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Old 6th September 2010, 17:57   #46
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I hope this doesn't turn out to be a TATA/ Mahindra Bashing thread.

I think, we are over expecting from them too much too early. Although, they are improving daily by leaps and bounds But we need to keep in Mind that they are after mass market, Some where Below 7 lakh category .

it would be interesting to know, the time Toyota / Volkswagen took to reach a position where they are today, i think 50 + years before thy called themselves premium brand . Another problem with us is that anything , which is home grown is not a premium product . I remember seeing a imported Bug part ( Pavan;s Bettle if i remember correctly ) Produced in Chennai , Imported from US . they are still young in Car market, let us give them some time before setting out expectations from them . remember, even till today , toyota is having quality issues ( Mass recall in US market ) . In My opinion , no body is perfect , it's our perceptions , we are a Value for money Market. everything, we buy , be a car or a Vegetable , we look for value it bring to the table at lowest price. may be metro's won't accept a 10+ product from them, but i am sure that in tier - 2 and 3 cities, they will sell heavily .

As for opening a Separate Service centers goes, that's not feasible financially for any car manufacturer , be it Toyota / Honda / ford or any other brand.

I really don;t know, why people think that they be treated separately than taxi operators.aren't they too have paid same money and other to buy the same car .

dealer Attitude is something , they need to change . this is something , which cannot be ignored. I was agasht on reading manikjeet's thread about joshi autozone. that is completely un acceptable.

Product Finesse & Quality - it comes with experience over a period of time. find tuning manufacturing process's is not a single days job.it takes Ages to fine tune this.

Dynamics & Road behaviour - don't know how that's missing in tata's / Mahindra's . I have seen toyota's rolled over , when cornered on high speed in our side of the hills. Body roll is there in them but that;s case with every other UV's .

Suspect reliability & frequent niggles - that will come automatically with Product Finesse & Quality .

Top Level of equipment - I think, they are already providing that in their top end models . what else do we need .

VFM Pricing - Although they are known for this, how do one expect VFM pricing , with all the goodies thrown in between . at the end of day, every manufacturer is in market to make some money and profits.

And Last , how Many premium customer do we have in India?????

compare that to MASS market ..

In the end , Above post is not to hurt anybody 's sentiments in anyway .

I strongly feel for Indian Manufacturer . Nobody is perfect in this world. Atleast they are trying to develop everything themselves rather than like Chinese, who notoriously copied each and everything from the world with little respect to those, who spend endless nights / days developing that product. In india, manufacturing industry is not known to invest in R & D but that is changing slowly.

Last edited by .sushilkumar : 6th September 2010 at 18:02.
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Old 7th September 2010, 19:22   #47
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Originally Posted by .sushilkumar View Post
I hope this doesn't turn out to be a TATA/ Mahindra Bashing thread.
Not at all! Most of us are proud of the desi duo's accomplishments over the last decade. This thread is intended to host a constructive discussion on ways for them to move ahead.

Believe you me, they are listening.
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Old 7th September 2010, 19:35   #48
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Came across a small snippet of pleasing news in "The Mint" paper today.

According to the paper Tata motors is sending the Aria to JLR to do final fit and finish of the interior.

Looks like Tata means business!
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Old 7th September 2010, 19:38   #49
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Believe you me, they are listening
All I can say is for the local Auto manufacturers,clearly, they are looking for the next step In a ladder called "CUSTOMER SERVICE". as we are the end user of their products, they will get Best in the world, interms of Constructive feedback and Suggestions to improve their product quality .

I think this is the best way via, which they can connect directly to us.

Kudos to team-BHP .

Last edited by .sushilkumar : 7th September 2010 at 19:39.
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Old 7th September 2010, 20:27   #50
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Believe you me, they are listening.
Since they are listening, i would like to add my thoughts on this

1. What the indian Auto brands stand for ?

Today every major car OEM brand stands for a definite VALUE or SPACE or EMOTION in the target consumer's mind.

What does TATA and Mahindra stand for ?, or What they would like to be remembered for ? or What emotions they invoke in the consumer's mind ?

Having a distinct and unique identity would help both these brands.
Currently they are me too brands. TATA is known for "nano" or 2000USD car.

2. What the TARGET CONSUMER expects from the BRAND, PRODUCTS and the COMPANY ?

for the entry and mid segment products, TATA and Mahindra seems to have found answers for this question.

Premium consumers think differently. The definition of value is different.

RICH dads, think differently than Poor Dads. Does these brands invoke needed emotions, mindshare with the RICH dads. does the brands provide value to those RICH dads ?.

