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Old 24th March 2009, 10:37   #16
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you are right magik. the car is good.

but the management and the dealers have simply blended into the maze of our system. corruption and lethargy have set in resulting in the indian customer being treated with utter disdain.

german and czech directors in skoda should be seasoned professionals, I presume. I don't think it requires any kind of rocket science for them to assess the success they could achieve with the quality of the car and genuine care for their customers.

short term individual gains resulting in the brand getting a bad name.

biggest thing is their reluctance to accept a fact and say sorry which would go a long way instead of trying to brush it under the carpet.
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Old 24th March 2009, 11:08   #17
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Originally Posted by magikrider View Post
actually there are much much more scared potential customers than actual upset customers I believe.
Search through the forums to see just how many unhappy Skoda owners are there.

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people have heard some horror skoda stories
More than for any other brand. Without a doubt.

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there cannot be so many skoda's seen on road otherwise.
You have to see their dipping sales in recent times. Their reputation is catching up.

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do you know that the octavia used as taxi's in those countries have crossed 4-5 lac kms!
Agreed. The Octavia 1.9D is the only reliable car that Skoda India has churned out yet. Mind you, the petrol has its share of trouble.

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and I had also seen a horror story with honda which made me really think that nothing can be taken for granted. not even a honda!
Every brand has its share of troubled customers and mistakes. However, the difference is (and the key difference) : HOW MANY? The number of Skoda owners who have had a horrid service experience OUTNUMBERS that of any other brand.

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do you know that in US Honda's and Toyota's are considered cheap cars and VW has a better image.
You need to get your facts right. Yes, Honda & Toyota are seen as cheap cars. Butttttttttt VW does NOT have a better image. Their unreliability has battered their image dry in the States.

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Originally Posted by magikrider View Post
All I can say that such incidents do not make the product bad but it shows the falws in our judicial system and the helplessness of the consumers!
Its foolhardy to blame Harish's incident on the judicial system. If Skoda had taken care of their customer in the first place, Harish wouldn't have had to approach the courts.

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these big multinationals and even many national companies have understand the way the law works here and understood the loopholes and are exploiting them.
Team-BHP hopes to put as much a limit to this exploitation as possible. However small our contribution may eventually be.
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Old 24th March 2009, 14:50   #18
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Originally Posted by Gagan.js View Post
...... A cheap brand abroad being sold as premium here. ......
Skoda is not a premium brand. How could anyone in their right mind club the Skodas with the BMWs or Mercs?

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Originally Posted by magikrider View Post
oh my goodness! this whole thread need to be renamed "I love to hate skoda!" I guess!

......
..... because even though there are many skoda horror stories, there are also those x 100 or maybe even 1000 satisfied customer stories I am sure.
there cannot be so many skoda's seen on road otherwise.

and now someone who said that skoda is a inferior brand and used as taxi's in many countries... the only reason its being used as taxi's in those countries is not that they cant find a cheaper car but they think its reliable for extreme heavy use. do you know that the octavia used as taxi's in those countries have crossed 4-5 lac kms! I had seen a article in some auto magazine sometime back on this. the reporter was stunned as he saw most taxi octavia's had done 4-5 lac kms and when inquired he came to know that its common for a taxi there and also he reported that even after 4-5 lac kms the car was in pretty good shape and running as usual just like a car with 30-40k kms would! they had also shown the picture of the odometre with that insane milage done! now do you even expect a honda or a toyota to perform that well after 4-5 lac kms?! and again If I am not mistaken, it came in ACI or OD maybe 1-1.5 yrs back!

and what about the tank like built of the skoda's? I had seen a accident infront of me once and I was stunned. a old honda city banged a octy from behind and it made a big sound. the city was badly damaged and the bonnet was pushed inside, bumper destroyed. then the skoda owner came out and was about to shout but then he saw his car, and there was NOT EVEN A SCRATCH! and the city was badly damaged so he just took pity on the city driver and left without saying anything!

