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Old 4th May 2011, 09:37   #31
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Mild enhancements are a "top secret" project? And does Fiat honestly think a face-lift will noticeably turn around sales?
Completely agree. If they cannot market a capable product (T-Jet) well, what they are going to achieve with this top secret project of mild facelift.

On a separate note, I read that the Linea is sold a segment above in the markets outside India (Brazil, SA etc.), and is a direct competitor to the likes of Corolla / Civic. Think of the numbers if it was the same case in India!
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Old 4th May 2011, 10:10   #32
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

I for one certainly think the beige interiors will improve Punto's sales. Even my friends with zero-car knowledge automatically felt that the Linea's interiors were more upmarket than the Punto's simply based on the colour combination!

If not anything, they can atleast claim to offer the same as the competition (Polo, i20, Fabia).

Now, what they also need to do is rework that 1.2 engine to generate atleast 15 more horses and another 20NM of torque. I don't know if its possible or not, but they have to do something to get healthier power and torque outputs vis-a-vis the competition.

With a more powerful 1.2, they can even look at launching an Emotion pack variant on it. Replace the 1.4 with the 1.4 T-jet as a pure performance option. And if they do, they CANNOT price it higher than the 90HP Diesel.
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Old 4th May 2011, 10:21   #33
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
I hope they dont name it the Punto Stile and Linea Stile!!!

If anyone from Fiat are listening please know that People are not buying your cars not because its not beige. Also know that all these people are not buying the Figo because they dont have rear power windows.


If you really care about the Indian Market.
  • Start "FIAT SERVICE CENTRES". The "Authorised" part is just not working in your case.
  • Make all Parts available at all Service Centres. Please don't wait for the customer to ask for something and then you try to find out which part that really is.
  • Train your service people to focus on getting the cars out of your service centre at the earliest rather than trying to keep it with them for as long as possible. Your cars truly deserve to be on the roads.
  • For gods sake dont 'shoo' away pre-punto Fiat owners from your service centres and give them hard time for believing in your brand when not many really did so.
  • Fiat Customers cant really call up Mangesh Kodalkar or mail your MD for every little thing. That's not a good way to do business in this era.
  • And FOR GODS SAKE CHANGE THOSE UGLY MUDFLAPS YOU MAKE THE PUNTO WEAR!!!

This is a sincere request from an ardent FIAT fan who still owns a Uno and has sold his adventure both because of the way FIAT has done business all these years!!


Totally - yes totally agree with the observations above. Changing interiors to beige is IMO such a waste & like you said it is NOT going to increase sales, if the AFTER-sales does not improve.

I find it hilarious when companies harp about beige interiors as if the car drives better with it or what Infact beige especially fabric is way tougher to look after !

Hope someone from FIAT is listening !!




Cheers

Last edited by Ricky_63 : 4th May 2011 at 10:23.
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Old 4th May 2011, 10:39   #34
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
A friend of mine and a bhp'ian who bought a Punto was showing his car to me and was providing me a demo of the driver height adjustment lever. He made a statement that "I hope the lever doesnt break soon" with a sad face!! Now considering that he paid a heavy 7L+ for the car, I would not expect the owners to feel that pinch. He also showed some broken cup holder / some tray that was not closing properly / some plastic bit that keeps falling off and so on - that too in a BRAND NEW car !
Plastic quality of these levers and lids is where Punto lacks far far behind others. The ORVM adjusting lever is the biggest joke. You can see melted plastic near the edges, like you will see in a 5 rupee toy car bought in a village fair.These are the things that FIAT needs to improve, rather than changing the colour from black to beige. If FIAT thinks Indians will instantly flock to buy a car with beige interiors, why isn't Estilo setting the charts on fire? whereas an i10 or Polo sells because of the overall feel of quality.
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Old 4th May 2011, 10:48   #35
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

@Pyro
I doubt Fiat would want to stretch the 1.2Fire engine any more. As it is its a pretty old 8valve engine. Nowhere else in the world, not even in Europe does the 1.2 produce any more then 70bhp. And even if you could push it, I doubt it would a wise decision to spend money on doing so.

Fiat do use a 8valve version of the present 1.4L engine producing about 75bhp but about 110Nm of torque. But I think mileage would be lower in a 1.4L engine, thus ruling it out.

Also if a Punto 1.4Tjet is brought out, I doubt you will see it cheaper than the 1.3L 90hp. Take a look at the Linea prices. The Tjet is about 30K costlier than the 1.3MJD. With the Punto too you can expect something similar.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:04   #36
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

I doubt any of these changes would have any effect on the sales. The key issues are just not being addressed

a) Better QC (This would avoid visits to service stations which are anyways incompetent)

b) Better fit finish on plastics and allied (the issues like beading coming off, fuel flap not closing properly,rattles,niggles ...still continue). It is hilarious to see that such issues which do not exist even in Indica (I do not mention Palio as fit finish, plastic quality was way better)find their way in the premium cars. I20 has nothing special it's just the overall feel good factor of a well built car which makes it sell in such large numbers

c)Better brand management (look at the way Tata promotes their products vis a vis Fiat products)

d)Refocus of strategy
Aim at being what you are better at. Create cars which are fun to drive (by retuning the engines, reworking the gear box). Anyways the cars are bought by enthusiasts. Give them what they are looking for instead of focusing on the mass market.
Fiat was brave to introduce the GTX in an extreme mileage conscious market with advanced features like ABS/Air bags which were not heard of in the cars of that range. Now market has matured somewhat and Fiat should take this opportunity again.

