Why Indian Automotive needs to Sharpen its After Sales Services? Customer behavior, Automotive segments, Market Dynamics and Forecast 2030

Indian Automobile has come across remarkable advancement, since last decade.  With the advancement in technology, new features designed in varied range of Two wheeler to Four Wheeler products. For example, Bluetooth connectivity and mobile charging have become common in every Car model of today. Looking at the current rate of progress; 2030 throws up lightning promises in terms of advanced and prominence. Our analysis suggests that there is an urgent need to upgrade product service and maintenance-centre to support the expanding change as well as to delight the customers.

ACG study of Indian Automotive After Sales_ACGanalysis.com

Service and maintenance as per product model is a big issue and needs to be solved as its earliest. Customer Satisfaction does not match after sales report, though; companies try their level best to work hard as well as to convince and delight the customers.  The strategy which companies work on to satisfy the customers, not only in terms of quality, but also cost and time-frame which are actually constraints in analyse for using various parameters. Analysis can be a source of revenue or non-profit for all service providers when taken into consideration; which results after sale is never affected, even in market slow down.

How authorized dealers can increase their revenue in spare parts and other services?

Indian Automotive After sales Segments Car Truck Bus Two Wheeler and Three Wheeler_ACGanalysis.com

Unless and until segments are defined and identified by different constraints, we cannot satisfy our customers.

If we analyse, we find that every customer have different prospective and wants the best as per their needs and requirements. So to get this balance, various combinations and permutation based on quality, technology, features, vehicle type, warranty period, service delivery time as per customer segmentation takes place. Warranty period is an important constraint for OEM authorized workshop which can really dominate the market.

After Sales Automotive Customers segment analysis_ACGanalysis.com

Today customers are flexible in opting best maintenance and service centre for their vehicles. Due to lack of information related to technician skills amidst their locality or territory.  If we study the market, most of the Authorized service centre, Multi brand and large independent workshops are under performing. Hence, ACG is recommended to increase their profit revenue from 30% to 40%.

Transparency is also one constraint that is an issue in after sales services.  Customers are frequently complaining about transparency issue, which needs quick improvement.  A claim in promotion notes that this constraint involves some hidden costs or chargeable service which is abruptly not considered by the customers. It has also been found that many offers are not implemented on the operational level like 24*7 of service delivery for breakdown vehicle which can lead to big troubles.

New advancement in tools like Technician Skill development play vital role in service quality. Service-cost varies with advanced technology in every segment. Life of major aggregate replacement cycle of fast moving parts and service have longer duration but still service as well as maintenance cost has increased due to parts and labour cost.  Manpower and other kind of indirect cost have increased which surpasses customer’s budget.

These are the major parameters of customer satisfaction in After sales:

After sales Customer satisfaction Survey_ACGAnalysis.com

Multi brand concept is quite successful in Europe and Middle East. In India there are some challenges for Multi brand concept. Multi brand concept could be successful in India also if following issues can be resolve in a planned manner.

After sales Multi brand concept issues_ACGAnalysis.com

Spare parts one of the important parameter in After sales. In our study we have considered how business practice work in different formats.

Type of Service packages and their criterea_ACGanaysis.com

To learn more about customers' specific desires and requirements, we examined the six segments in terms of the following categories:General preferences regarding cars, two wheeler, Truck, Bus (CV) segment

Automotive service option and concept_ACGAnalysis.com

We have seen that criteria of service package define the type of service package. Once you define the parameter then you can think about commercial and its advantages. Best fit combination will be the winner.

Type of Service packages and their criterea_ACGanaysis.com

Automotive after sales terminology_ACGanalysis.com

Multi segment concept and best implementation ways

Our study carries with data collection methodology of different organized and unorganized segments, Durability and Availability of Spare parts, Mechanical Skills, Work Procedure, Job Card, Work Quality, Time Duration for Repair, Types of available maintenance and contract etc. If these constraints are taken into concern in every service centre, customers can be satisfied in every way.

Another finding about why Multi Brand Service centre could not make its existence in India, however the market potential and growth is very attractive for multi brand?

Carnation was a good initiative in the multi brand foray, but lack of spare parts availability and paper work completion takes time which builds up frustration in customers. As of with the feedback received by most customers, it is believed that Independent workshops are either expensive or less qualitative in servicing after warranty period  and are usually approached by their own experience, recommended by friends or relatives.

Many OEMs are venturing into Indian market and establishing their service network. But to strengthen independent workshops or road side garage we need to support newly initiated OEMs for enhanced product support.

Here’s a short case study we have taken to better understand the situation:

My name is S.Vijayakumar and I am working in Automobile company since 19 years. I dreamt to own a car and my dream touched the sky when I purchased Toyota  "Etios- VD model Diesel Car" through M/s. Chaudhari Toyota, Jalgaon. On 24th Nov'2011 around 11:55 am the vehicle was delivered to me and filled with joy as well as achieved my long term dream. Iam proud to say that this model is first registration in Jalgaon district.

I had been traveled to various cities by bus, train or flight for official work, but now, as I owe a dream car, travelling long journeys for both official and personal work. My first long journey was from Pune to Ambur (my home town) through NH4, covered around 1030 kms and it took 12 hrs for one way (Max.speed touch up to 165 Km/hr without any hurdle). During that time, I traveled various cities of Tamilnadu with my family which covered almost 4500kms on return to Pune.

