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Old 30th June 2014, 17:37   #61
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

What I have realized is that it is a bad idea to say anything good about VW or Skoda on our forum. This thread is apparently about Skoda India's operations, but it has turned into a Skoda bashing thread. There is another thread for VW bashers, which is apparently about VW's market share.
I have already incurred the mods' wrath over this issue twice (posting rule #14 prohibits me from giving details), so I am not going to say anything more.

EDIT: And I just broke rule #5a.

Last edited by TheLizardKing : 30th June 2014 at 17:39.
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Old 1st July 2014, 00:08   #62
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by blacksport View Post
But, I think I understand what he is trying to say. An expensive car is generally expensive to maintain too. Every part, including consumables should cost more.
An expensive car will be expensive to repair, or will have high long-term maintenance costs. No questions about that. This is mostly due to the parts costing more, and some of them being imported.

The point people are actually trying to make is that:
  • They shouldn't go bad so often as Skoda/VW group cars do
  • Warranty should be honoured if they do go bad within warranty period
  • An expensive/luxury car is not just the product, but also the service
This is where Toyota excels, and items 2 and 3 are where most of the Europeans (Skoda especially, ask me I have a Rapid) fail miserably.

The Innova and Corolla are not cheap by almost anyone's estimates, so they should have similar maintenance costs. However, nothing in general does go wrong with a Toyota, and if it does, their service quality is exemplary - or so I've heard from too many sources to ignore.

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Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post
What I have realized is that it is a bad idea to say anything good about VW or Skoda on our forum.
It is not a bad idea. I love my Rapid and will definitely buy an Octavia in future, provided I have the money. However, we Skoda/VW owners in India today are walking into the ownership with our eyes open, and much as we love the vehicles, we cannot ignore others' poor experiences or our own. There are just too many sources to ignore.

Coming back to the thread, I don't understand the title and I certainly don't understand what VW is trying to do.

Curbing operations would literally mean reducing production or absorbing Skoda ops/sales/service into VW, or restricting Skoda (sales/service) in some way. I assume the absorption will not happen, simply because VW wants the brand differentiation so that they can charge a higher price for similar products.

I cannot guess what VW is up to, so any reliable information on that front would be helpful. As an owner of a Rapid, I am very interested in how this curbing operation develops. The only positive curbing I can imagine is curbing their service malpractice and poor customer service.
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Old 1st July 2014, 03:38   #63
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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post

Coming back to the thread, I don't understand the title and I certainly don't understand what VW is trying to do.

The only positive curbing I can imagine is curbing their service malpractice and poor customer service.
What Skoda is wanting to do is to stop / concentrate 'less' in the mass market segment (read Hatchbacks) which is the forte of Hyundai, Maruti and Tata. This is where high volumes plus profits are seen if the car clicks which yields better brand value and loyalty.

In all the above said areas Skoda could not do good with the Fabia even after multiple trials. Hence VW wants to decrease (read curb) focus in this segment and let Skoda concentrate in the 'premium' segment where they are happy and do deliver volumes (Octavia, Superb).

I don't know if this is a correct move from them but I feel they should improve on their shortcomings rather than slowing down on focus.

Anurag.

Last edited by a4anurag : 1st July 2014 at 03:40.
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Old 1st July 2014, 09:55   #64
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post
What I have realized is that it is a bad idea to say anything good about VW or Skoda on our forum. This thread is apparently about Skoda India's operations, but it has turned into a Skoda bashing thread. There is another thread for VW bashers, which is apparently about VW's market share.
I have already incurred the mods' wrath over this issue twice (posting rule #14 prohibits me from giving details), so I am not going to say anything more.

EDIT: And I just broke rule #5a.
(No offence to you or any of my mates here but I thanked you, not because I agree with the sentiments expressed in your post but for giving me an opportunity to raise something that I've been wanting to for sometime now.)

Slightly OT but I always wonder why some of us take criticism/rants against the makers of the car we own as a kind of personal criticism?
I drive a Honda City and have come across some pretty heavy criticism against it & the maker both in real life and the virtual world ie here. In fact there was one member (and owner of the model) here who had some very strong words about the car - something on the lines of it being like a tin can and safety issues and so on -can't locate the exact thread at the moment.
Anyway what I am coming to is that if someone makes a negative (even offensive comment) on the model that we drive (or love), there is no need to feel all hot and bothered and take it as a kind of personal affront. If someone criticises the Honda City I would welcome it because it would hopefully keep the manufacturer on their toes and provoke them to take steps to improve where necessary.
Similarly negatives against VW or Skoda or some particular model of theirs is not a personal attack against any owner or his choice of vehicle.
Heaps of VW/Skoda owners are a very happy lot - and good for them. Fake threads apart, some of them aren't and they have rightly been very voluble in venting their feelings.
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Old 1st July 2014, 10:18   #65
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by wilful View Post
Heaps of VW/Skoda owners are a very happy lot - and good for them. Fake threads apart, some of them aren't and they have rightly been very voluble in venting their feelings.
I would like to think that I am not reacting out of a sense of personal affront. I agree that unhappy owners have all the right in the world to vent their feelings and share information that will be useful to existing and prospective customers of the brand. I completely understand that. But when other members extrapolate that to make grand predictions about the demise of the VW brand and generally say bad things about it, I can't help get a little irritated. And as other members have pointed out, the VW group happens to be the flavour of the season.

