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Old 29th February 2012, 09:59   #31
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

Not always true. If you recall HMSI (honda 2 wheelers) entered India with just the Honda Activa and it became such a runaway success, for almost 3-4 years they just had Activa and perhaps a little later, the Dio on sale, yet they were remarkably successful. But then, they had the honda brand image in their hands.
Activa sales should be definitely a case study at IIM!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rameshnanda View Post
I am still confused about the purpose of this thread.
Look at these lines again -

Quote:

- Poor reliability
- Poor after sales service
- Poor mileage
- Not so powerful heavy cars
- Poor brand image
Which other manufacturer makes cars that are branded like that, other than Fiat? It is Tata Motors. If these really affected sales that much, then Tata Motors wouldn't be the second/ third largest manufacturer in India.

What is Tata Motors doing differently? Why are they a sales champion? They have a huge number of models, catering to different segments.

Second example - SKoda India

There are terrible stories about unreliability and after sales service. But has it affected the sales that much? No.

Reason?

Laura
Yeti
Superb
Rapid
Fabia

It's the model lineup and new launches - it brings freshness to the brand.

Third example - Ford India

In every other interview, Ford India CEO says they will be launching atleast 2 new models every year from now on. Why? That's the only way to increase market share in India.
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Old 29th February 2012, 10:13   #32
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Last month Fiat registered decent numbers and I hope the trend continues.
Btw one good point I came across in this entire thread was Fiat's reluctance to sell more than two models at a time.
I am sure Fiat can come up with a car below Punto and can do some good business.

Someone mentioned Palio !
Yes, I too somewhat agree to the point.
If figo can do good business then why not a palio?
It might be old but is still a solid piece of engineering.

What it might have needed :
- Facelift (for distinction from old palio/stile)
- Refreshed interiors
- MJD at affordable pricing
- ofcourse a new name
That is what worked for figo. It might have worked for fiat as well
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Old 29th February 2012, 10:35   #33
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

When I first saw the list of so-called reasons for Fiat not doing well, I thought, "Oh my god, not again". But then when I went through the complete post, I thought may be there is a point smartcat's post. I own a Fiat and great fan of Fiat cars. But I would love it if they offered few more choices. To name, I liked the Bravo and Croma. Others, though not so good looking, would have made more people consider a Fiat.

Like someone else pointed out, it will not be easy for Fiat to do that, esp. now that their cars are not doing so well in India. The right time, perhaps was when Palio was doing well in India and they could have afforded to take some risk. But I am not so sure whether they want to do that now.

I can understand why fiat owners/lovers get agitated when others site reasons such as poor after sales etc. as reasons for Fiat's recent failure. But it's true that a common man often falls for that. But then it's a country where people believe more in myths than facts and most of the time, they don't even try to find out the truth for themselves.

But what I find it hard to take is, even in a forum like this, where people are supposed to be more knowledgeable etc. I often see strongly biased comments and closed mindedness, which is not good and often sparks unnecessary arguments.
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Old 29th February 2012, 10:39   #34
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Look at these lines again -

Quote:

- Poor reliability
- Poor after sales service
- Poor mileage
- Not so powerful heavy cars
- Poor brand image

Which other manufacturer makes cars that are branded like that, other than Fiat? It is Tata Motors. If these really affected sales that much, then Tata Motors wouldn't be the second/ third largest manufacturer in India.

What is Tata Motors doing differently? Why are they a sales champion? They have a huge number of models, catering to different segments.
Don't agree with you on couple of points.

Indica/Indigo have one of the best mileage cars in the country.
Look at the number of Indicabs with over 2 lakhs km running and you will realize Tata cars are not unreliable. They are not niggle-free though.
A.S.S. might have a bad image - but its due to engineers not understanding problems in Safari/Aria and not lack of spares for Indica/Indigo.

Tata's best selling cars are Indica/Indigo which are fuel efficient, reasonable reliable & easily serviceable.

On the other hand, Fiat's supposedly mass market cars like Punto/Linea were plagued with low mileage & lack of spares.
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Old 29th February 2012, 10:42   #35
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

This thread has all the usual suspects like every other Fiat thread on this forum. Fiat will always appeal to a minority that puts build quality,handling and steering feedback ahead of KPL. The usual whine about plastics is a broken record, barring the Fabia and I20 all the other cars have just about bearable plastics. Fiat has some rough edges, but compared to something like the Etios(both), it feels upmarket.

