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Old 3rd May 2012, 14:59   #61
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

It is critical that Fiat back this move up by introducing new products, otherwise this will be a wasted effort. If they persist with the same two products in their new showrooms, they will continue to suffer dismal sales.

I would like to see them update their Punto and Linea range (Yes, again, as the 2012 updates were not significant enough). Some new engine options, like the 1.6 MJD will definitely help. I had read in magazines that Fiat were developing a low cost car for India to be slotted below the Punto. Don't know what the current status is, but they definitely need that car soon.

Oh, and launch the Viaggio (Dart) here.

I guess these things are more than obvious to Fiat's management, so lets expect a rejuvenated brand Fiat soon.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:06   #62
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I think it's a very good move from a sales point of view, The TATA dealers did give step motherly treatment to FIAT customers (experioenced first hand and that too when punto was launched). From the Service point of view if they invest heavily and atleast come to speed in metros they would have won half the battle.

I noticed that at the same price point a punto is better loaded than a swift. So they have always had VFM on their side.

A lot of extreme views here about FIAT, I for one feel they'll be more successfull in the years to come. Lets hope FIAT does a Yamaha in India (In both Product portfolio and service)
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:21   #63
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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 J.Ravi View Post
The phrase 'Damn if you do, damn if you don't' applies to FIAT India. In spite of dwindling sales, FIAT India is trying their best to improve their brand image. If FIAT India remains quiet, people used to bash it, saying that it should have independent sales and service network and blah..blah. Now that FIAT India and Tata Motors have jointly announced new distribution and service model, again the same people have started lashing out FIAT India. I hope that the new model would be good both for FIAT India and the existing FIAT car owners in long term.
Absolutely agree. I remember how everyone was ecstatic when the TATA-FIAT venture was announced. Everyone thought that was the best thing that could have happened.

My problem, though, is that they've announced that they're breaking up without any firm plan. They've not announced the new company nor have announced any new showrooms/service centers. It'll take atleast 3-4 months (if they're fast) to open a few centers. Will any customer be looking at FIAT cars for these 4 months ?

On second thoughts, this may be an excellent time to get a FIAT at a hefty discount
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Old 3rd May 2012, 15:29   #64
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Just two things IMHO FIAT needs to work on!

1. Better QC for their cars. Heck my 05 Palio feels more well built than my folks 09 Punto!
2. After Sales! After Sales! After Sales! After Sales! - They need folks who can diagnose issues quickly, and spare prices for some components are through the roof in the name of being Italian!
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Old 3rd May 2012, 16:55   #65
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I don't know what Fiat is thinking of doing, but this really feels a bit too late. They had a long time partnering with Tata for sales and service which in my opinion was to save the cost of investing heavily in company owned or franchised Sales and Service centres.

What they could have done over the past decade or so of partnership with Tata is to have co-located but distinct and separate sales and service centres.

They could of course have shared the Sales Centre infrastructure with Tata, but have a separate entry/exit without a view of the Tata vehicles on the same floor.

A similar concept for service might have helped, but more emphasis on ensuring trained service technicians would probably have done them as much good.

If Fiat is now thinking of building a new network of Sales and Service, then good luck and I hope they have deep pockets along with a clear and unwavering, long-term plan.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 19:02   #66
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Fiat was independent earlier as well. How many cars did they manage to find homes? Even with the alleged step motherly treatment meted out by Tata, their sales registers had done better. The potential was never realised. Not sure, if it ever will be.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 19:17   #67
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Certainly Fiat has not taken this decision in a hurry, they must have some plan in place.
The parting away decision was evident due to piling up complaints from existing Fiat customers and potential customer experience at Tata dealerships.

I believe Fiat should strongly leverage their existing customer base. Rich referral benefit will help them lots (I got them two T-Jet customers without benefit) ...

Next is to concentrate on Diesel thirsty small cities, rural areas etc. These are the places where the sturdiness of Fiat car will excel. A solid campaign in these areas is necessary. I have seen dozen of Fortuners plying in remote villages of Bihar where even electricity is a luxury.

A solid and effective brand advertising. Understand the psychology of current Indian, their needs, and shoot. Learn from MUL, Hyundai.

Openly kneel down and confess to world about mistakes made in past. Have gut to accept the realty. Indians are forgiving.

Talk to existing customers, we know where the problem lies and can recommend potential solutions. They have to keep themselves in our shoes.

Tata has made a good amount of damage to brand fiat by improper and ill campaigns. example campaigning with dirty, dusty, broken interior Fiat Punto in IT parks.

If I was the dealer, I would have installed some wide tyres, after market plati alloys, some hi-fi system, and all gizmos to make people compel visit the showroom. This is one technique used by Bimal motors of MUL by overloading SX4 will every possible non-standard (as well as substandard) accessories which pulls in lots of attraction. Certainly they are rich but less knowledgeable customers.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 20:25   #68
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Fiat has had significant brand erosion by associating with Tata (not trying to discredit Tata cars which are well built these days, but Tata as a brand has no premium attached to it).

