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Old 30th August 2011, 19:25   #1
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Default Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

I am a very sincere fan of Fiat and have owned Palio and Punto. Having decided to upgrade to a Sedan, I didn't have any second thought and decided on Linea MJD Epack. My search for the best pricing began towards end of July and got a good offer from VST Motors, Chennai. I booked BNW Linea MJD Epack on 30th July with VST Motors. The same day they gave me the VIN number and it was of the May'2011 vehicle. The vehicle arrived to their yard in one week according to them. I went to do a PDI on the car on 12-Aug-2011 and unfortunately it failed to pass. The car had lots of uneven panel gaps which I already anticipated and I was fine that it can be fixed. The biggest shock came in the form of rusting issue. I happened to see minor patches of Rust in the car's bonnet and the boot. I immediately decided that I shouldn't accept this car as the buyer needs to enjoy the benefit of doubt. I conveyed the same to the dealer immediately and they were in the holiday mood and told me that they will inspect on 16th Aug and get back to me. I waited.

They came back to me on 17th Aug and told me that there is no rusting in the car and they would take me again to their yard with their engineer. I refused and told them firm that I need a replacement and would be ready for another color too and probably Fox Trot Azure. They immediately offered me a FTA car which is of Apr'2011 manufactured and is lying in their showroom. I didn't have second thought and rejected it too. I was not ready to accept a showroom piece. After all these drama, the dealer came back to me that they cannot place an order for another car and I would have to choose either the BNW one or the FTA one . I told them that I will cancel my booking. They were ready for that accepted.

On 22nd Aug, I called the dealer to enquire about the cancellation procedure. At this time they told me that they will get a replacement car for me and I don't have to cancel my booking. I opted for the BNW Linea itself. They asked me for a mail stating that I would accept a car which was manufactured on or after June'2011. I did the same and they promised me that they will give the VIN of the car in couple of days. Since then I am following with them regularly and get no concrete response. Either they don't receive my call or tell me that they are busy with other customers. I could understand that they are trying to place the order with Fiat and something is preventing to get the car allocated. Till this moment, I don't have any concrete information from the dealer. I really don't know whether the problem is with the dealer or the manufacturer, Fiat.

For the last one month, I have raised the issue with Fiat twice thru their grievance link, Fiat India and still no response. I contacted the regional manager of Tata Motors in Chennai Mr. Vikram (I spoke with him over phone and also emailed him the details) and still they were not at all serious about the issue.

Today, I got an update from the dealer that Mr. Narendra Trivedi (Product Manager) will call me. I asked why? What is that going to be discussed with me? My requirement is simple, get a brand new car which is manufactured on or after June'2011. Now, I doubt whether Fiat is manufacturing any Linea after May'2011 or not. I am confused and thinking on the following 2 options.

1. Stick with the plan of Linea and move on to another dealer. Don't know if this is really the problem with the dealer.

2. Drop the Fiat and lookout for other. Now, I am really worried in the sense that if the pre-sales itself is so complicated, what would be the case after getting the car although I didn't have any A.S.S. issues in my ownership of Punto.

Belew are some snaps taken during the PDI of the BNW Linea on 12th Aug. The rust patch is encircled.
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Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well-dsc_0562.jpg  

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Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well-dsc_0567.jpg  

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Old 30th August 2011, 19:46   #2
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

You have an amazing attention to detail !! and you did a good thing by rejecting it and waiting for a fresh replacement. I dont think Fiat is here to win the game, they are happy selling their engines to other volume players in the market i believe.
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Old 30th August 2011, 19:50   #3
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Just my opinion but don't you think you're trying too hard to buy a Fiat? You are well aware of the shortcomings and anticipate not only issues but also that they might just remain unresolved and yet subjecting yourself to it.

Is the car you want worth the trouble you are going through or the compromise you might have to make?

If no Fiat is perfect, either accept it or take another car.

Fortunately, the Indian customer has tremendous choices and there is no car that doesn't have a close competitor.

I'm sure you'll have a pleasant experience buying another car.
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Old 30th August 2011, 19:55   #4
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

I very much agree with libranof1987.

This car is not worth the trouble you are going through.

Though sad to say, I can't see any future for Fiat in India.
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Old 30th August 2011, 20:23   #5
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

In my opinion you are justified in looking for a new vehicle. Go to the showroom meet the manager and make some noise please. Have you tried concorde ?

