in other markets the price that manufacturers charge for their cars is subject to govt. regulation ? As in making them price it on basis of cost ? I would think that it is a free market almost everywhere, with pricing left to the manufacturers. Atleast for cars.

I do agree that we have some really ridiculous pricing for certain segment cars, which to an extent is due to government policies - customs, excise etc.
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:38   #35
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Forget the average indian car buyer.The average indian itself is one of the most tolerent thing you can find on the face of earth.Its an inherent quality that extends to our vehicle buying also. We will take almost any amount of rubbish until and unless it affects us directly.Coming back to the point of contention.Inida is rapidly changing and we have acess to a large number of things now that were previously out of reach.So when someone says that "my new car is doing good but the door is rattling " he's happy that he has a new modern car and a trivial thing like door rattle is too small a drawback.This is where the problem starts.Had the engine seized the person would cry his lungs out to get a new car.But a door rattle.Its okie.Its just a rattle.I know so many people who ve bought new cars with small niggles here and there and have got them rectified at the service intervals and the problem still comes back and they say " what to do even they cant rectify the problem". I mean if they cant rectify the problem tell them to give a new piece.Not to be satisfied with what you got.Ofcourse this is just the consumers side of the story.The age old problem of our highly cumbersome judicial system adds to the problem in no small way.If a person is aware and is sure that if he has a problem it shall, be timely solved then even he would take the initiative.But thats hardly the case.So the moral of the story change will come but slowly and if it has to come we will have to bring it.
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:45   #36
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This is the question I have raised many time in many ways. Are we getting value for money. We have a attitude like "Chalta Hai" (Can be adjusted). More over our Indian market we don't have much power of Customer. People feel fear to go to Consumer Court as usual. Its like corporate are doing favor by selling their product to customoer not Customer is doing any favor of buying their product.
Another thing is Hype that get created in our sociaty. If some people says that XYZ company is good then no one else try to verify. Every one try to justify their product what ever scrap product they sell to you/ or if they are selling their product in premium price.
OT:- Real Estate market had created superb hype in last 2006-2007. Every one are behind buying house with out evaluating what are the price they are paying. And now see what happened ? Now people are started regreting....
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Old 13th February 2009, 12:48   #37
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Corruption is also one of the major factors affecting this.
one can easily go to consumer courts etc to sort it out but on the way to the solution he has to go through numerous people and admit it he has to bribe some one or the other.
So people don't want to face all this headache so they settle for substandard products.
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Old 13th February 2009, 13:06   #38
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Do you mean that in other markets the price that manufacturers charge for their cars is subject to govt. regulation ? As in making them price it on basis of cost ? I would think that it is a free market almost everywhere, with pricing left to the manufacturers. Atleast for cars.
Nope, its not government regulations but the pricing mechanism works better (as in more fairly) than it does here.......look at the pricing in those countries & you'll agree.
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
I do agree that we have some really ridiculous pricing for certain segment cars, which to an extent is due to government policies - customs, excise etc.
Not only policies but people's perceptions as well. All it takes is for one (popular) manufacturer to price their cars ridiculously high - then all others in that segment are free to follow.
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Old 13th February 2009, 13:11   #39
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Default Few point about Car Comp !!!

1. Poor Quality (Plastic/Metal...)
2. Less Reliability (Neglect in using tubeless tyre)
3. High Price (Same model sold outside india in less price tag)
4. Less Option (No upgraded or new model in Indian Market)
5. Pathetic Service Guide
6. Steeling Fuel/Part in Service station
7. Safety Feature (No ABS/EBD/AIRBAG)
8. No Crush Testing
9. More pollution (Bharat Stage III).
10. High profit Margin.
11. High Price Compare to many developed country.
12. Getting problem from new is no big deal as if it is expected.
13. High Repair Quotation if your car meet any accident.
14. Pay more labor charge than Parts Charge
15. Sell damaged/old car with out telling the customer
16. Pathetically handling your own sweet/expensive car by Service People

Please continue ...
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Old 13th February 2009, 13:37   #40
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Default In every sphere of life!

As others have pointed out, we Indians are a tolerant, adjusting lot. Look around, we buy, rent and live in houses that are badly built with every part of it from civil construction to plumbing and electricals being shoddy.

Our education system is in shambles and we pay a king's ransom in fees. Every system of ours, political, judicial, medical, financial etc. are tottering.

