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Old 30th July 2014, 13:34   #46
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
Yes and no. It took 10 years for Maruti to launch an update to the Swift.
6 years for an all-new generation, buddy. The 1st-gen came in 2005, the much-improved 2nd-gen in 2011.

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The Santro still sells.
Because it's a 3 lakh entry-level hatchback. There's a difference in expectations between a 3 & 6 rupee lakh customer.

What's also incredible is that the Santro sells with ZERO marketing. You will agree that Fiat has nowhere near the product or brand reputation.

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The i10 and i20 were launched before the Punto and have seen minimal updates.
The i10 saw an all-new generation in 6 years as well (2007 old one, 2013 Grand i10).

Nevertheless, you have to understand that a niche manufacturer always has to do things differently than the big guys. Else, you'll be walked all over. Look at Renault; the Duster's USP got them 4000 - 5000 sales a month on a consistent basis!

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I wouldn't be surprised to see the new Punto sell comparably to the Polo by the end of the year.
I don't see that happening. Guess, only time will tell.
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Old 30th July 2014, 13:41   #47
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
A
However, relevant to your post, here's why the Punto isn't considered by the masses
+
Many people have negative opinion about Punto's looks. I think face lifted model solve that issue.
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Old 30th July 2014, 14:06   #48
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
However, relevant to your post, here's why the Punto isn't considered by the masses:

- Light controls. The masses love them. The Punto has a heavy steering, long clutch & messed up ergonomics. It's hardly the easiest car to drive in the city.

- Old model. It's now 5 years old in a market where the likes of Maruti & Hyundai launch product after product. We've seen a blitzkrieg of new cars from other brands too.

- Interior fit & finish. Sat in a Grand i10 lately?

- Fiat's reputation. Once a brand name is damaged, it is very, very hard to build it back. Not just Fiat, Tata & Skoda are also suffering from the same problem.

At best, these facelifts & design changes will help Fiat maintain its current (low) sales levels. I don't expect any improvement after the initial period.
Yes, Fiat's reputation was bad. But, since Punto and Linea's launch, that has started changing slowly. Since 2009, every month, on an average 1000 Fiats are being added to Indian roads, and people are in fact taking a note of that.

They appreciated the looks of Fiat, some talk to the owners and get to know that the cars are better than most of the competition, and a considerable few end up buying Fiat.

One of the reasons Fiat sells is strong word of mouth publicity.

With just 2 products for the past 6 years, Fiat still maintains an average 1000 odd sales figure every month, which in itself says a lot that the brand reputation is no more negative.

While there are brands that concentrate on masses, not every brand is supposed to concentrate on masses. Is it the way Industries operate?

Fiat, earlier made its stance clear that it is not going to target the volumes market. So, expecting their cars to target the mass market with light controls, flashy plastics, etc may not happen with their products. They are targeting the informed customers and rightly so, because that is where their strength lies. The masses, most of them, are never going to understand Ride & Handling, Solid Build Quality, etc. and they are not expected to do so.

So why waste time and energy on explaining your strengths to someone who is never going to understand that? Also, as I said, in any industry, there are brands that operate at different price bracket and targeting different set of customers. Fiat, is targeting the informed buyers in the price brackets they operate. And again, as I said earlier, with just 2 products over 6 years and an average 1000 sales figure, show they are in fact making a positive impact.

The Linea might get beaten by the competition now, but the Punto still is very competitive. The safety, the ride, the handling and that sitting on a sports car feel with its swooping windshield, which other cars offer that?

Their aggressive sales and service network expansion has also impacted the reputation in a good way. They have put a road map on the infrastructure they are building and have promised some good products and brands. I think they are in better position than what your post indicates.

I'm sorry your post has a lot of negative feel to it, while most of your points are valid, it doesn't highlight the changing context. Yes, Fiat can be compared to Skoda and Tata, but everyone here knows out of the three who is making a sincere effort.
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Old 30th July 2014, 14:10   #49
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Wow! I like it. The new car looks so nice and fresh from all 'cosmetic' aspects. I have not driven the 1.3 MJD engine, so I can't say anything on that aspect. The 1.2 petrol is ok for the average standards but nothing exciting in this one. What I cannot accept is the reversal of light & wiper stalks and giving a steel rim as a spare tyre. After all these years, this is the minimum 'India-centric' change I feel they should do. Since I have not owned a FIAT so far, I also can't comment on the sales/after sales/service experience, but going by the overall posts on the forum, I think they are much better in all aspects than they were some years ago.
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Old 30th July 2014, 14:55   #50
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
While there are brands that concentrate on masses, not every brand is supposed to concentrate on masses. Is it the way Industries operate?

