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Old 21st February 2011, 18:31   #1
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Default Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

I recently bought a Swift Lxi. Though since the car is for my father in law and I had no take/involvement in the decision making, I did not do any research on things like which car to buy, test drives etc. He knew that is what he wanted, and that is what we bought.

I was responsible for booking the car, take the delivery from the guy who is providing it in earliest possible time (rates/offers do not vary at all across dealers on Swift’s and Dzires.. for reasons known to all of us) and now that I have taken the delivery, I shall be driving it down 500 kilometers during Holi to hand it over to him.

The reason I am writing this review is because I recently bought a car for myself. Ok, not that recent also but April 2010 can still qualify for being “recent”. And I can compare the experience that these two brands offered me. For the records, I bought a Ford Fiesta Zxi for myself. I dont really think including my experience of buying a Maruti 800 in 2004 should figure here as that has become too old a landmark to compare.In addition, I would be able to comment on things which I like/did not like in this White beauty called Swift.

To begin with, let me say that my work has a lot to do with statistics and in one move Maruti was able to win over me. Let me tell you how.

It all happened on 8th January. I came to know that my father in law is going to buy a car, a Maruti Swift Lxi, over a casual phone conversation. I offered him to buy it from here, Gurgaon, where I knew rates would be much lesser. How much I did not know at that point in time. I was immediately handed over the responsibility to enquire. I hated myself to have spoiled my own Sunday, but then when it comes to in-laws everything gets compensated. Hope you know what I mean, if not, try doing some of it for your in-laws and see the change in your “domesticated” life courtesy your beloved wifey.

So after a lazy Sunday morning breakfast, I stepped out. First stop was Apra motors, very near to my place. And this is where I saw what I earlier said was the clincher for me from Maruti. They had these posters everywhere in the showroom which said “Please rate us on a scale of 1 to 10 where 8 is Unacceptable, 9 is Good and 10 is outstanding”. Now, if you happen to know about a metric called NPS or Net Promoter Score, you would know that it is a very tall order which Maruti is gunning for with this kind of scale. Later I saw these posters across all Maruti dealers I had been to. Boy, I was impressed

But not so much with Apra, I mean without being cruel on them, let me say they were not very enthusiastic about whole thing and were trying to market Estilo and A-star which I was not interested in. Next stop was Pasco, now in any case I do not think highly of these guys after having got my Maruti 800 regularly serviced by them (of course I have moved away now). They were lousiest of em’all as always. No one to talk to for first 15 minutes. Then, someone came and immediately got onto a call. After another 5 minutes, I was given an opportunity to tell him what I was looking for. Quote taken, task cut out (registration etc.) and I left saying give me a call when you have an answer on when earliest possible you will be able to give me the car. As expected, I still haven’t heard from Pasco. Apra guys did follow-up, but I had booked it by then through some other.

Now this “some other” was Rana motors. Which I did not know existed till the day I reached them. Having been to Apra and Pasco, I was going to the famous “Mall road” (trust me folks this is what it has been named after having mall after malls here) to check out some discounts that were on offer on everything. I saw Rana Motors there and stopped by them. The sales person was quick and efficient. Heard my need and asked me to wait for a while till he talks to his boss about early delivery and registration issues. The wait period on Swift Lxi was being said 8 to 10 weeks in both the dealerships I had been to. So was the notice board of Rana saying. Rates, 433xxx, were comparable across all three with a few hundred here and there. Compare it with 487588 my father was to pay if he had to buy it in his town.

He got back to me in few minutes and said that he shall be able to deliver by 28th Feb. (which was my cut off date) with a 99% surety. Take a week for the worst case scenario. Though he said if I can book right away, he can deliver it even earlier. I checked with my FIL, booked the car immediately thinking if not 28th Feb. He will deliver by 5th which was still ok with us. I asked him for the invoice to be sent to my father in law which he did promptly in a day.

I thought of calling him around 20th Feb to remind him that we are awaiting our car. Then came 13th Feb and I got a call from him saying that the car is ready and if we want we can take the delivery the next day. Wow, that’s nice. But we had to do some paper work which we had not yet initiated. It was a all cash down transaction and my FIL had to ensure that he is taking proper routes so as to ensure the whole transaction is white. We told him a day is not possible. Let us keep it for Tuesday. We took much longer than that and I eventually took the delivery on Friday. This was the only time when I was a little pissed off with them, they kept calling me as if they were some pesky callers trying to sell us a credit card. I got a little suspicious and did a PDI in their stock yard. They were absolutely comfy to show me the car. I found nothing wrong really and gave an ok for the delivery.

Now some of the things which stands out for Maruti against Ford. I will come to my experience with car later.

