Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Other End Of The Line

We spoke to various heads of different Transport companies who are currently associated with Mahindra Navistar. The various customers told us about their experience and how their journey has been so far. The customers shared their opinions on their satisfaction with Mahindra Navistar Trucks, company satisfaction along with driver’s satisfaction and most importantly the reason that influenced them to make a purchase of these trucks.

What influenced them to purchase Mahindra Navistar Trucks?
To quote Mr. Vikram Khurana, Partner – Sheetal Parivahan, Mumbai, “It was Mahindra Navistar who introduced the concept that if one is purchasing a truck he should know how the truck is being made, which till date in the history of trucking in India, neither TATA or Leyland or any other unit has done. They were the first ones who invited all the transporters to their factory, from PAN India to come and see and understand how their trucks are being made and what parts are being added, what the life cycle is, what the technology and system is and the various tests it will undergo. We are being given importance today, that you are the transporter, the one backing the industry, which wasn’t the case earlier.”
In most cases, the customers were invited to visit the plant in Chakan, Pune after which they took a decision on striking a deal with Mahindra Navistar. Mr. P.D. GUPTA, Proprietor – Manish Containers, Mumbai said that he was very happy with the two year warranty plus two year guarantee being offered by the company for any problems being encountered with the vehicle. A unique driving factor was the average of 10,000 kilometers being offered by Mahindra Navistar Trucks, which again wasn’t the same as TATA.

What is the level of satisfaction with Mahindra Navistar Trucks?
Mr. Ketan Shah, Director – Navigator Logistics, Ahmedabad is extremely satisfied with the offerings of Mahindra Navistar. He said, “We are happy with Mahindra Navistar trucks as the vehicles have given a good return. 1000 kilometers of non-stop running in 24 hours time is absolutely remarkable; which has never been given to us by any other company. The personnel of the company have been visiting us regularly, taking our views, opinions and suggestions as to how they could improvise the product and addressing problems the company might be facing in its operation and also trying to resolve those issues in time; something we really appreciate as we have not experienced the same with other suppliers in the past.” Customers are more than satisfied with the trucks and especially their mileage.
Mr. Vikram Khurana, goes on to say that Mahindra Navistar has got the best engine, the best fuel injection system, beautiful interiors, aerodynamics and the comfort levels from all angles like maintenance, after sales service and support from the company personnel, right from the CEO to the normal mechanics who is going to handle the vehicle.

What about the driver’s Satisfaction?
There has been overall satisfaction from each and every driver from each and every Transport company who is associated with Mahindra Navistar Trucks with regards to the new cabin designed by the company, ensuring that the drivers are able to drive for long hours without getting tired easily, with enough room to rest. Mr. Gopal Prasad Chowdhury, Proprietor – Chowdhury Transport, Kolkata has said that even if his drivers are unwell they do not get tired of driving because of the level of comfort being offered. Mr. P.D Gupta said that “thanks to the comfortable seating the drivers do not feel tired even if they drive for 600-700 kilometers.”
Mr. Vikram Khurana shared his view by saying that drivers who have been driving since 12-15 years found it challenging to use new technology. After discussing these issues with the Mahindra Navistar team, they concluded that each and every driver would be given training. There was a change in the attitude of the drivers who initially criticized the trucks but later appreciated it by saying that they were driving a car and not a truck.”

What’s the opinion on service satisfaction?
Mahindra Navistar is known for its after sales service provided to all their customers. There has been a huge wave of agreement from all customers regarding this aspect of the company. The service system is known to be highly efficient, where drivers can make a call to one of the centers and receive immediate help in case of breakdowns. Because the set up is so large, the availability of spare parts becomes easy.
Mr. Sreyans Kataria, Director – Kataria Transport, Delhi told us that, “The service has been good at Mahindra Navistar. The benefit that we have is that the service centre being only 5 kilometers away gives us the benefit of servicing the truck overnight and receiving it the very next morning. Hence, our advantage of day loss is lesser compared to the others.”
Mr. Darshan Baweja, Director – DBRC, Delhi said that the entire team of mechanics was well managed and committed and they did a fantastic job of repairing his truck within 4-5 hours with making just one call to the service centre.”

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Leap Into A New Future

The Mahindra Navistar Automotive Limited (MNAL), a wholly-owned M&M group company had an Auto Tech Review who recently visited the company’s Chakan plant in Maharashtra to gain first-hand experience and learn more about the country’s most modern CV manufacturing plants.
The visit to the plants gave an insight into the fact that MNAL is focusing on creating differentiators which would play a deciding role in the company’s growth in the future keeping in mind that Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are the two large players in the automotive industry.
MNAL has left no stone unturned in building a strong product, a robust product development team and a modern plant with the best of equipments with an aim of becoming the third leading player in the industry. For example, MNAL products now come with storage space under the driver seats and berths which earlier went unutilized.
Another key aspect at MNAL is the efforts being made on bringing down the cost of operations through improved fuel efficiency and flexibility to map and optimize the usage pattern. Mr. Kiran Vairagkar, Senior General Manager – Product Development brought to light the innovations on telematics and future models having improved functionalities like drain interval, reduction in oil capacity and use of small filters to ensure lowered cost of production.
The MNAL manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune is automated to the extent of 89%, with manual activities limited to processes such as sample inspections and checks. The MNAL press shop is flexible to accommodate panel work of all kinds of vehicles. At the press shop, a systematic methodology at the piercing station is followed which ends by a manual checking procedure of checking scratches, cracks and other defects to ensure zero faults.
In order to estimate improved efficiency, The Mahindra Quality System (MQS) is used in all parts of the automotive sector and frequent audits are undertaken which looks into the details of the sustainability aspect along with The Central Quality Assurance department which undertakes audits from a consumer’s perspective.
Mr. Nalin Mehta, Managing Director & CEO, MNAL believes that MNAL is set to take the next steps towards building a growth path on its own with M&M and its American joint venture partner Navistar International Corporation announcing that the Indian Auto major would purchase Navistar Group’s 49% stake in MNAL and Mahindra Navistar Engines Pvt. Ltd (MNEPL) for Rs. 175 crores.