TBY talks to Ignacio Robles, Director General, Grupo Vanguardia on the sector.

Ignacio Robles

What have been the biggest changes in the Mexican auto industry since 1997?

At the time, the only business was selling cars, and companies could be assured of doing well. Now, dealerships are more complex; they sell cars and parts and offer servicing, financial services, and insurance. The other major change is that in the past dealerships were family businesses, while now they have become groups of dealerships. There are now many legal and anti money-laundering regulations, which means you need a legal department. Moreover, in the past there were only four or five brands; now it is extremely competitive. Previously people did not care about service, but now it is extremely important.

What differentiates Vanguardia from other groups?

We are focused on quality, which means we do what we offer, are honest, and clear. One of the main things people appreciate is our post-sale service. Almost 40% of customers in our dealerships are return ones. When people recommend us and come back, then we know we are doing things right. When Honda came to Mexico it started a new standard. Previously, no one delivered a car with a full tank. We did this with Honda, and it improved customer satisfaction by a significant amount, small thing though it was.