Fiat does have a future
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Old 30th August 2011, 20:46   #6
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Really depends on you. If you ready to wait for a Fiat, and have hope to get a pristine piece, continue the lookout with alternate dealers. And being someone who owned to Fiat cars previously, you surely would have gauged the ASC experience, pros & cons etc.

If you are ready to move out of Fiat, start shortlisting your options. There are quite a few choices around right? All the best!
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Old 30th August 2011, 20:58   #7
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaushikkrishnan View Post
In my opinion you are justified in looking for a new vehicle. Go to the showroom meet the manager and make some noise please. Have you tried concorde ?

Fiat does have a future
kaushik, I have made enough noise with them and now I am fed up. I am planning to visit them tomorrow and let me see what is their stand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Really depends on you. If you ready to wait for a Fiat, and have hope to get a pristine piece, continue the lookout with alternate dealers. And being someone who owned to Fiat cars previously, you surely would have gauged the ASC experience, pros & cons etc.

If you are ready to move out of Fiat, start shortlisting your options. There are quite a few choices around right? All the best!
vb-san, waiting is not at all a problem. The problem here is that till now I am kept totally in dark. They are not updating me with the real facts. Till last week, they told me that they have placed the order and it is a matter of time to get the VIN. This week they are telling me different stories rather not telling me anything .

I could switch over to another dealer, but not sure the problem is really with the dealer. VST Motors has some good reputation in Chennai. What I could infer with their statements is that they have placed the order and something is happening at the Fiat end for the allocation since the first vehicle was already invoiced.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:00   #8
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Red face Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Being a Fiat loyalist I can understand your inclination towards the Linea but the entire process of buying is not too inspiring which shows the attitude by Fiat towards their sales. Just imagine what would be the case after the car is bought. Fiat needs to improve a lot on their sales and service outlook and stop piggybacking Tata and show their own worth.

Having said that I would suggest cancelling the buy from Fiat and look for other alternatives.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:03   #9
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Firstly, nice pair of eyes you have. I guess you should also look at other options for the time being. If fiat works out a way to your satisfaction, fine, else you have a plan B
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:18   #10
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Sorry to hear of the experiences. Suggest raising this issue with Mangesh Kodalkar and other Fiat executives - also send the link to this thread .

If that too does not work out to your satisfaction, go for another car.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:23   #11
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Its more like a bournville ...YOU HAVE TO EARN IT!!!!

All the Best. Some time down the line you would really have to make a choice on if this is all worth the time and energy.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:37   #12
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

The consumer has to have his choice in this case it is fiat at vst. fight for your right you deserve the bourneville infact a good loyalty discount
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:38   #13
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

rameshnanda at the outset, I must congratulate you on a great set of eyes that you've been gifted. I guess the PDI must haven taken you atleast a couple of hours to complete. Coming to car in specific, I think you should stick to your point of getting new car. Heck you are paying for every single new nut they put in the car, so why should you not expect a spotless unit. Your past experiences highlights that you've been a Fiat fan but I'd ask you to venture out with an open mind, explore the choices you have including all the pros and cons and then take a call. If at the end of this exercise you think Linea it is, then Linea is the one you should go for even at the cost of changing the dealer. My two cents.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:43   #14
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

Excellent eye for detail ramesh.
You've really noticed the Rust on very rarely seen areas or areas that really don't bothers much in Daily life, but main thing is that the problem is still there, which indirectly reveals the type of materials(steel) used, which showed the rust signs despite of applaudable paint finish of Tata-Fiat.
All this putting a question mark on its long term sustainability.

So, being a Fiat appreciator like you, I can't even advice you to opt for another brand/choice as its very difficult. All what I can advice to you is to search for another Linea at some other Dealership.
Good luck.
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Old 30th August 2011, 21:47   #15
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Default Re: Fiat Struggles to Sell and a buyer struggles to buy a Fiat as well

If you are sure there is no other car that will please your heart and mind,only then go ahead with the Linea.

Even if you are sure you want the Linea , insist on a fresh piece only.
BNW color is know to have rust issues so be very careful during the PDI .
If the current dealer is unable to provide you a fresh car of your choice , then cancel you booking and try other dealers in your city.And if even they are not able to provide you a car of your choice then you need to seriously think if FIAT is worth all the effort.

at the end of day you are going to put down a sizeable sum of money , so make sure you don't have to compromise on any of your requirements .
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