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Old 16th February 2015, 12:54   #196
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

I fail to understand VAG groups system of manufacturing cars. Almost all there cars have this so called long waiting periods. The Jetta had one at the time of launch, the Octavia has it and the Polo GT twins which have generated interest in the customer are going the same way.

Why can't they better manage there production issues? I agree to the sentiment above that in today's marketplace it is very difficult to hold on to a customer for 4-6 months for a car that is already overpriced compared to the competition to begin with.

They might have a lot of old stock lying unsold. But then the only way to move it is to start offering good discounts on it. Waiting for all of it clear out and only then entertaining requests for fresh new cars is a silly policy in my opinion.
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Old 16th February 2015, 22:24   #197
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I guess the production line in India might be used for exports where they have a constant (predictable) demand. If you work out the sales 2000 / 80 = 50 cars per dealer per month (all models) looks like some rationed quantity to test the Indian market reaction while not hurting the oversees sales. Well, it works for VW, globally. This however for the home market is not very interesting. How else can you explain a 3 month waiting period for a 10 L car where the total market size is approx 25,000 units per month? This is the hot segment, and the car they sell have an USP. I guess they just want to be present in India but do not aim to be a big player. Does the Indian market give them less returns per $ sales, not sure.
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Old 16th February 2015, 23:07   #198
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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I fail to understand VAG groups system of manufacturing cars. Almost all there cars have this so called long waiting periods.

They might have a lot of old stock lying unsold. But then the only way to move it is to start offering good discounts on it. Waiting for all of it clear out and only then entertaining requests for fresh new cars is a silly policy in my opinion.
Could be planning issues. They are not able to plan and produce the 'required' cars that need urgent dispatches. What I feel is they aren't giving a certain segment the needed priority.

They wants their hands in all segments but don't deliver correctly to any. A scarcity in all segments does speak of the management working talents.

Either they are not willing to slow down a specific cars production to fulfil the backlog of another one (For eg.: Jetta has a lower backlog as compared to Vento's which kills both the 'waiting' customers. So here priority needs to be given to the Vento rather than producing Jetta's too) OR they are creating a false demand-supply image to show that their cars are in demand!
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Old 17th February 2015, 07:42   #199
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The fun part comes next. On the next day a lady from that dealership called me to say that I would receive an enquiry call from their head office and she requested me to give them five star in every aspect including test drive to which I disagreed. Although that enquiry call is yet to come. VW lost a loyal customer in me.

I always wondered about this call from the dealership prior to the call from the company for feedback. Instead of asking "how have we done? Is there something that we can rectify? Is there something you can tell us about our work that will make us serve you better? " it's almost like an order "sir, we are calling from dealership. Please give 5 rating ok. Ok. OKAY!?" Sure. That's exactly what I plan to do after you goof up my service. Give you a 5 in a 1 - 10000 scale of satisfaction.
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Old 17th February 2015, 08:23   #200
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

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I always wondered about this call from the dealership prior to the call from the company for feedback. Instead of asking "how have we done? Is there something that we can rectify? Is there something you can tell us about our work that will make us serve you better? " it's almost like an order "sir, we are calling from dealership. Please give 5 rating ok. Ok. OKAY!?" Sure. That's exactly what I plan to do after you goof up my service. Give you a 5 in a 1 - 10000 scale of satisfaction.
Dealerships somehow want to extract that 5 rating from the customers. And I have experienced this not only with VW but also with a Maruti dealership. I think these feedback calls are also out sourced to some 3rd party small agencies. I once recall giving a long list of complaints after my SX4 service and the agent on the other end had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. At the end of it she again asked, Sir, so is your rating 5? (On a scale of 1-5). Maybe they are trained to do that so that most customers will get fed up and rate 5 just to get off the call.

Ironically VW makes it more complex with multiple such calls.
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Old 17th February 2015, 13:13   #201
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Instead of asking "how have we done? Is there something that we can rectify? Is there something you can tell us about our work that will make us serve you better? " it's almost like an order "sir, we are calling from dealership. Please give 5 rating ok. Ok. OKAY!?"
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Dealerships somehow want to extract that 5 rating from the customers.
Couldn't agree with you more. I just wonder whether these companies actually rely on these so called feedback calls. I think it's more of a matter of formality than necessity to them.
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Old 17th February 2015, 20:18   #202
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Guys! Volkswagen is using India very well for its export business. If you read recent numbers in the news they have exported close to 50 k cars last year. Exports are more profitable than the local business.
VW management is not aiming at domestic sales numbers like Hyundai or Suzuki. They are happy with 4k-6k numbers every month. They have some mindshare with the Indian customer and they are selling more polos and jettas in China and Europe than equivalent cars from Hyundai and Suzuki.
Sadly India is only a strategic market for their export business and bottomline
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Old 18th February 2015, 17:19   #203
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VW management is not aiming at domestic sales numbers like Hyundai or Suzuki. They are happy with 4k-6k numbers every month. They have some mindshare with the Indian customer and they are selling more polos and jettas in China and Europe than equivalent cars from Hyundai and Suzuki.
Sadly India is only a strategic market for their export business and bottomline
Do you have any concrete source for the above information?

