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Old 24th December 2014, 08:38   #1
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Red face Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

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Nagesh Basavanhalli, Managing Director and President of Fiat Chrysler India, has exited the company according to sources. The development comes at a time when the company is gearing up to introduce a number of new models in the country, including the Abarth and Jeep brands.

Basavanhalli took up the posts of President and Managing Director in April 2013. Prior to that, he was responsible for Fiat and Chrysler’s APAC (Asia Pacific) Technical Center located in Chennai, India. He was playing a major role in scripting a turnaround of the struggling brand.

Fiat India has not been successful at selling its cars in the country. However, as an engine manufacturer, it has had considerable success with major players including Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors sourcing the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine from it.
http://www.team-bhp.com/news/nagesh-...lli-quits-fiat

Last edited by GTO : 24th December 2014 at 15:38. Reason: Linking to our own news article :)
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Old 24th December 2014, 08:55   #2
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

This is bad especially given the current situation of Fiat India.
Fiat have great cars already, they only need a good leader to drive the sales and image make over of FIAT India. Especially for image make over Fiat needs to show their commitment for India by launching new products regularly without delay like Jeep fiasco.
I hope they will get good leader and get the market share of what Fiat deserves.
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Old 24th December 2014, 09:12   #3
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

So, where is he joining then?

Nagesh was a very people friendly person and had managed to turn around the image of Fiat to a significant extent in my opinion. Let us see what the new CEO does.
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Old 24th December 2014, 09:13   #4
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

Fiat's woes continue!

Difficult to turn around sales with such churning happening. Rightly said in the article, there appears to be a leadership vacuum.
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Old 24th December 2014, 09:16   #5
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

Fiat is a car market in an unique situation in India. they are profitable and growing but not because of their cars but because of the 1.3 MJD alone- which is shared acrross GM, tata, fiat, maruti.

Very similar to the predicament of blackberry - strong in B2B business but no hoper in B2C business - If I were in Fiat, I would take the royal enfield route - keep the niche positioning, bring in products like abarth, 1.6 MJD and do low volume, high margin products.

No point playing a volume game - even if one looks at threads on team bhp which contain enthusiasts, fiat cars are not even considered - that's sad and it's not going to change. Might as well take the "if you still like driving, we're still ahead" route and bring in latest technology and run a niche, high margin shop to complement the engine factory
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Old 24th December 2014, 09:25   #6
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

Perhaps he had already realized that the ship was about to sink. Maybe he just refused to remain the captain of the sinking ship and jumped to greener pastures. Like someone mentioned above, he has indeed 'made the move'.

Last edited by riturajsharma19 : 24th December 2014 at 09:27.
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Old 24th December 2014, 10:59   #7
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

Lets see who arrives now , very little contribution made by Nagesh in my opinion to Fiat , i maybe he had many a grand plans but unfortunately little reflection on the ground. I remember the interview he did with Autocar some months ago - i was very unimpressed by him.
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Old 24th December 2014, 11:28   #8
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

If it was Mr Nagesh Basavanhalli's decision not to get 1.6 M-Jet with facelift Linea, if it was his decision to launch Evo with Avventura looks ahead of Avventura, If it was his decision not to launch Avventura/Evo with T-Jet (in a nut-shell all three launches/facelifts failed miserably), IMO by quitting he has done good to Fiat India's future.

And if it is the other way round, i.e. he quit demanding focus on Indian operations, it may make Fiat headquarters think and take serious steps.
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Old 24th December 2014, 13:25   #9
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Default re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

Fiat was anyway not making as much significant strides as we thought it would be doing. So lets hope this change will be for better for both.
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Old 24th December 2014, 16:18   #10
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Default Re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

It's barely 1.5 years since Nagesh took charge at Fiat India. Quitting so soon is a bad sign...shows the turmoil within an organisation. Instability isn't good, and those with a weak position in the market have an unusually frequent churn of top management. Think Tata Motors & how many CEOs its had. Or how Arvind Saxena quit VW in such a short while of joining (he was with Hyundai for 7 years before that).

Always thought of him as more of a technical guy than business manager. Even though Fiat's car business remains poor, he did bring growth in sales & the dealership network.

Last edited by GTO : 24th December 2014 at 16:20.
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Old 24th December 2014, 17:02   #11
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Default Re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

BHPians above me have already discussed most of the reasons why this has happened. To me, its simple.. Mr.Nagesh would be the most probable beneficiary of this move.

As far as who's responsible for Fiat's state of affairs presently, its a 50/50 on the company & the man who helmed it. Its best chance was during its 3rd coming in India (post-Palio) with the Punto and Linea. While they were ahead of their time for a very brief period, the company simply went with the assumption that "they are good enough" without giving any visual tweaks/upgrades for as long as 5 years while the European models were given a facelift in 2011. This was a major mistake & no!, lifting the ground clearance by 10 mm every 2 years doesn't count. Secondly while I agree that their cars are built to drive well, there have been reports of repeated mechanical failures to which the company didn't respond as fast as they should've. Service & marketing are key areas of expanding business which this company is still reluctant to work on. I've seen phone companies advertising heavily for products priced <Rs.10k. The company never took marketing seriously except during the past year but it still hasn't worked.

