Competition is something we experience in the business of hauling cars just as in other areas of the automotive industry. Competition for us, as with any business, is often about affordability – which means we always have to keep an eye on our shipping prices to ensure we are as low as possible compared to the other options out there. It also means standing out with service so that when people write reviews online, we get a good report. It’s also just about integrity.
Recently in India it was announced that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) was looking into possible anti-trust problems with international automakers. Monopoly interference at a governmental level is rare, especially involving a variety of companies. However, ensuring competition means the cost to transport vehicles is kept fair. Fair prices ensure that everyone has access to the best possible way to ship a car rather than dealing with a rigged situation controlled by one company.
Repair Costs in India
Repair costs in India have become a problem, which is why automakers will potentially have to change their practices. Indian companies have not been able to compete with outside competitors. CCI, which reviews anti-trust problems for the nation, has become concerned that almost 20 carmakers are making it difficult to get access to spare car parts on the free market.
CCI has the ability to penalize companies with large fines. The companies that are foreign to India are the ones that are causing the problems, according to one insider, with the noted exception of Hyundai. Car owners are expected to visit dealerships when they need to have a repair performed on a vehicle because the parts are not readily available elsewhere. The successful effort to restrict access to car parts has inflated the cost of repairs since competition has been hindered.
Independent shops that wish to provide parts to all vehicles have been unable to buy those parts directly from the automakers. Instead, they have had to go to dealerships for the parts. These shops that service a variety of brands have been able to continue to operate, then, but everything has been marked up because they have not been able to buy the parts wholesale directly from the manufacturer.
The Counterfeiting Problem
An additional issue under investigation – and which going after the automakers will seek to address – is that independent shops have been using an increasing number of counterfeit car parts. Estimates suggest that once warranties run out, more than half of auto owners stop visiting the dealerships. However, they then become susceptible to having their vehicles repaired with non-genuine parts.