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Old 11th June 2014, 15:41   #1441
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

While it is fair to expect Fiat to launch new models and thereby show more commitment to the Indian market, Fiat has no choice bu to be slow: establishing new dealers is one thing, getting them to function well and trustworthily is another thing altogether, and will take time (IF it happens well enough at all).

Meanwhile: new Linea, new Punto and Avventura, and hopefully a bigger diesel here and an auto tranny there? And Jeep next year (seperate dealers?).

And so, going by their avowals in the recent five-year plan, it is only in 2016 that Fiat will launch ALL NEW cars: 2 India-made Jeeps (D-segment) and a launch for Fiat too, presumably a Duster-sized CUV.

This sort of stretched timeline is OK in this tough market , PROVIDED the dealers and FASS are indeed improved and tightened (many of them sure need to be worked on!). Of course marketing acitivities/brand building have to carry on throughout.

It's a good thing then that, in the meanwhile, they'll have other revenue strems, from the Tata factory JV, and Maruti.
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Old 11th June 2014, 17:47   #1442
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Default Re: May 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

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Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
Please elaborate when did Fiat desert their customers?

I own a Palio for last 10+ years & had Fiat Service all through...
Fiat introduced the Uno, the most successful car in the company's history at that time, in India in the year 1996. The car received overwhelming support in the country and Fiat garnered 3,00,000 bookings within 3 months. However, sadly only 617 cars could be delivered by the end of 1996. Let us not go into the details of the reasons behind this but the fact is that FIAT failed miserably in customer support and many people did not get back their booking amount.
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Old 11th June 2014, 19:20   #1443
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Default Re: May 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

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Fiat introduced the Uno, the most successful car in the company's history at that time, in India in the year 1996. The car received overwhelming support in the country and Fiat garnered 3,00,000 bookings within 3 months. However, sadly only 617 cars could be delivered by the end of 1996. Let us not go into the details of the reasons behind this but the fact is that FIAT failed miserably in customer support and many people did not get back their booking amount.
Ah, OK. Nearly 20 years ago a company called Ind Auto Limited, a JV of Fiat and Premier Automobiles, let down their customers. (It is true they should have refunded the money.) Nevertheless, Uno remained popular, and Palio sold pretty well initially, so I somehow don't think the Premier misadventure is at all relevant to today's buyers.
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Old 12th June 2014, 15:04   #1444
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Default Re: May 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

Really worried about the numbers for Punto and Polo. More so for Punto as Polo is receiving an upgrade shortly. Its high time the company/dealers take stock of the situation and improve. The least minimum they should do is retain the loyal customers they have now.
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Old 12th June 2014, 15:29   #1445
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Default Re: May 2014 : Indian Car Sales Figures & Analysis

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Originally Posted by arnabchak View Post
GM, Renault, Nissan, Fiat...
What is the way ahead? "Bharat Chodo" may well be a slogan for you all.
Where do you go from here. Mounting losses, disgruntled dealers and unhappy and uncertain customers.
No need to leave India, Indian market to too huge and even if they improvise & target 4 - 5% of the market, it will be good enough for them!

Reg customers, not sure of other brands, but Fiat customers (most of them) are pretty happy with their cars & the Service (that is getting better post Tata-Fiat breakup).
The issue is luring the prospective buyers to the showroom & signing the deal!

Last edited by finneyp : 12th June 2014 at 15:46.
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Old 13th June 2014, 15:43   #1446
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

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Originally Posted by desdemona View Post
the new Linea is not a 'mere' facelift
It's a good facelift, but a facelift nevertheless. The changes are primarily cosmetic in nature. The car is mechanically identical otherwise.

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And still after the first month of 650 odd sales, it has settled back down to its old runrate of 230+/- odd cars. Why? The lingering distrust in dealers and ASS.
You can blame the dealers all you want, and Fiat's poor reputation has left it battle-scarred. However, there's more to it:

- The Linea is very old. In fact, it's among the oldest from the C2 segment. The City, Verna, Vento, Rapid, Fiesta etc. are all newer. The model is now nearly 5 years old. When someone's spending 10 lakhs on a sedan, they want a fresh product.

- There are better cars for city driving (lighter controls, sorted ergonomics etc.).

- Features was once a Linea USP. No longer the case.

- Underpowered diesel. I find the Linea diesel to be simply too slow.

I could go on & on, but you need to understand that Fiat's going to need a lot more than the ol' Linea & Punto to crack the market. Nothing that Fiat will do to these cars will make them sell, not even a price-cut or a bigger 1.6L diesel.

