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View Poll Results: which is better?
Ritz DDiS 65 20.50%
Punto MJD 252 79.50%
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Old 30th July 2009, 11:23   #196
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Originally Posted by DCEite View Post
...to each his own. Period.
Yes. True for others too.
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What has the above statement to do with the topic at hand, or tall boy cars? Are you trying to say that all toy boy cars are as safe as OMINI ? Sorry but this sounds very premature. I would have expected something better from you.
Tallboys were never meant to be highway cars. They were primarily built for Japanese cities where space is a premium. So they made cars with shorter lengths, and made people sit upright so that less space is required. If you have been to Japan (I have been), you will see that cities like Tokyo and Yokohama are full of these tallboys (Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, every manufacturer has numerous tallboys). Now, hit the highway, and you wouldn't see any tallboys there. The Japs realize well that such tallboys are not designed for highways, so they restrict it to city runabouts. Back in India, we do not show such discretion. To put it in a better way, we can't afford to have two cars, one for city and another one for highways. But instead of buying something that would suit both the city and the highway, we buy the tallboys and then take it to the highways. The tallboys are hazards at high speeds both to self and other vehicles on the road. What goes against the Ritz as highway drives are its tall stance and the EPS. Also they are built of thinner sheet metal, and other lighter components to keep weight and price down.
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First thing that why should i really bother to "move over tall boys" ? Just because Fiat doesn't have one in its Kitty ?
I guess Fiat Panda is a tallboy, not sure though.
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Old 30th July 2009, 20:54   #197
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Originally Posted by VahanPujari View Post
But then, when someone earlier mentioned Ritz is a better car than Punto (generalised statement) refering to the much higher sales figures of Ritz than Punto
That's a flawed statement. While sales figures can be representative - to an extent - of whether the product serves the needs of its market better, there are too many variables in the picture here. As you mentioned, brand, but also distribution strength, marketing budgets, support network etc. etc. I wouldn't go as far to say that one product is better than other only due to its sales, unless both manufacturers have an equal standing in the market (which clearly is not the case here).

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then its only fair to say that Ritz as a car has a huge advantage of Maruti Brand & Punto as a car has a huge disadvantage of Fiat brand.
Absolutely. Fiat better realise this if it wants to stick around for the longer term.

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Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Going a bit OT here with a question to all MBAs / managers on the forum - Has Fiat's India story become a management case study in some MBA college or corporate management training centre, about how to shoot yourself in the foot despite having very very good products?

Cheers,
Vikram
Not yet. But if Fiat manages to emerge successful over the next 2 - 3 years, you bet its going to become a case study for the IIMs. BTW, on a related note, case studies are already being prepared on the brilliant way in which HM-Mitsubishi marketed the great driving challenge.

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Originally Posted by ashwinpak View Post
The tallboys are hazards at high speeds both to self and other vehicles on the road.
I can tell you that the Ritz is not a hazard at all at 100 kph. Sure, you can't argue with physics but the body roll is very well controlled. Another parallel - The Innova. Tall, high center of CG but pretty planted at 100 kph (by MUV standards).

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What goes against the Ritz as highway drives are its tall stance and the EPS.
Do take a drive in one before passing such sweeping statements. The steering weighs in well enough to keep the drive safe.

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Also they are built of thinner sheet metal, and other lighter components to keep weight and price down.
I think you need to get your facts in order. Since you speak about the Ritz, the diesel variant weighs 1100 kg. Since when is this light for a regular size (not large) hatch? Heck, sedans of the previous era were lighter (my OHC = 985 kgs , lancer = 1010 & NHC = 1065). Even the petrol ritz is heavier than the OHC Vtec and the Lancer. You gotta understand that, with stricter safety norms, cars are putting on more & more weight. As an example = Look at the A pillars of new launches, thick enough to create a blind spot.
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Old 30th July 2009, 22:09   #198
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now guys dont jump over me for this.

after going through the forum and looking at the attitude of the aam junta.

Fiat was always considered as trouble from earlier days. the 118NE petrol had serious issues. leave that.

coming to maruthi . people see it a easy to maintain no nonsense vehicle.

and tata! sorry but people look at it as though it is second grade! or more like taxi type.

Fiat better do something about its image!! this Tata JV is not a good move as far as image is considered.

the other JV mahindra - renault also hasnt done well either some humoungous loss was reported by the compant officials right? to the tone of some hundreds of crores!.

sorry to say the truth.