My Hobby of driving car has been helped me in covering 120000+kms in span of 3 years and also as of now there is no major issue found in vehicle performance. On my sister’s wedding, roam around entire Tamilnadu and Bangalore, covered 10000kms without any hurdles in the hot month of April &May’13. Also my driving skill is enhanced to further travelled from Hosur -Nellore –Kakinada- Vizag- Nellore and return back to Hosur for my official work. The specific note of vehicle performance is ABS, AC, Steering and Suspension given lots of confidents to drive continuously without any tiredness.

As of now my car is giving a robust mileage of 19kms/litre in AC and 20 Kms/litre in non AC.

I use to render my car service regularly in OEM Authorized workshop of Toyota dealers at Pune, Bangalore, Vellore and Tirunelveli as per recommendations of OEM maintenance schedule. During service time, I was not satisfied with dealer's approach for few repeated issues like Door lock, silencer rattling; horn sound gets off occasionally, and price variation of wheel alignment.

Also there is no dealer network in between Salem – Bangalore- Vellore, every time I have to travel 60-70 Kms (one way) for servicing vehicles, which cost around Rs.600(inc. toll tax) .OEM Authorized workshop needs to plan for service network on these routes or national highway (like express service bay of 3 to 4 nos)to avoid customer dissatisfaction.

Also Silencer rattling sound and Door lock had been rectified with repeated request and quite argument with dealers. During this time I am surprised to note that they are asking customers (including me) to leave the vehicles at Workshop for 2 days for warranty complaints, if they are unable to solve the complaints on first in first time. During my discussion with service advisor, they told me that for any warranty request they will be sending all the failure reports to OEM and after receipt of warranty approval only, they will replace the defective parts. This incident took place at one of the authorized service workshop, Bommachandra-Bangalore and Vellore for silencer rattling and door lock problem.

I feel that, every time Rs.600 for transportation, just to hand over vehicles at dealer's workshop and also 2 days for warranty replacement on further delay leads to discomfort to me as well as any customers. Can you expect such type of after sales policy from OEM as well as Authorized workshops for implementing policies to trouble customers?

Giving the vehicles for accident repairs (insurance claim) to Authorized workshop at Vellore and they had completed all the said repair jobs and finally they are asked me to pay for washing charges, which is not covered by insurance company. How can they ask money for washing, when they did all the painting and polishing jobs by creating my car in dusty condition?

Even some of the dealers are charging 2 to 3% of service charges if you make payment through Credit or debit card.

I am very much satisfied with vehicle quality, reliability and performance. But the dealer’s customer approach is not up to the mark.

Also extended warranty package (EWP) is missing in Toyota brand where in other competitors are offering the same to promote their brand.

At last everybody feels that after stepping into OEM Authorized workshop in Indian Market, they are getting services by the way of Quality and Reliability, which results in Premium product in their life. Hope that OEM as well as Authorized workshop can improve and upgrade their skill level towards customer satisfaction to facilitate Customer delight.

Thanks & Regards
Reg.no. MH19AX-7962

To success in after sales and Customer delight, the following key points are majorly contributing,

  1. Network
  2. Service process
  3. Technician skill level
  4. Training
  5. Availability of parts
  6. Price-Parts & Labour
  7. Service promotional activities

The above reports are exclusively available with ACG, please feel free to contact, Email: Saurabh.mittal@acganalysis.com

Indian Automotive After sales Research Report






Source: ACG

Autobei Consulting Group

‘Autobei Consulting Group (ACG) ’ is a management consulting group which has leveraged on its expertise and proprietary databases to provide "Customized Solutions" in areas such ‘Sales Analysis’, ‘Business Planning’, ‘Market assessment’ and ‘Project Feasibility’ on Global Automotive Industry. Autobei Consulting Group (ACG) make use of the expertise and vast experience to deliver Cutting Edge Research Solutions.


  1. Very nice research!

    Sanjoy Roy

    Business Development Manager
    Automotive Commercial Vehicles
    Scania Case Carrier Kirlosker Still

  2. Customer Satisfaction in respect to after sales should be taken very seriously at the dealership level. However its lacking at most of the dealerships, moreover the Customer should be educated regarding the nature of work being performed on his/her Vehicle. the delays in work schedule should be well informed to customer.

    Dealer Principal should take personal interest and the same should get audited from time to time, after all his huge amount of money and goodwill is at stake.

    Business Coach
    Veritas Human Capital Consulting

  3. I can not comment on India After Sales (AS), but speaking about Brazil the AS is not good at all. Service cost is a way too expensive, quality is not the best and for sure those companies who sales cars have no idea how to well treat a customer. I could name a thousand friends whom had bad experience with AS and less then five whom had a cut edge expirence.

    Rafael Canteri
    Program Manager
    Magna Seating-São Paulo, Brazil

  4. It’s true and now country is suffering from the result. At dealership location the are making good waiting area rather working area. Mechanics are not so trained to handled diagnostics.

    Arun Kumar Upadhyay
    Protech Engineering Pvt. Ltd.

    • Its true Arun. Companies today are actually not working to solve the issues of the customers. Merely talking in a friendly way to the customer is not required. The manpower at the dealerships are required to solve the problems ASAP. I personally have some very bad experience at car dealerships when the attending Service person had no idea what the problem was. And you will be surprised to know that a local garrage mechanic had identified to problem. Pity on Indian Customers.

