Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why American cars are so advanced

Full leather upholstery, heated seats, remote entry, climate control system, anti-lock brakes. These are some of the features that are not oh-so-rare here in the States. However, if I were in India and happened to see a spec sheet with any of these features, I'd swear that I was looking at a luxury vehicle. If you're going to tell an American (or a European or a Japanese), with a reasonable exposure to motor cars, that Indian cars are not so well equipped, you can expect him to think that India really is playing catchup in technology. Or worse, is financially poor. But why would my country need all these features in the first place? The more I think, the more I come to the conclusion that these technologies, great though they may be, are solutions to problems that people have. The problem is this...

Heated seats, remote entry and climate control system-
The average temperature of the Snow Belt in the US is about -10 degree Celsius during the winter. And no car owner is going to be terribly pleased to have to walk out of his climate controlled house, manually insert the key into the snow covered key slot exposing his hands to the freezing winds in the process. So there you have it: remote entry. And imagine how it would be to sit on a lump of ice covered in a plastic sheet. A cold car seat gets close. What do you do? That's right, heated seats. Oh dear, heated seats need leather. Throw in a full leather upholstery. 

So now I ask myself, 
"Do I need remote entry in my car that I drive in Madras?" - No
"Do I need heated seats in that car?" - Are you kidding?
"How about leather seats?" - Why on earth would I need it when it's already scorching outside?
"At least climate control?" - OK, that's acceptable. But, in winter, I can just roll-down the windows to get naturally climate controlled air! 


Chandrasekharan said...

welcome back!!! nice post... its true that we dont need such remote entry and stuff. But,I am curious: w.r.t the safety and control systems, how well do indian cars fare?

S R I R A M said...

They lag behind in these areas too. It's partly due to teh cost involved. Only foreign manufacturers that manufacture in India give these options to customers.

Ramanathan Palaniappan said...

Super da...:)