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Old 14th May 2016, 16:49   #46
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Originally Posted by MDED View Post
Why they need to work on Sunday? I am glad that still humanity prevails in India and the showrooms run on thin attendance and arranging for TD and delivery is not possible. Do you think an employee do not have human rights to have leisure time with his family. I work at a bank wherein we had Sundays branch and the employees were reluctant to come on a Sunday. The alternate holiday on a weekday cant be used effectively simply because it is an awkward situation for them wherein their entire family is out in office, school or college and only one family member is at home. Alternate holidays are not going to help the cause. After six pm on a weekday, I have a mental block and I can't work because, I desperately want to hustle for home. But, during my office hours I leave no stone unturned in providing class apart customer service.
Those who want to buy a car will not decide based on the showroom working on a Sunday. Let us protect the working class who slog for a square meal and are always squeezed by the dealerships. I am sure in the entire world people get SUNDAY as weekly off!
Let's not maul the human values of the employees at the cost of jacking up sales.
I totally agree with this post. It's the lower level of employees who will face the brunt with this move. Since they are mostly freshers or at the start of their career this is just one of the other ways they will be exploited to work more. And I am sure, the dealership will not be giving any extra compensation except for a weekday off. As MDED pointed out, the weekday holiday does not suit all since the other members of the family or friends are buzy working and don't have time to catch up.

We need to understand that here in India, most companies are already squeezing their employees to the last drop without providing equivalent benefits or perks.

Working on Sunday will definitely cause higher burnout in the employees. When developed countries like France are already thinking of cutting the work week to 4 days, we need to allow at least one day off for our front line employees so that they can relax with their families and enjoy their hobbies.
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Old 14th May 2016, 19:56   #47
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Originally Posted by trek View Post
Working on Sunday will definitely cause higher burnout in the employees. When developed countries like France are already thinking of cutting the work week to 4 days, we need to allow at least one day off for our front line employees so that they can relax with their families and enjoy their hobbies.

Whether we want to call France a developed country is a matter for debate. I have travelled extensively and worked in France. Some rural parts of France have yet to enter the 21st century.

Even so, a few western thoughts and observation around Sunday shopping in Western Europe. Germany is probably the most restrictive in shopping hours. Many shops will close on Saturday afternoon and few shops are open on Sunday.

http://www.german-way.com/travel-and...rs-in-germany/

Remember that most of western Europe has a Christian orientation, so Sunday is traditionally a day of rest.

In my home country the Netherlands, there are hundreds of villages and towns where everything stays shut. If you are being seen to wash your car on a Sunday you can be sure to get a visit from some village elders to try and get you to not do that again.

It's more relaxed in big cities, but even there not all shops will open on Sunday. In essence shops can only open on a Sunday if they are situated in a designated tourist area or provide home essentials. So in our village only the supermarket is open. Next to us in The hague, only the shops in the centre are open as it is supposed to attract tourists.

Also, all shops in the Netherlands are closed on Monday, at least the Monday morning till 1300, some the whole day. Its just the tradition.

On Saturdays all shops, except supermarkts, close at 1700. All other days of the week is 1800 and there is only one late night shopping, Thursday or Friday.

Car dealers follow the regular pattern.

Originally, Shops assistant can only be made to work on Sunday on voluntarily basis and get substantial overtime. However, that is changing rapidly. As more and more shops are open on a Sunday its becoming the norm and it becomes part of the normal job requirement. Normal working week in the Netherland is between 36-40 hours.

The UK has over the last year seen more and more shops open on Sunday. Most towns will have this in effect. Only the last couple of years, car dealers in the UK have started opening on Sunday. Usually 12-16 or so.

We lived several years in the USA and of course there everything including most car dealers are open 7 days a week. We lived in Kansas City, Mid West and that again has very strong Christian roots. So there where quite a few shops, even complete chain that stayed closed on Sundays.

My personal impression when it comes to India. Far ahead of most of Europe in general terms when it comes to opening hours. Whether that is a good thing is entirely in the eyes of the beholder.