On the pricing front Fiat has managed to give a quality car with features to match. Its the only hatch in the market for around 6L ex-showroom where you get diesel, ABS and rear wash-wipe/defogger and you dont have to buy the range topper for that. None of the other premium hatches offer it and only the Figo comes close in terms of price.

Talking about service, certain Toyota showrooms require you to book 10 days in advance, they haven't managed to scale up with the Etios numbers.

Fiat will be successful in India when they start using lower strength steel, EPS and skinny tyres to squeeze 15kpl-in-town average. I won't be buying a Fiat then, but I guess people will still be saying the cars are unreliable, without owning one.
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Old 29th February 2012, 10:54   #36
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

FIATs problem is service and parts availability Period. I can give you 100 examples of their parts inventory system if there is any. let me give you one such example.
I am complaining about the broken AC vent from 2nd service onwards, its been 3 years and that part is still not available. Everytime i collect the car and tell them its not changed i am given a assurance that i will get a call in 7 days, never happened. So i went to a shop which had prominent FIAT logo on top and deals only in FIAT spare parts. I talked to the guy and he told me its not available. In fact he told me none of the interior fitting the available, he can get me only the essential parts like suspension, engine etc. Then came the rant, he said hes been ordering parts from FIAT for long but they never supply on time, even if they do half the order is missing. He is planning to switch as most of them has done. I have heard the same story even in service centers umpteen no of times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

- Wrong choice of local partners
Yes, maybe. But i think how you train/treat them is more important.
- Poor reliability
I don't agree on this point, Its mostly because of poor service, not because of anything wrong in the car mechanically.
- Poor after sales service
100% agree on this
- Poor mileage
Yes
- Not so powerful heavy cars
Yes, maybe few petrol exceptions.
- Poor brand image
Yes, you can say very poor.

Last edited by Rahulkool : 29th February 2012 at 11:05.
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:07   #37
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by prakash_ajp View Post
When I first saw the list of so-called reasons for Fiat not doing well, I thought, "Oh my god, not again". But then when I went through the complete post, I thought may be there is a point smartcat's post.
Phew! Thanks man. I thought I just stirred up a hornet's nest back there.

Before the launch of Punto/Linea, Fiat said they would like to grab 5% marketshare in India. Bringing numbers into the picture, rather than just blanket statements -

- In Jan 2012, 240000 cars were sold in India.

- 5% marketshare for Fiat would mean they have to sell 12,000 cars per month.

- Assuming 50:50 sales split between Punto & Linea, Linea will have to sell 6,000 cars per month! That is, Linea has to be a market leader - beating the likes of Honda City.

- Punto, I admit, has the ability to rake in sales of 6000 units per month.

Now what is easier? Punto & Linea slogging day and night OR selling

Punto - 1000 units
Linea - 1000 units
Panda - 2000 units
Bravo Sedan - 200 units
Croma - 50 units
Doblo - 400 units
Multipla - 400 units
Idea - 600 units
Sedici - 200 units.

Bring the whole cavalry home, and the chances of reaching 5% marketshare are higher. Huge model lineup could also have a positive effect on existing Punto/Linea models and increase its sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanhunt123 View Post
Don't agree with you on couple of points.

Indica/Indigo have one of the best mileage cars in the country.
Look at the number of Indicabs with over 2 lakhs km running and you will realize Tata cars are not unreliable. They are not niggle-free though.
A.S.S. might have a bad image - but its due to engineers not understanding problems in Safari/Aria and not lack of spares for Indica/Indigo.

Tata's best selling cars are Indica/Indigo which are fuel efficient, reasonable reliable & easily serviceable.

On the other hand, Fiat's supposedly mass market cars like Punto/Linea were plagued with low mileage & lack of spares.
Please don't take everything literally. For example, Tata petrol cars have been branded less fuel efficient (and hence inferior) to Maruti petrol cars. Not by me (I better start mentioning that in every post from now on) but by the market.
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:09   #38
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Phew! Thanks man. I thought I just stirred up a hornet's nest back there.

Before the launch of Punto/Linea, Fiat said they would like to grab 5% marketshare in India. Bringing numbers into the picture, rather than just blanket statements -

- In Jan 2012, 240000 cars were sold in India.