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they must launch the Dualogic AMT on the diesel(s)
Now, that's a great idea. They should have already done so for the Punto. Would've been India's first affordable diesel AT hatchback.

If Fiat wants to succeed in India, it's going to have to target unserved segments (like the Renault Duster). If it competes with similar offerings to its more reputable competition, it's going to get clobbered. Fiat is going to need differentiating products to survive. Either that, or it should just be happy making engines for everyone else.

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This is a tough, unforgiving, un-forgetting market with lots of blind herding at play
Not really. The Indian customer is actually an extremely astute personality. If there was blind-herding, the Duster would've never sold. Also, for all the talk of blind-herding, Maruti has had 5 - 6 flops in the recent past too. Toyota - which enjoys the best reputation in India - continues to struggle with the Liva & Etios.
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Old 13th June 2014, 16:01   #1447
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

I think FIAT needs to take a leaf out of YAMAHA's book as to how to reinvent or reorient themselves.
Yamaha post RX-100 and RX-135 had made many offerings like budget models (Crux, Libero etc.) but did not cut the ice.

Then they finally focussed on performance oriented bikes their USP which people associate Yamaha with.

They launched the stylish FZ, R-15, Fazer and got a great following. Just a ride in the bike was enough to convince you. Smooth refined engine, Stylish looks etc...

FIAT should first get some uber cool variants of Punto etc. And please educate the sales folks.. They tell me during Test drive of Linea 2014 Diesel that they have demand for New T-Jet so no cars for TestDrive. And FIAT making money with engines etc.. If the sales are happy making money in current state, then god Help them in increasing numbers..

Still not received Test drive for T-Jet. Waiting !!
Regards
MKP
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Old 13th June 2014, 16:10   #1448
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

MKP, contact other dealers in Mumbai for test drive.
In Bangalore, the 2 dealers I had visited, had both MJD & Tjet for test drive...
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Old 13th June 2014, 16:52   #1449
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

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Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
Still not received Test drive for T-Jet. Waiting !!
MKP, try the official channel, a.k.a go through the 'Schedule a test drive' link on their website. This will ensure a proper flow. The customer service desk will possibly keep track of your request and ensure timely arrival of the test drive vehicle, plus also call and take your feedback for it after the test drive.

Nowadays, with most brands I have found that getting a test drive is far easier through this online TD request method than direct walk-ins. The sales reps are also far more accountable when these requests are formally tracked from the company's desk. A random customer who just walked into their showrooms is more likely to be neglected or put off if the dealership has inefficient salesmen. This online channel however, doesn't allow them to give stupid excuses and escape easily. What's more?? You can make a couple of phone calls and ask them to bring it home instead of you going there.

Last edited by KarthikK : 13th June 2014 at 16:53.
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Old 13th June 2014, 17:26   #1450
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
MKP, contact other dealers in Mumbai for test drive.
In Bangalore, the 2 dealers I had visited, had both MJD & Tjet for test drive...
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Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
MKP, try the official channel, a.k.a go through the 'Schedule a test drive' link on their website. This will ensure a proper flow.
I had requested Online through FIAT website, Was promptly contacted by the Customer Care folks and they did routine follow-up till I finally got the Test Drive of the Car. I had requested Linea T-Jet, but they send the Multijet. I wanted to check the new car so went ahead with the TestDrive. The Sales guy then promised me to get the T-Jet and I'm still waiting.

I don't prefer to visit the showroom unless I need to book the car.

Why should I keep following up with them for TestDrive. I lost my enthusiasm after waiting for few days. Others would have gone with other options. This mind you in spite of the fact that I'm existing FIAT owner and wanted to exchange.

If this response for existing customers, why would folks be interested ? They have along way to go before garnering decent sales. And mind you it is not rocket science, just basic follow-up and sincerity would go a long way.

Cheers
MKP
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Old 13th June 2014, 17:31   #1451
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkpiyengar View Post
I had requested Online through FIAT website, Was promptly contacted by the Customer Care folks and they did routine follow-up till I finally got the Test Drive of the Car. I had requested Linea T-Jet, but they send the Multijet. I wanted to check the new car so went ahead with the TestDrive. The Sales guy then promised me to get the T-Jet and I'm still waiting.
Too bad :(
If you still have patience, please report this issue to: service.india@fiat.com
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Old 13th June 2014, 17:43   #1452
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If Fiat wants to succeed in India, it's going to have to target unserved segments (like the Renault Duster). If it competes with similar offerings to its more reputable competition, it's going to get clobbered. Fiat is going to need differentiating products to survive. Either that, or it should just be happy making engines for everyone else.