      Nitin Saxena
      Manager – Marketing
      SAS Motors Limited

  5. That is true,multiple options available are in the market you need to bench mark your products with proper packing, quality, pricing, logistic strategy and last but not least after sales service.

    Shivaji Atpadkar
    Deputy General Manager

  6. One must understand the state wise dynamics since every state is diverse in terms of Customer behavior.

    Swati Shukla
    Sr. Executive MIS
    Shoppers Stop Ltd

  7. Customer support – After sales service is key to drive numbers in Automobile industry, if customer is accepting the brand it depicts Brand has proven strategy as per customer demands and market.

    Prakash Barot
    Area Incharge-Customer Service
    Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

  8. Nowadays…Customers are well aware and becoming knowledgeable too……So, in my opinion it would definitely have an impact on the Market…

    Santhosh kumar
    Assistant Manager
    Isuzu Motors India Pvt. Ltd.

  9. After sales we have to give best services all time if we missed one time customer immediately forgot past best experience of our service.

    Prakash Gohel
    General Manager – Service
    Eagle Motors Pvt. Ltd.

  10. I feel Indian Automotive Industry is yet to learn what is “after sales service”. In fact customer service starts right from the time he agrees to buy the product. Those few moments when he is taking the decision, many things flash in his mind. One good gesture, one good word can change the decision to your favor.

    During his first visit to the workshop (mostly the workshop will be far away from where he bought the product) he would not know how to reach there , whom to contact, how to explain the problems if any, and what is free and what id to be paid, when the delivery will take place, and how many times he has to remind the service adviser are all illusions. The difference of ‘warranty” and “guarantee” and “goodwill” above all knowledge of the product with in the Service group is minimal. I am sure the customer will leave the premises with some doubts.

    Many dealers do a follow up check on phone and almost all of them try to influence the customer to give a better rating, and request not to disclose it to OEMs that they had asked for a better rating. That create more doubts in customer’s mind.

    It is high time OEMs take more responsibility to improve dealership development, specially from the point the sale originates.

    Consultant Automobile Industry

    • Mr Nair. I fully agree with you .In fact the after sales service ensures that the customer will again go back and will buy his next automobile from same company . I am not sure if some one from India’s largest
      automotive company is reading this . But certainly these OEM’s should contact users (customers) directly and ask for there feed back to get the VOC .

      Customer’s feed back can help them not only to improve there service but can help them design better products based on actual users feedback.

      Premdeep Singh
      Manager supply chain Management

      (Planning and Procurement)
      Avery Dennison India Pvt ltd

    • Mr Nair, I dont agree with you. Mostly workshops are in the city for example in Bangalore Maruti, Hyundai, Ford,TVS, Hero etc are located in city. Similarly in most of the cities more than 80% workshops are in cities.
      Once you reach the workshop, the adviser will check the vehicle and he will inform you about works need to be done and expected quotation. Once you confirm it then only they start to work on it.

      Dr Anil Jain
      Automotive Research Consultant
      Detroit Area, Michigan USA

      • Dr.Jain, Thank you for the response. If you like to delve in to the data base of the top ten O.E.M in Bangalore city, who have 3S (Sales,Service, Spare Parts) together located with in the city limits and the cost of rental, lease along with other costs like bringing in Parts, lubricants, other consumables, its storage, inventory costs, the guy upstairs punching keys of a calculator, you will be surprised to know the man hour cost of labor the dealers charge a customer. The days when you can a get enough land to stock your vehicles,( mostly left to the vagaries of weather) build a show room that would fit the market positioning of the OEM (and approval) and a workshop where the number of cars/bikes can be serviced versus the population vehicles is over. One glance at the rental or purchase value/market value of spaces in Bengaluru City will tell you why the normal, scheduled, preventive maintenance cost is so high.

        Secondly once you reach the workshop, the customer can hardly explain the problems (both minor and major) as the Service adviser/Senior Technicians try to sell extra services like, shampooing the upholstery, vacuuming the interior, changing the wipe blades, denting and painting the scratches, polishing the exterior, washing the under body and engine, replacing the air purifier/ refreshner, just to add value to the invoice. Most of the time is wasted on such dialogues, than understanding the customer’s problems. Every car or bike sold contain a manual. I wonder how many customers (also service advisers) read it from cover to the last page. Even some one did that huge exercise I am not sure if they understood anything. Some time the manual comes with (“WHERE APPLICABLE”) notes that confuses more.

        In India the purchase decisions are based on brand name, discounts, loyalty bonus, “keeping up with the joneses”, the spouse’s desire to spite the neighbor and above all “fuel average”.
        “kitna milega”( what is the fuel consumption?) is a question a customer will ask a even “Range Rover” or “Rolls Royce” salesman.

        Therefore I still maintain that the “customer service” starts right from the point of sale to the time the car is declared unfit to run on public road even if the ownership changes many times over”

  11. Perfect explanation of today’s scenario.

    The other day I went to vehicle showroom to get my two wheeler repaired due to accident. When I entered 3~4 salesman cornered me & started asking me how they can help in showing the range, etc. The moment I told
    them that I am here to get my two wheeler repaired, all disappeared in thin air instantaneously! I had real hard time in finding the right person to contact as even their Receptionist was NOT ready to help as it was not a sales! We will do anything to make a sale but will never bother to work for repeated sales.