...
The Linea might get beaten by the competition now, but the Punto still is very competitive. The safety, the ride, the handling and that sitting on a sports car feel with its swooping windshield, which other cars offer that?
In my opinion, this is where Fiat India having a blurred vision of the future. They given justice to the word "facelift", they have retained all the characteristics that a Fiat is known for, and they are trying to be a niche player.

But that's where the engine lineup comes into picture. Even the most powerful engines on Punto are still far from pleasing enthusiasts.

Lucky for Fiat, most of its customers and prospective customers understand that the current Fiat India is not the same as the Fiat India 3-4 years ago!
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Old 30th July 2014, 14:56   #51
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo - A Close Look

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
The spare tyre is the same size as that on the Punto Active model i.e. 165/80 R14. Keeping a check on costs is the only reason that quickly comes to my mind. However, it is interesting to note that the earlier batch of the Punto came with 15" steel spare wheels but since 2012, Fiat has downsized the spare wheel size from 15" steel wheel to 14" as well.
This started from May/June 2012 when the Sports version of 90HP was introduced. Except for the cost cutting, I do not see any rational behind this move. The 165/80 R14 tyres too is under tyred. They should have stuck to 15 inch steel wheels with the same 195/60 R15 tyres. Since they are anyways looking at positioning the Punto as a premium product, they should not have done these cost cutting measures which definitely is not so premium.

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Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
In my opinion, this is where Fiat India having a blurred vision of the future. They given justice to the word "facelift", they have retained all the characteristics that a Fiat is known for, and they are trying to be a niche player.

But that's where the engine lineup comes into picture. Even the most powerful engines on Punto are still far from pleasing enthusiasts.

Lucky for Fiat, most of its customers and prospective customers understand that the current Fiat India is not the same as the Fiat India 3-4 years ago!
+100. If they intend to be a niche player or a premium player in the segment, why not go the full distance in all aspects. Euro Spec gearbox and AMT for the autobox market would have definitely made a few people sit up and take notice.

Last edited by nkrishnap : 30th July 2014 at 14:59.
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Old 30th July 2014, 15:21   #52
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
.....The Punto has a heavy steering, long clutch & messed up ergonomics. It's hardly the easiest car to drive in the city.
....
Is the new Punto Evo still having messed up ergonomics?
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Old 30th July 2014, 15:35   #53
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Since 2009, every month, on an average 1000 Fiats are being added to Indian roads, and people are in fact taking a note of that.
Considering the market has grown since then, that's not saying a lot. Fiat has actually lost marketshare! In other words, Fiat is MOVING BACKWARD.

Many months, the Ambassador has outsold the Linea. I'm sure people have taken a note of that too.

Quote:
that the cars are better than most of the competition
Sorry, but as a knowledgeable enthusiast, I disagree that Fiat is 'better' than most of the competition. I'd buy a Swift ZDi over the Punto today and a Vento TDI over the Linea MJD.

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One of the reasons Fiat sells is strong word of mouth publicity.
A statement you can use for Maruti, but not a flop brand that sits at the bottom of the pile. In fact, the reason that more than 1000 customers a month run away from Fiat is word of mouth / street reputation.

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While there are brands that concentrate on masses, not every brand is supposed to concentrate on masses. Is it the way Industries operate?
If you think that Fiat is happy selling 1000 cars / month, thinking it's in a niche, you couldn't be farther from the truth. Fiat's management itself will disagree with you.

And end of the day, Punto & Linea are mass market cars. Not like we're talking of a Mini Cooper here. There's nothing 'niche' about Fiat's products in India.

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Fiat, earlier made its stance clear that it is not going to target the volumes market.
Neither have they said they're happy with a piddly 1000 units a month.

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They are targeting the informed customers and rightly so, because that is where their strength lies.
I am an informed customer and I enjoy driving a faster, nimbler Swift more than a Punto.

Quote:
I'm sorry your post has a lot of negative feel to it, while most of your points are valid
The truth can sometimes be harsh.

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Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
Is the new Punto Evo still having messed up ergonomics?
Yep.

Last edited by GTO : 30th July 2014 at 15:36.
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Old 30th July 2014, 15:35   #54
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post

While there are brands that concentrate on masses, not every brand is supposed to concentrate on masses. Is it the way Industries operate?

