Indian Autos Thread

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vina
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 03 Sep 2009 15:11

For city driving, where most people would spend their time, automatics are perfectly usable. Have been so for the last 20 years.


Yes, that part is true, especially when there are big oversized engines like in Massa (large engines with big power and torque reserves overcome a lot of limitations of crappy slush boxes). But notice that it is not efficient.

Do that math .. Around $800 extra in initial costs over stick shift + 1 to 2 mpg lower fuel efficiency, and higher maintenance in Indian driving conditions and all this financed at 10% percent rates of interest , adds up to a big big difference over manual ..

So like the good song says..

"Aulaad maan jao aur ban jao Hindustani.." that is... chalao stick. Let AmriKhani men and wimmins and wimpy R2I types who never drove a stick in their lives pine for slush box!. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Tanaji » 03 Sep 2009 15:20

Er, automatics work just fine with the smaller engines that are prevalent in Europe and UK as well.... have used automatics in both places.

If the argument is purely on cost, you have a point. But that is a type of tradeoff you make every day in every aspect of your life. Autos are not any different, for example, why use a mixer when a grinding stone will do especially if the former is more expensive? Its about convenience alone... some are willing to make that tradeoff. To call it unreasonable is not warranted IMHO

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 03 Sep 2009 16:50

Er, automatics work just fine with the smaller engines that are prevalent in Europe and UK as well.... have used automatics in both places.


Ah.. But the automatics is Oierope tend to be better engineered ones with more gears than the garbage slush boxes largely prevelent in Massa (until the time I R2I ed) , which are better able to extract better performance out of the smaller Euro engines.

The max I had seen in Massa is 4 speed on Japanese and German ones (leaving out CVT). I think it is only rather recently we are seeing six and seven speed versions coming out . Hadnt heard of them when I used to live there prior to 2003/4. Oh, I think for a small eco-no-miser car that tends to be preferred in India, it is usually the more expensive better engineered boxes that will work better with the small engines, but what gets put in (cost is a big factor right?) is the 3 speed garbage (especially the ones in Maruti) that can do "Kaam Chalao" , with larger engines, but are a disaster in the 50 and 60 hp maruti engines in Wagon R, Zen etc.

Okay. I down what I think will be ideal for Indian conditions for folks who want an auto.
What will work best in India is a mass produced F1 kind of box (the robotized clutch + gear combo), without any of the auto shifting features. Leave out all the complicated electronics and embedded systems ding dongs (basically let Bose babu stay at vilayat), just engineer it enough to make sure the car doesn't stall and stop when stopped.. What would be ideal is a Nano ized F1 box.

Slush boxes will be strictly verboten. Complex, costly and a maintenance hot in India

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Dilbu » 03 Sep 2009 16:57

Real men ride in the back of toyota pickups. Lot of room for those RPGs. :((

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 03 Sep 2009 17:46

But Super Real Men sit in air conditioned rooms far far away and fly Prey-e-dators that fry the a*sses of real men wielding RPGs , sitting in the load bay of a Toyota Pickup, using Hell phyres :P :P

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby rachel » 03 Sep 2009 19:36

IMHO this thread is degenerating into too much that is unrelated to the subject. Start another thread entitled 'real men and their toys'.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 03 Sep 2009 19:52

I have had no issues with a 4-fwd gear at santro in 5 yrs and 40,000km. I would prefer to pay for the convenience of a at car in blr traffic, than waste my $$ on french cheese, cigars and ibanker wines. I can't put up with a driver either and their constant demands for bonus and advances.

suits me just fine. the only problem in 5 yrs has been adjusting the springs of the rear brakes. driven it 10 hrs continuously on occasions.

on traffic lights, I am invariably the first guy off the blocks and leave the 'real men' far far behind.

imo around 1% of people really know how to drive a manual shift vehicle at the extreme edge of performance or fuel economy, another 95% range from moderate to poor. the remaining 4% are vocal fanbois on the internet who dont know, but aspire to be mikael schumacherish in sports bars and internet fora , verbally harassing anyone who doesnt follow their prescription.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Tanaji » 03 Sep 2009 20:11

As Singha said, its a matter of convenience vs cost. If someone thinks that they can pay $800 + 1/2 mpg more to get an automatic to get a better comfort, who are we to argue? Do you really think Rolex give better time than a really good Sieko? As a YumBeeYay , surely Vina would be the first to grasp this?

