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View Poll Results: Would it be the after sales/reliability or the product satisfaction?
After sale/reliability 171 49.42%
Product satisfaction 175 50.58%
Voters: 346. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 6th December 2016, 09:57   #46
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

If this poll had come 5 years back, I would have voted for Product Satisfaction. But with 5 years of owning and maintaining the Ford All New Fiesta (2012 - 2016) and a pre-worshipped Endeavour (2012 - 2016), I voted for After-Sales-Service.

I was forced to sell my Endeavour three weeks back due to lack of proper Service. I hate to take my cars to any neighbourhood mechanics, as my experience with them have left a not-so-good taste.

I replaced the Fiesta with the Creta in June this year and the service levels are much better than what I had previously experienced.

I have decided to go in for the New Fortuner, even though it is more expensive and has lower features when compared to the New Endeavour, purely for Toyota's superior After-Sales-Service.

Last edited by MAS : 6th December 2016 at 10:01.
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Old 6th December 2016, 10:14   #47
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

To me a Grade B product with excellent support is preferable to a somewhat better product with no so good support. Any automotive product will require service and care, and that in the long run is the crux of the matter. Why I am satisfied with Honda (and nave four cars from them in the family) is the low breakdown rate and excellent support. As a result the cost of ownership is lower than the previous lots - Maruti & Hyundai, and level of satisfaction far higher.
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Old 6th December 2016, 10:21   #48
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richie4u View Post
The vehicles were more loyal to the brand rather then the owner
Great comment.

I think that super reliable products can still get away with shoddy after-sales. As an example, my Nissan Sunny's reliability in 55,000 km has been awesome. Although the dealer network sucks, I didn't have to visit the shop often, so it was bearable. This is also why Honda got away with mediocre after-sales for so many years, because nothing ever went wrong with their cars.

On the other hand, the experience with my Indigo was horrendous. It was unreliable & Tata's service was equally horrible (poor diagnosis, work not done right the first time). If you have an unreliable product with sad after-sales, you're never returning to the brand again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nav-i-gator View Post
On the other hand, a company can sell cars with waiting periods over a month.
So many popular cars have waiting periods. That has nothing to do with service. Waiting periods are applicable irrespective of the price band or brand - even the new Fortuner & Mercedes S-Class have wait periods.

Quote:
We are willing to wait for more than a month to get the car as it is a "safe bet", means we are playing safe, compromising today for the hope of a peaceful ownership in future. Just saying.
As long as I feel that the car is right for me, I don't think a wait for a month or three is too much. If I really like a model and am going to live with it for 7 years, I'm willing to wait.

Quote:
But the truth is - for a novice owner, even the dealers of companies with "best in class" or "best in industry" service network can rip you off.
Their odds are better with a safe brand. No car manufacturer can keep 100 out of 100 owners happy. But brands like Maruti & Hyundai manage to keep that number in the nineties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishy76 View Post
You won't see these kind of things happening in the U.S.A
You must be kidding me. In the USA, dealership issues are perhaps more commonplace than India. Americans fear interacting with a dealer as much as they do public speaking.

The main difference between India & USA isn't in customer satisfaction rates; it's in the prevention of fraud. USA has a very robust legal system which dealers are scared of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
But there is a difference. Hyundai i20 is a fantastic product in itself.
Absolutely agreed! It's among the best hatchbacks on sale today.
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Old 6th December 2016, 10:41   #49
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I think that super reliable products can still get away with shoddy after-sales. As an example, my Nissan Sunny's reliability in 55,000 km has been awesome. Although the dealer network sucks, I didn't have to visit the shop often, so it was bearable.
Personally, I would place reliability as a part of after-sales experience, rather than product experience. You don't experience 'reliability' when you walk into a showroom and test-drive a car before buying. Reliability is experienced "after the sale"

Last edited by smartcat : 6th December 2016 at 10:42.
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Old 6th December 2016, 10:42   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vibbs View Post
But there is a difference. Hyundai i20 is a fantastic product in itself. Coupled with a very good after sales, it is kind of sone pe suhaaga offer.

Is it not?
Yes indeed, that's the reason I had to move my budget upwards a couple of lakhs. I am hoping the experience with the i20 gives me a lot of ownership pleasure, which the punto lacked in terms of after sales support and spares availability. But I would still say I miss the handling and ride quality of the punto.
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:20   #51
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I voted for reliability. That is because I own a maruti 800 which has good reliablilty and insanely cheap part list. In fact, the maintenance these days after 20 years of use did not exceed 10,000 on anyday in any visit to the service center. I am bowled over by the insurance costs which is around 600rs now after the no-claim bonus, and the only maintenance being oil and oil filter change once in 6 months, battery, wiper blades, tyres and coolant. The only non-consumable items I replaced in 20 years were radiator thermostat, two clutches, two pairs of spark plugs, wheel bearings twice, two front lower arms, a cross-member once, the suspension system once, a pair of head lights, a gearbox oil, two windshield sprayer motors, a clutch cable and accelerator cable once, a timing belt, a pair of HT leads and all rubber hoses once. I am looking at you VAG. I feel so smug on my trips to the service center seeing all the other cars and their bills. That is joyous.

Also, it is fun to drive up to 50 kmph. Although not in the same league as the modern turbo-diesels or the Abarth Punto, I have a soft suspension which means every single acceleration tilts my car as if I am using Launch control. It is still reasonably fast and can overtake the cars in traffic when they are stuck in the turbo-lag zone. And the responsiveness of a carburetted engine is a very good feeling. In a ECU car, the map smoothens out the throttle inputs, makes it blunt and boring whereas my car is honest. You should drive a well maintained carburetted Maruti 800 to know what I mean. Small footprint means that I can just follow a mad auto who will honk his way out of the traffic and once in clear roads, gun the throttle.

