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Old 5th May 2011, 12:20   #61
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

Can't see too many differences from the current Linea.

My 2c is that the car could be much, much better built. I bought an Opel Corsa in 2004 and seven years later (and at half the cost) the car has not a single rattle though the C-pillar plastic covers fell off at some point (or got stolen).

The T-Jet I have now is just under 2 months old and has developed severe rattles on both the left (near dash) and right (behind seat) sides. The left fender is hanging loose at one point and has separated from the running board. To clarify, the car did not hit anything at any point - there are no scars at the point of separation. I need to go to get it fixed, I am now waiting to hit the 2k km mark where I will get the oil changed and the niggles sorted out.

The mechanicals OTOH are solid and I'm reasonably satisfied with the performance of the car, though I do want to complete 10k kms before final comments - that's at least 1 year. I'm never easy on my machinery, so faulty builds show up much quicker in my car than most samples.

The Opel was bullet-proof in that sense, possibly because it is a very simple vehicle. For those who saw my thread, the Linea came with a hole where the left side parking light was, from Day 1. That got fixed pronto, though I don't see why a car would ship with a missing bulb in the first place.

What Fiat needs to do is separate from Tata. Those guys have no clue how to build cars, and by all accounts can't service them either. They also need to work out how to ensure a steady supply of repair parts.

On the positive side though, the service from my dealer is fairly decent so far (no occasion to find out extensively and hope there never will be) and the SA is quite good, so I have fewer issues.

One of my friends got his (very used) Siena to the same workshop and though the problem was not solved (needs a rebore and piston rings) the diagnosis was spot-on and the recommendations were clear. That itself is half the problem solved. In the end he decided to live with the car till it disintegrates, as he got it used and at a dirt-cheap price. Wouldn't make sense to get it fixed for more than he got it for.

In sum, I don't think a facelift is what they need unless they are also refurbishing their service strategy. And sometimes, it helps to take problems head-on like Chevrolet did with their 'low maintenance' promise a few years ago to address service cost perceptions. Advertising and marketing is about being smart, not looking smart.
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Old 5th May 2011, 12:56   #62
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

Welcome FIAT for all those improvements

Personaly I don't like a beige-ified Punto and will never buy one with it. I will only buy a Punto with black ineriors and powerful engine - 1.6 MJD or 1.4 T-Jet.

Cheers!

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Old 5th May 2011, 13:02   #63
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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
If i were to buy a car it would and certainly from his buying experience, i would not think of buying a VW car for quite a while. I do not like the company telling me which colour I should buy(they do indirectly at least, by delivering cars with certain colours earlier and certain other colours insanely delayed).These didn't matter for my cousin because he was fascinated by the thought of owning a german car
Which proves my point that it was indeed an excuse.
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Old 5th May 2011, 13:20   #64
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

As a soon-to-be Punto owner, the only thing that has troubled me with my decision so far is my experience with the dealership personnel.

My salesman and his lead, while being quite methodical, do not seem to mete out the required amount of respect and courtesy to make the car buying experience feel special. Incidentally, we were treated better at this same dealer back in 2001, when we purchased an Indica.

My PDI experience was quite strange in fact. I had called up the salesman well in advance and yet when I reached there, he was attending to another customer delivery! My friend and I waited for 2 hours for him to return! Fortunately, I am patient when it comes to certain things, and both of us ended up test-driving a Punto, Linea while we waited for the salesman to return.

Once again, they did take me to the stockyard in their own vehicle, which admittedly, has not happened with any other car we have owned earlier. Every single time, we had visited the stockyard for the PDI at our own expense.

I am about to get the delivery tomorrow, but so far the experience has been underwhelming. A very lackadaisical treatment of the customer leaves me feeling cold. I guess the upside is the car itself. Once I saw her in the stockyard, I was mesmerized all over again.

