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Old 14th September 2010, 09:02   #76
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Cant say anything about mahindra, since I have never really owned a mahindra passenger vehicle, but for tata ...

1) Fire your current QC dept. The current ones dont know how to do their job..
2) Poach people from Toyota, Honda etc for QC
3) Give the new QC people power to actually do their job.

Last edited by AbhiJ : 14th September 2010 at 09:04.
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Old 14th September 2010, 11:19   #77
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Originally Posted by Maverick1977 View Post
After going through the thread I can safely conclude that we Indians are super unforgiving when it comes to cars from the land. Let us try and understand that these companies have ventured to go where many might have feared.
I'm sorry but that's just hogwash. Tata and Mahindra are in business to make profits, not for charity or out of a sense of national duty. As a consumer, I will exercise my freedom of choice and opt for products that deliver value. Choosing a car because it is made in India is self-defeating and condescending.

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The most impt thing that we need is ATTITUDE CHANGE. Which car is absolutely & 100% trouble free. I have known of cases where ppl have bought cars worth 1+ cr and they have turned out to be horrible...
Quoting extreme anecdotal examples to make your point? BMW and Mercedes products are renowned and trusted for their quality and safety. That doesn't mean they never make mistakes. But please don't discount the hard work that has gone into the building of those super-brands.

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Unfortunately I feel that most people who can afford a 10+L car are the nouveau riche and hence throw around super amouts of weight. I have seen such specimens in Tata and M&M showrooms.
At the end of the day, consumers don't part with their hard-earned money to buy into a flimsy value proposition. Are you seriously suggesting that those with "old money" are the only ones who deserve quality vehicles? That is just laughable.

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Originally Posted by Maverick1977 View Post
If people say that their experience with the sales team @Hyundai & Maruti are superb, I am sorry but I beg to differ. On my last visit to Sai Service (Andheri)...
I have had excellent experiences with Hyundai and Maruti service. Perhaps you haven't. That doesn't make my own experience (and that of several others) meaningless. Service personnel are human too, and prone to human frailty.

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The 1st thing we need is to accept that these brands can also be GOOD & NOT JUDGE THEM ON THE BASIS OF THEIR PAST PRODUCTS.
Perhaps you should hop off your soapbox and then you'll realise that's exactly what most people here are trying to do. This is NOT a "Tata Mahindra hai hai" thread. Lots of folks have given perfectly sensible and helpful tips that anyone at Tata or Mahindra will be glad to take back to the drawing board. Having said all this, it's clear that Tata and Mahindra suffer some serious image problems and these aren't going to disappear overnight. Hopefully they don't follow your "We are Indian- we are like this only- like it or lump it" attitude and actually work towards improving their image.
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Old 14th September 2010, 12:57   #78
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Originally Posted by mgh View Post
...

People compare an expensive car with a VFM car, and say the VFM car should have tolerance levels in fittings, comparable to that of the expensive car, and a more powerful engine. In that case, the VFM car will cost as much as the expensive car!

...
mgh, that is a great description. However, we are not comparing a cheaper car to a costlier car here. The same cars that retail at 20L+ here actually sell in the US for 10-12L (if we do a $-INR conversion). The only reason they are more expensive here is because of the heavy taxes that the Govt levies for CBUs.

So the real question is - if Honda / Toyota can sell at 10-12L in the US, why can't we get the same sized car with the same quality from an Indian manufacturer in India?
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Old 14th September 2010, 14:54   #79
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My only two expectations are:

1. Customer Touchpoints: Dedicated dealers & service centers rather than the current one. It is true (as stated by many) that it is quite annoying to share a line with cabbies (no offence to anyone, all are equal). But putting a extra bit of money needs a little more attention.

Make the customer feel he is the king. Just treat people in a way that they are always in good impression about the company. Even a routine call for a test drive need to be attended with utmost care & passion.

Will add a little instance to explain this. We had asked the BMW showroom to send a car for a test drive for our boss. They promptly called on him to ascertain the time, date, place, etc. We clarified the condition of the roads that led to the place. They said they will look into the arrangements. They sent the car in a truck to our point. After test drive, there was follow up regarding the experience, the sales persons, the service, service quality, whether we were satisfied with the drive, etc.

This should be the similar experience that I would like to have when i walk-in to see the vehicle.

