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Old 10th September 2013, 14:03   #16
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Wonderful congrats on winning the competition. Great pics too. I wish I could get a test drive like this rather than the mandatory roundabout around the car showroom.
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Old 10th September 2013, 14:17   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Is Skoda service really that bad?

Should I be easily approachable for unhappy customers or not?
In my opinion if there was really soul searching going on inside Skoda, then these two questions shouldn't have been there. When the facts are in your face then there shouldn't be question #1. Regarding question #2 I echo everyone's opinion, at least be approchable for major cases. But also ensure closure of the complaint. Simply being approchable and then sending standard template replies to the customer is not going to improve the situation.

I will still be wary of Skoda no matter how much their sales improves. Nice cars both petrol and diesel as in the review pictures, but I am not touching them even in future no matter what!
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Old 10th September 2013, 14:42   #18
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Have to admit , you have a strong point there - answers to both are of-course a big YES and YES.

For point 2 i do believe that if the company is friendly and highly approachable that would take care of a lot of concerns especially with efficient escalation levels assigned as well , in this case i believe the exception applies possibly to the fact that Skoda's perception is so bad and an more active "public facing" role is needed for a while from the senior management is building up credibility and trust.

On point 1 i will assign a certain leniency given that what we are reading is a transcript of a conversation and maybe the context of "how" it was asked is not coming through - i would shudder to think what the state of the company internally is if the Mr. Rao genuinely did not know .


Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
In my opinion if there was really soul searching going on inside Skoda, then these two questions shouldn't have been there. When the facts are in your face then there shouldn't be question #1. Regarding question #2 I echo everyone's opinion, at least be approchable for major cases. But also ensure closure of the complaint. Simply being approchable and then sending standard template replies to the customer is not going to improve the situation.

I will still be wary of Skoda no matter how much their sales improves. Nice cars both petrol and diesel as in the review pictures, but I am not touching them even in future no matter what!
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Old 10th September 2013, 14:56   #19
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Great writeup. Hope to read about the 1.8TSI soon :-)

Quote:
Give us the freedom to choose, Skoda - 2.0 CR/1.8 TSi in Elegance trim MUST have the manual gearbox as an option!
Absolutely. 1.8TSI MT is a _must_ I would say in every trim level. One buys a smooth revving petrol motor for the driving pleasure - the MT is more fun, and more reliable and less complicated and expensive, so Skoda must offer this as in other markets.
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Old 10th September 2013, 15:06   #20
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
[center][left]

Is Skoda service really that bad?

Skodas in India are painfully expensive to own, and service centres have a reputation, built up carefully over the years, of cheating customers. The initial reaction by Mr. Rao seemed to me, to be one of trying to dissociate the marketing and sales arms from the service and customer care aspects. But then, more discussions seemed to hint at the fact that there is large-scale soul-searching happening inside Skoda.
As an ex-Skoda owner, let me state that the service from the more recently appointed dealers is more reasonable. I had no problem with regular service and an accident repair (except for one fault during that did give me a problem due to their lack of familiarity with sunroofs)

What is going wrong

1: They cannot handle something out of the ordinary, they have the diagnostic facilities etc but they do not understand cause and effect.

2: The service folks do not go on line and understand experiences and issues with Skoda's globally. The EPC light issues, the shorting of the fan fuse box are known issues

3: The knowledge of limited run cars like the vRS, the Superb 2.8 diesels, 3.6 V6's is extremely limited

4: Setting expectations, Skoda owners first thought that maintenance costs would be similar to a Honda, either Skoda localise the parts and being costs down or be upfront about the costs

5: Assume Euro conditions work here - the dual mass flywheel and the quoted timing belt intervals are not suitable for our kind of dynamic loading. I need not say more about the AC compressor.

6: Pathetic response on any non-service part replacement, I was forced to replace the indicator switch on my own due to their indifference

Last edited by ajmat : 10th September 2013 at 20:39.
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Old 10th September 2013, 15:33   #21
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Congrats to the winners, and this initiative seems like a promising move to extend confidence of Skoda.

I am looking forward for the updates of the thread, as comes right from the Skoda Owners.
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Old 10th September 2013, 16:11   #22
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Another example of a seemingly capable manager being hampered by the bean counters.

Skoda needs a major overhaul in their after-sales support and customer service departments, and from what we've heard so far (including snippets from this review), Mr. Rao seems to at least be willing to acknowledge the issues and confront them.

How much of that translates to real change on the ground, remains to be seen and is probably out of Mr. Rao's control ultimately.

