Thursday, September 21, 2006

CARcinoma

Much as the title suggests, I have found car buying to be a terminal disease unless you can afford to buy the Koenigsegg CCX or the Maybach 62 with the same insouciance.

Over the last few days, I have had interesting conversations about the street-legal cars available to the Indian public. Car buying is similar to arranged marriages. It begins with need followed by the elusive sense of comfort and luxury and finally ends with chagrin. The only difference is, you cannot change your wife as frequently as you change your car (if you do, it is no longer street-legal).

Listed below is a Buyer's Guide to the Ultimate Car Decision Making.

  • Maruti 800: NOT a street-legal car but still has managed to make it to my list purely on popular demand. The car rose to fame when Gira Bagri and his entire family managed to cram themselves inside a Maruti 800 to set yet another Guinness Book of Weird Records.
    Pros: Cheaper than most mobile phones.

    Cons: Yes, they are.

    My Advise: Do not buy this car unless you wish to be overrun by a very angry man driving an International CXT. The car is now available in a new variant retrofitted with a Cat Diesel Engine for an additional EMI of 27,999/-. In a recent press release, the company has decided to discard the engine in an attempt to be the pioneers in eco-friendly push-your-car-as-you-go-along series.

  • Maruti Baleno: Suzuki fooled the Indian customers by selling Cultus Crescent as their flagship luxury sedan in India. The only rise to fame was, in a bid to capture a greater market share; Maruti advertised that their air conditioning unit was on par with that of Mercedes Benz.

    Pros: Air conditioning.

    Cons: Over-priced for using the same technology as a Maruti 800.

    My Advise: When a Japanese car-maker manufactures a car with an Italian name; this is what you get. Unless you wish to drive a sedan with a 1980's design, don't buy it.

  • Hyundai Santro: Introduced less than 10 years ago into the Indian market, Santro is the poor man's rich car, by which, I mean, most IT professionals feel it is an automatic choice for a perfect car. Occupies second position behind Maruti 800 as NOT a street-legal car.

    Pros: Tall-boy design.

    Cons: This design enables easy tumbling.

    My Advise: Don't buy this car if you are delightfully plump or FAT. You will never be able to reach the fuel hatch without getting out of the car. Also, as a rule, Koreans must do what they do best; eat cats.
  • Hyundai Getz: Introduced less than 2 years ago, this car was intended to meet the needs of the unknown segment of the Indian population, by which, I mean, people either buy Santro Zing or Ascent.

    Pros: Creative market positioning and segmentation.

    Cons: No prospective buyers.

    My Advise: Pleaszzzzzzzzz..... don't buyz the carz.

  • Tata Indica: In 1998, Tata Motors introduced this indigenously manufactured cab to the Indian population, so indigenous, the cab comes with a company-fitted spittoon. The company has introduced several variants of the Indica over the past few years trying to hard-sell it as a CAR.

    Pros: Tear-drop shaped design.

    Cons: Tear-drop shaped design.

    My Advise: Don't buy it unless you want to be called a cabbie-walla. The company introduced other versions of Indica named Indigo and Marina. I have decided NOT to waste space writing about more cabs.

  • Chevrolet Aveo: Much to the Indian population's ignorance, Chevrolet - a flagship TRUCK company of GM Motors introduced Daewoo Kalos as Chevrolet Aveo. The car was introduced in 2006 with the catchphrase "The Indian Revolution", by which, I mean, the sales have dropped tremendously.

    Pros: Chevrolet brand name.

    Cons: GM Motors brand name.

    My Advise: When Korean car-makers build a car with a Greek name now owned by an American company, this is what you get, Chevrolet Aveo. Kalos in Greek means beautiful but the big question I am asking is, do we have to be blind?

Like always, I will answer a few questions from prospective and confused car buyers?

  1. Ahnooie, I want a car in the range of 3 lakhs to 17 lakhs. I am looking for comfort, luxury, boot space, leg space, power and mileage? What would you suggest? - Perplexed peter.

