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Old 21st December 2011, 22:59   #76
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Originally Posted by PhX View Post
But honestly, tell me something ... how many owners/fans are likely to meet for a cup of coffee to chitchat about their cars and their experiences of owning these cars? Owners ... I would say not a majority. Fans ... probably more of them would go to such cafes. In one of my previous posts, I've stated that if Fiat is targeting such aficionados/fans, then it would still make sense.
I strongly disagree with you. Fans/Owners meet is a regular affair only with the Fiat cars. Ever since I bought a Fiat, I don't even remember the number of meets I have attended. Even last Sunday we had a meet in Chennai.

Check this out my dear friend.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1149574...NqeremR7u37fQ#

Note:- Just to add, knowing about this meet in Chennai, Someone from Fiat, Pune asked the VST Motors(TATA-FIAT dealer in Chennai) to send a TD car to the meet venue .

Last edited by rameshnanda : 21st December 2011 at 23:03.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 00:26   #77
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Originally Posted by Palio_2005 View Post
I think this is a wasteful exercise. Focus on strict quality control and listen to the feedback and make improvements. Better quality control = less visits to A.S.S wch is lower frustration = more sales
Simple equation but FIAT struggling over the years with this.
You summed up the whole in a Simple equation.

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Originally Posted by rameshnanda View Post
@CRtorqueFan - I don't want to get into a debate on the product quality. I know what it is in Fiat since I own one and a happy owner of it . 90% of your observations are perceptions like all the general public have about Fiat.
Though I'm a Non-FIAT owner but Since FIAT Uno, I've liked, preferred FIAT cars, as against Marutis.
Infact, Palio is still my favourite car, even Punto was, but its the Initial Niggles & Poor Plastics in Initially batches of Punto which've turned down the FIAT enthusiast in me, afterall I'm not amongst the Herd mentality type of FIAT fans or any other brand basher as I can perceive & judge that what's the best and what's not !
I love quality, finesse & Practicality, till FIAT had all these I appreciated it & the prime example of this was FIAT Palio initially, which Sachin Tendulkar promoted.
Since, FIAT India has changed its priorities(upto some extent) now, So it made myself to change.
Since March11, I was planning to buy a Diesel hatchback within budget range of 5.5-7 lacs & Oct11 was deadline for that. Checked each & every hatchback available in India in this budget & even above/below this budget but None of them made into final decision process.
After much of thinking & fluctuating mind we booked a New Swift ZDi on 18th of July11 with a quoted waiting period till Jan-end2012.
Even afterthat, Test Driven the same cars again & again including Punto75EP & 90EP, but anyhow due to lack of 'Feel Good factor' & doubtful AfSS backed off near Diwali.
This is how a one of a True FIAT fan got dishearted & got the need to opt for another brand. Do you think a Cup of Coffee can make a difference here !

Though I've quoted your post Mr.Ramesh, but its not intended personally & This time I'm expecting a heartly comments here, from a 'FIAT fan' to 'disheartened FIAT fan'.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 03:20   #78
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I think @PhX is raising some very valid points, and instead of jumping at his throat, this might be an opportunity to have a healthy discussion.

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Originally Posted by PhX View Post
How will opening a cafe revamp the brand of Fiat
Perfect first question. Let's look at what Fiat is up against first:
  • Dismal sales.
  • Poor brand value and trust.
  • Poor service standards (could be perceived, not actual).
Even the most ardent Fiat supporters can't refute that the points listed above are true (for points 2 & 3, that's the general consensus, reflected in the sales). On the other hand, it seems that the Fiat cars themselves, get fairly positive reviews.

Fiat tied up with Tata when their reputation was in tatters. Like it or hate it, the Tata brand earned them the crucial "we won't leave India tomorrow like Peugeot" trust. That and the fact that the Vista and Manza used Fiat engines.
Now, after a few years, with Tata's service and showroom reputation impacting Fiat negatively, the time was ripe (in fact a little too late in my opinion) to do something.
  • Open up satellite showrooms(you mentioned it) - Other car makers do this too, so how can Fiat distinguish themselves?
  • Open completely independent dealerships - Not possible, no one is going to invest a serious amount of money to open a dealership for a car company selling 1500 units a month. Dealerships require a huge injection of capital.
  • Cordon off areas in Tata dealerships - Already done in a few, didn't seem to help.
Hence, open up a satellite showroom, but package it as a cafe. It's actually different too, the objective is not to sell coffee - I know you didn't claim that, but the conversation veered towards it - but to provide similar facilities as a satellite showroom (check out car, request or take a test-drive etc.) in a much more friendlier and welcoming atmosphere. If they do it right, the Cafe idea also has some other implications, more on that later.

