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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:28   #1
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Default Volkswagen Navi Mumbai - PATHETIC. EDIT: And now VW Chembur too

Me and Manson decided to check out the Polo, so we walked into Volkswagen Navi Mumbai.

It's a very small place but longish for a showroom. A Polo, couple of Beetle's, a Passat and a Jetta were positioned in one line.

We were asked our details at the reception and then asked if we need anything to drink - tea or coffee. I asked them if they could get me something cold. The receptionist went pale as if she heard something wrong - so I calmed her down by clarifying that I wanted cold water and not some soft drinks. We were asked to wait for 5 minutes and some one would be assigned to us.

The wait took well over 15 minutes even when there was only one other customer being attended to. Manson and me had checked out all the cars by then.

A sales guy comes and asks us what we are looking for - we reply we are interested in the Polo. He walks off to get a price list. I say I want a TD. He looks flustered and goes back to check if the car is available. Meanwhile we check the price list only to notice that it was for the Diesel Polo. The guy says he will get us a price list of the petrol too.

Wait for the TD car took another 15+ minutes. As soon as we walk towards the car, another salesman approaches and says he will take us for a TD as he has some customers to pick on the way. I agree since I will be able to check the car performance with full load - did I say the sales guy was well built ?

The guy who came for the TD had an attitude that he knew all and people who buy cars do not know anything.

Manson and me were discussing the i20 and Polo and he says - i20 is Hyundai Sir. We have paint protection ...blah blah. I told him i20 was smoother, he didn't agree. I told him the Polo had a 3 cylinder engine which he ignored and told me the FE was 15 kmpl. I asked him to answer me on the vibrations of the engine - which he tried too avoid.

We drive 800 meters and pick up the customers ( a 70+ year old couple) - now read the conversation that actually happened between the 70 year old uncle and the sales guy.

Aunty got into the car and the sales guy was already sitting in the car.

Uncle - seems like this car has no space for 3 people at the back.
SM - No sir you can sit easily.
Uncle - I can see it is very tight fit in the rear for 3 people.
SM - I am comfortable sir. (Didn't he understand that the other 2 were uncomfortable because he was comfortable?)
Uncle - This car has a ac ?
SM - Yes sir.
Uncle - Then is it not on ?
SM - Yes sir it is on - your window is open sir.

Uncle - How is the small car of Ford in the rear ? More spacious ?
SM - No sir it is very small.
Uncle - It is far cheaper than this car.
SM - Sir this is German car.
Uncle - But it is made in India no ?
SM - Umm yes but it is German car.

Manson and me were smiling away to glory.

We drove another 200 meters and then turned back. I thought we would drop the couple to the showroom and take a proper TD.

As we reached the showroom - I was instructed to park the car aside.

I asked the SM if the TD was over. He said - Yes.

Manson and me stopped the car where it was and walked off.

All in all - A pathetic experience.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 14:48   #2
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Based on the Unclespeak, it seems that uncle has 10x more IQ than the sales guy...could be a TBHPian?

@N_C, the sales guy has been "optimized" for typical Indian middle class mentality: So you cant really blackwash him...

- Hyundai is a cheap Korean car, next to BS
- Made in Germany == Made in Heaven; no testdrive is required (who are us Indians to test the Germans?)
- Mileage is everything, If the car has no engine? great, the milage is 10,000kmpl !.

Just my 2c.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 10:47   #3
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Unfortunate, and VW better realise that a positive dealership experience is key to success. I am seeing a clear lapse in staff training (for product knowledge, competitive outlook, marketing and customer etiquette), and have my concerns over their readiness to handle previously unseen volumes (small car versus Passat & Jetta).

An area where Maruti & Hyundai fare infinitely better, I might add.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 11:40   #4
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Not surprised. Be happy that you got a TD atleast

This problem is not just with VW. So far, I have only seen one HONEST Car Sales Person (Hyundai Motor Plaza-Chennai) who just stuck to the basics when we went to look for Santro for my friend. This is what he did,

1. Explained the cars features
2. Suggested the variant that would suit my friend
3. Honestly answered questions related to the competition. Eg. He agreed that the Indica V2 Diesel is more spacious and has more FE. But would we do so much of driving? He asked us to compare the quality of the interiors, NVH etc and then decide.
4. Directed us to the Car Loan person, gave us the price list, discussed on the discounts. Bye

Are these 4 steps so difficult? Am yet to see another person like this in another showroom. MPL Ford Chennai has a Fiesta Petrol TD Car that wobbles under hard braking. Wouldn't change the TD car. So I changed the dealer.

