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Old 3rd August 2016, 19:40   #1
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Default Skoda announces Prepaid Maintenance Packages, a new 4-year Standard Warranty & more

Skoda's announcements, in a nutshell:
• 4 new Skoda cars coming to India in 2017 (vRS, Kodiaq, +2)

• 4 yr / 100,000 km warranty; standard from 1st Sept 2016 (expect a slight rise in car prices to accommodate this)
• 4 yr / 60,000 km optional maintenance package for all scheduled services (pricing to be disclosed on 1st Sept)

• Same-day delivery guarantee for routine services (else service is free)
• Itemized billing to simplify things for the customer. It's broken into "parts, labour and optional" (else service is free)
• List of all part costs shown online
• Improved customer complaint management
• Improvements to dealerships & the buying experience

• Updated app (view past services, book a new service, etc)

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th August 2016 at 11:11.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 19:40   #2
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Let's look at each one of the points above in more detail...


New Cars coming in 2017
2016 saw the new Superb come in to India.

2017 will see 4 new products from Skoda"
1) Octavia vRS (and it should be the 2.0 in a respectable state of tune too!)
2) Kodiaq (Skoda's 7-seater SUV. Expect a preliminary report from moderator Ajmat soon! Worldwide unveil on 1st September)
3) Undisclosed
4) Undisclosed
I'd take the above timelines with a pinch of salt. After all, the Superb diesel is still far from an India launch (after months of delay).

Skoda will also bring in what they call their 'Action Models' : The Octavia Black Edition & Rapid Monte Carlo

4 yr / 100,000 km warranty = standard
From 1st September 2016, all Skoda cars will come with a 4yr / 100,000 km warranty as standard.

Naturally, the cost of this additional warranty will be worked into the cost of the car, so we can expect a small rise in prices to accommodate this.

No longer will we have to feel sorry for the poor sods who buy a Skoda... but forget to opt for the extended warranty

4 years of 24x7 road-side assistance are also included, for unlimited kms during those 4 years.

In case you're wondering - there's no further optional package beyond 4 years / 100,000 km. Now that would have really been a spectacular boost to every prospective buyer's confidence!

4 yr / 60,000 km optional maintenance package
Everyone has heard terrifying stories of the cost of ownership of Euro cars.

This optional package takes that stress off your chest, by allowing you to pay for all routine services up-front.

Anyone who bought a Skoda from 1st August 2016 onward can opt for this package. Earlier buyers will not be able to avail of this.

Pricing will be announced on 1st September 2016. Expect the package to cost substantially less than Rs. 50,000 for a car like the Octavia.

Skoda says these are the real-world ownership costs over 4 years, and they have only been slightly subsidized for this package. They are trying to fix the 'perception' of high ownership/service costs.

These packages are VIN based - so if you sell your car, they are transferable to the new owner.

I suggested that it also be made available for existing customers on a pro-rated basis (even with a slight premium - because hey, the peace of mind is worth it). Skoda said they'd consider the feedback. Let's see what the general reception is from existing customers once these plans and pricing are announced on 1st Sept 2016.

Same-day delivery for routine services
... else the service is FREE! Yep, you read that right.

The fine print? Well, you have to schedule an appointment 3 days in advance, and I'd imagine you have to ensure your car reaches at or before the scheduled time.

Additionally, if you add any work that is outside the scope of the routine service (eg. "my A/C isn't cooling well"), the same-day guarantee would naturally be invalidated.

Skoda proudly announced that they have a 98.2% fill-rate at their part warehouses, which is supposed to be staggeringly good in the industry. Currently they only have 40 item-lines in back order, whereas in the past the number was more like 450!

What this means for the customer is that it's extremely unlikely that you'll be told that the parts are out of stock.

There are 3 part depots spread across the country, so shipping the parts to any dealership across India shouldn't take more than a day or two (hint: that's one of the reasons why you have to book your service 3 days in advance!)

Now I know some of you smarty-pants BHPians are thinking: "What if I've opted for the optional maintenance package, and the regular service takes more than a day... how can it be made 'free' since I've already paid!". Well, someone did ask this question, and for what it's worth, Skoda's Director of Sales, Service & Marketing said you'd get your money back [for that service]!

Moves like these indicate that the guys at the top of Skoda India aren't hesitating to penalize their dealers when they don't perform. Lots of the action they've taken in the last 2-3 years, as well as off-the-record anecdotes that were shared pointed to this fact without any hesitation.

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th August 2016 at 11:45.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 19:40   #3
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Itemized & Transparent billing
... else your service is FREE! Yep, again.

You can use Skoda's Online Service Calculator to get an exact estimate of your upcoming service costs. They've had this online for a while now, and it's rather useful.

An example of what it would show you for a Rapid 1.6 MPI MT's 2 yr / 30,000 km service in Mumbai:
Name:  Skoda Rapid 30000 2yr service cost.PNG
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^ This might seem like no big deal, but if you look closely, you'll see this eliminates one popular dealership scam-point : quantity of oil used.

