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Old 25th April 2016, 11:01   #121
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Question Buyer's market? Really?

Just wanted to share two disappointing experiences I had in last 6 months. Should I settle for something I don’t want, even after paying hard earned money? Please offer your thoughts.

September 2015-
After much discussion, analysis and window shopping, we decided to buy Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Vxi ABS. Wife said she wanted Brown color, which I agreed. Went to a reputed(!) dealer in Pune and asked for the same. Since I had already done much research I was not looking for any options/suggestions.
The sales representative was nice and positive. He appreciated my specific request, however out of some compulsive training routine, tried to convince me to buy Vxi non ABS. According to his wisdom ABS was not a must have feature. I knew he was trying to push his existing stock, so I politely ignored his recommendation and asked him to proceed with my booking request. Since he realized I was not going to budge, he agreed, however, he promptly said that Brown was out of question. The color according to him was being discontinued. My wife reluctantly agreed for Serene Blue, no further compromise. Finally, Serene Blue Ertiga Vxi ABS was booked. The dealer committed that the car should be delivered in 15 days max.
What happened next was something many of us experience with Indian dealers. Had to do lots of follow-up, endure casual responses, etc.., 15 days came and went. After 18 days and much follow up, dealer said that Serene Blue would not be possible. It will be available probably next month in refresh avatar. The discount offer this month will not prevail. How about buying Silver or White? We will give it to you right away or can you upgrade to Zxi? We checked the refresh avatar and decided that we were not paying 80k more for a cosmetic upgrade. No deal on offer from dealer side for upgrading, the booking was cancelled. Again after much follow up and a period of about 15 days, I got my refund.

April 2016-
This time after another round of exhaustive discussion and research, we decided to go for VW Polo Petrol Comfortline. Reduced budget was a factor while shifting from a UV to Hatchback. Me and wife agreed to our daughter’s demand for Red. Again went to a reputed dealer(!) and asked for specific. Difference being, this dealer agreed to it straight away, no counter suggestions. So far so good.
Sales representative and his supervisor were good to talk. It was almost a surreal experience, considering the negative experiences some have had with VW. Explained a lot of good things about VW in detail, I was impressed. We booked the car again with a commitment of 15 days.
Hereon unfortunately, it seems like a repeat telecast. After 15 days dealer said there isn’t any red car being allotted by company. It may take a month or two, he already has a backlog for 3 red Comfortline cars, Highline would be made available immediately. Tapped some contacts in VW and got info that there is no schedule for any Comfortline models due to export and Ameo priority. I fail to understand the philosophy of VW. Even after the emission scandal, customer walks up to you and instead of closing the current deal, you manufacture cars with hope of some future deal? There’s a saying in Marathi, “Haatcha sodun paltyachya pathi!”
No other color option offered, no encouraging deal on Highline and same story at other dealer in Pune, I once again dropped the purchase. Got the cheque back in 6 days without follow-up.

With these two unfortunate episodes, here are a few questions…

1. Two car manufacturers at the opposite end of the spectrum. Suzuki sells about 100000 cars a month while VW barely sells 3000 cars a month and both say they can’t honor the booking. Weird..! How do we call this as buyer’s market?
2. Should I settle for something that I don’t want? It is not a shirt that I will buy white instead of red, or settle for a Peter England when I am looking for Louis Philip, it’s a big ticket product and I am paying my hard earned money!
3. Should I shop for any third option by compromising on budget, manufacturer, and the very product that I want? The charm is lost.

What would you do?
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Old 25th April 2016, 11:43   #122
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya2703 View Post

With these two unfortunate episodes, here are a few questions…

1. Two car manufacturers at the opposite end of the spectrum. Suzuki sells about 100000 cars a month while VW barely sells 3000 cars a month and both say they can’t honor the booking. Weird..! How do we call this as buyer’s market?
2. Should I settle for something that I don’t want? It is not a shirt that I will buy white instead of red, or settle for a Peter England when I am looking for Louis Philip, it’s a big ticket product and I am paying my hard earned money!
3. Should I shop for any third option by compromising on budget, manufacturer, and the very product that I want? The charm is lost.

What would you do?

Did you check with other dealers? You might get lucky. These people will make the customer go their way by any means. Even when i was thinking about buying a Polo(C.line-Red) , these people were giving diff information's. Luckily i got around 4-5 VW dealerships around my area. Availability was not an issue for me but there was a lot of difference in Price each of them offered.

So just contact other dealers and try your luck.
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Old 25th April 2016, 12:14   #123
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

Checked with other dealer in Pune, same situation.
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Old 25th April 2016, 12:15   #124
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

To answer your questions...
1) Yes i would still say it's a buyer's market. Every automobile manufacturer selling it's product in India has one or more problematic dealers in their list. Such dealer attitude is more prominent in smaller cities and towns. The primary reason being dealers have the upper hand due to their monopoly in such smaller cities/towns. Car manufacturers are left with no alternative but to turn a blind eye to their wrong deeds. Unless there is presence of another dealer selling the same brand in the vicinity chances of such incidences are always high! Now since Pune is a relatively well developed city you can always opt for another dealer (atleast Maruti would be having a bunch of dealerships if not VW).