Jeroen
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Old 14th May 2016, 22:34   #48
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Default No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday...

Fantastic thread Crazy Driver!

Being in the media/broadcasting industry, we work all 7 days and 24 hours a day. Well almost! Rotational shifts, allowances and perks make it happen. Believe me there are people who are waiting for such opportunities to earn a bit more! Sundays anyways are crazily crowded in all our metros. Aren't they?

So, getting back to the actual point of having Car showrooms open on Sundays, I would definitely like them to do so. I would be more than willing to visit a showroom on a ratter clutter free day!

One of the bhpian mentioned about a Tata showroom open on a Ugadi holiday in Bangalore. I did notice that and was happy I could have a Tiago test drive!
Kudos to Tata!

Last edited by balajisv : 14th May 2016 at 22:37.
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Old 15th May 2016, 04:39   #49
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Thanks to all for a very lively discussion, and apologies from my end for the late replies.
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sunday is the best day for retail.

Go check out any mall and you'll see how they beef up staff & procedures for Sundays. I started my career in the Plywood business and Sundays were the busiest due to traffic from home owners (our weekly off, oddly, was on Monday!). I have a friend in the property business and his team is always selling homes on Sundays. That's his busiest day of the week.
Thanks GTO. You mentioned it in the best way possible. Sunday is indeed the best day for retail. Most of the high value purchases I have seen myself and my friends make either mostly happen on a Sunday or they do it online these days.

You've mentioned a very good example of the real estate business. Another example of a high value and emotional purchase. To most Indians, cars come next only to homes in the sort of emotional attachment involved with the purchase.
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Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
I think its more to do with the dealership on how it operates than the Manufacturer control on the Sundays.
True. But then, dealerships operate on behalf of these manufacturers. No one would blame Bimal, or Apple Auto or Vinayaka Motors etc - they blame Maruti Suzuki, VW, Skoda.

Tighter control of operating procedures are the need of the hour then?
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Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
Most car dealerships stay closed on Sundays because of the lack of availability of experienced sales staff.

Another good idea would be to identify a day (usually Mondays, since most of the working class is busy on a Monday) to give the dealership a complete holiday (the Service Center can remain open and usually is).

Car buying is usually a joint decision by the entire family, and what better way than to spend some quality time with your loved ones and taking their opinions on your favourite shortlisted car(s) for a future buy.

be sure that it will be the Maruti dealerships first.
Absolutely true. I am not so sure if it is the right policy to take an entire day off. Many industries do survive with an effective 7 day work week. However, yes - In India (more than other countries), car purchase is a very emotional and high value transaction and is best done on Sundays.

Regarding Maruti, you can bet Hyundai wont be far behind as well.
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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Our mind is trained to think Sunday is a holiday. Its a day you want to do something you like. That includes watching TV or catching a movie.

Having someone work on a Sunday irrespective of what the industry is, is such a demotivating experience.

As a buyer i would never go visit a car showroom on sunday and i prefer doing that on a Friday or Saturday to have a day of rest or reboot before the boring week starts.
Thank you for this post. Valid points.

However, I would like to ask if you considered how many people are made to work on a Sunday when you catch a movie on a Sunday? The security guards at the malls, the ticket counter guys, the parking attendants, the guys selling popcorn, the guys cleaning restrooms, the traffic policemen managing the weekend traffic outside malls, the autowallahs, the bus drivers.

Or may be you would prefer to sit at home and watch TV? Still your apartment security, cable TV service guy, the restaurant parcel delivery boy - there are still many who are made to work on a Sunday to support us. You just cannot escape it. Demotivating or not!

So how do all these other industries manage to put their best foot forward on Sundays?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkatesh.C View Post
1. They are overworked and are simply tired.
2. They are meeting their targets without the Sunday deals
True. Rotational shifts are the need of the hour then?

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Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
we went to our favourite chaat joint - which happens to be bang opposite the NEXA showroom. After we had our fill of yummy chaat, seeing that the showroom was open, we walked in.

