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Old 11th January 2009, 09:55   #31
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I just hope that someone from the press reads through this thread and publishes it in some leading mallu daily.RF should realize that people are not liking what they are doing, that people are realizing whats going on inside RF and that if not rectified in time, they are digging their own grave!!
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Old 11th January 2009, 10:42   #32
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So far what I have read shows that it's more of a dealer then the manufacturer issue.

I have worked with GM and VW dealerships in Toronto so I can relate to a lot on this thread. We all think highly of the angelic west but dealers there are no better.

Originally Posted by muneemmk View Post
the interview itself seemed like a mockery to me, the Head of Sales was the one who interviewed me he seemed like a very good person and one who is definitely not fit for the job.Instead of asking me tensing questions or expecting ground breaking answers he was simply at my mercy to tell him everything that I know about Fiat and the Linea
During my interview at a GM dealership in Toronto, I was asked nothing about GM. Generally in sales interview's you are judged for your attitude more then your knowledge. Knowledge will come with training provided by the manufacturer. As for the sales head not knowing much about the car, not everyone who works at car dealerships is a auto enthusiast. For him, this may just be a job.

Apparently most of the people who came to the showroom were amazed at the fact that Fiat is still available through TATA and that the service is done by TATA.Add more damage to this awesome deal the Indica Vista is displayed along side the Palio with much more equipment and a new look and it's also riding the wave of the Honeymoon period.Everyone of the customers who came to the showroom were worried how the after sales service would be. I gave them assurance that all is well and that unlike the previous TVS service centers the service operations are totally done by TATA and it is very competent and that all the Fiat vehicles are serviced by service personal who are specifically trained for the job.I learned the truth about these facts which i blurted out to undiscerning customers after a short while.
This is a Fiat failure. It's upto them to make people aware of where their cars are avaliable from. BUT, don't you think it's also upto the dealership to take the extra effort to do that? Not you the salesman but everyone from the receptionist to the owner.

I have always said that the Palio brand name is dead. It's an extremely difficult car to sell. Say Palio and the quesitons about poor FE, lack of spares, poor service support come out. A salesperson anywhere will take the easy way out and push the prospect towards the Indica. When you have a failed product your motivation and interest in it is automatically low.

To my utter dismay I found that like most TATA dealerships they didn't have a specific test drive car.
Neither the GM nor the VW dealership in Toronto had a demo car. And yes, new salesperson's used to regularly pick cars from the lot and rip them on the freeway's because they were asked by the management to drive the cars and get a feel of them. Mind you, the cars I am talking about include the CA$45,000 Passat V6 too.

if you want to give a test drive all you have to do is walk to the yard take a pick of the brand new car which ever colour you want which ever model , simply wash the car(just the exterior !!) MYSELF !!!!!!! and disconnect the speedo and fill in the required amount of fuel and take the Trade Certificate Sticker stick in in place of the number plate and we are off for a drive,
Why the myself in capitals? So what if you have to wash the car on your own? And how is it a Fiat problem?! Back in Canada, we had to pick the car parked outside in the dealer parking lot, brush off the snow from it and get it to the front so the customer could test drive it. Filling fuel, putting temporary plates were all the salesperson's responsiblity. I don't understand how this is a Fiat or even a dealer problem!

First day itself I made it very clear that I won't be washing the car. Suddenly the people started considering me as a little arrogant because I was not acting as a man Friday Salesman.
They are right for thinking of you as arrogant. And how is this is a Fiat problem? Or even a dealer problem for that matter?

but I found out that the Spare parts division had not ordered the spare as they didn't know that new part number of the power steering pump as all the part numbers had been changed after the TATA takeover. Luckily no one tried explaining that to the customer.
If your spares guys didn't order the part how is the manufacturer supposed to know about the requirement and deliver it?! Yes, they should have made the part avaliable at the dealers but if it's not and if the dealer fails to order it how can you blame the manufacturer. I don't blame the customer. He is lied to by the dealer saying we have ordered the part and Fiat hasnt sent it yet. He flames Fiat not knowing that it's actually the dealer that has goofed up.

The Fiat failure here is in not providing adequate training about changes in part numbers and logistics. And they can't depend on Tata to do all that. The Palio is a Fiat product and they can't pass off their responsiblity by saying tata looks after our servicing. Surely a Fiat problem to that extent.