As far as the debate of luxury goes, I bought myself an 8mm thermocol insulation sheet and glued it to every part of the car I could find and now, it feels as modern as any other car in the noise levels. If i retrofit some fatter rubber beading, I too can get a nice sounding thud.
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:35   #52
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Yet again, I notice that the TBHP poll seems to suggest a complete contrarian view to the real world scenario.
The question of Product vs After-sales is very pertinent and deserves deep thought before penning down opinions and clicking on the voting button.
I cannot seem to ignore the fact that many people have commented on a 'Superior German product' because it is 'good to drive'.
The Product is not just limited to its driving prowess. The Product has to tick many check boxes before we hand over the crown of 'Superior Product' to it.

Below is my list (not exhaustive):
1- Quality of materials
2- Looks
3- Features
4- Good-to-drive
5- Space & Comfort
6- Special characteristics (eg. AWD)
7- Reliability : ties back to point 1. Good quality means reliable.

If the Product is superior, it will not break down often, leaving you at the mercy of the A.S.S.
I would never choose a car just because it has a very good A.S.S but I will definitely reject a car with poor A.S.S.

PS- Voted for PRODUCT
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Old 6th December 2016, 13:49   #53
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I have a Micra and a Dzire VXI..so I view both sides of the coin.

While both of the cars are good, you just cannot match Maruti's service.

Although Nissan in Kolkata behaves like a "new-age" company with focus on customer -satisfaction, they still have a long way to go.

One of the primary reasons, I went for Micra was for the Nissan brand, but I did make the cardinal mistake of not going through service reviews on TBHP before going for it.

Dont have a choice now, have to leave with it.

As for my Dzire, no service issues, no niggles, no problems with ASS(they do try to dump some "mandatory optional" services).

Given a choice for the next car, wouldnt mind sticking to Maruti if I get myself to like any new launches in the coming years.
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Old 6th December 2016, 14:04   #54
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Ideally both (sounds obvious) but that is how manufacturers today are projecting themselves, a good example is Ford, a company known for making exciting cars is now focusing on advertising affordable service, so is the case with Fiat too.

But I strongly believe after sales is equally or sometimes more important than the product, thats the factor which keeps your product enjoyable year after year, and nothing is more satisfying to know that your car is in top shape even after so much abuse.

Most OEMs today make good cars, but eventually how they are managed through their lifecycle is the make/brake decision.
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Old 6th December 2016, 14:19   #55
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I'd say it's the product that should be reliable in the first place. This ensures that there is minimal downtime & the A$$ gets close to zero chances to experiment with the car. A simple oil / filter change is all what they need to do & am sure they'll do it without a fuss. When there are too much products with reliability issues, they get lesser time to focus on other work which may be a challenge too, degrading the experience further.
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Old 6th December 2016, 15:20   #56
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Unique thought process this has ignited. I voted for After sales/Reliability since, the money we are pouring in for automobiles has gone up in the recent years on individual basis. If it is a mobile phone, which most people change almost every year or so, it is ok to live a little less reliable in terms of longevity. But if I am going to put a million or so around and as a typical Indian I am starting to look at the reliability factor more than the product satisfaction. Santro, i20, Scorpio, Innova, Prado all has something in common is its realiability than its image or the satisfaction. All of those products some inherent drawback in terms of comfort but I still went with them to have one less worry in terms of spending time in workshop!

May be I am getting older! I am loosing that adventure-ite attitude in me! :-(
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Old 6th December 2016, 15:36   #57
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I would select product satisfaction, This selection has also reflected my purchase decision when i bought 2 Mahindra XUV 500 till now, After sales is something you need to deal with once a year or 6 months in some cases, Which frankly speaking is not much if the product your getting is really good/VFM and your satisfied with it, Also After sales experience for me atleast has always been a rollercoaster ride, Sometimes good, Sometimes bad, Sometimes extremely good and so on, So really Product is what would matter for me anyday.
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Old 6th December 2016, 15:44   #58
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

I would definitely buy an impressive product even if the after sales service is average or below average. No matter how good the after sales is, if the product is bad, I will stay away from it. To clarify myself a bit, I bought a Punto MJD fully knowing that the after sales is a gamble. But no matter how good Maruti's after sales is, I won't ever buy a celerio diesel.

Ps. In my opinion, the reliability is a part of product satisfaction too.

Last edited by Night Raven : 6th December 2016 at 15:47. Reason: Adding space
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Old 6th December 2016, 15:48   #59
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Voted for product as my option. When we purchased our first car we went with sales and service and opted for maruti. Happened the same way when we replaced our first car (inspite of me trying to get a fiat plus we were also short on money). So what I did after coming back from my stint abroad is to go for the product. I am of the belief that if you like the product then you will find the means to keep it working properly. And nowadays there are lot of FNG's which does better job than most of the A.S.S .
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Old 6th December 2016, 18:16   #60
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Default Re: Product vs After-sales: If you had to pick one?

Thats a good topic you got there bro. IMO At least in India its very difficult to find a car that excels in both: Product per se and the A.S.S. By excel I mean being the best in a car category/segment.

The thing is that the manufacturers who know that they are known for good after sales, they deliberately start cutting cost/increase the price as the A.S.S becomes their USP. One can think of Maruti, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota in this league.

On the other hand, manufacturers like Fiat, VAG, Ford etc who are known for make great products suck at their after sales. So here the product per se becomes their USP but they dont sell that well as we Indians in general belong to the 'risk-averse' investors category where reliability and mental piece of mind means the most.

Last edited by Waspune : 6th December 2016 at 18:17.
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