2) Should you settle for anything less or different? I don't think so. You can enquire with other dealers and check the availability of the variant which you wish to purchase and also the color you prefer.
Having said that it's always a good idea to shortlist a minimum of three colors while booking the car. Something I learned while booking my first car. Now am not sure about VW but with Maruti they have always a stock of any model in white/silver and grey. Primarily cause white/silver are the most prefered color options compared to the other fancy ones. At times the waiting periods for other colors run in months!
Personal Experience- While booking my Swift i was inclined to buy it in Fire Red but was advised to shortlist two other color options which i did. After a month long wait i was told that they didn't expect to get a Swift in Fire Red for next 2 months minimum. Eventually opted for Pearl White that too with a waiting period of two weeks!

3) Since the two brands you chose are on two completely different sides of the spectrum i think you can take the middle route and go for something much more VFM.
(Hyundai Elite I 20/Verna, Honda Jazz/City)
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Old 25th April 2016, 12:28   #125
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

If a manufacturer is unable to deliver a color which is displayed in the brochure/website, they should rather take it off. Just sell white, silver and grey!
I think the problem here is we as consumers are used to "thoda adjust karo" attitude and it works well for the seller. Maybe its my frustration speaking, but I can't fathom the fact that, buyer is willing to buy what you showcase and seller is not interested.

The problem here is, we are too many, if I withdraw the booking, somebody else will..!
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Old 25th April 2016, 12:32   #126
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya2703 View Post
A) ... he promptly said that Brown was out of question. The color according to him was being discontinued. My wife reluctantly agreed for Serene Blue ... Serene Blue would not be possible. It will be available probably next month in refresh avatar. The discount offer this month will not prevail.

B) ... After 15 days dealer said there isn’t any red car being allotted by company. It may take a month or two, he already has a backlog for 3 red Comfortline cars, Highline would be made available immediately.

With these two unfortunate episodes, here are a few questions…

1. Two car manufacturers at the opposite end of the spectrum. Suzuki sells about 100000 cars a month while VW barely sells 3000 cars a month and both say they can’t honor the booking. Weird..! How do we call this as buyer’s market?
2. Should I settle for something that I don’t want? It is not a shirt that I will buy white instead of red, or settle for a Peter England when I am looking for Louis Philip, it’s a big ticket product and I am paying my hard earned money!
3. Should I shop for any third option by compromising on budget, manufacturer, and the very product that I want? The charm is lost.

What would you do?
What is meant by buyer's market? I though market is market because it has both buyers and sellers

In your case did you check with other dealers of the same brand to check availability?


Now the point that seller is not willing to sell. That is his choice, isn't it? It is his choice to manufacture 100 red cars or 1000 brown cars.
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Old 25th April 2016, 12:58   #127
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Talking Re: Buyer's market? Really?

LOL. This situation is true with almost everything sold - the dealer decides what you should buy and makes the market for a particular brand/firm/color etc. as per their cartel's instructions.

We had the same case with selecting tiles, laminates, you name it...
The dealer decides that this is 'not popular' - so it is "available in the factory godown", but "unless you buy a truckload, it is not profitable for us to source it and the manufacturer has incidentally discontinued it."

Same case with ghee or even mobiles - unless the dealer is given an incentive, the cheaper, better product comes under "no stock".

What happened to that wonderful smelling soap? "No demand"!


So, get street smart - always ask the auto or cab driver where he wants to go and then get in!!.
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Old 25th April 2016, 13:26   #128
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline_GT View Post
To answer your questions...
1) Yes i would still say it's a buyer's market. Every automobile manufacturer selling it's product in India has one or more problematic dealers in their list. Such dealer attitude is more prominent in smaller cities and towns. The primary reason being dealers have the upper hand due to their monopoly in such smaller cities/towns. Car manufacturers are left with no alternative but to turn a blind eye to their wrong deeds. Unless there is presence of another dealer selling the same brand in the vicinity chances of such incidences are always high!
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
What is meant by buyer's market? I though market is market because it has both buyers and sellers

In your case did you check with other dealers of the same brand to check availability?


Now the point that seller is not willing to sell. That is his choice, isn't it? It is his choice to manufacture 100 red cars or 1000 brown cars.
A buyer's market is one where the buyer has the upper hand.
Given the poor sales / tough competition that many manufacturer's face, buyer's are meant to be the kings today; unlike the older days when there were 2 manufacturers who controlled the market (supplier market).

I completely agree with the OP on the points that have been raised by him. It is not common to one or two dealers, but something across all the dealerships be it a Toyota, Maruti, VW, or any other brand.

Some examples:
1) We've recently booked an S-Cross 1.6 Alpha. Took a TD, and booked it within few minutes of it. However, the car has been with them for 2 weeks in their stockyard, and they seem to be taking forever for every small thing. We even traded in our existing Liva, over a week ago, and are still left wanting for transfer forms and formalities to be completed from their end.
The loan has been sanctioned, but we're still waiting for details on what is the final payment to be made by us after deducting the old car's resale from the down payment.
This by the way, is Maruti's supposedly largest Mumbai dealer, and from their 'premium' Nexa showroom.