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby chiru » 03 Sep 2009 21:54

i have a query -why does everyone in this dhaaga talks or posts about four wheelers ,anyone at all interested in two wheelers like me :?:

ok let me start - my friend says that a small valve kind of thing can be added at the brake calipers in a disk brake system of a bike which acts as an ABS unit without any fancy electronics stuff but is very helpful in preventing the brake locking ,which might result in an unintended stoppie :mrgreen: ...and it is for sale by an indian company ...can anybody help me getting more info about this thing

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 03 Sep 2009 21:56

Tanaji wrote:As Singha said, its a matter of convenience vs cost. If someone thinks that they can pay $800 + 1/2 mpg more to get an automatic to get a better comfort, who are we to argue? Do you really think Rolex give better time than a really good Sieko? As a YumBeeYay , surely Vina would be the first to grasp this?


Oh,no arguing with it. But using the good YumBeeYay logic, the people have voted with their wallets. The verdict is clear. Autos despite being available for nearly a decade now have simply failed to take off in India. Compared to the overall number, the sales of autos are just a rounding error.

Autos are overwhelmingly popular in Massa (I would guess over 90% are autos), while in Europe, manuals are far more popular(75% manual?) (despite having better autos than Massa!). I guess the point with Manual is that there is a big "learning curve" and most Americans dont want to learn it. Also gas prices are historically cheaper in Massa than Europe and places like India, so that efficiency difference doesnt hit the wallet as much.

Again , for autos to really take off in India, it has to address the points about 1) Durability in Indian conditions 2) Efficiency and 3) Price. So basically what most people want out of autos is the "learning curve" part and the not stalling part by eliminating the manual cluch. So stuff like 7 speed, loaded to the gills with intelligent logic and electronic controls will fail all points 1 2 and 3. That is why I maintain, you ned a robotized version of the current manaul, which will give a much wider audience what it wants if Autos ahve to take off in India. The way it is today, it will stay as a micro niche segment for rich indolents who can afford to pay for conveneince over efficeincy.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 03 Sep 2009 21:56

chiru wrote:i have a query -why does everyone in this dhaaga talks or posts about four wheelers ,anyone at all interested in two wheelers like me :?:

ok let me start - my friend says that a small valve kind of thing can be added at the brake calipers in a disk brake system of a bike which acts as an ABS unit without any fancy electronics stuff but is very helpful in preventing the brake locking ,which might result in an unintended stoppie :mrgreen: ...and it is for sale by an indian company ...can anybody help me getting more info about this thing


How about doing something far less dangerous and which actually works.. Pump the brakes instead!.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 03 Sep 2009 22:24

vina saar,

Exactly how much do you think "real men" in suits drive in the above rutted road, offroad, winding road conditions (except in the virtual world after imbibing a few glasses of wines)? Autos are precisely made for the 99% of driving conditions which most amateur drivers face daily. They were originally designed for convenience but now are engineered well enough to beat the manual tranny at its own game. Otherwise choosing manual tranny is like enduring pain-da-butt for 99% of the time to cater for the 1% which you may encounter once is a blue moon just to feel "macho". Some people claim they like that pain but then some people also like being whipped by leather-clad ladies :mrgreen: I guess if one is talking about "complexity of maintenance" once should exclusively use a thela/cycle-rickshaw which gives better fuel efficiency (infinite mpg) than a car with manual tranny...after all if maintenance is paramount why bother with convenience of a car at all!

I have checked out a contemporary 4 speed auto (not-CVT) at 35 degree gradient - works pretty darn good and I should know coz I have driven a good ol' Mahindra jeep in the Darjeeling hills (just like "real men" of Hindoostan do every day I am sure!). My advisor's FIL who is a rancher in Texas uses his Dodge pickup (straight 6 cummins diesel) with 4-speed auto to drag large trailers full of cattle over the rutted roads of his ranch to the market - I guess he is a girly man though I doubt any "real men" would be able to say it to his face without turning their suits Pak Army brown :lol: .

But then "real men" seem to be limited to talking about the mythical prowess of the manual tranny which exists only in their minds - just like our Abdul chacha who sits at the nukkad and regales us nanha mujahids with his tales of defeating Soviet Hinds on horse back with bow and arrow during the Afghan Jihad except that the only time he was in Afghanistan was when he worked in a chai stall as a tea boy.

