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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:07   #1
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Default Why cant test-drive cars be better?

The first impression is often the longest lasting. In the case of a car purchase, this first impression can be the difference between making or breaking the sale. Why don’t car manufacturers or dealers care enough then? Often, we have experienced unimpressive test-drive cars….and by that, I mean cars that are utterly and poorly maintained. Parts falling off, rough engines, worn out suspensions, dirty interiors, examples that are rattling and so on. Hell, many a time they don’t even bother to clean a car before taking it to the customer. How on earth do they expect someone to part with lakhs of rupees after test-driving an example which just doesnt "feel good"?

Also, the less said about some sales persons the better. I have encountered some who are no better than the “Saar, my car is the best” types but end up tongue-tied when asked a simple question on the cars attributes. Its an accepted fact with most advertising agencies that the sales pitch / design presentations are made by the crème de la crème from the creative. Once they bag the order, the best move on with their sales-pitching to the next client? In my office itself, only the best team members meet with new clientele. Heck, just look at the presentation in Vijay Sales and you will know why they are the undisputed no.1 for electronic goods.

How difficult is it for a car manufacturer or a dealership to ensure that the test-drive car is in impeccable shape? And assisted by a competitive sales person?
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:16   #2
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I think the fact that TD cars may be poorly maintained may have driven me away from Honda City. Regardless of its somewhat ugly looks, I wanted to buy it because of it being in my price range, being a CVT, largely reliable, and offering good FE. But both TD cars did not do it for me. Not because of their performance or the light steering (these did not matter to me as long as the car is relatively noise free at speeds of upto 80-90 kmph) but because of pronounced road noise (as if the wind was blowing across fiercely) at speeds above 60 kmph. I could not bear the road noise. I do not know if all City have that problem because some of my friends who own one have not complained of it, but some have.

PS: at least GM has got it right. They offer for TD a car that is to be delivered to some other customer that same day!
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
PS: at least GM has got it right. They offer for TD a car that is to be delivered to some other customer that same day!
Now,how many of us here approve of this? Atleast i dont.
I would rather have the standard test drive car, rather than play around with someone else's new purchase, which in almost all cases, the new owner has no clue about.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:40   #4
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Dear benbsb29

Just because I have noted it does not mean I approve it. I for one would not want my `to be delivered brand new car' to be used, be at risk. Suppose if someone bangs it. What would the dealer do. Paint and polish it?. As you can see from some of today's threads (UVA , Spark, etc) and from my own personal experience, this has happened at some of GM's NCR dealers.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:40   #5
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vasudeva,

other GM dealers, like national garage mumbai have dedicated TD vehicles. So its not a rule really.

That being said, its really sad. How can any company want us to shell out lakhs, but not decently maintain its TD vehicles? and yes, have dedicated TD vehicles?

Tata of course will never bother.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:41   #6
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Quote:
I think the fact that TD cars may be poorly maintained may have driven me away from Honda City.
Makes the two of us. In the year 2000, I was shopping between a Lancer and a OHC. I loved the Lancer, but the dismal testdrive experience with Ichibaan did have a hand in me paying up for the Mitsubishi.

Around the same time, Vitesse had sent over an extremely well-maintained Baleno. My father was so impressed with the car that he refused to even consider the Lancer!
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:44   #7
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Actually, this situation of poorly maintained TD cars is an extension of the "chalega" attitude and unwillingness towards maintenance that our countrymen share towards most things in life.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 12:55   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Parts falling off, rough engines, worn out suspensions, dirty interiors, examples that are rattling and so on. Hell, many a time they don’t even bother to clean a car before taking it to the customer. How on earth do they expect someone to part with lakhs of rupees after test-driving an example which just doesnt "feel good"?
I've not had those horrible experiences, but they look dirty and badly mainitained - agreed. However, I always manage to push the test drive cars to the limit when I test drive them - so, the condition is an obvious outcome when people keep doing it everyday. Unlike our cars, it is driven by tens of people everyday, whether they can drive or not and let us not forget the mechanic boys who always drive cars like it means nothing.

I'm sure no test-drive car can withstand that kind of torture everyday. Even though not cleaning them or having parts falling is not acceptable.