2. Status: It is something that the brands need to build. May be as mentioned in the earlier posts - Build a new brand like Acura (Honda) / Lexus (Toyota) to make the vehicles stand out from the others. A customer in this category would not mind putting a extra lac or two just for the pride of ownership of a vehicle.

I am assuming that all other parameters like fit finish, over all quality of vehicle, life, reliability, warranty, etc. will all be on par to the competitors.
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Old 14th September 2010, 17:17   #80
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Just plain improve of fit and finish and quality wont do it in India.

TATA at least has improved its current product offerings comparable to majority of its competitor's level. So, the problem is not the product but the perception.

So TATA has to differentiate its luxury offerings.


Even Japanese brands had to differentiate their Luxury offerings in US.

Honda created Acura and Toyota created Lexus.

Here is what TATA should do.

Create a JLR subsidiary (not the JLR name itself since JLR is trying creating a niche for itself in super luxury)in India and open separate showrooms/service centers in major metros to start with, on this brand name.

Launch 10L+ cars under this brand. (This will create the impression of JLR brand cars for indian customers who are very brand conscious and look for snob value).

Ensure top notch dealership experience and service experience.
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Old 15th September 2010, 13:00   #81
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Thanks GTO for starting a thread on this! My thoughts are as follows:

We all know that TATA and Mahindra cannot match the brand equity of the Toyota's of these world. Several reasons for that, primarily track record and quality. Toyota brand is build on quality and hassle free ownership-quite the opposite of what Tata and Mahindra vehicles are famous for.

The primary reason for choosing TATA or Mahindra for a lot of us is the value for money. However, I dont see any reason why Tata and Mahindra cannot make a high quality vehicle. If one compares the quality, fit and finish of CRV and trims off the duties-the MSRP should be close to Safari and Scorpio Top end models. So restrictive regulatory policies and limited presence in other competitive markets (And I not talking about developing countries in Africa and South America as the benchmark) are hindering the progress of these two manufacturers.

In +1 Million INR car: in a perfect market (No trade barriers) I would expect everything that I would expect from a CRV (for example)

1. Excellent reliabiltiy
2. Excellent fit, finish
3. Brand Equity
4. Hassle free ownership and complete peace of mind

If one compares the CRV price in any developed nation as percentage of per capita income and does the same for Tata safari for the Indian middle class (Just to make sure, the sample is more homogenous), the expectations are surely going to go northwards.

In the Indian market which I dare say it not terribly competitive, I would be happy with:

1. Reliability
2. Instead of dysfunctional bells and whistles. Provide a few but make them high quality and functional
3. Airbags, ABS standard across all models
4. Good quality Inbuild GPS and in-dash entertainment module
5. Good quality interiors, plastics (Someone please tell tata) and overall design

Regards
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Old 15th September 2010, 22:41   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ananth_iy View Post
mgh, that is a great description. However, we are not comparing a cheaper car to a costlier car here. The same cars that retail at 20L+ here actually sell in the US for 10-12L (if we do a $-INR conversion). The only reason they are more expensive here is because of the heavy taxes that the Govt levies for CBUs.

So the real question is - if Honda / Toyota can sell at 10-12L in the US, why can't we get the same sized car with the same quality from an Indian manufacturer in India?
It will happen when the Indian Manufacturers want to!
The Indian manufacturers have two major handicaps.
1. Till they are established as international brands, their market is limited to India, and development costs will be too high for the volumes available.
2. Government levies are heavy on everything not only CBUs.
The combined effect makes them reluctant to venture into the field.

As demand for cars increases, demand for 10-20 lakhs cars will also go up, and sooner or later the Indian manufacturers will enter the market. Tatas have not acquired Jaguar and Land Rover purely for prestige. And they are probably taking their first steps with the Aria, if we go by this thread
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...pressions.html
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Old 16th September 2010, 14:52   #83
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Take QC from the Japanese, willingness to learn and adopt processes from the Koreans, solid reliability and design aesthetics from the Europeans, and a hint of aggression from the Americans. Keep the Indian management skills, but spare us the Indian Jugaad...there can be no shortcuts to building a world class automobile. With this formula both Tatas and Mahindras can turn out world beaters.

Its not really about the price point, you either build a world class organization, or you don't.

