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Old 10th June 2013, 01:54   #46
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If they plan to develop & launch new products, here are my 2 cents :

TATA's newly launched products fall flat because customers are waiting for V2 versions due to lack of trust. GIVE them that trust. In the first 6 months of a product launch, offer customers the kind of warranty & AMC packages that win them over. Something unheard of, something confiding. Doing this will ensure that a product for which the company has spent MASSIVELY, (for Ex. they supposedly spent 400 crores developing the Safari18/Storme), doesn't go cold in the initial days itself. This will put more cars in the market just after launch, people will understand that if TATA has so much confidence in the product, there MUST be something good about it.

And STOP launching products in November (Storme)! Why compel people/loyal waiting customers to buy a car at the end of the year?

SERVICE : The current system behaves like an innocent little 6 year old girl, where 'feedback' from the customer seems to be immediately shared with the service advisor and he calls you back to convince you to give him 10 on 10. Then another feedback call comes and we end up improving the ratings based on the SA's promises. THIS is the Sarkari attitude people are talking about.

I say scrap this customer feedback collection. You either know what the customer wants or you don't. If you don't, pack your bags and scram. Customer knows very little about judging the service done. It's a technical job, after servicing, send well equipped squads to select customers houses to verify how the service has been done. The squad should only know the vehicle model and customer address and mustn't seek any vehicle service details about the car. Improve internal controls.

Introspect on the details that the squad submits, don't just show it to the dealer asking for explanations, question them ONLY if a pattern is noticed. Afterall, a dealer invests massively into the dealership/service centre.

Another aspect I want them to change is the PDI. WHY can't a company representative unbiasedly ensure the product delivered is good? The PDI is where many customers screw up very badly. They neither have any clue what to look at, nor do many of them have the confidence to voice their opinions. Yes, customers approval is necessary, but manage it better for the benefit of the customer AND the company. You don't want cases claiming "My car was faulty from Day 1".

Also, companies SPEND SO VERY MUCH on branding, they can use it to enhance the product delivery experience. Delivery is big occasion for anyone buying a car, don't wash your hands off with just a box of sweets! If that was the case, companies could just sell cars off the net! Why these fancy dealerships? Dealers are meant to enhance the buying experience. So that the customer feels confident that he's made the right decision buying a Tata, not that he's treated like a bhikari once he signs the PDI and completes other legal formalities. Why not orchestrate the delivery? A separate section in every dealership to deliver the car that plays they brand music & the car emerges from artificial fog. I'm no expert, so laugh at the idea, but believe me dealers very well can and should develop on this and come up with something nice/viable.

P.S.: I'm not gonna meet him to please him, smile and call it a day. I'm reasonably serious. Although I don't know the technical capabilities or financial & strategic position of the company as clearly as the COO / CFO / MD would, but I do have Some idea what I'm talking about.

P.P.S: If anyone disagrees or finds my comments/views are incorrect/incomplete, please feel free to correct me. I'm my biggest critic, I may have got something wrong somewhere, but its all in good faith to also improve practices in the Indian automotive industry in general apart from just TATA Motors.

P.P.P.S: A long post, do pardon me if I may not have gotten some sections drafted correctly/appropriately.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 10th June 2013 at 02:21.
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Old 10th June 2013, 02:10   #47
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Build it right the first time.
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Old 10th June 2013, 07:16   #48
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With all due respect to Karl and the Ideator participants, IMHO, there is something fundamentally wrong with this. If at all one needs to crowdsource ideas, in terms of what people like in their cars, the "focussed-group" should be potential car buyers from across the population. With existing Tata Car owners ONLY in the ideation-group, you will only get 'incremental' ideas for the next Indica variant. What Tata Motors needs at this point of time is a 'revolutionary' new product and NOT 'evolutionary' improvements over existing products.
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Old 10th June 2013, 08:41   #49
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

The problem with Tata is not their products per se but two big drawbacks
1) Quality control
2) Sales and post sales service

I dont know why for so long Tata is not able to get a lid on quality of products leaving their plant. Tata products are now synonmous with low quality, poor fit and finish, lack of attention to detail and if you get a decent car (as I have), its your good luck.
Do what ever it takes including retiring a few unchangable old foggies if you have to, but get the cars which roll out of your factories right each time all the time. Hire some Japanese auto consultant who is anal about quality if you have to, but get this job done.

Please fire 80% of your existing dealers. They are just milking you and your customer for money. They dont understand cars, have no passion to sell your products and are filled with moronic nimponcoops who only know how to take salaries on payday.
If the only action your service advisor (read clueless) knows is to connect a laptop and clear error codes everytime a car has an issue, he should work in a simpler job not try and solve car issues.
Please conduct an audit of your car advisors and sales people, ask them simple questions like where the ECU sits, what is the BHP and torque of a particular model, how many gears it has etc, alleast 60% will be clueless. You know what to do with them? Forget asking them to look at articulation or 4x4 features etc.

