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Old 7th May 2012, 07:11   #181
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Originally Posted by NutsNBolts

So is anything wrong in that? When you know your sales are negligible and that you need to stay in a market, where is the scope to "grab the market share"? Agreed their plans have not worked out so far, but they haven't stopped trying. Can you clarify "close themselves from the outside world" thing?
I have said it already, while the world is busy capturing market share, fiat is making plans for 2014. We are in 2012. Who knows how the market will be in 2 yrs from now ? Is there any sense of urgency ?

I don't see any thing wrong with the strategy, but it could have been better.

May be guys at FIAT know better.

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Old 7th May 2012, 08:09   #182
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If "launching models from 2014 onwards" is what FIAT means by acting on "war footing" and the dealers displaying and selling only 2 cars in their showroom(Linea, Punto) in the meantime, then only god can help Fiat India and its dealers.

I am surprised to know that there are people willing to put money in their dealerships which will practically be sitting idle for 2 years. It will be interesting to know where from does FIAT recruit people at its managerial positions.
Lets understand what the concern has been for Indian buyers and the handful participating on this thread... "FIAT s future in India"

The news is only an assurance of Fiats positive outlook to Indian growth plans and taking care of existing customers with a core team formed for the same.

Fiat Chrysler alliance goes back to year 2009 and they have posted their biggest profit last quarter in 2012 , thats close to 3 years time it took for that giant leap.

I quote from recent worldwide news... "Chrysler's auto sales increased 33 percent to 523,000 vehicles in the quarter, led by its home U.S. market where it gained market share on a first-quarter sales jump of 36 percent versus as the industry-wide showed a gain of 13 percent.

"Another positive quarter - built on sales gains that have surpassed the industry average - is affirmation that the Chrysler team is maintaining its focus," said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of both Chrysler and Italy's Fiat.

Now, the above quote took 3 years in the making.

We, here in India don't even give a chance to a company like FIAT with our limited and narrow knowledge of things and talk about how 16 or 19 months can kill a company. And I believe (and I m sure its true) that these thoughts are limited to a handful here.

Fiat , considered a failure in India, has close to 70000 odd Lineas and Puntos on the road . I see a large number of FIAT s on Mumbai roads and seriously don't understand the concern raised by some users here about fiats future.
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:46   #183
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by F150 View Post
May be guys at FIAT know better.
That should be the case
Atleast they are one group who consistently come up with updates based on the customer feedback (even with their limited QC appetite).
IMO strategies, market penetration plans etc. depends on how critical a market is for the manufacturer. For e.g.; Suzuki goes all out in Indian market, because this is one of their bread n butter source.

I am not too sure if Fiat’s survival depends on the product portfolio and sales in our market. So maybe the case with some of the other brands like Ford, Renault, or even VW.

The co-existence of these big players and small number manufacturers is anyway good for the customer. And hope this breakaway move works well for Fiat.
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Old 7th May 2012, 08:55   #184
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Originally Posted by vb-san
That should be the case
Atleast they are one group who consistently come up with updates based on the customer feedback (even with their limited QC appetite).
IMO strategies, market penetration plans etc. depends on how critical a market is for the manufacturer. For e.g.; Suzuki goes all out in Indian market, because this is one of their bread n butter source.

I am not too sure if Fiat’s survival depends on the product portfolio and sales in our market. So maybe the case with some of the other brands like Ford, Renault, or even VW.

The co-existence of these big players and small number manufacturers is anyway good for the customer. And hope this breakaway move works well for Fiat.
Thats very well put. And thats what should change now with them recognizing India and China as key markets after success in US
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:28   #185
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Having owned both a Palio 1.2 (for 8 years) and an ANHC myself, I can say that's not true in my case. Palio used to give me a mileage of ~10 in city, and 11 in best case. ANHC gives me a mileage of ~12 in city, 13 being the best case. On an average ANHC gives at least 2 kmpl more.

I am guessing you are comparing a manual Palio with an automatic ANHC. Not a fair comparison. Mine is a MT ANHC.
You do know that Fiat had 'forgotten' to caliberate the Palio 1.2's odometer to Indian tyre sizes and that resulted in the Palio 1.2 under recording the distance it actually travelled? For all you know the actual difference is'nt so large between these cars.