All manner of people were wandering through, poking and prodding at the display cars. None of the so-called customers appeared serious
Thank you. Your post brings both the positive and negative side of it. As you mentioned yourself, you did a casual walk-in to have a look and feel of the car after visiting a chaat joint. In more technical terms, a "sales oppurtunity" was generated out of casual interest.

The second part of your post also shows the negative side of it. There are many other who would do casual walk-in as well. Consider my original post for one - I wouldn't have purchase any of the cars on my list - there is no sales oppurtunity there with my walk-in, but it does generate more leads as I'm bound to recommend my friends or relatives if I am impressed with a car. As a direct example, the Tiago which turned out much better than i expected and I ended up recommending it to my office colleagues.

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Originally Posted by null View Post
I remember reading somewhere (or hearing about this from someone) that Sunday crowd at automotive showrooms are casual visitors and the %age sales vs footfalls is not worthwhile.
Spot on.

But as I mentioned above - every footfall generates a lead or an opportunity. The same is applicable to most of the shops open on Sundays - for example, in a shopping mall. Most people walk into all the shops, but there in lies the opportunity to actually impress and make them buy a product they wouldn't have done otherwise.

This is more applicable to brands other than Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Toyota etc where customers are sure to stick to their own preference of brand no matter what happens. But for companies trying to break the mould and create a better impression on the larger crowds, these footfalls would turn out extremely important.

That is a reason why the cars are displayed in shopping malls etc on Sundays. But then they put a disinterested sales person next to the car who would prefer to just leave the car locked up, forget answering basic queries.
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Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
In case the manufacturers believe that most of the Sunday crowd is wasting their time, then shut the stores and save everyones time and effort. No point in keeping the lights on but not providing any services.
Couldn't have said it better. It ruins brand image and impressions when the showrooms put a half hearted foot forward!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivs2003 View Post
A bulk of companies and MNCs have made it policy that some people must come on Sunday and take a different day as their weekly offs.
True. And that is exactly what I am wondering. What is it regarding automobile sales and service that makes it so hard to follow this worldwide retail trend!
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Originally Posted by Vasuki View Post
But I had a different experience.

When I went to buy Z800 from Kawasaki Cochin
Really glad to know of your experience. Isn't it true that this helped improve your satisfaction for the sales experience and the brand?

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Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
Those who actually want a car, will try to find some time in the evenings or during lunch breaks. Or even better, the salesmen will come to the place on call with the car for TD.

If the showrooms are left open on Sundays, there will be a lot of footfalls, and many will be simply casual onlookers
Its a matter of inconvenience for either the buyer (who has to take time out for for test drives) or the whole family (To gather at one location or home for this test drive). Either ways, the buyer is at an inconvenience even if the sales persons bring the car to your desired location on a work day. And less said about the time schedules being kept punctual - the better!

As i mentioned above - even casual onlookers can generate sales. A small percentage may be, but thats the case with every other fields. Here they open showrooms but leave it half open! Neither preventing casual footfalls, nor making any use of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeper1941 View Post
is because people who work on Sundays and public holidays are paid two-and-a-half to three times the normal hourly rate.
Thank you for that perspective. Unfortunately in India, the best a person working on a Sunday could hope for - is to get another day as compensatory off. Or a very small allowance to make up for it and actually forget the compensatory off too!