If I were in the market to buy a car, and was willing to consider a Fiat, I would absolutely prefer going to a Fiat Cafe than a Tata-Fiat dealership. In fact, if I can check out a car to my content without being hounded in a dealership (but have people around to ask if need be), I'd love it.

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Originally Posted by PhX View Post
... a cafe where Fiat owners can come and talk and chill out and share their experiences, it's a concept that is certainly interesting and could work. But honestly, tell me something ... how many owners/fans are likely to meet for a cup of coffee to chitchat about their cars and their experiences of owning these cars? Owners ... I would say not a majority. Fans ... probably more of them would go to such cafes. In one of my previous posts, I've stated that if Fiat is targeting such aficionados/fans, then it would still make sense.
In order to make a dent, Fiat needs non-enthusiasts to come and buy their cars. So your apprehension is right on the ball, it seems that only fans and current owners might go to the cafe. However, consider the Cafe to be a branding idea, where non-enthusiasts can go and check out a car, with the experience having a high chance of being pleasant (mainly because of the ambiance, with or without coffee, the smell of coffee is pretty awesome too ).
What would be really interesting is if these non-enthusiasts bump into the enthusiasts while they are in the Cafe. For Fiat, the enthusiasts are their biggest asset, and people tend to trust real owners rather than showroom personnel. So consider the difference, in a showroom, everyone's a could-be-buyer (owners are in a waiting room/service area), in a cafe, there might be a mix of owners AND could-be-buyers.

Do you think that this might be a good thing?

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Quite many actually. You have to agree that FIAT has quite a fan following.
Such fans would love to meet at such a cafe & talk about their possessions. Do you know that there are many Fiat/Punto/Linea clubs around who meet every sunday?
We met at Mc Donalds, if we had such a FIAT cafe in town, we would have definitely preferred to be there as we would be in the right "environment" then. It is just about the whole experience buddy.
Absolutely correct. The thing is, this alone won't sell more cars. What the Cafe should be able to encourage is a conversation with current owners and the people checking out the cars.

Overall, the Cafe idea seems worth a shot to me. Create a great space (that's different from a showroom), have a few really well trained staff on hand (shouldn't be overbearing, just be available whenever there's a question) and show off the cars in the best possible light.

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Old 22nd December 2011, 08:54   #79
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Originally Posted by CRtorquefan View Post
You summed up the whole in a Simple equation.



Though I'm a Non-FIAT owner but Since FIAT Uno, I've liked, preferred FIAT cars, as against Marutis.
Infact, Palio is still my favourite car, even Punto was, but its the Initial Niggles & Poor Plastics in Initially batches of Punto which've turned down the FIAT enthusiast in me, afterall I'm not amongst the Herd mentality type of FIAT fans or any other brand basher as I can perceive & judge that what's the best and what's not !
I love quality, finesse & Practicality, till FIAT had all these I appreciated it & the prime example of this was FIAT Palio initially, which Sachin Tendulkar promoted.
Since, FIAT India has changed its priorities(upto some extent) now, So it made myself to change.
Since March11, I was planning to buy a Diesel hatchback within budget range of 5.5-7 lacs & Oct11 was deadline for that. Checked each & every hatchback available in India in this budget & even above/below this budget but None of them made into final decision process.
After much of thinking & fluctuating mind we booked a New Swift ZDi on 18th of July11 with a quoted waiting period till Jan-end2012.
Even afterthat, Test Driven the same cars again & again including Punto75EP & 90EP, but anyhow due to lack of 'Feel Good factor' & doubtful AfSS backed off near Diwali.
This is how a one of a True FIAT fan got dishearted & got the need to opt for another brand. Do you think a Cup of Coffee can make a difference here !