    We seldom receive complain for our product but when we receive it, it becomes top most priority for us to resolve the issue. Despite the fact that 100% complains results in finding that the Customer is at fault, our dedication to get resolution is more intense than our Customer’s. This makes their anger disappear in very short time as they feel that they have been heard & we are working on their Complain with utmost importance & high dedication.

    It’s time to take note of Mahatma GandhiJi’s words on importance of Customer before it’s too late!!

    Himesh Shah
    Partner at Sonil Ventilfabrik

  12. Well all Automobile Service Dealers BULLSHIT in India. They are only interested on the profit not the Customer Satisfaction. I think Indian Market in Service either its 2 wheeler or 4 wheeler dealers not qualified peoples to take the corrective action on business.

    In Automotive field profit center is only the Service. That should be concentrate on day by day.

    Kaleem Shareef
    Warranty Administrator

  13. I had a harrowing experience myself when i gave my bike (bajaj pulsar 200 ns) at the oem authorized service centre for checkup, as my bikes headlight was flickering bcoz of a loose fuse and the entire light (on the speedometer and the headlight ) would go off completely … I had to give my bike thrice for them to actually see whats wrong and that too i recorded a video , then the person in charge acknowledged it and rectified it … I complained in bajaj customer care after this issue was resolved as the fuse kit was partially burnt bcoz of loose connection for so long (bcoz the service centre guyz didnt care to listen to the customer and kept the bike as it is despite giving them thrice!) as well but they also had the same lackadaisical attitude ….

  14. Very good report. I only hope if some OEMs read and act on these.
    In OEM’s service is that necessity that is the biggest pain. I have seen Service Heads reporting to HR heads (In one case even Finance) and Spares Head reporting to Design Head.
    Dealers are PURE profit motive.
    In 70,000 kms, I was told by the dealer to re tighten ALL the nuts and bolts of the Honda fee – Rs 32000/- With over 30 years experience in automobiles – I was surprised and when asked the OEM’s schedule – was told – Honda does not give in writing.
    Toyota dealers are pure arrogant and do not even complete the job, they charge for.

    I think, multi product servicing will grow – as they have to earn ONLY from service.

    Keep making such good reports.

    S.K. Agrawal
    Business Consultant

  15. I read all the comments with keen interest and thanks to Mr. Nair to have touched upon the basics. Behavioral processes are the foundation for any service industry. In simple terms, it is how a brand behaves with a customer.Now there are 2 points which are derivatives of the previous sentence. Brand and Behaving. Mr. Nair has emphasized on the OEM taking the initiatives.I totally agree. But that’s only the first part. In my humble opinion, the second part which is of behavior, is at the last mile. The last mile in this case are the customer advisers, or service advisers. The last mile is the brand representative to the customer. And that is where the concern lies. The training and processes implemented by the Brand (OEM) will only succeed if the last mile
    executes it. All manufactures per se in India, both global and local, have some best tools when it comes to customer service, but have lost in many ways in Customer Experience. However on a micro level in many markets, selective outlets (service delivery points- irrespective of the brand) have excelled. This is due to the way the last mile executed the processes. Hence, I wish to reiterate, the last mile execution comes under the purview of the channel/dealer. The channel has to understand the importance of service delivery, acquisition of customers and retaining then implementing the processes laid out by the OEM. Only then will we find considerable change in the way we experience service irrespective of the brands of course.
    “Thoughts are strictly personal”

    Anand Mohan
    Emerging Markets Manager
    Tata Motors
    Automotive Sales and Marketing- India and Middle East

    • Anand, How do we ensure that the dealers/channels executes some of the things you have highlighted in the last paragraph? what’s your suggestion???

      Swaminathan “Sammy” Krish
      Sales Manager – GIC – Frost & Sullivan

      • Sammy, its a Chicken and Egg story. Let me elaborate. The 2 major concern areas at Channels and Last Mile are : 1. Quality of manpower- This is the fundamental issue. The quality decides the volumes of absorption of concepts as well the attitude decides the execution of it.
        To me customer service, should come automatically from attitude supported by the learning. Not that quality manpower is not available but at what cost do channels take them on board. Channels are traders.All they see, and rightfully indeed, is the P&L. So will taking highly qualified and paid last mile help? Well it should provided; now comes the point number 2 which is 2. Channel /Dealer Conviction- Is the dealer convinced of increasing his revenues with
        enhanced customer experience? The dealers till date are experiencing theinflows from what they sold 2 or 3 years back when industry was good. The impact of the downturn will be seen in the coming years. So is he/she convinced on retaining customers and acquiring new ones as the
        next step to sustain the business. Now why did I call it Chicken and Egg Story. The logic is- The dealer will be in thoughts- Do I shore up my current model and enhance it with quality manpower acquisitions which WILL affect my bottom line. And then wait for results.

        Or do I retain current manpower and expect business to improve to acquire the quality manpower later. Its a judicious call to be taken only on the conviction of the proprietor.

        Take the case of dealers in Middle East. The manpower is recruited largely from Asian countries and they deliver what the channel wants either by force or by choice. This is because the recruits (if from India) are largely from Indian OEMs attracted by the pay.

