Luxury car makers in India struggle to cope if their expensive cars break down in the vast hinterlands of India. And their ultra wealthy clients do not take kindly to such mishaps.
Limited footprints, a vast terrain and bad roads combine to pose stern tests of car-makers. They have been left groping in the past, but things are changing.
With free hotel accomodation, luxury back up cars, legal assistance and even flight tickets, companies such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes now offer all sorts of add-ons to customers as part of their after-sales and service packages.
All of them have tie-ups with some agency or other to provide 24-hour roadside assistance, and claim that in most cases the rescue team reaches within the hour.
“We offer some of the best after sales support to our customers,” said Eberhard Kern, MD and CEO, Mercedes Benz India. “We have a National Remote Diagnostic Centre. Our experts in Pune will be able to assist technicians from any location in India in vehicle diagnostics.”
Backup is another area of service. Mercedes has a fleet of 20 B Class cars for on-road assistance. BMW has 17 X3s, while Audi dealers have courtesy cars (A6 and Q7) to ensure mobility during car service or repair.
“The hallmark of luxury car ownserhip does not end with the purchase, but extends to service back up as well,” said Joe King, head, Audi India. “We cover most of India. No Audi owner can be stranded or stuck with his car for long.”