City's A/T, Palio's portly weight & performance oriented engine & SX4's tall dimensions resulting in poorer aerodynmics & large 16 inch tyres. All cars gain some , lose some yet return similar mileage. There is a difference but it's not a deal breaker is what I am trying to say.

My point was about perceptions. Anyone buying a City due to it's superior mileage compared to other car's is driving in the City for wrong reasons.

Anyway, we had a Ford Ikon 1.6 in the family around the same time I had a Palio S10. Both cars returned almost identical fuel efficiency yet the Palio got the tag of gas guzzler.

Anyway, this thread is not about these things so let's put the past behind and look at the future which IMO is not going to be any different for Fiat with this new arrangement.
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:28   #186
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by swathyd View Post

Kerala , Tamilnadu has got more number of potential customers....

They should consolidate on their strongholds , which will help them to lay down a strong foundation
I am a GP owner and the public opinion / feedback that I received in the past week is overwhelmingly positive towards Fiat. This attitude is reflected in several Malayalam portals/forums also. An example is this where 10 out 12 are supporting Fiat:
Mathrubhumi || Wheels - ??????? ????????? ????????? ?????? ??????????????

However, the icing on the cake is this incident: 2 people in my circle are now actively considering Fiat cars AFTER they learned about of breakout plan. One of them (planning to buy a Linea) has called me just a while ago :

"Hey Sandeep, you said Fiat is going to appoint exclusive dealers right?"
"yes...?"
"Have you seen today's Manorama (daily)" ?
"no...?" (several thoughts passed through my mind in a second)
"There is a Linea ad in it man. Same old ..... Tata dealers". (he prefixed "Tata" with a common Malayalam expletive starting with the letter M).

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Old 7th May 2012, 10:57   #187
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
I think Kochi is one of the strongest markets for Fiat in Kerala.
Even in North Kerala; Kannur is a very good market, I understand. A fellow member had quoted once that the sole dealer in Kannur for TATA-FIAT sells around 30-35 Grande Puntos per month consistently, which is on an average approximately equal to 5% of the total Pan India sales!
most of the Punto owners I know in Kannur are relatively satisfied with dealer's service, and some of them are apprehensive about the service network getting thinned up once Fiat and TATA part ways!
People in Bigger cities might be much pleased with this decision, while Punto owners in smaller cities would start to worry!
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:30   #188
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
I am a GP owner and the public opinion / feedback that I received in the past week is overwhelmingly positive towards Fiat.
When i was in market for a hatch, the only car that i wanted to buy after TDs of all of them, was a Punto. Yet i chose to give it a pass. The constant question in my mind was "when i'm parting with a huge chunk of my hard earned money, why can't you invest the same faith in dealerships or at-least service centres?" The arrangement with Tata failed to give me the impression of 'commitment' on Fiat's part.
Now that Fiat's on it's own, my eyes are firmly set on the Linea, once my current car completes the mandatory 3 years, next year.
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:52   #189
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by amit View Post
You do know that Fiat had 'forgotten' to caliberate the Palio 1.2's odometer to Indian tyre sizes and that resulted in the Palio 1.2 under recording the distance it actually travelled? For all you know the actual difference is'nt so large between these cars.
Yes, I am well aware of this. This was a very much discussed item in Palio user groups in 2002-2003 including how to recalibrate it at a dealers place.

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Originally Posted by amit View Post
City's A/T, Palio's portly weight & performance oriented engine & SX4's tall dimensions resulting in poorer aerodynmics & large 16 inch tyres.
A/T canot be compared to a Manual, so I dont agree with that. Do an apples to apples and compare MT to MT if you want to do an accurate comparison. I also don't agree that Palio 1.6 has a performance oriented engine compared to ANHC. It is no match in outright power, 0-100 or in-gear times to the 1.5L iVtec. Weight, bigger tyres (for SX4) etc are valid points. Of course Palio was an awesome car to drive (especially 1.6) and had a much better handling with precise steering feedback - but we are discussing only mileage and outright performance here.

