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View Poll Results: Is a Skoda more expensive to own than the rest?
Yes 129 84.87%
No 23 15.13%
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Old 5th October 2007, 16:51   #46
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Originally Posted by Rtech View Post
Great. we now have a general idea. What is the break up of the costs though? Could you include that as well? Like I said, Rs.2000 for a complete service is terrific, but lets have the break up.
You have made my secretary work hard enough already, what with calling Honda dealers for servicing costs, during work hours man!! You want the breakup….You call Arya Honda

Like I said, it’s the *TOTAL* cost of service that matters to the customer. I am writing a Cheque for the entire amount when my car goes for a service. And when a 16 lakh car can be service for 700 – 2000 bucks, I don’t consider it reasonable for a 10 lakh car like the Octavia to cost 7000 – 9000 for each service. Show me any other car in the 10 – 15 lakh price range that costs almost 1% of the acquisition cost to service.

Quote:
So I am really struggling to see how Honda, at their authorised service centre, can carry out a change of 4.5 liters of oil, oil filter, air filter, (fuel filter doesn't apply to the petrol cars usually) and labour charges all for Rs.2,000. We are talking out of warranty period here ofcourse. Its truly a marvel of cost management.
Standard Mr. Sam Walton (Walmart) philosophy. Better cost management = Lower costs = More value to the customers!! Now you know why Honda is the no.1 in almost all of the segments that it sells in.

Quote:
And yes GTO, I know what is in my manual. As mentioned in my earlier post, they only recommend it for top ups if nothing else is available.
Can you give me the exact requirements that are stated in your manual? A Skoda specialist told me about the CG-4 and hence, I don’t have the link.

Quote:
If I get you correctly, you mean to say that VW should tie up with, say Shall Helix, stick on a VW/Skoda label on the can and price it at Rs.500? I guess they could.
Absolutely spot-on. Buy in bulk and you can get Mobil 1 for even Rs. 400 - 450 bucks a liter. So if I were a manufacturer that required only synthetic oil, I would buy the oil in bulk, rebrand it as Skoda oil, and sell it for a far lower price than a Rs. 1,000 MRP. That would be safe-guarding the interests of my customers. But then, I wouldn’t be keeping my dealerships happy by taking away their 400 buck / liter profit would I?

My point is…..if you are the only one in your segment to make an expensive item a compulsion during service, make it cheaper. If you must insist on a consumable that is 5 – 7 times more expensive than that of your competitors, DO SOMETHING. I have clearly illustrated above how Skoda can accomplish the same. No other car of its price band costs as much to service as the Octavia does. Synthetic oil notwithstanding.

They don’t need to do this anywhere else in the world simply because Mobil 1 doesn’t cost $22 a liter in most other countries. But like I said, it’s about localization strategy and your commitment to the customer in each individual market that you serve.

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C'mon man. Which car company in India is a saint. Was the OHC that sold for 9 lakhs in India value to the customer?
I agree and I am the first to lambast Honda for what they do. I love my Honda and my C220, but you have seen from my many posts that this hasn’t stopped me from firing them where they are wrong. That’s why I comment on Skoda when they are indulging in business practices that, to me, are not customer-centric at all.

Quote:
If it’s the dealer service you speak of, then that is an epidemic in India unfortunately as we do not have clear cut laws and regulations to them. It is surely not something unique to any one manufacturer.
Correct. But somehow, there are far more Skoda horror stories than any other. Last I checked, I don’t remember a special owners Dharna (Skoda owners go on dharna) for any other manufacturer in the history of Indian motoring. My Jiju is terribly dissatisfied with the service he has received for his Laura. Ditto with Monkey and his RS. Ditto with you also. Do you remember the time we went looking for a Skoda shop in the ‘burbs since you didn’t trust the closer ones enough? Of all the Skoda customers that I have interacted with, only about 10 - 15% (tops) are happy with the service quality they receive. The same for other manufacturers is far higher.

Skoda cares two hoots about its customers and that’s a fact. Remind me again why Skoda was the only car maker from its segment not to offer extended warranty for like...almost forever?