In my opinion, the VW brand is guilty of poor brand positioning, at least in the B segment. Maruti stands for VFM and "Kitna deti hai?" Hyundai differentiates itself by making very good-looking cars and adding heaps of equipment to them so the owners feeling they are driving a car from a segment above theirs. Toyota stands for "reliability". VW? It stands for "German engineering". The problem is that this is not a positioning that can be easily communicated, not least to the "budget conscious" Indian buyer. Just take a look at the recent ad campaign, which has already attracted a lot of ridicule on this forum.

And finally, while I would like to believe (from my own experience over the past year and some posts by fellow VW owners on this thread) that A.S.S. levels are getting better, I have a feeling that it is not enough. VW has to do more to atone for its past sins. I had an argument with a Hyundai sales rep recently who said that VW cars are expensive to maintain. But that does seem to be the general perception, and that is something that VW needs to address.

And like the others on this thread, I too am struggling to understand where VW is going with this latest move. I just hope they have given it some thought, and are not doing this as a knee-jerk reaction.
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Old 1st July 2014, 10:34   #66
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

I strongly feel when a person talks down about a brand or a car or talks good about it he must write a disclaimer about the brand or car he currently owns so we too understand the entire story fairly .
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Old 1st July 2014, 11:07   #67
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
[*]They shouldn't go bad so often as Skoda/VW group cars do[*]Warranty should be honoured if they do go bad within warranty period[*]An expensive/luxury car is not just the product, but also the service[/list]This is where Toyota excels, and items 2 and 3 are where most of the Europeans (Skoda especially, ask me I have a Rapid) fail miserably.
The Innova and Corolla are not cheap by almost anyone's estimates, so they should have similar maintenance costs. However, nothing in general does go wrong with a Toyota, and if it does, their service quality is exemplary - or so I've heard from too many sources to ignore.



It is not a bad idea. I love my Rapid and will definitely buy an Octavia in future, provided I have the money. However, we Skoda/VW owners in India today are walking into the ownership with our eyes open, and much as we love the vehicles, we cannot ignore others' poor experiences or our own. There are just too many sources to ignore.

Coming back to the thread, I don't understand the title and I certainly don't understand what VW is trying to do.

Curbing operations would literally mean reducing production or absorbing Skoda ops/sales/service into VW, or restricting Skoda (sales/service) in some way. I assume the absorption will not happen, simply because VW wants the brand differentiation so that they can charge a higher price for similar products.

I cannot guess what VW is up to, so any reliable information on that front would be helpful. As an owner of a Rapid, I am very interested in how this curbing operation develops. The only positive curbing I can imagine is curbing their service malpractice and poor customer service.
Yes, they are less reliable. VW cars probably cannot become as reliable as Toyota in the same way, Toyota cannot become as fun to drive as VW cars.

Coming to service, all service centers are manned by the same kind of people. These employees move across brands the same way as IT employees switch companies. So it is not that VW employs all the unscrupulous people. And somebody had a few pages back pointed out that the same dealer has service centers of two different brands of which one had a good reputation while the other hard a bad one. Service centers whose cars are more expensive to maintain is going to get a bad reputation. If my clutch wears out faster than normal and if the dealer asks 5K for replacement, I would pay up and go away. But if it costs say 40-50K, am sure is going to get pissed off. Some of them are going to spill into this forum as complaints. European cars are more expensive to maintain and people have to factor that into the decision making process while choosing their cars.

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Originally Posted by anky View Post
I strongly feel when a person talks down about a brand or a car or talks good about it he must write a disclaimer about the brand or car he currently owns so we too understand the entire story fairly .
I don't own a VW or a Skoda, but I would definitely want to own one. When I bought the Ecosport, Polo TSi was a strong contender, but I wanted something with a taller seating and all those airbags. I have owned a Maruti, Fiat, a Chevrolet and a Honda in the past, and would any day pick a European over a Japanese/Korean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilful View Post
(No offence to you or any of my mates here but I thanked you, not because I agree with the sentiments expressed in your post but for giving me an opportunity to raise something that I've been wanting to for sometime now.)

