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Taking the 'steady seller' to the next level

In an attempt to lure scooter buyers and boost the sales, manufacturers are gearing up to give better dealership experience to the customers, reports Suprotip Ghosh.

autos Updated: Dec 24, 2007 20:45 IST
Suprotip Ghosh

Scooter buyers in the country are in for major pampering. Manufacturers are gearing up to take the dealer experience to the next level and, as a study has shown, below par dealer experiences are affecting scooter sales in the country.

A study of more than 2,000 scooter buyers by market research firm TNS Global has indicated that most scooter buyers are dissatisfied with their dealers and the service they get from dealerships and servicing points. The study has created interest among scooter manufacturers, who are sitting up and taking note of the 6,38,078 buyers who bought scooters between April and October this year, said a source in TNS Global.

Motorcycles overtook scooters in numbers in 1997 and have grown explosively since. Hero Honda, India’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, reported shipping 2,88,027 units for November alone.

“Scooters have always been steady sellers for manufacturers. However, most manufacturers feel it is time to hit the next level,” said Pradeep Saxena, senior vice-president, TNS Automotive.

According to the study, the 'Honda Activa' tops the rankings in the ungeared segment on the back of a good performances in sales satisfaction and product design. The Hero Honda 'Pleasure', which debuted at the top of the chart last year, slipped to second position, primarily due to a relatively poor performance on after sales aspects.

Comparing the regions, the West led the satisfaction ratings among both ungeared and geared category of scooters. Satisfaction of customers in the North fell significantly among all the three categories.

Test-drives for scooter customers have a strong impact on commitment during the shopping experience, while a transparent sales process retains its importance as compared to 2006. However, industry performance drops on this attribute, the study said.

The after service paperwork process has also become a key motivator for consumers and hence manufactures need to critically examine this process, Saxena said. Today, consumers also want their scooter to be designed in such a way that all members of the family are able to use the model, he added.