I wish Fiat had the passion that their customers have...

Last edited by Palio_2005 : 4th May 2011 at 12:06.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:14   #37
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

Nothing much will come from the cosmetic changes. There are many people who love the brand, but hate the dealerships and service centres and the cost cutting involved in the 'premium' vehicle.

Punto sales would have doubled, if Fiat had something like the Hyundai dealership or service centre. The plastic quality has also not helped the cause. Just compare the interiors of the Punto with something like the i20, two comparable hatches and also compare the sales figures.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:24   #38
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

A$$ and Fiat is a ghost that refuses to go away even when they were recently ranked higher in a JD Power Survey than all the other except Maruti. If you ask me, Fiat cannot do anything. We will continue buying exactly similar cars because certain xyz has it so it must be good.

P.S. There's also a thread on rating Fiat A$$ where most owners are reasonably happy.

Last edited by akhilesh : 4th May 2011 at 12:50.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:37   #39
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

In my opinion when i look at the punto its a different car when looked from outside and inside. A stunning exterior look and pathetic interiors. The plastic quality is a big turnoff. I guess this might also be a reason for the low sales.
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:50   #40
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sethuv View Post
In my opinion when i look at the punto its a different car when looked from outside and inside. A stunning exterior look and pathetic interiors. The plastic quality is a big turnoff. I guess this might also be a reason for the low sales.
+1 to that. Just by looking at the exterior, one feels like buying the car. But as soon as the interiors are seen, it is another story altogether. How difficult is to have robust interiors? Or it is Fiat's idea of cost cutting to keep the low quality for the interiors?
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Old 4th May 2011, 12:58   #41
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sethuv View Post
In my opinion when i look at the punto its a different car when looked from outside and inside. A stunning exterior look and pathetic interiors. The plastic quality is a big turnoff. I guess this might also be a reason for the low sales.
Indeed. I remember a joke about the Linea advt. tagline, with an added suffix - "Admiration guaranteed, until you open the door".
But this was for the 2009 version


Just an alternate thought (apologies for going a bit OT).
Some industrial houses normally keep some business floating, even though it is not profitable. Couple of reasons - (1) Could be because of emotional reasons, or to keep the legacy going (2) Need a business to show losses.
Fiat brand could be a mix of both. I donít see any market where in they are prominent in the sales chart (maybe Italy is an exception). These guys are not short of money, and they make wonderful machines as well. Just that they donít do enough to push their case.

Latest I read that theyíre gearing up for the ownership of F1 (in association with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.).
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Old 4th May 2011, 13:37   #42
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

Predictable comments on the plastic quality in this thread. It has become fashionable to criticise plastic quality anytime Fiat is mentioned. I think many reviewers rightly made the observations when the Punto/Linea was introduced. Fiat has tried to make it better over time, but still everyone seems to be stuck in 2009 w.r.t comments on plastic quality.

Comparison with i20 is particularly interesting. Better plastic quality, but - with steering rattles that refuse to go away and AC that doesn't cool enough? And what has Hyundai done about those issues? Atleast Fiat has tried to address AC cooling issues in petrol Punto/Linea. Please give credit to Fiat that they are trying their best to address issues reported with their cars by the customers.
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Old 4th May 2011, 13:45   #43
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
Predictable comments on the plastic quality in this thread. It has become fashionable to criticise plastic quality anytime Fiat is mentioned. I think many reviewers rightly made the observations when the Punto/Linea was introduced. Fiat has tried to make it better over time, but still everyone seems to be stuck in 2009 w.r.t comments on plastic quality.
Well, not really. To be honest, I have not seen the interiors of the 2009 model. My comments are based on the cars displayed in our office campus as recent as January 2011. I find my i10's interiors miles ahead.
Another issue we notice is the quality of display/ test drive cars. My cousin was so looking forward to the 90BHP punto. But when he went to have at a display vehicle whose glove box lid wouldn't close, he went ahead and booked a Polo.
I really would like to see the punto faring better, hope Fiat also does.
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Old 4th May 2011, 13:59   #44
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

If FIAT India continues their effort (or no effort ) to sell their cars the way they have been doing for ages now, it doesn't matter what they change to their existing fleet or perhaps bring in world class & proven models to India.

They seem to taken to the idea of selling in secrecy. No effort what so ever in neither brand building nor disseminating product information to the masses. For instance, compare the new TV ad for Tata Manza vs the age old ad for Linea (with the "cuz I'm stuck" jingle).

Although I am a proud owner of Linea MJD, but I am pretty sure that masses in India do not buy cars for their perceived BEAUTY, there's a lot more to it !!!

Listen up FIAT INDIA.
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Old 4th May 2011, 14:01   #45
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
Comparison with i20 is particularly interesting. Better plastic quality, but - with steering rattles that refuse to go away and AC that doesn't cool enough? And what has Hyundai done about those issues? Atleast Fiat has tried to address AC cooling issues in petrol Punto/Linea. Please give credit to Fiat that they are trying their best to address issues reported with their cars by the customers.
IMHO, what happens with Fiat cars is every topic is compared with different manufacturers. Like in this case, quality of interiors is being compared with the i20, but *** may be compared with Maruti and snob value with Honda.

This may not be the best way to analyse a car, but I guess most want Fiat to do well as both Punto and Linea are magnificient cars. I expected to buy one, but cant deal with the niggles yet. Somewhere down the road, Fiat may just gather enough confidence to go solo and have better *** and interior quality.
And btw, was that a pig flying by the window?!
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