Slightly OT but I always wonder why some of us take criticism/rants against the makers of the car we own as a kind of personal criticism?
I drive a Honda City and have come across some pretty heavy criticism against it & the maker both in real life and the virtual world ie here. In fact there was one member (and owner of the model) here who had some very strong words about the car - something on the lines of it being like a tin can and safety issues and so on -can't locate the exact thread at the moment.
Anyway what I am coming to is that if someone makes a negative (even offensive comment) on the model that we drive (or love), there is no need to feel all hot and bothered and take it as a kind of personal affront. If someone criticises the Honda City I would welcome it because it would hopefully keep the manufacturer on their toes and provoke them to take steps to improve where necessary.
Similarly negatives against VW or Skoda or some particular model of theirs is not a personal attack against any owner or his choice of vehicle.
Heaps of VW/Skoda owners are a very happy lot - and good for them. Fake threads apart, some of them aren't and they have rightly been very voluble in venting their feelings.
Criticism is always good, but it should not be an one-way street. Others have a right to refute them too. I don't have a stake in VW, but I have an opinion on why, of all things VW could do, they should not become yet another Maruti/Hyundai.

BTW, it is also worth pondering why all of those fake threads are started against VW and Skoda. Part of a grander design? And it need not be limited to those threads, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
What Skoda is wanting to do is to stop / concentrate 'less' in the mass market segment (read Hatchbacks) which is the forte of Hyundai, Maruti and Tata. This is where high volumes plus profits are seen if the car clicks which yields better brand value and loyalty.

In all the above said areas Skoda could not do good with the Fabia even after multiple trials. Hence VW wants to decrease (read curb) focus in this segment and let Skoda concentrate in the 'premium' segment where they are happy and do deliver volumes (Octavia, Superb).

I don't know if this is a correct move from them but I feel they should improve on their shortcomings rather than slowing down on focus.

Anurag.
Rightly said. With the Polo and Fabia, VW/Skoda were trying to compete with Maruti/Hyundai. Why else would anybody plonk a 1.2L 3 cylinder engine in such a nice car? They tried to capture the Maruti/Hyundai buyers, which boomeranged back on them, because however hard they try, a VW car could not posses the same virtues as a Maruti/Hyundai. So even if they were able to sell some, it eventually gave them a bad name.

Last edited by blacksport : 1st July 2014 at 11:26.
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Old 1st July 2014, 11:49   #68
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Post Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by TheLizardKing View Post
.... I had an argument with a Hyundai sales rep recently who said that VW cars are expensive to maintain.
Haha! You should have escorted that fool over to his own brand's service center and view at least 5 customer's invoices, who'd have just paid up, post their Hyundai car's service.

His perception would have changed quickly. Such morons. I have friends who own the tilted H brand and are paying through their nose for service. Another friend is very angry with Hyundai as his 2.8 months old, well maintained CRDI i20 top end -1 variant car won't even fetch him 6 lakhs by his own Hyundai sales showroom.
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Old 1st July 2014, 14:28   #69
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Service costs are through the roof everywhere these days, but reputation sticks real fast in India, and is almost impossible to shake off.

We own a Hyundai and a Ford in my family, and maintaining my Hyundai costs me more than the Ford these days. But when I speak to common folk in my circle of acquaintances, the 'Fords are expensive to maintain' stigma still exists years after their A.S.S. pricing became competitive. So much for cheaper Hyundai's.

Germans will always be more fun to drive, Japanese/Korean always more reliable. It's the owner's call while buying, and as long as they're are happy with what they bought, does it really matter what anyone else thinks of the brand/car?
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Old 1st July 2014, 17:16   #70
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

I don't ever want to enter a debate on which brand is better or stereotype buyers of brands in sweeping statements, I like sticking to the truth as it stands. Perceptions/misconceptions are one of the leading problems worldwide which are conveniently leveraged upon by marketing departments of companies. It is a reinforcing strategy, market a brand based on exaggerating its core-strength which may be value-for-money/premium or luxury position/easy to maintain etc, reel in the buyers and slowly 'alter' the positioning so as to increase revenue. The key goal of businesses afterall is increasing cash flow consistently. The customers who realise this after being reeled in, would only reinforce the brand positioning so that they do not look bad as stakeholders/fans. The companies know this all too well.

By this I mean no product can ever be as perfect as advertised, none. Speaking as an owner, Hyundai is not cheap to maintain. I'm ok with the costs as maintenance is part of ownership and vital as well. I've seen them gyp customers on spares/labour and (bloated)insurance because hey! we're reeled in good, aren't we? All respective businesses make conscious efforts to make the customer stay with the same brand, dealer & service station, God forbid if one does change the earth would stop spinning. Suzuki too is no longer cheap to maintain, specially the Swift if I heard right.