The Next surprise came to me when, I found out that most of the accessories that are available in the market can't be installed on Fiat Cars
That's a new one. I got AutoCop installed on my S10 4 years back and never had any problem.

The PCD of the wheels are Fiat specific,
Yea that I agree. Crazy Italians!

f you still install one,by any chance,when ever you unlock your car the rear doors not only unlock but they spring open wide!!!!
That sounds very very odd.

Things started going down the drain for me from my first car delivery, the car itself was a True Lemon in every way.
What was the problem with the car and why wasn't it solved? You haven't said anything about that. From the face of it, it looks like a Fiat problem. IF the dealer can't solve the issue, the manufacturer has to send their engineers to look into the issue.

I have heard something similar during my stint as a salesperson too. And for no fault of mine. At my GM delaership in Toronto, they switched cars. A Pontiac Montana was sold to 2 customers on the same day. One of them got approved for a loan faster and drove off with the car. The dealership got a a similar van, same colour almost equal mileage and I had the responsiblity to make sure he doesn't realise the van is not what he saw. The guy was smart. Knew it was different. I was called a liar, crook etc etc for no fault of mine. This story is on the forum in detail somewhere.

Another time, I sold a used Impala but the stereo was not working. The manager promised it would be done before delivery. It was never done. At the time of delivery I was told to ask the customer to bring the car back in 3 days time and when he did he was told the parts are not avaliable and he should call the spares in another 3 days. The customer called me a expert con man. **** happens. I never blamed GM for any of this. It was dealership issue.

Continue your story. The gems that I heard from VW customers can be shared alongwith your story.

So far, the only Fiat failures I see are lack of adequate training and supervision. Yes, also spares avaliablity which has supposedly been a Fiat problem for many years. I say supposedly, because I have never faced any issue over procuring spares. Yes, my S10 muffler was not avaliable but the GTX one was avaliable at every Tata/Fiat dealer in Mumbai.

Most of the issues you have mentioned so far are dealer related. They are problems that the dealer could have solved if he was motivated and interested in customer satisfaction.

Last edited by amit : 11th January 2009 at 10:57.
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Old 11th January 2009, 11:27   #33
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I've been wondering & someone voiced it as well, what about emailing your story to fiat, or there's a contact the manager or something on their website. They really seem to be trying to hard to get themselves sorted out. Who knows, they may take you seriously & do something.
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Old 11th January 2009, 11:36   #34
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My 2c,

Was (still kinda) working in an automobile company who uses the same FIAT dealership. The dealer was there in Chennai for lots of time so that the people had a pretty arrogant attitude.

i remember an instance where the dealer removed a turbo from a vehicle in the lot (which was with the garlands and all to be passed to the customer) and fixed it on an R & D test vehicle. Dunno what happened to the poor chap who bought the vechicle with a retofitted turbo.
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Old 11th January 2009, 11:55   #35
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Default No light at the end of tunnel

Muneem...I've been among those who requested you to tell the full story, and thanks for depicting it so truthfully...

Seen the reply chains moving on the 'Fiat Bash' mode yet again, I agree with Steeroid that all Muneem was putting through here is about the pathetic ethics of a particular dealership at cochin. A place that has been known for many as the best fiat service center turning into one of the worst in less than a year. Dont think this is a reason to turn the heads up and say 'Quit Fiat' - its rather a 'Quit Dealer'. Visited RF last week to see the Linea on display, and my god - the salesman (he was some region head or something) was atrocious in his knowledge.

And there is no point in thinking that this is a feature of only Fiat dealerships. I own a zen that was given for routine service to a 'famous' maruti service center near the above said RF motors- they 'stole' the dashboard panel of my petrol zen and replaced it with one for diesel zen - and I realise it almost 6 months (as I still run around searching for getting a part of diesel zen dashboard) since my speedo, temp.guage, park lights quit working. All we need to do is get facts about unethical dealers spread in our forum, so that at least we know where to head-to, and where not to.

Waiting for the rest of the facts from Muneem, and the Safari stories of Steeroid.
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Old 11th January 2009, 13:21   #36
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Folks, Muneem has actually given us the insider view of what happens inside a dealership (though many of us are aware of it and have the ability to workaround it to our advantage). The Tata/Fiat association is just coincidental here, lets not just take that aspect and divert the thread around.

As a matter of fact, from his statements, I can also relate to some of the happenings at Ford too.