and I had also seen a horror story with honda which made me really think that nothing can be taken for granted. not even a honda! had seen a defected last-gen accord fully loaded with all steering controls malfunctioning since the day it was bought! the owner complained the dealer and the company several times but in vain. he did not get any proper answer and nothing was done to rectify the problem and so he was getting it done himself at a local garage! but it was not working even though they were trying for hours! the garage guy told that the owner is so tired of honda and he was also sueing the company for 10 lakhs for giving him a defective car! poor chap was fighting for almost a year and after paying 17-18 lakhs got sleepless nights! and mind you, I really think Honda Accord is a great car and the V6 had been my dream daily-car for quite long!

and its not that I hate honda or toyota. infact I love honda and would buy a Altis eyes closed in the 12 lac budget! but I also like skoda. all these brands have their pros and cons. and a few cars are bound to have issues when they are producing thousands of cars. skoda is high on maintenance but also high on performance and satisfaction! honda and toyota are worry free machines mostly and easy on pocket. and despite of all these horror stories, generally skoda and VW owners are the ones who make the decission with their heart!

I like the high revving honda's, Toyota reliability and jack of all nature, but I like the tank like built and DSG and all the amazing features that come with the skoda a little more. and do remember that the 2.0L RS octavia was judged the car of the year in UK and also its 2.0L, 200 BHP engine was judged as the engine of the year in 1.8-2.0L segment, both for 2 years straight! and I dont believe that honda and toyota badge has more snob value than skoda! no ways.. they are almost all on par, or maybe the skoda a little ahead if anything here in India! do you know that in US Honda's and Toyota's are considered cheap cars and VW has a better image. a honda has this boy-racer kinda image, toyota has a family guy's car image and the skoda has kind of a bad boy image!
I agree with every one of the above points. Magikrider answers correctly the reason why taxi drivers prefer Mercedes and Skodas. I too am one of those many hundreds if not thousands of happy and satisfied Skoda owners. It does help that the dealer here is pretty ok.

One point though about the high cost of repairs. See the incident described above - the Honda City owner had to go to the A.S.S. and shell out much $ $ $ for repairs while the Skoda owner walked away - no damage to his pocket at all! I drive one of these tanks and I know that it does not cost much to run. Accident repair is negligible and as I drive in a city where two wheelers and auto drivers make a pastime of bumping me in the rear / sides I am grateful that I do not drive a car that is dented (wish they could use equally tough paints so that no scratches show). Yes, the number of scratches on my car equals the number of dents on my neighbours' cars!

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Originally Posted by harishv View Post
you are right magik. the car is good.

but the management and the dealers have simply blended into the maze of our system. corruption and lethargy have set in resulting in the indian customer being treated with utter disdain.

german and czech directors in skoda should be seasoned professionals, I presume. I don't think it requires any kind of rocket science for them to assess the success they could achieve with the quality of the car and genuine care for their customers.

short term individual gains resulting in the brand getting a bad name.

biggest thing is their reluctance to accept a fact and say sorry which would go a long way instead of trying to brush it under the carpet.
Nice post Harish. You have my full sympathy, I do follow your thread regularly, but have stopped posting there since it is now resembles a mob-lynching.

It is unfortunate if some officials and dealers were in cahoots with each other. The ex-pat directors will necessarily depend on the inputs they receive from the (local) officials. They can take an independent view and examine the facts themselves - but it does take a rare breed of professional to do that.

In India, problems with spurious parts, adulterated fuel, unscrupulous dealers and corrupt officials are rampant. We should fight against the same. There is a proper manner of doing it and Harish has been doing so. It is unrealistic to expect that the "corrupt" officials would do a volte-face the minute a Consumer Complaint is filed and meekly hand in their confession statements enabling the company to fire them and settle Harish's case. They would try to defend their earlier actions and hide evidence of their wrong-doings. They would mis-lead their superiors and board. Any legal team worth it's salt would advise that the matter be tried and a court verdict be obtained by the company especially as the facts are not proven. Fortunately Harish seems to have concrete evidence to support his case, hopefully justice will prevail. Best of luck @ Harish.

