Skoda announces SkodaShield after sales package

In a bid to increase customer satisfaction, Skoda Auto India has announced the beginning of a new after sales support service for their customers. SkodaShield, as the company calls it, will provide Skoda customers a renewed sense of customer satisfaction.

The Skoda Shield will ensure “4 years of carefree driving” with a trouble-free ownership experience for all customers.

Speaking about this initiative, Detlef Roemhild, Sr. General Manager, After Sales, SkodaAuto India said, “SkodaAuto believes that the aftermarket services constitute a critical component in the customer’s ownership experience with their vehicles and above all is a strong driver of brand loyalty. SkodaShield only reiterates Skoda’s endeavor to provide innovative products and service to our customers that suits their needs and lifestyle.”

This all-inclusive package package, which is open to all Skoda customers, consists of Basic Motor Insurance, 24X7 roadside assistance and Extended Warranty. It is available with all Skoda models including the Skoda Superb, Skoda Laura, Skoda Fabia and the Skoda Yeti. Skoda customers can opt for the SkodaShield at a nominal fee at the time of purchase of a new car. Related: Skoda cars in India.

This package is available under three options:

1) Basic Motor Insurance — Basic Motor Insurance consists of a one-year comprehensive insurance policy. This is clubbed with 24×7 Roadside Assistance for the same term as the insurance.

2) 24×7 Roadside Assistance for the period of insurance — 24×7 Roadside Assistance will offer on-site support to customers in case of breakdown or accident, so that they may carry forward on their journey without major interruption.

3) Extended Warranty for additional 2yrs/1,00,000 Kms — Extended Warranty is an extension of the new car warranty offered by Skoda Auto India and increases the coverage by two years or upto 1,00,000 Kms over the standard warranty. Hence with extended warranty the cover will be 2+2 years/100,000kms (whichever is earlier).

However, one must keep in mind that this ‘nominal’ fee isn’t so nominal after all.

For the Skoda Fabia, the fee ranges from Rs. 27,300 to Rs. 36,100, depending on the variant. For the Skoda Laura the SkodaShield will cost between Rs. 64,900 and 80,100. The price range for the Skoda Laura’s extended warranty is between Rs. 83,300 and Rs. 96,900.

This project by Skoda is a welcome one as it shows initiative on the part of the Czech automaker to not only get new customers but to retain the ones they have by offering the best possible aftersales service as possible. With competition in the segment the way it is, it becomes necessary for carmakers to look for other ways to retain customers and build a better brand image in the customers’ minds. Roadside assistance and extended warranties should go some way to cover this.

Skoda, part of the VW group, registered a 38% sales growth in 2010 as against sales in 2009. Skoda recently launched the facelifted Skoda Fabia and reduced its price range which has boosted the sales. In December 2010, Skoda sold 2617 Fabia cars taking the annual total to 20,000 units. Despite this improvement, Skoda is under pressure from more established players. The Fabia, on which Skoda’s mass-market hopes lie, is still not selling half as well as its main competitor, the Maruti Suzuki Swift. This aftersales package is thus an effort to build brand image and get more customers interested in the Skoda stable and retain the ones it already has.