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Old 11th March 2013, 16:48   #751
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Wow!!

This thread has become hot again

OK, Now back to to the topic - I am just left wondering if the company themselves had our enthusiasm and batted themselves the way they should have our fellow members like amit_mechengg & nkrishnap would have had a strong case in their favor and people like funkykar, me & Palio owners could have breathed easy about support for Palios.

And at the end of the day FIAT has to fight its own battle under Enrico and they have to sweat it out, make the right moves and win the day.

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2013 at 09:58. Reason: Removing lines that might just lead to unnecessary brand-specific debates
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Old 11th March 2013, 16:54   #752
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Update on NCR: Spoke to a manager in one of Fiat's dealers today and he has confirmed that Kashyap Fiat will operate 3 centers in NCR. The one in Noida is already operational, not sure about the one in Okhla (if it hasn't started then it will start soon) and there will be a third one in Gurgaon too. Even the Fiat caffe in CP has been allocated to Kashyap. Seems Oberoi is going down the popularity charts and Kashyap is quickly climbing in it. I hope they don't become complacent due to monopoly of sorts.
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Old 11th March 2013, 17:44   #753
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Service experience is steadily going down, my last two services at Fortune Nerul have been really pathetic. The only hope is from April 1, Fortune will shift to exclusive Fiat service and hopefully lower volumes will bring more sanity in that outlet. Right now, it's total chaos, today was a 2 hour wait to get a printed invoice! It takes 2 - 3 hours to give the car for service and another 2 hours wait to get it back, invariably with a manual invoice so the next day or the day after you go again and wait another 2 hours for a printed invoice. Also, labour costs are increasing faster then the rate of inflation! Not only that but they charge separate labour costs for replacing brake oil and coolant, why it can't be included in the service costs?
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Old 11th March 2013, 22:51   #754
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

Its common saying amongst Fiat owners now

"Almost all vouch for the quality of product, and so do they for the quality of support provided for them. Difference is both are on opposite ends."

It have even stopped hurting now that how can they disown their products and leave users on themself. I am not much aware of Punto and Linea issues but majority of Palio family car owenrs are driving these cars on their own support.

Sounds sarcastic, but once being in Mumbai I asked the Fiat (Padmini) cab owner on how they manage to have so many Fiats running and where do they get there spares from, he told there is no new spare, whenever an earlier Car dies out, it is used for parts. I see all Palio owners going that way, depending on donor vehicles for the parts.
Around 3-4 years back I use to see a lot many roadside failures of Indica just becuase of poor engine or some or other failure becuase of bad design or some or other failure. Somehow noticing much frequent Palios now days, not becase of poor design, just becuase of lack of spares, the existing ones are repaired beyond usage level, leading to a breakdown.

Last edited by hrsraghav : 11th March 2013 at 22:53.
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Old 11th March 2013, 23:01   #755
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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 puchoo View Post
Thats good news indeed , confirmation that we are hopefully not too far away from the launch and availability of these cars. If you can please do get a few photos , would like to see what changes they have made to the exterior and interior.

Thanks for sharing!
I visited the showroom the next sunday, but it was closed being a sunday (Considering monthly sales figures - i thought they would try to promote cars on sundays as well!).

Its quite a detour from my daily route to office (Which in itself is 30 kms), so will be able to check it out next weekend only.
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Old 11th March 2013, 23:56   #756
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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 nkrishnap View Post
+100. This thread has certainly moved from the topic of Fiat's new distribution network to what palio are available and which new/old service centers are quoting what prices. The purpose of this thread has been diluted already.

May be a new thread should be started for bashing FIAT for the shortage and pricing of parts for Palio. No matter what Fiat tries, only Fiat bashing needs to go on there in that thread.
Fair point nkrishnap and karthikk. But from what I understand you essentially are looking for updates on the centers based on the experiences of Punto and Linea owners.