And please stop being boring old foggies. Can the only color your business and design team think of, is what they wear in their formal clothes? Boring maroons, beige, a dash of gold, some black shades and the standard silver and white? Is thinking of bright reds, greens, oranges, yellows etc too scandalous for them? Is purple the only different shade you can imagine?
Please get some radical designers, artists and thinkers in your thinking team ASAP, ask them to design for the youth, not for retired old uncles driving ambassadors.

Last but not the least: Please simplify your product portfolios.
Retain the Storme and the Aria. Reprice them to market realities, make these products competitive against the Duster, Scorpio and the XUV. These two cars are really really good, and should sell far more than they do now. You have two ready cash cows sitting in ur stable which you seem to be blind to.
Remove the Indica, Indigo from your sales, else create a taxi wing and sell these to cabbies alone. Please stop diluting your brand by selling these products alongside better cars.
Please stop the Nano from sounding like a Bajaj autorickshaw. The moment Nano sounds like a car, the sales will double. Everyone wants a good cheap car, no one wants to be seen in a cheap one, how difficult is it for you to think about this?

Retire idiotic executions like the Grande. It always looked like a half baked design which escaped from the design pages directly to the workshops. Either get the design right, or remove it once for all. Also sell the Sumo gold with the cabbie section, not with Aria, Vista, Manza and the Storme.

And stop taking inputs from auto enthusiasts, we will all want you to deliver us a F1 car or a Porche atleast in Nano money. Hire real researchers from real market research agencies, pay them top dollar and find out whats wrong with your image and company. Use their suggestions and get them right. Remember Royal Enfield did exactly this (conduct a proper market research) before they launched the Classics, the new Thunderbirds and the upcoming cafe racer. Look in what happy position they are in now....
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Old 10th June 2013, 09:37   #50
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Originally Posted by SDP View Post
With all due respect to Karl and the Ideator participants, IMHO, there is something fundamentally wrong with this. If at all one needs to crowdsource ideas, in terms of what people like in their cars, the "focussed-group" should be potential car buyers from across the population. With existing Tata Car owners ONLY in the ideation-group, you will only get 'incremental' ideas for the next Indica variant. What Tata Motors needs at this point of time is a 'revolutionary' new product and NOT 'evolutionary' improvements over existing products.
The 'Contest' was open to all, not ONLY Tata car owners. It was a more than a month back, I thought it'd died down. I don't think any other company would've kept their word, TATA's could've cancelled it sighting any reason they wanted, but they didn't.

Yes, they need to a revolutionary product line. I'll give them whatever honest feedback & ideas that I can, with citations from here. Rest is left to their market research & technical capabilities.

Its not like I'd take the liberties to say just anything. The fact that they're lending an ear shouldn't be taken for granted. Which other company having capabilities of SUCH massive economies to scale has/will ever seek direct feedback in a serious way? I believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity even for consumers like us. We have the chance to have our say & transform (atleast partly) how the auto industry functions.
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Old 10th June 2013, 09:43   #51
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

A good looking, ok... make it very good looking, refined, reliable, quality hatch with decent performance. Junta cares two hoots about the steering feel or the handling, even if they do, its too minuscule percentage to be cared for really.
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Old 10th June 2013, 10:12   #52
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Please take a printout of this entire thread and hand it over to him. May make for some good travel reading.
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Old 10th June 2013, 10:33   #53
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

I believe, the approach should be that there be a forum setup in all major cities where the existing customers are invited to suggest ideas and things that they would have loved to have had in the car they drive. This in itself will give them a whole lot of things to work on. Add to it, host a dinner meet of Auto enthusiasts and ask each of them to give atleast 5 suggestions barring the ones Tata folks already knows. And I personally want to believe Karl or for that matter Tata is aware of the QC issues, there is no point making that your agenda for talk, but none the less requires a mention.

1. Prima needs to be brought onto roads from concept stage
2. Get rid of that smile look on Indica, get an angry looking car. I believe there is a emotional look to each and every vehicle.
3. Get rid of old name tags, it really drives away individual buyers from Vista considering the image that Indica has.
4. Its not about sales, but after sales that matters. Quick overhaul is required.
5. Last but not least, launch the products quicker. Storme for e.g was long over due for 5yrs.

Last edited by deepakchiniwal : 10th June 2013 at 10:35.
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Old 10th June 2013, 10:39   #54
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Default Re: Ideas for the next Tata Car (Ideator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
The 'Contest' was open to all, not ONLY Tata car owners. It was a more than a month back, I thought it'd died down.
....
Most likely you are right. My "only" comment was based on another reference where I had read about the #NextTataCar project. Now when you mentioned that it was open to all, I did search on Twitter and did not find any reference to the ideation being restricted to Tata-car-owners only.

So, I take my comments back!