Just a little pointer here, if "washing the car" is part of the job profile, and one takes the job up, he shouldn't be complaining. If that part of the Job profile was not known at the point of taking the job up, then it would be inadequate pre-job investigation done by the individual. Not a problem with either the dealership or the manufacturer. But then, a "car wash man" (or a woman) is an opportunity to provide employment to many a job seeker!
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Old 11th January 2009, 14:32   #37
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Get a life, guys. Things are getting to a point where you cant say the word Fiat on this forum without the fanboy army turning it into a personal fight - and its not funny anymore. As for the others - you ought to know by now NOT to react to these petty statements.

Muneem is talking about his experiences with a dealership. Specifically a TATA dealership which also happens to be selling a couple of Fiats every month.

Grow up! And let the boy complete his story - dont turn it into yours.
Steeriod, read my post fully.

Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post

Disclaimer: I'm not a FIAT fan. Have never driven one. Don't plan to buy the Linea (Belong to the suddenly vulnerable species of IT, so can't park my money on a 9L car)

I don't belong to the FIAT Fan club and as a matter of fact, even I don't like the way some fans who go overboard in protecting/promoting a particular brand. Case in point is FIAT and a sole torchbearer for the big "H" brand.

In the same way it's also irritating to find the FIAT bashing army posting anywhere they find the word FIAT!

The guy has posted only 1 episode...atleast in this episode the Dealer seems to be more at fault. And here we have people started posting "Don't buy FIAT"! Is it not fair to atleast wait for the horrendous stories to come out before posting?
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Old 11th January 2009, 14:53   #38
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IMO, let Muneem complete his story first and then we can make the judgements whether the it is tata dealerships or the actual fiat people who are at fault. Just reserve your judgements till the final eposide is out.
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Old 12th January 2009, 04:18   #39
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I have Previously worked in Honda Two Wheelers as spare parts supervisor and In Toyota as Sales Officer for Corolla,Camry And the LC Prado.So this is not my first job experience at an automobile dealership.

Originally Posted by RX135 View Post

I am rather disappointed that you also were a party in trying to sell a lemon to unsuspecting customer. May be you were more concerned about your job at that time.

Nope I was not, this lemon apparently had been one of the first MJD's off the assembly line and the Fiat engineers themselves flew down to fix most of it's problems, like fuel being cut off while driven,but guess even they are not good at it and even the ECU had been replaced in this car.The moment it rolled out of the showroom,everyone was congratulating me on selling this car cause it was one gem among all the other Lemons and I simply sold this to him.I was just 15 days into my job when this happened and you don't look at the history of all the palios in stock do you?

Originally Posted by 1100D View Post

As far as the affected car is concerned, its an example of an incompetent incorporation of some additional acessories on it.
The Central locking system's door actuators had problems even before the installaion of the keyless entry,they simply didn't find enough time to fix it cause it have been lying around with them for just 6 months.

Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
surprised no one else is bringing the TATA factor into the equation.
Please don't then all the hell will brake loose because the horror stories are too much to put down in a single thread thread. TSK's & Steeroid's Safari stories are enough to give a lasting impression of the A S S and the manufacturer.

Originally Posted by amit View Post

As for the sales head not knowing much about the car, not everyone who works at car dealerships is a auto enthusiast. For him, this may just be a job.

Why the myself in capitals? So what if you have to wash the car on your own? And how is it a Fiat problem?! Back in Canada, we had to pick the car parked outside in the dealer parking lot, brush off the snow from it and get it to the front so the customer could test drive it. Filling fuel, putting temporary plates were all the salesperson's responsibility. I don't understand how this is a Fiat or even a dealer problem!They are right for thinking of you as arrogant.

If your spares guys didn't order the part how is the manufacturer supposed to know about the requirement and deliver it?!

That's a new one. I got AutoCop installed on my S10 4 years back and never had any problem.
The Sales head ought to know what is being sold under his nose,otherwise he is not fit for the job.Seen many other sales heads they knew what is in store and what is coming their way and when.This is not primarily his problem but Fiat's Problem as he was pretty much uninformed about all his products.

We are not in Kansas anymore ,we are not talking about brushing snow here,washing cars covered in muck which have been carried all the way from Pune was not in my contract or job profile anywhere.It was simply like this you want a car to take for a test drive ? you can take this car.You want a clean car to take for a test drive ? you can wash this car and take it.!!