From someone like me who owns a Stile, the update remains the same . And what some of us were talking about here was not even close to FIAT bashing, so i wouldnt call it that. I appreciate you understand where we are coming from.

I hope you guys have a much better and trouble free ownership experience and these 2 cars dont go down the Palio way.
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Old 12th March 2013, 00:10   #757
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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
Service experience is steadily going down, my last two services at Fortune Nerul have been really pathetic. The only hope is from April 1, Fortune will shift to exclusive Fiat service and hopefully lower volumes will bring more sanity in that outlet. Right now, it's total chaos, today was a 2 hour wait to get a printed invoice! It takes 2 - 3 hours to give the car for service and another 2 hours wait to get it back, invariably with a manual invoice so the next day or the day after you go again and wait another 2 hours for a printed invoice. Also, labour costs are increasing faster then the rate of inflation! Not only that but they charge separate labour costs for replacing brake oil and coolant, why it can't be included in the service costs?
I would seriously suggest you to try out TCRS once. Meet Prakash there. I bet you will be pleased with their outstanding service.
Incidently they are the ones who service Jaguars too.
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Old 12th March 2013, 09:42   #758
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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 bruiser View Post
I hope you guys have a much better and trouble free ownership experience and these 2 cars dont go down the Palio way.
My dear friend, if you have seen my signature, it clearly mentions I have a Palio too. So the palio issues are relevant, but again not on this thread though. Hope the point is made clear.

OT: My palio has run very close 1.2 Lakh kms without much issues, now need to replace the lower arms and all 4 struts. Will be doing these stuff in April.
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Old 12th March 2013, 10:24   #759
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Default Fiat Waves

Fiat has had three Waves in the country in modern times (leaving the Fiat 1100 aside for now).

1) Uno - Spoilt by not being able to deliver and then having unprofessional dealerships
2) Palio - Spoilt by the dealership support, and the followup Sienna being too bland for most tastes, and finally reacting too slow on getting the the Palio refresh and the Petra to the market.
3) Linea - Punto - Past image meant people did not try out the new offerings soon enough, they priced the vehicles higher initially and then gave out discounts later, the Suspensions though superb the vehicles did not really have great 0-100 times due to their weight and state of tune vs the Maruti offers, the Manza and Vista which same soon after with the same engines seemed much better value for money - Fiat should not have attempted the higher positioning earlier. It is always best to get numbers on hand first and them raise prices later. TATA which marketed Fiat too has had to eat humble pie and drop prices that it raised over time and lost market share for not being true to its brands VFM image. Imagine the Manza and the Linea at the same price earlier on - which would you choose?

Fiat may be setting the stage with the new dealerships that it is opening but it needs a total product line refresh and a bigger lineup at that. At least 3 models and all fresh. - That could be the 4th wave, will it cover for past mistakes? Will India be prepared to take them on now? It will be hard and will have to be a radical approach.
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Old 12th March 2013, 11:35   #760
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Default Re: Fiat Waves

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
3) Linea - Punto - Past image meant people did not try out the new offerings soon enough, they priced the vehicles higher initially and then gave out discounts later, the Suspensions though superb the vehicles did not really have great 0-100 times due to their weight and state of tune vs the Maruti offers, the Manza and Vista which same soon after with the same engines seemed much better value for money - Fiat should not have attempted the higher positioning earlier. It is always best to get numbers on hand first and them raise prices later. TATA which marketed Fiat too has had to eat humble pie and drop prices that it raised over time and lost market share for not being true to its brands VFM image. Imagine the Manza and the Linea at the same price earlier on - which would you choose?
I'm sorry, your 3rd point is factually incorrect.

When Punto was launched it was launched with an introductory offer which went on for a few months. I was one of the early birds to book the car before even the TD car was made available.

Yes, Fiat did increase the price over a period and started giving discounts too in the form of free insurance and RSA, but the overall price of the car never went down below the price it was sold initially.