For the enthusiats better CAR is THE BETTER CAR with all factors included. drive, A.S.S , brand etc. [ here too each one has his/her preferences and weightage depends on that]

but the ground reality is for the MOST part of the CAR buying Public the BRAND has the highest Weightage while buying a car.

in India Brand is taken as larger than life.
for example.
Cheap to maintain. - maruthi, hyundai [ santro is the building foundation for hyundai. but they have moved on to premium]
premium - mistsubishi, honda , skoda, toyota, etc.

the latest addition to premium brand is hyundai, they have been following the global policy of increasing their car prices to build the premium image and the i20 worked more than the companys expectations in the petrol hatchback market in hyundai being considered a premium brand. i10 is also a past of this line up. Premium hyundai. they had undergone a global make over in their marketing strategy and i10 and i30 was the first of this new makeover. it worked big time in europe. runaway success. even the suv santa fe and rear drive sedan genesis is north americas success story.

i10 as we all know in india is a success.
but ever wondered which car from hyundai is not a part of the new makeover and yet did big business in india to go and become a pioneer in building the premium sedan image??
you guys guessed it right! the verna.

even the elantra was a commercial failure. but verna worked wonders for hyundai. while in europe it didnt go on to become a huge it. over here in europe its not in loss thats all. nothing to brag about. but in india its a different story. initially the verna wasnt even catching up in sales due to fiesta and others. but the mag reviews and the aggresive test drive promotions and spacious interiors with lots of bottle holders..haha. paid off.

lets see what resulted in its success.

power?? - for enthusiats yes but then why does common man also like it?? mileage! , low cost of spares, premium image and yes Quality interiors! and spacious too.

and yes who ever had a smaller car read santro in the family circle were all happy about the brand. so once the accent crdi got discontinued the verna picked up and even to date its doing good numbers and that too with out airbags / abs in lower spec models why the below would be a summary.

here everything came together for the aam aadmi.
namely brand,A.S.S, Superb reiews on paper. and yes Quality interiors. better built, yes it better be at 9lakh odd price you pay for the diesel. [ imagine the diesel outselling the petrol even with a hefty 1.5lakh - 2lakh rupees premium]. all this inspite of not being endowed with HOT LOOKS. ( the egg shell design by hyundai is one among those which grows upon you as you keep looking at it. )

all this didnt happen for hyundai overnight!! they took the right steps.

so why did i bring this topic into this thread inspite of this being a punto vs ritz thread??

well have an anology for ritz with verna.
even without features and hot looks and high price tag. 5.2 lakh for ritz ldi is not cheap by any standard. even then it sells?? all the other things that a enthusiast is not bothered about is met by the ritz and this is what the common man wants. does it have the Handling crispness of the punto hell no! .
build quality as good as punto?? hell no!
but better A.S.S yes.
better image! yes.
better resale. yes. hence not much more money lost when you go for next car!
better peace of mind even though this is percieved due to maruthi image. still its better peace of mind compared to the punto for a normal guy.

one another point to be taken into note is car buying is never a one guy only decided thing! there should be yes from a lot of people. relatives and immediate family. here also fiat will loose out.

world aint fair to fiat i guess. but the brand is to be only blamed. not the people. the customer is king in this market. no second thought to that.

so the reality is this that the better car to public is ritz.
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Old 30th July 2009, 23:36   #199
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and tata! sorry but people look at it as though it is second grade! or more like taxi type.
I disagree. When Tata Indica was launched, it was THE alternative for middle-class segment. Capital cost (Price) was very very reasonable for a diesel car, spacious, adequate interiors (was not outdated), Diesel advantage, low running cost, cheap spares & what not. Taxi image came later, though not long after.
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Fiat better do something about its image!! this Tata JV is not a good move as far as image is considered.
Actually, IMO Tata JV was the best option for Fiat at that time. In auto industry the key success factor is Distribution Network. And Fiat messed it up big time there. A Strong Distribution Network takes time to build. Manufacture has to ensure that dealers earn decent Return on Investment. Fiat failed here with its minuscale sales figures. So, what are the option for Fiat? It could not have attracted many Reputed dealers or business groups to become dealers. Tata has the Network ready & a wide one at that. From Tata's PoV, its getting benefitted from Ranjangaon plant, Fiat's engine (which is part of Vista & may be in future products) & Technolgy.
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so the reality is this that the better car to public is ritz.
I disagree again. That's a generalised & a sweeping statement with a word "Public". It could have been better said that more people would buy Ritz for a combination of reasons as discussed in earlier posts. For every individual, better car depends on his prefrences, requirements & which parameters he lays more emphasis on while which parameters are ok to let go.
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Old 30th July 2009, 23:56   #200
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@ vahanpujari
sorry i was mentioning about the current taxi image. and frankly i think as far as business is considered taxi image got tata huge profits but killed the image.