Last edited by kiku007 : 23rd April 2010 at 11:57.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 11:54   #5
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There are two/three issues here

1. Whether VW has done thier marketing stuff right. In includes choosing the right dealers, providing them with necessary gyan/resources to demo/promote/test drive the cars. Is the sales force properly trained ?

2. Whether the Management of the Dealer outlet has really used the marketing resources given to really do the promotion ?, Is the right people employed, are they properly motivated, are there necessary hygiene factors available to entertain the customers ?, is the TD cars used actually for TD ?

3. The Individual sales guys : there are three different types generally.
Under seller, Over seller and the honest seller. Under seller is often ignorant of the facts, competition, product etc and not able to communicate in the right manner. Over seller is generally over confident and often sells what is not there or not possible to deliver. Honest seller is rare ot find.

When any new brand or product being launched, these thare the basic hygiene factors that need to be taken care.

else money goes down the drain, customer goes to the competition, business is in deep red.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 23rd April 2010 at 11:56.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 12:07   #6
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My experience was also neutral to not good with OSL Exclusive* (VW Calcutta). I mean they were courteous and all that but bottomline was I did not leave the dealership delighted. They came across a tad cold and I went there as a prospective Jetta customer.

In contrast, Pinnacle Honda was a delightful experience - willing to please and help with anything and everything although they current have a monopoly here as the only Honda dealer. Toyota was pleasant and professional.

I specifically asked the VW sales person about the new engine. This was during the fag end of March after reports of hoardings and prices were already out elsewhere including the Autocar report. They still flatly denied any possible engine change, even claiming that the current PD engine is BS IV compliant and wont need a change.

They were willing to give a TD, but I wasn't interested since the TD vehicle was a Jetta petrol. No diesels for TD. I said I'll check out the parked petrol TD vehicle. I was allowed to, but they gave me a feeling I was imposing on them. No eagerness to explain stuff.

However, they at least followed up 2 weeks after the launch. Said new car has been launched. You were correct sir. 1 car has come, no TD car yet. So we can't give you a proper TD, but if you come to the service center, we could give you a wee wee drive in the car there.

Btw, was told that the Jetta has no free services. First service after 15K kms/1 year is a paid service.

* The OSL group also handles BMW in Calcutta

Last edited by shuvc : 23rd April 2010 at 12:09.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 14:32   #7
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Drove past the Downtown VW dealership off Brigade Road last week, showroom was looking bare and not much activity going on.

Didn't seem to be fully operational, am planning to check it out tomorrow.

Atleast in Blore i havent noticed any proper publicity for the car nor any test drive cars roaming around. (maybe TD cars without stickers, unlike Maruti Hyundai etc) This inspite of my house being just down the road from the dealership !
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Old 23rd April 2010, 14:46   #8
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Even I had a similar Experience with VW Dealer in Chennai (Saidapet) next to Hyundai Showroom, as soon as I entered the showroom the sales guy asked me to sign a register (maintained for Walkin enquiries) with my mobile number and after that handed over the Polo Brouchure to me and "Said sorry about this" I asked him how long will it take for them to give me a test drive a YEAR? he smiled and gave me another register asked me to leave my name and number, I left my name and number for a test drive and left the showroom, this happened a week back and so far didnt get any calls from them.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 15:36   #9
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NC, like I said before, I'd close my eyes and choose a Ford Figo over this overrated vehicle any day. I liked the looks, and the quality of the Polo. Everywhere else, the car falls woefully short.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 15:56   #10
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Negative experience at the Prabhadevi dealership as well. We were waiting for 15 minutes before anybody approached us. There were only 4 - 5 other people in the dealership at the time.

I was dressed in business casuals with a jacket and still no respect from the staff. They eventually brought out water after 20 minutes. We asked for a test drive and probably because it was lunch time, we managed to get a chance to drive within 10 minutes. I wanted to take it to reclamation which is not too far away during lunch time but they weren't up for this. They had a "pre determined" test drive route which lasts maybe 2 minutes.

I see a lot of the Honda arrogance in the VW guys with the added attitude of being associated with a "German" manufacturer. I wonder where they hire the higher-ups that encourage this culture.

Skoda dealers are thugs...VW dealers are uneducated wannabe sons of the fatherland. It sickens me. Give me the superb experience of a Sai Service or a Vitesse anyday!
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Old 24th April 2010, 08:33   #11
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Default Volkswagen Nagpur - Pathetic Again.

Heres a story of the Made in germany = made in heaven car.