From my understanding, VW has Polos & Ventos at any given point in their stockyard, and based on that I can surely tell you their local production capacity is higher than local demand of their products.
There is no company that would be content (let alone happy) with a sub par performance despite having the kind of the big budget marketing budget and global presence that the VW does. Infact, if VW did not need their share of the Indian pie, they would have continued to push products through their group company Skoda which would have kept a check on their fixed costs.

I also feel that a good chunk of sales that VW India has managed have been strongly based around the VW halo that the sales representatives hard sold when they started marketing the Polo in the Indian market. Too bad that most after sales service teams at various dealerships did not allow the company to enjoy its high handedness and shade over Honda / Toyota / Hyundai position for too long, and soon enough VW India was fighting for survival in the Indian market.

Fact is that VW has clearly not been able to understand the dyamics of the Indian automobile market, how else do you explain almost all their cars bombing once they lose their initial new car steam.
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Old 19th February 2015, 17:29   #204
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Do you have any concrete source for the above information?

From my understanding, VW has Polos & Ventos at any given point in their stockyard, and based on that I can surely tell you their local production capacity is higher than local demand of their products.
How do you explain a waiting period of 3 months? When I spoke to a VW guy, seems like the cars are rationed per dealer 4 cars per week or something like that. Why would VW want to do this if the have cars in their stockyard. I guess they are not fully assembling all the cars from the production line for local consumption. This I guess its a weighted sales approach from VW for the new Vento. The Vento TSI has (and had a 6 month waiting period). Similar story with Skoda that comes from the same plant. The Waiting for the Octavia for any color is a minimum 4 - 6 month, even though the plant seems to run full capacity.
For informed car users DSG is much awaited technology. For normal buyers who are used to manuals there are host lot of fear factors to switch, the first being history of Auto. All the previous (and to an extent current ones) the milage is compromised for the convenience. Until the word of mouth in the market changes it will be a difficult proposition to make each buyer an early adopter. Then the question of slipping clutch and half clutch driving, plus not using both your feet while driving is something that is generally met with lack of understanding and confidence. In such a situation as a manufacturer do you want these to be pushed in high numbers into the market to gather dust at the dealer yards? But I think VW is over doing it, making too little and being over cautious with their supply chain.
I guess their market research and more than that their market understanding (that depends on how much heart they out into it) needs to focused on.

I like their cars, but they need to also like the fact that I like their cars and reciprocate.
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Old 19th February 2015, 23:43   #205
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Originally Posted by manson View Post
Do you have any concrete source for the above information?

From my understanding, VW has Polos & Ventos at any given point in their stockyard, and based on that I can surely tell you their local production capacity is higher than local demand of their products.
There is no company that would be content (let alone happy) with a sub par performance despite having the kind of the big budget marketing budget and global presence that the VW does. Infact, if VW did not need their share of the Indian pie, they would have continued to push products through their group company Skoda which would have kept a check on their fixed costs.

I also feel that a good chunk of sales that VW India has managed have been strongly based around the VW halo that the sales representatives hard sold when they started marketing the Polo in the Indian market. Too bad that most after sales service teams at various dealerships did not allow the company to enjoy its high handedness and shade over Honda / Toyota / Hyundai position for too long, and soon enough VW India was fighting for survival in the Indian market.

Fact is that VW has clearly not been able to understand the dyamics of the Indian automobile market, how else do you explain almost all their cars bombing once they lose their initial new car steam.