3. What is the VALUE proportion for a premium customer
- how the customer treated ?
- how the the products and BRAND can provide distinct identity to the customer ?
- how the experience of owning the product adds to the pride and ego of the customer and make him talk about it, flaunt it, impress others
- How the product helps him/her enhance his/her wealth, provides comfort to him, saves time etc.
- Low or NO risk of failure
- Hygine factor = common maximum denominator in terms of features, comfort, fit, finish, safety.
- ZERO defect, ZERO niggles for at least 50% of the life time of the vehicle

Both the Indian brands must invest in

1. developing consumer insights, segmenting the customer needs
2. predicting consumer buying behaviours in new markets
3. design expertise,
4. faster innovation cycles w.r.t features, safety, certifications
5. improving the quality sourcing of parts, sub vendors.
6. state of the art assembly, testing processes
7. differentiating, effective and efficient After Sales Service based on predictable total cost of ownership concept.
8. BRAND positioning apealing to the target consumer
9. value chain includng financing, distribution, re-sale etc.
10. most importantly Savy, Insightful, Efficient, Skillful customer facing staff in sales, marketing, service through out the value chain.

Having said this what they have achieved till now is outstanding, but the journey is still a longhaul.

When I bought my ANHC 16 months ago, both the brands were not among the basket of brands/products. My next vehicle in 6 years hence would be certainly in RS 15L to RS 20L range.

I aspire to be a RICH dad in 6 years, I hope Tata or Mahindra would be there to meet my needs.
hopefully !

Last edited by StarVegabond : 7th September 2010 at 20:43.
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Old 7th September 2010, 20:28   #51
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Default From an Indica customer

I am an Indica Turbo owner, and so have some idea dealing with Tata.

Would I buy a 10+ lakh Tata car - Yes. IF:

1. First of all, if I have the money .
2. Tata needs to give a lot more than an Innova. Innova is a benchmark in the industry. The body design is good, the engine is fairly good, Seating is excellent and their reputation in the Indian market is too good. No wonder the resale value of this car is quite high - which ultimately translates to lower cost of ownership. What else do you need (first time MUV buyer perspective)? For someone upgrading from his first MUV, his biggest concern would be - reliability and TATA brand image.

3. Although almost everyone blames Tata for their service, I am not going to - until i actually get into a situation which Tata can't troubleshoot. Till now, they have been competent enough to fix all problems that have come up. My Indica has done 40k now - just to give perspective.
[It is a different matter than they usually ask me to change parts which are not really required right then - and i refuse to unless it is required and make sense. But this is something that is common to all manufacturers].

4. TATA image.
Every company is associated with a certain image. And Tata as a Taxi. Unfortunately, while Vista is changing that a little bit, we are still talking about first car/second car buyers.

To buy a 10+ lakh car, the buyer would expect a certain snob value. Like the Innova at the base. Xylo was a hit because it targetted the same market, but some things with a notch lower, apart from the price being lower. Target the same market with a higher price bracket than Innova - I dont think that would work

On the other hand, pitching it across with the next-to-Innova segment is also tricky as no body associates Tata with a premium vehicle.

Somehow, i feel TATA would do far better to come up with VFM products just below the Innova market. Sumo Grande's market is what i am talking about. Build reputation, not just as a VFM to drive, but also to maintain well and be proud of in the long run.

Either build from bottom to top - like Maruti. Or top to bottom - like Toyota.

If Tata wants to build on the top, then like many mentioned, I think tata would do well to treat the customer differently - have different service bays, very very well trained service representative, who talks sense, and seriously interested in retaining customer base rather than meeting his goal of service costs.
Of course, this is assuming that the product itself is as good as it sounds on paper - terrific features and excellent reliability, service intervals, and super troubleshooting staff.

Last edited by deep_bang : 7th September 2010 at 20:31.
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Old 7th September 2010, 21:06   #52
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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post

10. most importantly Savy, Insightful, Efficient, Skillful customer facing staff in sales, marketing, service through out the value chain.
Further to my above post #50, i would like to clarify or add a bit more explanation to this point no 10.

There is a saying Sales & Marketing Department can not be the Company, but Company can be a Sales & Marketing Department.

Customer Centric strategy in premium segment is basically about the whole company trying to be a Sales and Marketing Department.

It is not about leaving the customer to the sales and service guys and rest of the company just trying to do what they do the best.

e.g. a 5 star dining experience Vs a Udupi resturant experience

The focus of the Udupi resturant is on volume, basic hygine, fast delivery.
The owner of the Udupi resturant knows that when the customer is hungry and needs a quick meal he will come to the Udupi resturant anyway.