This is exactly why no firm/brand today has a 100% approval. They leverage on stereotypes and ancient reputation which may no longer be applicable today. If a brand used to be cheaper to maintain they may no longer be today, if a product ran for a decade without trouble it may not today and if a brand was built well it may not be today, all because of profits. The VAG tried to do exactly the same, vehemently defending their products inspite of customers hoarse from crying about various issues thus leading to the state of things today. They still are playing the deaf card.

Long post and so I shall wrap up. To repeat, no brand has 100% approval and all have their fair share of lies (marketing). To me it can't get clearer, should a company be formed today that gives exactly that it promises (either vfm or luxury), is open about its competition and position in the market, that treats its customers as a privilege and not a nuisance and lives up to each letter of the clearly laid out warranty terms and doesn't waver one bit, it will shoot up the charts without all the fluff and smoke that is marketing.

P.s Each brand has virtues and vices and most complaints here are genuine. Any customer pays money to buy a product and his/her satisfaction is more important than sandbox squabbles.
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Old 1st July 2014, 19:04   #71
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

This comes from an old Tamil movie. How to make a line longer without making any changes to it? By drawing an even smaller line next to it.

Voila! That seems to the inspiration here. How to make VW's sales bigger? Make Skoda's sales even smaller (from whatever low it is right now)

It's a pain to see such well engineering cars failing in India.
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Old 12th July 2014, 12:48   #72
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Too late to realize in understanding the problem VW.

Indeed it's just not the Skoda's, even VW seems to be less bothered on retaining customer satisfaction quotient post selling their cars.

A close friend of mine who has a Vento TDI is having great issues in making the VW guys understand his car's knocking issue and he is currently been taken for a ride by VW who is replacing all the parts in subsequent order one after other at VW, Coimbatore.

I personally have the feel that Service and customer relationship management process followed by VW/Skoda has a huge room for improvement in comparison to other German auto makers in the Indian Sub-continent.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 13:45   #73
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Your analogies, although nicely phrased, do not get off the ground. You pay less to maintain a well-built device, because it does not go wrong. You pay less to maintain a well-built residence, because fewer things fall apart. All this is true, so why should I pay more to maintain a car that is supposedly well built.

You confuse your analogy by bringing in the irrelevant factors like services: if VAG start providing you with security guys and drivers, then you can compare to gated communities and serviced apartments.
I buy this (aseem's) analogy for the correct reasons Abhi describes in his post. I'm trying to recall something that costs way expensive compared to most other in its segment, but costs cheaper or even reasonable to maintain or repair as compared to others.

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Originally Posted by Abhi_Automobile View Post
  • Though your analogies seem a bit extreme to me, I agree with the basic point you are making. A lot of folks, even on such a knowledgeable forum like tbhp, are governed by hearsay. I can bet there are a lot of people who know very little about Skoda cars give extreme views making the situation sound very skewed. While I agree that A.S.S is not Skoda's strong point, the situation on the ground is not as bad as you'll be led to believe if you only go by the opinions offered on our forum.
  • Absolutely disagree with your point that if you are spending 20 million INR, you should be prepared to spend 100-200k on maintenance per year on it. Dude, I think that is a lot even for an Audi, and we are talking Skoda here!
  • I've booked the Skoda Octavia Ambition TDI too
A replacement buckle on Gucci belt will also be very expensive, even though it will last longer. The market reality is, the recurring (maintenance, replacement etc) charges are generally proportional to the price of your product. The reason is simple.
Completely agree with you, I own a Fabia 1.6 past last 3 years, had no issues. They aren't great but they aren't as bad as some people perceives even without knowing the real ground reality.

Congrats for the Legend!

Coming to the thread objective, I strongly believe nothing this sort of thing (curbing Skoda) going to happen, at least within the near foreseeable future of VW in India.

Skoda brand/customers in India is a guinea pig for VW, unless they are very confident about the product, they experiment with Skoda cars/customers to judge the market response.

Last edited by iSpoke : 22nd July 2014 at 13:49.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 14:33   #74
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

Given the reputation of Skoda as fraudsters (harishv and many others) why not wind them up altogether.
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Old 22nd July 2014, 17:34   #75
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Default Re: VW likely to curb Skoda India's operations

On the topic of berating a brand: I was one of those who trolled Skoda on this board about 6-7 years ago, based mostly on feedback from a few owners I knew. I now own a Skoda and it was a a difficult decision at that point - but the vehicle suited my requirements and I decided to take the plunge.

No issues with the vehicle, and the chaps have been pretty good so far. I would now think a few times about trolling a brand based on feedback from others.
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