Fiat, earlier made its stance clear that it is not going to target the volumes market. So, expecting their cars to target the mass market with light controls, flashy plastics, etc may not happen with their products. They are targeting the informed customers and rightly so, because that is where their strength lies. The masses, most of them, are never going to understand Ride & Handling, Solid Build Quality, etc. and they are not expected to do so.
No manufacturer out there makes cars for the good of the community or for catering to a niche group of buyers. They are making cars to make money.

If you don't make money i.e. you don't sell cars you will end up winding up and leaving or you will have dig into pockets of others to survive.

Now how do you sell cars? By understanding what the mass market wants and then creating a product that fulfills that demand.

If your selling a car that doesn't cater to what majority of buyers want then how can you make money?

Fiat saying that they are not looking at volumes doesn't mean they want to be a niche player and they are targeting only those who appreciate ride/handling/steering as their customers. It is them facing reality that they do not have a product that is good enough for the masses and we cannot compete with the mass manufacturere.


Quote:
I'm sorry your post has a lot of negative feel to it, while most of your points are valid, it doesn't highlight the changing context. Yes, Fiat can be compared to Skoda and Tata, but everyone here knows out of the three who is making a sincere effort.
Isn't Tata making a sincere effort to change as well? Seen the Zest? New petrol engine + AMT + improved quality.

Noone wants to be at the bottom. All want to come up.
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Old 30th July 2014, 15:38   #55
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

Looks Modern and is definitely a head turner.The Punto 1.3MJD with 90 horses on tap is a hoot to drive and now you can drive with some extra bling
BTW what is the deal with VW, FIAT on not providing a spare alloy! I could live without an alloy but lower spec tyre as spare is something i cant live with
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Old 30th July 2014, 16:03   #56
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

Though the face-lift has addressed a lot of points, I still think it's NOT much to create a ripple in the market. I would have loved to see the fit & finish to be better and more than anything - the ergonomic issues to be taken care of. The gear shift, long clutch and bad ergonomics rob a lot of fun from this car, even if keeping the quality issues aside. And the spare being smaller - that's something Fiat should NOT have done. A steel spare wheel would have been OK with a proper size tyre, but definitely NOT a smaller one.

Looks wise, this is one step closer to my heart though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
Yes and no. It took 10 years for Maruti to launch an update to the Swift....
10 Years? Really?

The Maruti Suzuki Swift was launched in India in May 2005 with a 1.3-litre petrol engine. Later, in early 2007, Maruti introduced the Swift with a Fiat-sourced 1.3 L DDiS engine. In 2010, due to the new BS IV emission norms, Maruti replaced the 1.3 L petrol engine with a 1.2 L K-series engine. In August 2011, Maruti launched the all-new third-generation Swift, with 1.2 L K-series petrol and 1.3 L DDiS engines.

Source:: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Swift

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
...The Santro still sells......
Absolutely. But next gen Santro (i10) was also brought to the market to keep the freshness.

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
...The i10 and i20 were launched before the Punto and have seen minimal updates....
i10 & i20 have had regular facelifts ( 3 years into launch IIRC) and also the new gen (Grand) i10 is in place while new gen i20 is about to be revealed. There is NO dragging the dead horse by the market leaders. Due replacements were done for the products in question (though old products were kept alive side by side).

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
...However, these models did well in the market, plus these manufacturers (and others) had much larger portfolios, so they could survive without updating their poorer sellers (A-Star, SX4, which also were/are around for years without updates)...
Absolutely! Fiat with just two products can NOT take the market easy like the leaders. If they want a bigger slice of the pie, they need to work harder. (Example - Honda)

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Originally Posted by rsidd View Post
...I wouldn't be surprised to see the new Punto sell comparably to the Polo by the end of the year.
Well, I would be surprised if Fiat does NOT easily overtake the VW sales. After all, Fiat's reputation is NOT as bad as VW. As a matter of fact, I do NOT even have much of an A$$ worry about a Fiat product as much as I have about VW/Skoda.

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 30th July 2014 at 16:14. Reason: Refining the post.
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Old 30th July 2014, 16:51   #57
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

It would have been a great move if Fiat would have launched the new Punto with the 1.5 MJD and the TJET as well. Also when TATA can use an upgraded C549 GBX and AMT, i dont see why Fiat cant use the same.
This would have definitely become +1 point over the competition.

