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Old 27th January 2008, 15:47   #1
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Default Fiat Follies! French Follies!!

Fiat has always been bungling in India. After Premeir Padmini's success, they went into hybernation. They brought dumb and old looking cars like 118NE and Uno which looked outdated even before they were launched in India. Palio, though a good looker, did not succeed for various reasons. It just didn't have anything outstanding in its favour that other hatches costing less didn't have. Then the Himalayan blunder that Fiat committed is that they gave their stunning, pathbreaking, award-winning 1.3 multi jet diesel engine to Muruti to power their Swift rather than keeping this engine for themselves for Palio. Had Fiat done that, Palio would have been a sales-charts scorcher today. It really beats me about the rationale behind such a move by Fiat. It's like feeding your neghbour's kids and starving your own. So while Palio is on the verge of extinction, Swift is setting sales charts afire thanks to Fiat. Is Fiat really so pea-brained?

The French are not far behind. Long long ago they brought one ugly looking Peugeot 309 to Inidia. Its super failure did not deter Renault from bringing Logan , another ugly looking. So what if it's a lower segment sedan. Indigo looks way better than Logan and costs much less, too. Renault fans argue that they cannot offer a good looking car at a cheaper price. Then why try at all? If you can't offer something good looking in a given segment, then avoid that segment altogether. Renault could have gone the Skoda way, entering D and D+ segment. They have one sedan Laguna which looks way better than anything currently sold in India this side of 30 lakhs. But Logan? Ugh!!! Forget us auto enthusiasts--- even women, children and senior citizens and the like who do not dabble in things automotive, even those types did not like Logan. They all say it looks plain ugly. Couldn't Renault have lauched Megane or something of that sort?

The Fiat and the French. When will they learn?
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Old 27th January 2008, 16:49   #2
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I think you are being too critical of Fiat here.
You should also keep in mind that Fiat was doing bad financially not a long back. If I am not wrong, GM also owns the 'multijet' diesel so its part of the deal that saved Fiat from bankruptcy. GM-Suzuki had a deal with technology sharing thats how Suzuki got to build the engine for the swift. So Fiat India actually had no say in Suzuki using it for the swift.
Its another matter that Fiat India on its own failed miserably. I hope they have improve from here on.
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Old 27th January 2008, 17:25   #3
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1. I beleive Fiat left India sometime after launching the Fiat 1100 which was then made by Premier Motors and called the Padmini.

2. The reason why you dont see too many new cars launched between the 60s and 90s is because our industry was regulated by the government and protected from competition allowing it to grow. The government believed that too much competition would destroy the nacent auto industry. While it is a hot topic for debate in economics circles whether the markets should be regulated or allowed to operate on its own, I believe that Indian manufactureres like Tata and Mahindra would have been destroyed with the immence competition in their infancy. Also newer technologies werent permitted as one had to pay foreign companies royalties for that and the government didnt want to

3. When Fiat reentered the market with the Uno they had to do so with Premier because the government only allowed foreign companies to enter India under a JV with an Indian company.When the Uno was launched people went mad and the car was overbooked and had a long waiting list. Compared to what was available in the market at the time the Uno was a step up for sure.

4. Peugeot also entered with Premier due to the same reason. The 309 was a popular car in Africa and they saw India as an underdeveloped country which would have similar needs. I guess they werent able to judge the market properly. More importantly however the partnership with Premier proved disastrous.

5. The Logan is again a case of not really udnerstanding the market well though things might change with the series of pricecuts announced,

6. What makes you think Fiat just gave their 1.3 engine away to Suzuki. I believe the engine was developed by GM, Suzuki and Fiat. Also if Fiat did own the engine design, Im sure Suzuki is paying for using the engine in its cars.