Its a cocky initiative by Fiat to go it alone. But I would watch the space as to how they are going take things forward. They only have two cars in their portfolio now. They urgently need to launch more products that cut across segments, especially a diesel SUV to claim some market share.

I personally hope they get the Panda here and also relaunch the Adventure with an MJD engine.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 20:53   #69
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Lightbulb Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

People are not going to visit the new FIAT showrooms to check out the linea or the Punto. they are market duds with enough negative publicity to keep the aam junta from making the trip.

What fiat needs is a new product in their Indian portfolio which will drag people to the showrooms to atleast check it out.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 21:09   #70
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I for once would say it is the nice move from Fiat as I have for once experienced the step motherly treatment given by Tata at the initial enquiry level itself. How many sales did not happened due to this will never be known.
So all in all it is definitely a positive step atleast in this regard.
Now regarding the QC aspect, I have talked to almost 4-5 different people and all have told that as Fiat cars are manufactured by Tata, they can't push for quality beyond a certain level. We have numerous threads highlighting the QC implemented by Tata for even Tata cars, expecting them to improve for Fiat is expecting too much. Sorry to say, but for this factor alone and our mentality of (chalta hai or adjust karo) we ourselves have lost faith in Indian made products and Tata and Mahindra have proved us right time and again. Now one may say that I am blaming Tata for all the sufferings of Fiat, but I would defend myself by saying that whatever I have written above is after discussions with various people from dealerships or the company itself.
Now as regards the A.S.S. part, I feel that everyone knows how dicey is the Tata A.S.S. wrt their own cars ranging from entry level Nano (no one bothering to help a customer whose car catches fire) to top end Aria (we have a dedicated thread for that). Now expecting them to give better services to Fiat customers is really expecting the sun to rise from the west.
At the same time as every decision has some pros and cons, similarly if Fiat decides to part ways as regards A.S.S. from Tata, leaving out few good Tata dealers is the sacrifice they have to make. But we have also read that they will give first opportunity to the existing dealers also.
Also Fiat is also no saint. They were not maintaining spare parts availability in a proper way for a very long time for which they only are to be blamed.

Few observations from the posts on this thread:
1. People having most of the problems with a Fiat are the ones who don't own one. Very True and proven right time and again.
2. Few people praise that Fiat makes cars with passion and don't bother about what others are doing. Similarly, few people suggest that Fiat should make lighter cars for "Kitna Deti Hai" junta and others claim that older Palios were sturdier that current Lineas and Puntos. How to satisfy everyone?
3. For so long, people were suggesting that the biggest problem Fiat is facing is the step-motherly Pre-sales experience, now they are trying to address their biggest problem, they are being criticised for parting ways with Tata. I fail to understand, why?
4. Someone was suggesting that the Fiat cars are not VFM or priced high, I must say that now when Fiat was offering massive discount, did someone bother to check out the price and features after that and also wrt which are the other cars it was not VFM.
5. For people suggesting Bravo to be launched, I can only say that it is already shelved from what I was told at 2012 models launch party by Fiat. It was costing around 9-9.5 lacs as per their survey. Another example is Fabia and Jazz.

I really feel pity for the company but would also say that I have faith in brand Fiat which is having very Negative image associated with it.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 21:29   #71
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Quote:
Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
I for once would say it is the nice move from Fiat as I have for once experienced the step motherly treatment given by Tata at the initial enquiry level itself. How many sales did not happened due to this will never be known.
Myself and my cousin have faced this issue. We went to Aadya motors to enquire and test drive a Punto, which did happen. After a week both me and my cousin got call from the front desk who later transferred the call to the Sales Executive. The conversation went this way.

SE -Hi I'm xxxxx from Aadya motors

Me - Ah Hi.

SE - You had enquired and test drove the Vista. When are you planning to book the car.

When did I even test drive was the first thought across the mind. Gather up some words and asked

Me - Vista? are you really sure? When did the test drive happen?

SE - Yes sir, it was for Vista. The test drive was on xxxxxx date.

Me - It was not for Vista, it was for a Punto we had enquired for.

SE - (after a pause) Oh is it, but why dont you have a look at Vista.

This was it and I was livid and told the person I will personally visit the showroom and hung up.

Did make a visit to give my piece of mind and also lodged a complaint with Fiat regarding the same.

Good that FIAT is making a bold move by moving out of TATA's showroom space.

