Article by: Anirudh Raheja
Pasco Motors is making certain that it does not lose track of its promise to address the needs of its CV buyers.

Drawing from its association with Tata Motors stretching over four decades, Pasco Motors will open its seventh dealer outlet later this year at Rajsamand, the marble mining hub of Rajasthan. It was in 1967, that B L Passi started the enterprise by setting up a Tata Motors dealership at Chandigarh. Expansion followed, and Pasco Motors grew to include a dealer outlet at Yamunanagar in Haryana. Out of the six branches, or dealer outlets that Pasco Motors has come to have, the Udaipur center, which was established in 2008, specialises in construcks apart from the complete range of Tata commercial vehicles. The youngest dealer outlet at Faridabad in the NCR region is the most modern, and located strategically on the bustling Delhi-Mathura national highway. The facilities this outlet is equipped with could give a car dealer outlet a run for its money. Says Sanjay Passi, President and CEO, Pasco Group, “Things are looking up for the CV industry. With the government planning to develop dedicated freight corridors, the industry may grow by 25 to 30 per cent in the next fiscal, making it the right time to invest.” The confidence Passi exudes could stem from his company’s performance. After dipping to 5,056 units in FY14 from 6,128 units in FY13, FY15 saw the return of spring with sales of over 8,065 units. These were driven mainly by the M&HCV segment, which contributed to nearly 70 per cent of sales, against the sluggish LCV and ICV sales. “Downturns are cyclical in nature. Few dealers wish to expand during such time, but if you dare to invest, you will reap the maximum when the returns start flowing in,” opines Passi. He adds, “We try to display all the vehicles we have to offer. This facilitates customer decision. Pasco’s customer oriented approach has also led to a rapid adoption of technology. Pasco’s sales team is equipped with tablets loaded with apps, “Apps allow the team to highlight the technical prowess of Tata vehicles, and to compare them with the specifications of competitor vehicles. All this is done before the potential customer is allowed to take the vehicle for a road test. It induces cost savings,” avers Passi. The vehicle comparison is closely assisted by ‘Fuel trail’ test. Post the road test, which runs up to 50 km, the results are compared with similar road test run on competition vehicles. “Most customers who walk into the dealerships are not first time buyers, and have a clear understanding of vehicle they choose to buy. Yet, if they are still skeptical about the buyout, we furnish existing customer references and feedback as an added measure,” states Passi. A part of the marketing endeavour is the presentation of Tata Motors products and services like Tata Motors Prolife, an support arm that excels in reconditioned engines. Pasco Motors also offers Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC), Tata Delight and Triple Benefit Insurance (TBI) and FleetMan.

Setting a benchmark

Most dealer outlets are 3S facilities, and include sales, service and spares support. A team of 600 service professionals are deployed across these centres. While the Gurgaon outlet has a 16-bay set-up, the Faridabad outlet has 32 bays. The 32 bays according to Passi were built keeping in mind the future needs. A team of 46 service personnel at Faridabad attend to the needs of the customers. A 24×7 service helpline ensures round-the-clock service to its customers. “Our servicing effort is largely assisted by a service vehicle,” explains Passi. Built on a Tata 709 chassis with an investment of Rs.25 lakhs, the service vehicle was developed primarily to service school buses. It now caters to other vehicles as well. Pasco sources spares from Tata Motors’ Faridabad depot, which allows for minimized inventory at the dealership. At the Faridabad outlet is an unique facility – offered to the drivers, it is a 20-bed dormitory, flanked by AC rest-rooms. Driver can stay overnight while his or her vehicle is being serviced. Drivers are also offered a CD with tips on driving do’s and don’ts, meal coupons and other basic amenities during their stay.

Training workshops are conducted every month at its Ropar centre, guided by specialists from Tata Motors’ under their ‘Drona’ program targeted at bridging the gap between sales and service quality. Pasco’s staff, drivers and mechanics as well as other interested participants, located within a 80 km radius of this center can sign on for these programs which span over 1-3 days, says Passi. Pasco regularly sends its technicians to Tata Motors’ Pantnagar plant to be trained in the latest offerings from the OEM.

Bolstering entrepreneurship

In order to encourage entrepreneurship in drivers who do not have ample funds to buy new trucks, Passi has extended Pasco’s services in a manner that is conducive to them, “A driver can buy a used truck from us at low rates, we can also help him get finance through Tata Motors,” says Passi. He adds, that this allows for a relationship to be established between the driver and the dealer, “this driver then turns back to us when he is capable of buying a new truck and thus builds on a relationship with us there on.” Happy that the government is taking initiatives to introduce standards like bus code to enhance the safety of both, the driver and the passengers, Passi opines,“Earlier, out of 100 buses, only 20 were sold as completely build vehicles. The rest were only chassis. In the coming years, we aim to reverse the figures and sell only 10 to 15 per cent chassis, and the rest, fully-built and furnished Marcopolo buses.” As of April 2015, ABS systems have become mandatory in some commercial vehicle categories in India. Passi concludes that this is bound to affect Pasco’s sales figures and expectations. India, he says is a price sensitive market. Pasco Motors registered a turnover of Rs.1,435 crore for FY 2015-15.

 

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