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Old 25th June 2014, 19:21   #31
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Skoda makes excellent cars,some of which are at par or in certain cases better than offerrings from the so called `premium` brands and even better reliability as a bonus.
In India it has just been let down by poor after sales service and high cost of spares.
Thats all.
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Old 25th June 2014, 19:28   #32
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

I don't think the statement from the VW man points to Skoda closing down its business in India. For me, it sounded more like diverting attention on VWs failure as a brand (or probably finding a scapegoat). In my opinion VW is the one which need more attention than Skoda. The way they handled the new models/variants (GT twins, Vento TSI etc.) are nothing short of a debacle.

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Originally Posted by nitinbose View Post
This must have been in their (VW's) minds for quite sometime and now they're publicizing it. The idea behind VW purchasing Skoda is to capture the market and slowly kill the brand, which explains why they've also been reluctant to improve their service and customer support.
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Being in IT industry, it is probably the same thing that HP did to Compaq. Now we have HP everywhere and Compaq no-where.
Not really true, in most markets they exist, VW and Skoda (and Seat) co-exist positively and the brands compete with each other in almost all segments starting from small hatchbacks. India is one market where they are getting the strategies wrong consistently and VAG will need to do some serious work to resurrect both these brands in India.
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Old 25th June 2014, 20:00   #33
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

The way I look at it, it sounds more of change in strategy and focus, primarily on target segments. But, with the article it opens up plenty of speculation on how to interpret, the least being shutting down the brand completely. It is a definitely a cause of concern to the parent company (read VW), when it looks it its own market share hover around the same figures as another brand under its fold, but been on this soil more than twice that it has been. One bad publicity from a disgruntled customer is good to drive away 10 prospective customers that the targeted marketing can bring in as footfall to the showroom. Skoda, for all that we know, is yet to realize and mend its ways.

When VW entered the market, the brand had the expectation that it would not tread the same footsteps as Skoda and have better service support - reference, initial numbers of VW sales compared of that of Skoda, even with much lower dealers. But, with any brand trying to set shop, the turnaround / breakeven takes longer and VW seems to lose its patience and plot by not doing a rejig / refresh of its product portfolio soon enough to keep the market afire. Part of these statements could be towards this approach and diversify / position the two brands differently and not just a minimal exterior cosmetic change sold under different name.

Off-topic : Been closely watching the Vento vs. Rapid numbers (courtesy GTO's monthly sales numbers) and it has been consistently in the ratio of 2:1, with the Vento being on the higher side. I fail to interpret correctly when many posts in this thread seems to suggest otherwise - Rapid outselling the Vento. Is it time to get my eyesight checked? :-)
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Old 25th June 2014, 20:43   #34
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by Electric View Post
The way I look at it, it sounds more of change in strategy and focus, primarily on target segments. But, with the article it opens up plenty of speculation on how to interpret, the least being shutting down the brand completely. It is a definitely a cause of concern to the parent company (read VW), when it looks it its own market share hover around the same figures as another brand under its fold, but been on this soil more than twice that it has been. One bad publicity from a disgruntled customer is good to drive away 10 prospective customers that the targeted marketing can bring in as footfall to the showroom. Skoda, for all that we know, is yet to realize and mend its ways.

When VW entered the market, the brand had the expectation that it would not tread the same footsteps as Skoda and have better service support - reference, initial numbers of VW sales compared of that of Skoda, even with much lower dealers. But, with any brand trying to set shop, the turnaround / breakeven takes longer and VW seems to lose its patience and plot by not doing a rejig / refresh of its product portfolio soon enough to keep the market afire. Part of these statements could be towards this approach and diversify / position the two brands differently and not just a minimal exterior cosmetic change sold under different name.

Off-topic : Been closely watching the Vento vs. Rapid numbers (courtesy GTO's monthly sales numbers) and it has been consistently in the ratio of 2:1, with the Vento being on the higher side. I fail to interpret correctly when many posts in this thread seems to suggest otherwise - Rapid outselling the Vento. Is it time to get my eyesight checked? :-)
Yes, I think you are right. Vento numbers are better than that of Rapid , even inspite of being higher by almost Rs. 70,000 more than Rapid.

