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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Interesting point V6J.:)

Ok, so dealers, to get a decent resellers discount have to agree to take a certain number of vehicles from the supplier. Its all target led, I fully accept that, as with many different industries.

Which makes selling on a problem riddled car even more crazy!:eek: Not only are they passing the problems to a new owner, losing trust from new owner, getting that car thrown back at them again and again, but missing out on a potential sale of a new car later down the road.... :rolleyes:


Does anyone actually know of a case where their rejected car from any marque went back to the manufacturer :confused:

I was told by ARUK that my 1st 159 would probably be used as a donor car. Imagine my shock to see it for sale on the forecourt of a dealer 7 days after I'd accepted a replacement 159 from ARUK, sat there riddled with 'un-fixable' issues.

Even different dealers and people within ARUK have conceeded that certain vehicles ought to be used as training cars or donor cars - so why isn't this happening :confused:


It just doesn't make business or customer sense, whichever way I see it! :(
 

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Im not sure of the exact financial ins and outs in my case but I know that money has gone from ARUK to the dealer and that Fiat Finance have had little/no input at all.

Last time I was at the dealer it was hinted (although I must stress only hinted) that the car would go through an independant auction.... one of the salesmen joked he might buy it as it would be dirt cheap.

AFAIK in my case ARUK has covered all the financial hit, but the dealer has had to put in the leg work with ordering the new car etc.

I feel very bad for the next owner of my car - they are likely to have far less comeback on the issues than I :(
 

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If a dealer (who we will assume has a reasonable level of competence) can't fix a car, then AR-UK should take it in and have a go at fixing it themselves (again, we should assuming they are as good as, or even more expert than, the dealer as they have direct access to the factory etc. and all the latest even controversial or confidential "latest" to help them effect a fix).

Then if neither AR-UK or the dealer can fix it, AR-UK should take it back and make sure it is not sold on. Effectively the dealer has rejected the car too.

I think crushing any car is a bit harsh..! :eek: but any importer worth its salt should be able to set up a mechanism whereby "lemon" motors are rebuilt/re-engineered as much as necessary, using all the inside knowledge of the factory, if it's a bit confidential, before being introduced back into use.. via tame fleets or (internal) users who know what they're getting.

We could call these "Melons" (Lemon that's been re-arranged a bit) :D

AR only has to break even on these cars.. so they could support a "Melon" department whose sole job is to de-snag troublesome cars.

A stint in the Melon department and a run through the tame end-user (maybe even AO members can volunteer! :thumbs:) should verify a car is "fixed" .. before it goes back into retail.


Ralf S.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I think I should be the BETA tester for the MELON section! :eek::lol::cheese::lol:

Seriously though, some valid points Ralf :thumbs:
 

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Does AR-UK have the facilities fo fix a car? I thought they would just be a pen pushing HQ more than anything else. I ask...

There are so many factors in all this it's scary. One of my clients is Visteon who build electronic components for Jag, BMW, Fiat, Ford amongst others. For example, the Sony radios fitted in Fords is sent in component form from Japan and then built by hand in Visteon and sent out for final assembly. The margins are ridiculous and these plants are always under the threat of closure as the contracts they have only last a couple of years. They are just one small link in a very long chain. Once you get all the just-in-time logistics into play where 90% of the stock is on the road, the costs, although reduced by a more cost efficient process, are extremely high. Ultimately, and owing to a highly competitive market, cars are sold with such a small profit is could be argued that they are practically sold at cost price. Therefore, taking cars back is simply not an option and the priority is to get units on the road pretty much at any cost. Why? Because there is money to be made in parts and labour during the first 4 to 6 years of use. The return on a newly built car is not calcualted at point of sale, it is calculated throughout 'approximately' the 2 to 4 years after the initial 2 year warranty. After that then it usually ends up in an independent garage so manufacturers aren't bothered even though parts will still be sold. A new vehicle therefore MUST break down in order to be financially viable. The exceptions of course are high end vehicles and exotic cars which are sold with big profits but then reliability is a must on a 100grand + car. The exception to this being the Bugatti Veyron which was sold BELOW cost price as a VAG marketing excercise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Does AR-UK have the facilities fo fix a car? I thought they would just be a pen pushing HQ more than anything else. I ask...