My experience with the Punto in the next couple of years will firmly decide whether I will write Fiat a check again sometime in the future. There will be countless others like me out there. Fiat has enough time to make things happen for the better.
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Old 5th May 2011, 14:18   #65
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Please understand all those who have demanded better Interiors, Performance and After sales support do not necessarily hate Fiat. Amongst them there are Fiat owners like me who bought their cars. Is it unfair to ask for improvements?

I would seriously consider the Linea for purchase if the performance in Diesel variant is at par with other cars in competition(If i were looking for a sub 10L car). When i bought Punto i had an open budget, it's only Punto appealed to me more than Linea and performance was not much different.

The problem is their cars are not appealing to Masses either and most enthusiasts are shying away due to mediocre performance.

Not everyone here is sitting in boxes here and commenting, there are Fiat car owners amongst those who have commented. I have owned a Swift VDi too.


Isn't it too early to declare the after sales support good within 15 days of buying the car.

My Punto is not exactly reliable. Car broken down on Road(once in middle of nowhere, other time fortunately in City) twice within 35k kms, dealer(Joshi Auto, Chd) asking to take an appointment 3 days prior so that emergency breakdown can be checked(forget repaired
). Still awaiting parts ordered months ago and still no trace, dealers unwilling to take care of the car, Can it become any worse?

Now if i ask for better support or some improvements, Is it really Fiat bashing?
Anshuman,

I have been a regular follower on your thread . infact yours & epicenter's thread are most comprehensive one for long term ownership along with GTO's review and helped me in making a right decision .


Quote:
Isn't it too early to declare the after sales support good within 15 days of buying the car.
I too has pointed out that A>S>S is a sore point still. Although it's improving. that;s why i still hasn't voted on that A.S.S thread and quoted statistics from there .

Personally i would take that A>S>S poll on other thread with a pinch of salt .there are few who has no visible history of owning a FIAT on forum and they have voted there in Negative .wasn't that thread supposed to be polled by owners only . point is that we have created a perception in our minds and no matter what happens ,people are trusting that perception more than what the ground scenario is . Media is only adding to that perception as they have very less budget for marketing / ad compared to hyundai and suzuki . they will happily publish anything against FIAT but not against hyundai / maruti for known reasons.

Quote:
My Punto is not exactly reliable. Car broken down on Road(once in middle of nowhere, other time fortunately in City) twice within 35k kms, dealer(Joshi Auto, Chd) asking to take an appointment 3 days prior so that emergency breakdown can be checked(forget repaired
). Still awaiting parts ordered months ago and still no trace, dealers unwilling to take care of the car, Can it become any worse?
reliability is a bit debatable IMO. I have seen a Merc standing right in middle of road in front of telephone exchange in noida one hot afternoon with everything locked ( cannot be towed to side of road ) and owner standing right behind the car to protect his car from rear ending cursing Merc . does that mean that all merc has reliability issues ? there is other thread from GTO with full of german cars being carried on flat bed trucks . does that mean that german;s are not reliable ?

car;s have mechanical parts . failures are bound to be there. unfortunately you have always got in touch with known bad eggs in FIAT's basket . Be it dhingra in gurgaon or joshi in CHD ( I remember manikjeet;s thread ) . so your frustration with FIAT is quite understandable .

Quote:
Please understand all those who have demanded better Interiors, Performance and After sales support do not necessarily hate Fiat. Amongst them there are Fiat owners like me who bought their cars. Is it unfair to ask for improvements?

I would seriously consider the Linea for purchase if the performance in Diesel variant is at par with other cars in competition(If i were looking for a sub 10L car). When i bought Punto i had an open budget, it's only Punto appealed to me more than Linea and performance was not much different.
nobody is wrong in demanding better things, it's only human to be more demanding and we have seen improvement in their products as well , hasn;t we ?

i too think that Bringing in 1.6 will bring more people close to FIAT, specially those looking for power . Previously also, people demanded more powerful T-jet , how many has bought ?? IMO same will happen with 1.6 mjt as well. i have a simple request, put your money where you mouth is & i trust you will do that. Believe me ,many people in my co has sold their honda cities to buy Linea;s and they are happy

I am more concerned about those who usually appear of no where , poke fun at others , put their demands , bash and dis-appear.