And now why the rapid are selling what they are actually selling - is simply because of the lower pricing. example the ultima. its selling because its better priced and with lots of supposed to be extras.

That does not make rapid any better than vento as they are essentially the same product.

Skods's numbers of Rapid are not healthy , considering the unhealthy selling practices they are doing.

In any case, both vento and rapid are not doing good at all.

for me , buying a vento or rapid is like aasman se gira aur khajoor pe atka type of situation.
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Old 25th June 2014, 21:12   #35
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Is this part of a new strategy to introduce the Seat brand in the lower segments and position the Skoda brand in the premium segment along with the VW brand (with VW slightly higher)? With the volumes being generated by the Seat brand with Skoda & VW catering only to the premium segment?

Last edited by Ramon : 25th June 2014 at 21:25.
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Old 25th June 2014, 22:15   #36
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by Ramon View Post
Is this part of a new strategy to introduce the Seat brand in the lower segments and position the Skoda brand in the premium segment along with the VW brand (with VW slightly higher)? With the volumes being generated by the Seat brand with Skoda & VW catering only to the premium segment?
Highly unlikely. Neither VW or Skoda is doing too well, despite being here in India for many years, and being brands with very good recognition amongst the masses. Why would they want to bring in Seat, which hardly anyone knows about, go over a brand building exercise - which is hugely expensive, only to launch more badge-engineered products, and risk losing even more money in India?

I get the feeling VW will streamline the group's operations in India - bring down the number of variants, introduce better kit, pull the plugs on models/ variants that are irrecoverably ailing, maybe even start listening to customer feedback
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Old 25th June 2014, 22:56   #37
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Both VW and Skoda make good cars (Skoda Octavia/vrs, VW Polo tsi/tdi) which in terms of engineering and technology are highly competitive with the competition being the Japanese ....Honda and toyota.

They lack in only one thing - Absolutely horrible after sales/service. After they sell the car, they are really not bothered. I'm saying this from experience having owned 2 Honda's (2003 CRV, 2006 civic), Toyota (1999 land cruiser ) and Skoda / VW (Yeti/ Polo tsi ).

Although service at skoda service centres has improved a lot from the bad old days, but it's not enough to entice consumers back .

Volkswagen is still in its delusional phase...they don't care about Indian customers.

Last edited by GTO : 26th June 2014 at 13:39. Reason: Typo
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Old 26th June 2014, 09:46   #38
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

I remember when I purchased my Vento VW was still new , there was a diesel to finally in the 10 lakh range and it ticked all the boxes. They were giving Honda a serious run for their money. At the time VW Vento sales outdid Honda City sales for quite a while.
Honda evolved and outshone them , but VW seemed very slow in terms of facelifts engine options , new model launches. Staying put with the same spec/design could be working in other countries but not in India.
At least they could have seen what the market leaders like Maruti and Hyundai are upto launching new models with new specs every year.
All VW did was rebadged their products as Skoda and sold them at a lower price. Not that the engineering is not upto the mark , but the Indian mindset is different than it is in other countries. Good, strong, sturdy, built to last does not cut it in India.
It is difficult to believe that they did not anticipate this through Skoda which has been around for a while now.
They have to evolve and change gears in bringing newer models. Else they will eventually perish.
Not to go off topic but with Renault Nissan playing a similar game of one product - two brands - one cheaper , will they too go the same way ?
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Old 26th June 2014, 10:39   #39
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Blame it on the purchasing power of Indians. They can't go on creating models in every country tailored to the purchasing power of the people there, just to suit the meaning of their name. Corolla is a "people's car" in the USA, but a luxury car here in India. Nothing wrong with that. India's peoples cars are Marutis. Maybe in a poorer country, it would become a luxury brand.

Last edited by GTO : 26th June 2014 at 13:41. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 26th June 2014, 13:46   #40
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by Padcot Prakash View Post
Yes, I think you are right. Vento numbers are better than that of Rapid , even inspite of being higher by almost Rs. 70,000 more than Rapid.
VW dealers offer bigger discounts to offset the price difference. The difference isn't that much between the two (identical) siblings.