        I am sure Sam, I have left your query open, but that’s how the current scenario is..if we look at the way channels operate.

        Anand Mohan
        Emerging Markets Manager
        Tata Motors
        Automotive Sales and Marketing- India and Middle East

        • Partially i agree with Anand. Many time down the line people do not follow company guideline and policy. For example TVS has given information about their after sales support is available 24X7 but when i called to TVS service center in Ahmedbad they said they dont have a manpower for taking my request, even after doing follow up with them he was irritating and told that he does not know about how to handle my complaint. After 2 hrs i got call from same service center and they said can repair my bike but it will take 3 days. I asked it is just replacing oil but they did not hear me. Some time it is better to go to road side garage and get done the job.

          On the other hand this is OEM responsibility to take of the issue because they only commit to their customer about all product support and customer pay them for the product so they cant wash their hands to say that dealer is not working properly.

          Rohit Yadav
          Manager- Health care serivices

        • Thanks for your such an detailed recommendation. What key criteria one need to use in defining quality of man power in this business?? Was it

          Auto industry experience ?
          academic ?
          people with right attitude?
          Ability to understand & Skill to implement ?
          Cost you pay to acquire a resource on board?

          What else we can think off? My intention is to see if we can create something which help’s in recruiting right resources on board.

          Swaminathan “Sammy” Krish
          Sales Manager – GIC
          Frost & Sullivan

          • Sam, thank you. As for the quality manpower, IMHO (in terms of priority) would be:

            1.Getting the Right Attitude.
            2. A work culture that encourages to innovate and learn
            3. A compensation structure to motivate

            Academic will not help always.

            Anand Mohan
            Automotive Sales and Marketing- India and Middle East
            Tata Motors

          • I think India may have the similar envirement with China. So that the service quality will be determined by the owner or manager of the dealership. If they could provide more competitive encourage strategy, then the employee of the shop may have more inspiration and dedication.

            But if your destination customer is a high level of consumption, then the quality of the employees should naturely better than others. And then, there’s a base to implement the strategies of Mr. Anand suggested.

            Alan Lee
            Owner – Ruian Connry International Trade Co., Ltd.
            Rest of Zhejiang, China

          • Alan, fully agree. Since I don’t have an idea on the Customer Experience focus in China, would request your inputs on the best practices. However coming to the point of this blog one of my connection Mr. Manoj has shared vital 2 sentences which are in line with our thoughts- “Customer Experience as a competitive differentiators is still not fully exploited by organizations. It’s incredibly hard to do and has to be CEO led. It needs to be integrated into the business model and is not a stand alone piece.”

            Anand Mohan
            Automotive Sales and Marketing- India and Middle East
            Tata Motors

          • Ideas & propositions will be that much easier to execute when you have a buy in from people sitting at the top. I second Manoj’s thoughts on getting a buy in from CEO & Integrating with the business models.

            Swaminathan “Sammy” Krish
            Sales Manager – GIC – Frost & Sullivan

          • Its good to see the discussion which started off as Why being led into How. Though Veedhi started off with the enablers, the valuable contributions from industry specialists set base on Customer Experience. Looking forward for more inputs..reasons being, purely selfish, for me
            to understand more 🙂

            Anand Mohan
            Automotive Sales and Marketing- India and Middle East
            Tata Motors

          • @ Anand Mohan : World will be a far better place if there are more “Selfish” people like you!

            I am an Indian by heart & soul. I will accept 99% service from Indian Company but not Minus (-) 100%. Companies especially Indian Companies really need to stop taking Customer for granted. These people still have mind-set of “License Raj” which was over more than 20 years ago. Economy has changed & people here don’t mind in paying little extra for better quality & service. This is why many Indian Companies which offers really good product at reasonable rates are not able to become number one. The moment our Companies understood this simple fundamental, trust me, we will have more than 50% world’s biggest companies having their roots & foundation in India.

            Himesh SHAH
            Sonil Ventilfabrik

          • @ Himesh- Thank you for the perspective. Clearly something straight from a customers mind. Combining your thoughts along with Prakash, the writing on the wall is clear- Get the heart share and mind share of the customer, success will follow. And there are absolutely no short cut to get those wonderful shares. Customer Experience should be a culture running through the length and breadth of the organization.

            Glad to be part of such a fruitful discussion. 🙂

            Anand Mohan
            Automotive Sales and Marketing- India and Middle East
            Tata Motors

  16. Why is Aftersales so important? Currently there is pressure on new vehicle sales, and it is suggested that the margins on new vehicles is as low as 8%. However, it is possible to achieve margin in Aftersales of
    around 60%. Secondly, in the customer life cycle, the sales relationship is much shorter with the sales department, than the customer relationship in Aftersales. So it is Aftersales that will eventually sell the next vehicle. It is all about understanding the Aftersales dynamics, putting in place the correct objectives and developing suitable products to satisfy your target market.

    Kevin Ackerberg
    Volkswagen Group – Port Elizabeth Area, South Africa
    After sales Market Manager

    • 100% agree with you!

      Abhay Vaijapurkar
      Saud Bahwan Automotive LLC

  17. Now customer is more precise over the quality of service rendered by authorized workshops. This is emerging as main factor while deciding for the next change. Toyota has quite focused and systematic approach to churn out new customers from old kitty.