Cheers,
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Old 24th March 2009, 17:12   #19
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Originally Posted by harishv View Post
you are right magik. the car is good.

but the management and the dealers have simply blended into the maze of our system. corruption and lethargy have set in resulting in the indian customer being treated with utter disdain.

german and czech directors in skoda should be seasoned professionals, I presume. I don't think it requires any kind of rocket science for them to assess the success they could achieve with the quality of the car and genuine care for their customers.

short term individual gains resulting in the brand getting a bad name.
My point exactly. a genuinely good car brand getting tarnished because of some bad people at the management level here in india. the skoda management here in india needs some serious changes and quick. and I am sure that if the company official would have been genuine and supportive, the dealer would not dare doing what he did!

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Its foolhardy to blame Harish's incident on the judicial system. If Skoda had taken care of their customer in the first place, Harish wouldn't have had to approach the courts.
I think you missed the point behind the statement I made in my earlier post, GTO. what I meant was that since the guys at the management level are aware at the way the law works here and how easy it is for a big company like skoda to get things in their favour and also the procedures go at a snail's speed and by that time the poor consumer would get tired and accept his defeat and things will be covered up in no time, since they are aware of this they are misusing their power and exploiting the consumers. if the law would have been strict and justice would have been quick, the company management would be carefull and so would be the dealer.

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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
It is unfortunate if some officials and dealers were in cahoots with each other. The ex-pat directors will necessarily depend on the inputs they receive from the (local) officials. They can take an independent view and examine the facts themselves - but it does take a rare breed of professional to do that.

In India, problems with spurious parts, adulterated fuel, unscrupulous dealers and corrupt officials are rampant. We should fight against the same. There is a proper manner of doing it and Harish has been doing so. It is unrealistic to expect that the "corrupt" officials would do a volte-face the minute a Consumer Complaint is filed and meekly hand in their confession statements enabling the company to fire them and settle Harish's case. They would try to defend their earlier actions and hide evidence of their wrong-doings. They would mis-lead their superiors and board. Any legal team worth it's salt would advise that the matter be tried and a court verdict be obtained by the company especially as the facts are not proven.
Totally agree with you. the problem might be at the bottom level management and the dealer. and then they try to cover up the whole thing and post a different picture at their superiors. and naturally the top level people at the skoda, after getting the doctored info from the culprits at the bottom level, would take legal advice always before approaching such problems. and the legal team would try their level best in turn to get its high profile client the results in its favour. and so in all this, the poor consumer is taken for a ride! and any company would usually try to cover up its mistakes and would give a fight as they have to protect their reputation also afterall. there are no saints at the management level who would see the whole matter as a third party and quickly apologise for their mistake and settle with the consumer. and sadly the fact is, the consumer is mostly the one who has to bear the burden of all the emotional and financial trouble.
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Old 24th March 2009, 18:10   #20
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but all things said and done, by the time I am in the market for a new car (God willing soon..) if the skoda's have not got things right, I might just look elsewhere! afterall reliability should be a guranteed thing when you are spending close to 15 lakhs!

well hope skoda will pull-up its socks soon enough and do something soon before its too late. its such a pity that a good product is wasted and tarnished because of some corrupt officials and dealers! hope the czech management learn about this soon and take necessary steps. because it takes a long time to repair damaged reputation and change people's mind again.
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Old 24th March 2009, 19:55   #21
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my question
What will be the fate of the jetta as the laura will probably be launched at a cheaper price & as they share the same platform.
What they really need to do is phase out the good old octy and give the octavia tag to the rightful owner.
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Old 24th March 2009, 20:11   #22
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Ravveendrra I meant to say at a premium. Overpriced laura and superb, old ones.
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Old 24th March 2009, 20:17   #23
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Yes sir plz take a look at this thread. I would refuse to take a Skoda even if gifted free by the company.
I will take it happily, de-assemble it and sell it as spares and buy two civics or an Accord instead.
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Old 24th March 2009, 20:49   #24
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It's not without any reason, Skoda has a bad reputation for over priced cramped cars, overpriced spares, extremely hopeless a s s and somewhat less reliable cars.

