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Old 10th July 2014, 15:49   #3001
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar : Test Drive & Review

I have been holding my desire to own a Thar from a very long time but looking at the enthusiasm and macho look of the Thar, i feel distracted every time i start my hunt for a new vehicle. I am having a 4 and a half year old fiesta and almost a year old ecosport. I am now looking forward to buy a new vehicle and had shortlisted Audi Q3, but the idea got rejected due to the premium batch and was suggested to wait for another six months to put some where 30 lacs for the Quattro edition. then came the second option of buying a endeavour in a range of 20 lacs which was accepted favorably. either i should do away with my fiesta and buy a endeavour or else should I buy thar as a third vehicle? I some what run out of patience to buy Audi after a year :(
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Old 14th July 2014, 10:21   #3002
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@ruchirtnt,
The advantages of going for a thar would be
1. Lower depreciation than any of the other cars you have considered. The second hand market prices are quite high (atleast in bangalore). If it doesnt work for you, you can sell it with a very small loss.
2. And Jeeps age well, you wouldn't get bored with it looks over time.
3. Its an awesome platform for customization, you can add stuff remove stuff, change it if you dont like it.. maybe even get a custom paint job.. and the thar will be none the worse for it. I seriously doubt if you could play around with any other vehicle in the market in a similar way without having warranty or reliability issues.

You have multiple threads on this forum about experiences of various thar owners, i think thats more than enough to decide if you really want one.
There are so many aftermarket add ons, your ride would be one of a kind.
On the otherhand, the service centres aren't really good, you need to be prepared for spending some time sorting out issues.

My other car is also a fiesta, and i am glad i still have it. Any more than 2 people, the stock thar isnt a great bet. And NVH levels, ride and handling are not really comparable. But strangely the thar is a lot of fun, it really is macho and remember that you cant complain about small niggling issues (handbrake and door rattles). NO ONE messes with you on the road, its good on the highway with adequate power and it is reasonably easy to drive since you get a good view up front and sit high up.
The Q3 and endeavour are very different vehicles, you just cant compare them with the thar.
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Old 17th July 2014, 22:08   #3003
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Before we start, a little background. This is going to be a long post so I will keep the background brief here.

Since the day Mahindra launched Thar and official review of Team-BHP was published, I was in love with it. Love at first sight, if I may say so. I so wanted to buy it but somehow kept suppressing the urge and tried to be practical. I already have three cars, two of them Kizashi, which is one hell of car in terms of driving pleasure as well as comfort. So I always used to think... Nah! A Jeep will not really work. I will buy this in impulse and then it will be just standing there.

However, from last 2 months all these efforts to think logically started going in drain. So I thought I will take the step and go nuts! After all, life is short!

Now starts the actual story

I tried to inquire at local dealership in Jaipur, K.S. Motors, and they couldn't care less. First time when I called, it was 11 in the morning and there was no one to attend the inquiries related to Thar. The receptionist took my number promising to have some one call me back but that never happened. I tried again after some time and gentleman told me that Thar has a waiting period of 1 month and they don't have a test drive vehicle. I was quite surprised that in these modern times, a dealership doesnt have test drive vehicles. When I asked the guy, he said, some customer has booked a vehicle and he is supposed to get it in next few days. He can bring the same for test drive. That was my second surprise. Note to self - when I book my Jeep, I need to speak to them about this. Anyway, days passed and nothing happened. The guy kept telling me that he will come today, tomorrow and so on but nothing happened actually.

I was a little frustrated by that time so I started checking with other dealerships across the Rajasthan, and well... it was same, nobody cared! It was like Mahindra has specially trained the staff/personnel to DO NOT give a damn to customers. They will never reply, never follow up and none of them had a test drive vehicle.

I mean, as a desperate customer, I was willing to go to Ajmer or Bhilwara or Sikar or even Alwar (all ranging from 125 to 300 KM from Jaipur) and the dealerships were like.. duh! who cares dude!

So I thought as a good and concerned Mahindra Fan (no pun intended, I seriously admire Mahindra for their vision and efforts, or should I say, used to admire. I should try reaching to Mahindra support. I tried to find their customer care email and wrote an email to them. And well, this is when it started getting all the more frustrating.

This is the mail I wrote to them

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi

I was looking to buy a Mahindra Thar and decided to inquire on the local dealership at Jaipur – KS Motors. Unfortunately they didn’t have any test drive vehicle which is quite surprising, as in a city like Jaipur, you would expect that dealership has at least one test drive vehicle. The guy from the dealership said that he will try to arrange something and this has been like 15 days with nothing happening. The guy called me couple of times but I am still awaiting for a test drive. I inquired at some other dealerships in Rajasthan and response was more or less same. They also asked me to make a booking which is quite surprising as I don’t think anyone would be willing to book a 9L vehicle without looking or test driving it.