The focus of 5 star fine dining is on delivering the unique experience to the diner so that they guy comes back again to celebrate the occation. The ambience, courtesy, treatment, food quality, hygine, presentation, suppliments, flexibility etc etc are way different than the Udupi resturant. Ofcourse the customer pays for it

Rich dads expect a fine dining experience even when they very hungry. They do not eat in a Udupi resturant unless it is the last resturant for next 1000 KMs.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 7th September 2010 at 21:11.
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Old 7th September 2010, 21:21   #53
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First of all a very informative and a nice thread and we are all glad that our opinions "may count" as a wishlist.

For me as a individual buyer,
  • Everything said and done, the quality of these two manufactures needs to take a big time overhaul (meaning they need to scramble the lazy QC team)
  • The vendors of TML who supply pathetic quality of material to em should be really really taken to TASK. (hope no CWG can of worms) For heavens sake, they also supply to hondas. toyotas and their competition !
  • For sure I know that there are some lazy persons who spoil the experience by not doing things right in the first go.. may be time to market pressures or volumes or costs, but what the heck strict no no not at cost our precious time and money dear TML & MnM.
and for reasons voiced against both them , i will not put in a million bucks no matter what, unless they are really taken care of.

Sigh i guess another 5-7 years more before they really improve

Last edited by Rahulk76 : 7th September 2010 at 21:23.
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Old 7th September 2010, 21:45   #54
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Default re:

Regarding "Dynamics & Road behaviour":
IMHO, these are genetic characteristics and cannot be acquired. The burning example is Fiat. Even the biggest enemy of FIAT will endorse the amazing dynamics and road behaviour of its cars. Now, when it comes to our desi brands such as tata or mahindra, i do not think they will be able to attend this upto the level of Europeans.
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Old 7th September 2010, 23:17   #55
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I think this thread is a great idea, particularly so if the auto manufacturers in question are following it. I would have liked to add Bajaj into this mix but obviously they are not working on a Million rupee car.

For me the first and foremost lacunae of both these manufacturers is quality.

But let me first explain my concept of quality. Everybody goes gaga about Toyota, but it has been my experience that most of the quality you see in a Toyota is really under the hood. If you look at the interior of an Innova, they are not expensively built but whatever is in there works well and ages well. I have driven 10 year old Corollas in the US and the interior looks the same as it was 10 years ago. An engine with over 100,000 miles on it still handles like a dream.

So to put it in a nutshell: Whatever you do, do it well.

What I see are Indian manufacturers trying to do more and in the process they say if the gadgets and gizmos are cheap, then so be it.

When it comes to marketing, I really found the Mahindra sales executives (SEs) to be friendly. They were misinformed about a number of things and could not compare their products with their competitors, but so were the SEs at Volkswagen. One difference though, the Volkswagen execs would get a senior SE once they realized that they were not getting far but it seemed to me that the Mahindra SEs were on their own.

I do have a big problem with PR & Mar Com though. The communication from both firms appears to me to be disjointed at times. Other times they don't work. Case in point: the Nano fires and the Xylo brochure. In the case of the Xylo I have mentioned earlier that the brochure doesn't show a single proper picture of the product and it also shows a fashion photographer and his muse for what is clearly a family car.

In the end, my biggest gripe with both these manufacturers is spelt in one word: Vision.

I can see Tata trying to be GM and Mahindra trying to be Chrysler-Jeep.

What they don't understand is that after the federal bailout, GM is now trying to move to hybrid and electric vehicles. If either Tata or Mahindra or Bajaj make a proper hybrid (not micro-hybrid and all that nonsense) vehicle in the sedan segment that gives a consistent average of 25 kmpl, has good build quality, with a 5 year warranty and service intervals of 1 year and priced between 10 to 12 lakhs on road, I am sure there will be buyers for it including myself.

Not only that, we can then leap ahead of others in what is still a somewhat nascent technology. Whatever technology is developed can be used in hatches and micro-hatches. With our population this could translate to millions of cars sold and Tata/Mahindra/Bajaj can suddenly become the largest car manufacturer in the world.
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Old 7th September 2010, 23:36   #56
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Tata sends Aria to JLR for finishing - Corporate News - livemint.com

Tata is at least thinking in the right direction
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Old 7th September 2010, 23:44   #57
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Default Its not the Indian Market they are looking at

Firstly, TATA Motors clearly doesnt have a premium image and infact is known for its "proton" philosophy of function over form or refinement. I can only think that despite major efforts on their part, a great product with even small flaws will have critics showering all sorts of cynicism on them - FIAPL's Punto/Linea is a good case in point. Even TATA Manza, despite its improvements is strictly considered a better functional alternative to the Maruti Dzire and not a better quality alternative.

Secondly 10 Lakh+ cars are not in the sweet spot of volumes in India anyways. So , even if TATA did manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat to take on the Toyota Innova, will the Indian market solely provide them volumes to recover the development costs for such a vehicle? I seriously dont think so.