The Indica is a world class car, and so is the Scorpio, but neither could turn into a world car because of our jugaad approach to Quality. The Nano on the other hand is a good example of jugaad which works, but just about.
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Old 17th September 2010, 23:23   #84
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Manufacturers are in the business to make money, so the price point can never be irrelevant. It is always about the price point and the development costs.
Don't deride Indian companies. What makes you think that they are not quality conscious, not concerned with processes, not concerned about reliability etc, and that they have a 'Jugaad' attitude?
QC from the Japanese-how many lakh Toyotas were recalled recently in the US?
Hyundai does not have a good rating in the US.
The Indicas were styled in Europe, and they were priced aggressively.
BTW, ISO requires that the final product to meet specifications (written or otherwise) and a method to rework rejects if possible. Original (pre-V2) Indica had two major problems in a number of cars.
1. Rear suspension
2. Belt noise till the car warmed up
In the V2 and the old ones, the shocks were changed and a redesigned idler pulley was put.
Almost all major manufacturers of any item in India have ISO certification (9000 or 14000 depending on industry), and the highest international quality control award, The Deming Prize, has been won by TVS twice. So do not think that Indian Manufacturers do not know about quality control, and need to 'learn' it.
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Old 18th September 2010, 17:54   #85
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Here's another viewpoint. How about Tata & Mahindra studying exactly how Ford managed to fight the Japanese in the States? Time & time again, Ford / GM / Chrysler were written off by market analysts. Well, GM & Chrysler did eventually go to Washington with begging bowls, but Ford is the only American car manufacturer to have stayed independent. And profitable.

A lot of it has to do with Ford's new generation of cars. Simply put, they are extremely competent. Ford / GM / Chrsyler faced the exact same challenges that Tata & Mahindra have on their hands today (compromised quality, lagging behind technologically, price being a USP etc.).

Maybe its time for us to look at why GM & Chrysler failed, and the reasons behind Ford making it. Worth a thought, don't you think?
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Old 18th September 2010, 20:01   #86
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I've recently had a bit of opportunity to see and learn how Tata works, ( or at least how they wish to project it) and it comes across still as an engineering/manufacturing co. After all, that is its DNA and its bread and butter. Reminds me of the situation Intel was when it was hit by the FDIV bug.
To apply a bit of my newly acquired marketing gyaan, they seem to be trying to make the jump from the product concept directly to the marketing concept, while a lot of their competition ( Maruti/Toyota etc) are already at the Societal Marketing stage. 10 years ago, their vehicles needed a lot of improvement. Now the need is not so urgent.

Looking specifically at the new offerings, I wonder, is building a better mousetrap the best option ?

Last edited by greenhorn : 18th September 2010 at 20:10.
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Old 18th September 2010, 20:08   #87
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I saw an Aria today.
It had no Test Drive vehicle stickers. It however had a temp registration plate. There was a family in it.
A part of cover above the left rear tire was hanging loose.

I most certainly did not expect that in an Aria.
There were no scratches or dents. Just this piece hanging on its own.
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Old 19th September 2010, 02:53   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Here's another viewpoint. How about Tata & Mahindra studying exactly how Ford managed to fight the Japanese in the States? Time & time again, Ford / GM / Chrysler were written off by market analysts. Well, GM & Chrysler did eventually go to Washington with begging bowls, but Ford is the only American car manufacturer to have stayed independent. And profitable.

A lot of it has to do with Ford's new generation of cars. Simply put, they are extremely competent. Ford / GM / Chrsyler faced the exact same challenges that Tata & Mahindra have on their hands today (compromised quality, lagging behind technologically, price being a USP etc.).

Maybe its time for us to look at why GM & Chrysler failed, and the reasons behind Ford making it. Worth a thought, don't you think?
Even if TATA does increase its quality and customer focus - i think that it should begin to compete with Hyundai and Maruti in the 8 lakh and below segment more than with Toyota, Honda and VW in the 10 lakh plus segment.

My only point here is that if TATA is attempting to leverage its future growth and market valuation on the Indian market - then i think its better off adopting the low cost model approach to expanding the ownership base of automobiles in India i.e. IMHO It should concentrating on selling more low cost cars than fewer high cost cars.