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Yes they do.

ARUK run a fleet of cars. Some for management (FIAT and Alfa have a lot of shared staff), some for press. All from a central garage. The up keep and maintenance of these are 100% ARUK.
In fact press cars go through a different route than other vehicles!:eek: Each press car has another PDI and full shake downs at the end of short term loan stints to keep them at 100%.
 

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Yes they do.

ARUK run a fleet of cars. Some for management (FIAT and Alfa have a lot of shared staff), some for press. All from a central garage. The up keep and maintenance of these are 100% ARUK.
In fact press cars go through a different route than other vehicles!:eek: Each press car has another PDI and full shake downs at the end of short term loan stints to keep them at 100%.
I guess that makes sense what with so many press events, shows, etc. A friend of mine was a motoring journalist for a time and often mentioned how much attention to detail there was prior to handing over the keys of a press car...
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Wel, they like to trash cars so just let them use
'em for a challenge. ;)

They'd be welcome to my last 2 159's :lol::thumbs:
 

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Fault finding is mostly through error codes, and experience. When the dealer fails I presume the task goes to ARUK field service engineers, who also pass on their knowledge to the dealers. When the ARUK men fail then you have a case for replacement of the car. Intermittent faults are always difficult, and there was the famous case of the brakes in your 159, which could have been something in the servo system. There have been many cases in the past of manufacturers scrapping cars. It would be interesting to know if the old 159's are still on the road, you can check whether they are currently insured.
 

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Can't you use the DVLA website to see if they are still taxed? If they are taxed its likely they're on the road.
 

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Anyone remember that TV advert where an Indian guy turned a little Indian car into a Peugot by getting an elephant to sit on it? They probably do something similar with dodgy Alfas. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Fault finding is mostly through error codes, and experience. When the dealer fails I presume the task goes to ARUK field service engineers, who also pass on their knowledge to the dealers. When the ARUK men fail then you have a case for replacement of the car. Intermittent faults are always difficult, and there was the famous case of the brakes in your 159, which could have been something in the servo system. There have been many cases in the past of manufacturers scrapping cars. It would be interesting to know if the old 159's are still on the road, you can check whether they are currently insured.

Yes, you're right and yes, both my rejected cars are still on the road. One with an end user who's had a blown engine (water pump seized) and the last will be going up for sale very soon.:(
 

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Surely this might be worth punting off a quick email to Watchdog or something?

I know we don't want to hurt the brand, but knowingly putting two crappy cars onto the road is bad news.
 

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AR-UK will say "we fixed the problems first..." so the story hasn't go legs.

The trouble with intermittent or "elusive" faults is they need t be properly beta-tested before you can honestly know you fixed them.

My points above are that you can't just "fix" lemons.. they tend to take time and patience and several attempts.. they need to be de-snagged by someone who knows the story (that should definitely NOT be an unsuspecting punter).

AO could probably provide hundreds if not as many as a handful of volunteers! I vote we can write to AR-UK and offer our services.. I won't personally even ask for any money! :D

Ralf S.
 

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What must be really frustrating is that a new owner will know nothing of the history of the car. They'll be starting from scratch. ARUK will pretend that they know nothing about the car, and will start from scratch. Starting the whole complaint/repair process again is a waste of everybody's time, including ARUK's. There's got to be a better solution to what currently happens.
 

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The Dealer will take it on as stock.

If it's damaged/faulty, it goes back.
 

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My first one was sold within 6 weeks to a guy who lives 5 miles away and as far as i know, he hasn't had a repeat of my problems (06 flow shutter valve etc etc) Perhaps the new owner is on here??
 
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