And to your point - "Fiat should not have attempted the higher positioning earlier" - I'm seriously saying, after driving almost all cars in its segment, this car is being sold at a far lesser price than it actually deserves to be sold. The depth of engineering you can experience in a Punto, can never be even remotely matched by any other car in the segment. How much price you can quote for that experience?

Expecting such an higly engineered and solidly built car to be priced at par with mass market cars will only demean the product and the company. I'm happy that Fiat did not go below its self respect in this case. And selling a product below a certain operating margin doesn't make sense too.

Where exactly Fiat went wrong is tying up with Tata for A.S.S. A company that is so wooful in service, being trusted upon by Fiat which already suffered in After Sales, is the silliest mistake.

Yes, Fiat management is shaky, but all the actions from their side shows that they are learning from their mistakes. Reading all the recent posts on Fiat service is only irritating and ends up as a Futile read. Fiat is just starting up service centers, I don't know how people jump into conclusions that it is going to be bad or good.

Let's leave it to Fiat, guys, it is their bread and butter and they sure know what to do. Let's give them their time and then jump into conclustions. Till then let's discuss something that's interesting!

Last edited by CliffHanger : 12th March 2013 at 11:37.
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Old 12th March 2013, 13:18   #761
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Default Re: Fiat Waves

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I'm sorry, your 3rd point is factually incorrect.

When Punto was launched it was launched with an introductory offer which went on for a few months.Yes, Fiat did increase the price over a period and started giving discounts too in the form of free insurance and RSA, but the overall price of the car never went down below the price it was sold initially.

And to your point - "Fiat should not have attempted the higher positioning earlier" - I'm seriously saying, after driving almost all cars in its segment, this car is being sold at a far lesser price than it actually deserves to be sold. The depth of engineering you can experience in a Punto, can never be even remotely matched by any other car in the segment. How much price you can quote for that experience?

Let's leave it to Fiat, guys, it is their bread and butter and they sure know what to do. Let's give them their time and then jump into conclustions. Till then let's discuss something that's interesting!
Hey,

Let me explain what I meant a bit better.

1) I actually love the Linea and Punto and totally agree that they are much better vehicles than their sales figures show. I guided a couple of colleagues to own lineas - (Petrol Emotion Pack models- since the distance to office was low) - then over the Fiesta (they paid higher amounts for the Linea and the city (which was even more expensive) which were the primary alternative in the segment. Linea seemed great value at that point of time. Later the manza came in and the same colleagues had second thoughts and felt that they could have saved 1L and picked up the Manza instead. They do love the linea a lot - especially the suspension but feel it too has it's shares of niggles - which they experienced -starting from the Seat Height Adjuster to the windows driven blue tooth sink to the AC Compressor later - and with the Manza having the same engine, similar features and also being a good looker they felt that they had over spent. (It is finally about competition). In due course Linea was offered at signifcant Discounts that made it match the Linea (not speaking about the offical price points) by the dealers and this further made them feel bad. The T-Jet engine that seemed to make take the Linea in the City league in terms of power too came later. They were prepared to pay higher for the Linea than the Fiesta and the manza (later) but less than that for the city. But The Linea with the T-Jet at the original 90 bhp price point is what they wanted.

2) IT is about the Brand. Each Brand in India has a perceived value and the customer wishes to pay accordingly due to various factors. Nor is the Linea that different from the City or the Manza for the three of them to cost that much different. Today a Swift and a Ritz cost more or less the same to make but the Swift sells for a Lac higher. I bought the Aria and selected it over the fortuner for the value I saw in it and the fact that I actually loved it more than both the Endy and the Fortuner, but most Indians either did not want so expensive a TATA or did not want to take the risk for such an expensive TATA product or the price and brand image just did not go with each other. Later The XUV came it just as TATA managed to show some growing numbers and literally pulled the carpet from below them. (In some ways the Manza did the same to the Linea just as it was starting to show numbers.) Now TATA does offer the Aria at a huge discount unoffically and have in time only increased prices offically (At least twice) but unoffically one can get it at may be 1.5L lesser a price than at launch.