    Arvind Kumar Singh
    Manager- Customer Support (PCBU)
    TATA Motors

  18. Bad service = Bad Market share.

    Ahmed Shawky Helal
    PAINT Manufacturing Production MGR

  19. It is fact that service should precede sales. The customer always looks for a good affordable and reliable service network while buying a car. there is a cost involved in it. How ever if the Total cost of ownership is lesser those brands will sell well.

    In India the margin on sales is around 3% only and hence the pressure on after sales to generate the revenue. hence the conflict.

    As far as Body repairs are concerned, the technology has now grown well affording better and affordable quick repairs. Mostly its done with Insurance cover and does not generally pose a challenge.

    Ramesh Ganesan
    Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    Kapico Motors (I) Pvt Ltd

  20. I too agree with the comments that overall the service experiences of the Indian customer at the dealership is not good and that is the sole reason that local garages continue to have almost higher share of business.Recently I sent my new car done 10K km to dealership for clutch problem and the mechanic wanted to change the clutch plate on payment basis.I asked a few questions on analysis and the car was repaired without clutch plate change.

    The root problem is mechanic or dealer personnel are not subjected to proper performance evaluation while the local mechanic has his personal business interests directly linked to customer satisfaction.

    The problem gets compounded as most of the dealers are from sales background and spend there time on sales -financial side with little focus on service side.However companies like Toyota,Honda and Maruti are bringing in more focus on service and the rest would adapt.

    Jagdish Adlakha
    Business Unit Head
    Jamuna Auto

  21. very true!! It’s fact that customer has lot many choice to choose better
    quality product which is reliable, value for money, comfort, style and
    which can provide better after sales experience. Customer can choose one
    out of American, German, Japanese, Korean or Indian Automobile Brands.
    Indian Automobile Market is very young and there is lots of scope for

    Prakash Barot
    Area Incharge – Customer Service
    Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.

  22. If the After Sale Market is worth 200 billion dollars worldwide and India is one of the most important economies in the world, the Aftermarket must be profitable for the licensee, otherwise the margin is quite low by just selling cars. The mix between services, After sales, quality and quantity accessories is the key to develop the market.
    I am interested in the Indian After Sales market if anyone can share some more info It would be great.

    Mario Antonio Pérez De Asco
    Procurement Analyst & Jr. Buyer Linio

  23. The After sales market is the main stay for growth of sales and its complimentary. The service network growth precedes sales and definitely people will buy the brand which is perceived to be easily serviceable..

    Ramesh Ganesan
    Chief Executive Officer
    Kapico Motors (I) Pvt Ltd

  24. Workshop manpower’s quality and diagnostic skill need to be improved. Proper quality & market oriented (need based) training need to be given to all workshop level of people. Then only customer’s satisfaction level can be improved. Quality of outbound end user Product by the manufacturers should be ensured in a gross route level itself and random based quality check should not be adopted. This is the only way to improve over all customer satisfaction after sales.


  25. A poor Aftersales service will quickly destroy any brand. Taking the time to understand the customer, and then getting the quality right, is key. It sounds easy but is rarely achieved. Many brands lack service capacity and rush jobs as a result. The consequences can be disastrous.

    Ensure you have the capacity and processes to deliver quality, and your After sales service will not only be more profitable – but also drive new vehicle sales.

    Arne Willerslev-Legrand
    Executive Vice President- Applus
    Greater London, United Kingdom

  26. Yes Indian Automobile standards need to sharpen its Service, however this can only happen when the Principle Company and the Dealer Principle come together to uplift the service field. When I say uplift it means one of the vital structure is Salary. Today as per the Indian Government norms an apprentice gets a stipend of Rs 3000/- which is approx 47 dollars a month for 200 hours. Whilst a Call center pays nearly Rs 20,000 or more which is approx for a fresher without a trade in hand.Now I ask all you managers ,please tell me which is better getting Rs 3,000/- for a start or Rs 20,000/- as a start.
    I need not mention what the other post in the Automobile Dealer draw in terms of salary. How ever we as Managers need to Curb this Mafia. The hourly rate at a Automobile Dealer workshop is approx Rs 300/- i.e approx 5 dollars, which is billed to the customer.

    In a call center a person has the privilege of becoming a T.L ie Team Leader after 5 yrs and draws a salary of approx Rs 1,00,000/- whilst in an Automobile Dealer after 5 yrs a mechanic draws a salary of approx Rs 10,000/- . When this mechanic who has a 5 yrs experience gets a better offer ( which may be a Rs1,000 or Rs 2000 ) he starts starts cribbing about his salary . Then an Incentive structure is put in front of him by his seniors which is presently a horror in any company and a Target is set which is the new chick in Town.

    I say That if you Throw Nuts You Will Get Monkeys. And then we see surveys taking place as to how the Monkeys served You with detail Analysis.And then to add to it feedback forms ( which never help and is done more out of formality) and change in systems and policies which ultimate results in an Attrition rate.

    I my opinion we need to understand how we can add value to the Automobile Trade so that it become the Number one field that many would oppt for everyone wants the Service Division should do well but no one wants to support the truth that prevails there Customer behavior, Automotive segments, Market Dynamics and Forecast 2030 will all be in line if we start from the cracks.

    The Automobile Dealers In India is a bunch of confusion with its high attrition rate. There are more Call center’s in India than Auto Dealerships.