Last edited by khanak : 27th January 2008 at 17:29.
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Old 27th January 2008, 17:51   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khanak View Post
When the Uno was launched people went mad and the car was overbooked and had a long waiting list. Compared to what was available in the market at the time the Uno was a step up for sure.
It might have looked outdated and boxy, but i feel Uno was well received by the public- specially the diesel.
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Originally Posted by khanak View Post
5. The Logan is again a case of not really udnerstanding the market well though things might change with the series of pricecuts announced
True. Logan makes sense for a market like India. But it should take on the Indigo in pricing. Their is no way Mahindra can price it for a premium, as they might have learned by now.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 27th January 2008 at 18:06.
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Old 27th January 2008, 17:54   #5
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It might have looked outdated and boxy, but i feel Uno was well received by the public- specially the diesel.
which is why I mentioned that it was overbooked. The 309 and the Uno were popular but the company caused the cars to fail.
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Old 27th January 2008, 17:59   #6
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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Fiat has always been bungling in India. After Premeir Padmini's success, they went into hybernation.

For some one who still thinks that Premier Padmini was produced in India by FIAT...I can only say one thing ..read wikipedia about FIAT in India!!

I am not sure how this atricle was approved...yes FIAT was lethargic in marketing but their products were/are fantastic!!
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Old 27th January 2008, 19:38   #7
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I think you are being too critical of Fiat here.
You should also keep in mind that Fiat was doing bad financially not a long back. If I am not wrong, GM also owns the 'multijet' diesel so its part of the deal that saved Fiat from bankruptcy. GM-Suzuki had a deal with technology sharing thats how Suzuki got to build the engine for the swift. So Fiat India actually had no say in Suzuki using it for the swift.
Its another matter that Fiat India on its own failed miserably. I hope they have improve from here on.

I agree on that with you SE but again as we all know and appreciate the engine to have been a result of FIAT's efforts and even others confess that fiat had the largest hand in development of the MJD.

Couldn't have FIAT acted fast and introduced the PALIO mated with the MJD at the same time ???
Had FIAT been sleeping all these months or have they been too lazy to do so earlier???

FIAT has not learned from its past till date.

The palio is a ""great"" car (I believe the "double" double quotes are justified here)

They should appreciate the fact that Indian customer demands attention and there is no reason he/she should not have it
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Old 27th January 2008, 19:57   #8
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There is something called "trust" that FIAT failed to win from Indian buyers. When it comes to shelling out lacs of money on a car, Indian buyers will think 100 times. I guess this is where FIAT has failed. And thats the reason why people buy Maruti/Hyundai. I also thought they made a mistake in choosing a wrong local partner. Add to that their horribly expensive spare parts. ... Indian middle class cannot afford so costly parts.
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Old 27th January 2008, 21:17   #9
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After a Honda bashing thread, here is another Fiat / Renault bashing thread! Good show!

When Uno and Palio were launched in India, they were far superior cars compared to the cars in the market that time, it was only wrong perception of Fiat in people's minds that cars didn't burn the sales charts!

But, now with Fiat-Tata alliance and Fiat launching a slew of Cars like G Punto, Linea, Bravo etc things are really changing for good!
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Old 27th January 2008, 21:17   #10
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I think Blue pulsar is right. It has a lot to do with the trusst factor. I really wanted to buy the palio 1.6 , but was too scared of buying a FIAT product as I feared they may leave me high and dry two years down the line.

So people go for companies they trust will support their product two or three years down the line even though the FIAT product might have better build quality etc.

I think FIAT india has a shot at getting back on it's two feet with the Palio MJD . They need to have a product that will have volume sales that in turn can help them sustain their revenues. I simply dont understand the point of introducing the 500 and the Bravo.
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Old 27th January 2008, 21:23   #11
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Originally Posted by rrnsss View Post
It has a lot to do with the trusst factor. I really wanted to buy the palio 1.6 , but was too scared of buying a FIAT product as I feared they may leave me high and dry two years down the line.
Buddy, Palio was launched in 2001, and now it is 2008!
And now Fiat is in full steam with array of new launches!