Though I've quoted your post Mr.Ramesh, but its not intended personally & This time I'm expecting a heartly comments here, from a 'FIAT fan' to 'disheartened FIAT fan'.
I am disheartened to know that you didn't go for Punto even though you are a fan of it. I could very well understand your apprehensions on A.S.S. To be honest, I would have loved to have a separate service for Fiat rather than going with the TASS. But, still the A.S.S. is really not that bad as it is perceived.

I wish Fiat take more initiatives to clear off the image it currently has in the market and make general public also buy Fiats.

OT:- I would still suggest you to consider the 90HP rather than the zdi. A humble suggestion from a fan of Fiat .
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Old 22nd December 2011, 11:09   #80
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Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
I think @PhX is raising some very valid points, and instead of jumping at his throat, this might be an opportunity to have a healthy discussion.
Amartya , a perfect analysis and I agree to it in total. Cafe is an excellent effort to change the non-owners perception of Fiat cars. Whether is pays off or not , only time can tell. But I sure see this move as a positive one from Fiat, and gives a hope to owners like us that Fiat is here for a long time.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 12:17   #81
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Originally Posted by PhX View Post
Ok, but tell me something. If you have to hang out with a friend for coffee and just generally to chill, would you rather do it in a CCD or a Gloria Jean or a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or any other hangout area, or would you do it in a Fiat Caffe? (Assume that you're not a Fiat fan or that you don't own a Fiat). Just as an example, despite being a Man Utd fan, I would rather go to any other coffee shop if there is no football on TV.
If there are disagreement like you have mentioned then I don't think it will attract all type of people out there. Incidently this cafe is also not meant for everyone out there, its a personal choice !..

Had VW/Chevy/Ford/BMW started something like that, I would have been first in queue though I do not personally like or hate such brands. And I know many who would have joined me.

E.g. There is a biking theme based cafe called as Roadtrip in indira nagar which has a very small set of menu and is highly overpriced. Still it is interesting to check the amount of crowd it attracts despite of joints like CCD, Barsita, Costa's in within a vicinity of 2 kms. Its full of bikers over the weekend.

Question is not about the food, its about the atmosphere and the crowd mindset.

I personally don't know any place in Bangalore which has a car theme which attracts only car enthusiasts for chit-chats.

Lets wait and watch how many tbhp get together happens in Fiat caffe once it starts in Bangalore..
Once people start coming in (just to have coffee) they will at least get to know the brand Fiat. Right now no-one cares to even drop a visit to their showroom (it does not deserve a visit also LOL) ..
They can at least get their CRM working.

Last edited by Speed Pujari : 22nd December 2011 at 12:23.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 12:18   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRtorquefan View Post
You summed up the whole in a Simple equation.



Though I'm a Non-FIAT owner but Since FIAT Uno, I've liked, preferred FIAT cars, as against Marutis.
Infact, Palio is still my favourite car, even Punto was, but its the Initial Niggles & Poor Plastics in Initially batches of Punto which've turned down the FIAT enthusiast in me, afterall I'm not amongst the Herd mentality type of FIAT fans or any other brand basher as I can perceive & judge that what's the best and what's not !
I love quality, finesse & Practicality, till FIAT had all these I appreciated it & the prime example of this was FIAT Palio initially, which Sachin Tendulkar promoted.
Since, FIAT India has changed its priorities(upto some extent) now, So it made myself to change.
Since March11, I was planning to buy a Diesel hatchback within budget range of 5.5-7 lacs & Oct11 was deadline for that. Checked each & every hatchback available in India in this budget & even above/below this budget but None of them made into final decision process.
After much of thinking & fluctuating mind we booked a New Swift ZDi on 18th of July11 with a quoted waiting period till Jan-end2012.
Even afterthat, Test Driven the same cars again & again including Punto75EP & 90EP, but anyhow due to lack of 'Feel Good factor' & doubtful AfSS backed off near Diwali.
This is how a one of a True FIAT fan got dishearted & got the need to opt for another brand. Do you think a Cup of Coffee can make a difference here !