3) While Fiat Punto and Linea offer a very robust (if we can call it that) (Felt if they had an AT Diesel I could have considere them for my needs at a particular point of time) driving experience that they provide is neither the leader in 0-100 times (Acc) (with the same or more power full engines than the competition), nor does it lead in fuel economy, nor in interiors (today), nor being Jap/Korean niggle free nor ofcourse in service. They do still give a special driving experience and do look good (though obviously are a bit dated today) but the other parameters too matter to buyers.

4) If Fiat really knew their bread and butter business that well and if they really knew how to sell cars in India they would not have been in the situation in which they are today. Nope they have actually failed over the last many years and there really cannot be any getting away from that. Fiat is one brand I have always admired and would consider buying (hence suggested to so many people over time) but this time they do need to think radically and BIG to get back mindshare and above all the peoples confidence.

Essentially am saying that they should have price their vehicles even more aggresively at the start (not leaving room for discounts at a later point of time). Number on the road matter the most and help raise prices in the future. (XUV, Duster etc, are a few examples of this.) One can't price more than the brand can take (even for a very good vehicle).
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Old 12th March 2013, 15:15   #762
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Default Re: Fiat Waves

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Hey,

Let me explain what I meant a bit better.

1) I actually love the Linea and Punto and totally agree that they are much better vehicles than their sales figures show. I guided a couple of colleagues to own lineas - (Petrol Emotion Pack models- since the distance to office was low) - then over the Fiesta (they paid higher amounts for the Linea and the city (which was even more expensive) which were the primary alternative in the segment. Linea seemed great value at that point of time. Later the manza came in and the same colleagues had second thoughts and felt that they could have saved 1L and picked up the Manza instead. They do love the linea a lot - especially the suspension but feel it too has it's shares of niggles - which they experienced -starting from the Seat Height Adjuster to the windows driven blue tooth sink to the AC Compressor later - and with the Manza having the same engine, similar features and also being a good looker they felt that they had over spent. (It is finally about competition). In due course Linea was offered at signifcant Discounts that made it match the Linea (not speaking about the offical price points) by the dealers and this further made them feel bad. The T-Jet engine that seemed to make take the Linea in the City league in terms of power too came later. They were prepared to pay higher for the Linea than the Fiesta and the manza (later) but less than that for the city. But The Linea with the T-Jet at the original 90 bhp price point is what they wanted.
I'm not able to understand this point completely. But I can infer 2 things -

1. Colleagues unhappy with some niggles and were of the opinion they could have saved a lakh had they bought Linea.
2. They wanted a T-jet at Linea NA price.

Now to the 1st point - I hate to give an explanation here because it is known to almost everybody that overall Tata cars quality are sub standard and their cars age quickly. Your colleagues reasoned that and that's why they bought Linea at the first point. Once they started having few issues, they started whinining. Typical of a lot of buyers. Yes, there is no refusal of the fact that Linea and Punto had few initial niggles. But Fiat addressed the issues under warranty. Cars of latter period had niggles sorted out. And I don't have to tell the fact that most newly launched cars go through their own share of initial niggles, be it the mighty Toyota's Etios or Mahindra's XUV 5oo.

Would you compare Toyota with Tata for Etio's niggles?

For the second point - Please go through the list of Linea T-jet's features list. You can compare them with Linea NA, Manza and City.

