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Old 18th November 2013, 13:24   #46
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Default re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by 9thsphinx View Post
It's not really a Need Not - Will Not scenario.

Plain and simple the level of service being provided by the Asian counterparts are much better than the Germans, as of today! But then again the Asians were here in India much much before than the Germans. Time has given them an advantage of perfecting something that the Germans are still working on.

Give it some time and we will see the playing field level on its own.
Agree to disagree with your post. Hyundai came much later. Even when Maruti Suzuki started it's operations in India, way back in 1983 (okay 1981 if you take the date of incorporation), it was 10-11 years older than Merc in India. Can we say that Mercedes service standards were comparable to MS even 10 years ago? The fact is that the German cars will always sell on image and build while the Japs will sell on the basis of reliability, serviceability & affordability. It's not the question of being a German or a Japanese; its the prerogative of the manufacturer that where he wants to position his product.
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Old 18th November 2013, 13:57   #47
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Default re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

I guess the problem is aggravated in the Indian context, because of the limited availability of trained service options outside of the authorised workshops.

In the developed countries, you do get original (as well as refurbished) spares for a much lower fraction of what the company workshops charge you, through many different convenient channels (autohaus arizona, e-bay etc). Besides spares, there are independent workshops that have the ability to read as well as have access to workshop manuals (haynes or original) of these cars. In one specific case, I have seen them call Mercedes helpline to figure out the process to dismantle a part. Generally they are not difficult cars to work upon, as long as the person working on it is doing the right thing, instead of using a sledgehammer approach. These independent workshops also charge you less and the workshop visits are quite limited, even after long term ownership. Independent workshops, Owner DYI is what makes owning German cars lot less stressful on the wallet.

However in India, or the growing economies, Independent workshops would not have a clue as to what needs to be done, besides spares, though available on parallel channels, aren't too conveneint to lay hands on. For most modern cars, not only limited to German ones, one has to stick to the authorised service centers, necessitating spending higher amounts from the pockets than required.
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Old 18th November 2013, 14:15   #48
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Default re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Lot of views, and almost each one of them true to their own senses.
Great product, not so great service Vs great service, not so great product is a trade off almost entirely balanced on the fulcrum of cost. Honda and toyota having pricier products whose VFM comparable to say, Suzuki/Hyundai products are testament to it. Better engineered product with better service has simply risen the cost of the product to the point where their sales numbers are limited.
Lets face it! after certain price point customers do make their choices with "show off " in mind. German cars excel here. Kizashi story is an example.

There is one subtle point which is being missed. The difference between the presence of certain technology and engineering the same technology to deliver the best utility/comfort/efficiency. This is again a game where germans and a few Japs have mastered. Other have a long way to go.
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Old 18th November 2013, 14:27   #49
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Default re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Going by what Ive read in a number of T-BHP threads the perception of 'bad service' from the big three German car brands appears to be widespread in India. Quite a few members in this forum driving german cars outside India have reported that service levels met expectations. Ive never had a breakdown in the past 3 years & 95K kms of my German car ownership (in Germany) and my perception of good service is based on my experience with regular periodic service.

To believe that the boffins at BMW & Merc actually have a sales strategy that goes along the lines of ' since we have stong brands and cutting edge technology lets go easy on providing good service' is rather unlikely.

That said it does appear that there is a problem in India with regards to service and some of the earlier posts indicate tangible reasons that one can attribute to this deficiency.

BMW, Audi, Merc are on a learning curve when it comes to providing the expected level of service in India. Its only in the past couple of years that their sales volume in India has been rising and this will possibly be the enabler for infrastructure improvement, internally and at the customer Interface points, for better (quicker, less expensive) service support .
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Old 18th November 2013, 14:42   #50
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Post re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Hi guys,

Since the topic is really heating up I thought I will go a little bit off topic and add some humor here. Please check out the below video guys:



I am just pointing out how much we lack in comparison to Germany. I mean it's so awful to see our nation lagging behind in so many ways. The Germans are always meant for their discipline and hence it would be very tough for the German car makers to adopt to our nation's demand and of course as some gentleman pointed out that given a possibility to buy a German car in India he wouldn't probably buy one just because of the above reason.

I have driven a German car not some Merc or Audi but a petrol Volkswagen Vento and I just loved how the car handled and also loved the gorgeous humming from the engine. But I have also been conscious of how it has been failing in the ASS and I could perhaps point out the same difference as the gentleman pointed out. It's because our service guys are not trained enough nor do they show passion towards the car. For our service guys it's just an other car either it's an Audi or a Merc or a BMW or a Volkswagen.
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Old 18th November 2013, 15:06   #51
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Default re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

I haven't read all the comments, but the reason for A.S.S failure is more to do with the poor legal infrastructure in our country, than the manufacturer weakness/lack of skills in providing after sales service.
Someone asking about trained non-authorised workshops, I know of 1 in Chembur,Mumbai( was in Worli before). This guy serviced my uncles E class, once it was out of warranty and will service my Audi after the warranty is over. He is up-to-date with all ECU readers and sources parts from "THUBAI" if unavailable here.

