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Old 6th November 2012, 10:18   #16
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

In a very recent incident when my B-I-L was in the market looking for a C Segment sedan. He visited VW downtown and was on the verge of finalizing the Vento-Highline. But the lackadaisical attitude from the Salesmen put them off. They were also taking a very long time to confirm a Corporate discount. My B-I-L just walked into the Skoda Showroom nearby and booked a Laura. When VW called him, he informed them that he is at the Skoda showroom and making the booking payment for the Laura. A lot of calls followed from the Regional Sales Manager at VW etc. but by then it was too late.

Im sure there are many incidents like these. VW needs to pull up its socks. Just pulling down a brand is not going to help. Its like cutting your nose to spite your face.
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:22   #17
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

VW need not do anything. If they want to position Skoda at a lower level than what VW should do is Increase the price of VW, decrease the price of Skoda. Add more value to the VW products by giving the right features. The equipment level in VW is too less. Ensure that VW's every car comes with ABS + EBD. All the models should come with these safety features. The premium models should have more features like Bluetooth, Rain sensing wipers and other stuff. Anyways, when you want to distinguish yourself in the market, its all upto you. No need to pull others pants down.

Comming to Skoda, Already they are in deep trouble. This new rebranding excersise would put them into more deeper rubbish which might kill the brand. VW should remember the basic point. Create your own Competetion if not, others will create it for you. As of now, the only Best Sedan that i see in the market are Rapid and Vento. they are going the correct way, If skoda goes out, Toyota's & Honda's upcomming diesel models will cause Nightmares to VW group with their reliability and VFM tags and service. VW doesnt have VFM tag, no proper service and they are expensive.

In order to take up the competetion, you need to sell volumes, which you will get only with the proper pricing and proper & cheaper service. If they cant do this, they may pack their bags and leave.

Last edited by GTO : 6th November 2012 at 12:55. Reason: Do NOT use inappropriate language, NOT even indirectly
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:59   #18
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Default

As many are expecting, the quality of the cars may not drastically drop but the prices surely will.
Localisation doesn't imply bad quality for sure.
Skoda will only become more VFM in the days to become.

But VW can't just do this and sit about idle. They need to get a move on in terms of the after sales.
If they can manage to make it good, then VW would make one heck of a car company in India.
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Old 6th November 2012, 11:44   #19
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

Another of VW's monumental blunders. It's called "pulling rank". I am not as good as you and I realize I can't become as good as you either so I am going to use my position as the boss and ask you to tone down your performance!! We need to start a thread "VW Group Blunders" akin to XUV Niggles .. etc.

Somehow the Germans think that being good at engineering makes them automatically good at corporate strategy.

Someone needs to tell the VW bosses that they have always been very wrong with their corporate strategy.

And for sure they wouldn't listen.
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Old 6th November 2012, 12:10   #20
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

OK, so bosses trying to tell me Laura L&K which comes with all gizmos will now be positioned below Jetta Highline DSG or they want to jack-up Jetta price? Looks like they never owned any of their vehicle.

Localization just cannot help in repositioning a premium brand in VFM segment. It takes much more, to start with "The overall ownership experience" starting right at the top of sales funnel when a prospect enters the system. Dang, how many times i tried to enter their system, never managed to reach the quotation stage.

They swung into action finally to solve a wrong problem .

Looks like someone feeding them with junk analytics to make rotten dicisions.

This again proves that the bunch of Morons are really sitting at top in VW.
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Old 6th November 2012, 12:25   #21
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

I think it is a goood thing for skoda actually. Bringing the brand value down means that they would be a brand like say Maruti. Hence service costs and experience should be similar to Maruti. Wouldnt that actually increase the sales of Skoda

In my opinion Skoda has really well engineered cars and they are priced well in each segment. they still dont sell. the reason is the A.S.S Horror stories. Now bringing in localization and putting it at a lower brand value the result would be lower cost of Parts.

If VW can successfully get the service experience to be better and the perception to change (in the coming years) Skoda could be a VFM brand for the masses.

VW needs to do something about Skodas current state. Looking at the cars they offer and the time they are in the market they should sell cars in really high numbers accross segments in India. But the current overall performance in terms of sales is pethatic to say the least.

Last edited by gandalf : 6th November 2012 at 12:28. Reason: rephrasing
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Old 6th November 2012, 12:33   #22
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

I just don't understand why.

If you look at total sales, VW is in better shape than Skoda. A quick look at the Sales thread gave me these numbers (6 months - approx)

Fabia 1800
Polo 17k

Laura 1650
Jetta 1500

Superb 940
Passat 500

Rapid 10.5k
Vento 11.5k

Are they hoping the Skoda numbers will come to them if they price it lower and Skoda will get a new set of customers? A happy ending for both? Or they desperately want Skoda to do better numbers? Only time will tell what is it and if the strategy will pass or fail. One reason people still compromise and go for a Skoda is because of the value it offers. They are ready to take a gamble with the service part simply coz the product is so appealing. Once they start localizing and stripping it of features to bring the costs down they'll compromise on the very USP of this brand and THAT may not go down well with customers at large.

But, what I am really curious about is, if a parent company has so much say in a particular marquee under its hold, why isn't VW bothered about the negative publicity its after sales support generates? Which now seem to be percolating down to VW itself! Reading all the negative reviews of the dealers and the response of the company, are they really ready to handle more volumes?

Last edited by Dry Ice : 6th November 2012 at 12:34.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:02   #23
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

What a joke! It's like my left hand is bruised, but I'm applying band-aid to the right hand.

If VW wants to become "premium", they're going to have to actually start doing something about it.

The Skoda Rapid is the same car as the VW Vento at a lesser price.

The Skoda Laura has better interior quality, more power (in 1.8 TSI guise), more equipment (variant to variant) and is STILL priced lower than the VW Jetta.