Quote:
Not everyone here is sitting in boxes here and commenting, there are Fiat car owners amongst those who have commented. I have owned a Swift VDi too.
good percentage of the people commenting and bashing on the thread have never owned one, and hence my comments about sitting in boxes.
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Old 5th May 2011, 15:26   #66
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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.
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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
+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?
My thoughts exactly.

I had the chance to sit in my colleague's Punto and from the outside, I was really impressed with it's looks. The bold red colour on the sporty looking italian beauty, the alloy wheels, the tyre width etc. looked stunning and complemented the car. But, when co-passengered the car and also drove it, I found it lacking in several areas (my comparison was against a City that I own).

The steering height adjustment wasn't good enough, the footwell was cramped, the turning radius wasn't sufficient enough to negotiate tight office multi-level parking in one go sometimes, the dashboard material looked worse than I've seen used in an Indica, the door panels felt poorly put together and closed like a taxi, I could not understand if the automatic climate control A/C was even working, the engine noise in the cabin was nearing unacceptable on some occasions during sudden acceleration, the rear window felt like one on a ship or an airplane etc.

Folks on TBHP have reported liking the chunky steering but I really didn't like it as I felt it was hard. I was really trying to find something that I liked about the car. After having driven it around for a bit (and having my colleague report that he gets an average of 7 kmpl from the 1.4L engine which was the last straw) in my mind, I downgraded it to the last car I would ever buy. I only appreciated the rear legroom on the inside of the car.

In my opinion, any other kind of dash, beige-ified or not would be better than what the current Punto has. I know that the Punto is targeted more towards enthusiasts who might abhor the idea of beige interiors so maybe, beige interiors should be provided as an option. But I would say (and this is from a regular user's point of view - not an enthusiast's) that Fiat should improve the entire package and not just the interiors to appeal to the masses. Service is another aspect that I don't know about as I don't own a Fiat but from what I've read, Fiat has a long way to go before beige interiors will solve their problems.

Last edited by sydras : 5th May 2011 at 15:31.
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Old 5th May 2011, 16:27   #67
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

7 KMPL!! That is quite unacceptable, but perhaps, you could observe how heavy or light footed your friend is. Since 2 weeks, I have been driving a Punto 1.4 EP and during the first week, I drove like a maniac (always quick acceleration, and I can afford to do it because I don't live inside the city, and the road I drive on is usually empty enough). I would refill for 500 Rs and it wouldn't last for a weekend. Then I changed my driving style. Now I don't have any complaints.

About turning radius and driveability at low speeds, I completely agree with you.

Punto, in my opinion, is more of a sports hatchback than a commuter car. Hence the design (more sound in the cabin, small rear windows). They could not do much to change the design to make it a commuter car, and they could not even offer powerful engines they offer in other countries, because ours is a totally different market. Instead of not launching the car at all, they launched here, compromising on the engines.

What is better? Not making the car available in India at all? Or making the car available in India with a lot of compromise? Fiat chose the latter. Let the individuals decide for themselves which path Fiat should have followed!

Last edited by rohanjf : 5th May 2011 at 16:29.
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Old 5th May 2011, 16:29   #68
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
... he gets an average of 7 kmpl from the 1.4L engine ...
7 kmpl..? Are you serious. The 1.4 is not a fuel efficient engine, but neither does it drink fuel. Even with a heavy foot, the 1.4 returns 10 - 11 kmpl in the city. Please advice your friend to get his car checked.

And the noise on the higher side ? We enthusiasts like that as well. That engine has a nice roar to it when revved, although most people ask if its a diesel !
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Old 5th May 2011, 17:58   #69
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
I only appreciated the rear legroom on the inside of the car.
Actually this was one of the main reasons I did not opt for the Punto. The rear legroom is close to pathetic. Otherwise its a nice car (with little niggles I agree).
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Old 5th May 2011, 18:50   #70
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
My thoughts exactly.