Times a'changin' saar - it aint 2003/2004 anymore! :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 03 Sep 2009 22:33

vina wrote:Oh,no arguing with it. But using the good YumBeeYay logic, the people have voted with their wallets. The verdict is clear. Autos despite being available for nearly a decade now have simply failed to take off in India. Compared to the overall number, the sales of autos are just a rounding error.

1) Durability in Indian conditions 2) Efficiency and 3) Price.


(1) has to be done for all aspects of the car, not just tranny. (2) is where the debate of this dhaaga started. Basically as far as technology goes the autos of today are as good (and sometimes even better than manual) for an average driver. The other aspects depend on the auto manufacturers - they will sell as per customer perception - as long as money keeps rolling in they don't care whether it is auto/manual/djinn technology or whatever. In fact it lets them keep their old plants running without having to gut them out for new production lines so why kill the golden goose - its not like the margins for a regular auto tranny (no fancy electronic doo-dah of Beemers etc.) is more than a manual tranny. So one can no longer invoke the old "manual" is better than "auto" at mileage, rutted roads blah blah reason for choosing manual - the reasons now are non-technical and more to do with consumer perception and availability in specific markets. The reasons for manual tranny still having majority in Oirope and other places has also to do with the fact that people (except money-swilling Amirkhans) don't change cars like they change their cellphones (and by Grace of Allah the ever-beneficial, that is why I get a paycheck) - change is much more gradual. Good auto trannies have been there for much less time than the period of change hence their effects are not visible.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby John Snow » 03 Sep 2009 23:02

Vina garu>> tsk tsk, No there are 5 speed automatics and six speeds in massa for the last 15 yrs, also most of the cars these days have called 'overdrive' which is either 5 th or 6th.

4 speed auto or 5 speed auto depends on the rpm range of the engine and corresponding gearbox. If the engine is under powered like our el sea yeah then better not have 5 speed or overdrive because the hydraulic automatic transmission will frequently down shift and upshit, giving a very unpleaseant drive may be even whiplash.

You notice these with Mazda 323s or good old 1.3 ltr/1.4 ltr engines of tercel pre 1989 models.


the manual is pain if you are in trafic or in Sanfranisco like ups and downs where you have to use hand brake/parking brake in conjunction with you clutch not to roll back.else on a highway auto is same as manual, and remember even manuals have cruise controls

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Surya » 04 Sep 2009 02:48

I really should not say this - but what the hell

Are 'real men' named Vina?? :mrgreen:

(dons burka and runs before predator shows up)

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby BijuShet » 04 Sep 2009 02:51

Surya wrote:I really should not say this - but what the hell

Are 'real men' named Vina?? :mrgreen:

(dons burka and runs before predator shows up)

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 04 Sep 2009 07:41

Vina garu>> tsk tsk, No there are 5 speed automatics and six speeds in massa for the last 15 yrs, also most of the cars these days have called 'overdrive' which is either 5 th or 6th


No. They are not 5th and 6th. The over drive is in the 4th gear of the slush box. in fact there is usually a button on the shift column that prevents the overdrive from engaging.. Speaking of which, even an automatic is not idiot proof. A desi friend of mine (just a few months off the boat, this was around 1997) went and bought his first car a Toyota Corolla, once while riding with him, I noticed overdrive was locked. I asked him why..He said, why 'coz "Over Drive" will increase engine RPM and "increase power" and hence engine wear, reduce fuel consumption etc. I told him that it was the opposite. He started arguing with me.

The way it got settled was very simple. I told him to watch the needle in the RPM meter, it read some 4000 or so. I then asked him to switch off the overdrive lock, he did that and the RPM dropped to 2000!. Matter over.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 04 Sep 2009 07:46

> Some people claim they like that pain but then some people also like being whipped by leather-clad ladies

:rotfl: :rotfl:

> he did that and the RPM dropped to 2000!. Matter over.

:rotfl: imagine him trying to maintain 75mph in third gear

most people are not aware of the auto exists at all, only those who have lived abroad know of it. and the cos do not market it overtly except the high end cars.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby ArmenT » 04 Sep 2009 09:51

vina wrote:
Vina garu>> tsk tsk, No there are 5 speed automatics and six speeds in massa for the last 15 yrs, also most of the cars these days have called 'overdrive' which is either 5 th or 6th


No. They are not 5th and 6th. The over drive is in the 4th gear of the slush box. in fact there is usually a button on the shift column that prevents the overdrive from engaging..