There are so many market gaps which Tata motors could consider exploiting:

1. Alternative to the bajaj autorickshaw based on the nano platform
2. 2.5 Lakh 9 seater Nano MUV
3. Diesel Hatchbacks priced between the Nano and the Vista
4. Sumo Replacement
5. Mini SUV (Like a Hyundai Tucson or Skoda Yeti Alternative)
6. New mini sedan priced below the Manza (apart from Indigo CS)
7. XL, Adventure and Station-wagon variants of Manza
8. A competitor to the Toyota Avanza (mini MUV)
9. Skoda Superb/Honda Accord alternative at 8-9 lakhs

Last edited by acidkill : 19th September 2010 at 02:55.
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Old 19th September 2010, 22:26   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
To apply a bit of my newly acquired marketing gyaan, they seem to be trying to make the jump from the product concept directly to the marketing concept, while a lot of their competition ( Maruti/Toyota etc) are already at the Societal Marketing stage. 10 years ago, their vehicles needed a lot of improvement. Now the need is not so urgent.
By gawd, you are already sounding like an MBA!

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A part of cover above the left rear tire was hanging loose.
Seriously, how difficult is it to assemble a car properly? People have been doing it for a 100 years now, about time Tata gets it right. We are NOT willing to hear any excuses.

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i think that it should begin to compete with Hyundai and Maruti in the 8 lakh and below segment more than with Toyota, Honda and VW in the 10 lakh plus segment.
Tata competes quite effectively with Maruti and Hyundai already! The Manza matches 90% of the Dzire's sales month after month, and the Indica's are bang in the 4 - 5 lakh rupee price band that has some rather formidable competition. The siblings sold 10,000 units a month (combined, for the old Indica and new Vista) until very recently.

Quote:
then i think its better off adopting the low cost model approach to expanding the ownership base of automobiles in India i.e. IMHO It should concentrating on selling more low cost cars than fewer high cost cars.
Tata is already a volume player. Not only with its hatchbacks and 2 lakh rupee cars, but also the many 3 - 4 lakh rupee UVs (Aces, Magics etc.). I completely disagree with you, and am of the opinion that Tata should ALSO attempt selling premium 10+ lakh rupee products. Simply because:

- It's a huge learning experience, the fruits of which will rub off on cheaper cars in the long term.

- Raises the brand equity in its own way.

- Helps to retain existing customers within the family. For all its unreliability, Safari owners are sure a satisfied lot. Ditto with Manza owners (if initial reports are anything to go by).

- The dynamics of the 10+ lakh rupee market will keep complacency away. Believe me, heads will roll if the supposed flagship product sinks.

- Enhances export prospects for the company

- Thick profit margins. Anyone can sell a 2 lakh rupee car in India. On the other hand, if Tata can sell a 14 year old honestly-outdated SUV (Safari) at 10 lakhs, they sure as hell can make a success of a 12 - 13 lakh rupee Aria. Similarly for Mahindra, if they can make a best selling UV, whose underpinnings go back 50 (or is it 60?) years, I'm dead sure a thoroughly modern product has its own market.

More than anything, no one becomes a star by shying away of challenges. Both Tata & Mahindra are getting more ambitious by the day, and I completely respect them for that.

Last edited by GTO : 19th September 2010 at 22:31.
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Old 12th October 2010, 18:28   #90
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Brand Image:
Tata is a "Taxi-Brand". If they want their forray into passenger car, they could jolly-well create a new brand (like Toyota-exus, Nissan-Infinity, Honda-Acura) and move products like Manza, Vista, Aria, Grande under this brand. Appreciate Toyota in this for pulling out Qualis for becoming famous with Cab operators. Brand image was more important than sale for toyota. Marcopolo buses are good and comfy busses in thier orignal Livery. the MTC Marcopolo that you see in chennai are Nothing but a TATA with a Marcopolo Sticket on it. Ideally, they should have launched the Marcopolo as a Competition for Volvo. Current Marcolopo is an underpowered TATA Engine, with a skinny 2 spoke steering wheel.

Quality, Dependability and Reliability:
Purchasing JLR, Land-rover brands should see a leap in quality, not just remove J, LR logo and put a TATA Logo. Toyota and Honda must be the benchmark

Specs on Par with international Market:
The tyre width must be same as international standards. India should not get skinny tyres. Rear wiper, Airbags and ABS must be made available on Base to top-end model.

5 Alloys on offer
All 5 wheels should be Alloys and not 4 alloys + 1 steel wheel.
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