While they can reprice their cars, they just cannot change the rest of the branding.

We have a Skoda, couple of
Hondas, Hyundais and Marutis in the joint family and out of all we always wished we had never bought the Skoda.

I was also considering an RS, but thankfully Civic launched and I went for it. Retrospectively, I can confidently say a good decision it was.
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Old 25th March 2009, 20:11   #25
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Originally Posted by vinaydas View Post
my question
What will be the fate of the jetta as the laura will probably be launched at a cheaper price & as they share the same platform.
What they really need to do is phase out the good old octy and give the octavia tag to the rightful owner.
After the Laura is launched, the fate of the Jetta will be undecided and in a way it will be almost senseless till the new model is launched. just like the Passat, which doesn't make any sense after the launch of the new Superb as it is way more expensive and have much less features.
but this VW-skoda guys are smart, they will mostly not launch the diesel versions of the new superb and the new laura till the new Passat and Jetta are launched. so for diesel you will have to go for VW, time being atleast. and VW may just start giving the touchscreen like features in Passat also the way its in superb. but still that does not make it worth the price difference of 5-7 lakhs over superb! and similar might happen with laura and Jetta.

and this is a case of serious daylight robbery in a way! or else how can you explain the new superb with latest tech and more features to come almost 5 lakhs cheaper than last gen now, only after they have released VW Passat here! and same will most probably happen with laura when its facelifted model is launched. even the fabia, which is rediculously priced now, will be available cheaper once VW Polo is launched. so till then extract the more you can from Indian customers! this is shameful on VW-Skoda's part and should be dealt with properly.

they should have phased out the octavia long before when they launched laura. but this being India and they treating us like third world country and thinking that they can dump any thing here, they just like many others, sold both, the new and the old model simultaneously with different names! and surprisingly it works also! as they say "it happens only in India!"
so they might continue doing this and now price the octavia a little lower and placing it with city, linea, verna optra 1.6 etc. so the final VW-skoda lineup would be something like this:

fabia --> Polo --> Octavia --> Laura --> Jetta --> Superb --> Passat.

have not considered the upcoming Yeti and the Touareg in the lineup as they are SUV's.

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It's not without any reason, Skoda has a bad reputation for over priced cramped cars, overpriced spares, extremely hopeless a s s and somewhat less reliable cars.

While they can reprice their cars, they just cannot change the rest of the branding.

We have a Skoda, couple of
Hondas, Hyundais and Marutis in the joint family and out of all we always wished we had never bought the Skoda.

I was also considering an RS, but thankfully Civic launched and I went for it. Retrospectively, I can confidently say a good decision it was.
I hate to say this but I agree with you. I, up till, now really liked the skoda and VW brands, because of their great features, great engines and tank like built. but now slowly slowly I am inching away more from it the more I keep on reading about horrific experiences. harish's case being the prime example here. its so surprising that at the begining of this thread I was excited of the upcoming facelifted tech laden laura, but now I think that I will think 10 times atleast before dealing with Skoda or VW. specially after reading harish's case.
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Old 26th March 2009, 10:34   #26
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In the Audi-VW-Skoda line-up, forget the cosmetic changes and the different equipment levels, IMO the main difference is in the engines, not just the Diesel/Petrol variants but the different specs of the engines.

