“Obviously for India, the horn is a category in itself,” Michael Perschke, director at Audi India, told Monday’s Mint newspaper. “You take a European horn and it will be gone in a week or two. With the amount of honking in Mumbai, we do on a daily basis what an average German does on an annual basis.” Perschke said the horns are specially adapted for driving conditions in India, a booming market where Audi is one of many foreign car brands competing for increasingly wealthy customers. “The horn is tested differently – with two continuous weeks only of honking, the setting of the horn is different, with different suppliers,” he said.
I’ve heard this before, of course: driving behavior in India is dramatically different from that in much of the West. It seems that different cultures produce different social equilibria, which is I suppose an intuitive conclusion.
The real takeaway on this for me is the sourcing issue: exporters to Indian markets have to identify entirely different supply chains to replace what to us would be a fairly insignificant part. That is probably just as intuitive, though: a dollar says car salesmen in Seattle spend more time talking about windshield wipers or all-weather tires than those in Arizona do.