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Old 3rd May 2012, 00:03   #31
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Good luck to Fiat!
They can look forward to selling even lesser number of cars.

And I'd be curious to know about the people who are going to raise their hands to be Fiat dealers. Good luck to them too! The last fiat dealer in my city was called Impact Motors, it made so much impact that in the end the dealer was arrested in the case of stealing customer cars!

But wise decision for Tata. One right step made, many others needed.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 00:29   #32
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I am certain that this move will make, fiat service even worst. Just 2-3 days back i went to tata service center, coz cars AC was not working. First thing i was told that i had to make a booking before coming.so you have to predict that your car will go wrong at what day and make a pre booking, aaarrgh.

Then i was made to wait for 30 mins in the reception, inspite of telling them i am in hurry. Then SA come and i told him the problem, asked just for a mechanic to check the car and depending upon the problem i will leave the car or wait. After 15 mins SA comes back and tells me it will take at least 1 hour to arrange a mechanic :o. I just left from the service center, i have to look for some private service center now.

Their attitude is so lousy. I have written to tata and fiat customer care, keeping their service heads in cc, its been 3 days and there is no response :(. More than anything fiat needs to replace it useless management. Who cant even reply a email. I am pretty sure lot of linea and punto cutomers are going to be suffer because of this.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 00:33   #33
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I think this a fantastic move by Fiat. Separate showrooms will give Fiat the much needed premium brand feel which in my opinion was lacking with TATA joint venture. The Linea and Punto are great cars and this news has the potential to dent the indefatigable herd mentality and perhaps instill more confidence in potential buyers. The A.S.S has been excellent for me and I don't think this move will affect that aspect. Good luck Fiat!
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Old 3rd May 2012, 02:33   #34
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I really dont think the problem lies with sales, its mostly service that keeps people away from fiat cars. So instead of trying to setup new dealerships for its cars, the first priority should be setting up visible service outlets across the cities. Once the service experience improves , people will no longer shy away from buying Puntos & Lineas. Most of the service experience is a direct result of having to deal with TASS.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 09:00   #35
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The fact remains that by ensuring there are changes in the way they operate now on , FIAT continues to hold promise to us of bringing in some more amazing products (including Alfa Romeos, Jeep etc.)

FIAT is a global brand and been around since 1899. Our analysis of FIAT cannot be based on March , April 2012 Sales. There is more to a company as old as FIAT than last month or last year sales.

There is a renewed focus towards market in China and India by all leading car brands and it's a step in the direction of growth every manufacturer is taking. Why not FIAT?

I personally see it as a very positive move for Auto enthusiasts and sales numbers are just a matter of time.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 09:49   #36
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastLove View Post
The fact remains that by ensuring there are changes in the way they operate now on , FIAT continues to hold promise to us of bringing in some more amazing products (including Alfa Romeos, Jeep etc.)

FIAT is a global brand and been around since 1899. Our analysis of FIAT cannot be based on March , April 2012 Sales. There is more to a company as old as FIAT than last month or last year sales.

There is a renewed focus towards market in China and India by all leading car brands and it's a step in the direction of growth every manufacturer is taking. Why not FIAT?

I personally see it as a very positive move for Auto enthusiasts and sales numbers are just a matter of time.
1) Its too late, too little. Sure, Fiat is an old brand with a lot of innovations to its credit. But at the same time, IIRC, they have had their focus renewed many a times for Indian market. The current facility is also a part of that.
The focus is there, but the implementation is missing IMO.

2) The 1.6 MJD. Why has it not landed in India. The linea is looking like an overpriced product with that 1.3. Linea clearly has got the capacity to handle the 1.6 easily. Fiat instead brought TJET. Fiat had sufficient time to observe what diesels can do in Indian market. Their own engine has done a lot, then why the focused Fiat is lacking 1.6 MJD ?
This puts a serious doubt on how serious Fiat is. Its quite some time that the importance of diesel has come up in the Indian market. Fiat again had missed the opportunity.