Quote:
I'm not good at maths, but let me try:
Accord/Civic: 0-15000km

Octavia TDi: 0-15000km
Arre Mr. Einstein!!! Of course a diesel car will cost lesser when you factor in FE + service costs….you didn’t have to sit and calculate that. I didn’t mean to compare the running cost of a 16 lakh Accord with a 10 lakh Skoda. They are from different segments. The sole point of me mentioning the Accord was that, when a 16 lakh Accord (from a higher segment mind you) is serviced at Rs. 700 – Rs. 2000 for most services, why should an Octavia cost 9 grand? Heck, you can service the Accord 5 – 10 times over in what would the Skoda service would cost just once!!

Why don’t we compare apples to apples? Skoda Octavia competition = The Optra Magnum Diesel

Total of all Optra Magnum services upto 50,000 kms : Rs. 27,000 (confirmed with National Garage). Slam Dunk by Chevy because the Octavia numbers would go well over Rs. 50,000 easily. Or is it 70,000+?

Quote:
Now we can argue that the petrol skoda will not give these savings. Sure.
Absolutely and you agree with the limitation of your analysis yourself. If you have to compare, let’s do an ownership cost analysis of the Corolla / Optra 1.6 versus the petrol Octavia. Or even the Civic. I can assure you that the competition will work out FAR cheaper than a Skoda to own.

Bottom-line : Let’s have a look at the fundamentals:

Service costs : Does the Skoda cost more to service than its competition? You bet.

Spare parts : Are they more expensive? You bet. Source

Therefore, it is absolutely safe to comment that the upkeep cost of a Skoda is significantly more than that of its competition.

Last edited by GTO : 5th October 2007 at 17:00.
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Old 5th October 2007, 17:35   #47
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I think we are going around in circles here rush. Your last post mentioned total ownership costs. Surely fuel plays a huge factor in that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gto
Bottom-line : Let’s have a look at the fundamentals:


Precisely. I don't need a book to tell me that the Skoda costs far less to run over a period of time. Forget the Accord, the costs for the Civic are the same and I did mention that in my post (which you decided to overlook).

Look at the bottom line Rush. The Skoda costs half to run over the same distance as a Civic/Accord. Hell, even compare the costs with a NHC if you want to look at it that way. Yes, its diesel. So? On one hand you criticize the company for asking its owners to use a superior oil (which BTW, you have yet not given me a link to your sources for the cheaper oil claims. "A skoda Specialist" is not really a source now is it), and then on the other hand you say that its not right to compare the running costs of the Skoda to the Accord/Civic because its a more efficient engine and gives better economy to its customers? Make up your mind rush!

Forget diesel, forget features. We have 2 cars here (Octi & Civic) who people consider before making a purchase. Honda sales dept. cannot go to the customer and tell them not to compare the Civic to the TDi because one is a diesel and the other is a petrol! If, for the sake of this debate, we only look at ownership costs and nothing else (or there are too many if's), please tell me you don't need your secretary to make calls to tell you which one is cheaper to run over 45,000km.

Take the Optra Magnum into the picture and you should, by your logic, be crying foul of any manufacturer that does not provide a 3 year service holiday. Why Should Honda or any manufacturer charge for any service for 3 years?

I am not even going to touch on the dealership aspects. I have said what I needed about it in my previous post.

I think you are going far too wide in an effort to get around the basic issue which you brought up in your last post, and was shown otherwise. Total cost of ownership.

To end it in a nutshell:
Looking only at service costs: Honda is Cheaper.
Looking only at fuel costs: Skoda is cheaper.
Looking at fuel + service costs: Skoda is half the cost.

End of story!

I'm off to the dentist now!

Last edited by Rtech : 5th October 2007 at 17:37.
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Old 5th October 2007, 17:52   #48
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I remember having this link:

Top Gear | BBC Top Gear Survey 2006

I guess most of you'll have seen it. In UK atleast Skoda seems to have done really well. They are in the top 10 in most of the categories. Obviously the rest of the categories is made up of Japanese cars. reliability/driveability/ownership costs etc were some of it. (I'm not claiming TopGear as the be all and end all of car surveys) But this is what I've seen generally in all surveys.