Manson,it's hard for me or anyone for that matter to fathom that VW has not understood the dynamics of the market. They have been taking feedback from customers since they started and making marginal improvements in after sales BUT Why don't they expand their dealer network? You cannot sell big numbers with a thin network.
Why don't the dealers have test cars for the GT range? Why are the sales staff so under informed unenthusiastic about the GT range. They are happy to say..Sir the GT models are in waiting period.
This simply seems to be their strategy. Recently they have also closed their sales head office in north India.
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Old 20th February 2015, 13:50   #206
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Why don't the dealers have test cars for the GT range? Why are the sales staff so under informed unenthusiastic about the GT range. They are happy to say..Sir the GT models are in waiting period.
It is the case with all brands, not just VW. when i was hunting for an auto hatch, none of the Hyundai or Honda dealers in Gurgaon had a test drive car. VW did have a test drive GT TSI, but due to facelift coming in, they did not allow me a test drive. There was a test drive car available at chandigarh though, but I could not travel, so I asked my dad to take the test drive.

My cousin in Lucknow just booked a GT TSI. They also went around to all brands, Hyundai, Honda and Maruti, and neither had a test drive car available. VW did, and they offered her a test drive of the GT TSI.
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Old 20th February 2015, 19:40   #207
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How do you explain a waiting period of 3 months? When I spoke to a VW guy, seems like the cars are rationed per dealer 4 cars per week or something like that. Why would VW want to do this if the have cars in their stockyard. I guess they are not fully assembling all the cars from the production line for local consumption. This I guess its a weighted sales approach from VW for the new Vento. The Vento TSI has (and had a 6 month waiting period). Similar story with Skoda that comes from the same plant. The Waiting for the Octavia for any color is a minimum 4 - 6 month, even though the plant seems to run full capacity.
In a world where a rather wide range of finance products are easily available and extremely accessible, I would understand a company like VW to deploy capital and make more cars if their products were indeed a hit. A longer waiting period is not always an indicator of a company doing well.
In this case it possibly imples imply that the company does not intend to increase its production capacity by another manufacturing facility or even a work shift in order to produce for a a fractionally larger client base, as it is unsure if the excess quantity will be absorbed by its target market.

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Manson,it's hard for me or anyone for that matter to fathom that VW has not understood the dynamics of the market. They have been taking feedback from customers since they started and making marginal improvements in after sales
Considering I have not visited a VW facility in a very long time, I am going to have to take your word for it.
But if you look our monthly sales figure threads, I don't really see any significant change in volumes. Also, in your last post you mentioned VW was content / happy with their negligible sales volumes in India since it was doing well through its exports, and now you mentioned they have been taking active feedback in order to improve its sales? Catch 22?

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BUT Why don't they expand their dealer network? You cannot sell big numbers with a thin network.
Dealer expansion takes time, and when a company does not have the most well packaged products it only takes a little longer.

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Originally Posted by Detroit-Dude View Post
Recently they have also closed their sales head office in north India.
That would again be a step backwards, right? Fact is, if VW India was indeed doing well in India and their cars were a hit, this thread would not continue to carry the current title 'The way forward'

Last edited by manson : 20th February 2015 at 19:44.
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Old 20th February 2015, 21:24   #208
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Dealer expansion takes time, and when a company does not have the most well packaged products it only takes a little longer.
VW India won't be expanding their dealership network this year, instead they will be focusing on increasing the profitability of its existing dealerships!

http://www.motorbeam.com/2015/02/car...focus-profits/
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Old 20th February 2015, 22:08   #209
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VW India won't be expanding their dealership network this year, instead they will be focusing on increasing the profitability of its existing dealerships!
Lol! Increasing profits by putting the customer further by not taking up warranty jobs etc asking the customer to pay.

I sincerely hope VW improves is brand image and customer relations in India. Their cars are great but not their staff!
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Old 20th February 2015, 23:58   #210
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It is the case with all brands, not just VW. when i was hunting for an auto hatch, none of the Hyundai or Honda dealers in Gurgaon had a test drive car. VW did have a test drive GT TSI, but due to facelift coming in, they did not allow me a test drive. There was a test drive car available at chandigarh though, but I could not travel, so I asked my dad to take the test drive.



My cousin in Lucknow just booked a GT TSI. They also went around to all brands, Hyundai, Honda and Maruti, and neither had a test drive car available. VW did, and they offered her a test drive of the GT TSI.


Hyundai,Suzuki, Honda..when did they start selling hot hatches?!? Which cars of Hyundai,Honda and Maruti didn't have a test car? Come on let's not generalise this.
My point here is simple. If you have a killer product which can improve your premium brand proposition you need to let consumers experience and appreciate the same. Your distribution network should be enabled too.
VW is not doing it any of that very consistently and that is what I am trying to say.
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