Each one of us knows this, including the manufacturers and customers of cars. When buying a car, we pick the least uncomfortable or most convenient one as per our needs and perceptions. We know we are picking the lesser (or least) of the evils. Every car, every manufacturer, every dealer, has its set of drawbacks. I do believe that no car or manufacturer is superior to the other. That being so, when we buy the car itself we know we are making a compromise.

Adding to the woes are our poor roads, poor / adulterated fuel etc. Overall, I think we are not too badly off. One mistake that most of us make is to take instances of a few troubles with cars sold in India and compare them with a few instances of cars doing 200,000 Km or lasting over 20 years in other countries. That is totally unfair, for we are then comparing the worst here with the best there.

Another trait I noticed is that Indians complain more about trivial issues while ignoring the major ones.

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Old 13th February 2009, 13:51   #41
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Originally Posted by Sowmya View Post
16. Pathetically handling your own sweet/expensive car by Service People
Ah! Here is a sentiment that I identify with!
My firm belief has always been to keep a car in STOCK condition and to let service personnel touch it only, only to the bare minimum degree and in your presence, as far as is practicable.
Never, also in the same vein, let a valet handle your car!

Just a few of the precautionary measures that have paid off handsomely over the years!

All of this, however, is still of no use if you've been sold a lemon!
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Old 17th April 2010, 11:39   #42
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Certain ongoing discussions in the Nano thread revealed another angle!
Its not just tolerance.
Some people feel, that since the vehicle they are buying is low cost, its perfectly acceptable for the quality and reliability to be poor, and since we get what we pay for, people who complain about issues are "whiners" .

So reviving this discussion.
Is this not tolerance.
How many people actually feel that when they buy a great VFM vehicle, its perfectly okay to have sub par reliability?
If there are lots who feel that way, then I shudder, because at a talk where a leading manager of a very big auto company told his part suppliers the very same thing.
"Quality is secondary, make sure that the car is big, comfortable and cheap, thats what the customer wants."

Last edited by tsk1979 : 17th April 2010 at 11:41.
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Old 17th April 2010, 12:08   #43
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If the manufacturer has not delivered whatever he promised with respect to the vehicle specifications and his claims in advertisements, and still the customer accepts without much of a fuss, then this is definitely tolerance (of very shoddy quality being dished out by the manufacturer).

Personally, I had a starting issue with my M800 in the very first month of ownership. The car would refuse to crank all of a sudden, every other day.
When I took it back to the dealer, I was told that they would grease the flywheel, check the starter and so on. But the problem continued to recur around twice a week. Another visit to the dealer/ASC was made, again the same story was told regarding some adjustments. Even though I insisted upon some parts being changed, they felt that some "setting" was all that was required. Losing my cool, I sent a registered letter to the Head office, with a copy marked to the dealer, asking for replacement of the entire vehicle. Upon this, the dealer replaced the defective flywheel immediately under warranty.

I know the above experience is a much worse one compared to issues like rattles and other niggles, but my approach to the dealers after the above experience has aways been the same, regardless of the scale of the problem.
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Old 17th April 2010, 12:33   #44
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Yes. Two reasons I can think of,
  1. Obsession with low cost. Everything needs to be low cost. Readiness to accept pitfalls, short comings as long as it is cheap.
    • Though we say that Quality does not have to come down when the cost it reduced. At some point a manufacturer would compromise for sure. And it shows in the product.
  2. Law and it's implementation is not consumer friendly - People have to fight in the court for years together to get a lemon replaced. What are the chances of fighting issues like rattles or un-reliable parts?
Kolkatta building Fire - Law runs behind the building owner to jail him. Burning Nano - No action whatsoever taken. I'm not asking for arrests, but shouldn't the Govt do something?
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Old 17th April 2010, 13:38   #45
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Yes, the average car buyer is too tolerant - the average car buyer in India is relatively new to the car buying & owning experience!! With few exceptions, people who are buying cars today come from families who wouldn't have even dreamt of owning cars a generation ago.

We are a a generation or two behind the curve when compared to the West ... We will get there, slowly, in the typically chaotic Indian fashion.

On another note, if Indian car quality really is that bad, Lathangi Ford's service manager is in for a shock with me. I just booked a Figo. Having lived in Europe & US for 5 years, I have been 'corrupted' by all this phoren nonsensical ideas about product & service quality. Poor man, my wife already pities him
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