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Fiat India - Future Plans

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Ravi, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,455
    delhi ncr
    Well said @jumu.

    Airbags are, statistically speaking IN THE REAL WORLD, a placebo for which we too-happily fork-out tens of thousands, neglecting what is truly of safety significance: sturdy build quality and high-quality suspension, chassis, braking, steering systems and good tyres.

    And of course things of a non-market nature like road design, policing, speed-breakers, segregation of 2-wheelers and buses from cars, BRT-s, etc.

    You are entirely right about induce-fear and then provide the feel-safe placebo marketing technique. The slightest bit of research on NCAP and its founder/owner will straight-away reveal the 'market-making' motives and purpose of NCAP. The way they singled-out Nissan/Datsun and, not coincidentally, enabled VW to perpetuate the myth of 'German Quality' is a good pointer.

    I will therefore happily, if on a budget, place my safety bets on an Active/Dynamic Linea T-Jet with braking power that is 2.8m shorter in stopping from 80 kph to 0 than a Honda City top-trim-airbags-and-all. And better handling, steering. Not that the Emotion, with airbags and abs, is not a lakh and a half cheaper than the City. Which is one of the many reasons I bought one!

    A safety-engineering pig with lipstick on is...still a pig.

    A good car-buying moto: only ever buy a Euro-spec car, talking fundamental engineering and build here NOT airbags/traction control/abs, whether the maker is European, Japanese or Korean. In which case: only Fiats and Fords, and possibly the new Tata-s count, in the mass market. To checkout and drive/ride in a UK vw Polo is to be aghast at the level of build, ride, handling, steering-quality compromise that VW has engaged in, in India. Likewise Suzuki with the popular-enough in the UK Swift.

    ALL Fiats and Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge etc cars meet IHS and ncap 5-star ratings, btw. All the evidence is that the Indian versions of Fiats have indeed NOT been diluted/compromised.
    asimpleson and PKMohan like this.
  2. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    @jumu, the discussion is not only about what offers how much safety, but mainly also about competition offerings like the Polo. I completely agree with all you say. Thinking in same manner as you suggested is exactly how we survived for many years in an car/min-van like Omni (with bullbars and very little frontal protection or crumple zone) without a single head-on collision with lacs of kms. Except in times today and at high speeds as someone suggested, if there is a probability that a person could be saved from hitting face/chest on steering and still manage to reach the hospital walking for first aid, makes the airbags that much more important and relevant. Yes it can be argued that in many cases airbags too did not deploy, but still.

    Some elderly person (not a relative, still) known to me who was traveling in his Toyota Fortuner and died in an accident at Palghar very recently. The hired driver lost control and bumped on a tree at high speed and still lived while the rest of three people had serious injuries and one person amongst passed away. Mainly due to (and I suspect strongly) due to non-use of seat belts on rear seat. The driver although pretty injured must have managed to come out of hospital very soon due to the airbags.
    prabhjot likes this.
  3. acechip

    acechip Superiore

    @prabhjot- am a bit shocked at your suggestion that a car without airbags is safer than a car with one. What are we talking about here ?
    The ability of the sheet metal to withstand the deformation forces or its ultimate effect on the occupant ?
    In NO WAY is a Punto w/o airbags safer than a Polo with one. India-spec or Euro-spec. The safety regulators have recommended the installation of airbags (front and side) with a reason, no ? Otherwise why was it made mandatory, even before, lets say, ABS and ESP (eff 2014).

    As to whether the Etios feels flimsy or not vis-a-vis Punto/Linea, the evidence is empirical at best. And I do not deny the fact that the Fiats are "better" built. In fact I am glad they are. But- that is not to leave aside the importance of airbags as a safety device.

    By your logic, a Mahindra Bolero or Tata Sumo are safer than most cars.