I'd like to clarify to the fans that I've indeed driven a Punto, it drives well and the body-frame is best in class, however if they truly wanted to multiply their sales, they wasted too much time waiting for people to turn up at their doorstep while ignoring the consumer "sentiments of expecting something new/special" every year, be it a facelift or some small interior tweak. If they have their hopes riding on a 2 door Abarth 500 costing >15L ex-showroom or a Jeep which might probably cost >40L ex, then the result is going to be very very obvious, they are pulling yet another Fiat move.

Last edited by dark.knight : 24th December 2014 at 17:16.
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Old 24th December 2014, 17:34   #12
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Default Re: Nagesh Basavanahalli quits Fiat India

The thing I've noticed from their rumoured 'Plans' and expanding dealerships etc is - Big Talk, little work.

People say things looked better after FIAT-TATA split, I guess it was only temporary & things have turned the other way round! With what happened thereafter I'd blame a mix of things that FIAT got wrong & didn't work to improve sales numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S.MJet View Post
If it was Mr Nagesh Basavanhalli's decision not to get 1.6 M-Jet with facelift Linea, if it was his decision to launch Evo with Avventura looks ahead of Avventura, If it was his decision not to launch Avventura/Evo with T-Jet (in a nut-shell all three launches/facelifts failed miserably), IMO by quitting he has done good to Fiat India's future....
Quite True.

But it was his call on the final decision to allow the launch of these products in India with this engine format. To me those decisions made him look asif he wasn't interested in the job. I feel this was pretty much the reason & he must've been asked to ~ Make the Move ~.

IMPO If he quit voluntarily, then its seriously not an appreciable thing to run away from a ship, letting it sink.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
It's barely 1.5 years since Nagesh took charge at Fiat India. Quitting so soon is a bad sign...
I feel small players like FIAT need to change leaders often because one never knows how big auto-makers could be trying to influence the small ones.

Especially since their products can rarely afford to have any USP that the masses like. Every large player has something exceptional to offer.

Maruti : Mileage, ASC
Toyota : Reliability, ASC
Honda : Reliability & Design
TATA : Value For Money (with decent features)
VAG : Supposely "German Engineering"
  • To the masses, FIAT had just the design to differentiate itself (long ago Linea was also considered as a well featured car, but that was half a decade ago, now almost all cars of that segment offer those features, and then some).
  • They didn't sufficiently market the build quality & safety aspect.
  • The reliability too wasn't anything exceptionally different from others.
  • The pricing wasn't & still isn't VFM.
I guess, except engines, theres NOTHING exceptional that FIAT has got to offer, (Not even AMT!) even if it wants to tie up with someone going forward.

Unless they have a exceptionally new piece of tech that they would allow to trickle down from the Abarth or JEEP Cherokee brands, I'd say they have a bleak future & should plan their exit. Again.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 24th December 2014 at 17:39.
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Old 24th December 2014, 19:22   #13
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It is easy to put the blame on one person. IMO there are other factors that contribute/might contribute to Fiat's dismal sales
1. Brand perception. This is very difficult to shake off easily and will take an extended period to change.
2. There might not be much support from the parent company in terms of expansion plans.

Hope things change for the better soon.
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Old 24th December 2014, 20:29   #14
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Default Re: Nagesh Basavanhalli quits Fiat India

Is Mr.Nagesh is to blame for Fiat's dismal show ? Yes. As he is the head of the company and completely responsible for its operation. Whatever the reason his strategies did not work. Either the basic strategies are at fault or it was miserable execution.

Mr.Nagesh was aware of Fiat's dismal record before taking over the reins. So he would have had a plan in place for its revival. Either it misfired or was lacking proper parent company support.

I think Fiat is again at cross road. The advantage is, it is not a loss making company thanks to their engine market. But it will be wise for them to overhaul their strategy at the earliest. They cannot depend on their engines only. Maruti is developing its own engine. With one engine developed and tested, it will be used in all models as different variants. This may not happen in near future but that will be the long term strategy of Maruti or any other manufacturers.
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Old 24th December 2014, 21:49   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshBabu View Post
Is Mr.Nagesh is to blame for Fiat's dismal show ? Yes. As he is the head of the company and completely responsible for its operation. Whatever the reason his strategies did not work. Either the basic strategies are at fault or it was miserable execution.

Mr.Nagesh was aware of Fiat's dismal record before taking over the reins. So he would have had a plan in place for its revival. Either it misfired or was lacking proper parent company support.
Based on that logic the heads of marketing, product planning should also go.

The real reason for his departure is and maybe might remain unknown. Its high time the parent company decides whether they wish to be amongst the top manufacturers in India or be content as a supplier of engines. They can plan their next moves accordingly.
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