2) We've owned 3 Toyotas, and taken test drives of 3 others (Camry's). 4 out of these 6 experiences have been very poor (the 1 experience that was not poor was when I was very young, and hence do not recall much, and the last experience was because we ran into someone we knew at the dealership). Dirty cars, limitations on the route which we can take (only super smooth Worli sea-face), and during booking and delivery - had to send an email out to Toyota because their dealers began fighting amongst themselves.
We booked a gray Etios from Dealer A, after checking whether they had in stock. After making the payment, we get notified that the gray vehicle has been allotted to someone else. So we cancel, and book with another dealer B, who has one in stock.
Dealer A goes to Toyota saying that we cancelled because Dealer B gave a better deal (which was actually not true). At the end, we had to send Toyota a strong email so we could take delivery.

3) Visited 3 Hyundai dealerships for a TD of the Creta. Any variant would have done (Petrol, Diesel, AT) as I wanted to judge the ride / handling combo. Guess what, I am still waiting for one. It's been over 3-4 months since my first visit, with a clear intention to purchase the vehicle ASAP. In fact, we would've made the booking the same day (as was the case with the S-Cross - within 30 minutes of a TD all the formalities were completed).

4) Friend's Figo Aspire AT was delayed by nearly a month! For a car with very little demand, this is just unacceptable!

Should I continue? Even premium brands like Audi, etc. have botched up with their delivery etc.
BMW didn't even care to offer us a glass of water!

Heck! By comparison, Skoda was just so much more easier to deal with pre-delivery than some of these established names! Even the Renault Sales Advisor was more proactive than the other guys.

A query: Just as we've chosen to give up visiting A.S.S. after warranty period owing to the attitude of some dealerships, why can't we purchase the vehicle from a DSA or similar?
It is one contact point for whichever vehicle you need, and as he is an independent guy - they are generally a lot more proactive. Plus, they know if they do a good job - you would refer your friends and family to them.
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Old 25th April 2016, 14:06   #129
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

It is sad to hear your story. Must be truly frustrating. I remember back in 2012 when I was buying my first car, I wanted a D Segment sedan but nothing except for the Laura drove nicely but I had heard and seen too many issues with the Laura's reliability (friend had actually bought a yellow laura VRS jst a couple of months earlier and was suffering from some electronic issues and a compressor failure) so simply decided to go for an easy to live with yet fun hatchback and I had settled for a Blue Swift ZXI which I went to my nearest MS showroom to book. The sales chappie first tried convincing me to go for a VDi, then tried convincing me to go for silver or white, but I did not budge. Later I found out that I actually know the owner of that particular dealership and got my Swift booked and delivery bumped from 6 months to 2 months. In the end I changed my mind after a month, when I saw the MD arrive in a black Kizashi (which up until that moment never crossed my mind) and immediately requested a test drive. I was blown away and right after the test drive I asked if it came in silver with a manual, and immediately requested to get the Kizashi and cancel the Swift booking.

Lessons learned from my first car buying experience, always go with some connections. Unfortunately in India, that is the only way to have things work your way. Secondly, everything happens for the best. Had I booked a Silver or White Swift VDI and got immediate delivery, I would never have been able to enjoy the Kiz. Similarly, perhaps there are better cars out there than the Ertiga or Polo. If the Polo petrol was not the GT TSI, then you should be glad you are off the hook. That 1.2 TPI engine is an absolute POS and I have not encountered a single happy owner of that particular variant.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 25th April 2016 at 14:16.
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Old 25th April 2016, 14:37   #130
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Default Re: Buyer's market? Really?

Yup Aditya, Its sad but true. India is a not a buyer's market for anything, leave alone cars. You simply have to take what the dealer and the company offers. Every one of us has seen offers only for those models which do not sell. Choice of colours, variants etc. is a luxury that is solely on the manufacturer's discretion.

It matters not that you have a confirmed booking and have paid the booking amount or even the full price. They are capable of cancelling the order or hiking the price at any point of time, of reneging on their offers of discounts/freebies/offers. All you get (if you're lucky) is a refund of the amount you had paid. Forget about compensation, you won't even get interest on the funds for the time that it was lying with them.

So, in this bleak scenario, what options do you have?

I suggest finalize 2-3 cars now, and then call the dealers and ask them about the stock in their yards. If they do have it, or if they are confident about getting delivery in an acceptable time limit, go for it. If not, move on to the next car.

Alternatively, stick with your booking but be prepared for a huge waiting period. I had to wait 3 months for my car, and I had already sold my old car, so was stuck too, but I had no choice but to be patient. I could not compromise on my choice of car, hence I chose to wait it out. I opted for the Swift Vdi with ABS, an option that the dealer was trying his best to not sell. But he had no choice, he could only delay.
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