Clearly,TATA doesnt necessarily look at the indian market for majority of volumes. Its infact looking abroad for growth. I would infact put my money on the fact that they are reinventing Hyundai's strategy of penetrating the US, EU, China, ME and APAC markets with above average quality products at great value.

However, its in the case of JLR that i actually see the reverse -> There are alot of fellow Indians i have met that would simply buy a JLR because its a true BMW/Mercedes Competitor that is "Indian". Nevermind that its actually a british brand - its Indian ownership has managed to stoke a lot of pride. Converse to TATA, JLR also has the premium image to back the desireability to own it. JLR clearly has the chance to to replicate Audi's China success in India - and i wish them luck here

Last edited by acidkill : 7th September 2010 at 23:52.
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Old 8th September 2010, 12:35   #58
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Interesting question in deed ...

In fact i am planning to buy a SUV in next 2-3 years. So what i am looking for are the my expectations from Tata & M&M.

1 It should be able to carry 7-8 people comfortably. This is a must.
2 It should be Fuel efficient & powerful (not very) at the same time.
3 Initial cost should be less. Around 10 Lacs +/-.
4 Interiors should be good, pleasant.
5 It should have necessary features like PS, HVAC, P-windows, Central locking, Immobilizer (A must feature), ABS etc.
6 Good fit & finish quality.
7 Improve A.S.S.
8 Good looks, like safari, scorpio.

If these things are available, i guess they will make good numbers for sure.
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Old 9th September 2010, 14:35   #59
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Would you spend well over 10 lakh rupees on a Tata or Mahindra? If so, what would you expect of the product?
Hmmm, a topic very close to my heart in the present circumstances! Our 3.0 litre Safari VX has clocked 90k kms & goes out of EW next month. Replacement options need to be looked at over the next six to eight months & are under discussion as we speak. What's coming across clearly during our dinner table conversations is this - the Safari has spoilt us in terms of space & comfort, has never let us down so far & there are no other options available at this price point. The only other options one can think of with space, equipment & road presence are the Fortuner & Endeavour, both sitting at almost double the price on-road & the latter maintaining its middle-row-severe-discomfort syndrome for over a decade

So, if its going to be another Safari, what would I expect? Here is a wishlist -
  • A quantum leap in TATA's QC, heck, maybe a complete revamp of their QC Dept! The tolerance percentages must be reduced & no compromises made at the purchase points. Components which stop working & then miraculously start again are a strict No-No! Stop skimping & give us sturdy washers, particularly where they protect equipment that costs thousands of rupees.
  • Improve fit & finish of the top end version. The floor console for the rear a/c vents is a case in point - how tacky looking can it get!! And make the gaps between the doors & the body uniform.
  • Make sure the extended warranty covers essential items like ABS etc. When the EW booklet/agreement was made, TATA probably didn't provide ABS, EBD & Airbags on the Safari. As a result, ABS Sensors are not covered under EW though every other conceivable sensor is. How stupid is that!
  • Get rid of the recurring squeaks & rattles!!! If my 4.5 year old, 105k kms Fiesta doesn't have a single rattle, why should the annoying rattles keep resurfacing in a Safari??? Add on a few hundred rupees to the cost but make it rattle free. Oh & yes - do something about the wind-shear noise, will you? Its aboslutely intolerable on the expressway at anything above 100 kmph
  • Get rid of all the known quirks once for all - the center pin greasing syndrome, the so-called Catalytic Convertor "cleaning", the idle rpm fluctuation (which seems to be a trademark of the 2.2s), the clutch which almost always gets replaced at least once under warranty.....all of these!
In short, give us a vehicle with which we'll be so busy milecrunching on the highways that we'll forget what the interior of the workshop looked like the last time we went there. I don't mind paying a few thousands more

(PS: My comments above are to be taken in the context of the top-end version)

Last edited by suman : 9th September 2010 at 14:40.
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Old 9th September 2010, 16:15   #60
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One thing I will not look for in a high end Tata / Mahindra product is the Tata / Mahindra brand.

Toyota did a fantastic job of creating the Lexus brand. Both Tata and Mahindras will have to go a bit further. In Toyota / lexus case, with little more thatn cosmetic changes; it was easy for people to "mod" their Toyota vehicles to Lexus brand. Dunno if this will be desirable in case of Tata / Mahindra case.

But I certainly look for separate service stations and more refined staffers I am going to shell out that kind of dough and TCO associated with that kind of price range.

And there is a good reason I did not mention technical stuff here. In marketing, premium pricing is justified by three things -

1. A premium. "high value" image.
2. Snob value
3. Exlusivity.

It is all about marketing, honey!!!!
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