My car is 5 speed auto as is my brother's Acura TL (he has a auto-manual actually). It looks like quite a few newer model cars feature 5 speed auto trannies these days. Mercedes has had a 7 speed auto since 2003 and BMW has had a 6 speed auto since 2001.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby ArmenT » 04 Sep 2009 10:01

John Snow wrote:the manual is pain if you are in trafic or in Sanfranisco like ups and downs where you have to use hand brake/parking brake in conjunction with you clutch not to roll back.else on a highway auto is same as manual, and remember even manuals have cruise controls

Showed the wife my manual tranny skills by holding my car up on the steepest slope in Chinatown on a rainy night. The autos were all sliding back a little at stops, but my little hand-brake held us without moving back an inch. The trick is to apply the hand-brake at the stops. Then when it is time to move forward, release the clutch up halfway and when the car just about strains to move forward, you pop the hand-brake gradually and it will smoothly move up.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 04 Sep 2009 10:21

Went for a short joy ride today on a concept based on the BMW 760i (I never knew that all one had to do was ask the right person :mrgreen: ) - but I am never getting in that damn car again, it actually admonished me for getting to close to a Civic on 101 :evil: :evil: Its like having your MIL sitting on the dash and kicking you in the goolies for every infraction. Darn thing is V12 with 8 speed though. 8)

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby John Snow » 04 Sep 2009 10:36

vina wrote:
Vina garu>> tsk tsk, No there are 5 speed automatics and six speeds in massa for the last 15 yrs, also most of the cars these days have called 'overdrive' which is either 5 th or 6th


No. They are not 5th and 6th. The over drive is in the 4th gear of the slush box.



Generally speaking, overdrive (OD) is the highest gear in the transmission.
Overdrive is included in both automatic and manual transmissions as an extra gear (or two in some cases).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overdrive_(mechanics)
Also I had Toyota Camry 2001 model 4 Cyl auto with overdrive. The switch is on the side of the shift knob and can be activated by thumb and in the dash a orange bulb indicates wether the OD is engaged or not.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 04 Sep 2009 11:19

Generally speaking, overdrive (OD) is the highest gear in the transmission.
Overdrive is included in both automatic and manual transmissions as an extra gear (or two in some cases).


Yeah. You are right. I misread what you wrote. What I meant is that the overdrive will be in the 4th gear in a 4 speed slush box. I dont recall seeing anything better than that in my years in Massa .

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 04 Sep 2009 11:22

^^^ vina saar, times are a'changin' :mrgreen:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby vina » 04 Sep 2009 11:26

^^^ vina saar, times are a'changin'


Hmm. Yes, they seem to be with more gear ratios in autos and hence better able to extract performance out of a given engine. But then costs go up too. In India, this auto business is really a long way away , unless costs fall dramatically for the around 50k upwards difference for an auto box.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 04 Sep 2009 13:49

for high end cars, the difference as % of total cost is not big. but then such people are the suited booted types and have drivers who drove all their lives in manual, so they go manual.

we need a new corps of gentleman cadets who never ever saw the infamous Mig21U, but started on glass cockpit Hawk and graduated to F-solah-IN onlee.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby bart » 05 Sep 2009 15:09

Going by TBHP, i10 Automatic is pretty popular. Lots of middle-class people fed up with inching through city traffic for 2 hours a day with manual gear changes.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 05 Sep 2009 15:19

i20 is first car I have seen here were the 4-at is advertised in as a feature and picture box in every ad by default.

mashallah its a single star seen over bethlehem...events far beyond human minds are set in motion...the sheet of space-time continum itself is changing...

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby bart » 05 Sep 2009 15:52

Singha wrote:i20 is first car I have seen here were the 4-at is advertised in as a feature and picture box in every ad by default.

mashallah its a single star seen over bethlehem...events far beyond human minds are set in motion...the sheet of space-time continum itself is changing...



That is because i20 Petrol 1.4 is available only in automatic. The manual petrol is 1.2 and the Diesel 1.4 does not have auto.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby rachel » 05 Sep 2009 23:49

Ok, you clowns can keep on hijacking the thread... remember the thread title INDIAN AUTOS?? .....