    India being the Hub for Call centers has had a flourishing business in last few years. Automobile Dealerships have quite huge amount of responsibility in its Service and hence we need more motivated ,talented and responsible people in this trade who can add value in terms of future growth to an employee.

    I do not see much hope in the Automobile Dealer in India where sharpening of its services kill is concerned because the Dealer principle or Owner only think about his revenue ( weather you rob from peter to give paul is not his concern) and the Manufacturers think only about customer satisfaction. Sorry I don’t mean to demoralize Mr Mario Antonio but there is a Gap which needs to be Questioned and Addressed ,and there is also someone responsible for this Gap.

    Carlton Dsouza
    Branch In charge

    • I agree about Salary issues in India, but I think that maybe one key to develop the After sales market there, is to star offering different services that add value to the final customer, otherwise people is just concerned about sales but still is not a cycle business. If service is part of the offer and After Sales accessories are included as part of the transaction when buying any kind of car, then there is some added vale that may rise profits and could start been attractive for sellers, and develop some kind of “jobber” market makers.

      Mario Antonio Pérez De Asco
      Procurement Analyst & Jr. Buyer Linio

      • The salary is NOT the real issue. In the last 25 years the service industry has evolved from a way side garage to authorized service centers. Around 90% of the new car buyer will avail the services in the 1st year at the authorized centers, in the second year it drops to 60% and to 40% in the 3rd yr and to dismal 25% in the 4th year. there fore the case for customer retention and thereby improving the revenue.

        In spite of the customer education and campaigns, the customer generally perceives the service at Authorized centers as COSTLY which is MYTH. the service adviser has to do a proper job of listening to customer, addressing his issues well, and while delivery proper explanation of job done if executed the customer retention will follow.

        Its a complex aspect requiring knowledge and skill up gradation of SA and a sustained campaign to utilize the authorized service centers.

        Ramesh Ganesan
        Chief Executive Officer
        Kapico Motors (I) Pvt Ltd

        • Thank you Mr.Antonio and Mr.Ganesan. Service may be offered to the customer in many ways as long as they do not feel fleeced. Till the car is in warranty period a customer may keep mum about any extra value added job done although prior his approval. However the Rumba starts after a year, where he gets to know how the dealer operates.
          Customer are not dumb nor are our staff dumb. There can be a lot of programms held to educate our customers however we need to educate our staff first. And surly I do not belive in educating our staff just by the formal tranings that are been given by the Manufacturer , but we need to go beyond it.
          Before we can educate and satisfy our External customers when we take care oure Internal customers.Yes we all know that customers have a perception that a Dealer or Authorized service station is Expensive which is a Myth. But I would like to ask Who Created this Myth or How did perception get into the mind of a customer ? At the same time Service Managers are questioned on Targets and Customer Satisfaction.

          In most Companies the Service Adviser is incentive for the Target given to him.It has been observed that if there is no value added done on a car then the Adviser does not entertain that customer much. This is bound to happen with the industry keeping its focus on pipsqueak staff. Well I do not believe in making a parabiosis of a situations just because of a capricious attitude of a poor management.

          I am sure a customer would like to hand over his vehicle and speak to a S.A who is Educated with a good personality, understanding and most of all gets his work done properly. A customer opts for a local garage mechanic since he finds no difference between the dealer and the local garage. Just that in a Dealer the customer gets a fanciful Bill . In fact in a local garage a customers complaint is understood better and done faster properly.In a local garage the mechanic makes sure that the customer is explained of the job done and keeps his PRO spirits high. Wherein in a Dealer a Service Adviser is time bound and is always stressed out. Having stress is Good however getting stressed out is Bad. The Mafia that has been Grouped between the Dealer Principle and the Manufacturer needs to be Broken.

          Its high time that we as Managers fasten our seat Belts and really work for the future of this Industry.

          Carlton Dsouza
          Branch In charge

  27. The basic aspects like listening to customer, understanding his needs, suggested PMS, additional repair jobs, return the car before Promised Time, fairness of charges, explanation of Job done, etc etc will improve the trust.
    test drive and explanation of job performed will enhance the trust and understanding.

    Ramesh Ganesan
    Chief Executive Officer at Kapico Motors (I) Pvt Ltd

    • Something that Mr. Ganesan talks about is key for every single market, no matter which country we’re talking about. Fairness in customer service explanation of job done and service time is a must have in order to succeed, but is not a plus is a must.

      In my view exceeding expectations is the key to differentiate from competitors and increase added value for customers, Also I agree with Mr. Dsouza about training our staff and ourselves in order to outperform with clients.

      Something that is really important as Mr. Dsouza said, is to break that dealer and Manufacturer group principle, I’m be aware about that relationship but as far as I can see, no clients are involved within that relationship, there is where the key is.

      Manufacturers customer are licensee and licensee clients are final customers, but something I guess we are not taking into consideration is that Aftermarket sales just happened ant the of the sale chain, once the final customer bought the car to the licensee and even something that we have completely forget is when we talk about used cars, when aftermarket car accessory may become even more important and though profitable.

      Mario Antonio Pérez De Asco
      Procurement Analyst & Jr. Buyer Linio México

  28. At dealership level manpower employee engagement survey and score reflects customer satisfaction of the brand ,same applicable to OEMs also

  29. Nice research…i am totally agreed upon the lack of transparency in after sales service. Also, i must say the summery of article has precisely mentioned 7 key points for betterment of After sales.