I still hope to own a Skoda without the nagging sinking feeling someday in the near/mid-term future.
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Old 10th September 2013, 18:30   #23
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Wonderful thread. Congratulations on winning the contest and thanks for sharing your experience. It was a very good read. Looking forward to your post on the 1.8 TSI driving experience.

Some good pictures in here too.
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Old 10th September 2013, 18:46   #24
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangarx View Post
I have a hunch that it would not be reachable to the masses as the previous gen Octy (read Laura) , which looks much inferior in comparison was poking INR 20 Lakhs OTR.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik_S View Post
It does look like Skoda is serious about correcting their after sales service.
Being a Skoda owner, I can see a change where I get calls from their Mumbai office after every visit to their service centers for feedback.
On the car itself, I'd love to upgrade, but only if the pricing is within what I would want to pay. So all decisions held off till the 18th of September!
Though I am sure the prices have already been worked out, Skoda prefers to remain mum at this time. The price range being hinted at was around Rs.14L-20L. And the icing on the cake would be if Skoda can actually pull off a Service Package like BMW's BSI. In an informal discussion with Ouseph Chacko, Ardy and I thought that an all-inclusive service charge of Re.1 per km at the time of purchase, covering 100,000 km or 5 years, would be a great sales booster for Skoda.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohan Mathew A View Post
I hope he has taken all your sane advice positively and act upon it. keeping fingers crossed
We're keeping our fingers crossed too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
In my opinion if there was really soul searching going on inside Skoda, then these two questions shouldn't have been there.
...I am not touching them even in future no matter what!
I would say those were rhetorical questions. Personally speaking, I see Skoda as a manufacturer of great cars, whose European bosses made a massive error in reading & understanding the Indian market. If they are now willing to make amends (and I trust Mr. Rao was serious there when he said he has been given a mandate of *Doing what it takes* to improve Skoda's fortunes in India), the best that a mature car-buying public can do is wait and watch for further developments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
As an ex-Skoda owner, let me state that the service from the more recently appointed dealers is more reasonable. I had no problem with regular service and an accident repair (when one fault during that did give me a problem)

What is going wrong

1: They cannot handle something out of the ordinary, they have the diagnostic facilities etc but they do not understand cause and effect.
How true! Somehow Skoda managed to equip monkeys with monkey wrenches to fix technologically complicated cars!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
3: The knowledge of limited run cars like the vRS, the Superb 2.8 diesels, 3.6 V6's is extremely limited
Indeed, the specialized FNGs can troubleshoot these cars better than a Skoda ASS can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
4: Setting expectations, Skoda owners first thought that maintenance costs would be similar to a Honda, either Skoda localise the parts and being costs down or be upfront about the costs
Skoda's PR team tried to convince us in the beginning that imported parts at less than half the cost are really non-genuine parts, and the high cost of parts at their ASS is because of the genuinity. This is not actually the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
5: Assume Euro conditions work here - the dual mass flywheel and the quoted timing belt intervals are not suitable for our kind of dynamic loading. i need not say more about the AC compressor.
55 profile tyres are good for Euro conditions - I wonder how extensively Skoda has tested these cars on Indian roads to find out whether the tyres and alloys will survive broken roads, and for how long.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
6: Pathetic response on any non-service part replacement, i was forced to replace the indicator switch on my own due to their indifference
It seems that Skoda recently did a random audit of cars that are lying in their service centres for more than one month, and found 1000+ cars across the country that had been sitting unrepaired for >1 month. Mr. Rao personally took an interest and the said number was brought down to <500. I wish it always remains at zero.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveen.kk View Post
...this initiative seems like a promising move to extend confidence of Skoda.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Mr. Rao seems to at least be willing to acknowledge the issues and confront them.
How much of that translates to real change on the ground, remains to be seen and is probably out of Mr. Rao's control ultimately.
I still hope to own a Skoda without the nagging sinking feeling someday in the near/mid-term future.
Amen to that!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 10th September 2013 at 18:51.
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Old 10th September 2013, 19:35   #25
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Nice ! Lets really hope that beyond all this PR exercise, they get down to business and make their dealers understand that not everyone is a fool, waiting to be taken for a ride; as far as service is concerned. I know, since our family owns a little Fabia 1.2 Tdi.

