‘The Newer, The Better’ VS ‘Old Is Gold’ Approach Of Various Pakistani Auto Consumers

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Talking about automobiles there are two mindsets that exist, “The newer, the better” and “Old is gold”. There is a large number of people who believe the new technology, newer cars are always better than the older ones while, on the other hand, there is an equal number of those who believe the older ones were better than the new. As a matter of fact, both the statements stand true in their own respect.

Automobile development is quite a complicated process. Each automobile consists of several hundred parts & components and can be assessed in various aspects including looks, comfort, handling, performance, economy, space, reliability and many more. Manufacturers have to cater to a variety of customers, having different preferences. While they strive hard to come up with a better product, it is nearly impossible to develop a vehicle that excels in all parameters.

Also Read: Pak Suzuki Will Be Replacing Its Suzuki Cultus With The All New Celerio

Determining whether new is better or old, largely depends on what parameter the vehicles are being compared. Built quality of the cars, particularly Suzukis, that were being assembled in Pakistan during the late 90s and early 2000s was better than what rolled out in later years. The interior, dashboard, quality of plastics, upholstery, fit & finish, etc. was better in the cars of that era. Cars that are assembled today cannot be compared to the older cars based on these parameters, but they are better in several other aspects than the older ones.

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Take Honda City, for example, the first generation City with Hyper16 engine was primarily loved for its handling and road grip. It was nicely styled and provided ample power for a 1300cc sedan. Its successor, the 2nd generation iDSI, was known to be sluggish, with a somewhat unusual shape. Many have the opinion that the old Hyper16 was better than the IDSI, which stands true if you compare the acceleration, handling and the least number of blind spots for the driver. However, the City iDSI was purely designed for economy and comfort. It offered a spacious cabin, enormous luggage space, and better fuel consumption, all of which were better than its predecessor. Pakistani auto consumers are a strange bunch.

Watch: PakWheels Video Review: 2015 Honda City

The 9th generation Corolla replaced the 7th generation Corolla in our market and despite being better than the older model in many ways, the 9th gen had very unpredictable braking and holds a miserable record of getting out of the hands of a driver. Similarly Suzuki Liana, being the newest of the three sedans offered by Pak Suzuki is the least successful among all. Suzuki Margalla, despite being the oldest of the three Suzuki sedans of our market is considered to be the best in terms of CNG compatibility (mostly attributed to its carburetor engine), maintenance and spares. Honda Civic 5th generation was a great success due to the tremendous room for modifications it offered. The 6th gen Civic that followed was better in its own respect but was never popular than a 5th gen in terms of modifications. Similar debates comparing the 8th and 9th gen Civics are common, where there are a lot of people who vote for the 9th gen to be superior to the 8th gen, there are an equal number of those who prefer the older 8th gen over the newer 9th.

While the ‘Old is gold’ theory stands correct considering the above examples, it should not be an excuse to shy ourselves away from the new. With limited purchasing power and the fear of losing money, lot of people initially criticize the new, but favor the same when it gets old. When the front-wheel drive cars appeared in our market in the early 80s, potential buyers, and particularly the mechanics of our market, initially labeled them flop but as the years progressed, they adapted to the change.

The car mechanics and technicians, who are the primary source of advice for an ordinary buyer, have faith in older technology. This is because they don’t have to invest in new, they don’t have to learn the new either, and since most of the vehicles including cars and motorcycles are being developed using older technology, they can generate good money without having the need to update; thus their faith in old is still strong. I wonder what will happen when Honda Atlas introduces their new turbo engine in the upcoming 10th generation Civic.

Also Read: 10th Generation 2016 Honda Civic Review By A PakWheeler: An Epic Civic

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Wagon-R sales are a recent example of this mindset; people initially hesitate to go for the new. Pak Suzuki Wagon-R replaced the 1000cc Alto in 2014 and while average sales of Alto were well above 11,000 units per annum (sold 1,34,011 units were sold in 12 years) when it was discontinued in 2012, the Wagon-R however has just 6,800 units sold so far since it was launched in year 2014.

It entirely depends on what basis the comparison of the vehicles is being made. One vehicle will always be better than the other in terms of a specific aspect. The debate of “New vs Old” will never end, new vehicles will keep coming, they will have something good to offer and perhaps a few short-comings too. But the fact remains, the old which is now gold was once new!

 

Usman Ansari

An automotive enthusiast associated with the animation industry since 15 years having worked with leading organizations and production facilities across Pakistan.

  • Hassan Rao

    Great article…..
    But in my opinion in term of comfort new one is better while in terms of modifications old one is better.

  • Patriot

    Mr Ansari I think you should keep your reviews related to animation only and not to bother such useless superficial reviews. Please tell me what difference is there in the technology between 9th Generation and the newer models. Both are identical in terms of technology as i explain below:

    1. Both are VVTi/ EFi
    2. Suspension is same i.e. mac phersons Strut (means comfort levels are same)

    There are many shodas out there who may get agitated after readings this and will try to argue by saying that new has dual vvti while older has not, new has tilt telescopic steering, new has EPS while old have Hydraulic Power Steering, new has multi information display in odometer, new has this crap and that crap, so jacks these are not new technologies but just new features. Most of these features have been already used in 1990s BMWs and Benz.