1. Maruti is very aggressive on customer experience. Ford can learn a lesson or two. This 10 point scale that I talked about, research on NPS to know how difficult it is.
2. Ford took well above two hours to deliver me the car, despite almost everything having been done a day in advance, though I had to sign loan documents the same day. Maruti took 15 minutes flat, yes, 15 minutes flat. While I was driving to their showroom having done the PDI the same day. The sales guy was on phone taking details required to prepare the papers so that he has it ready by the time I reach them.
3. After the PDI, Ford (read Harpreet) managed to give a scratch to my car. Maruti (Rana) had it ready in pristine condition.
4. The sales guy at Rana double verified every document with me before handing it over to me, even took the pains of folding each paper himself and putting it in an envelope. Ford sales guy had to rush many a time in between to either attend to another customer or to meet someone in “back office”. To add to it, these Maruti guys even have a check list which they check in front of customer to ensure that they have delivered everything which they are suppose to. Good work Maruti good work. No, Ford doesn’t do that. They trust their dealers.
5. While Ford believes no one else meeting the customer except the sales person, Maruti ensured that I am immediately meeting a waiting Customer Care In-charge the moment I was handed over my papers. She took a verbal feedback of having dealt with them there and also handed over a detailed feedback form with stamp affixed on the envelope to be sent back to them in a couple of weeks. A gift is “assured” and I also stand to chance another surprise gift if I do send it back to Maruti.
6. After this, she and my sales person accompanied me to the car. They had some one deputed there who would tell me about the basic operations of the car. And I think he, as well as the cleaning guy, are specifically instructed to immediately move away from the scene so that customer do not get an impression that they got to tip them. By the time I thought of tipping the cleaning guy, he was no where to be seen. If it is planned Rana Motors, it is well done. Compare Harpreet, I got a feeling as if my way would be blocked if I don’t tip the guy. To be fair to them, no they did not ask us to tip them. We did.
7. Pic taken, I was given the last thing here by the CCI. It was a cute piece of paper where I had to write how long did the dealer take to deliver the car. Once written, they hanged it inside the car, on rear view mirror. Basic idea but beautiful. It basically says your next service is due at 1000 kilometers, as if it is a reminder not to miss the first service. But you know what exactly that is? It is basically to remind you how much you said dealer has taken to deliver the car when Maruti calls you up for the feedback. Smart Maruti, very Smart.
8. Last thing, Harpreet Ford said we have the 5 liters of petrol in your car so not giving you any fuel voucher. Rana said, you got more than a litre in your car. Here is the voucher for 5, bunk is 50 meters away. Please have it filled.

So that basically sums up how I rate Maruti against Ford and it is not because “cheap” cars they are able to sell so good in a “middle class” country called India.

That’s it for now. Will post the experience with car along with pics in a while.
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Old 21st February 2011, 19:29   #2
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Congratulations on the car! I too, bought my swift dzire without going through any reviews and without a test drive. So far, i am enjoying it! i am sure you will too!
Waiting for the review of the car and the pictures as well!
Take special of the car as swifts are prone to rattling.
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Old 21st February 2011, 19:33   #3
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Me too booked my Swift on launch and deal at a Kochi dealer was good. Except for rattles is fine. But when I bought an Alto from another dealer everything was contradictory and remains so for services into the third year as well. So many things depend and vary between dealer to dealer.

Last edited by rajeev k : 21st February 2011 at 19:35.
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Old 21st February 2011, 19:58   #4
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Good comparison! And Maruti is equally good in after sales!

In my case, the experience with Mahindra has helped me make up my mind to go back to Maruti.. for some peace of mind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by New.Novice View Post
It was a all cash down transaction and my FIL had to ensure that he is taking proper routes so as to ensure the whole transaction is white.
Hehe.. so he does earn black money!
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Old 21st February 2011, 20:24   #5
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Congrats on the buying experience! For some reason I have always found there is a certain comfort level with Maruti sales and support that I dont get with any other.

You have encapsulated the entire experience very well, and it only goes to reiterate that all the Indian customer wants is a little bit of respect for whatever amount he is spending on the car. It may be a regular thing for the dealers, but a car delivery is special to the buyer for various reasons. it is great they keep up the positivity and cheer.
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Old 21st February 2011, 21:17   #6
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Nice to read this, but it is a known fact that Maruti A.S.S. is at the top in our country.
However, my experience was opposite to yours in regards to waiting time. My WagonR took nearly 2 hours to be delivered, compared to 45 minutes for my Fiesta.
Both gave me a measly 3 litres of fuel with the car. But Mody Ford gave me a big box of chocolates, which Varun Motors did not.

But that was on different years and places, so I dont think I should compare apples with oranges.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 07:56   #7
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@New.Novice,

Good for you that you got an excellent service from Maruti. Alas I cannot say the same since my experience rather my friend's experience with Maruti was altogether different. My friend was to be deilivered his Ritz in the last week of December and boy he had a real harrowing time. I dont blame Maruti since the delivery backlog was too high in that week. My friend had to wait for about 4.5 hrs to get his vehicle delivered minus any gifts, sweets and petrol too. The Maruti guys behaved as though they were doing a big favour to the customer by handing over the key.

So IMO it would not be right to compare any brand experiences coz the situations at the time of delivery matters a lot. Like @vnabhi said, even in my case of Fiesta delivery all it took was an hr to lay my hands on the Fiesta.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 08:53   #8
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Just an OT here. There is one hidden message that is present in @New.Novice experience. Its not only the product that one is interested but the service and respect one looks for when a man purchases anything. The FORD or Maruti might have millions of customers and cars in their kitty but for a customer it is his only car that he is gonna buy from hard earned money and he looks for respect that he should get before and after purchase. Thats it. Nothing more.

