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Old 8th July 2010, 19:36   #16
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Great thread. As has been mentioned, Maruti, Tata and some others already have a central database that is used by their dealers to access service records. Implementing an online tracking system for your booking would be rather simple. Why not?

The only reason = Transparency. Manufacturers and car dealers are woefully terrified of transparency. In fact, having many of their practices being discussed in an open forum (i.e. Team-BHP) makes them uncomfortable. Lets face it, fact is, dealerships do make a thick packet by prioritising deliveries for those willing to pay a premium. Most do this indirectly (i.e. via a third party broker).

It'll take a pro-active manufacturer to introduce this concept of online tracking in India. And it only takes one to lead, before the rest of the herd follows. Anyone at Maruti listening? Having a long wait period for your car is bad enough, games played by sly dealers makes it even worse. Toyota would have never received as many complaints from the Altis / Innova / Camry, as they did from Fortuner customers who were / are being cheated on their bookings by dealers. DBHPian Sahil actually had his signature forged by Shinrai Toyota! The Fortuner debacle brought out the devils within Toyota dealerships.

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Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
There had not been any requirement to do so. If you think about it deeply, until few months no car manufacturer had this situation of book and wait eagerly.
I kind of agree with this statement. The Swift & Dzire were the only cars (until very recently) that had long wait periods. However, the Nano, Fortuner, Polo etc. now join the club.

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
The online tracking system would be effective if there was an online booking facility made available by the car manufacturers. How many of us would want to book online?
Not really. One can still book a car the conventional way, and in a dealership. You receive an allocation number, the status of which can be checked online. Surely more effective than calling the dealer n number of times and receiving inconsistent answers, wot?

Last edited by GTO : 8th July 2010 at 19:40.
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Old 8th July 2010, 20:00   #17
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Every Manufacturer has this system in place . The access limited between the Manufacturer and Dealer. They doesn't want to give out any details for the customers .

And when we try to give some kind of information (like VIN details) all you get is reply like this, and these guys are smart and come up with post like below,as they wanted to close all the channels, so others cant get the info's.


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Originally Posted by bimi View Post
I am not able to understand what you meant. But if you are using legal means, why dont you share it (how you get the date of manufacturing) with all of us in Team-BHP?
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Originally Posted by bimi View Post
You need to ask that to the govt why they dont make it mandatory.
Now, why dont you answer the long pending question which many have posed to you, related to whether any unauthorised means are being used to get the info. Reason is that, you are unable to get this type of info only for one manufacturer and not for all. Anyways, only advice is be careful!
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Old 8th July 2010, 20:08   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
It'll take a pro-active manufacturer to introduce this concept of online tracking in India. And it only takes one to lead, before the rest of the herd follows.
TATA Motors and from what I know, uses Value chain management from a popular ERP software maker which I cannot reveal for obvious reasons. I hate the make and they are our rivals .

So it is not a big deal for a TATA or a MUL to install a CRM product but the dealerships will not agree as they also have to be a part of the installation, user training etc. for the reasons you correctly pointed out. The car delivery can hamper due to reasons which are uncomfortable, eg.
Minister's PA wants a swift for daughter's wedding dowry asap. And a T-bhpians booking/delivery is cancelled or delayed and we have a thread on "Aweful dealership expereince by MUL dealer" on Tbhp.

Someone comes up with 100% cash and places it on the managers desk at the dealership. Bang another thread on T-bhp.

In VCM that many manufacturers use, there is transperency between supplier and demand planning , Direct purchasing, material assignment and shopfloor. From higher management to the CNC operator can see what is happening at the line and where things are getting stuck up at the assembly line and who is the culprit supplier. Once that happens we have the dreaded red bulb at the assembly and many opt for and hope for voluntary retirement benefits to come soon.

