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  • 8/7/2019 Let us buy a car


    Let us buy a car!Alright, you have decided to buy a car. It is time to answer thefollowing questions so that you end up making the right decision.

    By Bijoy Kumar Y, Editor, BS Motoring

    Buying new or used

    Friends and relatives might try and dissuade you from buying a new car if youare a new driver. Don't bother...if you have the money or access to a loan,please go ahead and buy a sparkling new car. If you have learnt driving

    properly, you will not be putting dents on it the way your friends warned you.A new car also means fewer worries when it comes to maintenance andeconomy.

    But I want a real used bargain!

    Now you are talking. From my experience cars take a toll on Indian drivingconditions (poor roads, heavy monsoon, bad quality of fuel are a few reasons).Always go by the km covered by the car than its age in years. Obviously, thelower it is the better. An ideal small car used deal is when you get a car thathas done between 20 to 30,000 km at half its new car price. Mind you, theworld is not ideal. Golden word of advice? Do not touch cars over 75,000 km

    in India - however enticing the deal may sound. You are simply buying a fewworry lines as the car would soon need a suspension a suspension and engineoverhaul that can cost a lot - and yes, you are well out of warranty by thentoo. (There are, of course, well cared for cars that are exceptions to the aboverule!)

    Hatch back or sedan?

    Buy the car for your needs and not by the social strata that they may seem toelevate you into. With the kind of choice available in the market, it is notnecessary for you to be stuck with a big, thirsty sedan when all you need is acomfortable car to commute, park and one that does not put you in the blacklist of the office accountants. If you are the sort who likes to pick up friendsand relatives from airports and railway stations, then you need a boot. Also if

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    you are a rear seat passenger, bigger cars offer better ride comfort at theback - a good enough reason to buy one size bigger. A bigger car feels moresurefooted and safe at highway speeds - but that does not mean that asmaller car cannot offer similar safety standards.

    Diesel, petrol or LPG

    If you are going to drive more than 40-50 km a day - the slight premium youpay for a modern diesel car make sense, since diesels stretch a liter by 30 percent more than petrol engines. And modern diesel engines are as reliable,almost as refined and as maintenance free as petrol engines.

    If your driving is less than 40-50 km a day, you should not waste your hardearned money on diesel engine premium. Spend the additional Rs 30,000 on agood quality LPG kit (or buy an LPG variant as new) if you still need moreeconomy from your petrol engine - as long as you have easy access to LPGfilling stations.

    Sedan or SUV

    SUVs are bought mostly for the sporty image and the space they offer thantheir ability to go off-road. Alas, they spend most of their life on tarmac. Hereis an important tip - a modern car is more comfortable to travel than in a SUV.So if you are buying a car and employing a driver, you are better off with asedan than a SUV. Another myth is that a SUV is better to go to hill stations.Wrong - a car is dynamically better and safer to go around corners than tallSUVs. That said, most new SUV makers have worked harder to make SUVsbehave. Another reason why people buy SUVs in India (and the rest of theworld) is because they make you feel secure. Though it may be sound right,bigger is not always safer. You should buy a machine (SUV/hatchback/sedan)that has active and passive safety features built into it - than going by sizealone.

    Do I need ABS and Airbags? (I don't drive fast....)

    Anti-lock Breaking System is a must have active safety feature (one thatprevents an accident) on every Indian car. ABS prevents you from gettinginvolved in an accident. It allows you to brake hard to avoid hitting obstacles(pedestrians for example) and steer around them. In cars without ABS,chances of your wheels locking up on braking and sending you on anuncontrollable skid (and crashing on to people, stationary vehicles and so on)is very high. Think of it this way - hitting a pedestrian who runs across theroad (very normal in India) may cost you a lot more trauma, money and time(average of five to seven years spend attending court cases). So insist on anew car with ABS.

    Airbags are passive safety devises. They get inflated during collisions athigher speeds (no, they won't come on at bumper to bumper traffic incidents)and along with the seat belts ensure that you are not moving around inside acar that is coming to a halt very suddenly due to an impact - thus preventinginjuries which at times can be fatal. The airbags deflate in a Nano-second -

    which means that they cannot suffocate you).ABS and Airbags are important safety devises and along with seat belts go on

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    to makes the modern car very safe. Spend your money wisely - opt for ABSand Airbags.

