Cars built to last…no more

car care tip

“The old cars are better, it’s hardy. Today’s cars…once there’s a problem with the electronics, the rest falls apart.” This or an iteration of this sentence is uttered by Baby Boomers, those who are in their fifties and above.

“Who cares about how long the cars can last? Before even paying back the entire loan, I would have changed cars a few times!” These words come from Generation Y and some from the X, those aged 35 and below.

Have you ever checked the accumulative mileage of your car? Irv Gordon from East Patchogue, New York made it into the Guinness World Record by completing 2.9 million miles (4.7 million km) with his 1966 Volvo P1800. Another salesman named Gilbert from Milwaukee, who has done a lot of traveling, hit 1,001,385 miles (1.6 million km) with his 1989 Saab 900 SPG car. He did it!

Today, we can find few faithful car owners who proclaim the matrimonial vow “…till death do us part” to their cars; not that car owners are no longer faithful or the cars no longer lovely, but consumerism has changed. Competition has levelled up the marketing expertise and the creativity of engineers of car companies; and that has influenced the habit of consumerism, a never ending cycle. Modern cars can go up to a maximum mileage of 250,000 miles (403,336km); not many cars have enough space on the odometer for the million digit mark. Having said that, to have the odometer reach 250,000 miles has become a challenge that car owners want to achieve and feel proud to do so. The 200,000 Mile Club Allpar is a car club of such car owners and they have some 4,000 members!
The notion that cars in the past last longer could just be a perception. A J.D Power & Associates’ study indicate that today’s cars are built for better endurance. The overall performance of three-year-old vehicles are still “at an all-time high”. The research was based on 198 varieties of problem symptoms experienced per 100 vehicles, with lower scores indicating higher quality. The score has actually improved from 355 to 155 between the years 2003 and 2010. 36 vehicle brands have participated and 25 brands have improved in long-term dependability.

Perception could be influenced by many factors: one of which is “when it is out of my control, it is no longer good”. When I was a kid, my dad owned a Mazda which gear controls were at the left of the steering wheel (now, I thought that was really cool). I don’t recall what model it was as at that age I could only differentiate between a car and a motorbike, and the different car marques. Dad never sent his car to any mechanic; he was the car doctor, treating everything from automotive fever to heart bypass surgery! We no longer can do this with our modern-day cars as the electronic system equals the many nerves and cells in the body – we just cannot determine the source of problem unless it is plugged into a computer, like using the MRI scan. So, it is not that the cars are not durable, but the power of diagnosis is beyond our capability; so we think that the problem is hopeless, but in actuality, it does not mean that the car cannot be repaired!

Once, the after-service personnel of an overhead projector told me that the projector that I had sent for servicing needed to have its lens changed, which costs near to the cost of the projector. Most would suggest to “buy a new projector”. The fact is, the projector can be repaired and is still good and fit to be used, but the environment that we are in has changed, thus we make the choice to buy a new one.
Back to the car. It’s not that cars do not last anymore, but we just do not have the patience to deal with it anymore. We are living in an instant society with instant gratification; we’re used to instant messages, instant noodles, instant delivery and the list goes on and on. When accusing car manufacturers that their “cars do not last anymore”, four fingers are pointing back to ourselves as we were the ones who created the whole cycle of consumerism. Product designers aim for consumer’s satisfaction; your contribution in social media – reflecting your lifestyles and mirroring your heart’s desire – are informing them of what you want.

Modern cars do not last like the ones in our grandfathers’ days, but is there really anyone to blame?


Lily MaLily Ma
General Manager
X1R Global

She is fully responsible on Malaysia’s business operation, P&L and growth.

Regional business development for Indonesia, India, Taiwan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Laos and Vietnam. Actively involve and hands on in sales, marketing, business development and strategic direction of the local market in Malaysia. Serves as guest writer in, a blog that she has spear headed, currently running by another team.

Bosch Car Service Centres in India

Bosch Car Service is one of the largest independent workshop chains worldwide. International service network offers more than 16,500 certified workshops in 150 countries.  The core services are maintenance and repair for all vehicle brands. They believe in giving training to the experts.

Watch this interesting video to know “how they believe in training Bosch Expert”

In India, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Division is responsible for the supply, sales and distribution of automotive parts for vehicle servicing; diagnostics equipment for workshops (i.e. testing equipment), technical information, training, and consulting; and technical after-sales service for Bosch automotive products and systems.

Bosch India has over 5,000 outlets , spread across 1,000 cities and towns and also manages over 2,100 Workshop / Service network comprising over 500 Bosch Car Service, 1,000 Bosch Diesel Service Centres, 500 Electric Modules & 100 Express Car Service in India.

These centres provide highest quality of customer service and solutions to the vehicle owners. Two new workshop concepts “Express Car Service” & “Express Bike Service” have been added to the network. There are 15 Bosch Training Centres in India, which offer training to customers on both technical and commercial aspects.

Some new Bosch Car Service Centers are coming up with facility at par with Dealer/OEM facilities. Bosch Xpert Car Solution in Gurgaon is one of them.