In short it will cause a discomfort for the dealerships, which we as customers should not be bothered about.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 8th July 2010 at 20:14.
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Old 9th July 2010, 07:53   #19
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AS GTO put it it will take a proactive approach by car manufacturers to start the online tracking system which IMO will take its sweet own time until they realize that they have to heed to the customers demand. Till now the manufatcurers squarely blame the dealers for booking blunders by going on the backfoot saying that the dealer quota has been alloted and it is upto the dealer to distribute the deliveries. For the manufacturers to start the online tracking they have to intially invest either in opening their own outlet managed by the companies or invest heavily on bringing the dealer to the reqd stds.
Only manufacturer's proactiveness is not enough, it shoudl be also come from the dealer. Now most of the dealers have their own website. Why dont they display the bookings on their website with the ETD of the vehicles. The buyer could go to the website and track his bookig. This has its won cons. there would be legal issues in case of late deliveries, late payment charges etc. Which dealer would want to go for those hassles.
All in all customer is king on paper and dealer/manufactures on the streets.
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Old 9th July 2010, 08:59   #20
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Manufacturers should make a provision for making dispatches against customer order bookings as well as bulk dispatches to gowdowns and other storage facilities. The dealer dispatch against customer order should be notified via customer email so that he knows that the vehicle (chasis no against customer order number) has been dispatched and then we can catch hold of the dealer asking why it is being delayed after it has left factory premises? 2 WSDL files and a SOA host/client and bang. Simple setup.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 9th July 2010 at 09:01.
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Old 9th July 2010, 09:07   #21
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I dont think it will happen in the near future - I guess most Automaker may not want to make their dealers uncomfortable beyond a point. I agree to what GTO mentioned - dealers thrive on lack of transparency.

Having said that, I have always wondered why car manufacturers havent thought of differentiating themselves by allowing customers to configure the product online - like how companies like Dell do. I guess some premium car cos do it, but most of the car companies work in the comfort zone of standard products with two or three trims.

I can understand the challenges with the supply chain and inventory management, but then thats how one steps above others and shows the way!

Just imagine how sweet it will be to order a car like this:

Fuel option - Diesel
Engine - 1.4/1.6? 1.6
ABS? yes
Car color? Black
Interior color? Black
Tyres? 15"

so on and so forth. But I dont think it will ever happen soon as they will fear that it will make the dealers redundant. But I think its going to be the opposite. The dealers can nicely complement this process.

As for the delivery tracking, yes, that should go along with that. A booking number, expected delivery date, current stage in prod ( is that expecting for too much? ), shipping status etc etc. Let them ship to the local dealer and we can collect it from there!

Ah, too much to expect I guess...
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Old 9th July 2010, 09:52   #22
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Not all cars are having waiting periods mate. Hardly few of the lucky cars can enjoy this luxury ... So its difficult for companies to manage such systems.

Technically its very easy and not that costly too. Hope it will not be needed in India at least
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Old 9th July 2010, 10:38   #23
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A point has emerged from the discussions is why a person paying all cash treated differently than a person taking the loan. After at the point of sale dealer makes sure that all cheques are cashed before the keys are handed over to the customer. I think the online system will be a direct hit to this practice. Now with online system the customer will track it day and night.

It is also easy to fool the customer in the online system too. Because there is one grey area called Transit. I mean how can the customer know the location of the car. Dealer can always say he has not recieved the car at all "It is in transit saar".
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Old 9th July 2010, 10:59   #24
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Yes, we do really need this kind of tracking system.

Along with that, I also think there should also be a system to "view available inventory". IE, the manufacturer can display how many of its vehicles and in which trim are currently with its dealers. It need not be real time, just once a day refresh would be just fine.
For eg : I am looking forward to buy a Polo with dealer A in red CL diesel, but I happen to see that a black HL petrol was lying around with dealer B, I would straight away head to his place.
I know its not very difficult , because I work with such systems(not directly for automobiles though) , but for an American manufacturer.
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Old 9th July 2010, 11:05   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Lets face it, fact is, dealerships do make a thick packet by prioritising deliveries for those willing to pay a premium.
Let the dealer take that premium.

Call it as a Tatkal scheme in the online system, charge a premium and prioritize that customer.

That would still be transparent. And would result in better comfort levels for regular buyers.
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Old 9th July 2010, 16:27   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikrantj View Post
It is also easy to fool the customer in the online system too. Because there is one grey area called Transit. I mean how can the customer know the location of the car. Dealer can always say he has not recieved the car at all "It is in transit saar".
Once we have some system in place, the customer can know that the car has left the factory. It should not take more than 20 days from anywhere in India. Heck I got my friends car from North east to South in India in 10 days.
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Old 9th July 2010, 21:24   #27
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Default I dont think this is required at all..

I know not many people would like this, but its not really required is what I feel.

Think it from the view point of the vehicle manufacturer. Why do you think he would like you to know how he is working, next is people will start questioning why does it take this long for VW when Suzuki can manufacture the same in 10 days etc.