Here is some useful links. Tata has reassured electrc Indica is 'on track'.. altho truly on track would ve meant a September launch as opposed to end of year...

It worries me .. the lack of details provided.. like most importantly PRICE POINTS.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Aut ... 973895.cms

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby VikramS » 06 Sep 2009 04:22

These days pricing of auto vs manual has very little to do with cost of manufacturing. A manual transmission has an extra sub-system (the clutch pedal and associated clutching system) versus the single sealed system of an auto. Though the innards of an auto are more complex with a torque converter etc., the over all cost of manufacturing is not that different, especially in large scale commercial manufacturers.

Many manufacturers now do not charge extra for auto trannies in the US (e.g. BMW). Some actually have started charging more for manual trannies as an add on option, since the cost of certifying one is distributed over a smaller production base.

A lot of this cultural. In the US where people drive long distances often at Highway speeds the convenience of an auto is preferable. In Europe, automatics never took off in the same way. In India drivers are trained to drive a manual so will continue to feel comfortable with it. Personally, I feel that the stop and go traffic of India, deserves an automatic. The fuel advantage is primarily a paper figure; the loss of power in the torque converter is more often than not compensated by more appropriate shifting (except for the best drivers). But the car manufacturers can afford to charge more because the market bears it. And the market is very price sensitive and would rather go up to a better car than pay for an auto.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 06 Sep 2009 09:24

In the US where people drive long distances often at Highway speeds the convenience of an auto is preferable.

actually I think its easiest in the US for manuals as you dont need to shift gears often. its more with cultural trend to auto-mate things and do anything but drive while driving like radio, CD, reading books, talking on phone,
shaving beard and so on.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 06 Sep 2009 09:55

Singha wrote:actually I think its easiest in the US for manuals as you dont need to shift gears often. its more with cultural trend to auto-mate things and do anything but drive while driving like radio, CD, reading books, talking on phone,
shaving beard and so on.


400% correct onlee. And on highways auto or manual doesn't make a difference at all - manuals come with cruise also. It is the stop-and-go city traffic where auto scores.

Don't forget putting on lipstick and eyeshadow :mrgreen: - few days back nearly got rammed on the side by a TFPE female who decided that the best time to put on eyeshadow was, in her Lexus SUV during rush hour on 101 :roll:

Now it is no longer about technical/numbers superiority of manual over auto (that edge has been lost for a while now), it is more about end-user perception and the fact that auto trends change more gradually.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 06 Sep 2009 09:56

rachel wrote:Ok, you clowns can keep on hijacking the thread... remember the thread title INDIAN AUTOS?? .....


Well, don't Indian cars come with auto or manual trannies, hain? Hence, discussion is 400% relevant to this thread onlee. :twisted:

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby rachel » 06 Sep 2009 12:22

Oh yes Raja, the discussion of 'manliness' et al are highly relevant. especially when they go on and on ad nauseum.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby VikramS » 06 Sep 2009 14:20

Singha wrote:In the US where people drive long distances often at Highway speeds the convenience of an auto is preferable.

actually I think its easiest in the US for manuals as you dont need to shift gears often. its more with cultural trend to auto-mate things and do anything but drive while driving like radio, CD, reading books, talking on phone,
shaving beard and so on.


What I wanted to focus on was the time spent in the car and the miles covered and not the speeds. As a result people want driving to be hassle-free as much as possible, and driving a manual requires a lot more attention.

And peak hour highways are often no better than Indian streets when it comes to stop and go traffic. Highway driving is not all about cruise control.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby krishnan » 06 Sep 2009 14:32

Mods should merge the Auto and Road thread.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 06 Sep 2009 22:14

rachel wrote:Oh yes Raja, the discussion of 'manliness' et al are highly relevant. especially when they go on and on ad nauseum.


Couched in all that manliness talk was discussion about auto vs. manual performance. By that criteria most B-R threads would be 400% off-topic starting with the hot-air ones!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby rachel » 07 Sep 2009 04:23

Raja, I look at other threads too, and I think because there are a lot of car enthusiasts here, this one is definitely more polluted with off-topic ramblings than others.

Whatever.. the mods dont seem to want to control it.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 07 Sep 2009 04:43

^^^ What to do, we are SDRE onlee :(( :(( (and so are the mods :mrgreen: )


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