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Old 16th August 2019, 18:31   #526
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

When I was looking to buy my first car the Polo was way out of my budget but I thought if I really like it maybe I can stretch a bit as I loved the looks of the car. Unfortunately trying it out I found the space inside to he really cramped and the 1 litre engine had absolutely no place is a premium car like the Polo. I had more fun driving the Datsun Go rather than the Polo. They really need to update the Polo engine soon.

Last edited by ampere : 16th August 2019 at 18:52. Reason: fixed typos
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Old 5th September 2019, 11:03   #527
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Though VW has ruled out their EV's for India due to the nascent near non- existent infrastructure and policy clarity, they are open to provide CNG option if the policy helps.

Steffen Knapp, director of Volkswagen Passenger cars:

Quote:
If there is a stable policy framework from the government in terms of identifying CNG as one of the solutions to the rising pollution crisis, the German carmaker, which already has a considerable presence in Europe in terms of CNG vehicles, will consider bringing these to India
We are the biggest player globally in CNG. Depending on the infrastructure, we can do this very fast (in India)

In the current Scenario:

Our future lies in petrol.

Quote:
The future of diesel-powered vehicles in India for the company is uncertain and was non-committal on whether it will upgrade its diesel engines for the BS-VI emission norms.
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Old 7th September 2019, 11:43   #528
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I had a very interesting experience recently.

As many of you'll know, we have a Mercedes C220d at home, as well as a newly acquired VW Tiguan. Before this we've had and still have several other VWAG vehicles at home & work.

You'll may also be aware that I have posted and recommended the Tiguan to several members here as well, and often times one of the biggest apprehensions has been with regards to the service quality & reliability.

Well the other day, I had a very interesting back to back experience between Mercedes & VW. Note: the Mercedes dealership also has a VW Dealership, Toyota dealership though is owned by a completely different entity.

The Tiguan was the first of the lot to go for it's service (6,000kms up 1st year service). As usual we received an inflated bill, and unrelated items were promptly struck off the list. I had also complained about brake noise (something mentioned earlier during the 6 month check up as well). Turns out my brake pads were chipped! At 6,000kms!

The dealership had no explanation for the same, but were quick to say that it has to be replaced and fully paid for since it is a wear and tear item - but no where did they say how it could have happened, and how it was my fault.

I escalated the matter to VW India through their email helpline on their website - only to have the matter sent back to the dealership to resolve.

I mean I am writing to VW because the dealership response hasn't been stellar and they just send it back to the dealership to resolve!
Skoda & Audi have at least responded / called directly in the past; so I was hoping for a better resolution. Do note the part cost was approx. Rs. 6,500 so it wasn't a big hit for VW / the dealer / myself; but the attitude irked me.

I finally had to get the owner of the dealership involved through a friend to have the matter resolved!

The same dealership which works for Mercedes, were more than happy to replace several parts this last service - parts that I would reckon would have costed me at least 2L if I had waited for a week for the warranty to get over.

They were the complete opposite: prompt, communicative, and pro-active! No unnecessary jobs were added to the list, and small items like a discolored logo on the steering wheel was replaced under warranty (they ended up changing the entire airbag unit apparently)!
Same dealership, but for a different company - and what a difference in attitude!

I was under the impression that the same dealership would have similar quality of service; but after this experience, it makes me think more of the role the manufacturer has to play.

A small, quick Rs. 6,500 job has made me loose further respect for VWAG (the Audi ownership experience wasn't enough it seems); and we have been fairly loyal to them having owned / still owning 5 VWAG vehicles in the last 10 years! (ok, maybe 11).

Sorry for the rant, but I just wanted to post this on here - this in my opinion is one of the biggest drawbacks to VW ownership in India. If I had this experience a week earlier, I may have cautioned one of my childhood friends who just picked up a new Tiguan basis my praise for the vehicle - It is an excellent vehicle at the end of the day, just let down by shoddy service!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 7th September 2019 at 12:24. Reason: Spacing for improved readability
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Old 7th September 2019, 18:22   #529
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

I totally understand you.

We had an issue with the Vento and the dealer refused to cooperate. Tried taking the issue with Volkswagen and they didn't respond back either. So ended up throwing in the consumer court, one of the heads from VW called trying to resolve the issue but there wasn't any follow up.