P.S.
Labor charges in India for repairs at authorised stations is not cheap by any standards, nor is the payscale of mechanics and staff employed by dealers.

Last edited by riteshritesh : 18th November 2013 at 15:08.
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:28   #52
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
How come we whine about German cars that offer superior products with mediocre service but glorify the Asians who offer mediocre products with cheap and efficient service? How is one package better than other?
Largely agree with your post, but I firmly believe that reliability is an essential part of good engineering. I would expect, rather demand my Rs. 40 Lakh car to be as reliable as my Rs. 10 Lakh car, if not more

Am sitting on the fence to buy a German car in the next year or so, but scared of the often discussed reliability issues and ownership costs Lets see if the enthusiast in me wins over my inner accountant
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:35   #53
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Hehe... an off topic but loosely related post.

When I bought my Bosch washing machine last year, I inquired about service quite in detail as always. The Bosch guy who came with the person to install, firmly said, you wouldn't need to call us at all and how well their machine is built. He never gave me the detail I asked - where are their service centers and typically mode of service etc.

Eventually, he asked me to look into the service booklet which has a toll free number to call.
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Old 18th November 2013, 17:04   #54
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Interesting thread, in this age of information how long can you (german auto OEM) take target customers for granted and say "I think I build great cars which the world is dying to buy". Since these are great cars even a mediocre dealer and sales person can sell it. Why do we need great after sales service as these cars are so solidly built they don't need great service? that seems to be the operating philosophy of big 3 (BMW, VW, Merc). I have personally experienced only VW group after sales service.

As per October 13 sales analysis (of team bhp) VW group brands (Skoda, VW) have 3% market share. Its not even half of the marketshare of Honda, Toyota or Hyundai. This analysis doesn't consider the luxury car brands Audi, BMW and Merc. Once Honda, Toyota start focussing on the top end of the Indian market (through lexus, acura brands) the attitude of the german trio may be a thing of the past in India atleast.
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Old 18th November 2013, 18:12   #55
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
As per service (merc/bmw/audi segment):

1. You have pick-up/drop facility.
2. Minor jobs are done at your door step at your convenience.
3. You mostly speak to the service head/seniors and are treated with lot of respect.
4. Very good road side assistance, support for taxi/loaner vehicle during repair.
5. Warranty+service packages are available and getting better.
6. Much better ambience/infrastructure when you visit the service center.
7. Repeat customers are treated extremely well.
.
I own the cheapest car in Honda India's stable and the EMI that I pay for my car may be even lesser than that of the fuel bill for a German sedan.

1. I get home pickup, driven to office, car dropped in office after service.
2. Service advisory head keeps calling and follows up on an issue that i had mentioned in the feedback form. I finally allow him to come home and do it.
3.Cashless road side assistance within 30 minutes of the incident (nil charges, as the insurance took care of it.). Loaner vehicle was provided by insurance company, as per my riders.

My next car is definitely going to be Honda
In contrast i have heard horrid stories of my friends who own cars twice as expensive and treated like cab drivers. Rest my case.
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Old 18th November 2013, 19:25   #56
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

Is it appropriate to state "the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service" without much personal experience in owning these cars? And also call their customers show-off? The generic debate of German vs the rest is never ending and it is not a very useful discussion. This thread got my attention because it is spreading cynicism around these brands and showing the buyers in poor light. I have nothing against @VeyronSuperSprt so please don't take this personally.

They definitely focus on service and they are fiercely competitive. To excel in low volume luxury segments is not easy, especially in India where skilled labour is scarce.

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Originally Posted by prakash_ajp View Post
The difference is not much IF and only IF the German car company tells you upfront that you should be prepared for shoddy service and that's part of the package! Because, when you buy a Japanese car, you know very well what you are getting - in your words a 'mediocre' car. By the way, I wouldn't term that as a right usage of that word.
No company tells you upfront what it will cost you. The representative costs are available with all manufacturers. I used mediocre for German service as well. Don't take it literally. It just means "better product, ok service" vs "ok product, better service." While we are at it, you calling German service shoddy isn't appropriate either. Peace.

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Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
Largely agree with your post, but I firmly believe that reliability is an essential part of good engineering. I would expect, rather demand my Rs. 40 Lakh car to be as reliable as my Rs. 10 Lakh car, if not more

Am sitting on the fence to buy a German car in the next year or so, but scared of the often discussed reliability issues and ownership costs Lets see if the enthusiast in me wins over my inner accountant
That is the expectation which results in bad experience and totally the wrong way to approach your purchase. :-) It is quite the opposite. More expensive = more cutting edge = less reliable. But there are options to cap your costs for say 4 yrs using warranty, insurance etc.