    Dear Peter, I suggest you buy a Mahindra NC 640 DP. It is well within your budget and easy for you to carry milk cans and cattle.

  2. Ahn, Please tell me does the new variant of Maruti 800 have airbags and what is the top speed one can achieve on it? How long does it take from 0-60? - Disheartened david.

    Dear David, The answer is yes. The red-colored heart shaped air-filled bags that Lolly will be holding in her hand after your first date. The highest speed one can achieve with the air-conditioning OFF is 30 km/h incase you have wind speed assistance. The highest speed you can achieve with the air-conditioning ON is not regarded as speed. It takes exactly one minute from 0-60 anywhere in the world.

  3. Ahnoo, You keep saying all kinds of bad things about our cars. So what car do you drive? - Alarmed ajay.

    Dear Ajay, I drive an EB110. Go figure.

Like always, I would encourage you all to send me more questions for car buying advice and I will continue to do the best.

Yours James Maley.

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL... I am readin ur blog from my work places and its havin me in splits .. Good work Ahn... More power to you..

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

place*..sigh

4:56 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi anonymous,

Thank you. I don't think reading blogs can be tagged under misappropriation of work-place funds.

Do I know you from someplace or do you wish to remain anonymous?

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

U do know me Ahn ... :-)

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and am the same one who have u the big Five OH! :D

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sleep-walker..

reading ur blogs at workplace is not misappropriation...it is sacrilege...towards the blogs...i always take a dip in our pool before i read ahnooie.

Qwerts, i told you indica is just indicab...glad u agreed.

and isn't eb110 that fancy car that looks like a hippo with a cold-struck nose and its doors open into the sky?

11:40 PM  
Anonymous sleep-walker said...

that post before this one...is BY me - sleep-walker...it seemed rather jumbled to me ...

11:45 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi anonymous,

heh heh but that doesn't say much about who you are, anonymous. Thank you for the Big Five Oh anyways.

10:36 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi SW,

Since when is it kosher to read my blog?

I never disputed the fact that Indica is an Indicab. I just didn't agree with Opel Corsa being superior to an Indicab.

No. I am not talking about the Italian trash now owned by a german car-maker. This one is pièce de résistance.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous M said...

Dear Mr.Maley ,
Tx for telling me maruti 800 is a car , I always thot it's an evolved form of Bajaj scooter with 4 wheels and a bumper :)
Was wondering what about a Jaguar ?( is this a street-legal car available to the Indian public?)
Or for Indian roads ...what about a black-as-onyx H2 Hummer?
Sounds terribly tempting ? I know ..I know :)

11:28 AM  
Anonymous riggy@top-gear.com said...

If I may add my 2-bits - The only Hummer I know is a chap wot doubles up as a serenader at this quaint (NOT) restaurant I once went to.

I am at an event. Forgive the teeny post.

11:36 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi M,

It probably did evolve from a Bajaj scooter though I do not have any circumstancial evidence to support my cause.

Yes, Jaguars are street-legal and available to the Indian public though, I would believe, to have a Sepecat on the road means something went really bad.

Also Jaguars are similar to Premier Padminis behaving like women. They breakdown without notice. If you buy a Jaguar then you must invest in two Jaguars because the second Jaguar is a contingency.

Also, on the subject of Hummers, you either drive a Metallic Sand H1 Alpha or drive nothing at all.

I sure hope we can have Hummers in India as soon as possible. That is one way of scaring pedestrians from nonchalantly sticking out their hand while crossing a road.

1:31 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi riggy@top-gear.com,

I demand that you send us a post of automobile relevance as soon as you can.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well how does it matter as long as I read your post .. smile ..and go back to my world... Its a selfish world innit ? :-)

3:06 PM  
Anonymous sleep-walker said...

grrr....why should everything be ultimately compared to women...buckets are like women...aeroplanes are like women...pomegranates, motor oil, screw drivers, doormats, airconditioners, mascara brushes...everything everything is like women....

is this stretching imagination or what! when do men stop getting so obsessive? how about finding things that can be compared to men...u know...men are like socks...they need to be pulled up yet kept right at your feet ..or some nonsense like that?

but...between qwerts and me...i do want SOME women to be compared to whatever and however...women i hate...!

