A couple of weeks back I wrote about dealers who polish dashboards and make matt surfaces glossy. As a result of this, distracting reflections are cast on the windscreen. Many of you sent your feedback after reading that opinion piece. One said his dealer forcefully persuaded him to go in for an 'interior decoration' package that included polishing the dashboard. The dealer told him this would increase the life of the dashboard! Life of a dashboard - now that's a new one. I have never heard of a dashboard going bad. I thought they only get damaged in accidents. A very senior motorsport personality who used to run a race tuning shop said, "Ask the dealer to check the brakes and they will change the clutch too." A couple of senior people working with automobile manufacturers said the steering wheel and dashboards of their cars had been polished too and they had internal discussions on how to prevent dealers from doing such detrimental things.
One very interesting feedback came from a keen automotive enthusiast who also runs a specialized body and paint shop. He said some cars have brightly coloured dashboards that radiate reflections even if they have not been polished. This got me thinking and I took a closer look at the dashboards of some cars. I observed that most German cars have black or dark grey dashboard tops with a matt finish. The surface on top of the dash has lots of perforations, and the shape is also contoured to minimize reflections on the windscreen. These car makers clearly put 'function before form'. The Japanese and Korean car makers sometimes have more brightly coloured dashboards with beige being the preferred colour for India. But now even these car makers are increasingly going for dashboards in darker colours like black or dark grey. Good examples are the Hyundai Creta and recently launched Maruti Vitara Brezza and Honda BR-V. In the Brezza, in particular, the top of the dash is fairly long, but Maruti have done a splendid job in limiting reflections through use of good textures, colours and the matt finish.
But when it comes to Indian manufacturers, the story is slightly different. They tend to have bright and colourful dashboards with shiny accents that result in lots of reflections on the windscreen. Case in point being the recently launched KUV100, whose dash including the top, is bright beige, which transmits lots of reflections to the windscreen. Even the Mahindra XUV500 has a very glossy panel with silver borders placed in the centre of the dash, and they emit disturbing reflections. I hope Indian manufacturers also soon go in for dashboard designs that limit reflections.
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