Quote:
Its not like I'd take the liberties to say just anything. The fact that they're lending an ear shouldn't be taken for granted. Which other company having capabilities of SUCH massive economies to scale has/will ever seek direct feedback in a serious way? I believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity even for consumers like us. We have the chance to have our say & transform (atleast partly) how the auto industry functions.
After couple of quarters of losses, knowing that a new product from scratch would possibly take 3+ years from conceptualization to production, I do believe that this #NextTataCar thing is coming a couple of years too late. Any opinions?

Last edited by SDP : 10th June 2013 at 10:41.
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Old 10th June 2013, 10:53   #55
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Rather than bringing a new car, ask him to bring on the Tata Nano Automatic, please.
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Old 10th June 2013, 10:54   #56
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Originally Posted by GrammarNazi View Post
If they plan to develop & launch new products, here are my 2 cents :

...............

SERVICE :
I say scrap this customer feedback collection.
...............

Also, companies SPEND SO VERY MUCH on branding, they can use it to enhance the product delivery experience. Delivery is big occasion for anyone buying a car, don't wash your hands off with just a box of sweets! ........
Why not orchestrate the delivery? A separate section in every dealership to deliver the car that plays they brand music & the car emerges from artificial fog. I'm no expert, so laugh at the idea, but believe me dealers very well can and should develop on this and come up with something nice/viable.............
I don't agree with these observations. The thing is Maruti does have a feedback collection and they do it seriously. I have recently given 7/10 to the service centre and the service guys followed it up very seriously till I was fully satisfied. So, feedback collection is a real good idea. If it works for Maruti, why should it work against TATA?

Also, I would not care if my new car comes out of fog or flood. I would be interested in what comes out of the fog or flood. For the kind of space that TATA vehicles provide, I would buy them, only if I was sure about long term reliability.

The current product line-up from TATA suffers from perception issues ( and not without reason). So, new products are required which have good design characteristics and decent performance. But, most important should be quality control. Make sure that the car runs trouble free. I think this single issue is what needs to be addressed.
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Old 10th June 2013, 10:58   #57
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Rather than bringing a new car, ask him to bring on the Tata Nano Automatic, please.
Isn't Nano a low-cost entry level hatch and a automatic-transmission a high-end convenience feature?
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Old 10th June 2013, 11:30   #58
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I don't agree with these observations. The thing is Maruti does have a feedback collection and they do it seriously. I have recently given 7/10 to the service centre and the service guys followed it up very seriously till I was fully satisfied. So, feedback collection is a real good idea. If it works for Maruti, why should it work against TATA?
True. I'll hold back that feedback then.

I just want them to get things right the first time. Moreover, whenever I give even 9/10 feedback, I get 20 follow-up calls of promises / reassurances / clarifications / explanations from the dealer SA, CRM, GM(Service), MD over the next day. It may be a good sign, showing they're genuinely concerned about the customer, at times it kind of tires me, that's all.

Quote:
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Also, I would not care if my new car comes out of fog or flood. I would be interested in what comes out of the fog or flood. For the kind of space that TATA vehicles provide, I would buy them, only if I was sure about long term reliability.
Again, true. Kind of got carried away abit maybe, but I'm sure the delivery process should be improved industry wide. In SO many purchase experiences that I have read, the post PDI & Delivery experience isn't something that'll impress. Long term reliability is surely more important, but gaining customers confidence from day 1 matters too. I'm sure if you read my whole comment properly, you'd get the drift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashlil View Post
The current product line-up from TATA suffers from perception issues ( and not without reason). So, new products are required which have good design characteristics and decent performance. But, most important should be quality control. Make sure that the car runs trouble free. I think this single issue is what needs to be addressed.
Will definitely mention the QC aspect. Almost every suggestion in every post talks of QC.

Rgds.
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Old 10th June 2013, 11:51   #59
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First things first.

TATA must come out of their "SMILEY" grill. All products from them are suffering from lack of design options due to this. Many manufacturers who have their own signature grills had tried several options before they came out with one which brings character and uniqueness for their products. If TATA starts designing with no preconceived design elements they can come out with refreshing and exciting products otherwise it would be just another group of designers beating around the bush.
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Old 10th June 2013, 12:21   #60
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Rather than bringing a new car, ask him to bring on the Tata Nano Automatic, please.
The Nano is "the" cheapest car available . I too own a Nano . Cost Cutting is evident in every aspect . For premium car owners the Nano will always fall short in a lot of areas , but we must not forget why the car was made that way . Also with that kind of engine , AT would be useless i feel .

Grammernazi , congrats on the wonderful opportunity to share your thoughts with the Tata MD ! IMO the most important thing would be to change the image of the brand in the eyes of the public . They still seem like a truck , taxi brand . You can even hear the truck-like "thud" when you close the doors of Tata cars . Turning the image of the brand can be done by taking the many steps mentioned by everyone on this thread : Improving Design , Coming up with a brand new car , QC and After sales services .

Also , one important feature lacking in TATA cars is driveability ! None of the cars are fun to drive like the Punto , Vento , City etc . They need something peppy and efficient . They need a revolutionary engine IMO!
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