German company Bosch is a giant when it comes to automotive parts. A while ago, the autoparts major made inroads into the car service market in India with the Bosch Car Service moniker. After tasting success in that foray, Bosch is all set to enter the two wheeler segment with the Express Bike Service(EBS) outlets. The firm launched 10 such outlets in the South Indian city of Coimbatore. that said, the first Bosch EBS was opened at Delhi. Like its name suggests, the Bosch Express Bike Service outlets are meant to be quick service outlets for motorcycles that will focus on general service like oil changes and routine maintenance.
Heavy maintenance work like invasive work on the engine will not be carried out at Bosch EBS outlets. This is quite a unique concept in that it aims to only provide general service to two wheelers, unlike most other outlets which covers the entire spectrum of maintenance and repair. Bosch aims to bridge the gap between two wheeler makers’ authorised service centers and the roadside mechanics through the EBS centers. The main focus for the EBS will be the two wheelers that are out of warranty period. Bosch will operate through a franchisee model. By the end of 2012, Bosch aims to have 50 such outlets across India with an aim of having 10 such outlets in each city. Over the next few years, this number will be scaled up to 500 outlets across India.
The firm will provide training to mechanics and will also supply most parts required for general service. The franchisee will have to take care of delivering the service and managing the outlet. A similar initiative was begun by lubricant giant Castrol,which entered the two wheeler service segment under the Castrol Bike Zone moniker. Apart from dispensing service, these outlets also sold many Castrol products, primarily lubricants. The outlets operated on a franchise model with Castrol providing mechanic training along with tools and consumables like lubricants. Castrol, unlike Bosch, also carries out engine repairs.
However, the Castrol Bike Zone outlets are not preferred by many due to the shoddy service dispensed by many outlets. This led to many two wheeler owners going back to their roadside mechanics than sticking to the Castrol Bike Zone. This is something Bosch would want to avoid at all costs, especially given the fact that its car service outlets enjoys a good reputation amongst car owners. All in all, this initiative from Bosch could greatly standardize the quality of general service in the two wheeler sector, a sector which has to contend with ill informed and non-equipped roadside mechanics along with lackadaisical authorized service centers.