Commercial & passenger vehicles sold under one roof: Yay or nay?

Force Motors and Mahindra are still selling PV's and CV's under the same roof.

BHPian anjan_c2007 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Since more than a decade ago, CV's and PV's were sold and serviced under a common roof in the same dealerships by nearly all auto manufacturing units in India. Lately, a very few OE's who are both passenger car (PV) and commercial vehicle (CV) makers like Tata Motors have separated their dealerships for these two categories of vehicles. As the clientele and their specific needs for both these categories of vehicles are different it is always preferable to have separate showrooms, which Tata Motors (earlier TELCO) has realised of late. Till their Tata Estate, Sierra, Safari, Sumo, Indica and Indigo years they might have sensed the perils of having two in one, common dealerships, but they have lately separated these. In many cases it is the same dealer who has established his CV showroom in the city's outskirts, leaving the old showroom in the city's prime area for PV's. And there is a rider here. Tata Motors has though kept common dealerships in smaller towns (Tier II,III) where the sales volume is not high which is practical, as one cannot expect a dealer who sells 10-20 cars and trucks a month to have a separate showroom for PV's and CV's.

Contrarily, Force Motors and Mahindra are still selling PV's and CV's under the same roof. But their tractors are sold and serviced in separate showrooms. As far as Force Motors is concerned, they sell very few PV's though. There could again be some unavoidable tractor, PV and CV sales and service of Mahindra and Force Motors under one roof, though in smaller Tier II and III towns, where sales volumes are too low to justify separate showrooms.

The photos illustrate contentions stated in the above paras.

Old Tata Sierra Turbo advt listing Tata dealers in Punjab- most of these also sold and serviced CV's (image source:

Sree Gokulam Motors TATA Cars Showroom Thodupuzha Car Dealer in ThodupuzhaThodupuzha Kerala 685584.j

A new Tata Motors PV dealership in Thodupuzha, Kerala - source Sree Gokulam Motors

Force Motors Tractor showroom- source Adarsha Entterprises, Ranebennur taluq Haveri, Karnataka

Above two image Force Motors showroom- source Keshav Force Motors, Karnal, Haryana

Force Motors dealership source- MM Automobiles, Rewari Haryana

Mahindra Tractors, Palakkad dealership- source dealer

Mahindra Tractors Shahdol M.P. website

Mahindra dealer- all PV's and CV's under one roof - source Unnati Motors, Nagpur

An old newslink above about Tata Motors to sell PV's and CVs at same dealerships in smaller locations (June 2011 TOI)

In the poll, members are requested to vote for their preference, whether they prefer a common showroom for both PV's and CV's sales and services or whether these should be separate.

Also, comments and anecdotes about such dealerships of Tata, Mahindra, Force and also other automakers are most welcome.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Has to be different, indisputably, especially in markets of good size. I can understand a common showroom in smaller cities & towns where one cannot justify the cost of separate channels, but in larger markets, they have to be separate.

It's not just the customer expectations + profile + difference in sales requirements, but even the products are entirely different! As an example, a Tata Ace will spoil the personality of the 2023 Safari Facelift parked next to it, as will a Bolero Pickup next to a 33-lakh rupee XUV700.

The same salesperson cannot sell a Grand Vitara to a family, and also a fleet of 40 Eecos to a logistics company manager. Requires an entirely different skillset. Plus, the former will expect a certain ambience & finesse, while the latter will only care about the price & quick delivery.

Here's what BHPian Newtown had to say on the matter:

The cross-sell opportunities across both these segments is limited. Hence in Tier 1 cities, it is necessary to have the sales and service for both segments at different locations.

However, once there is more traction gained around software derived vehicles which will include both categories of vehicles, that will be a game changer. That is when I foresee both PV's & CVs being sold & serviced (or let me say updated) under the same roof.

Here's what BHPian furyrider had to say on the matter:

Personally, i don't care as long as the vehicle ticks my boxes, but when I tag along my family with me, I expect the showrooms for PV and CV to be different.

I had to drop the idea of purchasing a Marazzo just for this reason. I posted the details a long time ago in the Marazzo official thread. The gist is that I visited a Mahindra showroom with my family to check out the Marazzo. When we mentioned that we came looking for a Marazzo, the showroom staff pointed at a lone M2 on display in the commercial vehicle part of the showroom while the PV section has all other cars from their stable. No one attended us and we were left to roam around the CV section all to ourselves. The experience was sub par and when asked for a quote, they asked if we were looking for a yellow plate. We then visited a Kia showroom and the experience was exact opposite. So much so that we ended up with a Carens instead of Marazzo.

Here's what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

In someways, CV sales are a more sophisticated and technical sales process, while PV sales require much better soft skills and an appeal to emotion. If you are selling a Safari, you need someone with an iPad and a jazzy video presentation. If you are selling an Ace or 407, you need someone with an excel sheet which assesses total cost of ownership based on the use case of the specific customer .

There are very few people who can combine both these hard and soft skills - especially in a multi lingual environment like urban India. Hence the need for dedicated sales people and separate showrooms. There is no need for either a PV or a CV buyer to be offended by this.

Here's what BHPian V.Narayan had to say on the matter:

Hmmmm interesting question. As one of the members who actually sold trucks allow me to chime in. I am a bit outdated having sold Tata trucks 4 decades ago. Trucks and smaller CVs like the 407 and Tata Telcoline pick-ups were not sold in the showroom but in the field. We used to take the new product door to door to truckers and other buyers and demonstrate the vehicle to them, let them kick the tyres, get behind the wheel, under the truck (literally), dig in under the bonnet and pass a hundred expert user comments and so on. We would hold demo melas at the "transport nagar" of the town all day long with ample supply of samosas. That is where the decision to buy got influenced. The deal might actually be closed anywhere. The dealers showroom actually was really for warranty service and major repairs and to lay out a few spanking polished vehicles whenever the Tata GM sales was visiting!

Times may change but people do not. A car is bought from the heart and with a budget in mind. A truck or a CV of some kind is purchased with the head and a business model and cashflows in mind.

For a large trucker the respect you give to him in front of others counts for a l-o-t in determining volumes you'll get. You got to know his family, visit his home make sure the General Manager visits his office/godown and so on.

Conclusion - keep them separate. The kind of sales person you need are rather different. One has to sell once or twice. The other has to build a relationship to sell several times to the same customer or deal with orders for multiple vehicles at a time.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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