Quote:
So all in all it is definitely a positive step atleast in this regard.
Now regarding the QC aspect, I have talked to almost 4-5 different people and all have told that as Fiat cars are manufactured by Tata, they can't push for quality beyond a certain level. We have numerous threads highlighting the QC implemented by Tata for even Tata cars, expecting them to improve for Fiat is expecting too much. Sorry to say, but for this factor alone and our mentality of (chalta hai or adjust karo) we ourselves have lost faith in Indian made products and Tata and Mahindra have proved us right time and again. Now one may say that I am blaming Tata for all the sufferings of Fiat, but I would defend myself by saying that whatever I have written above is after discussions with various people from dealerships or the company itself.
QC shoould start from the Vendors place itself and not after assembling the car. After seeing the plant and QC department personally, a lot is desired out of the alliance for sure.

Quote:
Also Fiat is also no saint. They were not maintaining spare parts availability in a proper way for a very long time for which they only are to be blamed.
Note, the morons at the Concorde and Prerana never used to orders parts on time and how do you expect FIAT to send parts without an order? Have seen this personally again and had a real hard discussion pulling the parts manager at Concorde mysore road to the CRM's cabin. I proved that the guy was bluffing.

Quote:
Few observations from the posts on this thread:
1. People having most of the problems with a Fiat are the ones who don't own one. Very True and proven right time and again.
+100. Completely agree. More problems are from non owners. I see another member cribbing about brake pads on the Punto Test drive thread. It is made to show the world as if that the Punto needs brake pad replacement every 5K kms. Quite absurd.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 21:31   #72
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Lightbulb Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Quote:
Originally Posted by carwatcher View Post
I really feel pity for the company but would also say that I have faith in brand Fiat which is having very Negative image associated with it.
As a FIAT owner i would like to throw in my two cents

1) "FIAT the brand" apart from Team bhp,what percentage of the indian population knows about "FIAT" the brand"? did FIAT even bother to showcase its legacy?every advertising campaign they ran was about how good the cars looked or how many gadgets were stuffed into it.was the handling/power/italian heritage highlighted?NO. Volkswagen did that.they highlighted the brand and met with success.when people think FIAT they think of premier padmini instead of italy.

2)FIAT is popular on team bhp. i would even say that team bhpians form a biggest chunk of FIAT customers.Why isn't the aam junta buying fiat?while it is being pointed out that FIAT is quite VFM on this very thread look who its sharing showroom space with.Aam junta walks in, looks at the linea,and then wander off to the manza which has the exact same specs and features for a couple of lakhs less. guess which one they choose?handling and DNA dont matter to them .

FIAT showrooms will make sure that a person who wants to buy a linea doesn't drive out with a manza etc. Open your own showrooms,launch new products to fill real estate in those showrooms, Highlight your history and what FIAT cars are known for. and sales will definitely rise from the measly 1000 Units per month that they are seeing now.


PS: i still hope that FIAT cars will continue to be serviced at TASS apart from the official showrooms.TASS has a better reach all over india

Last edited by Bluengel180 : 3rd May 2012 at 21:33.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 21:49   #73
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Has this separation already taken place or yet to take effect??
Any information on who will support service of FIAT cars for the time being?

FIAT contacts their customers to get feedback on the quality of service after a visit to workshop.. They should now at the least proactively call and inform their customers of basic issues like:

Who would honour the warranty or spare issues for FIAT Owners?
Where FIAT owners can take their cars in case of a breakdown or repairs?

This might help paranoia from taking over and hurting the brand even more.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 22:07   #74
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

I see a parallel between Fiat and Philips. Both are European and both ruled the roost in their respective fields in 60s through 80s. And both fell out from Indian consumers' radars by the turn of the century. No matter how hard they try it now, they just won't get that sheen back. That is Indian consumer's psyche. First they queue up and eat out of your palm and then when things change, they avoid you like plague.

The irony in case of Fiat is, their engines are found under the hood of 4 out of 5 diesel cars. Poeple queue up to buy Swift/Dzire/Vista/Manza but they shun Fiat's own products. I'm sure many non-enthusiasts do not even know that there is a Fiat diesel engine purring under the hood of their car.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 22:11   #75
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

For the first time, I'm not sure whether to construe this as good news or bad news.

Well, it's a good thing in one way.

Tata quietly whisk potential customers away from the Punto on display, while elaborating on the brilliant MJD engine in the Vista (which is essentially technology derived from Fiat) is a phenomenon that not everyone is unfamiliar with.

On the other hand, Fiat had 'some' stability with Tata having their backs. They were absolutely down in the dumps with dealers boycotting and shutting down, before Tata stepped in.

Fiat should now take this opportunity to start afresh. They're such a brilliant brand, with so much backing them everywhere else. It's one of the bigger brands in South America which happens to be a rapidly growing automobile market. It owns some of the most prestigious marques in the history of automobiles. It's one of those brands that 'put' people in cars, with the 500. They're pioneers in engineering and technology too: MultiAir, MJD..

I don't see why they should struggle in a country like India.

Now this is the perfect opportunity for them to go beyond the Punto and the Linea. C'mon Fiat. Give us some more metal now. We want the new Panda. We want the Viaggio.

And while you're at it. Bring in Alfa and Chrysler.
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