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Skods's numbers of Rapid are not healthy , considering the unhealthy selling practices they are doing.
You can say that again. Someone I know had an awful experience buying the Rapid AT from a Mumbai dealer. He was continuously following up, BEFORE and after the payment (he was really keen on this car only). The dealer's behaviour was as if it was doing a favour to the customer. You'd think Skoda would have a strong sales push, considering their dismal sales.

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Originally Posted by Ramon View Post
Is this part of a new strategy to introduce the Seat brand in the lower segments
Oh please! The last thing VW needs is yet another brand in India. Better that they save & use those resources to improve the state of their current brands. VW & Skoda are doing a lot of things wrong (including but not limited to customer service) and are paying a heavy price for it.
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Old 26th June 2014, 18:29   #41
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

I really don't get it. How can VW be so blind?

First they claim that India is a tough market, not realising that their competition also competes in the same tough market, and manages to do far better than they do.

Then they complain that Skoda isn't doing well, and they're going to curb Skoda operations. All of this forum, and even non car enthusiasts, are all telling them, quite loudly, that their after sales & service is abysmal, and company support for cars they've sold is non-existent. Still they don't seem to get it, and aren't fixing it.

How can one of the world's largest car manufacturers be this blind? Someone said that the Indian management is making all these excuses to save face, and while that may be true, surely the Germans can read? A simple Google Search will tell them all they need to know. Why are they all in denial?

In short - Why it this so obvious to us, and so beyond VW's understanding?
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Old 26th June 2014, 20:02   #42
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

I think we are all over reading into the report. I really don't see any reason for VW to pull out Skoda from our market all together. Skoda, for the number of models it has in India, is doing pretty well as a company even considering all the stuff about bad after sales. And it is precisely because it makes cars that are very different from the Japanese and Koreans. You can't just quote its market share as a reference point because all its models are present only in the C segment and above. And hence one cannot expect huge volumes from those segments. With the Rapid they are surely losing out on a lot of sales because of the more VFM options like the Verna and the City and specially since both are newer models.

At the worst I can only see VW try to increase the gap between the offerings from its own stable and those from Skoda. They can do this by either slashing the price of Skoda and re position is at the entry level of each segment and let the VW be the more premium offering in that segment. Or they can just increase the prices of VW's cars. And I really hope they choose the former.
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Old 26th June 2014, 20:49   #43
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Originally Posted by Ponkermania View Post
I really don't get it. How can VW be so blind?



First they claim that India is a tough market, not realising that their competition also competes in the same tough market, and manages to do far better than they do.



Then they complain that Skoda isn't doing well, and they're going to curb Skoda operations. All of this forum, and even non car enthusiasts, are all telling them, quite loudly, that their after sales & service is abysmal, and company support for cars they've sold is non-existent. Still they don't seem to get it, and aren't fixing it.



How can one of the world's largest car manufacturers be this blind? Someone said that the Indian management is making all these excuses to save face, and while that may be true, surely the Germans can read? A simple Google Search will tell them all they need to know. Why are they all in denial?



In short - Why it this so obvious to us, and so beyond VW's understanding?

Strongly agree! Why don't VW get this? It seems that they are blinded by their success outside India especially China and foolishly believe that the majority of the Indian consumers are not mature enough to appreciate their engineering and brand. I even find their ads a bit childish especially the recent ones.
All the money which VW spends on TV and print Ads they better spend in more service centres and experienced personnel,seriously sales will definitely improve.
Wake up 'das auto' get some of us on board:-)
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Old 27th June 2014, 10:56   #44
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

The way forward for Skoda is to introduce the European Rapid with a (hopefully) quieter 1.5 tdi engine and then watch the sales fly in the mid segment. Skoda will never beat the gods of the mass market (Maruti,Hyundai) at their game, hence sticking to C/C+ segment is their best bet.
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Old 27th June 2014, 12:18   #45
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by su1978 View Post
He, however, added that there is no plan to pull out the brand from India or to scale down its operations in a big manner.
Curious as to the usage of the term "curbing", when they are neither planning to pull the brand out of India nor scaling down operations either.
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