3) Things have to be quick for Fiat. They cannot gradually make changes and slowly move away from Tata. In the current market scenario, things must be super quick. And please get the spare part channel right this time.
A good example of how to enter and sustain in Indian market : VW. They came in late, but they have made their mark. Fiat is clearly lost in the market despite offering the most dynamically-competent products.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 3rd May 2012 at 09:51.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 09:52   #37
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I think this is a good move, especially the setting up of an independent Fiat owned company to handle sales & service. This would mean a team with sales & service as their primary responsibility. A dedicated team here could do wonders for the brand.

Coming to the Fiat brand being a dud in India, I feel all it will take is one mass market product - say the 2012 Panda with some aggressive marketing and things will turn. Look at what Ford did with the Figo. The general perception with Ford was of super high maintenance and one always got the 'are you mad' look if you brought a Ford home. Today the Figo has changed it all for the company.

I think the Tata/Fiat showroom sharing will continue in the smaller cities till Fiat expands their reach. IIRC their target for 2012 is about 20 dealers.

They has been talk about Chrysler / Alfa coming to India. They could have dual branded showrooms with will also help give the Fiat brand the much needed uplift it needs right now.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 3rd May 2012 at 09:56.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 10:24   #38
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Not really sure if this needs to be looked at as a positive or negative move. I would take it as positive as atleast the manufacturer has the confidence and the financial strength to do something different that would possibly give it a better chance to make an impact with the customers.

It may turn out a bad move if the dealers chosen aren't the right ones and want to grab every opportunity to have a quick buck rather than the long term players.

Fiat never had a brand recall problem, or any quality problems. Its the overall experience of A.S.S and availability of parts that's the real problem. Hopefully they have figured this out this time around.

I remember reading it sometime back, although no one has pointed this out, weren't they considering self owned dealerships to ensure the customers get the best service?
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Old 3rd May 2012, 10:47   #39
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Read this in TOI today. Felt sad to hear that the company has repeatedly taken patient aim and then shot itself in the foot. Multiple times.

Worldwide car manufacturers need to know that the Indian market is completely different. Few significant things stand out against Fiat cars:

1. Regardless of technology, style, features etc, the basic underlying element is "yeh kitna dethi hai?" ("what's the mileage?"). And Fiat's underlying reputation is that it doesn't deliver good fuel economy. And Indian buyers see the size of the car and the mileage and compare it with other brands. They are not going to go ga-ga over Multi-Jet technology or Blue&Me. Yes, a special few may be really into cars but Fiat can't position their vehicles at a premium just like that without understanding the Indian mentality

2. Variations / models - Lets take Hyundai - Eon, i10, i20, Accent, Verna, Sonata and a bunch of SUVs. VW / Skoda - Polo, Fabia, Vento/Rapid, Jetta, Passat, Yeti, Laura, Superb. Now lets get to Fiat - Fiat 500, Punto and Linea. Of these, Fiat 500 is ridiculously priced and so its not a regular car-buyers target. You see why our "Big Bazaar / Total Mall" shoppers don't line up outside Fiat?

3. Indian customers don't match a price-point. They expect the manufacturers to match THEIR price point. The price points are already set in almost all Indian households. Earn about 7-10L a year, you buy a car for about 4L. Earn about 12 a year, buy something around 7-9L. Earn about 18 a year, you may get a SUV about 10L and a hatch. And Maruti and Tata do extremely well to match this. They know the buyer before they come into their showroom and they are effectively playing on their customers minds to buy a car that's already built for them. Fiat on the other hand, just puts up a price + premium just that takes them a bit out of the price-point. At least they used to with the Punto diesel (until VW came in, I think). And what's to command their premium? Nobody knows. (Except for the few TBHP members who know Fiat owns Ferrari and hence we are all Michael Schumachers driving down Monaco)

Anyways, good luck to Fiat. My Palio (that I've since sold) still remains one of the most fun cars I've ever driven and none of my friends who own Fiat cars have any complaints about the vehicles itself. Just that, when it comes to compare and contrast, the Fiat brand fades away pretty quickly.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 10:49   #40
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

+ 1000

Thanks Tata! Enough!!!