Horrible.
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Old 9th September 2019, 14:52   #530
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Known portfolio, a re-cap as announced by Skoda/ VW,

- First Product a CUV derivative of Skoda Kamiq - March 2021

- The equivalent CUV from VW -T Cross ~ October 2021

- The Sedan equivalent to VW Virtus ( called Jetta for India?) ~ March 2022

- The replacement of Skoda Rapid ~ Festive season 2022

Quote:
Volkswagen's India 2.0 plan also involves tapping the India base as a technical and an export hub. A set of four left-hand-drive models – two each for Skoda and Volkswagen – may be produced by 2022
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:10   #531
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Known portfolio, a re-cap as announced by Skoda/ VW,

- First Product a CUV derivative of Skoda Kamiq - March 2021

- The equivalent CUV from VW -T Cross ~ October 2021

---

SAVWIPL ( Skoda Auto VW India Pvt. Ltd.) will display the next generation of cars ( MQBA0-IN platform) for India in its pre production form at the 2020 Auto Expo.

- Skoda KAMIQ

- VW T Cross

Last edited by volkman10 : 11th September 2019 at 10:12.
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Old 11th September 2019, 10:50   #532
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post

I finally had to get the owner of the dealership involved through a friend to have the matter resolved!

The same dealership which works for Mercedes, were more than happy to replace several parts this last service - parts that I would reckon would have costed me at least 2L if I had waited for a week for the warranty to get over.
The only thing that works in VAG dealers is getting the owner of the dealership getting involved. From my experiences in the Kodiaq thread people might be knowing my issues with the Varta battery. It was going nowhere till i got the owner of the dealership involved who was a friend of our business associate. Promptly then came my warranty replacement.
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Old 11th September 2019, 14:42   #533
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

"Could have left India, but chose to stay": VW

Head of sales and marketing JŁrgen Stackmann says VW could have left India few years ago but decided to stay as it saw potential in giving Skoda the lead.

Quote:

"(Back then) our plan for the future was weak. So we had to decide to either stay weak and play along or go bold. Our decision to invest into a new platform for India is a statement that we believe in Indiaís future. The circumstances, growth and dynamics of the market will always change, and they will always change faster in an economy like India, compared to Europe. So, if you donít like that change, then donít invest. But we have taken the decision to invest," Stackmann said.

He believes the decision to hand Skoda the lead stemmed from the fact that the Czech carmaker was nimble, which allowed the group to take faster, more rigid decisions. Furthermore, VW's high cost structure never really allowed it to have a price advantage in a price-sensitive market like India, so Skoda's low-cost structure further convinced VW that if a change in leadership had to happen, Skoda would be the right choice.

"I have a big advantage that I do know both brands, and Skoda is a very pragmatic, very solution-oriented brand that moves fast," Stackmann said.

The German carmaker is banking on the new models out of the relatively low-cost MQB A0 platform to improve sales, which have been below-par till now. In fact, strengthening its position in India is a bigger priority for VW rather than pushing exports for the sake of achieving scale. Exports would be part of the plan as the cost position for Indian models is similar to many other countries, but Stackmann believes a strategy that hinges more on exports is unlikely to be successful in the long term.

"The true essence of our plan is actually to finally become India for India. We have to make sure that our success is an India success. We need to have products that work in India, volume that works in India, a strong network, and then the remaining volume is exported out," Stackmann said. "Just laying your foundation on export remains a wrong strategy. If you are just using the country as a production hub, itís never going to fly long term."
Source: ACI
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Old 20th September 2019, 08:17   #534
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Volkswagen to reduce dealer-partners in India to 50.
Quote:
The company is, however, encouraging its existing dealer-partners to open more outlets to increase sales, leverage economies of scale and improve profitability.
Steffen Knapp, head of VW Passenger Cars:
Quote:
We are going for less investors (dealers). When I started (in June 2017), we had 84 investors, we currently have 60 and we will go down to 50
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Old 20th September 2019, 13:15   #535
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Volkswagen to reduce dealer-partners in India to 50.

Steffen Knapp, head of VW Passenger Cars:

Quote:
We are going for less investors (dealers). When I started (in June 2017), we had 84 investors, we currently have 60 and we will go down to 50
LESS IS MORE. With less dealers VW will be able to service more customers, sell more cars and provide more customer satisfaction.