Though I've quoted your post Mr.Ramesh, but its not intended personally & This time I'm expecting a heartly comments here, from a 'FIAT fan' to 'disheartened FIAT fan'.
People talk about initial niggles in a car and most of the times Fiat is singled out and everyone just jumps in criticizing the Fiat and ignoring all the merits the car has. We have talked a lot about features available at the price point and I won't go there at all. But if you scan the forum you will see similar amount of Non Fiat cars having problems - i20's infamous steering issue and many others. Fiat makes good cars and has had problems initially due to wrong partners and they are taking steps to correct the perception. Even XUV500 is having initial niggles - is everyone going to ridicule Mahindra now?
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Old 22nd December 2011, 12:31   #83
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Originally Posted by vivekshukla View Post
People talk about initial niggles in a car and most of the times Fiat is singled out and everyone just jumps in criticizing the Fiat and ignoring all the merits the car has. We have talked a lot about features available at the price point and I won't go there at all. But if you scan the forum you will see similar amount of Non Fiat cars having problems - i20's infamous steering issue and many others. Fiat makes good cars and has had problems initially due to wrong partners and they are taking steps to correct the perception. Even XUV500 is having initial niggles - is everyone going to ridicule Mahindra now?
In addition, I see that majority of the Fiat customer I know are active online (teambhp or other site) .. I notice that any small niggle is mentioned here.
On the contrary, not many Hyundai/Maruti owners are so much active online. I see very less number of problems reported (though a lot exist).

My father-in-law's brand new Santro had its Gear box failure on the second day of delivery. This was 3 years back. This news never came online since my FIL is not an active online user.
My friends 'soft-city' driven Swift VXi's suspension has become an iron rod at an age of 41K kms and the car rattle like snake .. My Palio is 89k still going strong.

My Linea's rattling armrest was doing rounds online though !.. My thread must have hushed away at least 10 prospective Fiat customers.

Last edited by Speed Pujari : 22nd December 2011 at 12:49.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 12:38   #84
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I Agree ^^

My friend's Skoda had a non-functional speedo on delivary... This had not come out in any forum since he is not a member.
Well folks like to criticize failing points of Fiat cars but not a peep from anybody when appreciating good points in it. They even have a problem when Fiat tries something to change their perceptions.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 12:59   #85
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Agree, the more number of users who regularly come online, the more number of issues would be reported. And whether others believe it or not, most FIAT'ians are actually enthusiasts and hence the number of active members would also be more, comparatively. When I was contemplating between the Punto & i20, the Punto was found to be more "reliable". I dont count poor fitting of plastics or gap in glovebox as a big issue, they are just an irritant.

Secondly, its sad to see such a nice concept being bashed in this way. I personally feel some members have a grudge against the brand in particular & hence such a negative approach towards this cafe. If the same concept was started by Honda or Toyota, it would have been applauded to no limits, by the very same members. SAD...
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Old 22nd December 2011, 13:34   #86
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Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Hence, open up a satellite showroom, but package it as a cafe. It's actually different too, the objective is not to sell coffee - I know you didn't claim that, but the conversation veered towards it - but to provide similar facilities as a satellite showroom (check out car, request or take a test-drive etc.) in a much more friendlier and welcoming atmosphere. If they do it right, the Cafe idea also has some other implications, more on that later.

If I were in the market to buy a car, and was willing to consider a Fiat, I would absolutely prefer going to a Fiat Cafe than a Tata-Fiat dealership. In fact, if I can check out a car to my content without being hounded in a dealership (but have people around to ask if need be), I'd love it.
Question: What do you mean by satellite showroom? If it's a smaller showroom than the one we have become accustomed to, then the limitation in size implies that they won't be able to stock too many cars there for display. I would love to go to a showroom with a great ambience (with or without a coffee shop ), but the primary objective is to be able to see the car I want to. If it's satellite showroom, would you be certain knowing that the car/model you want to see will be there? Would they be able to arrange for a test drive? (Please correct me if my understanding of a satellite showroom is incorrect.)