3:16 PM  
Anonymous SP said...

Hi Qwerts
Nice to have said about cars!! though i dint understand it much becos i dont know much abt cars!!
I am also reading your blogs from my work place only!!!! hehehe!!!!!
becos after reading ur blog i tend to work better .. Energy booster
Keep writing.. And these days comments are also becoming more

3:47 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi SW,

Not everything is compared with women. We don't compare wrist watches with women though I am sure walk clocks have some connection.

Women compare men with dogs, jerks, beasts, baseball bats, crank shafts, etc. I don't see any men complaining about them.

How can you hate your own brethren? Also, you never answered, is it kosher to read my blog? SMS your answers to 8393 or call us at 123807060 and win fascinating and fabulous prizes. Hum leke aa rahe hai aap ki favorite posts on your favorite blog. So keep calling and sms-ing your answers to see a new episode of Women are like Lawn Mowers.

4:10 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi SP,

Why, don't your husband and you own a car? If you don't, then please take two print outs of this post and use it as your ultimate tool for car buying advise. (two because, just incase you misplace the first copy)

Incase, you want my advise on higher-end cars, I am willing to do it as long as I can park my Jaguar in your jungle.

You never told me about your line of work. What is that you do? On the days that I don't write a blog, I would recommend a concoction of 3sum, full throttle and pimp juice in equal portions for energy boosting.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous super said...

i really shudnt have read the blog. pretty much ridicules all the cars which i can afford to buy on an EMI which i would not be able to pay, and downpayment, il have to borrow from somebody.. and jags, hummers,,, i need a fiance, a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, a grandmother, or somebody who has them. at least i wana ride in one once

2:13 AM  
Anonymous sleep-walker said...

nah...it is not kosher...it is just that all that holy wisdon that heavily laces the blog calls for a religious attitude...on the part of the readers...

kosher is what you do to us...killing us softly with your blog...long live roberta flack..

i agree with super...now we can never buy a car..at least not with any amount of satisfaction and peace..

11:16 AM  
Anonymous sleepwalker said...

err guys! i opened a blog of my own...with no reason except to ape qwerts...i do have a lot of the elements of the primates in me...and apparently having a lot of time on my hands...

Though I am dead sure I would not be able to be half as good as my mentor!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Riggs said...

Hi Q,

I am terribly sorry on this tardy delay.

I had meant to write a proper comment on this post a lot earlier but the Cabbie-Wallah sent me back home (from my event) in a Maruti 800. Yes, you guessed it right, the 10Km drive from hotel to home took the entire weekend almost. I am glad for that tail-wind, else this post would have been written on Tuesday.

I must tell you, this last week I had gone around looking at a lot of cars because I intended to buy a new one. I did like the Indica, but have now deleted the idea from my head. I do not want to be called 'that cabbie-wallah, Riggs' anymore. I must point out here that the Indica is a roomy car and in case you are pleasantly plump, like I am, it is a terribly comfortable ride.

Right next to the Indica, in the same showroom was the Palio Sport. A rather delish looking vehicle, I might add. Chunky, Formula 1 Red, alloys, tubeless tyres, 1.6 and a 70K disocunt. I almost put money down on this baby but then was told about Palio's version of Treasure Island. By this I mean, if a scooterist in a hurry clips your tail-light, you will have to wait for 6 months to get a new one, while Fiat employees uncover treasure maps and clues to find that elusive cache of spares.

I also stopped by the Mahindra showroom and scoped out their MUV's. After looking at various bread-boxes on wheels, I decided to Muv along and head home to write this blog.

At this point in time though, the only car that Rings My Bell is the Ambassador Avigo, which I plan to check out this week.