- 5% marketshare for Fiat would mean they have to sell 12,000 cars per month.

- Assuming 50:50 sales split between Punto & Linea, Linea will have to sell 6,000 cars per month! That is, Linea has to be a market leader - beating the likes of Honda City.

- Punto, I admit, has the ability to rake in sales of 6000 units per month.

Now what is easier? Punto & Linea slogging day and night OR selling

Punto - 1000 units
Linea - 1000 units
Panda - 2000 units
Bravo Sedan - 200 units
Croma - 50 units
Doblo - 400 units
Multipla - 400 units
Idea - 600 units
Sedici - 200 units.

Bring the whole cavalry home, and the chances of reaching 5% marketshare are higher. Huge model lineup could also have a positive effect on existing Punto/Linea models and increase its sales.



Please don't take everything literally. For example, Tata petrol cars have been branded less fuel efficient (and hence inferior) to Maruti petrol cars. Not by me (I better start mentioning that in every post from now on) but by the market.
Petrol is irrelevant in India market for now. Its diesel which matters.
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:17   #39
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

How many Fiat threads do we need? There are more than 200 of them in this section alone for the 1000 odd cars they sell every month. More threads having the same flavor:
1. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...iat-india.html (The future of GM, Ford & FIAT in India...)
2. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...h-follies.html (Fiat Follies! French Follies!!)
3. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...shut-down.html (Fiat India : How much longer before they shut down?)
4. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-opinions.html (What should FIAT do to reverse its downfall?Give your opinions..)

And then there are threads whenever Fiat went into profit or loss. And then there is Maruti bashing, Hyundai bashing, Skoda bashing etc as part of these threads. And each thread runs into pages. I mean, whats going on within t-bhp? I fail to understand how Fiat threads get moderated even though we have the same responses in every thread.

And to end my post, I do not have anything against the OP, smartcat. His posts have always been a pleasure to read.
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:27   #40
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Good points Smartcat, but the question is, do the powers that be at Fiat India consider Fiat to be a failure in India? Specially given the fact that its their diesel engine that is doing duty in so many other cars out on Indian roads?
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:29   #41
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Fiat, in India is akin to a nice dog but with lots of fleas, the dog is loved but nobody dare approach it for the fleas it carries. You own one, you end up scrtaching for the rest of your ...
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:38   #42
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

I agree with Smartcat. Look at VW. Compared to Fiat, they are newborn's in India and yet they have Polo, Vento, Jetta , Passat & soon launching Touareg with a lot of buzz going on about the Up!.

Among all car maker's in India, Fiat is the most tired brand. There is no zing around the Fiat brand here. Compare that to the excitement VW & Ford names bring thanks to them constantly bringing in new models and announcements of their upcoming models. Ford had the EcoSport on display at various malls across India. That's the way to create buzz about your new model & your brand.

Having said that, Fiat really has no releavant model for India. The Bravo is a Golf competitor and even VW is not bringing the Golf here for reasons we all know. To make a sedan out of Bravo, they need a couple of year's which they don't have.

Croma is a station wagon. Do we really think it's going to work?

Doblo & Multipla will to compete with Innova & Xylo? Forget Xylo, I wouldn't take the Multipla & Doblo over the Innova even if Fiat gave them to me for free.

Sedici can remain in Europe. Maruti's SX4 has ensured there is no market for the Sedici here. As it is many people think the Punto uses Swift's engine, now we will have people say Fiat is using Maruti's car!

Yes, Panda & Idea can be launched here but these are small car's and Fiat will have to fight hard against Maruti & Hyundai. They will have to sell at least 12 to 15,000 units every month for the Panda / Idea project to return profit's. Do we really believe Fiat has it in them to sell & service small car's in such huge number's?

Fiat's problem is that they don't have the capablity to sell & service car's that can sell in India. And, the car's that sell in low volume's and hence service issues can be handled fairly easily (Jetta / Laura / Cruze) - Fiat neither has a car like that nor do they have the brand image to sell them if they actually had a sedan / SUV like that to sell.

If a Linea owner wants to upgrade and wants to stick to Fiat (Highly unlikely!) what options does he have? Coffee in the Fiat Caffee?

PS. Punto / Linea will not die in 2014. They died in 2010 itself! :-)
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Old 29th February 2012, 11:56   #43
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Wasnt Rajeev Kapoor (their recent CEO) ex-Hero honda? What better caliber leadership do u need to turn it around, btw?
Yeah right!