I mean every business has its own way of producing thing, dont forget one thing, manufacturer is not your seller, its only the dealer. As far as the manufacturer is concerned he is Ok to keep dealer in good mood(I am sure many are going to pound me for this statement )

Moreover think of it, like this we dont have online tracking for anything at all. Do we have for washing machines, for construction industry.
All you have is for courier industry, thats because he is carrying something that belongs to you.

Financially speaking, until the actual sale to dealer happens the inventory is recognised with the manufacturer, he will not see a reason why he should show you the status of his inventory.

I guess if you had paid full amount for the good then you can demand visibility, but that again your payment is a contract is between the dealer and you, why should he show his inventory tracking to you.

Last edited by xingamazon : 9th July 2010 at 21:29.
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Old 10th July 2010, 09:26   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Moreover think of it, like this we dont have online tracking for anything at all. Do we have for washing machines, for construction industry.
All you have is for courier industry, thats because he is carrying something that belongs to you.
This thought of online booking came up because of the waiting periods for certain cars from 1 - 6 months, very recently. Also customer is made to wait unnecessarily for long periods, cars getting alloted to people paying premium/ with influence which makes on feel cheated or not fair or helpless, because cars are booked paying quite a good sum of money.
Washing machine, TV etc are off the shelf product without any waiting periods, so no question of tracking. I am sure if booked online, we can see their status whether it is dispatched or when to be delivered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xingamazon View Post
Financially speaking, until the actual sale to dealer happens the inventory is recognised with the manufacturer, he will not see a reason why he should show you the status of his inventory.
For many other products, agree with this, but at present day, for cars, I believe it is different. Eg. those who have booked POLO, got a written letter from VW (please note not the dealer)acknowledging that there would be delay and VW is trying to deliver it asap, with a small paper car.
VW proactively took this initiative to inform customers, no information from the dealer!
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Old 10th July 2010, 11:05   #29
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As of now, all manufacturers and therefore dealers are pretty much selling as much as they can manufacture, if not for all models then certainly for some popular models. While the manufacturers probably have a better sense of cyclical aspects as well as forthcoming over-supply, on the shop floor the attitudes are terrible - whether at sales or after sales.

Some examples that have been brought to my notice:-

a) Toyota Fortuner - after being made to run around and not getting delivery, original booking, the buyer eventually took it up directly with Toyota Kirloskar in Bangalore and marked copies to Toyota worldwide. So finally he got his Fortuner - and a 34k cheque as some sort of peace offering.

b) Maruti Swift diesel ABS - if you want a genuine decent Swift, then book one with ABS, and insist that you want to be informed at all times of tracking with manufacturer. Incidentally, MUL/Suzuki dealers provide you with a company tracking number, which you can use in case you wish to followup with the manufacturer.

c) VW Polo - I too know of an episode where someone here booked a VW Polo petrol for 50k, and then just got fed up of the attitude issues, went and bought a Ritz - and is now doing daily rounds of the VW dealership to get his 50k back.

d) I understand GM india/Chevrolet also have a centralised booking number system for advance bookings.

+++

Solution is simple - if any vehicle is in the "booking process" system, then as a customer, you need to insist that you receive some sort of a manufacturer reference. If you don't get one, then don't buy - they will get the message soon, when enough people walk out of the showroom.

Manufacturers trace advance bookings like religion - so it is not as though they are not aware. This attitude of not providing a centralised booking number is only to reduce their own liability - as well as because they know they can get away with it.

How about bhp-india doing a survey on this, let us visit a few showrooms each and place our experiences here on booking processes?
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Old 10th July 2010, 22:15   #30
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Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
I support this idea.

Why can't the car manufacturers do this seemingly simple thing for their customers?

I recently booked the Polo by paying 50K. In return all I got was a copy of the order form.

I asked for a booking number, they said they have none. I have nothing to show that the dealer has actually booked my car with VW.

In fact a few days later when I called up the sales exec., he hadn't actually booked the car. It took me a few more days before he finally admitted to booking the car.

Did he actually book it? Did he book the variant I wanted? I really don't know.

Now if the dealer gave me a booking number and if I could feed it into the VW website and see my order (perhaps the ETA as well), my blood pressure would go down a few notches.

UPDATE: After writing the above post, it struck me that I should call the VW hotline. They asked me to email customer care. Now after waiting for a couple of days, VW has indeed confirmed that the booking has been made exactly the way I gave it.

Bottomline: I am generally satisfied by VW thus far. I don't have an ETA yet, but I think it may be too much to ask this for a yet-to-be-launched car.
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