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Old 24th September 2009, 21:19   #1
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Default Commercial vehicle dealerships!

I was in kerela & had a recent experience with few commercial vehicle dealers. i was looking to purchase two buses & one mini bus. Choice for the buses were between tata & ashok leyland. choice for the mini bus was between force traveller & tata winger.

first, i went to the force motors showroom to check the traveller. one vehicle was on display, the showroom was spartan with AC not that effective. anyways, i checked the vehicle & the salesperson left us alone & was least interested to show us the features or give details. we checked the vehicle ourselves & then met the sales manager who gave us the brochures & price list. he also answered some queries we had. overall, experience was average.

next we went to the tata showroom to check the winger & tata buses. the salesman there was good but the showroom had just 4 seats & no AC! one winger was on display, the salesman explained us all the features & was very courteous. we could peacefully check the car with AC on & later he even explained all RTO regulations.

the same guy came with us to their godown a few kms away to show us the buses. first he showed us the tata starbus which he claimed initially was a 40 seater, but the bus turned out to be a 32 seater. not his fault as he was not the in-charge of buses! the person who handles sales of buses was on leave. we had made up our mind that we wont buy these body-ready buses & would buy the chassis & then build a customised body ourselves. so we asked him to show a few chassis but he was not aware which is a bus chassis & which is a truck chassis. moreover, he was keen to sell the starbus & was consistently persuading us to buy the starbus which i found irritating. next when he was sure we would buy only the chassis, he was repeatedly asking when we would buy them, that again was irritating & sounded desperate. overall, not-so-good experience.

later, i took some reviews & found that ashok lelyland chassis are superior to tata chassis. so i visited the AL godown to have a look at the chassis. the staff there told me that their sales office is somewhere else & i''ll have to go there. but they were kind enough to show me the chassis & explain every feature in detail. not only that, the guy there explained in detail all optional fitments, all RTO regulation, even gave me opinons on good coach builders which i appreciated. they gave me the address & i went to their sales office. even there, the sales manager was extremely courteous & went out of their way to help me in everything & explain everything in detail. overall, i was very satisfied.

so, the outcome is that we are buying two AL chassis with optional radial tyres & air suspension. for the minibus, we are buying the force traveller as the seating capacity for winger is not more than 14 seats & traveller is available with 17 seats. moreover, traveller is a tried & tested product down in kerela.
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Old 9th April 2010, 17:45   #2
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Even I've had bad experiences at Commercial Vehicle Dealerships.

Perception is the key, with the Commercial Vehicle guys.

They are only interested in Fleet Owners. Walk into the showroom in starched white clothes, Thick chain, Thick bracelet and Rolex watch after getting down from a chauffered FORTUNER, with 2 dirty men (mechanics/drivers/cleaners) in tow, and they'll roll out the read carpet for you.

They are not very knowledgable folks. One person was particularly sarcastic. I rememeber his so well even after all these years, that the day I buy a bus, I'll run it in circles around him.

Another thing is that they simply won't experiment. Its all stuff at 'as is where is' condition for them. They'll look at you as if you are stupid in not buying a dereguire Bus chassis. The specifications you ask for, will not even be available, what available, even their factory research teams would not have imagined them

Sometimes I feel, TATA and LEYLAND should have examinations to appoint Dealers instead of looking at their bank balances. I would be selling LEYLANDS and then TATA's opposite the LEYLAND showroom

(Mods: Please don't get me wrong about the tone of this post, just want to bring out my frustration at some people who have the opportunity, but do a shoddy job, and people like me who want to do a good job, but don't have the opportunity)
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