This makes me think

1) If this is the case, before I have bought the vehicle, only god knows what will happen once I have bought it.

2) The whole thing of Mahindra trying to change its image from a rural utility vehicle maker to a mainstream player is just a propaganda and the attitude of your dealerships and staff is still same. Treat the customer as dirt.. coz people are lining up for buying Boleros and Scorpios and they can do whatever they want. They can treat the customers as they please.

3) Why Mahindra doesn’t do anything to keep a check that dealerships are doing their bit to keep customers happy and at least supply a test drive vehicle. I have 3 cars already, not to mention the ones I have owned in past but I have never had such experience in any of my previous dealings. So I am pretty sure it is something with the attitude of Mahindra dealerships.

4) If you inquire for any other car, they will be trying to follow up (sometimes even to extent of chasing) but I have never seen such “Who cares” attitude in my life.

All in all, either Mahindra is over occupied and too busy with the response on their vehicles or they just don't care so I guess it would be a right decision to move to some other option.

I would also like to thank you guys coz unknowingly you have done a favor to me. You did this in pre-sales experience. If it would have been post sales (which I am sure would have happened), I would be in all the more trouble.


Thanks
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The customer support sent a reply asking for my phone number and taking some Mr. Ritesh in loop who is area sales manager. So far so good.. Mr. Ritesh called me as soon as I sent them my number. I was impressed! Not for too long though...

According to this Ritesh guy.

1) Mahindra Thar is a very niche market vehicle and people don't really want to look at it or test drive it. They just come to showrooms already aware of everything and buy it.

2) This is why Mahindra doesn't force dealerships to keep a test drive vehicle for Thar.

3) If someone insists to take test drive or look at vehicle, they arrange it with the vehicles of other customers who have booked it and pending delivery.

4) They have 4 similar vehicles (for customer bookings) about to arrive and he will arrange a test drive then.

I was kinda speechless at this. I mean, you wouldn't expect this from a company official. Would you? So I told him, okay Ritesh, it was great talking to you.. please do me a favor, just reply to the original email stating all this you are telling me. He said okay and I disconnected the line.

Just after the call, I sent an email to this Ritesh guy and customer care -

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ritesh

Thanks for the call. Would you be kind enough and write the discussion we had in this email. For example vehicle being niche and thus no need for test drive.. people buying it because they know about it. making customer’s vehicle available for test drives and so on.

Thanks in advance

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

to be cont...

Last edited by moralfibre : 19th July 2014 at 07:27. Reason: Back to back posts
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Old 17th July 2014, 22:31   #3004
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - Do they really care about customers?

maheep just one suggestion- tweet anandmahindra- see how things move then

EDIT: Ive done it for you....given a link to this post.
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Old 17th July 2014, 22:47   #3005
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - Do they really care about customers?

This is a straight no-go approach from Mahindra folks. I cant imagine a company representative being so irresponsible after all they are the consumer facing side of such a tier1 organization.
As himanshugoswami said, social media works best these days. I have many bitter experiences with many companies [Airtel - Chennai being worst of all] but most of them were ready to turn up when I started posting on their FB/Twitter pages.
Let us know how it goes, all my support with you!
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Old 17th July 2014, 22:48   #3006
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Right after that email, someone from K.S. Motors (Local dealership) called and promised me a test drive on Monday. By this time, I was not interested anymore but thought I will give it a shot so agreed to it.

5 days passed... nothing happened. Okay, to be honest, I was not really expecting a reply to that email from Mr. Area Sales Manager but I thought that customer support is in CC so they must be tracking it. But typical Mahindra style, nothing. No response, no test drive. So I decided to write another email to them.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ritesh

I am still awaiting reply on my mail below. I suppose I will have to escalate it further if I don’t hear back from you!

Anyway, I am confident that test drive will NOT happen so I am not even asking for that but I was really hoping that you will be sincere enough to send a reply to emails and acknowledge what you told me. I understand a guy in your position and profile must be very busy but I would still hope that replying to emails is basic curtsey.

What amazes me even more is that Mahindra’s customer care is also in CC and aware of the whole situation and they are not bothered to follow up or check on these things. Is it too much to ask from a company who claims to RISE

Anyway, I thought I will make your life simpler so I am writing the summary of what we discussed and would really appreciate if you could acknowledge it by commenting in line. Yeah, apparently I have all the time in this world..

