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Old 5th October 2005, 16:30   #1
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Default Indian car makers INETHICAL approach to Mumbai 26/7 Flood Damage



So I was listening to the radio this morning, and there was a special on the cars that were damaged in Mumbais catastrophic rains on the 26th of July, 2005. As many of you would already know, there are thousands of cars that are yet awaiting parts/service at company authorised service centers.

Now we have heard more than one statement of how ECMs (Engine Control Modules) have gotten damaged in the rains. These parts generally last the life of a car and manufacturers claim to have their arms up since they would not have the required inventory of ECMs. HOGWASH!! For a company like Hyundai that builds close to 10,000 Santros and Maruti that builds 30,000+ hatches a month, thats a lot of ECMs that they have READY IN THEIR INVENTORY. Cant build new cars without ECMs, can we? Now the question is....do they prioritise taking care of EXISTING CUSTOMERS or sell cars to NEW customers? I am not even remotely suggesting that they stop producing new cars and just sell ECMs to the flood-damaged customers. But atleast, they could adjust 10% of their monthly production to help their existing customers who are stranded without their cars!

It was painful to hear stories about one-car owners who had their automobiles damaged in the rains, and are yet to get them back on the road. Repeated promises that lead to nothing productive, and consistent delays can make for a nerve racking experience. There was a particular gentleman who has given his Hyundai Santro to Jai Bharat Mumbai, and has been hearing the "another 3 days for sure" commitment since the last month and a half. Lets take a Mr. X who lives in Powai and is not well connected to the public transportation system. He can afford only one hatchback - which is more a NEED rather than a luxury - for his daily 60 km commute to work. With his car in the workshop for 2 and a half months, where on earth does he go? Imagine the huge loss of time, money and inconvenience.

And then comes the moronic Maruti which took three months to think up a scheme of "easy exchange" for flood damaged cars.

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Old 5th October 2005, 16:41   #2
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Most manufacturers work to lean inventories and tight production planning. At the most, there is a 10% leeway allowed. This gets waterfalled to suppliers who plan accordingly. This is to avoid inventories which add costs to the whole supply chain. Am surev that they are working to increase the ECU availability but such a blip in demnad was never anticipated. Hence the tight situation - so the choice is - piss off the mumbaiya for a short while or piss off the whole nation for ever ? Tough call! Start with the politicians who clogged up the drains....we've been through this before ...time to lock the thread ?
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Old 5th October 2005, 16:43   #3
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I blame two factors.
1. companies know that judicial system in india is so bad that hardly anybody will try to do a case and even if he does it wont amount to more that 5000rs compensation
2. The indian media does not publicise all this because these companies pay for adverts. Newspapers like TOI have a policy not to publish anything against the companies who advertise, unless the news is very very widespread.

Add to that the forgetful nature of out race. We forgive and forget.
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Old 5th October 2005, 17:14   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO



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slightly offtopic but i've seen this pic of cars lined outside an Honda dealership in the papers many times and am left wondering which dealership ( Linway or Ichibaan ) is this actually is ?

any idea anyone ?

~A
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Old 5th October 2005, 17:17   #5
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Went to a dealer workshop recently to service my car which I got back serviced neatly in 3 days. There was a sea of cars outside the workshop gate, all wating to get repaired. Infact, the people working there have to search for the appropriate car. I personally feel they should stop the appointments for some 15-20 days or may be a month, clear the lot as much as they can.. and then take the fresh customers in.
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Old 5th October 2005, 17:18   #6
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seems like BKC to me. so has to be Ichibaan ?
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Old 5th October 2005, 17:23   #7
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GTO in reference to the situation on 26/7 Ive had abt 237 cars come into my service center and still 34 of them are pending the point being ECMS have to be sourced from different locations especially for hondas and my best guess is Ichibaan hasnt started looking for other sources....yet.
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Old 5th October 2005, 17:35   #8
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Had been to Sharayu Hyundai to repair a conked off AC. the compressor had developed a leak.

firstly the reception said, no appointments till 25th october. Then had to raise my voice and got to see the Service manager. Incidentally bumped into a school mate who was Regional Manager for Hyundai. So got an appoinment in a jiffy.

But it has been 4 days since and Sharayu hasnt replaced the compressor due to lack of spares.

When enquired about the inventory cycle, he mentioned it was an alternate day schedule due to flood vehicles.

Sharayu had got 750 cars from Mumbai floods quota. They have been able to deliver 350 from them in 2 months.

Acc to the Service engg, ECM's are causing the most delay as they have to ordered from S. Korea. Cars which were readied for the ECM to be installed and delivered have developed new problems due to rusting and decomposing of metal & plastic parts.

From the looks of it, Dealers will be able to perform normally after the turn of the year!
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Old 5th October 2005, 17:52   #9
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All points taken into consideration, its been 2 1/2 months since the floods - I'm sure all the manufacturers have had enough time to get the ECUs/ECMs imported by now, if necessary.

So whats the problem? I dont think any manufacturer would want to hold up vehicles deliberately - managing so many cars in a service station is a nightmare and tells on the overall efficiency of the dealer. Even PDIs and other standard service calls get effected. As for the dealer, he makes more money if he gets the queue moving.

So who stands to gain by holding up so many cars?
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Old 5th October 2005, 18:24   #10
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@steeroid:There are too many cars to handle...just go to any authorised setup in mumbai and see for yourself, you will be amazed...sea of cars literally...like stratos mentioned...there are so many cars that they dont even know where a particular one may be parked.

I myself didnt get an appointment at hyundai so had to get the car done from outside. 26/7 was really bad...Its been hell for all of us...Im sure 'most' service centers are trying their best to clear the backlog...so lets just bear with them for a little while longer.

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Old 5th October 2005, 18:37   #11
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Quote:
All points taken into consideration, its been 2 1/2 months since the floods - I'm sure all the manufacturers have had enough time to get the ECUs/ECMs imported by now, if necessary.
the problem is that ECM/ECU's are not stocked as they rarely require any replacement
& about importing those companies also have to work overtime to manufature it
besides the delay might be because of modified ECU for indian conditions may be ?
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Old 5th October 2005, 19:08   #12
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Most problems are not ECU not being available! Its the insurance company which has not yet given the claim or are running the case long which is leading to the delay!
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Old 5th October 2005, 19:16   #13
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Quote:
Most problems are not ECU not being available!
Thats the point. If Maruti has 30,000 ECMs a month for new cars, whats stopping them from taking a small percentage of those for people still stranded without their cars.

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Old 5th October 2005, 19:29   #14
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I think, its all about the priorities...

The corporates have their priorities elsewhere... and w/o any immediate benefit ( read better publicity ) they would rather focus elsewhere...

Imagine, their responses if a sustained media follow-ups were done at a national level... Getting the logistics right shouldnt take em much time... its just an excuse to wriggle out of the situation...pass-the-buck to buy time...
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Old 5th October 2005, 19:40   #15
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Agreed there is a huge backlog of cars - on every dealers doorstep but GTO using the word INETHICAL , hmmm thats harsh i feel ! After all we dont get to see the likes of 26/7 very often.

Ofcourse no dealer will like to have sooo many cars standing at his doorstep and the customers go on complaining to all and sundry about their service ! no manufacturer/dealer will take that chance.

I give them the Benifit of Doubt this time , I'm sure they must be trying hard to clear out the backlog !

And there are other innumerable small niggling problems like limited number of service bays , absentism of service guys ....etc

Last edited by normally_crazy : 5th October 2005 at 19:42.
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