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Old 4th April 2010, 09:01   #46
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@ Mustang: absolutely true. I'd test driven the punto 1.4 E+ at BU Bhandari Pune and came away very impressed (I drive a 2006 Swift VXi). I'm shocked that ACI has also stooped so low in its policies. Then there's OD, which is so dim-witted that there was a statement to the effect of "This is the latest car, so its the best" or roundabouts. How daft can you get?

I like Top Gear because it gives a more lifestyle oriented read. I've also not encountered any careless bias in any of their articles yet.
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Old 4th April 2010, 09:03   #47
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Hey Guys:

I have a different opinion and don't kill me for sticking my neck out. This happens in all industry, not limited to automotive industry. The point is that some Journoes/companies are biased towards one make or the other. It could be financial as well as personal. Cutting to the chaset, I thi nk a well informed buyer knows where to find information from irrespective of what these magazines say. So,

They are doing their work and lets us do ours. Listen to everyone but trust team-bhp!

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Old 4th April 2010, 13:12   #48
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Originally Posted by Mustang.101 View Post
According to me i am listing out the favourites for the automags i read/buy :

1) Autocar : Honda followed by VW & Suzuki

2) Overdrive : Absolutely biased towards VW & Skoda. They absolutely loves these brands & absolutely hate ford.
Totally agree. In a real world scenario we keep reading about the issues coming up Skoda cars, but after having a Laura TSI as a long termer, the only issue which the OD editor came across was pretty trivial - the missing 'i' from TSI badge!
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Old 4th April 2010, 13:29   #49
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Paying for news either directly or indirectly was a trend started by ToI (Toilet paper, as I call it) in India. Its only inevitable that this trend has spread to the automotive magazine industry. Only comfort is that this problem is not as bad as what exists in real estate.
The foreign owned auto magazines ought to be better (but still controlled by an Indian editorial board).
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Old 6th April 2010, 18:56   #50
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Use these magazines (or even the TBHP forums) to get the facts about any vehicle. Any comparisons will a) be hugely subjective and b) may be manipulated to favour one or the other product.

Thankfully TBHP seems to be a place where a) prevails and apart from a tiny amount of bashing towards one or two products/companies, the members here are largely free of such interests, which is great. As for the magazines, a bulk of their revenue comes from the automobile companies themselves, so they just can't be truly objective even if they want to.

I have long felt that the comparisons posted in the magazines or even the different websites are of very limited use when you go out to make your purchase. And when things get subjective, it's very easy to manipulate them.
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Old 6th April 2010, 21:30   #51
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suprised to see BSM mention that Polo backseat is better than Figo.
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Old 30th July 2010, 01:18   #52
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Default Car Shootouts: Objective or Flawed?

Fellow Bhpians,

I recently came across a mega series of small car comparos or "Shootouts" in ACI. The magazine had compared about 9 petrol hatchbacks and 6 diesel hatchbacks respectively.

While i appreciate the overall editorial quality of the article. I couldnt help but raise several questions on the methodology or the timing (in relation to market bias) of the article.

Background on Timing (in relation to market bias):

1. Volkswagen has just completed a major launch for the Polo (infact, the Petrol Polo won the last small car shootout in ACI because it was thought to be the most likeable and driveable car)
2. Figo is launched in parallel and is a runaway success that brings ford into some serious volumes for the first time in its history in India. The most popular purchase is the diesel model
3. Maruti is steadily losing market share thanks to all these new launches by its competitors
4. Nissan jumps into the scene with the Micra
5. Hyundai has been out of the news for sometime thanks to no major product launches
6. Fiat sales have been flat for a long time and have not really met the expectations of analysts
7. Jazz is outpriced and that has restricted its availability in the market
8. Fabia 1.2 petrol is phased out
9. Tata Vista is launched. It sees some decent bookings , but as a a car, it is still not upto the mark as far as quality is concerned

Background on methodology:

1. Most car shootouts compare cars on counts such as Looks, Engine and Gearbox, Interiors, Practicaility, Handling and dynamics, Ownership experience and A.S.S, Fuel efficiency, Commercials
2. Most petrol hatchbacks have a 1.2 L petrol engine, but they are not necessarily priced similarly.
3. Some cars have a 1.4 L offering (Punto) that is more efficient and powerful than the 1.2 L option. The 1.4 L variant is also priced similar to competitions 1.2 Cars, but even then it is not considered for the shootout0
4. In many cases, the data published says one story and the editorial text says another (opinion on driveability vis a vis published 40-80 Kph Data)
5. Its ok for articles appear more like editorial opinions and less like narratives, thus restricting objectivity. More often than not, like for like comparisons are avoided in a artistic use of english

The outcomes : Could the prevalent market scenario and comparison methodology shape the results of a shoot out ?