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Originally Posted by amit View Post
Anyway, this thread is not about these things so let's put the past behind and look at the future which IMO is not going to be any different for Fiat with this new arrangement.
I agree - lets move on. I am just giving a different point of view since you gave your point of view on the mileage of both cars.

Last edited by SkyWalker : 7th May 2012 at 11:54.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:20   #190
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Fiat and Tata both gained equally out of the venture. I don't think Tata short changed Fiat with poor sales and service and provided step motherly treatment. I speak this out of my own personal experience.

I bought my Palio in Dec 2006. Tata-Fiat merger was just on the cards and wasn't completely through. I bought it from a Fiat only dealer who shut Fiat operations shortly thereafter. I was actually glad that Tata-Fiat did not continue with them as a dealer.

Positives after the merger:

As a Fiat Customer:
- I got access to B.U. Bhandari for after sales service.
- They have a HUGE service area with a detailed process for servicing a car. They roped in all technicians from a defunct Tata-Fiat dealer called Ashwamegh. Good move!
- I did visit them to test drive a Linea as well as the Punto and I wasn't shown an Indica and Manza as options.
- Spares availability was good except for one bad experience for which I'll blame the parent company and not the Tata-Fiat dealer.
- There were routine interactions with customers regarding their experiences, et al.
- I sold my Palio a month or two after the dealership closed down Tata-Fiat operations after a good 11 years.
Positives for Tata:
- They got access to the legendary Multijet engines.
- The Manza has features lifted straight out of the Linea.
- Access to prime industrial land in Ranjangaon to manufacture vehicles.
- Fiat engineering is still far superior to Tata in my opinion.

Positives for Fiat:
- Access to Tata dealers for sales and service. Getting new dealers from scratch is a huge investment and time consuming.
- Investment from Tata for bringing up their plant in Ranjangaon.
- Support in times of need: Fiat was almost going to shutdown due to flooding at their Kurla manufacturing facility. I am sure if Tata hadn't extended a helping hand in its time of need they would have shutdown by now.

The Fiat problem in my view:
- Diagnosis of problems when they arise during service is poor. Perhaps due to complicated technologies involved or the lack of expertise at dealership level could be the cause. This is something Fiat needs to look at seriously. I have seen Fiat customers returning with the same issue to the service station twice or thrice over before its actually resolved.
- Spares availability except for regular consumables. I had been in situations when I was told that brake pads for cars were not in stock and I'll have to come back after 15-20 days until they'll be available. This is absolutely unacceptable for any car brand today. You can't have your customers wait for spares. It just ruins the experience of service. Why can't these spares be stocked at dealer level?
- A killer service process like what I get at a Maruti service station. I am promised a 30 minute routine service at Maruti and that's all I have required for my car in the last 7-8 months of ownership. Answer me this: how much time does it take to: Change engine oil & filter. Replace / clean an air & fuel filter? Inspect electricals, wash & deliver the vehicle? I don't see this to be a more than 30-45 minute job. It does take an hour at the Maruti service station and I am not complaining. I see a lot of behaviorial disparity between technicians at Fiat and Maruti dealerships. The Maruti ones would be seldom seen loitering around having cutting chai all the time while the Fiat ones have always required some pestering. Just to cite an example out of personal experience in the difference:
- The oil dispenser at Sai Service had an issue. I didn't see the technician leaving my car alone waiting for the dispenser to be fixed. He came over to his senior (the advisor) and did a tyre rotation on my car without me asking for it.
- I had gone for a timing belt replacement at B.U. Bhandari. Since this effort requires two mechanics, the person working on my car spent a good 20-25 minutes waiting for another mechanic to be free. And after all the process he started off working on replacing the air filter, etc. He could have very well saved himself some time.
- A good performance incentive might be the key to motivate your mechanics.
- Maruti holds a little less than 50% of our automotive market share. They service the Estilo, Alto, Wagon-R, et al under one roof. Whereas Fiat had been struggling to do it with just two products the Palio & the Petra.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:52   #191
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We, here in India don't even give a chance to a company like FIAT with our limited and narrow knowledge of things and talk about how 16 or 19 months can kill a company. And I believe (and I m sure its true) that these thoughts are limited to a handful here.
+1 to that.
Though slightly OT but look at the 3 examples.
Tata Merlin : We have lost the count as to when it will be launched. Remember it is the existing product.
Nissan Duster and Ford EcoSport : Same as above but they are new products.
What I want to convey is that if launching a single car takes lots of effort and time, then setting up a nationwide dealer network will definitely take longer time.
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Old 7th May 2012, 13:20   #192
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Originally Posted by carwatcher
What I want to convey is that if launching a single car takes lots of effort and time, then setting up a nationwide dealer network will definitely take longer time.
Exactly. I suggest fiat should update its website like renault with the future line up of cars coming to india. That will keep consumers engaged till the dealerships are setup.
My wish list.
Linea 1.6 MJD
Punto sport with Tjet
And one mini suv be it from fiats line up or chrysler's lineup.