I had the chance to sit in my colleague's Punto and from the outside, I was really impressed with it's looks. The bold red colour on the sporty looking italian beauty, the alloy wheels, the tyre width etc. looked stunning and complemented the car. But, when co-passengered the car and also drove it, I found it lacking in several areas (my comparison was against a City that I own).

The steering height adjustment wasn't good enough, the footwell was cramped, the turning radius wasn't sufficient enough to negotiate tight office multi-level parking in one go sometimes, the dashboard material looked worse than I've seen used in an Indica, the door panels felt poorly put together and closed like a taxi, I could not understand if the automatic climate control A/C was even working, the engine noise in the cabin was nearing unacceptable on some occasions during sudden acceleration, the rear window felt like one on a ship or an airplane etc.

Folks on TBHP have reported liking the chunky steering but I really didn't like it as I felt it was hard. I was really trying to find something that I liked about the car. After having driven it around for a bit (and having my colleague report that he gets an average of 7 kmpl from the 1.4L engine which was the last straw) in my mind, I downgraded it to the last car I would ever buy. I only appreciated the rear legroom on the inside of the car.

In my opinion, any other kind of dash, beige-ified or not would be better than what the current Punto has. I know that the Punto is targeted more towards enthusiasts who might abhor the idea of beige interiors so maybe, beige interiors should be provided as an option. But I would say (and this is from a regular user's point of view - not an enthusiast's) that Fiat should improve the entire package and not just the interiors to appeal to the masses. Service is another aspect that I don't know about as I don't own a Fiat but from what I've read, Fiat has a long way to go before beige interiors will solve their problems.
Ah! Not again....

While I agree Punto is by no means a perfect hatchback, it doesn't fall in the category you are trying to put it into. You compare a 5L hatchback to a 10L sedan and safely conclude that it is at the bottom of your list. Some of your comments such as '' I've seen used in an Indica, the door panels felt poorly put together and closed like a taxi" are too far fetched.

How many hatchbacks do you think are designed on Indian user's point of view? Indica, Figo? Yes, but what else?

You have every right to say a car is not worth its money, but not with crude justifications. Would you agree if I compare the City with say a Laura and conclude that City is built like a tin while Laura as a tank?

Getting back to the topic, though I love the current theme, I wouldn't mind a beige-black interior either. If it looks good in Linea, it will look good in Punto as well. But will these changes have a big positive impact on sales? As everyone mentioned the answer is "No". Won't Fiat know about it? Well, they do. Then 'why does Fiat carry out these changes?' is what some of you might be thinking. You need to understand that every car will get through periodic facelifts in its lifecycle and Fiat is doing just that with its products. While it is not that Fiat don't want to see a surge in sales, they do know that the need of the hour is bigger and better plans to boost sales say by 50% or more.

Le'ts not assume that Fiat is carrying out these facelifts to make Punto and Linea a crowd puller over night.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 5th May 2011 at 19:19.
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Old 5th May 2011, 19:15   #71
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post

Le'ts not assume that Fiat is carrying out these facelifts to make Punto and Linea a crowd puller over night.
+1 to that, it only shows that someone in Fiat is atleast trying something.

In my view, a black and beige interior would make the Punto appear a little bit more spacious than it is and probably attract interest from some family kind of buyers.

It did take Ford India 15 years to get a real hit product in the Figo.
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Old 5th May 2011, 20:34   #72
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

IMO they are just trying to 'refresh' the existing ones and what's wrong in that? I would love to see Punto getting same interior colour combination as the Linea. Current Black & Grey combo looks a bit dull.