My dad has a Passat AT since sept. 2008. The car has done 50k Kms. and mostly on the highways. Last week a car being driven in the city runnin at 50km/hr speed suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. No signals, No indications nothing......... the engine stopped and the car stopped in the middle of a busy road. some nicks and scratches from the cars runnin behind was the result.
We called up the volkswagen dealership and they said they have no authority to go and see a car breakdown. They will send some low bed trailer to lift the car back to the dealership.
Inside the nagpur city where we have a dealership it took volkswagen 12 hours to get the trailer and lift the car.The dealers were not talking, they claimed they were helpless, The volkswagen helpline will ask u everything about the car in 13 different phonecalls to verify if you own the car and if the car has really breakdown.
And the sad part is no-one be it volkswagen, dealership, mechanic, no one in the entire deal ever thought of the seriousness of the problem......... if the car was runing faster on the highway, or while overtaking it wud have stopped, there is no way of escape. absolutely 0% chances especially as its a automatic transmission car.
It was seriously sad.
After 3 days of investigation the dealership is casually telling us that one of the fuel injectors went wrong and the GERMAN TECHNOLOGY doesnt allow the other injectors to work . Hence the car stopped. Infact they were happy that the car stopped just after one injector got damaged else they wud have had to replace all 4 free of cost.
I really dont understand their systems where the dealers have no power to take a call or decision on a serious breakdown call. If within the city they take 12 hours then forget any assistance outside the city or in remote areas,
if the injectors can go wrong( god knows the reasosn) the car can stop middle of the road.

I have seriously lost faith in the modern electronically controlled cars. The staff at the dealership is not competent to answer, assure in case of problems. their standard answer is we have sent a mail to germany/italy/france and will get the reply soon.
It much better to own cars with mechanical controls where atleast during emergency someone can make sure the car reaches u to a safe place.

i dont know or rather understand the VOLKSWAGEN india systems of service and breakdown assistance. and definitely wont understand a moden hi-fi car stopping in the middle of a road.
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Old 24th April 2010, 13:31   #12
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This reminds me of Delhi Autoexpo in 2008. The entry into the VW stall was really crowded but the bouncers there were actually manhandling visitors even where it was uncalled for. There was one who was actually enjoying the process - it was shocking. There seemed to be VW intl execs there as well but they seemed fairly unperturbed by the treatment being meted out by their security guys. Quite disgusting.

I also visited Downtown VW at Worli Mumbai. The knowledge of the execs on the vehicles is downright pathetic. They insist that someone will tell you about the car during your inordinate wait for the TD. And the person concerned typically knows far far less about the vehicles than you do.
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Old 27th April 2010, 17:50   #13
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Default So called GOD's (This is what a VW dealer employees think about themeselves)

On on my colleagues was interested in a new generation hatch back and I being what I am immediately decided to help him check out all his options. We visited the VW dealer in T.Nagar, Chennai - forgot the name of the dealership. With the intention of checking out the Polo. To my utter suprise NOT ONE OF THE SALES GUYS was interested in even checking out why we were there even though the showroom was empty. We just checked the car by ourselves and asked them for the price list which they parted with great difficulty. Can you believe what was told when asked for a test drive. "Book the car for a test drive" What the hell does these guys think of themselves, they expect us to book a car without even cranking the engine. I dread the thought of the poor guys who buy this car and imagine the kind of treatment they would be meted out with for service.

Any ways my friend as as of now zeroed in for FORD FIGO.

Last edited by Rehaan : 27th April 2010 at 20:35. Reason: language
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Old 28th April 2010, 00:32   #14
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I'm utterly amazed that these companies do not consider selection, training and supervision of staff to be the absolute priority. Thinking that the car will sell itself, and that not even a little dose of good manners is necessary in the sales staff is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 28th April 2010, 00:59   #15
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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
NC, like I said before, I'd close my eyes and choose a Ford Figo over this overrated vehicle any day. I liked the looks, and the quality of the Polo. Everywhere else, the car falls woefully short.
Yes to that. I am appalled by the incidents mentioned on this thread. To think, people say that VW is a premium brand, this is a surefire recipe for a really poor ownership experience.

Look at Hyundai, they have a fantastic sales team. I am not a big fan of their cars, but their sales team have been fantastic across states (I have interacted with the dealers in Calcutta, Bhubaneshwar and Kanpur). The sales team gives the owners the first sense of confidence in the product, and VW is being exceptionally foolhardy if they are letting this go down the drain. One would think that with just 40 dealers in the whole of India, it would have been easier to have good control over each of them.

Ford has really pulled up it's socks, Fiat is trying to (succeeding to a certain extent), GM has done it too, I hope VW decides to take it's head out of the sand before it's too late.
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