Auto recalls double in 2011-12 as firms try to retain buyers
What underlines this change is that the battle among automakers is now moving to the after-sales arena, where the aim is to improve overall ownership experience. This is important to maintain brand loyalty at a time when the average period of car ownership has almost halved to only 4-5 years.
“Auto companies now feel that it is first important to improve the ownership and dealer experience for the customer,” a senior industry official said.
The industry has also been pushed by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ (Siam) new voluntary recall code unveiled this July and the government’s plan to develop a mandatory mechanism for fixing such defects and penalising the errants. With a system in place, companies are encouraged to announce recalls.
“Earlier, companies were not obliged to inform either Siam or the media, so they contacted customers directly. When we are designing this, members initially felt it may look like a stigma, but now it shows proactiveness by the industry. They gather data on potential defects when cars come in for servicing,” a Siam official said.
Siam added that it is open to a third-party enforcing recalls and gathering consumer complaints that can be aggregated and passed on to the companies. “The government can come up with norms on this or create a common website. It has to be a third party to give confidence to the consumer. We can’t be an auditor for ourselves,” the official said.
Be the first to comment.