Quote:
What would be really interesting is if these non-enthusiasts bump into the enthusiasts while they are in the Cafe. For Fiat, the enthusiasts are their biggest asset, and people tend to trust real owners rather than showroom personnel. So consider the difference, in a showroom, everyone's a could-be-buyer (owners are in a waiting room/service area), in a cafe, there might be a mix of owners and could-be-buyers.
That definitely makes sense...but like my original question. How do you get non-enthusiasts to enter?

Your premise assumes that people who enter the cafe/showroom are potential buyers. If the point of a cafe is to be, sorry for using this term, a "glorified cafe", that that's something that could make sense. Like you said, an owner saying good things about the car obviously weighs more than a salesperson saying good things about it.

Quote:
Overall, the Cafe idea seems worth a shot to me. Create a great space (that's different from a showroom), have a few really well trained staff on hand (shouldn't be overbearing, just be available whenever there's a question) and show off the cars in the best possible light.
You've hit the nail on the head. If this is what they're targetting, it's interesting and could work. From the site itself, it looks like their selling points are the edibles and the events. Maybe these are the things that would get people into the cafe, and Fiat's strategy is to mix up the owners and the could-be owners.

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Originally Posted by Speed Pujari View Post
If there are disagreement like you have mentioned then I don't think it will attract all type of people out there. Incidently this cafe is also not meant for everyone out there, its a personal choice !..
Of course it's a personal choice, sir!
But my question is ... if they want to only attract Fiat enthusiasts, that's not going to affect their sales, because these people already know and love Fiat. Then the whole point of using a cafe kind of setting to increase sales goes down the drain. Amartya's point makes sense where they would try to attract current owners/enthusiasts as well as could-be buyers in a showroom-cum-coffee shop setting. A coffee shop on its own without exposure to the cars or without any efforts to promote the cars is questionable.

Quote:
There is a biking theme based cafe called as Roadtrip in indira nagar which has a very small set of menu and is highly overpriced. Still it is interesting to check the amount of crowd it attracts despite of joints like CCD, Barsita, Costa's in within a vicinity of 2 kms. Its full of bikers over the weekend.
Ok, I accept your point here. Let's work with it.
What purpose does it serve to any bike brand, though? Is it associated with Harley Davidson or any other premier bike brand? Fiat Cafe is associated with Fiat. The question then comes back -- do you want to sell coffee or do you want to sell cars through these cafes? As has been pointed out repeatedly, Fiat apparently is not in India to survive by selling coffee.

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Lets wait and watch how many tbhp get together happens in Fiat caffe
That's likely to happen because a car-themed restaurant/cafe, no matter which brand of car, is better for car-enthusiasts rather than McD. But yet again, look at the target set. All of tbhpians are car enthusiasts anyway. You're not getting anyone out of that target set into your shop. Your brand's not being exposed to anyone outside of the enthusiast group.

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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Secondly, its sad to see such a nice concept being bashed in this way. I personally feel some members have a grudge against the brand in particular & hence such a negative approach towards this cafe. If the same concept was started by Honda or Toyota, it would have been applauded to no limits, by the very same members. SAD...
  1. Each brand would have to be analysed differently. A lot of people on this thread seem to be saying that Fiat needs to do more for its A.S.S. rather than build its car brand. Toyota, for example, is known for making stable, boring, but reliable cars. If they need to focus on something, they need to focus on making their brand more exciting. Honda doesn't need to either of these things--just get the price right, thank you very much.
  2. Indirectly, if you're referring to me being the one doing the bashing, again I'd like to emphasize that I'm not against the concept, nor am I bashing the Fiat brand. I'm just trying to understand/question/probe the concept.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 13:38   #87
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One thing is sure, you can love FIAT, you can hate FIAT, but you just CANNOT ignore FIAT.

I always wonder, why so many people start bashing up the brand even before getting into the matter. Its really sad to see every FIAT thread becomes a bashing ground.

Just go over the official XUV thread and you would come to know the issues owners are facing in a 2-3 months old car (That too a good 12-14L car).