Having driven this Octavia as recent as 2 weeks back in Alpine roads of Austria, Grossglockner and Stelvio Pass (thanks to tsk1979) for a good 2k kms, I was very, very happy with the car. However, I felt that the 2.0 DSG could do with more power. Needless to say I had fun driving the car around the curves and the car held up prettyy well. Most of the times, the Traction control light would go beserk but I never really felt unsafe. The electronics did their job exceedingly well !

Despite of this harsh driving, the car gave me 17kmpl with its 7speed DSG ! I was really happy driving the car while in Europe. Would I consider owning it in India ? Probably not. Simply because of the pain that I have to go through to get the Fabia serviced, with me standing in the workshop floor through out the time.

But all in all, a good car. Waiting for your impressions of the 1.8 TSi !

Last edited by RJK : 10th September 2013 at 19:37.
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Old 10th September 2013, 20:28   #26
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

The 12*C chilly air 8000' above MSL is welcome respite from the heat and dust of the plains. I decide to take a tour of the hotel as well as a walk around the estate - once late at night, and again at 5:30 AM. Sharing some images of my late evening walk...

Octavias in the dark...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05390k300.jpg

Listened to the silence for a while here...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05392k300.jpg


Chetan still at work...

The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05394k300.jpg


Empty corridors...

The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05397k300.jpg
Card room...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05398k300.jpg

Hotel employee practises his snooker in peace at midnight...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05399k300.jpg

How I wished for a midnight swim in the warm pool... (pool timings from 9 AM to 9 PM, but they finally relented and let me swim at 7:30 AM! )
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05383k300.jpg

Time to go to bed...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05380k300.jpg

And then here are the pics from my early morning walk...

Studying the evolution of the Skoda badge... now...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05414k300.jpg

...and before.
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05416k300.jpg

All are still there in the morning, unharmed...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05404k300.jpg

The surrounding misty forests...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05415k300.jpg
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05418k300.jpg

The tennis court...
The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert-dsc05412k300.jpg


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Old 10th September 2013, 20:32   #27
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
In my opinion if there was really soul searching going on inside Skoda, then these two questions shouldn't have been there. When the facts are in your face then there shouldn't be question #1. Regarding question #2 I echo everyone's opinion, at least be approchable for major cases. But also ensure closure of the complaint. Simply being approchable and then sending standard template replies to the customer is not going to improve the situation.

I will still be wary of Skoda no matter how much their sales improves. Nice cars both petrol and diesel as in the review pictures, but I am not touching them even in future no matter what!
My thoughts exactly- the same goes for Tata as well. I was hesitant to buy, and finally didn't buy a Safari Storme simply knowing how poor Tata's after-sales support is. And recent service issues with my Nano in Gurgaon, with the closure of the ABS Motors Service Center, and Dhingra Motors refusing to take cars for even emergency work without making customers wait for hours together (they were already over-crowded because they are located bang in the middle of Gurgaon, but they also started construction of a new showroom, which has choked their service center's work area and parking space completely) has only justified my decision.

It surprises me that Mr. Rao even had these questions. One search on Google or this forum will give him all the answers he needs
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Old 10th September 2013, 21:04   #28
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

No engineers to walk you all through the technical differences the new and old?
I know no car company ever does this, but keeping an old version for A/B testing would have been simply clever.

Should have traded Wildflower for half a day at BIC.

A conference call with some TBhp members, with your phone on loudspeaker (with the MD present, but without the other participants knowing that the MD was listening in) would have been interesting.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 10th September 2013, 21:34   #29
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

well i spotted the new octavia near Mohan Meakin brewery near solan. i was on my bike and was wondering if this model has been launched.
the guy driving was a bit rash while overtaking an army truck at the end of the straight but was able to keep control and gave me enough room to smoothly drive in my lane(i was in the opposite lane going towards shimla)
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Old 10th September 2013, 23:04   #30
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Default Re: The 2013 Skoda Octavia | Views of an Unofficial Expert

How is the rear visibility in the new Octavia? The Laura that I'd sat in sometime ago had terrible rear visibility.

Another European car with the indicator stalk on the left(sigh). The torsion beam suspension on the diesel is another punch in the stomach(pay more for the diesel and get the worse suspension).

I hope that they at least increase the ground clearance(155 mm is just too low for our roads) to better suit Indian driving conditions.

Have never really cared about the START/STOP button feature but Skoda should lose the DSG lettering on the shift lever. It looks out of place and more importantly, given it's history, DSG is not something they should be advertising (not until they redeem themselves with some positive ownership experiences at least ).

Last edited by sydras : 10th September 2013 at 23:10.
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