Whichever company / people care for the customers even before and after purchase shall always survive in rough weather because of the goodwill they earned from their loyal customers. We have example of maruti here or may be Madhus tyre shop (our BHPian Nikhil) and many others who are doing excellent service and growing by leaps and bounds only by their dedication and quality service.
Skoda threw shot in their own feet and so did maruti when they were selling M800 in black a decade back. So to sum up, companies now really need to learn to respect and put that extra effort to bring that smile on customers face.

I had good experience with a maruti dealer and hence I agree with views mentioned by owner of the thread (except that killing waiting period).

Last edited by Anandg : 22nd February 2011 at 08:57.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 08:55   #9
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Congrats on the purchase. The purchase experience is beautifully compared. In coimbatore, I have had occasion to interact with both Ambal Autos and Jai krishnaa autos. The former is a older player and the latter spanking new. I found the overall experience at ambal a lot shabbier than the very satisfactory response at Jai Krishnaa. Could it be that the newer guys are more curteous since they have to grab their customers from an existent dealer, who obviously is more complacent? probably a rule of thumb would be to approach the newer dealer for a more rewarding purchase experience! So a large part of your gratifying purchase experience maybe due to your dealer rather than Maruti. Probably some Ford Dealers too are exemplary. Just a thought.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 10:42   #10
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMehta View Post
Waiting for the review of the car and the pictures as well!
I couldnt do that yesterday as kids just basically gheroed me the moment I reched home. Today evening, I will for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
So many things depend and vary between dealer to dealer.
+1 to that. See even within my post you can see varying experience from Dealer to Dealer of same brand. What I tried highlighting is the fact that Maruti, by virtue of processes, is trying to ensure that their customers get a good experience. Not all dealers would be able to exhibit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
Hehe.. so he does earn black money!
he he.. even I would want to belive that. You know, good to have a father in law who earns black money

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
You have encapsulated the entire experience very well, and it only goes to reiterate that all the Indian customer wants is a little bit of respect for whatever amount he is spending on the car.
Thats the key selfdrive, isnt it. And thats true for for even smaller products, purchasing a car is still a luxury in our country so expecting respect is beyond doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
However, my experience was opposite to yours in regards to waiting time. My WagonR took nearly 2 hours to be delivered, compared to 45 minutes for my Fiesta.
Both gave me a measly 3 litres of fuel with the car. But Mody Ford gave me a big box of chocolates, which Varun Motors did not.
That reminded me that I was indeed a given a cholcale box as well lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Alas I cannot say the same since my experience rather my friend's experience with Maruti was altogether different. My friend was to be deilivered his Ritz in the last week of December and boy he had a real harrowing time.

So IMO it would not be right to compare any brand experiences coz the situations at the time of delivery matters a lot.
True. As said above, what I think stands out is the visible effort from the Maruti to give a good experience. It is for the dealers to ensure they follow. In my case, Rana did very well. If Ford also belives in that, at least Harpreet doesnt do that and it is not a secret. What pains me is that they continue to get away with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandg View Post
There is one hidden message that is present in @New.Novice experience. Its not only the product that one is interested but the service and respect one looks for when a man purchases anything.
You summed it all man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by igp_79 View Post
The former is a older player and the latter spanking new. I found the overall experience at ambal a lot shabbier than the very satisfactory response at Jai Krishnaa. Could it be that the newer guys are more curteous since they have to grab their customers from an existent dealer, who obviously is more complacent?
Precisely, complacency is the key. Pasco, in my case, is a clear example of being complacent.

Last edited by New.Novice : 22nd February 2011 at 10:45.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 12:09   #11
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Nice unique comparo. Thanks a lot fr the effort taken.

As you said rightly thats one of the major reasons that maruti has wonso much market share with the kind of cars and prices they have. But then it always relates to the dealership guys and the sales executive. I've had mixed reactions from almost all dealerships i have been to irrespective of brand.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 12:37   #12
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandg View Post
Just an OT here. There is one hidden message that is present in @New.Novice experience. Its not only the product that one is interested but the service and respect one looks for when a man purchases anything. The FORD or Maruti might have millions of customers and cars in their kitty but for a customer it is his only car that he is gonna buy from hard earned money and he looks for respect that he should get before and after purchase. Thats it. Nothing more.
+1
Even if you love a product so much, you will truly cherish it only if the entire buying and owning experience is worth appreciating. There is no place for complacency in this "post -1991 India".
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Old 22nd February 2011, 13:01   #13
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Default Re: Evaluated Ford through Maruti while buying Swift

Congratulations on the car! Please note that Team-BHP does not permit booking / buying experience threads in the Test-Drives section anymore. For the benefit of members & guests alike, it is now imperative to include a complete report on the car (the driving experience / comfort / features, what you like, what you don't like etc.). To know more about this rule, and for review guidelines, please view this announcement.

Your thread is temporarily closed. Please report this post once you are ready to update with a complete driving & ownership report; that's when it shall be re-opened. Thanks for your support.
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