as i pointed out the tata JV is good for all the reasons you mentioned but not for "image".

i was considering image only. i stress on this point since Punto and linea are "Premium" hatchback and sedan. it should have some image and exclusivity and not be treated as tata taxi vehicles.

a very straight forward method would have been to set up "only Fiat" service centers and dealers though within tata JV.

but no they didnt do that. just watch the situation when full load of NANO hits the dealers and service centers hard!!

and yes the last statement is right the way you put it
what i meant by public is the average joe who makes a car purchase which is his/her second important decision after buying a house. or one who buys a car just for moving from point A to point B and wants peace of mind.

i know i might sound harsh but yes maruthi is the same as hero-honda in bikes!
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Old 31st July 2009, 00:16   #201
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i know i might sound harsh but yes maruthi is the same as hero-honda in bikes!
Absolutely. Nothing to be harsh about it. Its a fact & both companies have some parallels also. Many Maruti Dealers are Hero-Honda Dealers also. Even after being market leaders for years with huge sales, both the companies are still able to maintain high standard of A.S.S. & customer satisfaction which is actually a huge achievement.
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Old 31st July 2009, 09:16   #202
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Originally Posted by Thomas8700 View Post
Fiat better do something about its image!! this Tata JV is not a good move as far as image is considered.

the other JV mahindra - renault also hasnt done well either some humoungous loss was reported by the compant officials right? to the tone of some hundreds of crores!.

IMO tata jv is the best thing tht has happened to fiat.without tata they are no where.
As far as the mahindra -renault is concerned the logan missed out due to the dull rear looks,absence of certain features which are a must and too high pricing.
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Old 31st July 2009, 09:50   #203
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This debate is very simple to decide-
Going by the car alone I think the Punto wins but if you take the A.S.S and parts availability also then Ritz is better. Though for the long run then Punto would be a great choice.
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Old 31st July 2009, 10:49   #204
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as i pointed out the tata JV is good for all the reasons you mentioned but not for "image".

i was considering image only. i stress on this point since Punto and linea are "Premium" hatchback and sedan. it should have some image and exclusivity and not be treated as tata taxi vehicles.

a very straight forward method would have been to set up "only Fiat" service centers and dealers though within tata JV.
"Image" can not be built overnight. It would have been difficult for Fiat/ Tata to ensure decent Return on Investment for those dealers if they had set up "Only Fiat" service centres & dealers as the sales numbers were hardly anything to justify the cost.

"Image" can not also be built just by tying up with any "premium" brand/ service centres for that means higher/"premium" cost & hence higher prices of the car which Fiat can least afford. Another thing Fiat can not afford is to let their cars slotted into very niche high price/ "premium" segment for that means further lower sales numbers. Considering the position Fiat was in, had they positioned the cars in high price/ Premium image, it could have been disaster.

Fiat is trying for survival & their gameplan seems very simple. Give the maximum to the customer at the lowest price. And TATA's are master at it.
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Old 31st July 2009, 23:09   #205
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Fiat is trying for survival & their gameplan seems very simple. Give the maximum to the customer at the lowest price. And TATA's are master at it.
The problem is, (or at least here in Goa, lest I be accused of making sweeping statements), Tata appears to be more interested in selling and servicing their own vehicles. Fiat cars and their owners get little importance in this process.

Many of my friends who own Fiat cars (expecially Palio) have been complaining that Tata mechanics are least bothered to service Fiat cars. Even the Tate sales executives appear more keen to persuade the customer to opt for Tata cars.

Even the Tata website seems to have a care-a-damn attitude towards Fiat. For instance, log on to Tata Motors - HomePage. Then click on the link "Products in India" below the pictures. Check out the "Passenger Car" section and you will find a solitary link to ALL of Fiat cars (while each Tata car gets a separate link). Now click on "Fiat Cars" and guess what? I get a "Page Load Error". There appears to be NO link to Fiat cars at all on this Tata website!

So much for the Tata-Fiat partnership here in India.

By the way, I have so far seen only three Punto cars (white, red, grey) on the road here in Goa, while there are quite a few of Ritz vehicles in the state. While Punto seems to be winning by a huge margin over the Ritz on this poll, the 'on-the-road poll' here in Goa seems to suggest just the opposite.

Regards.