Now is it a problem with Skoda India or the training that is imparted to the dealers here which is the problem. Japanese & Korean carmakers have extensive training programs for their dealers and are very strict when it comes to customer feedback. Is Skoda India being sloppy? I think therein lies the issue.
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Old 5th October 2007, 18:06   #49
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Originally Posted by Rtech View Post
Looking at fuel + service costs: Skoda is half the cost.
Aur mera post kahan jayega?

Ideally for total cost - consider price of equally equipped car + fuel + service costs.

Are insurance costs of the Octy and the Civic, the same?

Finally, are we getting OT here?
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Old 5th October 2007, 18:54   #50
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On one hand you criticize the company for asking its owners to use a superior oil
Absolutely. Because they have not done what they could to increase end value to the customer. At the end of the day, the service costs are still 5X that of its competition. I have already illustrated what they could do to offer it at less than half the current cost. Its very simple, actually. But do they care enough?

Quote:
Take the Optra Magnum into the picture and you should, by your logic, be crying foul of any manufacturer that does not provide a 3 year service holiday. Why Should Honda or any manufacturer charge for any service for 3 years?
Incorrect information. The Optra does NOT offer a service holiday. They give a guarantee that the service costs will not exceed XXXX. Even that is not an industry standard yet. However, reasonable servicing costs and extended warranties (in that segment) have been so for as far as I can remember.

So basically your long post infers that a diesel car is cheaper to run than a petrol car. Ummm...Ok. No arguments

Butttttttttttttttttt since when did a diesel car become direct competition to a petrol car? Its like Hyundai advertising the diesel Verna with a comparo to the petrol Fiesta and saying "Look Ma, my cars much cheaper to own". Or an Indigo diesel ad that states cheaper ownership cost than the SX4 petrol (remember, they have a variant the price of an SX4). Yeah right. Small mercy we havent seen that day yet.

Apples to Apples, Rt. And oranges to oranges:

Skoda TDi competition : Optra Magnum Both are diesel, similar in size and in price.

Optra is far cheaper to own. Only 27 grand versus what...70 grand for the Octavia? Also the spares are much cheaper as highlit earlier in this thread.

Skoda Petrol competition : Civic, Corolla etc.

With an average FE atleast 20 - 30% lesser than the Civic / Corolla brigade, and service costs about 5X more....you neednt even do the math. The Skoda will cost you a bomb to own!

Last edited by GTO : 5th October 2007 at 19:00.
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Old 6th October 2007, 10:16   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
So basically your long post infers that a diesel car is cheaper to run than a petrol car. ....
No. The long post shows that a Skoda TDi costs half as much to own and operate over the same period of time as a Civic. Even if they use expensive oils.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
I have already illustrated what they could do to offer it at less than half the current cost. Its very simple, actually. But do they care enough?
Maybe Honda should buy petrol in bulk and sell it to their customers for a reduced rate. Get real Rush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
Butttttttttttttttttt since when did a diesel car become direct competition to a petrol car?
Since the dawn of time and the free market Rush. Thats when. If 2 cars are about the same dimensions and priced similarly, a prospective customer will explore his options before settling on one. We have Anand here deciding between the Laura and Civic, we have multiple threads in the "What Car" section asking exactly that question, when we bought out car, we looked at all the options, of which only the Skoda was a diesel.

Rush, face it. End of the day, if its costs you're talking about, and I believe that was the crux of the issue here, the Skoda is cheaper to run INSPITE of using the best oil in the market which happens to cost more. I would say thats giving value to the customer.

Now, as the others have said, I think we have gone far far too OT. This requires a split from Shantanu's thread.
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Old 6th October 2007, 11:28   #52
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Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
Accord service costs 2500 ? Including all filters changing + oil change + labour ? Can some Accord owner confirm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtech View Post
I would be obliged to see a few actual out of warranty servicing costs for the Accord/Civic, Corolla and Optra (parts cost, labour charge, tax etc, just as the thread starter has put up). I've heard figures of it being done for Rs.2000 or so. If so, I must say that is truly amazing. More power to them!
Well let me clear up the doubts about the Accord's servicing cost. Below is the invoice for my best friend's Accord 35k service & yes, the car is out of warranty.