Cheers,

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Old 26th March 2009, 12:52   #27
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and now someone who said that skoda is a inferior brand and used as taxi's in many countries... the only reason its being used as taxi's in those countries is not that they cant find a cheaper car but they think its reliable for extreme heavy use. do you know that the octavia used as taxi's in those countries have crossed 4-5 lac kms! I had seen a article in some auto magazine sometime back on this. the reporter was stunned as he saw most taxi octavia's had done 4-5 lac kms and when inquired he came to know that its common for a taxi there and also he reported that even after 4-5 lac kms the car was in pretty good shape and running as usual just like a car with 30-40k kms would! they had also shown the picture of the odometre with that insane milage done! now do you even expect a honda or a toyota to perform that well after 4-5 lac kms?! and again If I am not mistaken, it came in ACI or OD maybe 1-1.5 yrs back!
My friend told me it cost more then rs. 60,000 per year to maintain skoda cars (average in 3-5 years), assuming car is running 15,000 kms per year, if you take that money into consideration maintenance cost of running skoda car is rs.4/kms, imagine what it would cost to run it for 3-4 lakhs kms? It will be like almost buying a new car.

Also, you must not compare europian roads with indian roads, Indian roads are 10 time worst then europian roads, no car can last 4-5 lakhs kms here.
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Old 26th March 2009, 15:00   #28
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Originally Posted by magikrider View Post
but this VW-skoda guys are smart, they will mostly not launch the diesel versions of the new superb and the new laura till the new Passat and Jetta are launched. so for diesel you will have to go for VW, time being atleast.

they should have phased out the octavia long before when they launched laura. but this being India and they treating us like third world country and thinking that they can dump any thing here, they just like many others, sold both, the new and the old model simultaneously with different names! and surprisingly it works also! as they say "it happens only in India!"
FYI the diesel Superb should be in showrooms very soon, dealers are already stocking them.

It also happens in Europe
Germany, the UK, Russia and many more countries offer the old Octavia along with the current (Laura).

And to be clear, I am in no way condoning the current behaviour of the company with some customers.
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Old 26th March 2009, 15:23   #29
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Skoda just announced the a new small car would enter the Indian market in the Sub 4L price point, VW brand too would have an equivant at sub 7L.

Though I do own an Laura, would welcome a new version, if nothing else, this would be an opportunity for them to get their act together. I guess with their plant going on line by the year end, Fabia too would be more aggresively priced. Support has been ok at the dealer to whom I go. (JMD) Actually been quite good, except being made to wait a bit longer on a few occations, its been fine.

Maintenance is heavy- The car itself, has required 30K of routine servicing cost per year for (25K kms that I do per year), (for newer version servince is once in 10k kms so the cost will be lesser)+ I had to pay 40K for a grey market AC Compressor & AC Fan. + 3K for A turbo horsepipe, + 4K for Axcel Boot Shoes. Car is now at 55K kms.

3 set sof Accident repairs cost me a totoal of another 15K from Pocket

Why good service: Got a car drop home on a few occations, Car was polished or interiors cleaned (polished) on a few occations at no charge. The service advisors were polite even as I got very Irate, and the work was complete normally on the commited time / date.

Accident repairs were much more simply handled, compared to when i went with my friends to Hyundai (for a santro) and to GM (for an Optra). The wait period was also lesser in my case.
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Old 26th March 2009, 19:08   #30
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..............do you know that in US Honda's and Toyota's are considered cheap cars and VW has a better image. a honda has this boy-racer kinda image, toyota has a family guy's car image and the skoda has kind of a bad boy image!...........

First of all I wish to say we dont care what goes on in US (just like US dont care what goes on in India) There are hundreds of great countries in the world. It is time that you think on your own terms and not rely -or- be "mental slave" of another country which is encouraged due to excessive marketing of culture and propoganda in our country through Cable TV.

As a random example, people in France may buy their national brands like Peugeot or Renault - They dont give a DAMN what US public thinks about Honda/Toyota. Comon! Be brave, be tough, be independent - who are you scared of?

On this note, i would like to clarify that Toyota/Honda (Nissan included) are NOT considered "cheap" cars in the US. Even rich people buy Toyota/Hondas in US, as opposed to VW, which has average reputation in US.

I have spent enough number of years in this country to understand this reality.

Even if i am wrong, even if it is true that Honda/Toyota are considered Cheap in US, is not going to prevent me from believing and buying what i want to buy. We, here in India will buy cars that works for India....
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