As per the current scenario, most dealerships are open and some juniors are "forced" to spend the time there. This works neither for the customer, nor the poor employees!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramprakashr View Post
I would not have purchased my Verna from the particular showroom, had I not visited them on a Sunday evening. Something worked, was it the less business / more personal chat with the sales rep, or the nearly empty and quiet showroom, or just placebo, I'm not at all sure
Another example that is really good to hear!
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Old 15th May 2016, 05:01   #50
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Touchwood! I have been quite lucky in this department, all the cars I have bought and TD'ed have been done on sundays. Infact, as per my experience the customer service has been much better, Less crowd, multiple test drive cars available and Sales executive actually pay attention to your queries and gives you proper time. You get longer test drives too! What I have noticed is dealers mainly dealing in the lower segment of the market isn't operational on sunday. For e.g, Maruti Suzuki, Nexa and Chevrolet.
Whereas, Hyundai, VW, Honda, Toyota, Ford all have working days on sunday too. Infact, all my sales executives actually wants me to pick Sunday as they say it's more convenient to them as well. I also had a talk with my Toyota's sales representative and as per him all the senior staff can take any one day leave throughout the week whereas the juniors have been appointed a fixed holiday. for e.g Wednesday. This procedure helps them not being short staffed and offers convenience to both the staff and consumers.
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Old 15th May 2016, 05:12   #51
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Originally Posted by quickdraw View Post
My BMW dealership and service centre is closed on Sunday.
Service centers! Ah, how could i have forgotten this one!
Quote:
Originally Posted by veyron_head View Post
Now, its been over a month and I still haven't received the quote.

Another incident was with the GM showroom near my place. I thanked him and left.

They need knowledeable reps who can help customers buy. Unless they address that, There is no point in keeping the shop open on sunday or new year!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemant_Joshi View Post
Definitely agree, Showrooms remaining open on Sundays is a good idea, I experienced this couple of times.

they lost some business.. Maybe they are ok with that happening,

I fail to understand, Its a service business, why are they so bent on NOT being open on Sundays. Imagine Theaters, Restaurants CLOSED on Sundays
Exactly! Either they need to put their best foot forward, or just remain closed. The current state of operation for most showrooms is neither helpful to the dealerships nor the customer! They remain open because they do realize the importance of the day, but remain half closed because there is no formal procedure in place - yet.

I bet if one company makes this a best practice, others would soon follow suit!

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Originally Posted by vgsr View Post
I should know because i also run a restaurant.
True. Would be surprising how many people who think dealerships can remain half closed on Sundays for humanitarian grounds would come to fight if a restaurant shows the same attitude on a Sunday!
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Originally Posted by adg_andy View Post
Needless to talk about the brand I went for
Yet another excellent example! Hyundai just lost a sale there. Probably it doesn't matter much to them though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Working in a dealership, I have totally opposite experience. Its actually profitable to work on a Sunday. We can come a bit late, and leave early and we get a comp off as well that can be used later. Staff is less, and many are reluctant, but I will always try to get myself on the Sunday rotation! This way, when I want to do actual work - pay bills, visit some office etc, I can take a leave during week day and do all my chores.

I've done deliveries on Sunday as well. The customer feels good knowing we accommodated his request. TD are available on Sundays as well. Since the RTO is not working, no paperwork (back office ) is done on Sundays. And generally the mood in the showroom is casual and the seniors are in a jovial mood as well. This is a good opportunity for a new person like me to develop a rapport with seniors.
Thanks for this post. Yourself and Andy seem to be the two people who actually have the best insider information on this topic. And both of your views go against each other! Needless to say - it all depends on the management?

That said, would tighter operating procedures for dealerships from the company side help improve concern areas for employees working on Sundays?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
I have avoided checking out, "Newly launched cars" On sundays.
You should have seen the queues for Baleno when it was launched. There were about 10-20 people waiting in line outside the showroom to enter and have a look at the car. Showroom in itself was crowded beyond belief!

But NEXA handled it nicely back then. Was a total contrast this time I visited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
Car dealerships seem to follow the working hours of Banks than retail stores.
At a day and age where banking in itself has become a LOT more flexible.
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Old 15th May 2016, 10:52   #52
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

I have been thinking about this and will like to add further that if the dealers start offering their staff better allowances and perks for working on Sundays and holidays, they will be much more interested to come in and service customers.

It's clearly a case of demotivated staff being forced to work without being given the adequate benefits.