While FIAT is readying the 1.5 already i hope they act fast before its too late.

While we can munch some pop corn and relax, since this thread has a word FIAT in it below is a nice article from motorbeam

http://www.motorbeam.com/cars/fiat/1...th-their-cars/

Last edited by amit_mechengg : 30th July 2014 at 16:53.
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Old 30th July 2014, 17:29   #58
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

Good facelfit I'd say. In line with what they did to the Linea. That number plate is spoiling the front end. Looks like the designers forgot to take number plate placement into consideration while designing it.

If only Fiat provided more exciting engine options. Good dynamics, steering, suspension et all wasted due to underpowered engines. Come on Fiat you are the engine specialist! Your cars need more power!
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Old 30th July 2014, 17:42   #59
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If you think that Fiat is happy selling 1000 cars / month, thinking it's in a niche, you couldn't be farther from the truth. Fiat's management itself will disagree with you.
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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
No manufacturer out there makes cars for the good of the community or for catering to a niche group of buyers. They are making cars to make money.
Fiat as a brand in India is an engine supplier first, and then a car maker! And i feel they are quite content with it. I do not know why they haven't got the 1.6MJD in India as yet. I believe they are still the No.1 engine supplier in India.
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Old 30th July 2014, 17:43   #60
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Default Re: 2014 Fiat Punto Evo : A Close Look

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Considering the market has grown since then, that's not saying a lot. Fiat has actually lost marketshare! In other words, Fiat is MOVING BACKWARD.
When you think of long haul(sales and service network expansions, new brands launch) and when you are in the process of resurrecting, lulls are bound to happen, isn't it? Do changes happen overnight?

Quote:
Many months, the Ambassador has outsold the Linea. I'm sure people have taken a note of that too.
That is like apples to oranges comparison!

Quote:
Sorry, but as a knowledgeable enthusiast, I disagree that Fiat is 'better' than most of the competition. I'd buy a Swift ZDi over the Punto today and a Vento TDI over the Linea MJD.
Isn't the term "enthusiast" subjective?

You may be enthusiastic about 0-100kmph timings, nimbleness, etc and I may be interested in its solidity, ride luxury, cruising ability, etc. Does it mean I'm not an enthusiast or any less enthusiastic than anyone else?

And as I said earlier, the Punto is still very competitive, while the Linea may not be. But, hey, wait, don't we have plenty of enthusiasts in our forum who go head over heels for the Linea T-jet?

Quote:
A statement you can use for Maruti, but not a flop brand that sits at the bottom of the pile. In fact, the reason that more than 1000 customers a month run away from Fiat is word of mouth / street reputation.
Yamaha, was once at the bottom of the pile, didn't it grow back?

I think I wrote more than a paragraph mentioning how the reputation is slowly changing and how Fiat is making solid efforts to improve further. Sad, you didn't notice.

1000s may be running away, but a few hundreds, that is the people who take informed decisions, are still buying Fiat. Do you think they lack sense to buy cars from a supposedly "Flop" brand?

Quote:
If you think that Fiat is happy selling 1000 cars / month, thinking it's in a niche, you couldn't be farther from the truth. Fiat's management itself will disagree with you.
If they think they are not going to survive, they would have packed their bags even before you and I would know.

Again, investing hundreds of crores on infrastructure expansion, setting up R&D. Do you think they wouldn't have done even basic research before plonking big bucks?

Quote:
And end of the day, Punto & Linea are mass market cars. Not like we're talking of a Mini Cooper here. There's nothing 'niche' about Fiat's products in India.
Punto and Linea, though basically have traits that satisfy a lot of enthusiasts, were launched targeting the mass market. Fiat realized what mass market expects is not what they are popular for, that is why they announced that they are going to be targeting a fixed set of customers, that is the informed ones who appreciate a car as a whole. That is why they shelved their plans to launch a B segment car. May be the other reason could be they realized they may not be able to penetrate the market of Maruti or Hyundai, a market that expects maximum fuel efficiency but skinny tyres, glossy plastics but tinny builds and compromised safety.

But, what's wrong in playing to your strengths?

In any business, can every player be number 1 or 2?

Quote:
I am an informed customer and I enjoy driving a faster, nimbler Swift more than a Punto.
Again, being an enthusiast is just about 0-100 dash, is it?

Quote:
The truth can sometimes be harsh.
True.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 30th July 2014 at 17:47.
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