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Old 6th October 2007, 11:41   #53
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That's darn impressive! The oil i bought for my old pulsar used to cost more!
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Old 6th October 2007, 11:46   #54
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No. The long post shows that a Skoda TDi costs half as much to own and operate over the same period of time as a Civic. Even if they use expensive oils.
Hehehe….of course it is! Any diesel car will be cheaper to run than a petrol…its not an advantage exclusive to Skoda. A more reasonable comparison would be a petrol Octavia versus a Petrol Civic. But you conveniently wouldn’t go there, would you?

There are several other cars that enjoy the same diesel low cost fuel benefit and YET DO NOT cost 9000 rupees to service. The Optra Magnum, direct competition to the Skoda TDi, costs probably 1/3 of the Octavia to service. And that’s with a more high-tech / powerful engine.

Again, it is important to note that the diesel advantage is NOT a magic USP that is exclusive to Skoda. In the 8 – 10 lakh price band, the Optra Magnum, Fiesta Diesel, Verna Diesel, Innova diesel ALL enjoy that advantage. Truth is : NONE of them cost 7,000 – 9,000 to service. Heck, you can service some of them three times over for the price of a single Octavia service.

You have also conveniently overlooked the fact that Skoda spare parts are more expensive (in most categories) than its competition. Please have a look at these numbers and see for yourself that Skoda spares are MORE expensive than any other car in its class.
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Since the dawn of time and the free market Rush. Thats when. If 2 cars are about the same dimensions and priced similarly, a prospective customer will explore his options before settling on one.
So many people have considered a hatch like the Palio and ended up buying a SX4? I myself considered a used W124 before going in for the C Class. That doesn’t make for direct competition. There is a subtle yet significant difference between the terms "alternative" and "direct competition". Direct competition to the Octavia TDi is the Skoda Magnum. Anyone will accept this.

Quote:
Maybe Honda should buy petrol in bulk and sell it to their customers for a reduced rate. Get real Rush.
Now you are getting hilarious (Who needs to get real?). Last I checked, Honda uses the exact same petrol that other cars do….It doesn’t cost 5 – 10 times more to tank up a Honda. However, it does cost 5 – 10 times more to lube up a Skoda engine. I have already proven how Skoda could price the oil at 400 bucks instead of a 1000. But then do they care? Its called being pro-active. A word that we can hardly use alongwith Skoda.

Quote:
I would say thats giving value to the customer.
Charging for a compulsory service component, that is 10 times more than the competition is value? When you can be pro-active and price it at 400 instead, is value??!!! Obviously our definitions of value differ.

Quote:
Well let me clear up the doubts about the Accord's servicing cost. Below is the invoice for my best friend's Accord 35k service & yes, the car is out of warranty.
Quote:
That's darn impressive! The oil i bought for my old pulsar used to cost more!
Now that is value! By sheer definition.

Quote:
End of the day, if its costs you're talking about, and I believe that was the crux of the issue here,
Yup. And the fact is (I don’t see why it is so hard for you to accept that!)

The Skoda Octavia TDi is the most expensive diesel car in its class to own.

The Skoda Octavia Petrol is the most expensive petrol car in its class to own.

EDIT : Poll added to this separate thread.

Last edited by GTO : 6th October 2007 at 11:53.
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Old 6th October 2007, 12:20   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Skoda Octavia TDi is the most expensive diesel car in its class to own.
I would like to re-iterate again that "The Skoda Octavia is the most expensive car in its class to own"


Note that I have not mentioned TDi/diesel. Even the diesel with it's economy is more expensive than the Civic purely because the Elegance costs a lot more than the Civic !! The Rider is less loaded than the Civic (even then it's 30K more expensive).

Kolkata OTR prices from ACI.
Civic 1.8S = 11.9
Octy TDi Elegance = 13.77

That's a difference of 1.87 Lakhs !!!

This difference can probably be made up with diesel economy over 60K + kms. But by that time the extra service costs would also add up - let alone any regular maintenance replacement parts that may be required.
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Old 6th October 2007, 12:28   #56
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Is a Skoda more expensive to own than the rest?
YES

Is a Skoda more expensive to own than the rest for the ownership experience?
NO

This applies to all goods that are selling profitably. It is also called 'free market'.