    After passage of more than 130 years the mechanical technology of the latest corolla, civic or any other vehicle in the world is same as that in 1885 otto cycle car i.e both are 4 stroke internal combustion engines. The only advance features in new models are use of advanced electronics which supplement internal combustion engine to slightly increase fuel economy, horsepower, braking, handling, anti-theft, parking assist etc etc.

    Since Pakistani guys gets impressed by tags such as VVti, VTEC, Idsi etc etc they think that these are some new inventions which makes older cars obsolete and embarrassment in front of newer cars.

    So here is my conclusion, if people have previous model car which is in perfect running condition there is no need to become extravagant for buying newer model. People who buy new cars are mostly due to following reasons:

    1. They need bigger/ smaller car due to their requirements (few)
    2. Their current car is not in better running condition (few)
    3. They have craze for cars (most people)
    4. They want to gain superior status in society (majority)

    In my opinion if you fall in category 1 and 2 then it is ok otherwise you are doing extravagance which is one of the signs of devil.

  • Usman Ansari

    thank you

  • Guest

    Mrs Patriot we think you should really shut your foul mouth and pay attention to your own devilish behavior. You have some really abusive comments which may be a result of mental trauma of some childhood abuses suffered by you.
    Nobody asked what your opinion is about why people buy new cars. Nobody has to prove before your highness to classify them in category 1 or 2 before they would be allowed by your royal highness to buy a car because of your opinion abut what is devilish. (By the way do you consider your barrage of abuse truly angelic?)
    Obviously the population is increasing and so is the demand. Also, this is PW so — it was made by people who have craze for cars and made for people who have craze of cars. It was even called pagal wheels dot com in the forums.
    Whatever car you own is no different than 1885 Otto cycle car. Since you are so less devilish and so more angelic, please go ahead and get that 1885 car. We will definitely follow your sunnat.

    Plus you were stupid enough to miss the point of the post. Which is, about accepting newer and better technology. The article never encouraged senseless spending but you wanted to promote hate speech under the guise of religion which you successfully did.

    And on the other hand you already reiterated the point made in the article that we are getting “newly introduced” technologies and features which were already there in 1990s BMW for the customers in other countries.

    Newer cars consume less fuel. You are in fact lucifer yourself because you want to spend more on fuel than necessary. To cover the same distances, you would rather spend more fuel since you consider fuel saving car as a devilish sign. In this process you are hurting the economy of islamic republic because it is fuel importer. And also you want the oil reserves of the oil-rich islamic countries of middle east from where oil is imported to be consumed sooner rather than later that is why you are consuming more and more fuel by keeping and promoting older, fuel-guzzling cars. Congrats PW readers, the foul-mouthed devil was just uncovered.

  • Friend

    Modifications come after a time the car has been in the market. Because it is basically a reverse engineering and hit & trial sort of thing.
    Also, Pakistan is a bit laggard because it is developing country. So, even if they are available abroad, the modification parts arrive in the market a little later as they are so expensive.
    Another point, carmakers continually adjust their priorities according to various factors. Sometimes they improve comfort, sometimes handling, sometimes safety. sometimes economy, and sometimes only the looks, and sometimes everything a little. It has also happened that people have noted that the older model was more comfortable in terms of luxury options or the suspension. Examples is the 3rd gen City (also mentioned in the article) had more comfortable suspension than the newer ones, which had a harder (sporty) suspension. Mehran used to have 4 A/C vents but now have 2. So on.

  • Visitor

    “people initially criticize the new, but favor the same when it gets old”

    The summary of all the good things written on the PW blog. However there are valid reasons behind this mentality. A notable one is that spare parts of newer cars are much expensive. As the same cars are phased out from the markets abroad, the new and scrapyard spare parts become cheaper.
    Also, there is no formal training program by the car makers, so mechanics essentially use their customer’s cars as laboratory mice to learn. Early adopters suffer this problem, as noone wants to be the guinea pig. If the companies were encouraged or forced to issue workshop manuals etc. and mechanic training programs then this problem could be solved. As no matter how much 3S is there, it will never be enough and never be near enough than the corner mechanic or DIY.

    WagonR: It is 1000 times better than Alto in every aspect. Bigger inside, more comfortable, better and economical engine, better handling, better steering, better tyres, better brakes, better headlights, better A/C. The only negative point is the lower ground clearance. But the price difference is also there. WagonR was launched at a higher price than that at which Alto was discontinued.

  • Hassan Rao

    Right & thanks for increasing my knowledge

  • Patriot

    Guest, I think you are Mr Ansari who wrote in the name of Guest. I think the reason that you are a Mental retard (Nafsiati) is that your parents did not have paid much attention during ur childhood upbringing

  • Guest again

    Mrs Patriot, now you are falling in suspicion, which is one of the worst sins, which is a sign of how the devil has completely captured your mind and heart.

    And also you are committing accusation, which is another sign of the devil.

    Shows your black heart, which has completely become a slave to Satan.

    So before you are thinking about others that how they are displaying the signs of devil, you should be focusing on your self-improvement.

  • Patriot

    LOLz 🙂

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