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Old 25th August 2009, 11:24   #1
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Default In search of a sedan!

During the course of my search for sedan, I got an opportunity to test-drive almost all cars in this segment (excl. Skoda, Civic etc. that's not my segment ). Just thought of sharing those experience with you all in case that helps.

Started with Kothari Wheels for Alto, then Wagon R and SX4. Good sales team. Keep chasing you regularly. Unfortunately their tele-sales and actual sales team don't seem to be working together. Showroom space is too small to display 4-5 vehicles incl. DZire / SX4 etc. The bay where delivery vehicles get ready is horribly cramped for space. But overall experience was good and had I decided to go for Maruti car, would have finalized deal here only.

Then came the mose expensive car in my segment - Honda City. Punekars are not fortunate to have a choice here since there's only 1 dealer - Deccan Honda albeit with 3 showrooms. There's excellent follow-up till you visit the dealer and then it's all about the attitude shown. You are not supposed to ask naive questions about the car neither ask for any discounts ! They graciously offer you a 5K discount on a 9.5 Lac car if you work for one of the corporates in their list. There also you stand to lose 2500 if you decide to buy insurance outside (which I think you should). The guy doesn't even listen to you if you ask him for a basic CD player to be given complimetary (City has a stereo and radio but you need iPod or CD player to play CDs). Mats, flaps etc. are under consideration. In short, you'll be treated as if you are at a wrong place if you talk price and discounts. There's no follow-up after that at least in my case as I was hard on price/discounts talking. Go there only if you have finalized that City is THE car for you. I hear Kothari is opening a Honda showroom towards the end of the year.

Since I've a Santro, wanted to take a chance on Verna. Called up Kothari Hyundai and asked for test ride but didn't get any response for 3 days so called Sanjay Hyundai and they promised a test ride in 3-hours time. Sure did they sent the car but not the model I asked for. It was a shabby old verna (not 2009 model) with speedo disconnected - wasn't a demo car - but then when I went to showroom I didn't see a single Demo car across the entire range!. Looking at Verna I test-drove, my family rejected Verna on the spot but still I visited the showroom to see a fully-loaded car but they didn't have any so showed a customer car! There were lots of discounts/freebies and follow-ups but Verna was off my list by then. But I still rate Sanjay better than Kothari through my Santro experience.

Then went to Pashankar for a GM Aveo. The best showroom in terms of space, decor, arrangements and attitude! Alas, the car was as good as that. Again they were ready to offer discounts etc. But didn't have many Aveos to display compared to number of Sparks. The sales-guy assigned to me was a novice. I knew more about his car than him. In fact I explained him a few tech terms and then he said I better be served by his boss who was slightly better off. Here again, Aveo didn't appeal to me a lot esp. rear seating and space otherwise a good dealer and car.

Decided to go to a Ford dealer and had wrong address in hand so landed up in TATA-FIAT showroom of B U Bhandari. It was full with people looking for Indigo CS, Punto, Linea and Vista. So sales people were everywhere but no-where! waited for 30 min for someone to show me Linea features. The car looked too BIG inside showroom so I said no and stepped outside. There was a demo car and it looked quite diff in size due to open space. Asked for a test-drive and luckily got it in 5 min. Shortlisted the car and went back home.

Finally gave a try at Ford on a Sunday noon. The sales-guy was hell bent on his discourse than answering my questions but looked very intent on selling the car. Fiests was impressive as well. Ready to negotiate quite a lot incl. some wrong-doings for better benefit of the customer . Promised to arrange test-ride in next 2 days and since then I'm still waiting!

All-in-all Linea met my expectations so decided to take another round. Satisfied went to book the car at BUB. This time a different salerperson (sales lady) assigned. I asked for the guy who showed me the car last time and but the lady persisted. I guess she knows the brochure by-heart but beyond that nothing! Since, now I'm obsessed with Linea, didn't argue too much and paid the booking amount in a painfully slow-process. Reading at TBHP have asked to inspect the car before registration and a thoorough PDI at delivery. Sales manager Kishore is good so he's too busy I guess to cover his other sales-people. Reading again at TBHP avoided Pandit Auto completely.

Sorry for the long-post but hope this helps! Happy motoring!
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Old 25th August 2009, 12:43   #2
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Very informative Vineet, thanks for sharing your experience with us out here ! Congrats on your purchase too !
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