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Originally Posted by adityasiera View Post
I own the cheapest car in Honda India's stable and the EMI that I pay for my car may be even lesser than that of the fuel bill for a German sedan.

1. I get home pickup, driven to office, car dropped in office after service.
2. Service advisory head keeps calling and follows up on an issue that i had mentioned in the feedback form. I finally allow him to come home and do it.
3.Cashless road side assistance within 30 minutes of the incident (nil charges, as the insurance took care of it.). Loaner vehicle was provided by insurance company, as per my riders.

My next car is definitely going to be Honda
In contrast i have heard horrid stories of my friends who own cars twice as expensive and treated like cab drivers. Rest my case.
My point is Germans WILL give you service. I don't say such service is not given by Honda, etc. Also the list I gave is more of a norm for this segment. I own a Honda and I tried getting this pickup/drop and it seemed like booking a ticket through IRCTC so I don't bother asking any more. Good that it is working for you though. Which city, which dealer? It is like a fine-dining restaurant. There is a difference between saying food sucks vs service sucks.
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Old 18th November 2013, 19:48   #57
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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That is the expectation which results in bad experience and totally the wrong way to approach your purchase. :-) It is quite the opposite. More expensive = more cutting edge = less reliable. But there are options to cap your costs for say 4 yrs using warranty, insurance etc.
I wont buy a German car until I have enough disposable income not to care about the maintenance costs, and hence am currently deferring my purchase.

However, from an engineering standpoint I disagree with you. Since when does "cutting edge" imply less reliable?? Reliability in my opinion is a basic requirement, not an option. The company need to do their R&D and reliability studies for Indian conditions before I pay for the car.

German industrial machinery is regarded the best in the world, and it usually is more expensive, more cutting edge and way more reliable than any Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean, Chinese, Desi options.
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Old 18th November 2013, 20:24   #58
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
That is the expectation which results in bad experience and totally the wrong way to approach your purchase. :-) It is quite the opposite. More expensive = more cutting edge = less reliable. But there are options to cap your costs for say 4 yrs using warranty, insurance etc.
My experience with German cars is virtually nil except for the one and a half years of Opel Corsa ownership. And as I mentioned in my earlier post (with the links posted), it does look like the Germans are surging ahead in this area at least in the advanced markets.
IMHO however, more expensive - ending up at less reliable would be a big let down. I would expect cutting edge and greater reliability if I had to pay a hefty premium.

Last edited by wilful : 18th November 2013 at 20:26. Reason: typo
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Old 18th November 2013, 21:54   #59
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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Is it appropriate to state "the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service" without much personal experience in owning these cars?
Is it appropriate to state that the statement was made without much personal experience in owning these cars ? Should everyone starting a thread list down all the german cars he has owned in India and abroad (aka show-off) to satisfy one rankled user ?

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And also call their customers show-off?
It is a miniscule minority that buy german cars as enthusiasts. Like it or not, the vast majority buy it to make a statement (aka show-off). That is the truth and nothing will change it. I know of a person who had bought a 760i came home and told his friend (who had recommended the purchase) – “Hey, this is a petrol car, you didn’t tell me so.”!! And while that is an extreme case, it is a well established fact that enthusiasts are a minority.

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The generic debate of German vs the rest is never ending and it is not a very useful discussion.
Not useful for manufacturers, but very very useful for prospective buyers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
This thread got my attention because it is spreading cynicism around these brands and showing the buyers in poor light.
Threads dont spread cynicism unless true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I have nothing against @VeyronSuperSprt so please don't take this personally.
And I believe you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
They definitely focus on service
Tell me another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
To excel in low volume luxury segments is not easy, especially in India where skilled labour is scarce.
Those who have bought a Rolls Royce in India know and experience high quality service, and their volumes are the lowest.

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 18th November 2013 at 22:09.
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Old 18th November 2013, 21:55   #60
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Default Re: Why the Germans NEED NOT and WILL NOT give you Service

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My point is Germans WILL give you service. I don't say such service is not given by Honda, etc. Also the list I gave is more of a norm for this segment. I own a Honda and I tried getting this pickup/drop and it seemed like booking a ticket through IRCTC so I don't bother asking any more. Good that it is working for you though. Which city, which dealer? It is like a fine-dining restaurant. There is a difference between saying food sucks vs service sucks.
Agreed. My point was Service is a norm in every segment. (apart from RE). Well actually, i think, now i can see the light.

German car = Royal enfield (add the technology), its the snob value. Just like RE gets away with dismal service, so do the German trio.

Regarding my Honda dealer- Its Sundaram Honda, Hyderabad.
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