Quote:
2) IT is about the Brand. Each Brand in India has a perceived value and the customer wishes to pay accordingly due to various factors. Nor is the Linea that different from the City or the Manza for the three of them to cost that much different. Today a Swift and a Ritz cost more or less the same to make but the Swift sells for a Lac higher. I bought the Aria and selected it over the fortuner for the value I saw in it and the fact that I actually loved it more than both the Endy and the Fortuner, but most Indians either did not want so expensive a TATA or did not want to take the risk for such an expensive TATA product or the price and brand image just did not go with each other. Later The XUV came it just as TATA managed to show some growing numbers and literally pulled the carpet from below them. (In some ways the Manza did the same to the Linea just as it was starting to show numbers.) Now TATA does offer the Aria at a huge discount unoffically and have in time only increased prices offically (At least twice) but unoffically one can get it at may be 1.5L lesser a price than at launch.
It is not exactly about the brand too. It is about the product and market needs. Ever thought Figo would turn the ables for Ford? Or, duster would turn the tables for Renault?

As someone said, the market is a funny place and no manufacturer was/is never 100% successful.

Quote:
3) While Fiat Punto and Linea offer a very robust (if we can call it that) (Felt if they had an AT Diesel I could have considere them for my needs at a particular point of time) driving experience that they provide is neither the leader in 0-100 times (Acc) (with the same or more power full engines than the competition), nor does it lead in fuel economy, nor in interiors (today), nor being Jap/Korean niggle free nor ofcourse in service. They do still give a special driving experience and do look good (though obviously are a bit dated today) but the other parameters too matter to buyers.
Yes, they dont win the 100m dash, the archaic gear boxes rob the valuable seconds, but please check their in gear acceleration timings, they are right up there. No, I'm not supporting Fiat here, I still crib for my car being a laggard. But what I'm trying to say is - there are so many nice and valuable things in the car which people conveniently ignore just to justify their decision of not buying a Fiat.

I've already asked this question elsewhere.

Would you prefer a car that visits service center twice a year but can crumple to pieces in an accident or a car that visits service center 5 times a year but could avert an accident with its strong dynamics, or in case of an accident, takes the brunt and keeps the cabin intact?

I don't have statistical evidence to support the claim, but it is understood that strong cars with strong dynamics are a lot safer than cars with poor dynamics and wafer thin build. My life is more important than anything else, more important than my peace of mind, my prestige, etc. That's why I chose a Punto over an i20, two cars which perfectly fit into the previos example of mine

Quote:
4) If Fiat really knew their bread and butter business that well and if they really knew how to sell cars in India they would not have been in the situation in which they are today. Nope they have actually failed over the last many years and there really cannot be any getting away from that. Fiat is one brand I have always admired and would consider buying (hence suggested to so many people over time) but this time they do need to think radically and BIG to get back mindshare and above all the peoples confidence.
Not everybody becomes successful on their first stint. I thought Yamaha is out, but see where they are now.

Quote:
Essentially am saying that they should have price their vehicles even more aggresively at the start (not leaving room for discounts at a later point of time). Number on the road matter the most and help raise prices in the future. (XUV, Duster etc, are a few examples of this.) One can't price more than the brand can take (even for a very good vehicle).
Fiat is not sitting idle and crying over spilt milk. They have planned something and are implementing the same, let us give some time to the brand which most of us Love!

P.S: I'm sorry, I may not respond to any other posts on this topic.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 12th March 2013 at 15:17.
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Old 12th March 2013, 15:39   #763
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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
I'm not able to understand this point completely. ...
.....
Fiat is not sitting idle and crying over spilt milk. They have planned something and are implementing the same, let us give some time to the brand which most of us Love!

P.S: I'm sorry, I may not respond to any other posts on this topic.
I think the point was quite easy to understand, yet everyone is entitled to their view. Will refrain from responding to the remaining points though in this case I disagree with a lot of them.

Irrespective am sure that there are many who would have got the point as well so the effort is fine. Fiat is one of my favourite brands but they disappoint and clearly as mentioned earlier do need to get their act together. Their current efforts cannot be defined as sufficent they are a step in the right direction but these are still small steps - too small to make a dent.

