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Old 16th November 2020, 00:34   #61
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

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Originally Posted by JishD View Post
Zac spoke from his heart - but the reality is, at his level, corporate speak is a better alternative to candidness. In an era where industries are devoting significant monies to improve customer experiences in pre and post sales, this arrogance from a top exec is unwarranted and totally counter productive
This market in particular, takes everything seriously, hates arrogance or perceived arrogance, and is way too hung up over simple words. That is what I feel anyway.

Let's look at it this way, I feel that VW/Skoda are indeed a league above the East Asian car manufacturers and 2 leagues above the South-East Asian car manufacturers. We are doing a wrong thing comparing any 2 brands, or any two models from different brands, to begin with. The way I see it, one buys a VW Group car, if they desire the European attributes of solid car structure, solid driving dynamics, sporty feel and high-tech well insulated cabin, this comes at the cost of either a higher on-road price compared to Asian manufacturers, or of higher maintenance costs and lesser reliability or BOTH. Obviously, one would have to have a bit of a loose change in their wallets to buy such cars, and preferably should have 2 cars in all, so that if one goes to the workshop the other is always at their disposal.. in summary you've to be rich to buy them and not blink an eyelid in case expenses do crop up.

The Asian car models, specially the Japanese excel in petrol engines, fuel efficiency and reliability.. if not for the Japanese the workshops would've made hay 365 days a year, the lop-side is that Japanese cars are extremely light-weight, tinny and generally aren't as composed or refined as European cars. The buyers who are devoted to Japanese car brands generally consider them wallet friendly as they don't need regular replacements due to part failures and the overall light weight of their cars return the best fuel efficiency possible. The South-Korean models are middle-of-the-extremes, combining excellent build quality and reliability, fair use of weight in the structure and a suspension that is neither soft nor sporty, however, fuel efficiency is always on the lower side and reliability is a hit and miss with most models going to 1 lakh kms with not much issues and some having issue out of the gate.

Most of us know all this already, so I think Zac Hollis didn't say anything wrong at all.. I don't believe in the fact that companies have to be ever humble and prostrate in front of critics all the time. At the end of the day, the customers of this country have to understand 1 thing - each product is what it is, if you don't like it, find one with the least compromise, but do NOT build a wish-list of favorite aspects of every brand you want in one brand at rock-bottom prices, if you feel that should happen then that's a whole new level of entitled.

The tweet was irrelevant to begin with, the reply, even more so, shouldn't we move on by now?
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Old 16th November 2020, 06:20   #62
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

Frustration and disappointment.

I guess that sums up the underlying feeling of Faizal, Zac and the customers.

Faizal and hatch/sedan customers are frustrated with the VW-Skoda group's ageing hatch/sedan line-up in the sub-15L segment.

Zac is proabably frustrated that he's been given an impossible task of making VW-Skoda a winner in India where the market hasn't matured or grown the way they thought ten years before. To be honest he probably might be looking for a change of scenery in the near future.

Read the tweet exchange after removing the bias and prejudice associated with Faizal's review antics and Zac's Job Title. Neither is wrong. Both of them are just being factual.
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Old 16th November 2020, 07:26   #63
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

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Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
This market in particular, takes everything seriously, hates arrogance or perceived arrogance, and is way too hung up over simple words. That is what I feel anyway.

Yes, apart from the "solid" build quality, the ability to traverse on water and through the heavens aside, and other usual rhetoric for a glorified trunk maker (reputation in the West), what does Skoda have to show for itself?

I know a little something about how high quality organizations that roll out successful products are built (witnessed a large company being built from scratch first-hand). Here's what is essential:

1. Obsession for attention to detail - Skoda recently launched a used car portal with much fanfare. Except there were no cars to sell/buy. One either does it right or doesn't. There is no middle ground.

2. Metrics driven approach - if you can't measure and analyze, you can't influence your destiny as a company. To be able to react even before problems occur, you need to inculcate a solid, metrics driven approach in each member of the team. Mr. Director himself couldn't remember the size of the used car market in the launch interview of the portal. Surprised it has been such a disaster?

3. Superlative customer experience - There is a famous story about ordering pizza and Zappos / Amazon customer care, and why Amazon bought Zappos for $1B. Look it up. European obsession aside, can we atleast agree that - to put it mildly - Skoda has zero control over its dealerships? Think about why they don't execute even a basic playbook to keep dealers in check? Poor planning and execution.

4. Product features relevant to the market - DQ200, ABS sensors, water pump, coolant leaks, rattling dashboards, suspension failures. Why did all the above happen? Zero forks given about the suitability of the product to the local market conditions.

5. Being a good corporate citizen - Dieselgate says hello. Remember only a fraction of the frauds ever get caught. As they say, if you spot even one cockroach in your kitchen, you can bet there are 100 more hidden somewhere.

No, it isn't the market not liking plainspeak, but extreme level of hubris and arrogance from a global auto major that sells lesser number of cars than some Maruti dealerships. If Skoda were ace on the above 5 points, I'll take whatever Mr. Director said at face value. Outside of that, nope.

Last edited by andafunda : 16th November 2020 at 07:33.
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Old 16th November 2020, 07:37   #64
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

It's a good day today, first I had the Ecosport "way above 5 stars", and then this.

Being very frank, what Faisal has stated is 100% true. for the same money, you can have a Honda City, with a bit more, you have the City CVT. Better space and comfort, more features, better NVH, 4 airbags standard, and 6 in top end, and it's a City - it drives well too.