    And let us also understand that we are talking under "reasonable" circumstances here. A collision impact with a speed of greater than 100 kph will not be pretty for any car, airbags or otherwise. But, those with airbags may stand a fair chance if the occupants are belted in.
    dadasaheb, asimpleson and vista7155 like this.
  4. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    @acechip in yet another case a Toyota Fortuner owner was offered compensation by Toyota of about Rs. 25lacs for his (dead) driver and himself. One reason of argument was failure of airbags deployment.
    prabhjot likes this.
  5. vista7155

    vista7155 Regolare

    Messages:
    314
    bangalore
    As a responsible Forum we should not put the safety as marketing scam.
    If NCAP is running by some high corporates MNC lobbying then europe versions would have never got all the safety features and it would have been same as indian cars.
    @prabhjot
    please if you have any facts about the NCAP please provide here don't make any false allegations.
    If don't believe the NCAP better not to but as we are responsible forum members we should come up with evidence and facts before labeling them as 'market-making' motives and purpose of NCAP.
    For your information the Euro NCAP organizes crash-tests and provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe.
    Established in 1997, Euro NCAP is composed of seven European Governments as well as motoring and consumer organisations in every European country.
    if you get time please visit the link to see their members associated with NCAP in the below link
    http://www.euroncap.com/members.aspx
    Coming back to safety of car the built is not only parameter to come out safe from the accident and the airbags ,abs will enhance your survival chances from the accident and by the way the I20 may not be built like a tank but it also got 5 star rating for the safety.
    Nowhere i have come across that Punto has got 5 star rating for indian version but as we know Polo got 0 for indian version and hats off to VW for proactive action in correcting their mistakes in safety and making as standard across the model.

    If somebody pulls blank statement on safety then they are very much following the herd mentality then there is no difference between them and educated car buyers.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
    Raj_pol likes this.
  6. Raj_pol

    Raj_pol Regolare

    Messages:
    497
    Bangalore
    Punto Evo 1.3
    @jumu Since I am one of those who rant - let me say that my intent was not to offend anyone. My parent's have driven a Maruti 800 most of their life and a Eon now. That they had no accidents does not make the car safe. That is for lack of a better word a dumb argument.

    Having said that, I was putting in a scientifically verifiable argument that is implemented across all developed countries for all their cars sold from the early 2000's. If we are to believe in luck or an unknown deity then why have a sturdy car, we can have sheet metals - after all if we never have an accident sheet metal is good enough. One of the things of being in a forum is giving a correct opinion irrespective of what one's personal feelings are.

    Any day - a car (the same car) with airbags is far more safer than one without. The initial argument is that Fiat can provide airbags and it does not which decidedly makes it less safe than one with. Of course there are other parameters that are in play which should also be improved - does not make airbags less important.

    @prabhjot That statement about airbags being placebo - that was going overboard, loving FIAT is one thing putting wrong statements is another.

    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811105.pdf

    and something nice on safety as a whole

    http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014...the-accident-is-not-the-major-problem/382995/
    vista7155 likes this.
  7. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Airbags have an effect yes, but not necessarily a placebo one. On the contrary they save lives in a great statistical no. Effectiveness is beyond doubt.

    Agreed, these are external factors that could improve (reduce) general rates of accidents.

    Please surely suggest what and how VW bragged about german quality equating it with safety.

    VW may have compromised some, but yes I still feel a Punto with more safety features like Airbag could stand a better chance (albeit very slight). This is not a fanboy opinion; it just feels better in Punto design and built.

    The cars have not been diluted true and you argument of excellent braking is also very valid, these are important factors for buyers to check. But not without Airbags the NCAP 5-star is not possible. While even if there could be corruption, there is a lot of credibility to those tests.

    There is lot more to car crash design than just sheet metals, which are important too to absorb impacts. The forces need to be distributed in a manner such that the occupants could be least impacted. That is an ever going research.
    prabhjot likes this.
  8. multijetter

    multijetter Regolare

    Messages:
    277
    Mumbai
    Don't understand what is stopping Fiat by introducing all new cars and engines in India?
    For how many more years they will survive on 2 platforms?
    Now, even Fiat enthusiastic also left with no options.
  9. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,455
    delhi ncr
    @Raj_pol@acechip

    i believe y'all have misunderstood my argument, and @jumu 's

    If you read my post: I clearly accepted that a Punto with airbags is better than a Punto without one, albeit, I believe very marginally statistically speaking: we cannot judge how much if we do not know the statistical distribution of accident types and their causes. Just because a car with 6 airbags is safer than one with 2 does not mean we should all be looking to buy such a car for safety reasons alone. Why? Because, it may not, other than on the margin, affect the statistical probability of safety (enough to be worth the much greater extra cost.)