The Skoda Superb completely *owns* the VW Passat.

Across the board, Skoda is selling a superior package to VW at lesser prices. @ VW : Fancy ads & higher pricing won't make you premium. Your PRODUCT has to be premium. Learn from Skoda itself; the Octavia made Skoda the brand it is, without much marketing or advertising money.

They'd be nuts to "make a correction" on Skoda. If anything, it's VW that needs a "correction". Might be a good idea to start with the wretched dealer experiences first.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:07   #24
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

Seems a bit strange, atleast for the hatchback segment. Recently the Fabia was again repositioned as a premium hatchback - the Active & Ambition variants have been discontinued.

http://www.skoda-auto.co.in/ind/mode.../Features.aspx

Fabia is now only available in Ambition Plus & Elegance variants with prices starting from approx. Rs 5.40 & 6.60 lakhs for the petrol and diesel variants respectively (ex-showroom Delhi). In comparison, the base variant of the Polo i.e. Trendline is priced at approx. Rs 4.70 & 5.80 lakhs for the petrol and diesel variants respectively (ex-showroom Delhi). Please note I'm comparing base variants, not features.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:10   #25
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Pricing the car higher or lower does not really make it premium, nor does weird advertisements. Kill an already established premium brand to make to space for a parent brand, just after announcing no fresh investments and blaming policies etc just does not feel like the right strategy to me.
Completely agree! And for a start, it makes sense for them to have a bit more of self-awareness to understand that the brand VW is not really superior to the Skoda brand. With a bit of extra car on customer management, both brands can very well co-exist in the same space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman
EDIT: My biggest fear is toned down next generation Skoda cars, especially the Octavia 3 and Superb next gen.
Quite possible. Their way of repositioning maybe to just focus on cars which are market specific.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:22   #26
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

This is not unique case for VW India, the same thing is happening in Europe also : German auto giant Volkswagen is having trouble with its subsidiary Skoda.

Quote:
Skoda the Czech subsidiary of VW is no longer performing the function it was meant to perform within the VW Group, which was to sell inexpensive, entry-level cars. Instead, Skoda models are increasingly competing directly with their sister autos from VW. Even worse, in some cases the Skoda models are winning out over their German counterparts.

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was furious when the Skoda Superb large family car won a comparison test against VW's Passat in the influential German automotive magazine Auto Bild. The magazine wrote that the Superb "simply offers more for the money -- a lot more features, and even more space." And when it came to quality, the testers found that there was "hardly any difference" between the Skoda and VW models. This isn't surprising. Skoda uses VW technology, but it also equips its models with classy details such as 17-inch instead of 16-inch wheels, as well as leather, wood and chrome-plated fixtures in its interiors.

Skoda's attack doesn't just affect the Volkswagen brand and its two most important models, the Passat and the Golf. It also harms the entire group, because Skoda doesn't make enough profits to offset potential losses at Volkswagen.

At Skoda, Winterkorn is radically changing course, with the goal of bringing down costs and coordinating the model lineup more effectively with Volkswagen.The successor for the Skoda Superb will likely be significantly smaller than the current model, and it will not feature as much leather in its interior.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:27   #27
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

What is the point in making Skoda cheap ?

World over Skoda is better value for money because it provides matching quality at reasonable price point compared to VW itself. If you reduce the quality then customer will eventually ditch it.

I heard that when Skoda started out it was supposed to be cheaper alternative to VW, however as time passed they improved on the quality to make it equivalent to VW and then VW seemed over-priced creating issues to the VW group.

VW has to do better than Skoda in terms of offering value. If Skoda is good
then VW has to be better in all respects, pre-sales, post-sales (***) plus you need to feel good about the whole experience even if the underlying car shares common parts.

All VW do is give ads in media, print etc to emphasize their quality, however the ground reality of treatment you conveys something different altogether.

Cheers
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:44   #28
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post

VW has to do better than Skoda in terms of offering value. If Skoda is good
then VW has to be better in all respects, pre-sales, post-sales (***) plus you need to feel good about the whole experience even if the underlying car shares common parts.

All VW do is give ads in media, print etc to emphasize their quality, however the ground reality of treatment you conveys something different altogether.

Cheers
MKP
Yes exactly. It has to do more than just brand re-positioning. Ads have certainly been premium but the experience has left a lot to be desired.

VW should add more features to their cars to distinguish their cars from SKODA.

Even from the specifications POV, the same 2.0 TDI making the same output on the SKODA LAURA and VW JETTA.

At least the JETTA should have had 160 HP ?

At the end of the day from a customers stand point, when you buy a SKODA you get the same specced engines and similar or better interiors than a VW at a lower price. Why would I buy a VW ? Just for the VW badge. Wake up VW !! Its not too late !

Last edited by F150 : 6th November 2012 at 13:49.
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Old 6th November 2012, 13:48   #29
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

@Sommos, thanks for the excerpt. I was about say that they will do the same things as they do globally, but looks like they have troubles globally too. Once they solve that problem they would have solved it in India

Would be harsh to ask Skoda to water down their products and offer mediocre products (relatively) just to make the sister brand look better. Well, would be interesting to see the results.

It might create cheaper cars for people to buy from Skoda. But it will also make VW little expensive and hence lose out on what you get from Skoda currently.

Last edited by srishiva : 6th November 2012 at 13:49.
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Old 6th November 2012, 14:03   #30
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Default Re: VW to Reposition Skoda Brand in India

VW is shooting itself in the leg. Or arm, or wherever.
This is a wrong approach to solve the problem. The problem lies with VW and not with Skoda.
By repositioning a brand, that is doing better business then the parent, they are actually jeopardizing the sales too.
Shudder to think what the newer models will be, if VW actually goes ahead with this.
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