But Zac also isn't wrong either. From what I can read between the lines, I can see him saying "don't write an opinion just because you want to write one".

Immediately Faisal and Motorbeam released an article too. These auto guys have probably started thinking these days that they have got the power to 'arm twist'. Actually, Youtube has given the power in many wrong hands by making them 'influencers', and digital marketing rules simply dictate that the organization shall keep them happy.

IMO, Zac has made a mistake by being straight forward. I am a happy and satisfied VAG customer, but anyone who is facing some pain from VAG end, the person will see this one as extreme level of arrogance, and will directly connect this one to the pain and agony they are going through - and that may end up costing a fortune to VAG.

Last edited by VKumar : 16th November 2020 at 07:39.
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Old 16th November 2020, 07:43   #65
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

Why would you show off your annoyance (if it was that) publicly?

The fact is your company has been dilly dallying in this country for TWENTY years and has less than ONE percent marketshare! (Please don't compare yourself to luxury brands. You are a mass market brand). India has said to you in plain and simple terms, go sell your antiques some place else. Please wake up and smell the coffee.
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:25   #66
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

Zac, here's a management lesson for notching up the largest sales in India as soon as you launch a car - provide an air purifier that works and brakes that don't.
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:28   #67
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

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Zac, here's a management lesson for notching up the largest sales in India as soon as you launch a car - provide an air purifier that works and brakes that don't.
You forgot to add a point "and service centers which don't rob off the customers"
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:32   #68
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

I watch FKs reviews, among others, seems honest.

Zac's response though factual, was too blunt.

Come on, the point that FK raised is something that is raised by all of us in almost all the review threads, so what's wrong in it? If we expect a Tata to provide all bells and whistles from a higher segment, then why is it acceptable for Skoda to be a one race pony?

All our new car reviews states the max rpm that the engine revs, how do the reviewers know that if they don't revv the engine. That's exactly what FK does. We cheer and jump off the terrace when Jeremy Clarkson does that, but not our own reviewers.

Last edited by rajivr1612 : 16th November 2020 at 08:39.
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:39   #69
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

5 pages and no one has yet mentioned that the YouTuber in question, Faisal Khan, is bhpian Busa. Would love to see him comment on this thread.

Last edited by samaspire : 16th November 2020 at 08:41.
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:41   #70
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

I guess this is what happens when you are too active on social media. Most likely, Zac wrote in a spur of the moment and after he realized, he apologized.

Can happen to everyone. Let’s leave the subject, I will take it as an honest mistake and move on.
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:42   #71
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

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You forgot to add a point "and service centers which don't rob off the customers"
Not required, the customer would be dead.
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Old 16th November 2020, 08:46   #72
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

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Not required, the customer would be dead.
Haha, unless the issue with the car is a result of a crash. Sadly(or say luckily) most Skoda issues are recurring reliability issues.

Not defending kia/Hyundai here, but there is something the duo does right (other than air purifiers) that the Skoda couldn't just get right inspite of being here for 2 decades.
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Old 16th November 2020, 11:17   #73
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

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Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
Not required, the customer would be dead.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
Haha, unless the issue with the car is a result of a crash.
A crash that their unreliable brakes would cause? Not to mention their questionably high normal service charges. You see where this is going, it can be an endless debate. To each their own as a result of priorities.

Having owned a Rapid for over seven years and my father a Vento for the same period I can say that they’ve both (Skoda & VW) come a long way, but have a long way yet to go in terms of A.S.S. What they’ve done right from day one were the basics of vehicle dynamics and safety.

I haven’t had the opportunity to drive many of the currently available cars, but my wife drove there previous generation Creta and i20, and now refuses to even consider a Hyundai. Marutis are tin cans, but she was impressed by the build and dynamics of the Brezza. Now the Brezza is relatively spartan, so this gives you an idea about priorities.

Coming to the Tweet and response, IMHO it is unforgivable because while the customer may not always be right, open disrespect of the customer is terrible for business.

Skoda VW India must hang on to as many customers as they can. Current owners may be hooked but there are no new budget options within the group, and the rest of the market still needs convincing.
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Old 16th November 2020, 12:12   #74
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

I Own a Skoda Rapid (actually 2, sold my last one one then bought another) and definitely feel what Faisal is saying, Skoda needs to up their featurelist. I have already had a mechatronics failure within 4 years and 50k kms of ownership which prompted to go for the extended warranty.

Having said that I cant imagine selling my Skoda Rapid, its chasis+suspension+dsg+engine truly make it a very mature car to drive around, I no-where near get this level of confidence on either the Honda City nor Verna. Everytime I drive the car alone I have a smile on my face whilst wishing they could have done a better job on the interiors+infotainment system.

Zac came out to me as very passionate for the Brand hence prompting this inexcusable tweet. I'm also happy that he is fairly approachable on twitter somewhat giving us a direct connect with the Brand and having a sense that this Brand is here to stay and especially a good thing for us enthusiasts.
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Old 16th November 2020, 12:39   #75
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Default Re: Skoda India Head's response to Rapid critique : "Buy something else then!"

I see absolutely no problem in what Faisal has said. What he has said is the truth. I don't understand why some members are attacking Faisal for what he has said. What he has said is the market truth whether he like it or not.

Honestly I am surprised by the response by Zac. If this is the attitude of senior management in Skoda then it's no surprise that attitude percolates down to sales and services.

I also understand that Zac has apologized for his comment in which case the thread title needs an update as otherwise this would be an one sided story.
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