Would you please check with your pals at Westcoast Customs on whether the Avigo is a good buy
and whether they would like to Crimp my ride?

Yours FirstGearly,

1:23 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi SW,

Congratulations on you new blog. I wish you all the best in all your future endeavours.

4:07 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi riggs,

I now realise why it took you the entire weekend to get home. You must realise that the earlier versions of Maruti 800 had only 4 speed gears and the 5th gear was called the reverse gear. You probably were driving in the 5th gear in the general direction of your house.

I am glad that you have chosen against buying both Indica and Palio. Both those cars are sailing in the same boat.

The only Mahindra vehicle you should consider is a Bolero Camper. Please check it out or muv along.

I will definitely try to get you some information about the Avigo. On the subject of Avigo, I have to admit, it is a super choice.

Yours crankshaftly.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous SP said...

Hi Q,
We do own a car... But the car we own was not certified as a car by you thas why this confusion.. I jus said i dont have much knowledge on cars!! Does that imply i dont own a car???
Thanx for you advice for the times i dont have any of your blog to read.. But i always feel your blog would be a better option dear!!!

10:31 AM  
Anonymous peccavi said...

btw, the EB110 looks like it told too many whoppers :P

all like about it is the colour :P

6:56 PM  
Anonymous peccavi said...

*all i like....

9:00 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi Peccavi,

It is good to have you back in the thick of action.

Good to see you back!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Sleep-Walker said...

we are stuck....qwerts...come on ...write something else...how much can one comment on the same blog and its comments?

12:50 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi SW,

I will and shortly. Its my promise.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Sleep-Walker said...

thanks qwert.

meanwhile, i dared to update mine...

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was planning on returning to India, but after seeing the options I have on transport, i shall wait until there is a etter car or ahnooie stops blogging about cars to discourage moi.
Until then i shall drive my Rolls Canhardly. She "Rolls" down da slope and "can hardly" get up the next.
Cer Kill

3:44 PM  
Blogger Just Kiddin said...

Qwerty,

I read thru this post inspite of the black bgrnd . Floor rolling stuff .

Ref: "My Advise". Advise is a verb. The noun form you should have used is "Advice".

Your friendly neighbourhood english prof !!

jk

4:50 PM  
Blogger Sleep-Walker said...

Two weeks without a new entry...

qwerts...u are slipping baap!

tu aisa hai to hum chote logon ka kya hoga?

Hope that sounds appropriately gruff.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Riggs said...

Hi Sleepy,

I am poking my nose in Qwerty's biz by answering a question directed at him.

Mr.Q hasn't written a new post as he is busy translating his latest into Hyderabadi Hindi. This is being done because on my insistance he went and watched a movie called The Angrez.

His translating is slow because at this moment he is stuck between maakikirkiri and zaara tape daalo na ustaad

Yours Chicken-Proxilly,

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Mannat said...

Hey Qwerts,

Loveeeee reading your blog!...don't have much to say on the subject of cars for 2 reasons - a)I am a woman. b) I am a woman.Looking forward to your next post and once again, greatttt job@blog.

6:53 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi mannat,

I have to agree with you on that subject. When my wife was buying her car, the first thing she asked the showroom executive was, this is entirely true, does it come with a vanity mirror?

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Mannat said...

Qwerts,

When I bought my car, vanity mirror was the first think I looked for and examined when I sat inside the car(steering wheel came later, hehe).Its a very important feature for us women and the absence of it could very well be a deal breaker and I am not kiddin!

10:01 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi Mannat,

What finally convinced her was that, when she was at a traffic signal and when the red light changed to green, her car would be ahead of all the other cars by a mile.

Vanity mirrors are for slow cars.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Mannat said...

Vanity mirrors are for slow cars?????...how will you live with yourself after deceiving your apparently angelic spouse??..just because she trusts you?(she was too tired to argue and pretended to believe you)

1:37 AM  

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