Does anyone know what all stuff are supposed to come to a dealership before they launch a product ? First the service manual , The Parts manual, The ASCII Code for the Partsmaster software which has all the part info and the part numbers.Then some usual service parts and normal accident repair parts along with the usual marketing stuff like the Danglers,Hoarding,And Brouchers. Haven't seen any of those marketing stuff till now , not even for the Linea .And the only product knowledge about the Palio that I have got was from Teambhp and from the 7 Year old Product information guide from Fiat India Ltd when it Launched the Palio back then.Got hold of this only because the Fiat Product manager had worked at the previous Fiat dealer earlier.Shows how much Training TATA/FIAT Staff is getting.

And no Autocop Stopped making kits for palio as the car is as good as dead,sales wise speaking.So it's not available in the market.And the car's doors do really spring open, Even I didn't believe it at first.

Last edited by muneemmk : 12th January 2009 at 04:27.
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Old 12th January 2009, 05:09   #40
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Please continue your saga. The debates can come later


Am holding on. Much of the tip of the iceberg has been revealed by muneemk. Am eagerly waiting to hear yours. Let us see how deep the rabbit hole goes
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Old 12th January 2009, 11:25   #41
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I always wondered why some parts of certain new cars go kaput. Maybe this could be the reason.
Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
Right now, I'm in Nigeria. A country where any thingy with wheels will be repaired and made to run for ages to infinity. Peugot, Ford, Datsun, Merc, Volvo, Bmw etc... (ie.. Cars which aren't that easy and cheap to maintain normally) are repaired by local garages and roadside mechanics with very ease and are often seen on the road running in wierd conditions. But I was surprised not to see Fiats in this whole country (I've travelled almost more than 5000 kms here). My fiat sightings here from the last 50 days is less than what I can count in my fingers. I was curious about this and asked some of my car crazy friends here in many occasions about this and the answer was always the same: "Huh! Horrible to maintain, buddy! It doesn't hold itself in a piece for long." "But if ford and other european makes can be repaired and run even when tied up in ropes and what not, why not Fiat?"
"FIAT is FIAT" the chorus still lingers in my ears and I can see the despair in their faces.
Like the company Fiat, few people here are in denial mode. They don't want to see the problems. They say it happens everywhere in Timbuktu and so its not a problem.

First step of solving a problems is recognizing the problem. When there is no problem, what do you solve?
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Old 12th January 2009, 11:44   #42
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Note From MOD - Guys please stick to the discussion related to Muneemk's experience, dont draw additional conclusions & let him continue.
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Old 12th January 2009, 12:17   #43
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Originally Posted by muneemmk View Post
I have Previously worked in Honda Two Wheelers as spare parts supervisor and In Toyota as Sales Officer for Corolla,Camry And the LC Prado.So this is not my first job experience at an automobile dealership.
Hi Muneemmk,

Thanks for sharing your experience,

However i hope you reslise that this thread can very be subjective as this is an individuals experience and since it can be misinterpretated and result in negative and unwanted press for Fiat i would request and advise you to please comple your story first and then proceed to answer/reply to any questions etc.



Last edited by Elito11 : 12th January 2009 at 12:18.
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Old 12th January 2009, 13:19   #44
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Muneem - interesting experiences - and thanks for sharing. I hope to god this is a specific issue with that dealership. And i also hope FIAT reads this and takes some action.
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Old 12th January 2009, 13:21   #45
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Dear all - I am not surprised at what Mumeem has written. There are many such Muneems who are frustrated and many come to me for guidance also. For TeanBHPians like us, the car is our passion of life but for others, it is just another job which is sad but true. Sadly, in organizations, passion, if at all recognised as a word, it is in letter anly and not in spirit. Professional knowledge and professional competence levels are pathetic. Believe you me, guys just do not know their product. On top of that, they have to deal with passionate guys like us who understand and want to do something. I can only pity the poor poor paying customer. A part not available is a very common syndrome all over the place for a plethora of reasons which will require a totally new thread to cover. I fortunately happen to know all the reasons. Cars standing and gathering dust just because a part is not available is an all too common sight at dealerships. Also please refer a thread started by me sometime back on why customers have poor service experience at dealerships. (Root Cause Analysis - Why Customers Have Bad Service Experiences With Indian Dealers) Can someone please cross reference it here, I do not know how to do it. Dear Muneem - please continue and put all details, it makes for interesting reading and referencing, but one thing is for sure, kisi ko kuch farak nahin padega. Again sad but true.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by Technocrat : 12th January 2009 at 13:33. Reason: added thread url :)
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