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Dealership clueless about the delivery of my Seltos booked 6 months ago

Should I continue to wait or cancel the booking & buy either the Tata Harrier or Mahindra XUV700?

BHPian firingpistonz recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We were looking to upgrade from our 2009 Swift VDI ABS for three years (yes, for the past three years). It was postponed due to the indefinite pandemic and a financial future that was unclear. I kept on postponing while the wife wanted to upgrade soon. We finally decided in the middle of 2021 that we will go for a compact SUV.

We were mainly looking at the Nexon, Sonet and Magnite. But we found that the interior space they offered was almost similar to the Swift and decided to pool in more money and look at Mid-size SUVs instead.

Narrowed down to Kia Seltos and Harrier. In the meantime, XUV 700 was launched and we went to test drive it during October. We were stunned to see so many people do the same. We were told to wait for 3 days to get a test drive and were told that there were a lot of bookings and we are looking at a minimum of 6-8 months for the diesel AX5 variant. We decided against it as the waiting period was too high. We were confused between the Harrier and Seltos. Loved the Harrier for its presence and superb engine. But there are many concerns against it like:

  • Build quality (interiors) not up to the mark.
  • Abysmal media center screen and horrendous rear camera.
  • Bad anecdotes regarding Tata after-sales service.
  • Car will be shared with my wife who might drive it primarily. Our parking space in the apt is a bit tricky for a vehicle of this size. Also, daily driving this beast on narrow roads leading to our apartment was a strict no-no from the wife.
  • Nearly 3.5 lakhs dearer compared to Seltos GT turbo petrol DCT. (XZA variant)

We took almost 2 weeks to weigh the pros and cons between Seltos and Harrier and we finally booked a Seltos GTX plus Turbo petrol DCT on the 10th of November 2021 with Naara Kia, JP nagara Bangalore. We wanted a 2022 MY and we were ok with the waiting. We were told that the vehicle will be tentatively delivered in Feb 2022 and definitely by March of the same year. This was promised to us during the booking. Unfortunately, I did not take this in writing.

Now months passed, Feb became March. I called the Sales executive. I slowly noticed a change in his tone. He said there is a delay from Kia and cannot promise when the vehicle can be delivered. He called us a couple of days later and said that there is a Seltos available, the same model but in two different colour options. One is silver and the other is White DT. We have opted for White MT. I told him that these are not acceptable, and he said that I should accept whatever colour is available. This was his exact statement. I'm not exaggerating.

I now sense that I need to escalate this, call the Kia India customer care and tell the same. I get an email the next day from Naara Kia that our car has been allocated and we will get it by the end of April 2022 max. We are finally relieved. I keep my fingers crossed and I try calling the executive during the course of April. He ignores me completely and never calls back. It is now the end of April and I call the dealership directly and ask for the executive. He calls me after a couple of days and mentions that he was busy with deliveries. He nonchalantly says our vehicle was not tagged/made available to the dealer and will not be delivered in Apr. He has no idea when it will be delivered. I can decide if I can continue waiting or do the opposite of the same. He ends the call by saying I should've taken whatever colour was available and no use cribbing now. I finally lose my temper and give him my piece of mind. I escalate the issue and KIA India re-assigns my case to Customer relations head Naara Kia. the person calls me, and says she will provide an update by May first week and apologised for the behaviour of the sales exec.

I call her yesterday and I'm now told there is no idea when our car will be delivered. She now is asking me to downgrade our choice to the Tech line.

Our delivery is so delayed that there have been two price revisions to the Seltos line. It is now 39k dearer compared to the time we booked and has no price protection.

A few things I noted from this episode.

  • KIA India does not give a damn to a prospective customer. Re routes all grievances to the dealer. I think many companies do the same. No apology email, nothing. Looks like they are high on their sales figures.
  • KIA dealerships or rather the personnel there seem to be arrogant. The sales executive's tone was as if I cancel there are innumerable people waiting in line. Please don't bother, you are unimportant. I was buying the second most top variant of Seltos, and was not treated half-decently by these chaps. Imagine how these guys treat someone who buys a lower variant of Sonet.
  • As a customer, I have completely no idea of what is the status of my car. Is it in the plant, or is it still being manufactured? No idea. I was told that nobody can jump the queue and get one, but considering there is no transparency by KIA on the status of my vehicle, I will assume someone else was given preferential treatment at the dealership.

What can I do now?

  • Shall I continue to wait? Our current car is long overdue for suspension and steering replacement. If we continue to wait, we need to get these changed. If so how do I escalate this issue to someone at KIA, who can give us some concrete answer?
  • Should we cancel and go for - a) Harrier: with all issues mentioned above, the XZA variant will be available in 45 or less days. b) XUV700: Get our current car fixed and book an XUV700. I'm told by the sales exec, whom I talked to recently that petrol AX7 was delivered in 6 months flat. Is this true?

What irks us is the blatant lies and indifferent attitude of KIA dealers. Also if we had booked XUV700 petrol at the same time, we would have one by now.

Please advise fellow members and do chip in your thoughts.

Here's what BHPian naru80 had to say about the matter:

Worst time to be a car buyer. Arrogant salesmen, dealers who don't give a damn, and automakers hiking prices every second month.

The practical advice would be to keep the booking since you have already waited this long. You can book another vehicle and see who delivers first. But chances are that the experience with other carmakers will not be much different.

A little OT, but IMHO Seltos vs XUV700 is no comparison. XUV is safer, a segment higher, more spacious, with a better engine, and superior road presence. It's definitely worth the extra wait.

Here's what BHPian morphique had to say about the matter:

Had the same experience with Kia. After waiting for months for Sonet Diesel AT, lots of bad experiences with the dealers in Pune, Kia customer care working like a postman redirecting to the dealer always, and despite being flexible to consider Seltos Diesel AT / DCT, still did not get any of our preferred options. Finally settled for the newly launched S+ variant of Creta DCT (since it was in ready stock). Ended up paying much less (saved a few lacs) than what we would have paid for Seltos DCT, obviously by compromising on the features and looks.

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