  30. The first car has been sold by the sales agent to the customers, the second from a good after sales department… It’s a old claim from Volkswagen Italy.

    Andrea Romano
    Audi Service Manager
    Audi Zentrum Abruzzo

  31. Something from perspective of a customer.

    Currently having various vehicles in family from brands like Chevrolet, Volkswagen, Audi, Toyota, Mahindra, Hyundai, Maruti, etc.

    I hereby present my analysis and experience.

    It goes like this. Dealers are allotted dealerships only as 3S so that all aspects are taken care of by a single dealer in its Jurisdiction. Due to cut-throat competition, manufacturers/ dealers are forced to sell cars at wafer-thin margins and then expect to gain profit from After Sales Service. Therefore they give targets to Service executives and incentives too for any additional job that they convince customer to carry out. This has created an impression that dealers loot the customers. Penning down my experience with Dealers,company wise.

    1. Chevrolet: I have Chevrolet Optra magnum Diesel and my average monthly mileage is 5000kms. I sent my car to dealer regularly for service at authorised workshop till first 100000kms only which I did in under 2 years. Everytime, the service executive tried to convince me for some additional job and spend more money. At service of 80000kms, the service executive advised to change clutch plate without any complaint from my side and gave estimate of Rs. 50000 for that (Including Clutch plate, pressure plate, flywheel, bearing, etc). He told me that clutch plates of other Optra Diesel cars are changed at under 50000kms and mine is over-due, I may face break down anytime and my family will be stranded on road. I plainly refused telling that i will change it only after the break down in that case. And I used the car with factory fitted clutch till 205000kms. Being technically inclined, I prefer sitting down with local mechanic and get things done under my observation. It saves on cost and you get to know your machine better.

    2. Volkswagen: We own Passat and Vento from Volkswagen. Passat too is a mile muncher since its day of delivery and has covered 2.7 lakh kms till date. We preferred sending the car to dealer since it is considered as a high-tech car and we serviced it at authorised centre till 2.2 lakh kms. Interesting case happenned with Passat at 1.95 lakh kms when it broke down near Pune because of broken timing belt resulting damaged engine head. Being always serviced at single authorised workshop till date, we argued with VW India to bear the expenses of damage as it was the job of dealer to change timing belt at recommended interval of 150000kms. And we were successful at that and VW dealer where we always serviced our car was made to bear expenses for full repair of our car including towing expenses too. Now that our Passat is 6 years old, we do all service outside and believe me, the repairs are done at fractional costs. AC condenser failed, replacement cost at authorised workshop was quoted at 30k+ & it was repaired outside for just 2k (Working fine since 2 years) . AC blower failed, repaired outside for just Rs.500 (working fine for last 6 months +).

    With Vento, the negative experience was just limited to bumped up service estimate/ cost. When we sent our Vento for service of 45000 kms, the executive advised for few additional jobs like 1. AC disinfection, 2. Under-bonnet water drain pipes clean up. I refused both but still he insisted for second one telling me that the drains may get chocked up and rain water instead of flowing out will go into engine compartment and damage ECU which cost 1.25 lakhs. Height of exaggeration. What do these people think? Are customers fools?

    3. We have 4 cars of Hyundai viz 2 Accents, Verna & Tucson. Whereas, Hyundais are very reasonable with service cost and quality even they try to convince for additional jobs like Engine flush after old engine oil drain, AC disinfection, etc.

    4. Having Swift of Maruti, Maruti dealers too try to convince to carry out extra jobs like 1. Go for Synthetic oil, 2. Cleaning brake pads/ discs, Engine flush, etc

    5.Having Scorpio of Mahindra, we sent the car for service to Mahindra dealers only till car was under warranty as they too always carried out additional jobs without consent, inflated bills and created dispute.

    6. Having Q7 of Audi, even our Q7 is 6 years old and covered 1.6 lakh kms. We serviced it at authorised workshop only till 1.2 lakh kms. We now service our Q7 too at local garage as the cost of repair is less that 10% compared to quotation by dealer. One major complaint against Audi india is, they did not offer extended warranty at the time when we bought our car and when the scheme was introduced after one year, they refused for existing cars even at cost. So we had to settle with just basic warranty.

    7. Having Innova of Toyota, our Innova has covered 3.95 lakh kms in 9 years of ownership and is still running on stock engine and factory fitted Clutch. We always service our car at Wasan Toyota, Nasik as we don’t have any complaint against it, whatsoever. Also carried out some repairs at DSK Toyota, Pune and again the satisfaction was 100%. Never in this period were we overcharged or requested for additional jobs which are not required. These guys are so honest that when we sent our car at 3.80lakh kms for replacement of clutch, they said its not required and just serviced the clutch for very negligible amount. The cost of service and the cost of spares are unbelievably low.

    Its time other manufacturers learn from Toyota’s customer centric approach and stop taking customers for granted. Normal customers end up getting looted at service centre while technically inclined like us get the job done from outside. Thanks to globalisation, now spares of all the cars are available in open market at lesser cost hence mile-munchers like us are not dependent on Authorised workshops. Its OK if the resale value we get is lower but we don’t expect resale value to be higher because all the vehicles have already covered very high mileage.

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