Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Commission on Audit Report Paints Unsavory Picture of Mahindra Vehicles


The Commission on Audit (COA) has just released their Annual Audit Report for the Philippine National Police (PNP) for 2017. You can read the entire report here, but we’ll get straight to something motoring-related: the Mahindra patrol vehicles. As you can imagine, opting to go for an untested Indian brand ruffled a couple of feathers back in 2015, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that two years later, the people sworn to serve and protect found out what everyone else was thinking all along: they’re pieces of shit.

There’s no need to beat around the bush here, but the COA report paints a damning picture of Mahindra vehicles, specifically the Enforcer and Scorpio, their poor reliability, and almost non-existent aftersales and parts support.

Brought into the country by Asiabrands Motors Corporation, a company under the Columbian Group of Companies, same conglomerate behind Kia and Peugeot, Mahindra scored a major upset by getting the PNP’s fleet modernization program under its Capability Enhancement Program or CEP in 2015.

In total, the PNP got a total of 2,054 Mahindra vehicles (1,656 Enforcers and 398 Scorpios) amounting to a total of P 1,893,260,000 (or if you can’t count zeros, that’s 1.893 billion pesos). What’s even funnier is that the purchase was done in two tranches or batches, the first under Procurement Service – Department of Budget and Management (PS – DBM) and the second under the PNP National Headquarters Bid and Awards Committee (NHQ – BAC).

Interestingly, according to the COA report, the PNP wanted to modernize their fleet. First, they came up with a very basic set of requirements:
“4x2/4x4 Pick-up, Single or Double Cab, Utility Jeep, Mini-Cab/Multi-Cab, Sedan, Staff Car, Hybrid Car, Patrol Utility Vehicle, Asian Transport / Utility Vehicle, Wagon, SUV.”
Fair enough. However, moving forward, the PNP then proposed to add something to their specifications prior to their purchase:
“To attain a much fuel efficient-vehicle with less emission to attract more participation in the public bidding process.”
Yet, according to the COA report, these changes resulted in a much lower standard of patrol vehicles compared to the previous standards used by the PNP. In addition, “it puts into question the decision of the Management to recommend sudden changes in the minimum standard specification of patrol vehicles which seemed to be without reasonable or solid basis given the aforementioned reasons or bases.”

Additionally, the PNP seemed to be aware of the Mahindra unit’s “mechanical defects, limited availability of spare parts and its prohibitive maintenance cost.” And yet continued to complete its purchase.

Moving on, survey questionnaires were distributed to PNP’s regional offices and the survey results present an unsavory picture. Out of 1,278 respondents (remember there were 2,054 Mahindra units distributed), 57.20 percent said that the performance was unsatisfactory while 26.84 percent were undecided.

Asked on why they were unsatisfied with Mahindra, the respondents reported:
  • Engine: 84.51 percent
  • Body: 61.50 percent
  • Under Chassis: 69.87 percent
  • Spare Parts: 52.11 percent
Going deeper into the single biggest problem, Engine, the respondents rated the following engine-related issues (from highest to lowest):
  1. High fuel consumption
  2. Close distance between gas and brake pedal
  3. Low engine performance
  4. Difficulty in acceleration (another part of the report states that the fuel indicator must be at half level for the vehicle to perform well)
  5. Actual speed of vehicle does not exceed 100 km/h (this should be nice during a police chase)
  6. Accelerator cable breakdown
  7. Existence of rust in the engine
  8. Emits heavy smoke
With that, let’s go back to the original requirements of these patrol vehicles which is: to procure fuel efficient-vehicle with less emission. And what’s the biggest problem of these Mahindra vehicles? High fuel consumption.

And even if these vehicles did have poor performance, they should at least have good aftersales service, right? Sadly, no. Remember, spare parts are indeed one of the biggest reasons why PNP personnel were unsatisfactory with Mahindra vehicles; especially the preventive maintenance stuff. That bit about oil changes and stuff? PNP’s not too happy with it, and the lack of service centers means that only 36 percent said their Mahindras were “regularly maintained.” Other problems include: speedometer malfunction (maybe that’s the reason why they can’t go over 100 km/h), defective wipers, air conditioner malfunction, and aftersales support services.