1) Mahindra Thar is a very niche market vehicle and thus test drive is not required. People come to showroom knowing everything about the vehicle (by some friends or acquaintances) and just book it.

Riesth:

2) That is the reason why Mahindra doesn’t tell dealers to keep a test drive vehicle

Ritesh:

3) If some jerk like myself insists on test drives or looking at vehicle, you either arrange it from an existing customer or give a test drive from booked vehicles of customers when they arrive from Mahindra and standing in yards waiting to be delivered

Ritesh:

4) You have 4 similar vehicles about to arrive (booked by some innocent customers) and you will arrange a test drive from one of those

Ritesh:

5) After our last conversation on phone, someone from a dealership called me and told Ritesh has mentioned about this and confirmed that on Monday I will get a test drive by arranging something like above cases (though that has not happened yet)

Ritesh:

I really hope that you will be able to spare some time from your busy schedule and acknowledge it by the responses. You just need to write yes/no so it won’t take more than 1 minute.

Awaiting for your reply and hoping I will not need to escalate on higher ranks in Mahindra! Though I can assure you I am quite inclined to do it from last few days and somehow suppressing the urge.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Old 17th July 2014, 23:00   #3007
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Hey Maheep,

Tweet Anand Mahindra with a short summary and link to this thread. This lazy bunch of dealers really needs to be taken to task.
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Old 17th July 2014, 23:20   #3008
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As soon as I sent this email. Mr. Ritesh replied to my email

------------------------------------------------------
Dear Maheepji,

First Sorry for late reply.

Second thanks for your valuable feedback of test drive.

After your concern We are trying to arrange Test drive vehicle for you at K.S.Motors.

As soon as we arrange we will give you call and take appointment and arrange Test drive at your convenience.

Thanks & Regards

Ritesh Saxena



------------------------------------------------------

and then called.. making some excuses and trying very hard to arrange for test drive. I told him that unless he sends a reply to my mail and acknowledge it, I am not willing to talk and I will escalate it further. So far nothing.

@himanshugoswami - Thanks Buddy!

Like you guys are suggesting, I am tweeting this to Anand Mahindra and other handles of Mahindra on Twitter/FB.

However, my concern is something else. Even if something happens after that, I am not really sure if it is worth it. I can't be tweeting to Anand Mahindra for every single niggle and wait for someone to be scolded to make things happen.

Ideally, the dealerships and of course the staff of Mahindra by default should be taught and need to understand how basic things should work. I can't imagine something more basic then handling a customer inquiry in a dealership. That too a desperate one like myself.

If this is their pre-sales, what about post sales. I am pretty sure, I am not going to be able to handle it this "We dont give a damn" attitude. I like my cars to be in perfect shape and get them serviced at authorized centers. Not sure how that would work with Thar (if I still buy it after all this experience). All in all, in this modern age, it is a very frustrating and I guess a little sad how some companies refuse to acknowledge the basics!

Last edited by Aditya : 19th July 2014 at 13:35. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 18th July 2014, 05:16   #3009
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Default Re: Mahindra Thar - Do they really care about customers?

Hi Maheep,

First off very sorry to hear of your experience. I also have a soft corner for the Thar and since I cannot figure out a way to get a reliable Willys jeep, the Thar remains the only potential dream for me over the next 1-2 years.

After reading your experience I am surprised you persisted for so long despite the obvious red flags..and I know the feeling (not in cars but other consumer goods). I've often enquired about certain brands / models of electronics / white goods and for various reasons (most of which have nothing to do with the quality of the product) the sales people did not push it and at times actively discouraged it. Having also worked closely with manufacturing companies I know that at times there are products that the sales staff develop an aversion to and make no effort to move it (Again no reflection on product).

All I can say is that I agree with your assessment about being lucky this happened pre-sale and not post-sale (although there is a chance the post-sales guys may not share the disdain the sales guys had for marketing this vehicle). Still, the amount of apathy shown is unbelievable and I most definitely would put off a decision for the time being till the reception substantially improves on its own accord without the need for escalation.
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Old 18th July 2014, 16:30   #3010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post

First off very sorry to hear of your experience. I also have a soft corner for the Thar and since I cannot figure out a way to get a reliable Willys jeep, the Thar remains the only potential dream for me over the next 1-2 years.
I am waiting for the day I can get one myself.

