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How do you define build quality?

#1 23-Jul, 2010 02:40 PM
Jeyaprakash P
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Joined Date: 23 Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
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Is build quality a subjective term based on individuals view? We have seen in numerous occasion in this forum saying that Punto / Linea has greater build quality than any other cars in their respective segments. How this can be justified? Or is there any tests which says that car A has better build quality than car B.

I am not trying to compare build quality of Punto/Linea with others but would like to understand the term "build quality"




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#2 23-Jul, 2010 03:25 PM
Giri
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Location: Bokaro Steel City
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Build quality can be judged by following:

  1. Quality of plastics used for inner panels/dash boards/steering column/instrument cluster. A given Car is said to have better interior build quality, if the plastics used are hard wearing, durable and good to touch.
  2. The panel gaps inside. Gaps should be minimum and even. there should be uniform tolerances.
  3. The panel gaps outside. Example, the shut lines of the doors, boot, bonnet, fuel cap etc. the gaps between two metal sheets. All should be uniform and even to be termed as better built.
  4. The metal gauge and the quality. Cars with flimsy metal sheets (can be depressed with a light force) is not considered as better built.
  5. Proper sound and water insulation for the cabin.
  6. quality of rubber beadings and felt used for insulation.
  7. Quality of paint.
  8. Finishing Details (Joints/welds etc.)

These are the major things which define the quality. Yet the term "quality" dosent mean a uniform standard. Built quality depends on the segment the car is put or the price it has. For an example Maruti 800 will look poorly built in comparison to Honda Jazz or VW Polo. But these address different segments and different buyers, so the build quality of a 800 cant be compared to the Polo or Jazz. Although the BQ of a ford endeavor can be compared to toyota fortuner, as they target same customers and have the same price range.




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#3 23-Jul, 2010 03:53 PM
Jeyaprakash P
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Joined Date: 23 Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
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Thanks Giri for providing such a detailed information.

So out of curiosity, how does Punto / Linea score over others on what all above parameters to get high mark on BQ?.

Yes, as you said, i am satisfied with the Build quality of my Alto.




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#4 23-Jul, 2010 04:36 PM
Giri
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Punto & Linea Score less on interior bulid quality ie. plastic parts. Exterior build quality is above the competetion.




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#5 23-Jul, 2010 06:03 PM
Kshitij Rajhans
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Joined Date: 22 Feb 2010
Location: Pune
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just a small example, when you close the door, you will feel the sound and if that is solid, for sure the build quality is good. Also, as mentioned by Giri, the sound inside the cabin. I've i10 and I drive my friend's estilo sometimes. Estilo has more much noise inside the cabin than i10. Interesting though that the noise difference from outside is negligible.



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#6 23-Jul, 2010 11:34 PM
Mike
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Joined Date: 18 Nov 2009
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Be aware that the term "build quality" has different meanings in different countries.  If you see the term on the internet make sure to note what country the web site is from.

Indians seem to include fators like a quality feel or the thickness of metal in the concept of build quality.  Solid feeling doors and other parts, nice feel to interiors, etc. count.  Not all countries define it this way.  For example, Americans don't consider those things when talking about build quality.  Those are just "quality" without the word "build" attached.  Build quality is more specific, and means how well was it put together.  It's all about initial defects and things like panels being out of alignment.  By the American definition a cheap, low quality, flimsy car can have excellent build quality and a Mercedes-Benz can have awful build quality.

That actually happened for a couple years after Mercedes opened its first factory in the US in the 1990s.  The factory was building M Class SUVs, and they were the most troublesome defect laden cars available in the US at the time.  The troubles got sorted out in a couple of years.  I suspect it was just startup problems with a new factory in a country where M-B had never built cars before.



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#7 26-Jul, 2010 10:22 AM
Jeyaprakash P
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Joined Date: 23 Jul 2009
Location: Bangalore
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Thanks Mike for your inputs.




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