Last edited by F150 : 7th May 2012 at 13:24.
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Old 7th May 2012, 14:01   #193
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
- Support in times of need: Fiat was almost going to shutdown due to flooding at their Kurla manufacturing facility. I am sure if Tata hadn't extended a helping hand in its time of need they would have shutdown by now.
Do you have any reliable source for this news? FIAT going to Shutdown their shop is what I am hearing here for thousand times. Does not make sense to keep shouting this again and again. TATA did NOT do any favor after all. They got the technology they could only dream about at that time.

: If I am not mistaken, you are the person who had trouble with some part and you were asking FIAT people who visited BUB to compensate for tyres as well since your car was idle for couple of months I guess. This was in 2008, If I remember correctly. I must say, you really had a well maintained Palio by then
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Old 7th May 2012, 14:32   #194
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Do you have any reliable source for this news? FIAT going to Shutdown their shop is what I am hearing here for thousand times. Does not make sense to keep shouting this again and again. TATA did NOT do any favor after all. They got the technology they could only dream about at that time.
Their factory was in shambles post the flood situation in Bombay. They didn't have the money to restore it back to its original operating efficiency. This includes their paint shop that had muck in it and it would have taken them a good time to get it back to order. If you look at it, they hardly had any production and sales back then. Imagine the situation if TATA hadn't extended their support? We are actually going off topic with this.

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If I am not mistaken, you are the person who had trouble with some part and you were asking FIAT people who visited BUB to compensate for tyres as well since your car was idle for couple of months I guess. This was in 2008, If I remember correctly. I must say, you really had a well maintained Palio by then
Yes I am the same guy and I told them to get me the part in a reasonable time. The issue was off a blown hose pipe and they took three months to procure it. I was in the US at that time and I had a frustrating time trying to get my car rolling. The tyres became hard since the car couldn't be moved for three months. Finally I had to request a friend to attend to the car and get the hose pipe replaced. I wasn't around but my friend told me that they didn't put in a brand new hose pipe and swapped it out of a total loss car. Try going through that agony and you'll ask for a replaced car, let alone new tyres. And this is the ONLY reason why I went for the Swift. The Punto is a competitive product but I don't have time to follow up with the company each time I have issues.

Thanks for the compliment though. I sold the car after B.U. Bhandari was about to shut down.
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Old 7th May 2012, 14:48   #195
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
The Fiat problem in my view:
- Diagnosis of problems when they arise during service is poor. Perhaps due to complicated technologies involved or the lack of expertise at dealership level could be the cause. This is something Fiat needs to look at seriously. I have seen Fiat customers returning with the same issue to the service station twice or thrice over before its actually resolved.
This particular point holds 200% true in case of Maruti also, with regards to the new Swift, aint it? Infact, you are the one who started that thread on TBHP and made everyone aware of the faulty braking system in the L and V variants of the new Swift.

Maruti has not been able to diagnose the problem yet and hoards of people are buying Swift with faulty brakes.

So its just not FIAT that has this diagnosis problem, but even Maruti , Hyundai also have this problem to sort out. VW pushed everything under the carpet instead of publicly accepting the fault or whatever was the root cause of the issue. So dont they need to improve diagnosis?

Whats your thought on this, Kiran?
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