Last edited by misquitas : 31st July 2009 at 23:19.
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Old 1st August 2009, 11:46   #206
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Apart from the peace of mind and after sales other reasons why Ritz will always outsell Punto is because the Punto isn't avaliable as easily as a Ritz. You could be in Satara or Sholapur and still walk into a Maruti dealership and buy a Ritz. The Punto maynot be avaliable in the Tata dealership at Satara for example. What I am saying is that not all Tata dealerships sell and service Punto's and Linea's. This is true in every country everywhere in the world.

As for Fiat exclusive sales and service outlet's, I have asked this question earlier and got no response. If you had a couple of crores and wanted to set up a dealership, would you approach Fiat or Suzuki? Fiat or Honda? I have bought 2 Fiat's and I tell you I would rather put up a Maruti dealership then a Fiat one. When Fiat signed the JV with Tata, they really had no choice but to sell their cars through a partner's dealer network. Nobody can survive selling and servicing 200 cars every month. Who knows if the Punto and Linea sustain their sales, we may see Fiat only service outlets soon. If these cars sell consistantly, dealers will happily show you a Fiat product in their showrooms. Dealers pushing customers to Tata cars over a Palio is because a Indica is easier to sell then a Palio. Say Palio and the next questions that come are "Mileage is low isnt it?" and "what about spares?" Which salesman would want to answer these difficult questions when he can make a 'easy' sale.

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While Punto seems to be winning by a huge margin over the Ritz on this poll, the 'on-the-road poll' here in Goa seems to suggest just the opposite.
Isn't that expected? I have seen more i20's and Jazz then Punto's in Mumbai. Ritz are all over the roads here!

PS: Fiat have raised Rs.2,448 Crores of loan from Citigroup India for expansion of it's Ranjangaon facility. There is some talk of the Nano being built there till the Nano's mother plant in Gujarat becomes operational.

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Old 1st August 2009, 12:14   #207
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By the way, I have so far seen only three Punto cars (white, red, grey) on the road here in Goa, while there are quite a few of Ritz vehicles in the state.
Regards.
I was in Goa last entire month & I used to see atleast 1-2 Lineas in Goa daily, though no Punto.
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Old 1st August 2009, 21:04   #208
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PS: Fiat have raised Rs.2,448 Crores of loan from Citigroup India for expansion of it's Ranjangaon facility. There is some talk of the Nano being built there till the Nano's mother plant in Gujarat becomes operational.
In my opinion, Fiat India needs to get hold of GM's MD Karl Slym as soon as possible. If Slym could reassure and retain GM customers here in India despite all the fears of bankruptcy surrounding the parent company, he can only work further miracles for Fiat India.
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Old 2nd August 2009, 18:33   #209
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I can tell you that the Ritz is not a hazard at all at 100 kph. Sure, you can't argue with physics but the body roll is very well controlled. Another parallel - The Innova. Tall, high center of CG but pretty planted at 100 kph (by MUV standards).

Do take a drive in one before passing such sweeping statements. The steering weighs in well enough to keep the drive safe.
Well, I guess that is sound advice. And an apology is in order because, I had never test driven a Ritz. My experience with tallboys ended with Santro, and the Swift that I drive back at my hometown, does not inspire confidence in me on the highways.

BTW, a question to anybody who knows, why do manufacturers increasingly use EPS against HPS? Is EPS cheaper to build?

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I think you need to get your facts in order. Since you speak about the Ritz, the diesel variant weighs 1100 kg. Since when is this light for a regular size (not large) hatch? Heck, sedans of the previous era were lighter (my OHC = 985 kgs , lancer = 1010 & NHC = 1065). Even the petrol ritz is heavier than the OHC Vtec and the Lancer. You gotta understand that, with stricter safety norms, cars are putting on more & more weight. As an example = Look at the A pillars of new launches, thick enough to create a blind spot.
Agree. I guess Ritz is one (exception)al** tallboy.

* - Pun intended.
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Old 3rd August 2009, 11:50   #210
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Hello Bhpian's

Let Maruti-Suzuki be the common commuters car and Fiat be the auto enthusiasts car,else how do you differentiate

Same as a Microsoft & Apple in computers

Test drove Punto,Ritz & Jazz on saturday

Better to buy a City at 10 lacs rather than Jazz at 8.5 lacs

Ritz DDIS drive was good however the rear design is a pain,better than swift

Punto MJD is the star,whoever loves a car will go for it

I love my Palio MJD VFM,Tata service is good no problems almost 14 months now.

Cheers
Amar
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