Going forward, dealers are required to give an itemized bill to customers. This means every replaced part or piece of labour will be mentioned individually. A line item like "Clutch overhaul : Rs. 20,000" will not be permitted - and if it exists, will allow you to contact Skoda and get a refund for your service.

Every line-item will be taken off the Skoda 'parts menu' - the same one that's shown online. This includes parts for accidental repairs & replacements. Also, IIRC, dealers don't have the ability to create their own custom line-items / pricing.

The Skoda software used at the dealerships outputs itemized bills by default. If your dealer doesn't give you one - something isn't right. Additionally, you can cross-check your bill on the Skoda app (which is tied in to the same back-end system).

Typical bills are split into "parts" and "labour" categories. Skoda has added a 3rd one: "optional".

What's in it? Anything that is not required, but the dealership is recommending. Eg. Teflon coating, car spa, AC disinfectant, wheel balancing & alignment, etc.

The service advisor needs the customers consent to carry out any of the tasks/products that show up in the "optional" section. Them being in a separate section will also provide clarity to the less informed customers.

Skoda isn't going to discourage dealers from trying to up-sell you on things like Teflon coating etc (after all, it's how they make some money). However, they are preventing the service stations from passing it off as something that's required or routine.

Prices of these optional items will also be standardized and listed publicly by Skoda.

Improved customer complaint management
Skoda claims that if your concern is unaddressed, within 5 days (and after going past 4 escalations), it will reach the top-level in Skoda India.

They did share this slide of their own benchmarking below. It certainly looks positive, but proof is in the pudding.

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Last edited by Rehaan : 4th August 2016 at 11:31.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 19:40   #4
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Improvements to dealerships experience
Overall, Skoda is investing Rs. 100 Crore into improving the brand, product & network.

To date, 60% of that money has been put in. Part of it towards the back-end infrastructure to enable the things listed above.

In addition to that, dealerships are being re-vamped with the new corporate identity & design. 40 dealerships (i.e. 60% of their network) will be completed by end of 2016.

Revamped dealerships will have tablets with Skoda's iConsultant app, as part of the sales process. (Some locations have already had this for the last 4 months).

Salesmen are being told to act more like 'advisors' than salesmen. (However, as long as there's an incentive system for sales at a dealer level, I don't think we'll see much of a difference here).

Updated Skoda mobile app
The new app is connected directly to the same backend EMS that goes between Skoda and their dealerships. This makes it very well integrated and gives it a ton of functionality, like...

Receive service & campaign reminders.

Open the map to find the closest dealer to you.

Book your upcoming service entirely through the app.

Rate your service experience after each service.

View details and billing of all previous services.

Keep track of your documents like PUC, Insurance, etc.

Change your contact details in the main system (useful if you've bought a pre-owned Skoda).

The new app launches on 1st September 2016.


Here's a preview (please excuse the poor quality photos):
Skoda announces Prepaid Maintenance Packages, a new 4-year Standard Warranty & more-img_20160803_153751.jpg

Skoda announces Prepaid Maintenance Packages, a new 4-year Standard Warranty & more-img_20160803_153817.jpg

Skoda announces Prepaid Maintenance Packages, a new 4-year Standard Warranty & more-img_20160803_153823.jpg

Skoda announces Prepaid Maintenance Packages, a new 4-year Standard Warranty & more-img_20160803_153852.jpg

Note from Mod: This post has been created later, but injected as the first set of posts in the thread.

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th August 2016 at 11:04.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 19:48   #5
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Default Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

New Models:

1. Octavia Black Edition - 2017
2. Rapid Monte Carlo - 2017
3. New Octavia VRS - 2017
4. Kodiaq - 2018
5. All current models will be refreshed over the next 12 months

New Service Initiatives:

1. Service is free if car is not ready on the same day

2. And if you don't get an itemised bill.

New Warranties:

1. 4 years / 100,000 kms standard with new car.

2. RSA - 4 years / unlimited kms

3. Optional Periodic Maintenance Package - 4 years / 60,000 kms
Attached Thumbnails
Skoda announces Prepaid Maintenance Packages, a new 4-year Standard Warranty & more-skoda.jpg  

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Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 3rd August 2016 at 20:16.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 20:00   #6
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Default Re: Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

A new VRS huh? Sure, I ve heard of that before. What are the chances that we will get an actual full blown VRS instead of the same 1.8tsi with a spruced up bodykit, slightly lowered suspension and black interiors?

I for one will be happy if skoda just for the sake of this VRS, throw out the DQ200 and give us a six speed MT and price it exactly same as the 1.8 tsi.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 20:18   #7
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Damn! This is good news and bad news! I am looking to buy refreshed Rapid by January but reading the news of Monte Carlo, I might have to hold back. We don't know when will that be launched exactly. Another headache for me. BTW, Monte Carlo Rapid looks too awesome. But are we getting the international Rapid then this December? Or the Monte Carlo will also be India specific?
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Old 3rd August 2016, 20:32   #8
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Default Re: Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

Skoda has always given us good products and it seems they intend to continue the same in future. The after sales service has been steadily improving and the new initiatives seems to point in the right direction. Of the proposed launches I believe two models has the potential to rewrite how Indians perceive Skoda.