Having said that and being a owner of Punto 1.4 E-PK, I would say they should also refresh their A.S.S. Service interval of 15k or 1year is a big plus, at least for me
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Old 5th May 2011, 21:00   #73
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
7 KMPL!! That is quite unacceptable, but perhaps, you could observe how heavy or light footed your friend is.
I also could not believe it. My friend does drive a little enthusiastically as he is a relatively new driver. But I don't think his driving style is the only issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
7 kmpl..? Are you serious. The 1.4 is not a fuel efficient engine, but neither does it drink fuel. Even with a heavy foot, the 1.4 returns 10 - 11 kmpl in the city. Please advice your friend to get his car checked.
The vehicle has been standing for six months without usage and has not been serviced after that as the owner went abroad immediately after buying it. I don't know if that could be the cause for low fuel economy.

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Originally Posted by shivasuma View Post
Actually this was one of the main reasons I did not opt for the Punto. The rear legroom is close to pathetic. Otherwise its a nice car (with little niggles I agree).
It has quite a long wheelbase. Even though the cabin seems a bit cramped, I felt the rear legroom to be more or less same as B-segment hatchbacks like the Figo or the i20. So, I'm quite confused when folks report less rear legroom in the Punto.
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Old 5th May 2011, 22:48   #74
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
It has quite a long wheelbase. Even though the cabin seems a bit cramped, I felt the rear legroom to be more or less same as B-segment hatchbacks like the Figo or the i20. So, I'm quite confused when folks report less rear legroom in the Punto.
I20 definitely has more space at the rear. I sat in the punto's driver seat and made myself comfortable and then sat in the rear. Did the same in I20. I20 had more legroom. One of the reasons could also be because of the protruding dashboard in the punto.
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Old 7th May 2011, 23:16   #75
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Default Re: Scoop: Fiat Linea F/L, beige-ified punto on the cards

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
...I downgraded it to the last car I would ever buy. I only appreciated the rear legroom on the inside of the car.
The Punto is targeted at the enthusiast (primarily) because of its excellent ride, handling and steering precision and feedback. Even the harshest critic of the Punto and Fiat agrees that these qualities on this car are at par with cars three times its price. The same applies to the Linea.

In Europe, these qualities can be enjoyed to the fullest because of the choice of engines and gearboxes that are available. In India, both the Linea and Punto have lacklustre engines and poor gearing. The only exception to this in India is the Linea T-Jet.

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
I know that the Punto is targeted more towards enthusiasts who might abhor the idea of beige interiors so maybe, beige interiors should be provided as an option. But I would say (and this is from a regular user's point of view - not an enthusiast's) that Fiat should improve the entire package and not just the interiors to appeal to the masses.
In my opinion, Fiat is in a proverbial chicken and egg position. It's DNA (in India, atleast) as a manufacturer of well-engineered, affordable cars for the enthusiasts on a budget, did not let it survive for too long. With its frugal diesels, it tried its second round aimed at the FE conscious mass market and seems to be failing again.

Why? For two reasons:

a. When your cars at 1.5 lakhs more expensive than the equivalent Tata with the same features and more interior space in the same showroom, who will bother about high-speed handling?

b. When your cars' strong points are their matured "big car" behaviour, why do you strap them on with anemic though frugal engines?

A case in point is the Fiesta 1.6. It still sells despite cramped interiors as compared to the competition. Because of performance and dynamics. 80% peoples' test drives end with a spin around the block. That is not enough to display the capabilities of a Fiat. And the legendary performance of the 1.6 GTX is an old story.

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
Service is another aspect that I don't know about as I don't own a Fiat...
My personal case has been good so far. But I know of enough horror stories. I would say, if you don't like taking risks in life, you might as well avoid it. Let me add, that my dissatisfaction with Maruti Service is at par with Fiat currently.

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Originally Posted by sydras View Post
but from what I've read, Fiat has a long way to go before beige interiors will solve their problems.
Definitely, Fiat has a long way to go. Its product planners and strategists need to sort out their positioning, but the service people have a far longer distance to cover.

On a selfish note, though, I don't mind if the biege interiors adds up to the sales numbers, and the company flourishes. Will help me source my Palio parts for longer.

However, the Tata-Fiat ASC have another excuse for parts not available: "Black dashboard hai, biege dashboard supply nahi hai!"
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