    Source: India Syndicate

    About the author: Bijoy Kumar Y is the founder, editor of Business Standard

    Motoring magazine. After brief stints with two automotive publications (IndianAuto and Car and Bike International) Bijoy Kumar Y joined Business Standard Ltd in 1995 (aged 26) to start the first dedicated automotive page in anewspaper in India which still continues to be published. With BusinessStandard he launched annuals, quarterlies and eventually a monthly automotive publication, Business Standard Motoring, in 1999. Bijoy Kumar Y ispassionate about machines and loves writing. Though a qualified lawyer, hedid his higher studies in communication and journalism to pursue what heloves doing - driving, riding and writing. He is married to Rekha Bijoy and hastwo children, Aadityan and Miura. He lives in Thane, Mumbai.

    Change your car ever so often?The automobile is an adults ultimate aspirational toy. People use itto stamp their differentiation. Look at how musician John Lennonexpressed his anti-war philosophy in 1965. He paid 2,000 to a Dutchteam of gypsy artists to paint his thoughts in his Rolls Royce.Automobiles have inspired several artist painters. On the 100thbirthday of the automobile in 1986, pop icon artist Andy Warhol wascommissioned by DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Mercedes Benz andBMW to paint a series about cars. BMW also had artists Frank Stella,Roy Lichtenstein and Ernst Fuchs do art cars.

    But an automobile is a big ticket item. How often can consumers get designercars painted by famous artists or afford to change their cars? Yet everyonewants to be different. Newer kinds of spendthrifts have emerged like thebelow 30 Digital Zappers. This generation flits from product to product andthey influence every purchase made in the home. The major perpetrator to

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    disrupt market rules with recurrent newness is the mobile phone. It took thelandline several decades to change functionality, design and aesthetics.Today's tech-savvy mobile phone has not just minituarised itself, it hascollapsed many industries into a single device in the palm of the consumer'shand. At home, a refrigerator spent a good 40 years with you earlier, the

    music system at least 15 years, while the thought of discarding a TV set wasunheard of. Then Japanese and Koreans arrived to topsy turvy our belief thatelectric and electronic appliances vacate the trend-wagon every three to fiveyears. If home appliances could be changed so radically, why notautomobiles?

    In this backdrop, auto designers would do well to re-think about how toconnect to consumers' changing needs. Long work hours in developingcountries are making working couples spend less time with each other.Grappling to find pressure busters, people are becoming more self-indulgent,and their high spend patterns getting into diverse new areas. In the autoindustry, consumers cannot change vehicles like they do phones.

    "Style your own car"

    Regular-change auto remodelling accessories could be the auto industry'squick solution to participate in the consumers' frequent changing habit.Certain physical elements can be altered to change the car's appearance,without disturbing its internal master engineering. These could be the bumperor steering wheel, bonnet, wheel cap, side mirror, gear holding, upholstery,among others. Remodelling accessories should never be considered asreplacement of damaged features. Instead, the auto industry should promote"style your own car" as the contemporary new dimension that takes carowners into the quick changing paradigm.

  • 8/7/2019 Let us buy a car


    Consumers generally keep a car for three years. For today's change mentality,that's an eternity, total frustration creeps in. Remodelling their cars willdefinitely perk them up. Multiple visible looks can be generated for people touse different remodelling accessories on different occasions. They need notgo for superficial accessories such as crazy horn sounds, music on reverse

    gear or stylish hubcaps, among others. Easy-fix remodelling accessories canrepresent an India-centric trend: India represents only 3.5 per cent of theglobal automobile market. Considering its 1.2 billion population, every automanufacturer is focusing on capturing this throbbing potential. The scope forinvention using India's unique diversity of culture, social, language, food,geography is tremendous. With the economy on the boom trend, people arelooking for personal identification, status or cultural difference. By testingremodelling accessories in India, this new concept can open a new businesshorizon in the global market. Easy-fix remodelling accessories can redefinethe service statio