Volkswagen is looking to use a strategy similar to that of Ford’s Child Parts strategy.
There’s no denying the fact that India is a cost conscious country and the buyers keep in mind the future expenses they might incur before buying a car. European automobile companies like Skoda and Volkswagen have always been known to have cars that are expensive to repair. But Mr. Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen India met MotorBeam at the side-lines of the Ameo Cup in Chennai and gave us an insight as to how Volkswagen is planning to bring the total cost of ownership down.
Apart from making their cars more fuel efficient, Volkswagen is also working on a Child Parts Strategy that will be similar to the strategy followed by Ford. This basically means, if your car breaks down or gets damaged and needs a change of a part like the engine or the door, then you wouldn’t have to get the complete thing changed. Only the sub-part which has led to the break down can be changed.
Ford has been using the Child Parts Strategy for over half a decade now and it has helped bring down the cost of ownership considerably. For example, if there’s a problem in the piston assembly of the car, earlier in such a case, the complete short block assembly had to be changed. But now, it can be repaired at a lower cost by looking for the actual fault in the assembly like the rings, pins or the connecting rod.
A similar thing can be done if an alternator breaks down. The owner earlier had to purchase a completely new alternator. However, Ford has broken down the alternator into a number of small parts, which now allows them to repair the alternator at the point of failure.
Another such example is the exterior mirror assembly. We all have personally experienced or heard an experience regarding this. It is a standard practice by a majority of automakers to replace the complete rearview mirror in case of damage or failure. But if a Ford model undergoes some damage say around the cover, the company can separately change the damaged mirror cover, hence making the repair cheaper for the customer.
India is an important market for Volkswagen and such a strategy will help them increase their sales by appealing to budget conscious customers. The strategy will further prevent buyers from looking for a local service station to fix their cars which in many cases voids the warranty.
Volkswagen Cost Of Ownership
– The company is planning to use Child Parts Strategy
– This will allow them to repair the part at the point of failure
– Will bring down the repair costs considerably and hence result in lower ownership costs