THAT CAR AND BUSINESS LIFE – December 2015

0
630

Mohan Mariwala auto hangar

WE SPEAK TO WELL KNOWN AUTO ENTHUSIAST AND ENTREPRENEUR, MR.MOHAN MARIWALA WHO HAS BEEN THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE WELL ESTABLISHED AUTO HANGAR (I) PVT. LTD. WHICH HE SET UP IN 1994

What is the difference between automobile franchisers and car dealership?
Car dealerships largely focus on only the sales aspect of the vehicle. An automobile franchiser or partner focuses also on representing an image and identity as an extension to the parent brand/ manufacturer. It speaks the same language, tone and is also a reflection of the ethical practices of the partner.

What was the reason for choosing the dealership of Mercedes Benz?
Why Mercedes? Of course the brand name and a huge aspiration value for consumers, a company which constantly evolves its product lineup. Globally Mercedes is known to spend more in product research and development and safety than any other luxury partner. Why Autohangar? Passion for Automobiles, ability to invest capital in infrastructure and people, accumulated experience and expertise in retail and servicing of affluent customers, ability to maintain high customer satisfaction and retain customers, technical an sales knowhow to meet Mercedes Benz standards. Autohangar initially started out of a garage servicing vehicles in the luxury segment with the tools of knowledge. We started and still remain, Grease Monkey’s, that is who we are. We have only grown bigger in business, as we have in our family of employees. Our network just like our dreams. And we still dream big.

What are the major challenges faced by an automobile dealership?
For an automobile dealership, the cost of real estate and people intensive investments can be some key challenges. Rental cost of real estate especially in Metros is a big challenge. Training and retaining people is a big challenge , high import duty cost and registration cost and overall cost of doing business as well. Constantly changing norms, grey areas in regulations can be more of a hindrance to operations and can end up costing a partner some serious financial set backs.

What does it take to develop a car dealership business?
You need to have a passion for cars and machines , have the ability to invest in real estate, showroom, inventory, plant and machinery. Ability to attract talent and develop a professional team in sales , after sales and CRM, should be able to relish competition and thrive. You also need to have a keen sense of customer satisfaction and retention.

What would you advice someone who aspires to own a car dealership?
Be hands-on and decisive, have a keen sense of business fundamentals, and the ability to negotiate with all stakeholders and keep them happy.