Off Topic: You are in Kolkata, so have you contacted UBS Sir with your requirements for a Willys. He has quite a few Willys and Ford Jeeps which he sells to jeep lovers only. You should visit his place to see for real. He himself drives a LHD Ford jeep as his daily ride.
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Old 20th July 2014, 02:12   #3011
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[quote=obaidhakim;3386520]Attachment 1216599

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipinmishra View Post

Attachment 1216600

Attachment 1216601

Pics put up for the experts to judge the issue and help!!
@obaidhakim What is your view of the bighorns? I have been talking to @vipin and he regrets not getting the Bighorns.

Do you use Jeep for paved long distance highway driving? Any issues? Were you able to use original rims? What other tires did you consider and what size do you use?

thank you
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Old 20th July 2014, 12:36   #3012
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Actually this is not Mahindra's fault. The unimaginable response and sales figure of THAR, even at this kind of ridiculous price, have assured them that whatever be the hardships associated in pre & post sales, people will still buy it. So why they will be bothered at all! The logic of not having a test drive vehicle is truly the first of its kind.
Anyways you shouldn't stop pursuing these people for the test drive, after all it will be a good opportunity to have some 'fun' in a vehicle, booked by some other poor fellow! I suggest ripping at 100+ to 'test' the highway cruising and then taking it to some no-road areas to engage the smaller lever! The dealer will just give it a good wash and everything will be 'normal'!
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Old 21st July 2014, 00:05   #3013
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So here is an update. As expected, the social media post seemed to do the trick. Friday was a day of activities. I got a call right in the morning around 10 that there is a Thar they have arranged for my test drive and what is a good time for them to visit. I was quite apprehensive after all that happened in last few days. So I told them that I busy right now and will get back to them later. Around 3 they called again requesting to give a time (which was quite surprising to be honest). I thought there is no harm in trying! What do I have to lose. Well.. or so I thought. Couldn't be more wrong.

I told them to come around 5 and forgot about it. Bang 5 of clock, guy was outside of my office with a red Thar.

Before I could say anything, the guy told me, sir this is from one of our existing customers and we have arranged it with his due permission. I just smiled and said nothing (I am not sure but someone in Mahindra has read the thread I guess)

And then there was another problem. The moment I saw it, I actually forgot most of what happened in last few days. Red is my second favorite color after black (in Thar) and it was looking quite awesome. I took a round to inspect the vehicle and then stepped in. Started the engine and well.. forgot rest of the stuff which was happening from last few days! A fresh start if you can say so. I drive Kizashi as my primary vehicle and that is a low sitting car. Compared to that, sitting in Thar was like, standing on a hill overlooking the city.

We took few rounds around my office, tried to brake hard, drove over some speed breakers, pot holes and the other standard test drive stuff. My expectations were quite moderate (in terms of comfort, I mean, can't compare it to Kizashi) and I was not disappointed. Loved the power, sitting position, road presence and overall, looks. Hated how it rolls when you try to brake hard on 100. I have heard the problem goes away with tire upgrade. The one I drove had stock tires. It was a 3 months old vehicle and indicator stalk had problem (doesn't go back in original position automatically once you turn). After reading all the threads here, I have learned that you will have to live with this stuff. Like it or not, but this is how it is going to be.

I know this is not right but well, I think this is people like me who encourage Mahindra to keep doing what they are doing. "Give a damn". I mean, till last night I was hating and cursing them and now after seeing the vehicle I was ready to buy with my expectation bars set to so low.

They told me that they have a black Thar in stock and if I want I can buy that right away. Black is the color I always wanted to buy and to think that it could be mine in 2 days didn't really help in being practical and rational (which I swear I was trying hard for)

I am hating myself but I guess I am going to take the hit!
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Old 21st July 2014, 00:21   #3014
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I have a question. I am not sure if this is the right thread to post it on should I post in the dedicated thread for Thar niggles and solutions. Hopefully Mods can help me and move it if required.

I have read almost all threads for ownerships and I see that most of the guys have soft top on and some of them even going for a hard top. If anyone using it as open Jeep all the time? I want to keep my Thar open as that is how it looks best in my opinion. I am not really going to use it as my primary vehicle (or so I think.. so far at least) so I am not worried about extreme summers or extreme winters. However, I was wondering, if there is a way we can keep this canopy portable/folding. May be with some sort of zip arrangement where I can keep it open and if required (like sudden rains), unfold and zip it. Sorry if I am sounding noob but I think there must be something like it. I suppose, that would be very practical. I also tried to look at Bimba Motors's site and some other vendors for accessories but couldn't find anything of that sort.

Any insights from experts/owners will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

Last edited by maheepgupta : 21st July 2014 at 00:23. Reason: corrected some grammatical mistakes
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Old 21st July 2014, 04:54   #3015
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@maheepgupta go for it buddy!
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