In my opinion those two models are Citigo and Kodiaq. Unless you belong to German big three or a certain JLR family , you require a mass production car which Citigo can aptly fill in. The craze for SUV's in India makes Kodiaq one of the most important launches for Skoda. If Skoda could stack up sufficient spares in India, thereby reducing the down time of the car when brought in for complaints or repair, the only way for the company would be FORWARD.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 20:44   #9
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Default Re: Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

Excellent to see Skoda offering a 4 year/100000 kms standard warranty with the car, this is among the best offered by any manufacturer in India, add a 1-2 year extended warranty with this, control your dealers with a stick and i see no harm in buying a Skoda for any one. My 2012 Vento has not been very reliable but if i had to pick a car in c segment today, it would be a Vento/Rapid again. These cars despite being old offer a complete package for drivers and their families, same continues with Jetta/Octavia, these germans really shine on highways with their unflappable poise.

Am excited for an Octavia VRS, the earlier Laura VRS also had a stiffer damper set up, couple that with the yummy 1.8 TSi and we have a winner on our hands, hope that Skoda do not strip it off its equipment too much. The VRS sold in global markets looks lovely.

VW and Skoda need to have a strict control over their dealers and be more responsive to customer complaints, the dealers are not afraid of headquarters and that is a bad thing, just see how Maruti dealerships start shivering with 1 complaint to the head office.

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Old 3rd August 2016, 21:05   #10
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Default Re: Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

Talk is cheap. It will probably be 2018 before we see any of those vehicles on the road. Where in the world is the Superb diesel? It was launched in March? Still no sign of it and Skoda is mum.

Their after sales again seem to be improving slightly again, hopefully it gets better with time.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 21:23   #11
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Default Re: Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj.bhalla View Post
..But are we getting the international Rapid then this December? Or the Monte Carlo will also be India specific?
We will not be getting the international Rapid as it is a notchback and cannot be accommodated on the same assembly line as the Vento which is where the Rapid is manufactured. The same would apply to the Monte Carlo edition.
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Old 3rd August 2016, 21:45   #12
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Default Re: Skoda - New Initiatives and Models

Fabia would do well, too! Wonder that doesn't fit into their plans; premium hatches, if spec'd well, would work. Not like Skoda is playing for numbers anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
New Service Initiatives:

1. Service is free if car is not ready on the same day

2. And if you don't get an itemised bill.
This is good and bad; possibility that technicians won't spend as much time as they should to rectify unusual problems. Those apart from routine service, I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
Where in the world is the Superb diesel? It was launched in March? Still no sign of it and Skoda is mum
With the big boys from Germany actually starting to get petrols to India, courtesy the negative sentiment surrounding diesels, Skoda probably never got enthusiastic!
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Old 3rd August 2016, 22:07   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaryskodamenon View Post
The craze for SUV's in India makes Kodiaq one of the most important launches for Skoda. If Skoda could stack up sufficient spares in India, thereby reducing the down time of the car when brought in for complaints or repair, the only way for the company would be FORWARD.
If priced well, the Kodiaq can grab a major chunk of the market. I will be telling you more about it in a day or two

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post

Am excited for an Octavia VRS, the earlier Laura VRS also had a stiffer damper set up, couple that with the yummy 1.8 TSi and we have a winner on our hands, hope that Skoda do not strip it off its equipment too much. The VRS sold in global markets looks lovely.
:
They are still undecided- proposed price, homologation costs, actual demand. It is a very nice car - more coming up soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
We will not be getting the international Rapid as it is a notchback and cannot be accommodated on the same assembly line as the Vento which is where the Rapid is manufactured. The same would apply to the Monte Carlo edition.
The Euro Rapid shares the same line as the Fabia in Mlada Bolesav. The Monte Carlo editions of the Euro Skoda's come with red paind and black roofs as well as blocked out wheels and trim. Check out the Yeti Monte Carlo here
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Old 4th August 2016, 09:55   #14
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This is good and bad; possibility that technicians won't spend as much time as they should to rectify unusual problems. Those apart from routine service, I mean.
I would think same day delivery would extend only to routine service. Breakdown service would not come under this either. Non routine items that are sought to be done along with routine service may also not be eligible for same day delivery.
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Old 4th August 2016, 09:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
With the big boys from Germany actually starting to get petrols to India, courtesy the negative sentiment surrounding diesels, Skoda probably never got enthusiastic!
But then it should have never been launched right? Whats the point of launching a vehicle, accepting bookings, and then not delivering for months with no sign as to when the vehicle will come?
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