You can't trust a person, unless you trust him atleast once.
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Old 27th January 2008, 21:24   #12
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Have you done your research right? Lets leave the Premier Padmini out since it was way long banck. DO you know what the price tag of the UNO was and do you know who were its competitors. DO you know what was the difference between these cars and the UNO in terms of interior space, built quality, safety, and even handling at higher speeds? The UNO was a CKU and was given to indians at that price range.

Then lets take a look at the palio. Who were its competitors if you take its price range? How many cars at that point of time had such good build qauality and ride comfort. How many cars handled bad roads with such ease. How many cars gave you things like fabric inserts on seats, hard covers for inner boot, under body plastic coating to avoid rust, side stone gaurds (do we get it on any car below 15L today??).

Then they launched a limited edition palio. Man that was the real limited edition car. All those limited editions we get now are just marketing gimmicks but the S10 was surely a real limited edition!! HAd indians heard of Airbags before that?

Just think about the above matter and do some research on that if at all you are interested. You will get an answer on whether it was FIAT who needs to learn things or if it is "we" who need to learn things. I'll just give you a small example. WOuld you think you could get a car with all the below features at 5.65 lakhs.
1.Front Bull bars
2.Intergrated fog lamps
3.Additional Hella fog lamps
4.DOuble roof rails
5.Scratch proof wheel arches
6.All four door power windows
7.Silver finish Alloy Wheels
8.Height adjustable steering wheel.
9.Leather wrapped Steering and gear knob.
10. 1.6 litre engine delivering 100PS
11.Silver garnish to inner door opening lever
12. Fabric insert on door pads


Do you know which company was offering such a car at that price? Just try finding out? YOu will know who really needed to learn.
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Old 27th January 2008, 21:34   #13
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Originally Posted by motorheadinc View Post
I agree on that with you SE but again as we all know and appreciate the engine to have been a result of FIAT's efforts and even others confess that fiat had the largest hand in development of the MJD.

Couldn't have FIAT acted fast and introduced the PALIO mated with the MJD at the same time ???
Had FIAT been sleeping all these months or have they been too lazy to do so earlier???


FIAT has not learned from its past till date.

The palio is a ""great"" car (I believe the "double" double quotes are justified here)

They should appreciate the fact that Indian customer demands attention and there is no reason he/she should not have it
Its not all that simple to build an engine from scratch in a new facility. Maruti-Suzuki is actually building engine for Swift on their own so you can't blame Fiat for that.
But I must agree that Fiat has done some blunders earlier. Lets hope they have learnt.
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Old 27th January 2008, 21:42   #14
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Default Apart from all these, the cars were always ahead of others

After dismal performance for almost 10 years, they have realized that their service network is one of their major problems. They knew that without improving the A.S.S, they are going to fail even with cars like Punto and Linea. And It is difficult to change the attitude of current dealers/service personnel and expanding the network looks almost impossible with their (and parent's) financial health. So the option they have is to close the operations in India or establish a JV with a local manufacturer. They choose TATA for various reasons:
1. TATA has shown the interest
2. Association of Fiat chairman with Ratan Tata
3. Good service network of TATA ( Their service quality could be another topic for the discussion)
4. FIAT has no better choice.

And coming to launching Palio 1.3 MJD, Company's long term plans were taken front seat. As I stated earlier, Palio 1.3 MJD could have been a failure also. (for the same reason why Palio 1.2 and 1.6 and 1.9 D are failed. the A.S.S). Good thing is that they had realized the situation.

They have also realized that with TATA's service network they can not afford to target Volumes unlike TATA and Maruti. They are targeting niche market now.

Let us see how far they will succeed. If they are not able make any impact after 3 years, I think they should move to Maruti/Suzuki model.

-BSR

PS: The sad thing is that due to their mismanagement, customers who trusted them even after so much of negative are ultimate sufferers.
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Old 27th January 2008, 22:44   #15
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Fiat India
well Fiat india website shows Bravo and 500.. did they launch these cars??

Last edited by tushky : 27th January 2008 at 22:50.
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