Their efforts to go solo and setup exclusive fiat service center if sufficent would have already started to give results in places where they have established this setup but the figures do not indicate this. The plans with Jeep, Abarth etc, can be said to be more towards upgrading the brand image rather than top line or bottom line numbers. This cannot happen without a complete revamp of current models and a sustained campaign to back it. Feel that service was never really an issue for most Fiat Customers, the issues lie elsewhere (in my view in the product mix and the marketing effort as a whole) and those are yet not visibly addressed.

PS: Would given the time love to respond to more posts debating fiats distribution network model focus, since am quite passionate about the brand and don't feel the present approach/effort from the company is sufficent.
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Old 12th March 2013, 16:05   #764
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Default Re: Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network

No one can deny that Fiat has made tactical blunders in the past but writing them off for their past mistakes doesn't seem fair. While they might not have given proper support to the Palio users, they didn't shut shop and run away like Peugeot. GM has been launching Daewoo products under Chevy logo in India but did they support Daewoo cars with service and spares?

I hope RE fans don't kill me for my assumption but I feel if Fiat plays its cards well, they can attain the positioning in Indian car market that RE occupies in the bike market. Anybody who has ever driven a Fiat (for extended period) can list the USPs of Fiat product over competition's products in same segment and price point. When I wanted to purchase a petrol sedan, I considered Linea T-jet, Honda City and Ford Fiesta. After a detailed test drive and comparison on features, I was clear that the Linea T-jet was the best out of the three when it came to driving pleasure and features. Yes, I had to take it to service center for minor issues with power window and battery replacement. Yes, I had to write emails and shout at GM-service to get my work done but that's just 2-3 days out of 379 days of ownership. On all the rest 376-377 days, it has been a pleasure to own this car. Fiat products aren't meant for Fill it, shut it and forget it type of segment. It is meant for people that are passionate about their cars. People that don't mind taking a day out of their calendar and spend it on their car to keep it in top shape. I feel all these points are applicable to the RE owners as well.

My 2 cents to Fiat will be: Till the time you have the engine deal to support your OPEX, concentrate on creating the brand Fiat and support your enthusiasts. Before you realise, Fiat will once again be an aspirational brand for car enthusiasts.
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Old 12th March 2013, 16:28   #765
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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Would you prefer a car that visits service center twice a year but can crumple to pieces in an accident or a car that visits service center 5 times a year but could avert an accident with its strong dynamics, or in case of an accident, takes the brunt and keeps the cabin intact?

I don't have statistical evidence to support the claim, but it is understood that strong cars with strong dynamics are a lot safer than cars with poor dynamics and wafer thin build. My life is more important than anything else, more important than my peace of mind, my prestige, etc. That's why I chose a Punto over an i20, two cars which perfectly fit into the previos example of mine
There is statistical evidence in this area. Both i(20) and Grande Punto are considered comparable cars by NCAP since they are within 150 kgs of each other. It is normally obvious that heavier cars woudl have and edge over lighter ones in a one on one impact between the two.
i20 has a 5 Star rating for Post 2009 overall. But has expecially high rating for children and does well on pedestrian and safety equipment parameters as well. Grande Punto too has a 5 star rating but that is a pre 2009 rating and the parameters got tougher later but were also different. Yet it is obvious from the NCAP site that for other pameters like child safety (not the Adult 5 star) they have a lower rating. Not to say that Punto needs to shy away from the results - they are good but the world has moved on and the newer punto with better safety standards is required to take on the i20 on these parameters.

Writting the above in just as to clarify that older heavier cars can't really taken on the newer lighter one directly, infact older Merc, BMW & Audi don't really perform that well on the newer Safety test and cars costing much lesser today do better. - I actually love both cars and the next gen Punto / Abarth (if priced well) could well be in my stable.

This ofcourse is a digress, yet would like to point out that Fiat really didn't market their 5star safety performance as well i20 did and Marketing does remain a problem area. The Advts, were nice but they did not get the buyer to the stores in sufficent numbers and help them close sufficent number of deals.
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