Comparisons to mall retail staff is not really fair as the business model there is mostly self purchase while browsing whereas sales staff at car dealerships have to do much more.
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Old 15th May 2016, 11:51   #53
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Originally Posted by trek View Post
Comparisons to mall retail staff is not really fair as the business model there is mostly self purchase while browsing whereas sales staff at car dealerships have to do much more.
This is not strictly true in my opinion, based on my family's experiences of running exclusive franchisee stores for different clothing brands in various malls (so a bit like exclusive car dealerships).

A customer may walk in with an intention to purchase an item of clothing (like walking in for a TD), but whether he purchases something from the store depends entirely on whether your products fit his tastes and your salesperson's ability to sell it to him (give that nudge if the customer is not fully convinced by the product). Salespersons can also push the customer to a higher value product (like higher variant or higher segment for a car) and also push the customer to buy more items (accessories). A mall salesperson's job is not much easier in my view or any less important.
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Old 15th May 2016, 12:06   #54
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
This is not strictly true in my opinion, based on my family's experiences of running exclusive franchisee stores for different clothing brands in various malls (so a bit like exclusive car dealerships).

A customer may walk in with an intention to purchase an item of clothing (like walking in for a TD), but whether he purchases something from the store depends entirely on whether your products fit his tastes and your salesperson's ability to sell it to him (give that nudge if the customer is not fully convinced by the product). Salespersons can also push the customer to a higher value product (like higher variant or higher segment for a car) and also push the customer to buy more items (accessories). A mall salesperson's job is not much easier in my view or any less important.
I don't think you can compare buying a car to buying clothes. A car is one of the most important and expensive purchases a person will make in their life (other than a house), so I think the average car salesperson has to work a lot harder than an average clothes salesperson to convince a customer to buy their product.
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Old 15th May 2016, 12:55   #55
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

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Originally Posted by Jeeper1941 View Post
I don't think you can compare buying a car to buying clothes. A car is one of the most important and expensive purchases a person will make in their life (other than a house), so I think the average car salesperson has to work a lot harder than an average clothes salesperson to convince a customer to buy their product.
The car is of course a higher value product, but the salesperson's job is not to convince the customer to buy "a car" itself. The decision to buy a car is taken by the customer outside the showroom based on his needs. The car salesperson's job is to convince the customer who walks into his showroom to buy a product from him over other similarly-priced alternatives. From that perspective, I don't see a huge difference.

Anyway, my intention was not to say which job is harder, but to highlight the salesperson's role in selling a product. When customers have choices available to them, you are not going to sell any product just because the customer has an intention to buy. A good salesperson is as important to selling clothes as it is to selling cars.
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Old 15th May 2016, 23:57   #56
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

That said, would tighter operating procedures for dealerships from the company side help improve concern areas for employees working on Sundays?

Attention everyone:

I have since moved on and I now work with an automobile manufacturer, and as a one who have seen both sides of the coin, would like to share my experience as an auditor of an SOP.

A little background of the audit: As everyone knows, the auto companies rely heavily on JD Power Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) and will go to any lengths to satisfy the customer [ which is actually a blessing in disguise]

As my work entails me to travel across the country, to check whether dealers are adhering to set SOPs [ a good adherence leads to manufacturer giving them brownie points at award function], a question always pops from my side to them, more out of curiosity and not defined otherwise.

So what do I ask them? You go it right. I ask whether Sunday is a working day.

Having worked at an auto showroom myself and knowing the rigors, I ask this question in absolute empathy, this question is not a part of my questionnaire, nor part of any right that I hold, nothing from my side since as a manufacturer, I have right to question them since I am the auditor, and I hold the power to give them a big fat ZERO!!!

BHPians, I ask this question quite meekly, multilayered, and usually seeking THIER views and sharing info and best practices if they ask, this question is put to the Dealer Principle [The promoter/owner], CEO, General Manager, DGM, Sales Manager, Team Leaders/supervisor and to the Sales Boys/girls, showroom staff, field guys,service guys and even the car washer boys. The number of dealerships to whom this question was put PAN INDIA, more than 120, by me. To know what do the other THINK.