I really hope this finally makes Fiat accountable. If they cant sell their current lineup, the mgmt should be replaced.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:11   #41
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Most of the common folk have a notion that Fiat cars are expensive to maintain and unreliable, if Fiat India can come up with a 3 years free maintenance something on the lines of GM and advertise it heavily, they have a good chance of altering their current market image.
Indian consumer is evolving very fast he is no longer a brand loyalist, a-la Maruti, and willing to experiment with new brands. Come on Fiat!!
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:13   #42
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I am not too sure if this is a good move by Fiat. Atleast they were able to sell some cars and also service them through Tata network. Fiat again and again fail to understand the pulse of the customers. They need to focus on performance oriented cars as these are the customers who are buying them anyways. Instead they stick to trying to get the mass market which was never theirs.

Further they need to tighten their quality control which is pathetic. Lesser number of visits to service centers would have instilled confidence in the customers.

I am quite happy with the service which I get either from Pandit Auto in Pune or Fortune Motors in Mumbai. Now I don't know what direction will this take.

I should have stuck to VW....
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:14   #43
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1) Its too late, too little. Sure, Fiat is an old brand with a lot of innovations to its credit. But at the same time, IIRC, they have had their focus renewed many a times for Indian market. The current facility is also a part of that.
The focus is there, but the implementation is missing IMO.
How did you come to a conclusion that its too little too late. FIAT wasted money in getting help with Management consulting group of Accenture. I have personally seen the Management Consulting group of Accenture and they are no idiots. What a waste of money did the people at FIAT do.

The current JV looked very good on paper. when one partner looks to extract the most from the technically superior partner and provide step motherly treatment at the sales itself. Is it not right to rethink the strategies.

Quote:
2) The 1.6 MJD. Why has it not landed in India. The linea is looking like an overpriced product with that 1.3. Linea clearly has got the capacity to handle the 1.6 easily. Fiat instead brought TJET. Fiat had sufficient time to observe what diesels can do in Indian market. Their own engine has done a lot, then why the focused Fiat is lacking 1.6 MJD ?
This puts a serious doubt on how serious Fiat is. Its quite some time that the importance of diesel has come up in the Indian market. Fiat again had missed the opportunity.
Linea overpriced. To what are the prices being compared to? is it Dzire, Indigo, alto? There are other cars with lesser equipment and still priced above the Linea and yet they are not overpriced.

Its not that FIAT does not have the technology or the capability to get bigger and better engines. What would FIAT want to see a Manza 1.6 MJD? I for one would really hate it. No offense to anybody.

Again how did you arrive at FIAT not being serious about India. Just curious to know whether you are Management Consulting or research? if yes, would you please provide more insight as how you arrived at this conclusion.

Sometimes there is lot of hypocrisy towards FIAT. Bad luck FIAT do what you want, you are still at fault.

Quote:
3) Things have to be quick for Fiat. They cannot gradually make changes and slowly move away from Tata. In the current market scenario, things must be super quick. And please get the spare part channel right this time.
A good example of how to enter and sustain in Indian market : VW. They came in late, but they have made their mark. Fiat is clearly lost in the market despite offering the most dynamically-competent products.
To your question of the quick actions, its not a game to change it overnight. by doing quick changes, if either of the partners take the legal route then be rest assured nothing is gonna change in the years to come knowing our legal system.

+1 on getting the Spares and service channel right this time else it will be a failure again.

On the VW thing, did you not read an article last week on how VW is struggling to get more foot falls in the showroom? Its not a rapid growth you require for a year and then everything goes dead.

From the current actions of FIAT, they seem to be serious about the markets of China and India. They will step up the speed knowing that they simply cannot ignore these two markets.

Last edited by nkrishnap : 3rd May 2012 at 11:26.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:14   #44
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

How will they expand their sales and service in the immediate future? Think about people not living in tier 1 cities and how will it affect the service duration if parts are available the way its always been with Fiat.

One good thing is now Fiat cannot blame TATA for their miseries. It might help them to bring more products (including Chrysler).
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:51   #45
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Fro what I read in the papers today, the JV is not fully nullified. Production is still to be continued from TATA plants whereas only sales and distributions will be done separately.
In that case, will issues of niggles, spare parts availability etc be affected?
i somehow feel it is best for a company to maintain control on the entire supply chain, even if it involves some heavy investments.
I am really looking forward to the expert's opinions on this half anf half JV model that Fiat is adopting.
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