Not really. The Indian customer is actually an extremely astute personality. If there was blind-herding, the Duster would've never sold. Also, for all the talk of blind-herding, Maruti has had 5 - 6 flops in the recent past too. Toyota - which enjoys the best reputation in India - continues to struggle with the Liva & Etios.
Hi. Thanks.

Agreed, except for the point about herding. Obviously not every buyer is herding, nor is every car that sells well purely a function of herding.

Herding can be of a brand-faith variety (all else being equal), as I believe we are witnessing with the new Honda City, or of a USP-type which doesn't care for the brand much at all (Duster, Ecosport).

In either case: the result is that because of this peculiar behavioural trait in our market, the market is not as openly and rationally competitive as it appears.

The point i was making was about the brand-lack-of-faith herding concerning Fiat, Skoda and also VW and Tata I think, to a degree. The market just isn't willing to give these brands a chance to prove that the past (reliability, ASS etc) is past.

I guess Fiat can make a go of the new Punto, and especially the Avventura, it possibly has something somewhat differentiated to offer there, and with the Abarth T-jet Punto (at juicy prices). And of course with the India-made Jeep B- and C-SUV (2016), which should offer enough of a USP at attractive, = or less than Fortuner, prices.

It is clear from their 5-year plans that they ARE indeed content playing only with these few offerings, that are inevitably almost a niche taste. It is AS IF they are interested more in (actual and/or eventual) profitability in India than in volumes and portfolio size/variety. We know that is indeed Marchionne's new mandate for Fiat (and Jeep-Chrysler) in Europe, Brazil, China, (and the US.)

Let's see whether they succeed: the new facelifted Linea, a great car though it is, is no more than a ripple in the ocean of Indian car sales.

Last edited by desdemona : 13th June 2014 at 18:04. Reason: additional point
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Old 13th June 2014, 19:19   #1453
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Default Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More ...

I had gone to torque fiat ggn to check out the car and asked for a test drive but they didn't have a td car. Thereafter I've recieved at least 10 calls fixing test drive for t jet but to date no one showed up with the car!!!! And then we wonder why fiats aren't selling

Last edited by himanshugoswami : 13th June 2014 at 19:21.
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Old 13th June 2014, 23:41   #1454
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More ...

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I had gone to torque fiat ggn to check out the car and asked for a test drive but they didn't have a td car. Thereafter I've recieved at least 10 calls fixing test drive for t jet but to date no one showed up with the car!!!! And then we wonder why fiats aren't selling
I'll speak to them to see the why and where of this ineptitude.

Most people I've spoken to about cars have a high opinion of the Linea itself, and don't even mind the brand FIAT, but still avoid it because of the either the risk-averse pressure-and-temptation-to-herd (resale value, negative comments from friends and family, safety-in-numbers), and/or paranoia (or truth?) about Sales and ASS.

The point then is just that it will take years of grinding out incremental sales increases (and marketing and improving dealers + ASS) before redemption comes. No point expecting or demanding any more than that from Fiat India.

Till then, Fiats will remain a tiny, niche, minority taste. Which is alright by me !
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Old 16th June 2014, 21:34   #1455
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Default Re: Fiat's India strategy revealed. Abarth, Jeep, new Linea & Punto coming. More insi

FIAT should first focus on making the existing customers happy and retain the current no. of owners. The A.S.S has still not improved, even after 5+ years of ownership. Took 3 weeks for them to source a radiator and heating coil. I think 99rpm will deliver in 3 days. Is FIAT's inventory worse than a 3rd party provider? I can atleast accept the delay, what's worse was, I took an overheated car to the service centre and they asked me come the next day as some promotional event was happening. I explained them, it is an accident scenario and the engine will get damaged if I drive back again. They still didn't get it and I had to crawl back home risking an engine blow off. All the conversation happened with the Customer Relation manager, if the CRM is like this, I don't know what relation they can maintain. It is this attitude of FIAT(or the guys working under FIAT) which is the problem. I would have been happy if they had gone out of their way to accept my car and then fix it. My dad has a Hyundai Getz and the experience with Hyundai service is out of the world. They never shoo away the customers, they'll accommodate you somehow and we've always been happy with their service. FIAT should first change their service problems before introducing any new vehicle. My dream of owning a Linea or Punto is gone now, thanks to horrible service.
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