    Why compare a Punto/Linea with airbags to one without? Let's compare a Punto/Linea active to a reedy-thin, weak-braked cost-cut tin-can like a swift or a city with abs and airbags. Can you be sure the City say is safer? What if I told you that my Linea brakes and handles so much better in an emergency that I would not need the airbags in the first place? Do we have the real-world statistics to show that a structurally feeble Swift with thin tyres and sub-par brakes (same for the City, except maybe for the crash structure, maybe?) with airbags actually is safer than a Punto which is tougher under the skin and on it, and has better brakes and tyres etc, but perhaps has no airbags in the active trim?

    Airbags are a placebo not because they don't have a a safety impact on the statistical margin, ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL. They are a placebo in this market--not in Europe or the US--because they delude Maruti, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda buyers into thinking their cars are 'safe' just because the airbags are there. All else is NOT equal: a City ought to stop much better from 80 to 0 kph so that the airbags would not be required in the first place, just to quote the most egregious example. REM: like the Swift, it is the segment bestseller.

    But if your handling, steering, tyres size and spec, brake-boosting...and build are all sub-par--which is very much the case with all their mass market cars in India: how can these best-selling cars be called 'safe'.

    They are not: and yet they are taken to be so! That's the placebo effect I was referring to.

    A Fiat Linea Emotion is as safe as an Indian market car can possibly be, and it is much cheaper than the City and even the Verna? But that does not stop the latter from being the benchmarks for safe, secure, glamourous family-transportation, does it? Similar things can be said of the Ford Fiesta too, like the Linea. That is the 'placebo-effect' I am referring to. VW's european Polo has build quality to match the Passat! But here...see we have airbags across trims!

    Safety costs money, public and private. We can only immediately control the private, so we are told to buy airbagged versions at extra cost. But would that extra money we are paying not be better used for better build, chassis/suspension/braking systems and tyres? That is why I claimed that this 'safety feature' business is a placebo-based marketing ruse, in this market (not in Europe, where the other stuff is also regulated, not just crash safety stars.) Where are the real-world stats to prove that an airbagged Swift is any safer than a base version? Neither are remotely safe enough! But we do know for sure that an exorbitantly priced City with abs and aibags has poor brakes and awfully puny, low-grip tyres....

    @vista7155 Google NCAP and do the reasearch on this body, and especially its founder and owner. Also, please refer to the EMAAA website India Auto Report for some very acute debunking of this simplistic airbags=safe stuff being spread.
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 3, 2015 ---
    PS:

    As we speak there is a stop-sale on the Suzuki Celerio (another best-selling Indian-market car) because it failed a basic 80 to 0 kph hard-braking test. And so, like the Indian Honda City (which very conveniently is not even offered in regulated markets like the US and Europe), even with airbags.......:eek::confused:
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  10. acechip

    acechip Superiore




    If Hyundai builds this "placebo" around its cars, it is the effort of their sales/marketing. Fiat has been plain LAZY- well established by now.

    Secondly, let us put the facts out there. The Indian Punto and Indian Linea have NOT been tested by NCAP-yet. Whereas the Indian Polo has been. However, we are accepting the fact that Fiat has maintained the same build specs that would ordinarily allow it to pass Euro standards with 5* rating. Hyundai India has been a bit disingenuous about it (apparently proved by comparision of the kerb weight of Indian and Euro I-20).

    However though, any safety device that improves chances of survival should be considered necessary and advantageous. A college friend of mine got stuck in a car pileup at speed on a US freeway during snow/ice. She was driving a VW Golf , btw, and was somewhere in the middle of the pileup. So suffice to say her car was damaged considerably at both ends. But she did not suffer any injuries, only minor whiplash strain. All because of the airbags. And there are innumerable such cases, of course.Now, will you say that if she was in a in a Punto Active (hypothetically speaking since airbags are mandated in US since ages) , then she would have emerged unscathed because of sheer build quality as you put it ?
    Difficult to claim!

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