Bosch Car Service
Bosch Xpert Car Solution at Gurgaon, Haryana, India

They provide all kind of car maintenance job work like car servicing, running repair, wheel alignment and balancing, and accidental repairs, denting and panting job work.

Bosch Car Workshop
Bosch Car Workshop

Car aftermarket is still unorganized in India, but having over 5000 outlets with 500 Bosch Car Service Centers and 100 Express Car Service centres across India are good numbers.

To search more similar BCS you can search it here at:

Focus End Customer, OEM’s change of mindset & Ecommerce for spares : Automechanika

ACMA Automechanika New Delhi is india’s first ever trade exhibition held at New Delhi from 8th to 10th Feb 2013. The Automechanika is specialized and dedicated to the auto-component aftermarket.

Apart from companies product display, the seminars were eye opener for audiences with topics on trends and regulations of aftermarket. The focus on the booming opportunities and learning’s for India from trends in the world’s developed aftermarkets.

JD Power Asia Pacific, MD, Mr Mohit Arora suggested focusing on importance of “end customer” that still lacks in the industry. The debate on OEM’s change of mind set to control auto component sales were highlights during seminars. The panel discussed about “Right to repair” act which does not exist in India. Ernst & Young presenter Mr. Rakesh Batra highlighted in his presentation about the opportunity to focus on opportunities for “unorganized” car workshops. PAE representative replied to audiences’ question about the use of ecommerce for spares at retail which he thinks is still at early stage to explore it. Mr Arun Dey from Reliance Autozone highlighted potential of retail in car accessories.

Improving the Auto components value chain and cutting costs – Lessons from China were more topics for discussion in the seminar.

ACMA would definitely bring change in the Indian aftermarket Industry and facilitates worldwide trends.

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Reporting: MeriCAR Team

Indian automotive aftermarket : USD 5 Billion (McKinsey 2010 Report)

According to McKinsey & Company 2010 report, the automotive aftermarket for parts in India is a large and growing market that spans manufacturers, distributors, retailers, service providers and garages.

The total size of aftermarket sector is currently estimated at USD 5 billion to USD 6 billion with 34% car after-sales market (with additional Rs. 8000 crore to Rs. 12000 crore car servicing). Interestingly, there are only 4 states (Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Tamil Nadu) contributes 40% share. The market is expected to grow at a rapid 11% per annum.


According to report, current market structure is fragmented. The value chain in India remains highly fragmented and there is a significant level of intermediation required for parts to reach end customers. The production of parts is split between original equipment manufacturers (OEM), original equipment suppliers (OES) and generic manufacturers. While OEM’s may rely on their own distribution networks, with parts being sold through directly-owned or franchised dealers, the independent channel has grown in significance in recent times. Original equipment suppliers have the advantage of being able to both directly supply OEMs, as well as go through independent distributors.


The report suggested the player must undertake specific initiatives to ensure margins remain at current levels. According to suggestions, the independent garages and multi-brand dealers must capitalise on India’sageing car-parc. Market interviews and analysis indicate that owners of older vehicles often migrate to independent service networks for cheaper and faster service. The lower cost of servicing at independent garages is influenced by primarily three factors – the ability to source generic parts at a lower cost than OE spares, the ability to reach scale in smaller locations through servicing multiple brand vehicles, and the lower overhead cost structure compared to OEMs. Given that the auto market in India has been growing rapidly for the last few years, both generic manufacturers and independent garages and service providers must position themselves to capitalise on this trend. With OEMs more focussed on vehicles in their warranty period, offering higher levels of service for older cars will be necessary for independent players to attract customers. This means they must build a reputation for reliability by focusing on standardisation and quality, while adequately preparing for increasing complexity in vehicles

Here are some suggestions:

Owners of older cars migrate to independent service networks for cheaper and faster service. As the car-vintage matures in India,independent garages must:

1. Build trust: there is low confidence is quality and reliability.

2. Bring in standardisation to prevent migration to OEM service providers.

3. Prepare for increasing complexity in vehicles with adequate training.

Lastly, the report concludes with some overall structure of the aftermarket and opportunities in India.

The Indian automotive aftermarket is at an inflection point – vehicle parc is increasing, parts are getting more complex, customers are more price sensitive, and global suppliers are expanding their sourcing and distribution presence in India. Scaling up capacity to service the growing demand will be a challenge for Indian companies across the value chain, especially with margins likely to come under pressure. Overall, the industry revenue pools will significantly increase, and players who adapt their business models to the changing scenario, are likely to emerge as winners.

Source Report: Full report can be read at:

PS: This information is posted on blog for information purpose only with mention of link source.

Auto Aftermarket Repair Business Grows in a Good Recession in USA

(Reuters) As per analysis, 250 million vehicles on America’s roads, and an average age of nearly 10 years, times are good for the auto aftermarket repair chains. For the moment, customers seem willing to have their cars fixed, the nation’s fleet is getting older, cars are more complex and credit is available.

New car sales are in a ditch, though improving slowly, and there is stubbornly high unemployment. Shuttered car dealerships are pushing more business to repair stores.

Last year, just 10.4 million new cars were sold in the United States, the lowest in 27 years. For 2010, automotive forecaster J.D. Power and Associates expects 11.5 million cars and light trucks to be sold in the United States.

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