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Fiat Punto Evo or Elite i20?

Discussion in 'Car Purchase Queries' started by PersianPrince, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,443
    delhi ncr
    Which begs the question: why has the new i20 elite seen the 6 airbags removed as an option? In a car that is STILL far short in build quality, chassis and suspension, steering and braking engineering quality than the Punto (a globally 9 year old model) or the new Tata-s, or the Ford Figo/Fiesta, or even the VW Polo/Vento (though this last has seen considerable dilution from VW euro-specs).

    Two reasons suggest themselves, one following from the other.

    The vast vast majority of folks don't know the slightest thing about safety, or automotive engineering, caring more for visible/tangible things alone like styling, plastic quality, 'posh' dealerships and equipment levels/toys. And of course the intangible things masquerading as obvious: ostensible, reputed ASS quality and cost, and resale 'value'.

    Hyundai, like Honda and Maruti, know this perfectly well. They know this better than any EuroAmerican car firm. Why? Because it is by catering to such mentalities around the world that they have grown and established themselves (first the Japanese firms like Toyota and Honda and Suzuki in India from the 1960's and recently the Koreans, Kia and Hyundai).

    Whatever their virtues, these firms owe their very success over decades to this original, DNA-level, cater-to-immature-car-markets/buyers orientation of theirs.

    It comes as no surprise then that the Indian Swift gets a big 0 in ANY sort of crash test, even with airbags. Just like the new City gets just 4 stars in a lenient ASEAN ncap test, for a car, unlike the Indian avatar, with, if I recall right, 4 airbags + ESP. They also are in any case replete with signs of compromises and cost-shavings in everything from tyres and sheetmetal to suspension and windshield/window glass thickness, nvh insulation, brakes etc etc.

    Hyundai's genius is to play on the 'tangible', the 'visible' front so much better even than Maruti/Honda and Toyota. They 'feel' on first impression, whether one knows engineering and design or not, to be high quality cars.

    BUT: we know that that is just Hyundai's strategy, cater to the visible while discounting the intangibilities of chassis, build, suspension, steering and braking engineering.

    I see no reason Hyundai should be given the 'beyond reasonable doubt' credit where Maruti and Honda have failed so dismally with their newest models (build quality, safety, reliability and brakes/tyres...)

    If Hyundai feels free to offer rubbish ride, handling, steering and body- and suspension-build, in exchasnge for apparent quality/design etc, I suspect they feel free just like Suzuki and Honda to dilute the safety-crashworthiness of their cars' invisible stress members too. That is the 'reasonable doubt'.

    IMO the East Asian manufacturers are old old experts at this sort of product-specification-according-to-the-market intelligence game, that is how the Japanese ones grew after the second world war, and that is precisely how Hyundai has been growing over the last 10-15.

    That is not to say they were not, until recently, genuinely better at things like outright reliability or ASS or cost of purchase and ownership than European or American firms.

    All the evidence points to the fact that that is a thing of the past now. It's just that our marketplace culture has been so intimately shaped precisely by these very firms, that's how much they've sold over the last 12 years in India.

    Which is why they are getting away with murder (e.g., the 0 crash-rated Swift. e.g., the awful Hyundai Verna and Honda City). Far from being questioned and tested and challenged, they are able to offer what are very sub-optimal, 'third-world special' cars AT PREMIUM PRICES, including of spares, warranties and ASS.

    'Brand Power', inherently unreasonable and even irrational!

    PS: If only Fiat had executed the Uno (and later Palio) deliveries and ASS well all those years ago, we would have had a completely different automotive culture in India!!:p
  2. dadasaheb

    dadasaheb Regolare

    Messages:
    374
    Pune
    MH 12 (Ranjangaon)
    Linea 1.3
    so Fiat is not interested in getting back the wasted opportunity 10 years ago ?
    for such mistakes to correct there should be big big $ investments needed and they are again shying away from it, despite gaining profits from India.
    prabhjot likes this.
  3. amitshedha

    amitshedha Novizio

    Messages:
    38
    Pune
    Prabhjot, though I agree with most of your points, honda city did score a 5 star rating with 6 airbags, and 4 star with twin airbags. Of course it was not Indian made city, which I suspect would fare worse. What is ironic is a lot of people are buying the i20 elite, with "Icoty 2015: Indian car of the year" sticker proudly displayed, while even Hyundai units of other countries are rejecting them as unsafe. sad state of affairs!
    prabhjot likes this.

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