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Old 2nd December 2016, 11:29   #1
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Thumbs up Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

Full article published on The Hindu - Business Line

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Maruti Suzuki has embarked on a new initiative ‘Project Safety Kawach’ (PSK) targeted at its dealer sales executives who will go beyond selling cars to becoming safety ambassadors. Here, sales staff will undergo a short road safety module organised by Maruti Driving School to reboot their knowledge levels...

...Over 10,000 people have been trained so far and they are now better equipped to explains the challenges of the road landscape to customers...
In my opinion it's a really good initiative. From what I have seen in many dealrships across OEMs that the Sales Reps don't even have basic driving skills and drivers for test cars are seperate.

However, I am not sure so much about the improvement in safety aspect, atleast the Sales Rep knows how to use (drive) the product (car) that he's trying hard to sell.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 11:38   #2
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

I would rather have the sales reps NOT push lower/non-safety-pack/high margin variants saying "Saar, ABS and airbags are only for frequent highway users, they are not required for city saar" than having such fancy sounding programmes.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 11:47   #3
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

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Originally Posted by srinath.s View Post
"Saar, ABS and airbags are only for frequent highway users, they are not required for city saar" than having such fancy sounding programmes.
Exactly the problem. The uninformed and inexprienced sales staff is another key reason for customer not getting educated about the importance of safety.

And some customers take it a step further, "seat belts are not needed if one is driving at 30-40kmph".
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Old 2nd December 2016, 11:59   #4
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

These programmes by Maruti are just rhetoric statements on safety. If they are really concerned about safety of their Customers, then they should start making ABS and Airbags standard for their cars unlike giving as an option and discouraging customers with long waiting periods. Look at VW, Toyota and Ford, they don't beat around with safety credentials rather provide them in package itself. Maruti will again try to work around GOI's mandatory safety rules with some smart variants near that period.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 12:16   #5
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

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Originally Posted by srinath.s View Post
I would rather have the sales reps NOT push lower/non-safety-pack/high margin variants saying "Saar, ABS and airbags are only for frequent highway users, they are not required for city saar" than having such fancy sounding programmes.
I agree here. I had to struggle to book a Wagon R (O) variant in June/ July of this year. This was supposed to be a replacement for my 11 year non ABS non airbags swift. Dealers did not have the O variant in stock and gave the usual shenanigans of not required for city driving etc. I finally ended up cancelling the booking itself due to goof-ups and missed commitments.

Have decided to save up and get into the next segment.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 12:21   #6
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

This looks like just another fancily named marketing initiative which will disappear once people forget the headline, just like their 'Safety Pack' optional variants.

Maruti has time and again proven that they are a company with scant regard to Driver and Passenger safety, with extremely flimsy cars, zero safety features on lower(bulk selling) models and almost NIL availability to their so called 'safety pack' variants.

At a time when manufacturers like Toyota, VW, Honda, and now Ford are making safety features standard across their range, it is disgusting to see the country's largest car manufacturer resorting to such pointless marketing tactics, to cover up the lack of safety in their cars.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 12:33   #7
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

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Originally Posted by ajayclicks View Post
I agree here. I had to struggle to book a Wagon R (O) variant in June/ July of this year. This was supposed to be a replacement for my 11 year non ABS non airbags swift. Dealers did not have the O variant in stock and gave the usual shenanigans of not required for city driving etc. I finally ended up cancelling the booking itself due to goof-ups and missed commitments.

Have decided to save up and get into the next segment.
My experience was different. I had booked a Wagon R Vxi AMT Option Variant in Red colour in the first week of August. Within 5 days I got a call that a car was available. When I went to the yard I found that the car had a few scratches on the bumper and so I rejected it.

So I was asked to choose from Bakers Chocolate, Silky Silver or Grey which was also readily available. As I was particular about the colour, I declined and said I was willing to wait.

But this indicated that there were multiple samples of the Option Variant and that too the Automatic available with the dealership.

A request was raised with Maruti by the dealership and I too sent a few mails to Maruti for a red one and by November second week a car was confirmed to be in transit.

Took delivery around 10 days back.

Here is a pic of the new Waggie with our 21 year old 800
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Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors-img_20161201_175756.jpg  

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Old 2nd December 2016, 13:35   #8
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

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Originally Posted by Ramon View Post
My experience was different. I had booked a Wagon R Vxi AMT Option Variant in Red colour in the first week of August.
I had booked AMT Option in red as well, as my daughter wanted red. Much later, after 8 weeks of booking and false promises, I was offered grey/ white/ blue as options, but lost interest by then.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 13:55   #9
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

Purely business move. With safety features being made mandatory from 2017, Maruti needs sales staff to be able to justify to the customer as to why that Alto is suddenly 20k costlier.

A total 180 degree turn this. Right from what MSIL head had to say about the crash tests some time back while he was merrily selling most cars without ABS/Airbags, to now, when he has been forced to implement safety features by regulation and has to sell his cars at a premium.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 14:15   #10
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

A few have been lucky to get the 'safety pack' option variants. But the majority have been discouraged or just moved to another brand.

If maruti was so serious about safety, why not start making or commit a date by when dual airbags will be standard on all variants of all cars? Hope this program is not another eyewash.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 14:19   #11
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

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Originally Posted by ajayclicks View Post
I had booked AMT Option in red as well, as my daughter wanted red. Much later, after 8 weeks of booking and false promises, I was offered grey/ white/ blue as options, but lost interest by then.
Yes they tried to make me go for another colour. But I was firm on it and I was regularly sending e-mails to Maruti enquiring on the status.

In the last stage when a Red One was sent from Maruti to the dealership especially for me, the stockist at the dealership tried to pull a fast one on me and allotted it to another person who paid a higher booking amount.

I got Maruti involved, raised hell and it culminated with a conference chat between me, the dealership customer care manager and a Maruti Representative. (A call which the customer care manager will not forget for a long time to come) and this is why I love Maruti.

But contrary to popular perception that Marutis Option Variant exists only in paper, they had multiple pieces of option variant with them albeit in other colours.

Simultaneously I was enquiring with other dealers too (Maruti has a total of 5 dealers in Trivandrum). All had stock of the Option Variant, but not in Red Colour.

So Maruti is definitely despatching the option variants to dealers and that too not against customer bookings but as part of regular despatch as they were available off the shelf. There was just an issue with availability of the Option Variant in the particular colour I wanted.

Last edited by Ramon : 2nd December 2016 at 14:27.
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Old 2nd December 2016, 19:59   #12
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Default Re: Maruti turns dealer sales staff into safety ambassadors

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Originally Posted by AutoNoob View Post
Exactly the problem. The uninformed and inexprienced sales staff is another key reason for customer not getting educated about the importance of safety.

And some customers take it a step further, "seat belts are not needed if one is driving at 30-40kmph".
Its not just the staff, its Maruti themselves. I was personally given an option to choose a Swift LDI with high discounts and immediate delivery Vs a Swift LDI (O) with no discounts and several months in waiting period. Its anyone's guess what an ignorant customer would choose in this case.

It is rather paradoxical for Maruti to conduct safety training for its employees on one hand and openly discourage customers from buying cars with safety gear on the other.
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