There are no right answers, and then there are no wrong answers, question coming from a manufacturer? Answers are well doctored by those promoters, BE CAUTIOUS is what these promoters tell their wards, other wise, say PASS they are advised.

BHPians, I am in the auto industry for past 17 years out of which 3 years in a dealership and 14 years with the manufacturer, having handled various sales position including area manager/zonal manager. Thankfully can make out whos lying and whos been instructed to truthfully lie.

The answer to my question has evoked many replies positive,negative,support, not support, answers and povs are simply too many. The pages in this forum wouldn't be sufficient to document every word that was said and many unsaid.

I therefore halt every argument from my side, needless to say that I am enlightened.

Out there, the customer is right, he needs an entertainment on a sunday, a time to make a well thought out decision in consultation with his family to buy this brand or that one, a TD experience on less crowded streets will clinch the deal.

In here our sales consultant slogs, he has to reach target, make money, raise his standard of living, or the struggle to simply exist to make his commitment to myriad of expectations.

The promoter is busy throwing numbers at the manufacturer, and demanding approval for more dealerships, more coverage, more revenue, lesser break even time, more penetration in auto market, brand recall/ brand memory.

The marketing manager is happy, more mall event/ airport display/customer contact programs. More is the new mantra.

The auto manufacturer is busy throwing numbers on market share, revenue,pursuing ICOTY awards, more launches, demanding tax holiday from the state they are in and what else.

The state head is busy displaying to the Centre on what his administration has done since coming to power, by including a tableau on 26th Jan parade
.
.
.

And yours truly is standing in the sun checking SOP and asking the guy
Aap Sunday kaam karte ho kya?


Best Regards
Andy
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Old 16th May 2016, 15:22   #57
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Just another thought to add to this.
Why not have a showroom inside malls where most people go on weekends, which has no sales or other functions, but allows people to have a close look at the cars, and the possible offers.
I have seen a Jaguar parked inside the UB City, and there is also a nice space if you are interested in a chat with the sales person. That is indeed a nice try.
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Old 16th May 2016, 15:28   #58
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post

True. And that is exactly what I am wondering. What is it regarding automobile sales and service that makes it so hard to follow this worldwide retail trend!
I feel, it has greatly to do with the mentality of the management. Car sales are still not treated with the aggression and professionalisation that it has abroad or even compared to the vehicle manufacture's who's products they sell!

If higher management wants to implement a roster which leads to maximum sales potential, it has tremendous benefits.
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Old 17th May 2016, 18:55   #59
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Default Re: No Sunday Funday! Why manufacturers are shying away from improving the Sunday sales experience?

My experience with MGF Hyundai, Alappuzha, Kerala was completely different. Like the OP said Sunday was the most convenient time for me to go out and take the TD of Elite i20. I was sceptical at first thinking whether they would be open on sunday; but since it was 10kms from my home, decided to check it out. Turned out they were open on all sundays. A TD was arranged and I did 5-6 km TD and came out unsatisfied with the car. I had to exchange my Fiat Punto, so negotiated with them about an exchange and the SA promised to send their showroom evaluator to my home to check out the Punto. Exchanging the Punto meant I was left without a car. So they brought the new TD vehicles ( Creta and Verna ) to my home next sunday. I even took delivery of my Creta on a sunday.
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Old 18th May 2016, 17:44   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinya_jag View Post
Just another thought to add to this.
Why not have a showroom inside malls where most people go on weekends, which has no sales or other functions, but allows people to have a close look at the cars, and the possible offers.
I have seen a Jaguar parked inside the UB City, and there is also a nice space if you are interested in a chat with the sales person. That is indeed a nice try.

Conducting an event in a mall is different than having an entire dealership in the mall. Some factors to consider
1.high rent cost
2.easy access - will need to move cars in and out frequently
3.parking space dedicated for dealer customers and dealer vehicles


Showcasing vehicles in malls generally results in very few bookings just from passing visitors. Cars today are still the second most expensive purchases after homes.
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