If you are bad in one department, you should do better in the other departments so as to keep the ownership experience compelling enough.

Last edited by androdev : 6th October 2007 at 12:33.
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Old 6th October 2007, 12:30   #57
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Originally Posted by GTO
Yup. And the fact is (I donít see why it is so hard for you to accept that!)
We started with talk about the Skoda Diesel costs. You brought in the comparison to the Accord and Civic. Look back to the original posts. You were shown that your analysis was incorrect. We then concluded that it was far cheaper to run than any other car in its class, or above and below it.

Did you accept that? No. Now you say a TDi is not to be compared with a Civic because even though they compete in the same market, we have no right to now compare costs because they use different fuel. It's a free market last I saw, and lines between segments are blurred. Only the customer will know what is important to him and what is not.

Yes, the Optra is cheaper to service than the Skoda. So is the Elantra. But it took GM 5 years to bring that engine in. The Elantra, even though its spoken highly off here, simply does not sell. So, ultimately, the market decides by putting their money down. And with the advent of further competition, costs will come down for all. Didn't Skoda offer a 3 year service holiday recently? Maybe they will again if they see their sales threatened. They are there to run a business at the end of the day.

To bring in a similar situation in the real world. You run a business. You price your services above that of your competition. You say you offer a far great level of quality that justifies your higher price. You could easily offer those same services for less. There will be a thousand customers to feel that way too, and they will settle for the cheaper service. Both services ultimately give the same result, but go about it in a different way.

So in this case we have the issue of oil. Which, frankly is the only issue in this entire thread. Skoda recommends an oil which is superior to the one Honda recommends. That costs more. They both finally lubricate the engine. Its just that according to one manufacturer, their engine needs the better oil to function at its best. The dealers are charging almost MRP for that oil. A customer can buy that oil outside for less. And they are free to do so. But then you could by a genuine spare part for any manufacturer outside for less. If I bust the bumper on a Honda or Optra. I can guarantee you that the dealership would charge MRP (or close to it) for it, while a dealer outside would charge less.

Rush, the only point I see you making is that Skoda should reduce the price of the oil! Are we agreed on atleast that? So, for this one point, we sit here and call them a company that is not pro-active? Well, I guess you could say that if it were a perfect world, but then, again, I ask you, which company is pro-active in your view?
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Old 6th October 2007, 12:42   #58
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Skoda without a doubt is an expensive car to maintain , One of my close friend asked me an opinion on Skoda. This is what I told him.
1.Do you take quality of material seriously ? (interior)
2.Do you want tank like build quality ?
Thats exactly what skoda is all about.

I feel its a car too mature for the current automotive scene in India.
Only cars having high local content are practical at the moment or they will have to source the same part at a comparitive price which is not viable.

Skoda is great when it comes to feel , An accord may have one of the best good looking cabin but cars which have run a bit clearly ages faster than a Skoda (not taking into condition Skoda's headlamps). If one is serious about quality of materials (interiors)and the tank like build quality then he has to pay a premium for it and its a justified investment since thats what he wants.

I know people who have sold Skoda after running for just 40K coz they felt the maintence is simply not worth it coz for them thats more important than the feel one experiences by owning such a well built car and there are others who swear by laura (me too) just for the sheer quality of it. They do mention that its an expensive car , but they never complain coz for them the feel is more important.

Last edited by maxbhp : 6th October 2007 at 12:56.
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Old 6th October 2007, 12:53   #59
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How come we don't hear complaints of expensive servicing costs for the Laura? Is it because the customers are rich enough to be able to afford the costs. Logically since the Laura is almost 50% more expensive then Octavia, the servicing costs should be higher by approximately the same amount isnt it? Even Superb customers don't seem to have any complaints.

The Accord servicing costs are bloody impressive.
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Old 6th October 2007, 12:54   #60
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Aha.!!
Now i know why NC never revvs his RS beyond 2k rpm and drives in cruise control @ 80kmph on Mum- Pune expressway.
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