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Dealer asks customers: How should I sell new cars with repainted panels

My responsibility is to deliver a brand-new car. If any defect in paint is observed in PDI we rectify the same before delivery.

BHPian Kedrock recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear all,

I request you share your perspective on the topic.

As an automotive dealer, we handle new cars with utmost care however, on rare occasions (while shifting the cars from stockyard to showroom) the new vehicles may get scratches and tiny dents. We send these cars to the workshop and get them fixed (panels or panels repainted) before delivery.

Now, as we are delivering a new car we expect the prospect to treat the car as new only but almost all the time prospect demands a huge discount/a different car. On this forum also, almost everyone who's been delivered a repainted car treats the new car as a lemon/ used/ defective one. Many times the dealer is labelled as fraud.

As a dealer, my responsibility is to deliver a brand-new car. If any defect in paint is observed in PDI we rectify the same before delivery.

So, why repainting a panel (on a new car) is made into a big deal?

Need your perspective to handle such queries in a better way to ensure customer satisfaction while not digging a hole into the pocket.

Regards

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

Could you explain what sort of paint defects you are talking about? Like actual defects straight from the factory or damage incurred during transport?

First of all, why shouldn't it be? The factory finish is factory finish. When you go to the apple store to buy a new iPhone, will you take the display piece or want a sealed box? If you are to accept anything other than a sealed unit, you would ask for a discount right? So why shouldn't the same hold true for products that are 10x the value of a new iPhone?

I have honestly never seen a repainted panel at a dealership that has been done well. Perhaps the case is different with luxury car dealers but otherwise, I find the finish, attention to detail, paint matching and overall job done at dealers and ASCs has always been sub-par, not sure if it is the quick turnaround times, the equipment, quality of paint systems used but definitely never seen a good respray done at any dealership for a sub 30 lac car. I suppose if the job is done well enough, then no one would even notice during the PDI.

If damage has been incurred while in transit, is there no transit insurance to handle it? If damage is done at the factory wouldn't the manufacturer be liable? If damage is incurred at the dealership level itself, then one must bear the responsibility, report it to the customer and offer some discount or meaningful freebies like an extended warranty to gain their trust and perhaps not have as many un-trained people drive the cars.

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

It will be interesting to listen to some of the things from the other side

Complete honesty and transparency are what I practice and suggest. Keep that dinged/ scratched - part/ panel as it is and pass the rebates suitably. How much will depend on the damage or the type of vehicle?

A fast-moving long delivery vehicle people may glance and pick but a slow mover or more damaged may need deep discounting. Repair/ Repaint only after getting approval in writing from the customer for your records. Until such time does not touch the car or try to rectify it.

Insurance will cover the repairs, no Insurance is going to give a new car unless the damage is too much or the car cannot be repaired.

Correct, be truthful and let the customer decide. I am sure there will be many looking for a discount not bothering much about small things. After all, these are meant to be driven on the roads so who knows how and when that first nick happens.

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

Let me tell my past experience with different dealers with bodywork. While most of them do a good job of paint matching and finish, the prep work sucks and this will show up a few years down the line with paint peeling off the edges, wavy textures, slight paint fade and so on. Hence, for me, the factory paint is factory paint and no one can come close to the quality, longevity and consistency. You might want to argue that you do a better job, but that's something that everyone does.

Hence, in that regard, the repainted panel is a big deal for me, and so is a replaced panel which has been painted. Have had a bad experience with this one too. Having to live with a repainted panel for my own mistake is on me, but not because of someone else doing a negligent job handling my car.

Most of this damage during transit can be easily avoided with some care and concern shown by the people who handle these cars. The other unfortunate acts like maybe a major accident due to someone else's fault, etc would definitely have insurance to take care of. That's a better area to spend money on rather than trying to fix damaged cars again at a cost which will eventually affect quality.

End of the day, these things might happen and these cars might have to be sold. When we can have a factory seconds option for even clothes, why can't we have it for cars? At least make it clear to the buyer that this is the case and you would offer a small discount. There are people I know who really don't care about repainted panels and head to the body shop frequently. These people can be easily convinced to buy these cars especially if a decent discount like 10-20k is offered. What is an absolute no is if these cars are sold without informing the customer, which is where a lot of complaints come from the moment someone checks out their new car and tells them that it's repainted. I am sure it's nearly impossible to hide the fact that a panel has been repainted. That again boils down to the issue of the quality of the finish.

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

  1. Train your staff to be more careful while unloading or transporting the vehicle for delivery. When a customer pays money (Amount irrespective), the minimum expectation is to get the product at the factory finish. I don't find this expectation unreasonable. Would you be ok if the customer pays less than your purchase price?
  2. If something like a small dent removal/repaint panel is done, it's your DUTY to make the customer aware of the same. If you are fixing it without informing the customer, its nothing short of CHEATING
  3. I agree that asking for a brand new vehicle for a small repaint at times may sound unreasonable BUT it's the customer's call as it's his/her money. You may find a customer who would not bother to give a discount but you just cannot push a product which is tampered with.
  4. When you deliberately want to sell a car which is fixed for some reason, it's obvious that you want to minimize any loss, then how come you expect the other party to compromise on something for which the whole amount is/would be paid. The best is to sit with the customer, discuss the issue and potential discount and then take a call. Skipping this just shows you and your company's integrity when it comes to doing business.

Somebody has to own the mistake and why should customers be penalized for something that happened on your watch? Similarly, during the ownership of the vehicle, would you fix the scratches for free?

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

I'm okay with touched-up parts or repainted panels so long as the finish is good and doesn't stand out like a sore thumb. I understand that sometimes shit happens and the best course of action is also something that gives you the least headache. Getting the entire car replaced for a small scratch or dent is just beyond me. I mean, if you plan on owning the car for 5-7 years, you will inevitably scratch it a few times over its life and get it repainted. So chill. If the paint job is not up to the mark, yes I understand the frustration. But most dealer paint jobs are so good these days that you wouldn't be able to tell it's repainted unless the dealer tells you it is.

But of course, the dealer should offer a discount in return. Transit damage is the responsibility of the dealer, and that should be compensated.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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