For petrol cars, it appeared predicatable

1. The 1.2 punto was called good looking and great handler but was fairly thrashed in every other aspect and religated to the bottom of the food chain
2. The now aged Maruti Swift won the petrol shootout inspite of the fact that the Volkswagen Petrol wont the last petrol shootout just a couple of months ago
3. The Hyundai, Nissan and Ford cars were relegated to the Siberia of mediocrity
4. Jazz was called the best, except for its price
5. Tata was called VFM, but not upto the mark in fit and finish

For diesel cars, it again appeared predictable except that Ford won and Maruti didnt:

1. The Figo won
2. The i20 was called powerful but expensive
3. The rest were relegated to mediocrity

My Questions:

1. Were like for like cars truly compared? (Eg: can a Ritz be compared to a jazz?)
2. Was it fair to exclude a better variant of a car, inspite of it being cheaper than the most expensive car in the shootout? (1.4 Punto)
3. Wasnt it strange that the Swift and Figo won, when the Polo just won the previous shootout just recently?
4. Is there more than meets the eye in these shootouts? Are they objective or flawed?

Last edited by acidkill : 30th July 2010 at 01:29.
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Old 30th July 2010, 02:02   #53
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I haven't read the ACI shootout, but here's some responses that I can think of -

Originally Posted by acidkill View Post
1. Were like for like cars truly compared? (Eg: can a Ritz be compared to a jazz?)
If it's just the engine they are comparing, then the 1.2L K-series Ritz can be compared to any other 1.2L car including Jazz. This apart, I believe it a foolhardy attempt.

3. Wasnt it strange that the Swift and Figo won, when the Polo just won the previous shootout just recently?
Did the previous shootout (that Polo won) use the older 1.3L Swift? This one would surely be using the 1.2L K-series gem.
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Old 30th July 2010, 02:31   #54
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Chekout this thread:
Been discussed to death!
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Old 30th July 2010, 09:30   #55
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I have stopped buying automags, except for feb edition for AutoExpo details.

Although Tbhp per se does not have any bias, the reviews posted here are of individuals, and individuals may or may not have a bias. Thats just human behavior.Another reason is, many reviews are posted by people who bought that car. How many would say, "hey, the car i bought sucks". I know some skoda owners might . But you get the point.
Exceptions are some members like GTO, whose reviews I think are very un-biased and objective.
So, when reading reviews we need to read multiple (if possible all ) reviews of the car in question to get a correct picture. And I think GTO and other such members, should post test drive reports more often to make Tbhp more effective than it is now.

The only area magazines score over Tbhp is the test drive data. Accelaration/in gear accelaration, braking figures, power-torque graph etc.

From what I could understand when I used to regularly read the mags, all the mags including ACI, BSM are biased
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Old 30th July 2010, 12:03   #56
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Last month's AutoCar India had a supplement about Chevrolet Beat, titled 'unbeatable'. Looked more like an AutoCar endorsed Advertisement.
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Old 30th July 2010, 12:26   #57
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I agree with sold articles but this month topgear editor Girish Karkera talks about the unfair pricing of cbus that despite having a 105% duty often inflate prices to 300% due to high margin.He does not mention names but this is the first time i have read a auto mag talk about high margins of car manufacturers.I am very happy that auto journalists start writing what every car fanatic of the country feels.I mean very few people can afford such high priced cars but we all crave good and exciting cars at decent price points.
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Old 30th July 2010, 12:48   #58
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Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Last month's AutoCar India had a supplement about Chevrolet Beat, titled 'unbeatable'. Looked more like an AutoCar endorsed Advertisement.
Something like this will usually have the text "SPONSORED FEATURE" or something similar. The text will be in a small font at the top or bottom of the page but it WILL be there.

Nothing wrong with a sponsored feature.
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Old 30th July 2010, 13:50   #59
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In the above case, the bottom of the front page of the supplement read "An Autocar Special Project".
Forgive me for the exaggeration, but it looks like they are trying to say "Beat is better than a Benz".

Last edited by jinojohnt : 30th July 2010 at 13:51.
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Old 30th July 2010, 22:14   #60
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Since day one of inception, we had decided that Team-BHP will NEVER accept any advertisements / revenue from Indian car manufacturers. That stays as of date, 6 years down the line, and is NOT expected to change (like ever!).

Reason : We are very clear about whose interests we want to serve : That of petrolheads & Indian car owners. I find it amusing how some publications & other automotive websites are entirely funded by the car industry, yet claim to work toward the cause of the consumer. A conflict of interest, if I ever saw one.

Team-BHP remains the only mass available information resource on Indian cars that is independent of the auto industry's marketing $$$ .
That is amazing. Bravo! - all the admins for keeping this website going just for the love of automobiles and not for financial gains.

As far as auto mags are concerned, I'm a Top Gear devotee and I think they have a fairly unbaised and "call a spade, a spade" attitude.
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