Slow-moving death traps as they are (the COA pretty much labeled them as such), at least most of the Mahindra vehicles are still on the road. Actually only 42 of them are in an “unserviceable condition” with 1 declared totaled because:
[It] was involved in an accident during the conduct of preventive maintenance by the technicians of Kia Motors in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.
The COA report goes on and on and it’s a treasure trove of all sorts of Mahindra-related issues. But it’s interesting to find the Commission on Audit’s summary and recommendation:
“The problems and issues encountered laid strong doubt as to the overall reliability of Mahindra as the brand for use in the police operations not to mention sustainability of vehicle maintenance… 
…It can be safely said that the purpose for which the Mahindra vehicles was procured which is to contribute to the capability enhancement of the PNP has not been fully served.”
As for the police officers themselves? Well, the COA report says that they suggested that “patrol vehicles to be considered in the future are from Toyota, Nissan, Isuzu, and Mitsubishi—which are all traditional, proven brands and long been operational in the country, other than the Mahindra.”

Ouch.

13 comments:

  1. Kudos to COA. Kaya pataas ng pataas ang trust rating.

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  2. Mahina Enforcers

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  3. CAC is 65% owned by Ayala now.

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  4. Panahon nanaman ni noynoy, what do you expect?

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  5. Dapat kasi may standard vehicles na, tapos wag na papalit-palit while di pa phased out yung model. Para doon ma-train yung technicians ng PNP.

    Vios G (for highways, please parang awa nyo na puro J or base lang gamit nila) or Mirage G4s (for city) na lang patrol cars, tutal dito naman yun ginagawa. Walang problem sa piyesa. Wag na mag ilusyon ng 100kph sa tindi ng trapik.

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  6. Mahina Enforcer

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  7. Kaya dapat hindi galing India ang kinuha nila. Bulok naman sila gumawa ng sasakyan. Worth a waste of money. Don't buy vehicles from Indian Brands.

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  8. Hindi pa naman tapos ang warranty since 2015 late nakuha - so dapat warranty claims nalang diba? Rust, smoke, broken parts, dapat kaya ng warranty.

    The procurement fiasco- anothrr story. At any rate, they should involve the Indian government na to get technicians and parts here.

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  9. Hindi takbo faster than 100kph? Ayaw nyo nun? Within speed limit haha can't break your own law.

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  10. These vehicles are only 3 years old, and yet there is already mention of accelerator cable breakdown, presence of rust, defective wipers and aircon? We must also take into account how law enforcement takes care of their vehicles, as they have a bad reputation of trashing their units after just a few years. On the other hand, are all the statements regarding the vehicles really true? Or are they merely giving a poor evaluation so that they can get an upgrade given the Mahindras' spartan/utilitarian nature, especially now with the increasing numbers of Montero Sport, Grand Starex and Elantra donations and new Hilux purchases (why were the Toyota purchases not publicized like the Mahindras)?

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  11. Dapat ng palitan ang mga palpak na Mahindra Patrol Vehicles.

    Highly Recommended Patrol Vehicles

    Toyota: Altis 1.6 G, Avanza 1.5 G, Fortuner 4x2 G, Hiace GL Grandia, Hilux 4x4 G; 4x2 G; 4x4 E; 4x2 E; 4x2 J, Innova 2.8 G/E/J, Vios 1.5 G

    Mitsubishi: Mirage G4 1.2 GLS/GLX, Montero Sport 4x2 GLX, Strada 4x4 GTV; 4x2 GLS/GLX

    Chevrolet: Colorado 4x4 LTZ; 4x2 LT, Sail 1.5 LT, Suburban 4x2 LT, Trailblazer 4x4 LTZ; 4x2 LT

    Honda: City 1.5 E

    Hyundai: Accent 1.4 GL (gas); 1.6 GL (diesel), Elantra 1.6 GL, Grand Starex (VGT)

    Isuzu: D-Max LS (4x4 & 4x2), MUX 4x2 LS

    Suzuki: Ciaz 1.4 GL

    Nissan: Almera 1.5 Mid, Navarra 4x4 VL; 4x2 EL Calibre, Terra 4x2 VE & EL, Urvan Standard/Premium

    Ford: Expedition Ecoboost 3.5 V6 Limited, Explorer Ecoboost 2.3 Limited/3.5 V6 Sport, Everest 4x2 Ambiente, Fiesta Ambiente, Ranger XLS (4x4 & 4x2); 4x2 XLT.

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  12. Kaban ng bayan lng ung winaldas sa mga bulok na sasakyan its just shy of 2Billion Php and look they're pointing fingers on whos to blame.. Just wow.. unbelievable..

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  13. okay lang yan! at least si noynoy may ferrari! nakaparada sa greenmeadows, sa bahay ni bayaw.

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