If you can not appreciate anything about FIAT, please at least don't start bashing up the concept. Let it settle down and then have a healthy debate on that.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 14:23   #88
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Originally Posted by PhX View Post
Question: What do you mean by satellite showroom? If it's a smaller showroom than the one we have become accustomed to, then the limitation in size implies that they won't be able to stock too many cars there for display. I would love to go to a showroom with a great ambience (with or without a coffee shop ), but the primary objective is to be able to see the car I want to. If it's satellite showroom, would you be certain knowing that the car/model you want to see will be there? Would they be able to arrange for a test drive?
It is a smaller showroom, but without calling it so. Now, you are dead on about the fact that these will be small in size, and also that the primary objective - in order to sell cars - should be to enable people to see the cars; but these two aren't mutually exclusive.

I think a satellite showroom (under the guise of a cafe) can do a really good job in showcasing the top-end models of each car. So a potential customer walks in, checks out the top of the line model and decides it makes sense to take the car for a spin. There are two things (or a mix of both) that the Cafe can do:
a. Have test-drive cars parked outside.
b. Ask these potential to wait for a bit, while they can get the nearest mother-ship (bigger dealership) send a car. In the mean time, the customer can ask for further information about the car (to a salesperson) or just have a cup of coffee and if he's lucky (and he wants to) talk to current owners.
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That definitely makes sense...but like my original question. How do you get non-enthusiasts to enter?
My apologies, I noticed this question, but somehow missed it while writing the previous post. Here's my take on this:
These cafes will hopefully be in prime locations, where it's nearly impossible to have a dealership. With carefully planned locations, people walking by would notice that there's this odd caffe that's run by Fiat!

Now, if you are thinking about buying a car, and you are pretty sure that you don't want a Fiat; even then, just out of curiosity you might step into a caffe. That's mainly because you didn't really have to go to the showroom, the showroom came to you, or close to you. Other brands, like VW, Skoda do have satellite showrooms, but I am of the opinion that this is intriguing -though small - change can get more people to at least see the cars initially in a positive light.
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Your premise assumes that people who enter the cafe/showroom are potential buyers. If the point of a cafe is to be, sorry for using this term, a "glorified cafe", that that's something that could make sense.
Bang on, caught me there, but I hope with my previous answer, this gets clarified a bit. Also, nothing to be sorry about, that's an absolutely fair point. It is a glorified cafe, but there's a caveat - this glorified cafe should be able to provide a better experience than most Tata-Fiat dealerships. Now, that may be sad, but one can't fault Fiat for trying this.

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Let it settle down and then have a healthy debate on that.
Always good to have this line in a thread , this is the point of the whole forum.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 15:10   #89
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Apart from all the discussion going on here healthy or injurious, I have noticed something unique about Fiat.

Let is be first proven Diesel hatch, to powerful hatch, to sports tuned hatch, to affordable turbocharged sedan, to feature packed cars, Fiat has always been a trend setter, pioneer and unique. (note that Palio has unique problems also). They have always set a benchmark for others to follow but they have themselves never followed others. I actually like companies who are innovators.

So this time this uniqueness is in the form of this caffe.

Even today if I see, their lineup is unique. Hate it or like it, it is unique!.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 15:32   #90
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Default re: Fiat Caffe site :-) - EDIT: Now open in Delhi!

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Originally Posted by Speed Pujari View Post
In addition, I see that majority of the Fiat customer I know are active online (teambhp or other site) ..
On the contrary, not many Hyundai/Maruti owners are so much active online. I see very less number of problems reported (though a lot exist).

My father-in-law's brand new Santro had its Gear box failure on the second day of delivery. This was 3 years back. This news never came online since my FIL is not an active online user.
My Linea's rattling armrest was doing rounds online though !.. My thread must have hushed away at least 10 prospective Fiat customers.
More observations from my side.
When Maruti or a Hyundai finds such issues say when they sell around 50K cars in a month. IMHO Fiat selling 1000cars a month should do better than that and I think that is also a factor why Fiat's performance gets highlighted.
It is not just the perception of a bad service but it is also niggles that come up which is going against a FIAT.
I have heard this opinion from many FIAT fans "Car is good but buy it only if you put up with the small troubles then and now and also not so good ***"

I might go to a FIAT caffe (if it opened here just out of curiosity). I like the concept now I want to know how much ROI it gives.

Last edited by figo_mba : 22nd December 2011 at 15:38.
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