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Also, the less said about some sales persons the better. I have encountered some who are no better than the “Saar, my car is the best” types but end up tongue-tied when asked a simple question on the cars attributes. Its an accepted fact with most advertising agencies that the sales pitch / design presentations are made by the crème de la crème from the creative.
Totally agree. I don't think the sales guys have the appropriate engine specs or suspension technology details - forget the intricate ones. I've had this experience very often.

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Now,how many of us here approve of this?
Not sure whether that statement is true. I have test driven quite a few Chevrolets and there seemed to be a dedicated test drive vehicle. I don't think any company/dealer would be able to survive once the customers come to know about an act like that, if it exists that is.

However, the GM dealer had weird rules - I had to sign a register and fill up a form before test driving it. It was supposed to reduce the misuse of test-drive vehicles by the garage boys.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 13:03   #9
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Abroad, the cars are not more than 6 months old and sold on at a discount thus contributing to deprciating tax write off's etc

Last edited by ajmat : 22nd October 2007 at 13:11.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 13:07   #10
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Originally Posted by rocksterraghu View Post
Not sure whether that statement is true. I have test driven quite a few Chevrolets and there seemed to be a dedicated test drive vehicle. I don't think any company/dealer would be able to survive once the customers come to know about an act like that, if it exists that is. However, the GM dealer had weird rules - I had to sign a register and fill up a form before test driving it. It was supposed to reduce the misuse of test-drive vehicles by the garage boys.
Trust me and some other new thread started recently that this happened at a GM dealer in NCR in Feb 07 and also on 20-10-07. I have driven an Optra with 17 km on the odo from Shiva Motors, Ghaziabad. Of course, Regent at Mathura Road sent an old SRV, and Apex in Gurgaon sent an old Aveo.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 13:19   #11
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I think it also depends on the number of people that test drive the cars per month.

In a small place like Hubli, most of the TD cars i've driven were in great shape, except the Tata Marina (did a Hubli-Bijapur run the previous day and came back with a busted front suspension at 530kms) and Toyota Camry (which was the dealership owner's car doing part time TD duty).

Our brand new Wagon R infact ended up being worse than the TD car we drove before buying it. The gearbox just refuses to slot out of 1st.

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Old 22nd October 2007, 13:24   #12
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My TD aveo had bald tyres and soiled beige interiors needless to add the dirty mats were de rigeour. Bald tyres and incorrect alignment screwed up my Td so much that wheels locked up and car stepped out and all theatrics happened that i was simply scared off from the car.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 14:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan2nu View Post
... Toyota Camry (which was the dealership owner's car doing part time TD duty).
Sireesh, which is among the M&M dealers in Bangalore once gave me their owner's Scorpio SLX for a test drive.
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Old 22nd October 2007, 16:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksterraghu View Post
However, I always manage to push the test drive cars to the limit when I test drive them - so, the condition is an obvious outcome when people keep doing it everyday. Unlike our cars, it is driven by tens of people everyday, whether they can drive or not and let us not forget the mechanic boys who always drive cars like it means nothing.

I'm sure no test-drive car can withstand that kind of torture everyday. Even though not cleaning them or having parts falling is not acceptable.
Well, if the cars are abused...give them a more stringent upkeep schedule. But if the sample piece does not impress, many will run. Would a mithai shop ever offer you a two day old barfi as a tasting sample?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Venkatesh.C View Post
My TD aveo had bald tyres and soiled beige interiors needless to add the dirty mats were de rigeour. Bald tyres and incorrect alignment screwed up my Td so much that wheels locked up and car stepped out and all theatrics happened that i was simply scared off from the car.
Simple case of what this thread is all about. A bad TD car drove the customer away!
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Old 22nd October 2007, 16:43   #15
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Interesting Topic.

I belive the reason is that there is a lot of demand for TD cars & the cars are onroad for TD more than they should be i.e. they run for TD even beyond its service interval eventually becoming shoddy..

But all said & Done its the showroom's responcibility to keep the TD vehicles fit & also Manufactures should ensure that the TD vehicle are in good condition
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