I will tell you what hero honda did.

A single 97.2cc mill acquired from HONDA doing duty in about 10 differnet models (Splendor, Splendor +, CD 100, CD 100 SS, Sleek, Passion, Passion +, Passion Pro, Splendor black edition, blah blah), all which were mere sticker/cosmetic upgrades.

Activa's mill in Pleasure

Unicorn's engine (with slight modifications in crank) in CBZ Xtreme, Hunk

so on..

It is only because of the goodwill that Hero Honda earned in the early days from the masses is still keeping it going. Now, with Honda moving out and the firm becoming Hero Moto Corp, the sales have already taken a dent.

P.S: Am not sure if all of this happened while Rajeev Kapoor was the CEO of HH.

SmartCat, good analysis mate!
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Old 29th February 2012, 12:01   #44
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaks View Post
Fiat, in India is akin to a nice dog but with lots of fleas, the dog is loved but nobody dare approach it for the fleas it carries. You own one, you end up scrtaching for the rest of your ...
Assuming that you are talking about niggles with Fiat cars (which I am yet to face), the analogy is somewhat true. But as someone who owns a dog and a Fiat, I have to tell you that what you get in return is way more than you give.

My dog and my Linea have a lot in common. To name a few,
  • Being a dachshund, very low ground clearance but an amazing balance.
  • He is always ready for a game
  • They bring out the enthusiastic child in me. My wife used to wonder (but now understands) why I am in my best of moods when I am driving.

I just realized I kind of drifted off thread. Sorry about that.

Having said all that about how much I love fiat cars, if someone asked me what would be my next car, I simply can't name a Fiat car, good or bad, for an upgrade.
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Old 29th February 2012, 12:03   #45
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Default Re: Why Fiat Has Failed In The Past, Present & Will Continue To Fail In The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Ravi View Post
Generally, I don't react to FIAT-bashing posts/threads. But, this post of mine is an exception.
Ravi Sir, nice to hear from you, and I fully endorse your view. Though I cannot compete with you... yet , but I have recently completed a Coast to Coast trip in my Linea and never had any problem in reliability/FE/comfort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_pulsar View Post
How many Fiat threads do we need? There are more than 200 of them in this section alone for the 1000 odd cars they sell every month. More threads having the same flavor:
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
There are way too many generalizations in this thread, about the servicing, about the sales, about the support and about the build quality of the cars. The way I see it, most of the Fiat bashing is done by people who haven't owned Fiats, and this thread is no exception. I don't see any point in reading the discussions on this thread. There are a couple of other threads where the bashing can continue. Here is one of them.
+1 to the above as well, there are way too many generalizations in this thread. Also, since I have joined T-Bhp, I keep seeing Fiat bashing threads come up regularly. With due respect to Smartcat and his opinions, what puzzles me is that a lot of the threads are started/commented on by people who don't own a fiat. As Smartcat himself mentions, he was going to buy a Fiat and was dissuaded by other people's opinions on A.S.S.

I for one have not had any problem in owning a Fiat and have thoroughly enjoyed driving and owning my Linea T-Jet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Phew! Thanks man. I thought I just stirred up a hornet's nest back there.
...

Now what is easier? Punto & Linea slogging day and night OR selling

Punto - 1000 units
Linea - 1000 units
Panda - 2000 units
Bravo Sedan - 200 units
Croma - 50 units
Doblo - 400 units
Multipla - 400 units
Idea - 600 units
Sedici - 200 units.

Bring the whole cavalry home, and the chances of reaching 5% marketshare are higher. Huge model lineup could also have a positive effect on existing Punto/Linea models and increase its sales.
Sure you have stirred up a Hornet's Nest

I see your point and in your defense, recently I visited Kochi and among the many showrooms on the road to the Airport, saw Nippon Toyota. Was absolutely amazed since I have never seen any car showroom as big as that anywhere in India for any car maker. Then on the same visit while passing Rajahmundry, saw another Toyota Showroom on the outskirts of the city on NH5, on the way to Vizag, in the middle of fields and forests!!

This fact IMHO just goes to show how serious / dedicated a car maker is to a market. In comparison to Fiat, which has no showroom to call their own, till recently, it makes the "?" even bigger.
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