If somebody chronicles all of VW India's gaffs it would make a good book for kindergarten on "How not to run a company when you grow up."
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Old 20th September 2019, 13:34   #536
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
LESS IS MORE. With less dealers VW will be able to service more customers, sell more cars and provide more customer satisfaction.
IMHO - you got it wrong there. LESS is indeed more, in this context. VW seems to be just taking a leaf out of MG's book here. Less dealers, more touchpoints.

What they are saying is - less investors, more dealerships from these fewer investors, so more profitability to each investor and therefore hopefully a better experience to the customer. Take for example - a city like Bangalore. Earlier if three dealers were running the show, now it would be two or one dealer - with multiple showrooms. Instead of three separate entities fighting for sales and margins, it would be one entity with separate channels.

One downside, however, is that if this dealer has a bad attitude, every owner in the city suffers & also less competition between dealers results in fewer discounts, etc for the customer.
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Old 20th September 2019, 14:18   #537
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

Adding to what CD is saying.
A partner can confidently invest in one bodyshop in the catchment area along with more expensive tooling. They can have many touchpoints for routine servicing (ramp, oil, filters + brake pads). If required, they can transport the car to specialised workshops if required.
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Old 20th September 2019, 14:39   #538
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post

What they are saying is - less investors, more dealerships from these fewer investors, so more profitability to each investor and therefore hopefully a better experience to the customer. Take for example - a city like Bangalore. Earlier if three dealers were running the show, now it would be two or one dealer - with multiple showrooms. Instead of three separate entities fighting for sales and margins, it would be one entity with separate channels.

One downside, however, is that if this dealer has a bad attitude, every owner in the city suffers & also less competition between dealers results in fewer discounts, etc for the customer.
Yes, I did realise that this was part of the plan. But the point here is that the VW Group, more specifically Skoda have burnt their fingers badly by appointing single dealers for an entire state - a case in point was Marikar and others going belly up for financial reasons.

As a result of this, Skoda as I learnt from reliable sources, were not keen on repeating this mistake and had taken a policy decision not to give more than outlet (or max two) to a single Dealer Principal. I also remember discussing the appointment of a particular Dealer Principal who wanted more outlets and this was specifically objected because of this policy.

Relying on one Dealer Principal for a large number of outlets increases the single point failure area of risk and given the current recessionary trend and being a tricky business it is likely that dealerships will go belly up in future too. Apart from this, there is the situation of not giving the customer an option to choose if the service quality is bad.

However it looks like VW is just not learning from past mistakes and is repeating them. The effort involved in appointing a new dealer is substantial for the Dealer Development team and this new policy will reduce that effort and probably is the driver for this decision not really customer interests or sales. Anyway what VW says today is usually reversed in the near future so we will have to wait and see how this turns out.

Last edited by AMG Power : 20th September 2019 at 15:08.
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Old 21st September 2019, 10:38   #539
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Default Re: Volkswagen India: The Way Forward

More questions that arise:

1. How is it that two companies within the same group operating in the same market have two diametrically opposing policies for the same business area?

2. Why are the learnings of one company not leveraged by the other company - especially when the other company has had quite a few bad experiences which have left several customers and itself in the lurch and which has led it to subsequently develop what it considers prudent business practices that are appropriate for that market?

3. Isn't a decision like this, obviously based on simplistic management, with disregard of the local market a clear route to disaster for the company and customers? VW's business head Stephen Knapp is a relative newbie to the Indian market and although he may have several years of irrelevant experience in the European market, it is probably appointments such as this over the last several years that have morphed VW into a company that is forced to seek shelter under one of its smaller subsidiaries arms.

4. Is Skoda really running VW in the India 2.0 project as was conveyed in the media or is VW still calling the shots from behind as is evident from decisions such as this? Is Skoda's role in 2.0 restricted to just coming up with products for the Indian market which Skoda and VW will then sell? How does it make business sense ( I do know "business sense" is a term not found in VW's dictionary ) if VW runs riot with its ignorance of the Indian market and continues with its disastrous practices? Isn't this an early indication of another failure coming their way making probably India 2.0 DOA?
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